WND.com: The smell of rank hypocrisy and naked cruelty fills the air at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. 2,400 real refugees from violence in Iran and Iraq are being denied visas out of fear of displeasing the tyrants in Tehran. What can we say about such cowardice and betrayal of American values? This denial of entry to the Iranian refugees deserves exposure and condemnation.
By Tom Tancredo
The smell of rank hypocrisy and naked cruelty fills the air at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
President Obama and his Cabinet are scrambling to find billions in additional funding to accommodate the 60,000 illegal-alien minors who have crossed our southwest border since January. Those minors are being classified erroneously as “refugees” to make their entry into the country appear lawful. Meanwhile, 2,400 real refugees from violence in Iran and Iraq are being denied visas out of fear of displeasing the tyrants in Tehran.
What can we say about such cowardice and betrayal of American values? This denial of entry to the Iranian refugees deserves exposure and condemnation as one of the Obama administration’s most heinous acts.
Several members of Congress are trying to rectify the matter, among them Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Citizens need to be writing and calling their representatives in Congress to demand additional pressure on the State Department to reverse its policy and grant visas to the Iranian dissidents. It is not only the humanitarian thing to do, it is in our national interest. Why? Because for over a decade, those dissidents and their network of allies inside Iran have been very helpful to U.S. intelligence in uncovering the facts about Iran’s nuclear plans.
The origins of this dissident group, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), go back to 1979 when the radical mullahs seized power in Iran – and actually to 1965, when the MEK was founded to oppose the dictatorship of the shah. That’s one reason the radical mullahs hate the MEK so much – the MEK helped bring down the shah’s dictatorship, and thus, it has solid credentials in opposing the mullahs’ even more repressive dictatorship.
Since 1979, under continual persecution from the mullahs, thousands of pro-democracy dissidents fled Iran for sanctuary in neighboring states and in Europe. In the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, the MEK in Iraq helped Iraq fight against Iran – thereby enhancing the mullahs’ hatred of the MEK.
When the U.S.-armed forces took down the Hussein regime, the U.S. military and allied command offered protection to over 3,500 MEK dissidents living in relative safety at Camp Ashraf about 60 miles north of Baghdad. When U.S. combat forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the Iraq government agreed to continue that protection – but has now reneged on that pledge because of pressure from Iran. In September of 2013, an armed group most likely allied to Iraqi security forces attacked the unarmed residents of the camp and killed 52 people; seven others, six of them women, were taken prisoner and never heard from again.
Now, the approximately 2,400 remaining Iranian dissidents understandably are trying to leave Iraq by seeking asylum in the U.S. and in Europe. Albania, the U.K. and France have expressed interest in accepting some of them, but only if the United States also helps out. But the State Department insists the refugees must first “renounce” their support for the MEK – because the MEK continues to oppose the radical Islamist regime in Tehran, the same regime that is seeking nuclear weapons to destroy Israel and all of Western civilization.
How does this make any sense in terms of U.S. national interests? The MEK dissidents are genuine refugees in every sense of the word. They are fleeing death threats from both Iran and the Iraqi government, not just poverty and criminal gangs. Yet, the State Department is refusing to grant them visas – despite the fact that they are not only NOT terrorists, they are actively opposing the regime that is the biggest funder of terrorists on the planet.
Rarely do we witness such sheer idiocy on a global scale as the U.S. State Department cowtowing to Tehran by turning its back on true refuges who have been materially helpful to our nation for decades.
Maybe the most practical solution to this mess is for the MEK to simply charter a few flights from Baghdad to Guatemala City, then travel by bus to Monterey, Mexico, and walk across the border illegally like 500,000 others have done in 2013 and 2014. Under current Obama administration policies, they will be accepted as refuges, churches and big-city mayors in Denver, Los Angeles and Atlanta will open their doors, and they will never have to worry about being deported.
Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC. He is also a former five-term congressman and presidential candidate. Tancredo is the author of "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security."