One of the most interesting things about politics is international relations. The reason I find it so interesting is because I think we can use families as an analogy for the relations that occur between states. In fact, the political satire I wrote, Melisande’s Lingerie Closet, found at https://jaclynhollandstrauss.com/my-writing/melisandes-lingerie-closet/, uses the analogy of a family to show the ridiculousness of some people’s politics.
The thing in today’s news that made me think about international relations is the fact that Canada has cut all diplomatic ties with Iran because of Ahmedinejad’s threat to use nuclear force. Whenever I try to figure out whether or not I agree with a political action that occurs between states or countries, I think about what would happen in the same sort of situation between individuals. For example, there are different foreign policy methods of dealing with states’ leaders that are behaving badly. Most of the world sees Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon as a catastrophe waiting to happen. And that is true. However, let’s think about the family unit and say that someone in a family has a drug problem and is threatening violence because of their addiction. Should we isolate that person from the rest of the family? If we do that, things are likely just going to escalate and get worse.
I realize the situations are very different. Violence within a family, while tragic, is a mere microcosm of what happens when the wrong country has a nuclear weapon. However, I think the point remains. Surely it makes more sense to compromise, and offer something of value to a rogue state like Iran. We all want something, and diplomats in Canada and in other regions of the world need to figure out what Ahmedinejad wants that will stop him from using his nuclear weapons. Some say that you do not negotiate with terrorists, or dictators, but I think that is short-sighted at best. The reality is, people like Ahmedinejad have immense power, and if he is not going to be assassinated, then he is going to be around, causing trouble, and has to be neutralized. A carrot or stick can be used. The stick is cutting off diplomatic ties. But then there is no one to keep an eye on what is happening in Iran. And sanctions have been shown not to work. If you would like to read my article on what the TD Bank did in reference to sanctions and Iran, read https://jaclynhollandstrauss.com/2012/07/16/racism-in-canada-toronto-dominion-bank-and-iran-canadians/. Sanctions punish the average citizen; they do nothing to change the lifestyle or ideology of the ruler in question, who is engaging in the bad behaviour in the first place.
No solution is perfect when dealing with a situation as fraught with danger as the Iran/nuclear weapon dilemma. However, isolating the rogue state does not make sense to me. Things are just going to get worse, and Iran is going to become increasingly desperate. That is never good.