Just two days into 2020, memes about a supposed World War III were trending. The memes became more popular as more concern started to rise about the possible World War III as President Trump and Iran’s president were having their Twitter war. An article on The Washington Post discussed the point that the memes might not be all fun and games. Some of the memes predict genuine fear from teenagers, while others are considered racist and rude. The real question is: what is actually going on? Sure the memes tell us there could be a world war, but if we are in danger, how so, or why do we even have a lousy relationship with Iran?
On Jan. 3, just after midnight on Iraqi time, the United States sent airstrikes into Iraq and hit Baghdad International Airport, killing Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani was an Iranian military commander—leader of the foreign wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. The Trump administration targeted Soleimani in retaliation for reported attacks on Saudi Arabian oil tankers.
The Iranian president Hassan Rouhani tweeted that he vows to take revenge “not only today but also in the coming years.” for U.S drone strike that killed Soleimani. U.S. president Donald Trump responded with a tweet saying that if Iran takes revenge, the U.S. will strike “very hard and very fast.”
On Jan. 7, a military base in Iraq was attacked, but it was already evacuated. Trump has listed 52 Iranian target sites as possible retaliation to any military retaliation from Iran. Trump has made the number 52 because 52 Americans were taken hostage in 1979 by Iran for the takeover of the U.S embassy that same year.
Trump said Iranian cultural sites are among the 52 identified targets, “at a very high level and important to Iran and Iranian culture.”
Some of those 52 targets are cultural sites and attacking a cultural site puts Iranian citizens lives in danger and the U.S could be convicted of a war crime. Attacking cultural sites also limits education because it destroys cultural history.
For many years the relationship between the U.S and Iran has been tense, and with current events, it is now even more so. Concerns are now rising after news of Iran building a nuclear weapons program. According to NBC News, there is also a possibility that Iran is buying Uranium and other supplies from other countries. Trump has questioned why the U.S hasn’t used any nuclear weapons yet, and he has considered using them. Will World War III begin or is it all just over-thought concern?
By Marni Scholl