August 22, 2006

Is this the second coming of Walter Duranty?

From the Boston Globe, comes another item to which one can only say, "Wow."

TEHRAN -- The white-coated scientists at Tehran's Royan Institute labor beneath a framed portrait of the turbaned, bearded supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the head of a state that enforces strict religious rules governing everything from how women dress to what kinds of parties people throw.

But in the cutting-edge field of human embryonic stem-cell research, the scientists work with a freedom that US researchers can only dream of: broad government approval, including government funding, to work on the potent cells from early-stage embryos that researchers believe hold the promise to cure many diseases.

In 2002, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave his blessing to research on surplus embryos created for fertility treatments -- work sharply restricted in the United States under pressure from religious conservatives -- calling it a "lofty" effort that fit his goal of making Iran the scientific leader of the Muslim world.

The scientific ambitions that led Iran to embrace one of the world's most open policies on stem-cell research also help to explain why many Iranians support the nuclear research program that has thrust their country into a dangerous international confrontation....

So, let's suppose Israel does not allow embryonic stem-cell research. Would the Globe say that that justifies Iran's openly-expressed intentions to fry those horrid "religious conservatives?" Hmmm? I'd guess the Globe would tut tut about the question, and not want to be toooo judgmental. "Lofty effort," and all that.

But hey, here's a real quandary for those "progressive" Globians: Iran's leaders think gays should be killed. So, what if Iran decides to sacrifice gays for their stem cells? Wouldn't that put them in a pickle...

* Update: I just realized that I quickly scanned a post by Dean Barnett, Duranty Watch, absorbed his thoughts and posted them as if they were mine... It's easy to plagiarize when you are in a hurry...

Posted by John Weidner at August 22, 2006 8:54 AM
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