Edward Rendell Speaking in International Conference In Paris,
Call On International Community To Save Ashraf Hostages And Protect Camp Liberty
I come back to Paris today, with two emotions. One of shame and one of frustration. Shame because the US State Department enlisted myself and other Americans and prominent, attorney general, judges, FBI director, CIA directors, governors, heads of political parties, generals who served in Iraq and know MEK well, they enlisted all of us in order to persuade Madame Rajavi and by persuading her, persuading the people of Ashraf, to move to Camp Liberty.
Our State Department told us that if the 3,400 move to Liberty,
1- It would be a temporary transit location and people will be emigrated out of Iraq in short order.
2- They will be safe and secure.
3- The people who are left behind in Ashraf will also be safe and secure who will protect the properties that have been gathered over the years.
We did and they did. All but 100 moved to Camp Liberty. Based on what the State Department told us and what we told Madame Rajavi, and she told to the people of Ashraf. The word that was given to us and we conveyed a message that turned out not to be true, and someway we are complicit to what has happened.
And that shame is with a sense of frustration. I have sat here and in Geneva, and have listened to wonderful speeches, some made by myself about how we are going to do this, how we are going to do that, I heard US officials talk about it and I heard officials of European nations talk about it. I even heard from former UN officials talk about of what we are going to do and nothing gets done.
Let’s be clear for the records here since, the US government turned over the security in Iraq to the Iraqi government, since that day in 2009. There has been 4 attacks on the original people of Camp Ashraf, on 2009, 2011, the spring of this year, the mortar attack on Liberty and of course the September 1st attack that had the 52 martyrs.
Four attacks, and what happens if every in each and one of these attacks is the same song and dance, there is an American song, is the same old song, that exactly what happened after each of these attacks.
The State Department condemns the attack, the UN condemns the attack, the EU condemns the attack, everybody condemns the attack and they all call on the Iraqi to investigate who perpetrated the attack.
Even where there is a video in 2011 attack which shows the Iraqi federal police are the people who mowed down the people of Ashraf that day.
Would anybody with half brain think that the Maleki government was not responsible for the Sep 1st attack? Linda Chavez is much more diplomatic than I am, said at least they were complicit, no, they were not complicit they were perpetrators.
There is an independent study coming out from a human rights group very very soon that will show conclusively that the Malaki’s government was the perpetrators, not just complicit, not just allowing the attack to take place, but was part of the attack itself, and we do nothing, we do nothing.
The hearing before the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, where Chairman Menendez, said if nothing is done, we are going to suspend on shipment of financial aid to the country of Iraq. He said that during the testimony of Wendy Sherman, the under Secretary State of the state department. Wendy Sherman said, and under pressure, and I want to read the quote “We need to do everything that we can to make good on the words we gave to MEK”.
That is what a US official said before a United States Senate committee, we need to do everything we can to make good on the word we gave to MEK. Word we gave to MEK back in 2003 when they disarmed, we gave them a sheet of contract saying they are protected persons and the United States government will protect them.
I do not know how many of you saw what was put out after Sep. 1st, we put out a press release and MEK officials helped us to produce it, in which we had the picture of each and every one of the 52 that were killed and side by side of each picture, was each contract with their name that was given to them by the US government saying that we will protect them.
what did we do? We did not do anything. In fact (ineligible) in 2011the US troops and our own commanders, and we admit it, the US troops outside Ashraf, 2 hours before the attack took place, they were removed, they were physically relocated and moved back from Ashraf.
Who was responsible for that? We never found out. It just did not happen on Sep. 1st, it happened in 2009, 2011, the beginning of this year and Sept. 1st. I am sick and tired and frustrated that nothing gets done. You know how little gets done?
Wendy Sherman, you want to do something to keep our words with the MEK, lets start with an easy one, the Maleki’s government promised the US government that they will allow T-walls into Liberty, to be protected against another mortar attack and as a result, 1200 T-walls were moved to the outskirt of Camp Liberty, but the Iraqis refused to let them to be moved inside, something as simple as T-walls. The T-walls MEK purchased for themselves to take inside to give them small measure of protection.
Wendy Sherman, we are supposed to do anything we can, how about asking Mr. Maleki to move those T-walls in or he does not go to Washington DC, he does not get an audience with the president of the United States, that’s the start, that is an easy one.
That is as easy as it can be, look we are frustrated, the American friends of MEK,….are frustrated, all of us, the generals, the people of Ashraf, all of us, the ex officials who have been involved in this for years, are frustrated, so we are comprising a letter to the president of the United States, explaining all the history, in case if he does not know, it will be a good recollection of what happened.
The letter is going to be clear, clear about the history, clear about what happened, clear about the US obligations and clear about what needs to be done. We are going to ask the president most and formal what we should have done on Sept. 3rd.
We should have airlifted every remaining person in Ashraf and Liberty to a safe place under the US protection.
That is the least this government could do to live up to the words Wendy Sherman says we should do anything we can to make good on our words.
First, before anything else is done, we need to make them safe. And I do not care if we start getting offers allowing them to immigrate; it is going to take time. I do not think they will be safe at Liberty. They can be safe only on US soil, US military base, US territory, US itself,.
But the bottom line is our first obligation and the president could help us, honor our word and make them safe.
If in fact that is something that can not be done and I do not see any reason why it can not be done, we should ask the president to make it absolutely clear to Mr. Maleki that if one more person gets hurt, not killed, if one more person gets hurt in Liberty, we will suspend immediately all the military and financial help to the country of Iraq.
The president has the right to do that and the congress will back him up. We have to make it crystal clear to Mr. Maleki. One more person, not 38, not 52, one more person, gets hurt, that is the end of US aide to Iraq.
The president also has to make it clear to Iraq, the release of the 7 hostages. It is a joke to say that the Iraqi government does not know where they are, or does not the power to release them. Release them now, now.
before I close, I am very intent in changing the attitude of the American government, I am very intent to make Wendy Sherman’s words a reality.
She said it and it is time to put out action behind our words. I also have a message for other countries of the world, for EU neighbors and friends, for the great country of Canada, if these countries stand up tomorrow and say we take 400 each and process them as fast as possible.
In the meantime, as Madame Rajavi said, UN should send blue helmets there then we will accomplish the same thing. What typically it is for Germany to take 400, for France to take 400, for UK to take 400, for Spain to take 400, for US to take 400, for Canada to take 400, Canada has all that open space, they can take a ton of people, it is easy, it is not rocket science.
If we want to do this, if we have the political will to make things right, to do the right and moral thing, this is an easy problem to solve. So, our message will be delivered to the American president and hopefully to American people.
But I hope that the folks here, from Romania, from Check Republic, Canada and other countries, I hope you will carry that message back to your country and I do not understand why you have to wait till the United States do something. What is wrong for France to say we take 400, if a few countries do that, maybe we show the United States something.
So, let’s shoulder this problem together. We talk a lot about human rights in this world; it is time for our action. Thank You
1. Youtube username or Playlist is not valid with your selection. Please set the parameters correctly from module manager
2. It might also be a problem with CURL library or your server config
No longer available