My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Obama must act to save these Iranian dissidents....article by Alan Dershowitz

Saving more than 3,000 lives: Only the United States can do it.
By Alan M. Dershowitz

More than 3,000 innocent civilians, to whom the United States solemnly pledged protection, are now at risk of being killed by Iranian agents, following the withdrawal of US military personnel from Iraq. It's a potentially tragic situation whose ending is far from certain. Moreover, the cascading violence in Iraq has turned this situation into an emergency.

These civilians are Iranian dissidents, many of whose family members and colleagues were murdered by the Iranian government. They belong to an organization called MEK, which the United States-for entirely political reasons-designated a terrorist organization, despite the fact that there is no evidence that any of its members have engaged in acts of violence for years. The United States Court of Appeals has ordered the State Department to reconsider its designation based on current evidence, but the State Department has been dragging its feet, thus providing the Iraqis-who are increasingly doing the bidding of Iran-an excuse for targeting MEK members. Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki always refers to MEK as a "terrorist" group, while threatening their security. But these civilians agreed to disarm and consolidate in a safe location called Camp Ashraf, in exchange for an American promise of protection.

Despite that promise, dozens of them have been murdered by Iraqis acting at the behest of the Iranian government. Now that the United States has ended its military presence, Iraq is moving much closer to the mullahs of Iran and is more anxious to do their bidding. The mullahs want these people dead, because many of them are witnesses to horrendous war crimes committed by the Iranian government against dissidents and other civilians.

The Iraqi government has announced that it will close Camp Ashraf and move its residents to a much smaller facility euphemistically named Camp Liberty. The eventual goal is for these residents to be able to move to other countries where they can be safe from Iranian vengeance. Everyone acknowledges that as long as they remain in Iraq, particularly today's Iraq, they are not safe.

Both the Jewish Talmud and the Muslim Koran state that "he who saves even a single human life, it is as if they have saved the entire world." The US has the opportunity to save more than 3,000 human lives, but it must use its considerable influence to pressure the Iraqi government to protect the residents and to facilitate their speedy transfer to safe locations outside of Iraq. As human rights advocates, we generally get to become involved only after tragedies have occurred to bring people to justice. However, we now have an opportunity to prevent a terrible injustice before it can be carried out.

There's good news and there's bad news. I've been involved in human rights advocacy for half a century and I have never seen a more effective example of preventive human rights advocacy than what we have seen shaping up over the past year regarding Camp Ashraf. Our efforts have now reached the highest level in the State Department and the White House. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, deserves much credit for demonstrating that human rights advocacy can help prevent humanitarian disasters. I see this project as a model of how human rights advocacy can save lives.

But the bad news is the new reality in Iraq as reflected by recent headlines such as, "Iraqi Prime Minister Welcomes Group with Close Ties to Iran and a Violent Record." We simply cannot trust the current Iraqi government to protect the people at Camp Ashraf. How easy it would be for the Iranians, with the complicity of the Iraqi government, to organize a horrible massacre and deny that their fingerprints are on it, just as both governments disclaimed responsibility for the previous massacres of Ashraf residents.

We must get the MEK removed from the State Department's terrorist list immediately. The MEK does not belong on that list, as a matter of law, as a matter of fact, and as a matter of morality. And we must get the residents of Camp Ashraf removed from Iraq as quickly as possible, in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

I am heartened that Eli Wiesel is deeply concerned about the situation in Camp Ashraf and the unjust label and treatment of the MEK members. He is heavily committed to this life saving activity. And he reminded me of something he said many times, that a major lesson of the Holocaust for him was always "believe the threats of your enemies more than the promises of your friends."

Let's be very clear, when it comes to the residents of Camp Ashraf, the responsibility stops with the United States government, which made the promise to protect them. Now is the time to turn promises into life saving actions.

Iraq says that it wants to transfer the thousands of the residents of Camp Ashraf from the very decent homes they built, to another small and dilapidated place at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, which could very well turn into a prison for the residents. It has threatened violence and arrests if there is any reluctance to move.

Human rights lawyers and monitors must be allowed to go to Iraq and actually observe and monitor the transfer to make sure that it's done right and that the residents are not taken by the Iraqis into a prison or turned over to the Iranians, using the credibility of the United States and the United Nations as a cover.

