Middle Eastern Mayhem:World War III edition

A photo taken during Iran general Soleimanis funeral in late January.

Mohammad Mohesifar

A photo taken during Iran general Soleimani’s funeral in late January.

Aidan May, Writer

It seems that tensions in the Middle East have risen to new heights. The United States has been in conflict with Iran since early 2000s but since early January it has been escalating quickly. The whole conflict began with the United States assassination of Qasem Soleimani, a plan which had been in the works for around 7 months. The conflict escalated quickly with Iranian retaliation with a missile strike on a U.S base in Iraq. Soleimani’s death caused a massive outrage with Iran and Iraq voting to suspend U.S troops in the country. The United States then responded with justifying his death by saying it would prevent further attacks on U.S interests. The issue has seemed to spit many down the middle on whether this decision was justified.

Many people have taken this whole situation with a grain of salt. The peaceful side has claimed the victory, although not . Their position is that this whole thing should not have happened to begin with. Because, “Even though he was a bad guy he’s not worth going to war over,” (Emma Golz, ‘22). These attacks spurred national turmoil and a plethora of memes to come with them. Even though now the situation escalated there still looms a shadow of war. As Aurora Funston (‘22) puts it, “We could have a World War III,” but it now seems closer to reality than a distant possibility.

The other side of the story is pretty interesting. The other group of people and even the position of the U.S. government is that Soleimani’s death was to prevent future attacks. Soleimani had been the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps which is said to be used to keep domestic peace. The U.S. designated the RGC as a terrorist organization in 2018. Soleimani has been accused of causing many deaths in Iraq and Iran, including the death of an American contractor. This was considered a preemptive attack, the U.S. citing knowledge that he had been preparing a strike against the U.S.

It has been called an unnecessary political move and a step to saving American lives. Still, it moves the hands of the doomsday clock closer to midnight.  It brought us closer to the brink and though the situation has been deescalated, it is not a situation to be taken lightly. Yet it has been nothing but divisive one way or the other. War is often polarizing between those who support it, claiming it’s necessary or those who say it could be better solved through diplomacy. Nonetheless, it was a troublesome and polarizing situation right at the dawn of a new decade.