In some countries, mine included, today is remembered as “Veterans’ Day” or “Armistice Day.” Juan Cole sensibly wrote earlier today that “The most patriotic way to honor future veterans of foreign wars is not to create any unnecessarily.”
Fellow “Wahoo” and good friend Barin Kayaoglu, writing in the Turkish Weekly, goes a step deeper in considering the state of US-Iran nuclear negotiations.
Barin neatly anticipates the standard arguments from partisans on both sides, accusations of intransigence vs. bullying, terrorism vs. imperialism, then arguments over what to do, of all the reasons to be hard-headed, to fight the “necessary war.”
Barin trumps such verbal combat by considering the stakes from a very different vantage point, that of the grave. He takes us to the two sprawling national cemeteries of America and Iran, Arlington and Behesht-e Zahra. I’ve been to both; somber places where the two nations, where families, mourn their losses, the lives cut short. Barin concludes:
“The graves of fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters at these places are somber reminders of the real price of war.
So before Iranian and American policy-makers make up their mind about the next step, it would be humane for them to spend some time at Behesht-e Zahra and Arlington. Nothing can bring back the dead. But there is no good reason to start another Middle East war that would create new ones.”
Well said Barin. Amen.