A nuclear scientist is assassinated in Iran. Another nation is suspected of the dirty work. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that assassination has been resorted to in international disputes.
The Iranian leaders may be bastards but is murdering Iranian citizens like so many pigeons at a shooting gallery the way to punish them? Does any nation have the right to use assassination as a tool to right a wrong or to get their way in a dispute?
Assassination has been with us since Cain offed Abel. It is a tool of religious zealots, drug dealers, political hacks, racketeers, the mentally deranged and for that matter anyone who feels their honor has been besmirched . No matter whose hands wields the instrument of death it is done so in the belief that the end justifies the means.
Society frowns upon the taking of a life and has laws which make the offense of taking a life punishable by incarceration and even death. Justice unfortunately is not always evenly applied but at the very least assassination and its first cousin, murder is frowned upon, discouraged and condemned.
Not so when the perpetrator is the covert agent of a sovereign nation. Assassinating the citizen of another sovereign nation in order to right a perceived wrong appears to be tolerated by society. It only becomes of concern when the event takes on political consequences too great to be ignored. If the answer of the offended party is to unleash its instruments of war thenthe price of society’s initial indifference is thousands and thousands of lives lost.
Assassination is a dangerous game. Those who play the game may think the end justifies the means but in the long run the end may very well be their end and that of those allied with them.
The moral of this story is, watch your ass if your partner is an advocate of assassination.