Crocodile Tears Are Not Warranted
Recognizing that Iran and its leaders are a grave danger to the world, why would anyone be distressed at the killing of an Iranian scientist who was working to create a nuclear bomb?
Iran now has ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe. Long ago, Iran developed the rockets needed to reach Israel, with which it is in a declared state of war. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated many times the he intends to destroy the state of Israel. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, believing his country also is in danger of being nuclear bombed by Iran, according to a Reuters report of November 28, 2010, “repeatedly exhorted the United States to ‘cut off the head of the snake’ by launching military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.”
Iran has now publicly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz through which 20 percent of the world’s oil supply has to travel to be delivered from the Persian Gulf to Japan and the Western world. The strait is deemed by all other states to be an international waterway open to all. Iran has said it will not permit the U.S. – guardian of the oil states in the area that are friendly to the U.S. – to station our naval ships in the area and will go to war with us to prevent their presence in the area.
The Times of January 4, 2012 reported, “On Tuesday, the chief of Iran’s military, Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi, was quoted by a semiofficial Iranian news agency as telling ‘the American warship that passed through the Strait of Hormuz and went to the Gulf of Oman not to return to the Persian Gulf.’ The remark was an unmistakable reference to this ship. After providing air support to American troops during the last weeks of the Iraq war, the John C. Stennis steamed through the strait about a week ago, leaving the Persian Gulf to take up station in the nearby North Arabian Sea. General Salehi, who commands Iran’s navy and air force as well as its army, added, darkly, ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran will not repeat its warning.'”
Last year President Obama revealed that Iran planned to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, in Washington, D.C., and blow up both the Saudi and Israeli embassies in our capital. That now exposed plan is an act of war that alone would justify military measures against Iran.
Iran, we have been told by our government, supplied explosives (IEDs) to Iraqi insurgents who used them to kill and maim American soldiers. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have, on a number of occasions, stated that we will not permit Iran to develop a nuclear bomb, and that we reserve the right to use military force to stop that from happening.
So why the sympathetic response of Hillary Clinton to the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a scientist working on the bomb? On January 12, 2012, The New York Times reported, “Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to expand the denial beyond Wednesday’s killing, ‘categorically’ denying ‘any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran.’ ‘We believe that there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbors and the international community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative behavior, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community,’ Mrs. Clinton said.”
Were Secretary Clinton’s statement and tone intended to convey that the military option was no longer on the table? The Times of January 12, 2012, described the U.S. response as follows: “The assassination drew an unusually strong condemnation from the White House and the State Department, which disavowed any American complicity. The statements by the United States appeared to reflect serious concern about the growing number of lethal attacks, which some experts believe could backfire by undercutting future negotiations and prompting Iran to redouble what the West suspects is a quest for a nuclear capacity. ‘The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this,’ said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.”
Contrast Mr. Vietor’s and Secretary Clinton’s statements with that of the Israeli spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who said, “I don’t know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear.”
If the hostile acts of Iran against the U.S. are acts of war, shouldn’t we be trying to do everything we can to prevent Iran’s development of the nuclear bomb, including the assassination of its government leaders and, in this case, nuclear scientists?
After Germany declared war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941, four days after pearl Harbor, didn’t the U.S. try to kill the scientists on Peenemunde developing rockets (V1 and V2) later used against England? Wouldn’t we have gladly, if the opportunity arose, have assassinated Hitler, Goering, Gobbels, Himmler and so many other Nazi leaders? When, in 1943, we had the opportunity to launch an air strike that specifically targeted and killed Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, didn’t we do it?
The policy of the U.S. has been to use drones to kill terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. The President of the U.S. announced and our nation applauded the killing by drone of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and Islamist terrorist, living in Yemen. He was recruiting Americans to become terrorists. Is it acceptable to kill an enemy of the U.S. by using a drone, and not by using an assassin on a motorcycle?
Iran is a real and immediate danger to us and our allies. A nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the world. Saudi Arabia and Israel are the current targets for Iran’s rockets. If Iran were to attack Saudi Arabia seeking to deprive the Western world of Saudi oil, wouldn’t we immediately come to the Saudis’ aid? If Iran were to attack Israel, wouldn’t we come to the aid of our ally and the only bastion of democracy in the Middle East?
So, I ask again: Why is the administration shedding crocodile tears over the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist?