Iran Crisis Was a Failed Opportunity for West
Set aside for a moment the issue of whether Iran’s recent detainment of 15 British naval personnel was justified. More important than how their 13-day imprisonment began is how it ended.
Obviously, the best way the situation could have concluded was with the peaceful release of the Britons; anything else would have been unthinkable. It’s just unfortunate this happy resolution had nothing to do with Western diplomacy and everything to do with Western pride.
The idea that Iran should have been dealt with respectfully and diplomatically may be a difficult thing to accept, let alone hear. We in the West are far more accustomed to kicking ass and taking names than to listening patiently and taking the moral high road.
And neither is this a condoner of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial or apparent eagerness to kick-start World War III with his aggressive stance on Iran’s nuclear program. No, this is something in between: a plea for moderation, understanding and acceptance.
The fact is, the Middle East is a mess and always has been, even before the Western world got involved. We all want peace and prosperity in the region (some more than others), but constant military intervention hasn’t proven to be the answer.
This could have been an opportunity for Britain to generate a little goodwill between the West and one of our most intractable adversaries. Instead, it quickly devolved into posturing and stubborn we-said/they-said politicking.
If this dispute were between two children fighting in the backseat of an SUV over who crossed the line into ‘my side,’ as opposed to two world leaders arguing over an international border, almost any parent’s response would be, more or less, ‘That’s enough! I don’t care who started it