Want a brief understanding of the state of the relationship between Iran and the West? Victor Davis Hanson pens this analysis:
And then I woke up, remembering that the West of old lives only in dreams. Yes, the new religion of the post-Westerner is neither the Enlightenment nor Christianity, but the gospel of the Path of Least Resistance — one that must lead inevitably to gratification rather than sacrifice.
Once one understands this new creed, then all the surreal present at last makes sense: life in the contemporary West is so good, so free, so undemanding, that we will pay, say, and suffer almost anything to enjoy its uninterrupted continuance — and accordingly avoid almost any principled act that might endanger it.
If you don’t like Hanson’s rhetoric (which is excellent), check out this piece from Der Spiegel:
For almost four years now, the Europeans have been trying to steer Iran away from its nuclear plans. But the story is always the same: The West appeals to Iran to be reasonable and issues the occasional threat, to which the Tehran regime responds by proudly announcing that it has just completed another step on the road to becoming a nuclear state. The West is outraged and meets for talks. Then come new appeals, new threats and, a short time later, yet another proud announcement from Tehran…
Iran, on the other hand, “is playing its cards brilliantly” in Sandschneider’s estimation. Only the threat of military strikes or concrete incentives from the United States, says Sandschneider, could convince the Iranians to abandon their nuclear ambitions. Otherwise, he adds, the Europeans will have to get used to an adversary with nuclear capabilities — and start thinking about defensive measures, such as the controversial missile defense system.
In case you missed it, Iran’s new banknote will carry the nuclear energy emblem. It seems the path of least resistance is playing into Iran’s hands, which will inevitably lead to nuclear armament. Some sort of serious conflict between Iran and the West seems inevitable. Is it time to start re-reading arguments for and against the legitimacy of pre-emptive strikes?