Ethos is defined by the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding belief of a person, group or institution – in simpler terms, it’s the code by which we live by. In the case of most conflicts, the clash between an individual and a societies “ethos” or code has been the cause of much of the turmoil in the world today.
In some cases, it involves politics, religion or some cultural difference causing a great divide which can sometimes be reconciled peacefully and sometimes not. More often than not, it involves a certain level of sacrifice to come to a middle ground in which both parties may not get exactly what they want but realize that it is in their best interest to compromise. It’s what allows societies and individuals to be free.
Unfortunately, some individuals and societies believe their freedom can only be achieved through the annihilation of another society or individual and such has been the case of Iran toward Israel and the reason why no act of diplomacy or economic sanctions against Iran will prevail. Inasmuch as, current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has verbalized that their sole intention is to have Israel “wiped off the map” calling them a “fake regime”, as well as by their Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who has been quoted as saying “Iran will back” any nation or group fighting Israel and has called for the destruction of Israel repeatedly.
The fact that this weekend his followers have gained strength in the Parliamentary elections and has undermined Ahmadinejad’s power in Iran will have little to do with what the “ethos” of the political and religious leadership is in Iran, which is the absolute and total destruction of Israel, freely obtaining nuclear weapons and a disdain for the United States. In Iran, it is Khamenei who has influence over Iran’s nuclear program and it will be he who The United States must convince to terminate Iran’s aggressive stance toward Israel and abandon its nuclear program.
Economic Sanctions / Diplomacy The position taken so far by President Barack Obama was to first negotiate and compromise with Iran, which has thus far failed miserably and recently has consisted of tough talk such as an address given this weekend at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, in which he affirms, “The U.S. won’t hesitate to use force to stop Iran” but also stated that there is “a chance for diplomacy to work”.
It is evident that no amount of diplomacy will work against Iran, creating the biggest problem which is that as The United States continues to seek diplomacy with Iran, they continue to pursue nuclear ambitions and be an incalculable threat to Israel. The mere fact that “diplomacy” is still an option is baffling considering the threats and aggressive initiatives made against Israel thus far. As far as economic sanctions are concerned, there has rarely been a time when economic sanctions have accomplished much of anything against an aggressive regime. The use of economic sanctions in the case of Iran is troubling since even if they were to work, they would take far too long to influence the regime to change course, allowing them to continue pursuing their nuclear program, thus leaving our closest ally in the Mideast, Israel, under a constant threat.
The time for diplomacy, economic sanctions and tough talk is over. The United States must become outwardly aggressive in its stance toward Iran and protect and fight side by side with Israel when the time comes.
The Importance of Israel The policy of compromise with Middle Eastern countries like Iran, who clearly dislike us, in an attempt to get them to like us, has failed miserably. In past decades, threats such as these made against an ally like Israel, would have been met with instant retaliation, especially that any harm be done to Israel and will ultimately lead to compromising our own national security since most nations that seek the destruction of Israel, also seek the destruction of the U.S. as well.
The only policy that will benefit the United States is an absolute, unwavering support of Israel regardless what the cost, since without them, we face an ominous threat of the formation of a more hostile Middle East forever threatening our national security.
The End of Isolation The economy of the United States has maintained an isolationist attitude when it comes to Iran except in terms of oil prices. Iran being the second largest producing OPEC member has an overwhelming influence on oil prices. The long standing problem with OPEC is that so much of our economy depends on oil that to have an over dependence on them ultimately means that our economy can be controlled by fluctuations, manipulation and disruption of OPEC oil supply. Even a rumor like a Saudi Arabian pipeline blowing up, as was the case on Thursday, could create a spike in Oil prices.
Oil – The Lynchpin of the Economy Although supply vs. demand has often been the driving force behind oil prices, I would no longer consider them to be paramount in what determines the price of oil. I would now consider another factor to be even more important – and that is fear. The recent surge in oil prices did not evolve out of economic expansion and an improving economy with increasing demand or declining supply, it evolved out of fear that war between Israel and the Iran would cause oil prices to surge.
The Barack Obama “tough talk” speech against Iran this Friday actually caused the price of oil to decline at least temporarily. I’m confident that we will see further declines after oil is released from the STRATEGIC OIL RESERVES, however, the “tough talk speeches” and “quick fix solutions” will not achieve the goal of eliminating the threat of higher oil prices derailing an economic recovery. With high oil prices there can be no economic recovery. Although many Americans have become more energy efficient and supply is available, as long as the United States depends on oil from the Middle East, our national security and our economy will always be vulnerable.
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday One motto of the United States Navy Seals is “The only Easy day was yesterday“. The importance of understanding this ethos that most Americans share is that there are few things more important in life than freedom. Our enemies know very well that integral to that freedom is economic freedom and any dependence on them for any of our essential economic needs is a direct threat to our freedom. Our enemies also know that any attack or threat against our allies is a threat against the United States and the freedom that many men and women have fought and died for.
It is our military and economic strength which protects us and although we would much prefer peace through compromise, we must embrace as Ronald Reagan said, “peace through strength”. The Navy Seal attitude that “the only easy day was yesterday” should strengthen our resolve to fight harder for the freedom that we cherish, not only for us but for those who come after us. It’s important to embrace the fact that no matter what our temporary economic situation is, as long as we have our freedom, we have everything.