A Terrorist in a Suit?

Miley Ray, Broadcast Editor

 After greenlighting the fatal drone attack which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, debated to have been the most powerful general in the Middle East today, President of the United States Donald J. Trump initially responded solely with a tweet of an American flag image. But he later added on with this tweet.

     “The United States just spent two trillion dollars on military equipment,” Trump said. “We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way… and without hesitation!

     In addition to this, in Trump’s Tweet, he threatened to hit 52 culturally significant Iranian sites if Tehran retaliated for the killing of their military commander. But this statement did not go without a response from the Information and Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi’s Twitter.

     “Like ISIS, Like Hitler, Like Genghis! They all hate cultures,” Azari-Jahromi said. “Trump is a terrorist in a suit. He will learn history very soon that NOBODY can defeat ‘the Great Iranian Nation & Culture’.” 

     With threats thrown back and forth over Twitter from major leaders, it is not surprising that within both countries political unrest and tensions are on the rise. But this incident is not the first time the United States has targeted a leader from another country who was deemed a threat, so what makes this situation so controversial in comparison?

     “Unlike bin Laden or Baghdadi, Soleimani had the power and resources of an entire state at his back—and open support at high levels of the government in the state where he was killed,” Director of the Iraq Initiative at the Atlantic Council Abbas Kadhim said. “Both bin Laden and Baghdadi died in hiding and on the run; Soleimani traveled openly in the region where his forces operated. It’s one thing to kill someone who is considered a terrorist by everyone, including the host country. It’s another thing to kill someone who is designated as a terrorist by the U.S. but not by the host country—Iraq, in this case.”

      With all this information in mind, the necessity and benefits of such actions are under scrutiny by Junior Byron Bishop.

           “I’d say they (the attacks) weren’t justifiable because if any other country did the same to us (America) they probably wouldn’t exist anymore by this point,” Bishop said.

     Senior Keller Sharp also has an overall lack of support for increasing conflict abroad.

     “I think America has bigger issues that we need to deal with internally before we move on to focusing outside of our borders,” Sharp said.

     But, some members of the community are in support of the actions taken in the strike.

     “He definitely killed many Americans whether it was indirect or direct,” Senior Emerson Robinson said. “So I agree this man needed to die but the way that Iran fights in the Middle East is through proxies for a reason, so they can further their interests without having political backlash. We did this and immediately claimed responsibility which is the only problem I have with it. Now we have lost our foothold in Iraq. So at the end of the day, I’m glad we killed him but by that logic, we should kill the supreme leader as well but that would end in war. This is more politically motivated in my eyes than militarily.”

     Ultimately, the issues here are very complicated, and undoubtedly more so because of the constant scrutiny President Trump has received during his years in office from the 24-hour news machine. But the real question is, what will the future repercussions of this conflict be, and what is the American flag growing to represent?