War, What’s it Good for?
Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, was killed January 3rd by a Donald Trump-ordered airstrike in Baghdad. Soleimani was once called “our most significant and evil adversary in the greater Middle East.” While few in the U.S. would dispute that Soleimani was a die-hard enemy of America, his unilateral killing on Iraqi soil has drawn a vow of revenge from Iran, and condemnation and a warning of a much wider war from Iraq.
Decades-long tensions re-escalated back in early December, when attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq killed a U.S. citizen. The U.S. blamed an Iranian-backed militia inside Iraq, and fires on its bases in retaliation. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad was also attacked by pro-Iranian protesters. This did not lead to Soleimani’s killing, but it made things a lot more interesting when the President ordered an “opportunistic” killing of one of the world’s most feared terrorist leaders. Iran retaliated, launching more than 20 missiles, the barrage targeting two large military bases that house thousands of Iraqi and American servicemen and women. The American forces withstood the attack with no casualties, President Trump said Iran “appears to be standing down” in the emerging conflict, while Iran is vowing for “harsher revenge.” Trump vowed to ramp up economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. The president first reimposed sanctions on Iran after he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, declaring that the deal “didn’t stop Iran from making nuclear weapons.” They do not have nuclear weapons as of now, so they will not be able to attack U.S. territory. Government officials have not taken Iran’s threatening rhetoric of revenge as truth, explaining Iran should “have the intelligence” to not attack the U.S., believing that they could wipe Iran off the map if they truly wanted to.
In summary, the Iran conflict will likely affect us at citizens more economically and politically than it will endanger our lives. Iran may cut off the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow seaway through which 21 percent of the world’s oil passes. If this happens, the U.S. could look more towards producing its own oil through fracking, which does not bode well for the environment. Many wars, such as the U.S. based ones in Iraq, have simply been fought over oil — a sensitive subject in our country. Political power can also transfer, whether Trump rides this killing to re-election or a possible war/killing that involves U.S. citizens happens in which Democrats could expose Trump for leading us into a costly and unpatriotic war, this is sure to be a crucial event that could change the course of history.