Soleimani is Dead. Are We Really Better Off?
Our American sphere of influence has gone too far. Throughout history, the United States has sought to protect its citizens from foreign aggression. Meanwhile, our current administration has misinterpreted the defense of its people for the defense of American supremacy. Elevating our reputation of “greatness” leaves our nation incredibly vulnerable. I fear the fate that will dawn upon America this new year.
This past week, Qassam Soleimani, one of Iran’s highest-ranking military officials, was killed. Our administration, feared the general was plotting “sinister attacks” on America, which the Pentagon did indeed affirm (NPR). Intent on eliminating any acts of terrorism that would harm our country, Mr. Trump ordered the launch of a US airstrike to take down Soleimani.
Efforts to protect our nation are commendable. Yes, it is truly empowering to see our government take immediate action in the face of clear danger. But, regardless of Sulemani’s abuse of his own people and the attacks he had planned, our president’s response was wrong. Inciting violence to combat a threat may just do more harm than good. Additionally, in the aftermath of the general’s death, members of our White House continue boasting their actions on Twitter in order to justify them. Mr. Trump tweeted: “we have targeted 52 Iranian sites…some at a very high level & important to Iran and the Iranian culture…” While Trump says “he wants peace,” targeting Iran’s culture and citizens is a call to war: Rather than attempting to solve the matter diplomatically within the bounds of government, Mr. Trump crossed the line. Looking back on history, resentment has indeed been a leading cause of wars. The roots of World War II were mired in Hitler’s bitter feelings toward the victorious allies of the First World War. As anti-American sentiments reside profoundly in the hearts of many fundamentalist-minded Iranians, darker shadows of Soleimani’s actions haunt our future.
These Iranian hard-liners might look down upon us but, more disturbing, is the world bearing witness to this situation. 2019 saw a surge of nationalism and violence plaguing our globe. The election of alt-right leaders in Europe, many antisemitic attacks, and the catastrophes in Myanmar and Syria all illustrate the indiference toward human savagery; worse yet, this global portrait demonstrates an approval of it. In the wake of more violence, this recent piece of news leaves me deeply concerned about our allies among other international counterparts who view America as a global leader. The United States is deemed to be the example of peace and prosperity, of safety and security. Is responding to fire with fire how we wish to display our American values, strengths and pride to the world?
We say “ok” to leaders who rise above the law, using their position for personal gain and fame. We say “ok” to leaders who implement brutal, immoral policies against their people. And in all of this, our president claims it is for the sake of American patriotism and protection. So much for ‘Making America Great Again.’