A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Office

Is it terrorism when governments do it?

The other day, on Gol Nabi street, in Tehran, Iran, Mostafa Roshan was on his way to work when he was killed by a magnetic bomb which had apparently been attached to his Peugeot by a motorcyclist.  Mr. Roshan was a manager at Natanz, a uranium enrichment site.  The New York Times reports that this is the fourth such bombing in two years.

Iranian authorities blamed the incident on the US and Israel.  The US was quick to strongly deny any involvement but the Israeli reaction was less than categorical. Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, of the Israeli Army, said, “…I am definitely not shedding a tear” which sounds more like a (barely) muted endorsement.

Of course, the US and Israel are dead set against Iran developing the capability to deploy nuclear weapons and it would appear that this may encompass acts of terror on the streets of the Iranian capital where innocent civilians are put at risk.  If either the US or Israel are in any way complicit, it would be ironic given Israel’s own experience with Palestinian suicide bombers and Oklahoma City, WTC93 and 9/11 in the US.  After all,  in the realm of state sponsored terrorism, turnabout is surely fair play.

Countries engaging in nefarious activities abroad as part of their policy initiatives, especially countries that claim to be democratic,  forfeit the moral high ground, particularly when civilians are placed at risk.

Mostafa Roshan has similarities to the 2006 London poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian KGB and FSB agent and vocal Putin critic.  Litvinenko met Andrei K. Lugovoi, who had flown in from Moscow, at the Millennium Hotel on Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square for tea.  He got far more than he bargained for.  British Police and Scotland Yard are “100% sure” that Lugovoi spiked Litvinenko’s tea with polonium-210, an alpha-emitter which is rare and very hard to detect.  After his death-by-radiation poisoning, police traced the polonium to the hotel, other rooms where Lugovoi had stayed, even the commercial aircraft he flew in.  Thousands of people were exposed unknowingly.  Russian-inspired terrorism on foreign soil exacted a heavy toll.

And, some will remember that right here in Washington, DC, in September of 1976, Orlando Letelier, a Chilean who had sought refuge from Pinochet’s terror, was killed along with an American, Ronni Moffitt, in a car bombing on Sheridan Circle.  The bombing was carried out by DINA, a Chilean group with ties to Operation Condor, a terror program in South America with US support that killed an estimated 60,000 people.

Regarding the most recent bombing in Tehran, Patrick Clawson, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, had this to say, “Sabotage and assassination is the way to go…”  It can only be hoped that American “experts” who advocate acts of terror where innocent lives will be jeopardized have first hand experience with the death, pain and suffering they speak so casually about.  In fact, people talking tough about such acts should probably have one arm, one leg or an eye patch as evidence that they know whereof they speak.

But, I doubt that is the case.

 

Credits:  NYT, Telegraph, Wiki

 

6 Comments

  • Dennis says:

    Eric,

    With the nonchalant manner in which the Obama Administration and the UN Security Council approaches the possibilty of a nuclear armed Iran, I certainly understand the attitude of Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai. Is there anyone out there who really believes the sanctions will prevent Iran from building a nuclear device? After all, thousands of tons of Iranian munitions have found their way to Israeli soil courtesy of Hezbollah and Hamas. So it is not a stretch to connect the following dots: Statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad + a nuclear armed Iran = huge smoking hole in Tel Aviv.

    Your comparison of this assassination to the Oklahoma Bombing and 9/11 is way off the map. Here is my take: Oklahoma Bombing was conducted by an anti-government terrorist whose motive was retaliation for Ruby Ridge and Waco. The 9/11 attacks were an act of war commited upon the United States of America by the Islamic Terror Group Al Qaeda whose end game involves the establishment of a world wide Caliphate where the only political system will be Sharia Law. The assassination of Mostafa Roshan was a surgical strike to kill an individual who was intimately involved in the development of a nuclear weapon for Iran. No innocent bystanders were harmed. This surgical strike was executed by “someone” in order to prevent an agressor nation, Iran, from developing a nuclear weapon for use against Israel in a Second Holocaust. After having experience with the First Holocaust, I am pretty sure the leaders of Israel will do anything to prevent a second. A parting thougt. Maybe if the Obama Administration and the UN Security Council got serious about denying Iran nuclear weapons, this assassination would not have been necessary.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      D-

      You weaken your case when you blame Iranian nuclear proliferation on the Obama administration–the issue is decades old. It’s a political cheap shot.

      My citing OC was to point out that it is possible to conduct bombings here with severe civilian casualties and Al Qaeda, your commentary of their motivation notwithstanding, is a foreign entity that conducted terrorist bombings in the US. That is irrefutable.

      If Israeli’s are using the Holocaust as a justification for these actions they are doing an injustice to the concept. Not sure? Ask those in Darfur, Rawanda and Burundi.

      By the way–what about Letelier and Clawson? Your silence is deafening given your indictment of all things Obama.

      Thanks for writing.

      Eric

  • Dennis says:

    Ok, this article may sound a lot like my rebuttal to your blog post but I invite you to look at it because this guy does a better job of explaining what I was trying to. And no, I did not read this before responding to you. But I am humbled to have the same viewpoint as this gentleman. And you are correct, the issue is decades old, Iran has been a rogue nation ever since they kidnapped and held hostage 52 of our diplomats in our Embassy in Tehran for 444 days. Not much for the rule of law, those Islamofascists in Tehran. And please notice I am not holding the Obama administration completely responisible for the situation. Notice I included the UN Security Council, and especially China and Russia. In fact I applaud President Obama for expanding President Bush’s drone campaign, sending Seal Team Six in to take out bin Laden, not closing Gitmo (I think he had an oh crap moment when he realized who was in Gitmo) and causing a Hellfire to intersect with al Alwaki. Now, if he could just do the same for the economy! Enjoy this article it is written by a Democrat:

    http://blogs.jpost.com/content/crocodile-tears-are-not-warranted-over-iran

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Dennis-

      You say:

      “Iran has been a rogue nation ever since they kidnapped and held hostage 52 of our diplomats in our Embassy in Tehran for 444 days.”

      Like most Americans, your memory of Iran begins with the kidnappings.

      In 1953, the CIA deposed Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, because he nationalized their petroleum industry and the Brits pissed their pants over it. He died in prison.

      “Rogue Nation” is surely in the eye of the beholder.

      Eric

  • Dennis says:

    Yeah, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt locked up thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II for no good reason. My point is we are not perfect, but better than the alternative. And the CIA ops during the Cold War with some obviously misdirected and wrong was to counter the Communist Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc, and China. But I have to believe that they did many more right things than wrong things. Thanks for the history lesson, but you focused on one sentence of mine and did not address the Koch blog? Whats up with that?

    “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” Winston Churchill

    • Eric Lamar says:

      You are welcome for the history lesson, no worries.

      I read it.

      Winston Churchill, for all of his bravado and “wisdom”, was a doddering old fool who didn’t have the brains to quit when he was ahead; in that sense, sort of Westminister’s Joe Paterno. He was racist to the core.

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