Guest editorial — The Middle East: Diplomacy or War? |

Guest editorial — The Middle East: Diplomacy or War?

John White, Midway,

If you grew up in Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s, the "Pachucos," Mexican-American teenage gangs were known for their flamboyant lifestyle. Some of you may remember the Zoot Suit-clothing style that was very popular with them during that era. Gradually the gangs took on a more violent lifestyle and other minority youths, in an effort to protect themselves, either joined them or created their own gangs. The Bloods and the Crips became the most notorious gangs of that era.

Each gang marked its territory and anyone from a rival gang who ventured into that territory was immediately accosted. It initially started out with just physical beatings, but over the years has escalated to gun warfare as a means of control from outsiders. Drive-by shootings with innocent people getting hurt is the norm today. Thus, an eye-for-an-eye revenge mentality goes on and on without a peaceful solution in sight.

On a global scale that same way of life exists in the Middle East, tribes and their warlords have ruled specific territories for centuries. The Shi’ites and Sunnis have been waging war among themselves for as far back as history is recorded.

In 1953, Iran’s first major attempt at a democratic revolution took place because of the efforts of the intelligentsia, clerics, and bazaar merchants, only to have the CIA forcibly restore the toppled corrupt American-backed monarchy a few months later. Is it any wonder that in 1979, in an effort to overthrow the American backed Shah, another revolution immerged and the cry "Death to America" was proclaimed by the revolutionaries? Trust in American goodwill was inevitably lost.

In his 2002, State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush said that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea constitute an "axis of evil." This statement provided Iranian dissident groups and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a few years later, to an opportunity to accelerate building secret nuclear plants to produce industrial nuclear level fuel. This was a red flag to the rest of the civilized world to beware of Iran as power to be reckoned with!

In 2007, the U.S. government announced unilateral sanctions against Iran, the toughest since the 1979 embassy takeover by the Iranian revolutionaries. Fortunately, in 2013, a moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani won the Presidency in Iran and paved the way for a diplomatic solution to remove the U.S. sanctions that were severely crippling the Iran economy. President Obama is to be congratulated for trying to find a diplomatic solution to a potential world crisis. The agreement proves that you can use diplomacy to bring countries back into compliance with a nuclear nonproliferation regime. The Treaty will succeed because $100 billion of Iranian frozen assets will be lifted thus restoring a debilitated economy. As a final fail-safe, if the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) finds that Iran has broken the terms, the big power sanctions can instantly" snap back "into place.

If it was left up to the Israeli Prime Minister and other neoconservatives, they would obliterate Iran’s nuclear facilities. Thus the "eye for an eye" gang mentality would continue and innocent lives would be lost for generations to come. Let us hope that our congressional leaders when voting for this Treaty use diplomacy as their guide rather than War as their solution!