And we need to find countries around the world that are prepared to take these people until such time as they can safely return to their homes as free citizens. The best current action would be for the United States immediately to airlift the endangered civilians out of Iraq to a safe country which would agree to house them temporarily until they can find a more enduring asylum. We have the great honor and privilege to be in a position to save human lives. We must not shirk that responsibility.

Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is Brooklyn native who has been called "the nation's most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer" and one of its "most distinguished defenders of individual rights." He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i may sound very cruel and uncaring but for years now we get rantings from the Arabs and Hamas that every video of terrosims bythem is really the CIA and Zionists using fake viodes .
We hear about the beheadings vidoes being faked, that 9/11 was fake and staged by Bush and Chretien via the joint NORAD staff in Cheyenne Mountain.

SO....when I see the oppressive and murderous videos form Syria and Libya...i ask myself it THEY are not the same FAKED vidoes to drag the West into their lands to be slaughtered on their soil for Allah and their misogynistic/homophobic/pedophile-friendly prophet.

I want to see the dead bodies and want proof from a Doctor that they did die in a battle against Gov forces.
Remember, it was on;ly after Iraq was liberated that a Doctor from canada told the CBC that saddam kept the dead bodies of children in a hospital cooler as to drag out and dress-up to pose for fake attacks that the useful-idiot westerners at the CBC reported as facts.
Funyy how after WW2 every german claimed to be against the Nazi's, every italian in canada hated Hitler and denouce Italy siding with Hitler, e very japanese in canada denouced japans mass-salughter sicne the 1931 attack to take over the world.
And now tamils are next to denouce the violence back home while we know they had Liberal MP's at the meeting to raise money for the Tigers and buy votes from the Tamils. Today we se the huge Insurance fraud in Ontario by some Muslim tamils that came her as "refugees" that quickly adapted to $crewing us like the Roma gypsy's do during the store thefts as Refugees.

wag the Dog movie showed how to fake oppression and wars , but hamas and Arabs now use vidoe to fake a crisis and play the victim.


No more canmadian blood shed to resuce muslims that screw us and bring Shariah law here to murder their daughters.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dershowitz wants the US to protect Israel. This is a lame veiled attempt at that result.

The U.S., Canada and NATO do not have the resources to fight every failed country out there. Iran is a formidable fmilitary foe and thousands would die and billions would be spent fighting them.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should be a simple solution: Should be a simple solution: Give ‘em citizenship to the U.S. plain and simple. I mean George W. (who I may as was the best President in U.S. history) had no trepidation about granting over 3 million illegal Mexicans living in the southern states citizenship………further to that lets not forget about the nineteen 9/11 hijackers; they were all legally present in the U.S…….see no biggie at all!

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Majid Biabani said...

Thank you Mr. Dershowitz for your thoughtful well researched and caring article. This is the true face of humanity trying to be the voice of the voiceless. I am sure someone at your social and financial status could easily ignore other people's dire conditions as millions of people do just that by looking the other way or simply not caring. I personally respect you for voicing your concern on this issue and you can be assured that the future Iran will never forget people like you who stayed at their side in their darkest of hours. Majid Biabani

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So scumbag Dershowitz has tired of freeing murderers and now wants American or Canadian soldiers to die so he can feel like some sort of hero.

Piss off.

Unless North America is attacked leave the nutcase Middle easterners to their own devices. I could care less what happens to them. Their countries are shit heaps because THEY made them that way.

Now some low life scumbag lawyer who has never served in the military wants SOMEBODY !ELSE! to go over there and get shot so he can be crusader??

Typical lawyer.-- "*I* call the shots!! (The little people can do the tough stuff)"

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Human rights lawyers and monitors must be allowed to go to Iraq and actually observe ...."

Ok Dershowitz, You're a lawyer. You've made a fortune freeing murderers. Buy yourself a plane ticket & off you go.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about radical right wingers like the white Zionist Norwegian terrorist that killed children last year??? I don't see you talking about that? It seems your Islamophobic and bigoted blog is only focusing on a vulnerable minority group because its fashionable to hate on Islam. As a Jew, it's even more surprising since your own people have been victims of popular bigotry in the past.

7:46 PM  

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