Afghanistan, Iraq: this is history and there is not much I as a European I could do to change what my Western World did there.
I believe that the situation with Iran is a little bit different.
First I will discuss the irrelevance of arguing whether or not it is about oil. Second I will refer to Günter Grass when it comes about arguing about Iran threat. Finally I will try to find a real reason why as a European you really don’t want a war in Iran; a reason that is not in contradiction with your idea of a “better world” meaning peaceful… but with cheap energy.
I will not fall in the trap and be coined a conspirationist. One could form the hypothesis that the conflicts would have something to do that the three aforementioned countries would lie in a strategic ellipse constituting the world’s biggest oil and gas reserve. I am not prepared to discuss this here neither to judge this idea, really. Furthermore I believe that discussing if yes or no there is a strategic resources consideration to the conflict building up in Iran will have zero effect on our Western politics.
You can’t on one side complain that “you now wear you gas bill around your wrist instead of a Rolex” and on the other side complain that our politics consider waging war in our names for oil. Whether this opinion is true or not!
Let’s now concentrate on the threat of Iran and its leadership. We could be the devil’s advocate and note that during the cold war, there was no direct “war” because both USSR and USA had the nuclear weapon… But I just wrote this so you get upset and curious and take the time to read the following text which is in German, take your time it is worth it. So here it is and with a more literary approach, there is the poem of Günter Grass, “Was gesagt werden muss”. That is a nice to read, not more.
Everyone who has been a project manager knows this: assessing risk is the most difficult part. The engineer that I has no support; there is no formula to calculate the risk with Iran. I am therefore not interested in spending too much effort in arguing whether or not there are weapons of mass destruction or a plan in Iran to acquire those weapons. It reminds me of a mistake a friend made as we were kids: to know if there was a snail living in the shell or not he found no better way to crush the shell… I won’t tell you if there was a snail living in the shell but that was the only way for us to find out…
Last part of my thought, this is where we European come in play; this is where our interests lie. Strolling across the beautiful Franz Kafka’s hometown I was trying to find a way to avoid crushing the Iranian snail shell (its people). I was trying to imagine a way to de-correlate the Iran threat from energy politics. Nothing. The perceived threat will always be as high as I am ready to believe it is. The real threat is in Iran politics’ hands.
At the end of the day, walking back to the hotel, although we were still in the city center my head was hurting from the hustle and the bustle from the cars rushing by. Where were all those people driving to? Why did they all have to cross the city? I mean, if you work in the South why don’t you live in the South, shop in the South, so you don’t have to bloody disrupt the magic of one of the most beautiful city of Europe… That was it! I found on the spot my solution to avoid a war in Iran. Quality of life, qualité de la vie, Lebensqualität was the answer!
Congestion charge in London is a brilliant idea; expensive oil will make this scheme affordable and applicable for the whole of Europe. This is something one cannot deny: if we prevent turning the conflict between the Western world and Iran into an Iraq type of war, our city streets will finally go quieter!
That’s it, it is a simple idea! Don’t waste my time with human right talks, I am European and all I care about is the quality of my life. So far I thought that growth and cheap oil were securing my quality of life but following Kafka’s steps I am not so sure about growth anymore, but I am convinced that cheap oil is not! I want my backyard to be quiet, so if you are a Western politician and you want my support, be against a war with Iran and get us out of Iraq and Lybia.