Slow and curious

Questions about how one goes about blowing up a Saudi Arabian ambassador in an overpriced Washington restaurant

Sam Smith

1. Is the Obama administration able to distinguish between an international incident and a personal mental problem? The alleged perp’s friends and his ex wife seem to think not. Wouldn’t therapy have been a better approach than entrapment? As one friend put it, “It’s a puzzle. Maybe somebody offered him some money. He doesn’t have the brain to say no.” According to the Washington Post, he was “renowned for being almost comically absent-minded, perpetually losing keys, cellphones, briefcases, anything that wasn’t tied down. He failed at a succession of ventures from used cars to kebabs.

2. Does the Obama administration really think Iran is that dumb? As Patrick Cockburn put it: “The claim that Iran employed a used-car salesman with a conviction for check fraud to hire Mexican gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington goes against all that is known of Iran’s highly sophisticated intelligence service.”

3.Why does Eric Holder’s crowd have such interesting ties to Mexican drug lords but is so hostile to the domestic – and far more peaceful and less damaging – marijuana market? Why does no one get involved anymore with a patriotic and respectable east coast hit man? And, given the economy, why are we outsourcing entrapment?

4. Name one significant thing that the United States has done in the past ten years to make it less likely that someone from the Mid East might want to do something crazy like this.
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5. Name one case where ostracizing a petty dictator has improved the safety or progress of US foreign policy? How does making such people more paranoiac help our goals?

6. What if we treated the Saudi dictatorship the same way?

7. What was in it for Iran? As the Financial Times said, “Killing a foreign diplomat on US soil would be an extraordinary escalation of tensions between Tehran and Washington. It is not obvious why the Iranian leadership, and in particular the cautious Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, would risk such a high stakes gamble.”

8. Name one Hollywood producer who would find this plot acceptable.

9. Name one thing Eric Holder has done really well in his career.

10. Who needs yet another war in the Mid East?

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