Let’s say you have a lot of friends.
Most of them like you. The majority of them truly respect you. The others just don’t want to get on your bad side.
But then there’s three people who don’t like you. Really don’t like you. So much that they may even want to cause you harm, if they had their way. You’ve had really bad skirmishes with them in the past, and the bad blood still lingers. But instead of acting out, you just decide to pretty much ignore the other’s existence.
It prevents any belligerence in the short term, but is it really the ideal solution? Do you really want to live each day knowing that one of these people might come after you?
In a perfect world, wouldn’t you rather make amends, let bygones be bygones, acknowledge that mistakes were made and go on living peacefully? You don’t have to love each other. You just have to tolerate one another and acknowledge the other’s existence. Give a curt nod when you pass each other on the street, rather then turning in the opposite direction.
Peace and camaraderie is always the better option, right? If a solution presents itself that avoids conflict — take it.
Well if you agree with me, then you also happen to agree with the recent actions of our president.
Yup, folks, this just got political. I tricked you!
In the past calendar year, President Obama has made the attempt to reconcile and burn bridges with three nations, each of which have a very checkered recent history (to say the least) with the United States — Iran, Cuba and Vietnam.
One chants “Death to America” every morning. The other once allowed nuclear missiles on their soil to point directly at us. The last engaged with us in a war that killed 58,000 Americans.
Yeah, that’s bad blood.
I know what some of you may be thinking. If a country has American blood on its hands, then why ever make amends? We’re the most powerful country in the world — screw ’em!
But is that really a solution? Just maintain the status quo and expect no repercussions? Is it healthy to have an entire nation remain an enemy for decades and decades? If you truly believe that, then maybe you believe the U.S. and Soviet Union never should have ended the Cold War.
If there is an open door towards peace, how do you not at least peak inside? Obama has taken a careful step through that door recently by negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, announcing a thaw with Cuba, and just this week, took further initatives to settle the lingering rifts between the U.S. and Vietnam.
No one’s saying to welcome these nations back with an open arms. Instead, it’s merely one cautious step towards long-term reconciliation.
There used to be a day when “world peace” was an unanimous goal.
Now the calls are to build walls. To alienate foreigners. To condemn entire groups of people because of the actions of a small minority.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m still game for world peace. And I’m proud to be represented by a leader who at least gave it a shot.