Many of us are familiar with World War 3 jokes that have spread through various social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, and examples such as “me sneaking into Mexico so I don’t have to fight ” and many more. However, most of us did not think much of them because they just seemed funny.
For the past several decades, the United States has had a tense relationship with various countries in the Middle East. One incident that recently occurred was the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian general Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike ordered by President Trump on January 3rd, 2020, at the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The strike killed nine other people, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the commander of Kata’ib Hezbollah, which has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Soleimani was known as a terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, and parts of the world. His death was seen as something that was justified as President Donald Trump Stated it was “to stop war”. However, in Iran, the death of Soleimani was seen as a tragedy and an assassination of a foreign official that should never have happened. Soleimani was recognized as a brave and brilliant leader in Iran, and his death angered many people.
Considering that the United States has several allies in the Middle East that are surrounding Iran, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the immediate effects of the initiation of war would be much more damaging to Iran than it would be to the United States. Social media presents us with numerous videos of people saying things like “suiting up for World War 3” and excuses that most American teenagers are coming up with not to get drafted into the war. Having social media present us with videos of “World War 3 jokes” is a problem in itself but it is also a problem when people at CA start making their own jokes. Being able to do things like this shows the immense privilege we all possess. There are people our age in Iran that don’t have the privilege to joke about the possibility of a war with the United States.
That said, although we are the ones who spread these jokes and laugh at them, we can not entirely blame ourselves because there are quite a few branches of the United States media that feed consumers the idea that the Middle East is filled with terrorism, war, and attacks and the news is usually framed to say that the countries have created problems for themselves. Furthermore, the media often describes how Western countries, especially the United States, have gone in to help them to try to mitigate all of the issues and to provide a level of democracy so that those countries can then thrive. However, this illusion overlooks how there is no way that every single country in this world can function off of the same ideals of democracy. Nations entering a forcefully implementing ideas that had previously not been introduced in the proper way to civilians and political leaders have shown to almost always lead to more political instability and chaos.