ART BY JOSEPH MENDOZA
After Iran launched missiles at U.S. military bases in Iraq, President Donald Trump tweeted ‘All is well!’
Unsurprisingly, these words come across as hard to believe, since the current fate of the United States’ foreign relations in the Middle East is so vastly unpredictable. But the cause for such action? The assasination of top Iran general Qasem Soleimani by U.S. hands. Tensions in the Middle East appear to be at a breaking point and will continue to escalate as Iranians retaliate against the continued pressure applied by the U.S. military.
Last Friday, the American government ordered the drone strike on Baghdad International Airport, executing Soleimani, who has now become a central figure in news as of late.
As the Trump administration scrambles to provide a valid reason for executing a foreign leader, we are left to question whether it was truly justifiable. Ultimately, if we take into consideration the action’s disastrous impact, alongside the lack of proper reasoning for doing so, the execution of Qasem Soleimani is little more than a rash decision by the hands of a war-hungry administration.
Evidently, Soleimani played a crucial role in the Iranian military. Having been involved in the Iran-Iraq war since the early 1980s, he was acknowledged as a “living martyr of the [Islamic] revolution” by Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Just like previous military conquests in the Middle East, our Capitol remains divided. But let it be clear: the United States is not currently endowed with the capabilities or resources to deal with the potentially devastating consequences of escalating American intervention in the Middle East. Interestingly, while Congress—specifically House Democrats—have not approved of a war in the Middle East, Trump is certainly exercising his war powers—an undertaking that is undeniably detrimental to the American people.
It is important to note that the Iranian crisis is occurring in the midst of President Trump’s impeachment. As a result of the events that have taken place within the last several months, the President’s approval rates have decreased by a noteworthy amount. When combined, these glaring details suggest the possibility of an ulterior motive by the Trump administration.
According to President Trump, Soleimani’s execution halted a major attack on the United States. While Soleimani was undoubtedly a figure that posed a major threat to Americans, there is little evidence of the supposed plot for “imminent and sinister attacks” that Trump both insists upon and fails to provide a factual account of.
Essentially, Soleimani’s execution has been deemed an act of war by Iranians, especially due to its abrupt enactment and apparent baselessness. In their eyes, the United States has committed a heinous murder by taking out one of its most esteemed military leaders. They view his killing as an attempt to undermine both the Islamic revolution and Iranian authority. The Iranian people’s response to Soleimani’s death alone has proven that the attack was far from worth the risks, as the prospect of additional counterattacks grows more and more imminent every day.
In spite of these repercussions, the President continues to stand by his decision. He even goes so far as to commend himself and the U.S. military for successfully carrying out the operation. Additionally, many of his supporters have voiced their approval of the strike; at the same time, they call out Democrats who oppose the President’s action, going so far as to claim that those who denounce it side with Iranian terrorists.
More likely than not, the drone strike on Soleimani is nothing more than a failed attempt at valor, equipped to regain some semblance of support for the President as elections approach. The likelihood that the previously escalating unease in the Middle East was unbeknownst to the Trump administration is near impossible—in November of 2018, the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, reinstating previous economic sanctions that have done little more than serving to strengthen anti-American attitudes. And in 2019, the Trump administration responded to the downing of a U.S. drone with even more sanctions, putting an even greater strain on our relations with Iran.
If the true reasoning behind the execution of Soleimani lies in President Trump’s futile efforts to re-establish himself as a trustworthy leader, his gross lack of consideration for the potential amplification of conflict with Iran has led the United States to the brink of a possible war. As the current Iranian crisis continues to unfold, the American people can only hope that our administration acts in the interest of bettering our nation, rather than seeking to fulfill an ulterior goal.