This is in the Los Angeles Times today:
Two separate explosions killed a nuclear scientist and injured another in the Iranian capital Monday morning, official news outlets reported. Both scholars’ wives and a driver were also injured in the attacks, according to the news agencies. The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering team at the Shahid Behesti university in Tehran, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA.
And the presumed lack of a brain drain from Iran is given as a cause for the terrorism:
Fars [an Iranian news agency] described the two professors as members of the pro-government Basiji militia and blamed the United States and Israel for the attacks. “Due to their lack of hope for brain drain from Iran, agents of America and the Zionist regime resorted to physical elimination and terrorism,” the news agency said.
I wonder if there would be a brain drain if Iran’s borders were actually open, don’t you? And I wonder what it means for the definition of terrorist if a Western nation, through its intelligence services, is responsible for what is plainly an act akin to that of the Unabomber. Do the ends justify the means? And do you suppose that either Barack Obama or Benjamin Netanyahu (or both) knew about this in advance—and authorized it?
It is complicated. I just debated with the blogger Reflections from a Murky Pond who wants the US to kill Julian Assange. Personally I think that kind of thinking only empowers the people who are in charge of national security – and they are rarely elected by the people. But Iran is probably a very real threat, at least to Israel. So should they act proactively or wait for the bomb? It’s a hard question.
As for brain drain, I believe most really smart people have probably left Iran by now, which unfortunately makes for a totalitarian future. Dumb people like a strong leader.
“Dumb people like a strong leader.”
I like that.
I regard Assange as a hero. It’s people like Assange who will maintain some balance of power in the world between elites and the public’s need-to-know. A nuclear scientist in Iran is a very different matter. It’s a monsterous thing to give your mind over to the service of a regime like that of Tehran. Nuclear proliferation is one of the few genuine threats to the human future. Can you imagine an exchange, for example, between Iran and the West that escalated to a nuclear bomb landing, via a Korean rocket, on Paris or Berlin? Or the smuggling of nuclear materials, via Iran, to terrorists who then manage to get a nuclear device into Long Beach’s harbor in Los Angeles?
Iran must never get a bomb.
Joseph Stalin proved that the ends do not justify the means. Assassinations of political or military leaders is bad enough; targeting scientists is targeting civilians. If you target their civilians they will target yours. I wish the USA had the balls to call Israel on this.
You assume Israel, but it may well be the United States (or even someone deployed by a Sunni Arab sheik—I suppose a sheik’s money could find shadowy assassins for hire). In this case, I must say that taking out an Iranian nuclear scientist is an ethical act.
israel is the biggest thrreat to world peace, when will the world sanction this nutty regime?
Needless to say, I disagree with you. An Iran with nuclear weapons is an enormous problem for the Western world. It simply mustn’t happen. Israel’s policy sanely reflects this.