Thursday, August 24, 2006

We Caged the Wrong Bird

We Caged the Wrong Bird

Daniel Pipes Blog Entry: Washington Puzzles over the Mujahedeen-e Khalq
By Russell Wohlford, Aug 24, 2006

I was in Iraq in 2003-04. I was there when the MEK peacefully capitulated and turned over their arms. I was a member of a team that verified the small arms and crew-served weapons that had been turned in. We checked serial numbers, in some cases, and compared the raw number of weapons present to the unit records they provided us.

Several members of each MEK company accompanied us to facilitate the count. They were very friendly, considering the circumstances, and quite helpful when there were difficulties in determining the exact type of each weapon... It could have been an annoying day but our "hosts" were so amiable and quite frankly we could not have completed our task without their assistance. I spoke to many of the MEK that day, some used pidgin English, some were quite fluent. Many of them were students, teachers, or professors before the Islamic Revolution with a sprinkling of ex-Iranian military. Each mujahid I spoke to related his or her story in brief and they universally expressed the hope that they would be part of the force that went into Iran to liberate that state...

For the record, I would have been honored to fight along their side against the Islamic Revolution and most of the guys, the joes, would have too. I wonder if they still trust us enough to help out when we need them. I would also like to say that it infuriated us that we had these guys penned up in their compounds while SCIRI and the Badr Corps were running rampant all over the Diyala Province. We caged the wrong bird.