Tough Times for Iran’s Nuke Scientists

November 29th, 2010 at 10:51 am David Frum | 37 Comments |

| Print

Seems another Iranian nuclear scientist has passed away unexpectedly.

Assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Tehran Monday, killing one and wounding the other, state media and officials said.

Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the man killed was involved in a major project at the country’s chief nuclear agency, though he did not give specifics. Some Iranian media reported that the wounded scientist was a laser expert at Iran’s Defense Ministry and one of the country’s few top specialists in nuclear isotope separation.

State TV swiftly blamed Israel for the attacks. At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years in what Iran has alleged is part of a covert attempt by the West to damage its controversial nuclear program. One of those two was killed in an attack similar to those on Monday.

Perhaps Iranian parents should be advising their science-minded youngsters to consider a less hazardous specialty.

Recent Posts by David Frum



37 Comments so far ↓

  • Carney

    Break out the bubbly!

  • sinz54

    Hmm, looks like these two Iranian scientists were the victims of an unfortunate automobile accident. (Driving under the influence–of Semtex.)

  • tommybones

    lol. Frum’s hysterical! Targeted assassination of scientists is apparently a laugh riot! I wonder who is behind the murders of these individuals? Israel? The CIA? I wonder if Frum realizes these acts constitute textbook cases of terrorism. Funny stuff, apparently.

  • tommybones

    I really despise these armchair tough-guys like Frum.

  • thijsvn

    Agreed, think it’s tasteless.

  • Watusie

    The Frum Forum paradox. Iranian scientists as assassinated – that rates a brief but hearty ho-ho!

    Israeli are portrayed as the baddies on one episode of a TV drama: that rates an 11 paragraph condemnation. http://www.frumforum.com/bbcs-anti-israel-bias-jumps-from-newsroom-to-prime-time

    I have no answers to this this.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    Trust me, if it is shown that it is the United States behind these attacks, then you can be damn sure Republicans will scream bloody murder and that Obama should be impeached for doing so.

    Look, while I might feel sympathy for the scientists and their families the regime in Iran is dedicated to exterminating the country of Israel and their possessing Nukes is a grave danger, certainly enough of one that taking out a few scientists is a prudent thing to do. I don’t think anyone doubts that Iran is out to build a nuke
    As to who it really is, my God, that list is very, very long, whether it be Israel, the CIA, the Saudis, it can even be India or Pakistan who have good reasons for Iran not getting the bomb.

  • Carney

    The tut-tutting here is absurd, surreal.

    The scientists involved here are working feverishly to give apocalyptic weapons to a literally apocalyptic regime, a “government” of death-cultists, of genocidal madmen. They deserve no tears.

  • Carney

    lessadoabouteverything said, “Trust me, if it is shown that it is the United States behind these attacks, then you can be damn sure Republicans will scream bloody murder and that Obama should be impeached for doing so.”

    Not unless they’re Ron Paul. Or Walter Jones-style turncoats. For most Republicans, the only complaints about this would be, “why not more, faster, sooner?”

  • tommybones

    Carney,
    Can you please show me the slightest bit of evidence that Iran is an apocalyptic regime? While you are at it, care to explain to me why Iran is our enemy in the first place? What’s the reason they have for being so hellbent on destroying us (and themselves, apparently)?

  • Carney

    tommybones, if you’re so knee-deep in confirmation bias as to ask that question, you will also summarily reject any portions of reality I attempt to rub your nose in.

  • sinz54

    tommybones: What’s the reason they have for being so hellbent on destroying us (and themselves, apparently
    America made the mistake of trying to Westernize a bunch of Muslims.

    And so America backed the Shah of Iran, whose regime was much milder than anything going on under the present bunch of fanatical mullahs.

    We make this mistake repeatedly–of thinking there is some mixture of Islamism and western democracy that will work.

    Gorbachev learned to his sorrow that “Communist democracy” was an oxymoron.

    So is “Islamist democracy”–as we’re learning to our own sorrow.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again right here: Of all the major religious faiths, Islam is the worst, the least compatible with modernity, the most violent.

