Iran Conflict


Erika Ocegueda (12th), Reporter

At the start of 2020, the internet flooded with World War III memes and speculations about whether or not this new year would start with war. What a way that would be to begin the new decade. As for the reason for this topic, well this stems from recent tensions between Iran and the U.S. and the seemingly horrible interactions that transpired between them, during this new year. 

The first spark to the fuel that powers the current worry over our country engaging in a war has to do with the decision our president, Donald Trump made. The president decided to put into action an order to kill Qassem Suleimani, a man known as Iran’s most powerful General. The order was enacted via drone strike while the general was being driven from Baghdad airport by the Popular Mobilisation Forces—a member of this group was killed in the strike as well. 

The announcement of the order was controversially preceded by a tweet from the President in which he simply posted an image of the U.S. flag, without captions or comment. The White House later released a statement with further details on the situation and the nature of it, stating it was a defensive move and that the president sent out the order. As to why the action took place, the Pentagon further elaborated upon that matter. They stated that they had reason to believe that the General had plans to attack diplomats from America and service members who were currently in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, the strike needed to happen so that they could inhibit plans of attack from Iran. 

The assassination had been a long time coming. The General’s activity has been monitored for years by U.S. intelligence officials. The President was urged for a long time to take action since Suleimani posed a serious threat to them. Trump had agreed to take action seven months ago, however only if the death of an American occurred as a result of the ever-increasing aggression from Iran. Many airstrikes were exchanged between the two countries as aggression only increased. Conditions for the enactment of the assassination were finally met and agreed upon after Iranian militia stormed the U.S. Embassy compound—in Baghdad.

Soleimani’s assassination was of course followed by a negative response from Iran. Iran responded by sending twenty-two missiles to hit two U.S. bases in Iraq—where military coalition members were staying. Fortunately, the missiles resulted in no casualties. Although the U.S. came off seemingly unscathed from this response, who knows what the future holds. 

Since the actions of the president, responses to it have varied. He’s received some praise as well as criticism. Many have taken the issue quite seriously while others have brushed it off and made the situation into another trendy joke. When I talk about trendy jokes I’m referring to the “World War III” memes that have circulated the internet as a result of the current high tension situation. The subject of these memes tends to be about getting drafted—which is quite unrealistic.

One Pitman Senior felt that our involvement in Iran was “unnecessary”, “starting something…won’t affect us, but it will affect people who are innocent, and I feel like that shouldn’t happen.” 

Realistically a World War III will not transpire because of this, the U.S. has no intention of declaring war and Iran does not have the resources to start a full-blown war with the world’s strongest military. In truth, the U.S. and the Middle-East have had a long history of tension and conflict, these occurrences may only be further kindling to a fire burning for decades.