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Letter: Smart foreign policy led to sailors’ quick release

Smart foreign policy led to sailors’ quick release

Recently, two small, fast, armed U.S. Navy boats mistakenly entered unfriendly Iranian waters while on a routine patrol. They were captured by Iranian naval vessels without any exchange of gunfire. As a precaution, the 10 American sailors were ordered to kneel down in their craft with their hands over their heads and then imprisoned while authorities of both countries communicated with each other to solve this “touchy problem” that could escalate if not handled correctly.

Luckily, because of long, hard, recent, successful negotiations for a treaty between Iran and the United States dealing with nuclear weapons, this potential confrontation was settled peacefully and quickly over several phone calls. This result is unheard of in today’s violent world. It is to be celebrated and used as an example of the possible. It can surely be said that these 10 American sailors would not have their swift freedom today without those negotiations and the friendships created between former foes.

Unfortunately, this event has become a political matter with some people. Some militant political leaders in each country took affront to what happened and viewed what occurred as an insult to their nation’s integrity. It has to be said that our foreign policy in the past in that part of the world has created many enemies for our country. They still hold a grudge and are very mistrustful of us and our allies. That feeling is also reciprocated by many in the West – a recipe for confrontation.

To have peace in our world today, we must sit down with our enemies and discuss our differences, and not just confront each other with harsh words and weapons when problems arise. We can do better than that. Terrorism wins when people are divided and don’t trust each other. Fear and hatred are a cancer on the human soul.

Jack Peracciny

Middleport