Statement Regarding US-Iranian Tension

As of the posting of this article, situational developments between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran of taken a turn for the worst. However, that does not mean that the situation is irreparable. This is the critical moment when both parties will need to begin generating a mutually respectful and appropriate dialogue, at least through the mediation of a neutral party or parties. If there is to be peace or war in that region of the world, now is the time for that decision to be made. The crisis is at a boiling point, and one could be forgiven for seeing parallels with the summer of 1914. How we, as a global community proceed from this point forward, is in the hands of a select few number of people. A new era of global politics and diplomacy may very well be at hand.

Looking to the gridlock in diplomatic progress between these two competitors, it is helpful and useful to view the situation from as many perspectives as possible with the goal of finding a solution to differences that may otherwise have not been seen. To this end, it is advised that even the anti-National Reformationist should view this situation in particular, and diplomacy as a whole, from the perspective of a National Reformationist, in order to gain access to insight that might reveal previously unknown or forgotten ideas. The National Reformationist view of diplomacy, like its view of life, is that there is constant struggle. Nations, being the ethical living embodiments of the people that occupy them, express the interest, desires and values of those people. The values and interest expressed by individual nations often conflict with those of other nations, even when two different nations hold similar backgrounds and origins. As, for example, the desires of Switzerland and Germany were opposed to one another during the Second World War, even though Switzerland has a substantial German population. Similarly, the desires and interest of the Prussians and Austrians were incredibly opposed to one another on many numerous occasions, regardless of their shared German ancestry. As a side note, this dispels the validity of the concept of tribalism based on religion or race.


If the National Reformationist view means struggle and differentiation in the aspirations of individual nations, then an appropriate framework must be established to ensure that the end result of this differentiation is not always violent. The framework, since the end of the Second World War has been the goal of establishing a community of power. The grotesque and cumbersome United Nations is evidence of this effort. It was with great contempt that the world, particularly in the west, looked upon the past and expressed an utter disdain for the diplomatic and political chess match of the previous centuries, specifically since the rise of the nation states in the 17th century. And so, with a high mind for progressive liberal ideals, the western world surged ahead with the aim of making diplomacy a matter of exchange and business, as though diplomacy were a capitalistic endeavor of credit and finance instead of an exchange of values. The age of the “community of power” had arrived.


With this community of power, the world stumbled forward like a drunkard, holding out just long enough for the fall of communism to offer evidence of its own validity as an idea. The world deceived itself, and the age of American hegemony reigned supreme. However, as of late, the diplomatic sands are shifting, and the “business as usual” model of western diplomacy has not had the same effectiveness as of old. China, Russia, and others have learned the western game, and have learned how to win that game. The hegemony of American capitalism, and thus the diplomacy that projects its power, is in its winter season, and a new era is at hand. It is critical that with this new era, the ebb and flow of international developments must be read and interpreted correctly, to the extent that that is possible.


So, with a new and fresh outlook, the National Reformationism of the future is able to expound a new approach. However, this approach is one that is also familiar, like an old friend. National Reformationism is a revolutionary ideology, and so its execution will be revolutionary. But it is a revolution against “revolutionism” for its own sake. Instead of attempting to build a community of power, National Reformationism will build a fair and equitable “balance of power.” A return to the Bismarckian methodology of conducting international affairs will return a sense of realism and practicality to diplomacy that has been lacking in the western approach. This approach is, in some regards, a return to the old approach that was forsaken by the west in the 40’s and 50’s. But, this return is acceptable because we are able to enjoy the benefit of hindsight, and can draw on the lessons that the past has to offer. Bismarck was not wrong in his approach to building a balance of power, his successors were wrong for abandoning it.


You may be asking yourself “How would such an approach resolve the tensions between the US and Iran?” A fair question, of course, but one that has a firm answer. The United States has its aims and interest in the Middle East, and does not seem to be ready to back away from that part of the world anytime soon. Iran has its own desire to become the dominant regional power. While these may seem like competing visions for a future of the region, and thus global diplomacy at a wider level, they can actually work in concert with one another. While it may be easy to retreat behind religious or philosophical platitudes to accuse the other side, it is far more productive to delineate the shape of a new Middle East after assurances are given, by both sides that armed conflict is not going to be utilized to resolve the dispute. It is absolutely necessary to lay to rest the haunting ghosts of the past, and for both sides to agree in transitioning from competitors to interlocutors. It isn’t necessary for either side to like one another, but a genuine and good faith effort must be attempted in order to succeed. Also, it must be made abundantly clear that neither side is going to get everything that they want, and that the other side is going to get its share of wins in negotiations. However, if both sides are willing to accept this line of thinking, then a long term peace may yet be possible.


Emphasis must be placed on the point that neither side will love an arrangement. It will reek of a putrid smell for some time in the nostrils of the leaders and the people of both nations. However, through patience and follow up negotiations, time will allow for a settling of hostilities, and can lead to a “rapprochement” between the two countries. Of course, this is all speculative, but the idea of understanding that Iran is going to have to be allowed some concessions is the only way to conduct a negotiation between them and ourselves. This negotiation will result in Iran being allowed to maintain a certain dominating presence in the region, but this presence doesn’t have to automatically equal threatening to the interest of the United States. We must, for a reasonable and realistic future, cast aside a thirst for Iranian punishment and retribution, while dispelling the idea of holding hands with them in loving joy. A pragmatic approach which relies on being ever adaptive to changing conditions is the only hope for long term peace and stability in the Middle East.  

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