2020 caught everyone by surprise and started off with the U.S. murdering Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s top security and intelligence commander, in an airstrike. Understandably, this caused quite the reaction from both American and Iranian citizens. However, Americans have had an unprecedented way to handle the news and have turned to arguably ignorant methods of coping.
But first, let’s review what occurred and who it affected. After the killing of the Iranian general, Iran, understandably furious, fires retaliation missiles at Iraqi bases where American troops are deployed. There were no casualties except for Iran’s economy since the president vowed to impose more sanctions after the attack. The heightened tensions ultimately caused Iran to mistakenly gun down an Ukrainian passenger plane, killing the first 176 people to experience the reality of this war.
With the situation put into context, it’s easier to understand why jokes about World War 3 or any conflict with Iran is deplorable and disrespects the civilians who have real fears about the tensions. Because Americans are so far removed from the violence as most of the possible battle will occur overseas, they are more inclined to laugh out of fear at the situation instead of sympathize with Middle Easterns caught in the middle of it.
Truth is there is little for Americans to worry about when it comes to their safety. As mentioned before, the conflict will most likely be settled in Iran, considering the last time a Middle Eastern entity caused bloodshed in America was 9/11 (even then, the terrorist group wasn’t affiliated with a country and acted separately).
Furthermore, the looming threat of a draft is pretty much nonexistent. After the war in Vietnam, the draft was abolished as a response to the anti-fighting protests. To reinstate the draft, Congress would need to pass a law that was also signed by the president, which isn’t very likely since neither party has major support for the draft in the first place. Just because an individual registered for the draft doesn’t mean they will be drafted.
However, the reality for Iranians and those in the surrounding regions is grim as they face the possibility of another brutal war. Since the U.S has been involved with the country’s affairs for years now, such as staging multiple overthrows of government to remain in control of oil/continue the spread of westernization, the threat of American military isn’t alien to Iran’s citizens, but it is definitely not welcome. Our administration will also use this conflict to spread propaganda against Iran as well as portray themselves as heroes for fighting back in a combat they started.
This propaganda coincides with the upcoming presidential election. When faced with criticism, President Donald Trump justified the airstrike as a counter to Suleimani’s plotting of imminent attacks on American diplomats and military personnel. However, there has been little evidence of these attacks provided, making some question the true motivation or if it was just an impulse. It’s been speculated that the attack and the aftermath of it will be used to bolster Donald Trump’s campaign for re-election as well as draw attention away from impeachment trials. By furthering the narrative that any violence directed at the Middle East is a win for America, Trump hopes to secure his chance at a second term.
Therefore, it’s obvious that this airstrike was an unnecessary brutality that will only cause more trouble for Middle Easterns and will have little consequence for the American people, specifically white citizens. While violence will be encouraged by physical altercations overseas, the racism and prejudice Iranian-Americans will face during this may contribute to the overall casualties. Instead of spreading insensitive jokes for clout, Americans should focus their efforts on protesting war and being the voices for the Iranian citizens who have no say.