  • tommybones

    lol. Wow. Talk about revisionist history! Here’s the real story…

    In 1953, the CIA backed a military coup (with help from the British Secret Service) that deposed the democratically elected Iranian parliament (the most modern and moderate government in the region at the time), which resulted in the installation of a brutal dictator (and CIA puppet) who repressed the Iranian population while catering to the United States multi-national corporations for the better part of 25 years. It need not be mentioned how we would react if another country backed a coup that overthrew our own democracy, forcing us to live under a ruthless dictator for several generations, while systematically stealing our precious resources. In any case, the years of repression led to a rise in Islamic fundamentalism. Religious extremism relies on anger and hopelessness as its greatest recruitment tool, and the decades of U.S.-supported repression took its toll on the Iranian people. The Islamic revolution in 1979 removed the United States puppet and resulted in the much talked about hostage crisis. Once again, looking in context at the egregious U.S. meddling in Iran, can we really complain about the taking of our embassy in Tehran? Especially when one considers the fact that the President Carter, in the midst of the uprising, sent a General to the embassy in Tehran to help facilitate yet another military coup, to re-install the Shah. I’m not condoning the hostage taking, but merely putting into correct context.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    Conservatives in Iran are just like conservatives in the US. Terrorism is awesome when it’s used against bad people, and terrorism is appalling when the bad people use it. There are no principles, only tribal loyalty.

  • Carney

    tommybones, as I suspected, you are Blame America First type with a carefully selective memory, even more selective outrage, and the total absence of perspective and proportion necessary to twist world history to make us the Great Villain in world affairs.

    The “catering to multinational corporations” consisted of not allowing a socialist government to steal, by force, the private property of Americans. Why should we not have defended our interests? And as for “brutality”, the Shah’s regime was a piker compared to the apocalyptic insanity of Khomeini-ism.

    And, Elvis, there is no moral equivalence between the Iranian regime and our system.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    Elvis, there is no moral equivalence between the Iranian regime and our system.

    Of course not. Iran is a brutal dictatorship.

    Also, conservatives in Iran are just like conservatives in the US. Terrorism is awesome when it’s used against bad people, and terrorism is appalling when the bad people use it.

    And as for “brutality”, the Shah’s regime was a piker compared to the apocalyptic insanity of Khomeini-ism.

    I’m not sure that’s true. I’m pretty sure it’s accurate to say that SAVAK was as ruthless, feared, and hated as, say, the Stasi. Bin Laden’s attack on the US led to resentment of Muslims and expansions of state power; the popular revolution against the Shah permitted the expression of the resentment the US had engendered. Again, that’s not to say that “US = Iran,” it’s that nationalist governments both countries had predictable, excessive reactions.

  • tommybones

    *sigh*

    Immediate ad hominem, followed by fact-free talking points. Typical.

  • tommybones

    Rather than answering my questions and providing facts to prove his position, Carney immediately resorts to a personal attack. Sad.

  • Watusie

    Carney, you frequently post on his site defending “meaningful traditional Christianity”.

    So then: who would Jesus assassinate?

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    tommybones: “Rather than answering my questions and providing facts to prove his position, Carney immediately resorts to a personal attack. Sad.”

    This is the perfect example of why the Right is so hopelessly lost. Carney owns a computer, can read, write and type. He even logs onto the internet to participate in policy and political discussions. He no doubt has a job and may even be fairly well educated. Yet, when politely asked to substantiate an obviously misinformed claim, he resorts to talking points and personal attacks.

    I’ve said it a million times before, nowadays the Right is simply intellectually inferior to the mainstream and the left.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Watusie to Carney: “who would Jesus assassinate?”

    Uh oh.

  • tommybones

    Agreed.

    It’s interesting for me. This Thanksgiving, I ate at the home of an Iranian, whose father happens to be a legend in U.S. military circles. Anyway, she told us numerous stories about her father’s life under the Shah. It was grotesque. For example, his father was a political rival of the Shah and murdered. His mother was forced to give up her 4 children, or risk death. The children were told she left them voluntarily because she no longer loved them. They were moved into the home of one of the Shah’s friends. Grotesque. He escaped to America, eventually tracked down his mother and learned the truth. He then went on to become a founding member of the legendary U.S Special Ops group known as “The Unit.”

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    who would Jesus assassinate?

    What kind of a question is that? Surely you don’t seriously believe that Jesus’s teachings have anything to do with the Christian right.

