ART BY SHIRLEEN KWONG
Picture this: a tragedy has befallen on a country. As the daft eyes of the world watch from a distance, a knight in shining armor saves the day. The knight is no other than our very own nation: the United States. At least, that is what the media perceives it to be.
But, the depiction of the U.S. military as a savior could not be any further from the truth. This past week, a drone strike knocked a major Saudi oil facility, cutting the country’s oil supplies in half. While Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Tehran of launching the strikes.
As increasing evidence gathered by the Saudi government eludes to Tehran sponsoring the strike, the Trump administration is, by the President’s words, “locked and loaded.” While Trump says that war will not be his first option, the premise of one is terrifying. Just imagine: another war in the Middle East, the thousands of military and civilian lives lost–to see none of the goals were met.
Yes, Saudi Arabia is our ally, and the destruction of their oil plants has caused oil prices to spike. But is this something to go to war to? Certainly not. However, with President Trump ordering more sanctions on Iran, this is where we are heading—and war with Iran might be what some politicians want.
To give some context, the U.S. has in the past inherently manhandled Iran to get what they want. In 2018, the U.S. pulled out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement (2016) and continued to place sanctions on the country. What resulted is the sanction on medicine, leading to the deaths of thousands of Iranian people. Essentially, the Trump Administration launched economic warfare on the country. Therefore, as we continue to place sanctions on Iran, and intervene in the relations in the Middle East, war is inevitable.
Consequently, this time around, the U.S should mind its own internal affairs and leave the powder keg in the Middle East alone.
No doubt, the reason why the U.S. has intervened in so many affairs in the Middle East is because of the region’s strategic location and plentiful resources of oil and steel.
However, the oil did not belong to the U.S., and Saudi Arabia’s king,Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has not called for protection from Iran nor the Yemen rebels. Realistically, this small problem will probably be an excuse for President Trump to escalate the problem to the point of another decade war. This was one of the same tactics that were used by politicians to get the U.S. into the Vietnam War, one of the most controversial wars in American history.
As the U.S. continues to act as the world’s police, we inadvertently give into the special interests of other countries. When Trump continues to negotiate with Saudi Arabia, no doubt they will want the U.S. to go to war with Iran. After all, our closest allies in the Middle East want Iran to be taken out.
Evidently, when the U.S. “solves a problem,” it usually ends up creating new problems or even escalating the issues they were trying to solve.
Take, for example, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an extremist group that rose to power after the U.S. invaded Iraq after a long withstanding from U.S. stationary troops. The main reason why ISIS emerged was because the U.S. dismissed all Iraqi soldiers from duty and garnered a hatred towards the U.S. Consequently, those soldiers were left to be radicalized by ISIS. Ironically, when the U.S. stationed troops in the Middle East to combat terrorism, what emerged was a sentiment of hatred towards the U.S. and the emergence of more terrorists groups.
Of course, the Middle East is not the only place in the world to experience U.S. intervention. From military dictators appointed by the U.S. in South America to aiding rebels in Africa, the U.S. has been behind many of the world’s conflicts that have affected these places poorly in the long run. Whether it be direct or indirect action, U.S. intervention has made an impact for the worst.
Now, as we come to the brink of war, the U.S. needs to act decisively and quickly. In order to avoid another failure like the invasion of Iraq, Trump needs to realize that fighting Iran should not be the country’s prerogative. If U.S. troops mobilize on Iran, the effects will be devastating.
Overall, based on the U.S.’ past interventions on world events, it should be a no brainer. The U.S. needs to refrain from diving into problems that they have no reason to be apart of. However, the President now needs to understand that sending troops to the Middle East will not only hurt Iran but our country as well.