Tensions with Iran raise under deeply inconsistent policies

Hallie Lauer | News Editor 1/9/20

On Friday, Jan. 3, the U.S. launched a drone strike that killed Major General Qassim Suleimani — the head of Iranian security. Closely following the announcement of Suleimani’s death, “World War 3” began trending on Twitter.

This drone strike, which the president is saying was not an act of war, has people contemplating the fact that America might very soon be in a conflict with Iran, as Iran has been promising retaliation. The president, though, is saying he launched this attack to “stop a war,” and that Iran should not retaliate. Pot, meet kettle; we all know if the situation was reversed, the U.S. would retaliate without a second thought.

The U.S. put boots on the ground in the Middle East in 1958, and we haven’t left since. It has been 61 years of American presence in the Middle East.

I thought Donald Trump’s mantra was “America First.” Yet, starting a conflict where we have to send more troops overseas and spend more money on the military doesn’t seem like a very “America First” thing to do.

It is also beneficial to note that almost exactly a year ago, on Jan. 13, 2019, Donald Trump was tweeting about bringing troops from Syria home saying, “Stop the ENDLESS WARS,” in his tweet.

What exactly are you doing here, President Trump, if not creating another endless war? You are creating a scenario that your successor, whether that be this year or in four more, will have to clean up.

The U.S. government is making a mistake here, and history will not look kindly upon this moment. War is wasteful — it wastes lives, resources and typically has little success. The military option is a very easy option for governments to cling to. However, it is less likely to yield sustainable results.

It is an even easier option when your country spends more on military alone than any other country in the entire world.

On Sunday, Jan. 5, two days after the drone strike, President Trump tweeted that the U.S. had spent $2 trillion on new military equipment. Where are we getting that money? Somehow we don’t have the funds for healthcare for all, or to help the homeless population in the U.S. or to combat climate change, but we have the money to get into a senseless war?

What we are in right now is similar, in my opinion, to when the U.S. was in the Vietnam War. Multiple presidents knew that the war wasn’t going anywhere, yet they kept sending young men over there to die. For 61 years we’ve been sending American citizens to their death in the Middle East. Can someone explain what the difference is right now?

I understand that at this point it would be impossible for us to pull out completely, lest we risk creating another power vacuum (as is what happened when ISIS was formed). But there was no need to launch this drone attack and mobilize American troops to send overseas.

I also completely understand that Suleimani was not a “good guy.” He was an enemy of the state. However, that doesn’t mean we can just launch drone strikes willy-nilly to kill our enemies every time our president feels like his power has been threatened.

Because that’s really what I believe happened here. Donald Trump felt undermined and decided he needed to do something drastic to remind everyone of the power that he holds.

Trump says that this was in response to the death of an American contractor working in Iraq. If that is the case, which I don’t believe it is, where was that outrage when Turkey killed and dismembered a journalist working for The Washington Post? And how many more innocent deaths are we going to see now?

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, President Trump said in a televised statement that “the United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

But is the U.S. seeking peace?