To predict the fate of our own generation, we can review history and extrapolate the consequences of our behavior into the future. What is readily obvious is that we have forsaken both moral and fiscal discipline. When nations forsake moral and fiscal discipline, what happens? They decline in economic and military power. The inevitable result? Rapacious neighbors seek to take what they otherwise might have purchased at a fair price.
The notion that the United States has ever been able to control world events by itself is, of course, nonsense. Even moderate success at such efforts requires alliances. Unfortunately, there is little chance the leadership we have elected will forge any kind of useful alliances. Our current leaders seek only to fasten their grip on power. They would rather borrow from future generations and build up petty political patronage empires. Their tool of choice is the “modern” welfare state. So it is that the most powerful nation in the world is quickly squandering its wealth and influence.
Currently, Iran is the threat that most concerns us. Thus, an editorial in the Washington Times speaks of bombs.
Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, an important Iranian nuclear scientist, was killed yesterday by a bomb planted outside his home. Iran has accused Israel and the United States of assassinating Mr. Ali-Mohammadi in an attempt to disrupt Tehran’s nuclear program. If true, such short-of-war methods could be seen as a means of preventing a larger conflict or paving the way for more deadly operations.
The Obama administration’s diplomatic outreach effort is dead, too. The mullahs met President Obama’s outstretched hand with an extended middle finger. Iran announced in November that it planned to construct 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a development former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Hans Blix called “puzzling” because “even big countries don’t have ten enrichment plants.” Last month, top-secret technical notes from Iran’s nuclear program were leaked that detailed research on a neutron initiator, the triggering mechanism for an atomic bomb. (continued here)
But nothing is simple. So the Wall Street Journal provides a somewhat less alarmist perspective.
“The reports about his assassination are suspicious,” said a university colleague in a telephone interview. “In the current circumstances in Iran, anything is possible. We are afraid this might be the start of retaliation against professors who criticize the government,”
Prof. Mohammadi’s membership in Iran’s broadly defined nuclear-science brain trust also raised questions about whether the attack was related to the country’s controversial nuclear program. Iran says it is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, but Western officials allege it is seeking weapons.
Last year, the U.S. imposed a year-end deadline for progress in talks over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Washington has threatened fresh economic sanctions.
State media identified Mr. Mohammadi as a nuclear physicist. But he was best known for his work in mathematical physics and theoretical, high-energy physics, according to one colleague, who was also a former student.
That could lump his work into the broad category of nuclear science, but colleagues said it had little to do with practical, nuclear technology. A spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency, Ali Shirzadian, told the Associated Press that the professor had no link with the agency responsible for Iran’s nuclear program. (from here)
Therefore, the loss of this scientist will have no practical effect on Iran’s nuclear arms program, and we are left to wonder. What are we dealing with? The Christian Science Monitor offers this suggestion.
“It usually takes a long time before they [the Iranian government] make any comment but in this particular case one official after another… came out with the same line, that he was a nuclear physicist and was assassinated by Iran’s enemies,” Iranian analyst Sadegh Saba told the BBC.
Relatives and colleagues of the scientist say they are scared that the government has begun an assassination campaign intended to intimidate their opposition into silence.
“First it was Mousavi’s nephew, now Ali-Mohammadi,” said one Tehran-based academic who asked for anonymity. “They’re showing that they will stop at nothing. ” (from here)
Perhaps we are dealing with the kind of men who will stop at nothing. Such will unleash the dogs of war.