Recent developments in Iraq and Iran have worried many people. In particular, youth have taken note of the events and feared the prospects of a new war breaking forth and many are worried about the consequences on the lives of American, Iraqi and Iranian people. To understand the Pentagon’s continuing drive for war and the attempts of Iran to de-escalate the conflict, it’s necessary to glance over at the events as they unfold.
Hundreds of people in Iraq, sick and disgusted by almost two decades of continuous war, rose up and publicly demonstrated at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad at the start of the new year. 100 U.S. Marines were sent in on the order of President Trump while American and Israeli leaders began to place the blame on Iran without a shred of evidence. Iran, accused of “orchestrating” the attack, vehemently denied the charge.
The country, ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that saw the overthrow of the U.S.-backed dictatorship headed by the Shah, has been at the threshold of war and in constant crosshairs with the U.S. The U.S., repeatedly, has done everything in its power to intensify the never ending and longstanding conflict — from backing and supplying chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War, to the deadly gangster sanctions placed on Iran which have starved many and withheld medications to thousands. This new escalation is nothing new from the standpoint of the Iranian people.
But the ambit of conflict only began to intensify from there, with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper calling for an illegal preemptive strike against Iranian soil. On January 3rd, just a few days after the start of a new decade, Donald Trump decided to start it off with a bang. After months of planning with his “maximum pressure” campaign, he decided to initiate an aggressive act of terror against Iran and Iraq by killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi resistance leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in an bloody air strike.
Though claiming the former was planning or plotting to kill American lives, this has never been corroborated and seems to be a rather destructive and deceptive pretext for war, similar to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In fact, recent reports have stated that Soleimani was in Iraq on a mission to restore the peace, but this didn’t stop Trump from ordering the sanguinary strike. The brutal bombardment in Iraq was met with resistance from every corner of the globe, and marches, protests, and strikes were put together around the country to stand up against the menacing threat of war.
Iran, shaken by the new developments, mourned their loss in the millions. A plethora of people took their anger and woe to the streets, and Iraq’s Parliament, fed up with arrogance and war, voted in an emergency meeting to expel U.S. occupation forces from the country. Iran also signaled its desire to retaliate and defend their territorial integrity and basic right to sovereignty. Trump, taking cue, decided to ship thousands of troops into the region, disregarding the Iraqi people’s demand to withdraw all troops from the country. Putting lives at danger and insisting on aggression, Trump continued U.S. military operations in the country and also threatened deadly sanctions against Iraq for its struggle for self-determination and peace, and certainly this arrogant move was against the will of the Iraqi people.
Iran, keeping true to their vengeful word to fight back, returned the favor by launching ballistic missiles at U.S. occupation military bases throughout Iraq. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, said on Twitter in response to the retaliation: “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.“ A number of injuries were reported, and the “harsh retaliation”, as Iran deemed it, was just a “slap in the face” according to Supreme Leader Khamenei.
This warning echoed around the world, as people from every corner were on the edge of their seats over the possibility of a new prolonged war in the works. But Iran, according to international law, has every right to defend its sovereignty against the aggression of a foreign superpower, but this failed to ease any dread over the specter of war.
And it seems those fears are yet to be settled. Just days later, Iran seemingly shot down with two missiles a civilian airliner that departed from Imam Khomeini International Airport in the Capital, Tehran, on the morning of January 8th. The U.S. immediately pointed fingers at Iran, but air defenses were understandably on high alert considering the looming threat of a U.S. counterattack. Moreover, Iranian airspace was not shut down and a slew of planes still took off and landed during this time.
There is still no comment yet as to why the communication networks and transponder signals were problematic, but we do know that the Russian Tor missile system, prone to hacking, is commonly used by Iran and could explain what went down in the early morning hours. We also know that Boeing planes can be remotely controlled or intercepted. It is unlikely and would be tactical suicide for Iran to purposely shoot down a civilian plane. For sure, it was human error.
This in some light has parallels to history. Back during the Iran-Iraq War, a passenger airline — Iran Air Flight 655 — was illegally shot down. It was razed by a ground-to-air missile launched by the United States, which, “[killed] all 290 people on board.” On it’s normal flightpath, it was viscously shot down with no regrets. In fact, Vice-President George H. W. Bush said: “I will never apologise for the United States.” When Iran mistakenly shot down a civilian airline, Foreign Minister of Iran on Twitter said:
What a twist!
But as the conflict uncoils now, escalations have pushed the United States and Iran — perhaps the world — to the brink of war. This is no mistake, and has been a buildup for decades. Whatever the case, what we can infer is that the conflict has yet to conclude and the dust has yet to settle. We cannot allow ourselves to manifest a war-abiding mentality and we should resist any further attempts on part of the U.S. to inflame and worsen the conflict. For peace-loving and open-minded people, we should push for a settlement based on cooperation, securing world peace, and safeguarding stability. But if the international situation is as it seems, perhaps arrogance, overconfidence, and chauvinism will lead us all toward the path of a downward-spiral and the path of an intolerable, egregious future.
The Trump regime is in big trouble if it arrogantly continues starving the masses of Iranian people and sowing unrest throughout the country. Iran simply won’t put up with economic and military aggression and has refused to stand down for decades. It’s no longer the client state it was before the Islamic Revolution. It’s time for the west to accept that and move on.
If we want no war on Iran, we’d better raise this demand quickly and raise it to the peaks of the highest mountains of the world. If peace is the future we want, peace has to be the future we fight for.