Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mujahedeen Khalq. Whose side are they on? Terrorists, freedom fighters or something else?

Mujahedeen Khalq, a listed terrorist organization, is on the Op-ed pages of today's New York Timses. Mujahedeen Khalq, or Warriors of God, has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds in a little known war with Iran. Elizabeth Rubin takes them, and their outspoken American supporters, to task.

[A]n unlikely chorus of the group’s backers — some of whom have received speaking fees, others of whom are inspired by their conviction that the Iranian government must fall at any cost — have gathered around Mujahedeen Khalq at conferences in capitals across the globe.

This group of luminaries includes two former chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, Gens. Hugh H. Shelton and Peter Pace; Wesley K. Clark, the former NATO commander; Gen. James L. Jones, who was President Obama’s national security adviser; Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director; the former intelligence officials Dennis C. Blair and Michael V. Hayden; the former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson; the former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey, and Lee H. Hamilton, a former congressman who was co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
Ms. Rubin's position,

Mujahedeen Khalq is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us.
Personally, I'm puzzled by MK, and wonder if its supporters are on the right track. I can only think back to the heady days of American belief that Fidel Castro was the right man for Cuba at the right time in history, only to have those beliefs smashed when Castro aligned himself with the Soviets and embarked on a course of state-sponsored terror.

So, it's time to sit back and see how this plays out because, brother, this is bigger than us all.

What do you think?

Stephen Flatow Iran Mujahedeen Khalq

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hamas and the arts

Reuters is reporting on the Hamas crackdown on film makers who do not toe the line.

"Cinema in Gaza is like writing on rocks with your fingers," says Palestinian writer-director Sweilem Al-Absi.
OK, I'm good with that analogy.

While Hamas has been investing heavily in Internet and television news, it is not too pleased with the work of Gazan film makers.

"Such was the case with "Masho Matook" ("Something Sweet"), a 2010 short film directed by Khalil al-Muzzayen, which depicts the interaction between Israeli troops and soccer-playing Palestinian children in once-occupied Gaza.

"Though the video vignette was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival, Hamas banned its screening locally, citing a four-second scene where Israeli soldiers appreciatively eye a comely Palestinian woman who breezes past them, her hair uncovered."
The Hamas answer is that the clip in question was "out of context."

If you add a free film industry to a free press as one of the signs of democracy, Hamas and its hold on the people of Gaza come up short.

Read the full article.

Flatow Gaza Hamas Reuters