I've been reading a book about the Israeli Mossad, their version of our CIA, titled Gideon's Spies. It tells the behind-the-scenes stories of some of the exploits of that fabled intelligence service, including many of the details about the numerous assassinations they've carried out. They're pretty brutal, for sure. Which begs the question, do the ends ever justify the means? Is assassination ever right / justified?
Let's be clear here: This isn't something that only the Israelis, with their backs to the sea, do to stay alive.
Our difference is we are rich enough and powerful enough that we can (usually ?) pay others to do our dirty work, enabling us to maintain "plausible deniability". Just like we don't torture terror suspects....but we do send them to Jordan, or Egypt, or Kazakhstan for a pleasant visit with those nice folks.
I remember my mom telling me "two wrongs don't make a right". True, but if one of those wrongs is so heinous, and the consequences will be so catastrophic, THEN would another "wrong" be justified?
Yes, Israel has whacked scientists from Syria and Pakistan and Iran (and probably elsewhere) who were actively working on perfecting nuclear weapons, weaponized germs, etc, weapons those countries have vowed to use to "wipe Israel off the map". And all indications were they weren't just idle threats. Honestly, I can grudgingly understand the Israeli's actions.
To use that same logic, if the US or the UK or France or Germany knew of a dastardly plot about to come to fruition, and if the country harboring the plotters couldn't be trusted to squash it, should we go in and "neutralize" the threat?
And where is that fine line between "yes", and "let's wait and see"? And if "let's wait and see" prevails, what happens if they're wrong and the result is another 9/11? Do those who erred on the side of restraint deserve responsibility for the catastrophe? Would you have the cojones to "wait and see"? And if you were too quick to say "go for it" (think GW Bush vs Iraq), what then?
Let's face it, making leadership decisions is a tough business! (That's why they all leave office with gray hair.)
To you, is this a black and white issue, or is there a big gray area? (Pun intended.)