Europe and the US \’inching towards war\’ with Iran – Public Service Europe

Western leaders and commentators are sounding increasingly hawkish over Iran and with a continuing diplomatic stalemate, military conflict seems inevitable – writes Dean Carroll

via Europe and the US \’inching towards war\’ with Iran – Public Service Europe.16 November 2011  |  by Dean Carroll

Rafa Sanudo cartoon - Iran

As the European Commission tinkers with regulation of the credit rating agencies in a half-hearted attempt to protect member states at risk of sovereign downgrade and Italy’s bond yields spike once again, all attention remains focused on the financial crisis in the eurozone. But as we move towards the festive Christmas period, there is a critical drama playing out beyond the full glare of the media spotlight and it certainly is not a narrative of peace and goodwill to all men. Many powerful government figures, both past and present, are popping up as hawkish-sounding talking heads keen to put the case for military action against Iran – should the sanctions and rhetoric continue to fail in persuading the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to forgo the nuclear bomb.

It seems unlikely the Iranian head of state will have a sudden Gaddafi-style conversion to western thinking when it comes to nuclear disarmament, tackling terrorism and welcoming in American and European oil companies anytime soon. The Sword of Damocles certainly dangles above Ahmadinejad’s head, but the same can be said of western leaders like the United States President Barack Obama and the British Prime Minister David Cameron. For, the ramifications of another bloody war in the Middle East are myriad – including civilian casualties, increased regional instability, a heightened terrorism threat, higher oil prices, geopolitical unrest and electoral damage for the political parties involved. 

Even so, Europe and the US are “inching towards war” – according to the founder of the National Iranian American Council Dr Trita Parsi. In a candid article for PublicServiceEurope.com, he talks of the unnecessary risk of conflict created by western leaders being solely focused on words of war and sanctions. These tactics have been employed to curry favour with citizens at home, win votes and achieve favourable media headlines. “Consequently, supporting sanctions is politically the easy thing to do,” writes Parsi. “Supporting diplomacy, in comparison, carries significant domestic political risk and yields – and, even, if successful – limited political benefit. It simply takes far more political courage, will and capital to pursue negotiations with Tehran than to impose sanctions on the Iranians.”

On the dismal lack of effective international relations and the more muscular approach taken by western leaders of late, Parsi adds: “Such a policy is not likely to lead to a peaceful resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but rather an escalated conflict where the use of diplomacy is further marginalised. Rather than leaping towards peace, we are inching towards war. That Washington and Tehran have ended up in this deadlock is, perhaps, not surprising. The US-Iran enmity has a strong emotional and psychological dimension that has rendered clear thinking more difficult on both sides. Just why the European Union, however, whose relations with Tehran have not been marred by mutual humiliation, has discarded independent thinking on this issue is less clear.” 

And, at a time street when anti-capitalism protests directed at the banks are spreading across the globe, the possibility of another war might just push people too far – causing civil disobedience on a scale not witnessed before. We can only hope that our political leaders will give diplomacy one final effort before resorting to yet another military conflict. For, as legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said: “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” He is not alone in this sentiment.Revelation 6:8So I looked, and behold, an ashy pale horse [[a]black and blue as if made so by bruising], and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades (the realm of the dead) followed him closely. And they were given authority and power over a fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword and with famine and with plague (pestilence, disease) and with wild beasts of the earth. Isaiah 17:1THE MOURNFUL, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up) concerning Damascus [capital of Syria, and Israel’s bulwark against Assyria]. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.


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For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
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