Give the good ship Juliano some props — literally. The Swedish-flagged craft was in the Greek port of Piraeus as part of a flotilla seeking to challenge Israel’s naval security cordon around Gaza when, according to flotilla organizers, “hostile divers destroyed the [ship’s] propeller house and cut the propeller shaft.” It seems that someone one-upped the peaceniks’ attempt to create an international incident.
They should count themselves lucky no-one was hurt. Last year nine demonstrators were killed when they attacked Israeli naval commandos boarding the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara. And there are more direct responses in more serious cases. In late June five Russian nuclear scientists who had been assisting Iran with its nuclear program died in a plane crash outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk. In November 2010, Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari was killed in Tehran when a motorcyclist placed a bomb on the window of his car and sped away before it detonated. Another scientist, Fereydoun Abbasi, was wounded in an identical attack the same day. In August 2010 Reza Baruni, the mastermind of Iran’s top-secret military drone program, was killed when three separate explosions destroyed his house. The official version blamed a gas leak. The same day that Mr. Baruni died, three UAV’s launched from an unknown location smashed into the dome of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor, killing five. Tehran later claimed this incident was part of a readiness test.
The “Freedom Flotilla” group, which includes support from Code Pink and other goofball American leftist organizations, is not important enough to face the kind of serious measures that are being meted out to facilitators of Iran’s nuclear program. But they should understand that in some parts of the world the colorful, ritualized protest they are accustomed to is not greeted with American-style official tolerance. Big boy rules apply. Maybe next time they should organize a demonstration in Syria and see if giant papier-mâché puppets are effective against machine guns.