Newt Gingrich — self-anointed “teacher of civilization,” self-appointed futurist, serial adulterer, campaign deadbeat, and implacable proponent of foreign war — reently visited Paris to confer his benediction on the so-called People’s Mujahadin (MEK), an exiled Iranian terrorist group that has murdered American citizens and was an ally of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.
Gingrich, who never neglected an opportunity to upbraid Barack Obama for “bowing” before various foreign heads of state, was captured on camera bowing before Maryam Rajavi, the “principal leader” of the MEK cult — which is still officially listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist group, despite a high-pressure lobbying effort by a host of influential current and former policy makers.
“[Gingrich] praised Rajavi and her work several times in his speech, which he delivered as the prominent exile stood at his side,” observes Max Fisher of The Atlantic. “Before the speech, as he neared the end of a long line of attendees who stood in the rain to shake his hand, he turned to face Rajavi, smiled, and at approximately 1:02 minutes into the above video, folded at the waist and bowed solemnly. Rajavi, clothed head-to-toe in green, handed him a bouquet of flowers as the crowd cheered.”
The MEK was created in 1965 as part of a Soviet-sponsored international terrorist network that waged wars of “national liberation” throughout the developing world. Human Rights Watch
, which describes the MEK as an “urban guerrilla group,” points out that the group’s ideology is a Muslim variation on “liberation theology.”
In his July 7, 2011 testimony before the House Committee on ForeignAffairs
, Ray Takeyh, who is (ironically) a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out that the MEK “sought to … amalgamate Islam and Marxism. Islam was supposed to provide the values while Marxism offered a pathway for organizing the society and defeating the forces of capitalism, imperialism, and feudalism…. [F]rom Lenin they embraced the importance of a vanguard party committed to mass mobilization, and from Third World revolutionaries they took the primacy of guerilla warfare as indispensable agents of political change.”
In 1970, 13 members of the MEK received training (most likely under Soviet supervision) at PLO
camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Upon their return, the PLO-trained MEK cadres shared their newly acquired skills with their comrades, and the group embarked on a wave of attacks and bombings intended to bring down the Shah. During one rampage, MEK terrorists killed several U.S. military personnel – including Colonel Lewis Hawkins, the Deputy Chief of Military Mission in Tehran.
Although the group suffered some attrition in its conflict with the SAVAK, the Shah’s hideous secret police, it survived long enough to participate in Khomeini revolution. MEK cadres were involved in the seizure of American hostages in October 1979. But the MEK’s ambitions and ideology made it a poor fit for Khomeini regime, so the group was purged from the ruling coalition in 1981 and much of its leadership was driven into exile in Iraq. There it was, in Takeyh’s words, used “as Saddam’s Praetorian Guard.”Following Saddam’s U.S. supported invasion of Iran, the MEK began a hit-and-run guerrilla war against the Iranian regime in the hope of triggering a popular uprising. When that proved unsuccessful, the group set up a political front group called the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI
) in Paris. In 1985, notes Human Rights Watch, the MEK’s “leadership was transformed when Masoud Rajavi announced his marriage to Maryam Uzdanlu…. The husband and wife team became co-leaders” of the MEK and announced an “ideological revolution.”
All of the group’s members were required to undertake an individual “ideological revolution” by engaging in Maoist-style “self-criticism” sessions. Adherents were expected to listen raptly “to radio messages and explanations provided by [their] commanders” in order to “gain a deep insight into the greatness of our new leadership, meaning the leadership of Masoud and Maryam…. To believe in them as well as to show ideological and revolutionary obedience to them.”
The MEK was embraced by the Bush administration as an ally in the covert effort to subvert the existing Iranian government. The group has generated a great deal of propaganda regarding the Iranian nuclear program and is suspected of carrying out assassinations and other terrorist acts within Iran. At the same time, the group is formally listed as an international terrorist group, which means that any public official — including Gingrich — who offers “advice” or “material support” to the group is liable to prosecution and imprisonment. taten Island resident Javed Iqbal, who operated a cable TV company, was convicted of that charge and sentenced to 69 months in federal prison
for the supposed offense of merely carrying programs produced by a television network owned by Hezbollah. And of course, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were summarily executed without trial for allegedly rendering the same service to al-Qaeda. So Newt could either find himself looking at striped sunlight or on the receiving end of a drone-fired missile strike — if the law were applied even-handedly.
It’s worth recalling that Newt has made opposition to Islamic radicalism a signature issue — to the extent that he waddled to the front of the febrile mob that gathered in 2010 to protest the construction of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in Manhattan.
In his July 21, 2010 statement on the “Ground Zero Mosque,” Gingrich insisted that hat the supposed “mega-mosque” would be seen by Islamists as a “symbol of Islamic conquest.”
“America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization,” pontificated Gingrich. “Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could. No mosque. No self deception. No surrender. The time to take a stand is now – at this site on this issue.”
Two years later, the stalwart anti-Jihad activist who published those words would curtsy in front of the leader of an authentic Islamo-Marxist terrorist group.
See the video here.