by Jerry Alatalo
n recent days following a statement by U.S. General Martin Dempsey that “military options are still on the table” in dealing with Iran, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei told the world that his country threatens no nation.
Some readers are probably familiar with the Paul Newman-starring movie “Cool Hand Luke” and the scene where the prison captain, played by actor Strother Martin, delivered the classic line describing his dissatisfaction with the always-trying-to-escape, rebellious prisoner Luke (Paul Newman): “What we have here, is a failure to communicate!” Although the analogy about to be proposed – relations between the captain played by Martin and the prisoner played by Newman in “Cool Hand Luke”, and United States-Iran relations – may seem inept, there seems like a certain amount of psychological similarity.
Strother Martin’s Captain, after the “failure to communicate” line, and after the umpteenth escape attempt by Luke, proceeds to dole out some vicious lashes to Luke’s body, shouting while whipping Luke, “Never! Never! NEVER!!” It’s impossible to explain how the thought of “Cool Hand Luke” came up when talking about U.S.-Iran relations, but there is definitely a clear amount of “failure to communicate” between the two nations. The event corresponding to Strother Martin’s whipping of Luke is an American-led military attack on Iran. Enough of the poor analogy. It came to mind and became mentioned – for what it’s worth.
Unfortunately, “Cool Hand Luke” was a fictional film based on an excellent novel, but the relationship between the United States and Iran is all too real, nonfictional, and dangerously precarious. What becomes obvious for any man or woman who has spent a moderate amount of time researching for the source of tension, the source is the Middle East-North Africa’s (MENA) massive oil/natural gas/energy natural resources, and who stands to benefit from the profits derived through their sale.
People sometimes use the descriptive term “big time” when considering various situations during discussions between friends, family, etc. When considering the forces involved in the MENA region in relation to energy resources, perhaps a new term far-surpassing “big time” needs to become created, because powerful forces drawn like magnets to the region are stupendous. The war-weary, suffering people of the region unanimously desire peace and a permanent end to war and violence there. It is time that the international community gathered enough political will and moral courage to truly provide the granting of their fondest wish – peace.
The essential first step in any process focused on ending the violence catastrophe in the region is a successful effort to make everyone aware of the sources of conflict – mainly competition over energy resources and the historic, unresolved Israel-Palestine situation. It is urgent that global political will to bring peace and security to MENA becomes quickly manifested, because – although the region today already experiences a profound humanitarian crisis – without a peace effort powerful enough to surpass military power too-often chosen for resolving differences, the situation could become even worse.
In a world where most people consider themselves civilized, all efforts must become focused on, then undertaken, to prevent deepening deterioration of societal conditions resulting from increased military actions. Human suffering as consequence of wars and violence has surpassed the point of unacceptable in the eyes of any man or woman willing to directly look at current military-action-caused, tragic situations around the Earth. When near 900 men, women and children – described in an incorrect and morally unacceptable fashion as “migrants”, as if these people were simply seeking “better incomes, schools…” – perish in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing from the hell of war for their very lives, know without a doubt that violence has reached a level demanding that the greatest moral leadership now available on the planet steps forward.
This means an immediate worldwide ceasefire and world peace conference.
Not tomorrow. Now.
A critical factor for beginning efforts to reduce dangerous tensions threatening destructive military confrontation is resolving the “failure to communicate” between the governments of the United States and Iran. It is in that spirit of wisely choosing peaceful dialogue over military confrontation that Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei’ s recent statements are presented here. Speaking for myself alone, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei seems clearly as a man who speaks truth based on firmly held moral, spiritual and benevolent principles.
Leaders in the United States Congress, in concert with the U.S. Department of State, should contact their Iranian counterparts to arrange for an as-long-as-it-takes video conference/discussion – or in-person meetings in each nation’s capitals – between high-level officials for the sole purpose of increasing understanding and decreasing tensions. This would require a genuine desire by all parties for arriving at a necessary basis of truth by placing all relevant facts on the table, then conscientiously working toward a mutually agreeable, peaceful resolution of significant differences.
Such an effort should become pursued as soon as possible.
Partial transcript of Ayatollah Khamenei’s recent statement:
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is not a threat to any nation. We have not been a threat to our neighbors, let alone to distant countries.”
“This is clearly verified by our contemporary history. Even when some of our neighbors behaved in a way that was unworthy of neighborly relations, we exercised restraint.”
“The Islamic Republic has not launched aggression against any country and will not do so. Now the fake myth of nuclear weapons has been fabricated by American and some Europeans as well as certain sycophants to portray Iran as a source of threat. That’s not so.”
“The source of threat is the U.S. itself. Today, the biggest source of threat in the world is the U.S. regime which, without any restrictions or moral and religious principles, interferes illegitimately and makes destabilizing interventions wherever it deems necessary.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)