World War III: The War that Wasn’t

Megan Brawner, Copy Editor

 Photo taken by Johnathon Basquez.

Three days into the new decade, President Donald Trump approved an attack at Baghdad International Airport that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Despite media reports, this was one of the greatest foreign policy decisions made in recent times by a president. 

Soleimani was the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, which was designated as a terror group in 2007 by the Bush Administration. He was also the general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was designated as a terror group in 2019 by the Trump Administration. The State Department estimates that he was responsible for 17 percent of all Americans killed in Iraq during his tenure. 

As the Commander in Chief, Mr. Trump has the ability to use military force as he sees fit within certain bounds and limitations.  Soleimani has killed thousands of people in the Middle East, a majority of them Muslim. This was far from an innocent man. 

To provide more context to the situation, lets review a few major events that led up to this. 

Back in 2015, the Obama Administration teamed with other members of the P5-plus-1 group, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany to sign the Iran Nuclear Deal. These permanent members of the United Nations Security Council signed the agreement to limit Iran’s ability to enrich uranium fuel and other activities that are essential for making nuclear weapons.

However, there were no restrictions on missile testing so it did not permanently end nuclear weapon development. This was all temporary while providing billions of dollars into the country. This money was then used by leaders, such as Soleimani, to support its terrorist groups stationed throughout the Middle East, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Democrats stood by President Barack Obama and treated the Iran Nuclear Deal as a symbolic deal that ended all problems, but this was not the case. Mr. Obama claimed that deterrence was not an option in the region. Throughout his presidency, Obama made claims that there were only two ways to approach the issues occurring overseas: sign checks for this terror regime and live in a fantasy that this form of appeasement will work miracles or be thrown into a full-scale war.  

Fast forward a few years later to Sept. 2019, when the United States blamed Iran for missiles and drones that struck oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, which obliterated 50 percent of the country’s oil production. Then again last month, on Dec. 9, the U.S. blamed Iran for a rocket attack that wounded Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service members. 

Days later on Dec. 27, an Iranian-backed militia orchestrated a rocket attack in Kirkuk, north of Iran’s capital of Baghdad, that killed an American contractor.  

Enter Mr. Trump — he recognized that re-establishing deterrence was essential, especially when Iran has been anything but quiet these past few months so he needed to react.  

From these events alone, this was clearly not a “rash” decision and yet, the media is claiming that the U.S. escalated the situation. But this was International Politics 101. Iran not only burned the U.S. Embassy, but was actively planning to kill American diplomats, Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, said. Did they prefer that Mr. Trump stand back and do nothing? According to The New York Times, yes. 

There was a bevy of media attention following the killing, but just by reading the original obituary published by The New York Times the day of Soleimani’s death, it is clear whose side the publication took. 

“Qassim Soleimani, Master of Iran’s Intrigue and Force, Dies at 62,” The New York Times stated. 

On that same day, The New York Times published another obituary belonging to Sam Wyche, a former Cincinnati Bengals coach.

Sam Wyche, who was the last coach to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl, but who was later fined by the National Football League for barring a female reporter from the team’s locker room, has died,” Ken Bilson’s lede stated. So, according to The New York Times, a sexist football coach is more evil than a terrorist responsible for countless acts of terror and deaths.

How is the Iranian government no longer a source of the problem? The Islamic Republic was established in 1979 yet the media is now placing Trump as the source of the issue. 

So, I hope you enjoyed the draft jokes while they lasted, but Mr. Trump sent a message to the world and it is time that we recognize that he did not start this battle, but is working to end it.