  • Watusie

    Perhaps I should have asked “which of Jesus’ disciples would great the news of an assassination with ‘Break out the bubbly!’?”

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    tommybones,

    Your friend’s story is consistent with what others have told me. I have a very close friend whose father held a very prominent civil position in the Shah’s administration. Despite that, the father had nothing but contempt for the Shah and my friend’s version of the Shah’s history and the Iranian Revolution is eerily consistent with your first post.

  • larry

    Mr. Frum: smirking at the murder of innocent people is loathsome.

  • S.L. Toddard

    I wonder if David Frum would be smirking if these illegal acts of terrorism and murder were directed at Israel or Canada.

  • Carney

    larry, nuclear scientists working to arm the genocidal apocalyptic madmen in Teheran are not “innocent”.

    Toddard, Iran is not ruled by a normal, sane, humane government like that of Israel or Canada.

    Also, to both: the sky is blue, and 2+2=4.

  • Carney

    Watusie, Jesus didn’t hesitate to use a whip to clean scum out of the Temple. He said he came not to bring peace, but the sword. St. Michael the Archangel, revered for having wrestled with Lucifer and thrown him out of Heaven, is the patron saint of warriors.

    Christianity doesn’t have to be a religion for weakling hippies.

  • Nanotek

    “He said he came not to bring peace, but the sword. ”

    so Christianity is a religion of violence in your mind?

  • Carney

    No, Nanotek, it is a religion of of love, of redemption, of hope for eternity. But it is not a religion requiring pacifism either.

    That’s why the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” exists, and why FDR and Churchill sang it together on a warship after signing the Atlantic Charter.

  • Watusie

    Oh, really Carney…you factor “Onward Christian Soldiers” into your understanding of theology?

    “Watusie, Jesus didn’t hesitate to use a whip to clean scum out of the Temple. ”

    He made them leave. He did not kill them. He did not send his disciples to kill them. and lets not forget a rather famous passage pertaining to use of violence by his disciples:

    Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant,
    and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?” John 18:10,11 (web)

    As for your sword reference:

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

    Given that the “sword” statement you cite is followed by a discussion of family, it follows that your position is that Jesus advocated patricide/matricide/fratricide?

    Gosh, that is going to come as one hell of a shock to a lot of people.

  • Nanotek

    “No, Nanotek, it is a religion of of love, of redemption, of hope for eternity. But it is not a religion requiring pacifism either. ”

    that’s like Islam then

    I’m not at all religious so am curious how Christian principles work in your view … so the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Golden Rule is a morally relative principle, rather than an absolute? what about the Sermon on the Mount? Is all that reducible to “it depends” too?

    in typing this, I realize it reads as snide but I’m not intending that …

  • Carney

    Watusie, the first verse you quote is Jesus-specific, not broadly applicable. Christianity holds that Jesus needed to die for humanity’s sins, which would make resisting that outcome counter-productive.

    The second verse shows that following Christ might require enduring discord and division even within a family – how much more so in less intimate and tightly-knit social relationships? And being willing to use the imagery of the sword to describe conflict is not exactly pacifistic.

    Nanotek, I’m sure you could find an extreme “hard case” in which following almost any moral principle becomes difficult if not untenable. Hard decisions are hard because they involve two or more important values or goals in conflict. Your question also implies a moral equivalence between those who serve the Iranian regime, especially those who labor to supply it with the ultimate weapon, and us. There is no such moral equivalence – we are not opposing sports teams or ice cream flavors.

    Finally, neither Christianity, nor secular common sense, require us to be pacifist or passive in the face of such threats.

  • Nanotek

    “Finally, neither Christianity, nor secular common sense, require us to be pacifist or passive in the face of such threats.”

    fair enough

    my fear of religious zealots of any stripe arises from their internal beliefs that they speak and act for a god that requires violence against those who are disobedient to their god

  • larry

    carney — by your reasoning, every person in Iran in uniform or of draft age should be murdered. To call the right-wing Likud normal and sane is a stretch.

  • Carney

    larry, Iran has no compunction giving hundreds of millions to terrorists and armed extremists, including those engaged in combat with US forces. The Explosively Formed Penetrators that are specifically designed to defeat our vehicle armor and kill our fighting men are made in Iran. If these are not acts of war, they skirt the edge.