The Plan in Iran: Clarifying the situation in Iran


Photo Provided with permission By Associated press images

Protestors advocate for a peaceful alternative to war in Iran.

STORY BY: Carli Snyder
Managing Editor
The first week of January saw a social media stir-up about American troops killing an Iranian general. It seemed to have come from nowhere, and ever since then, the amount of social media speculation has been abundant. Additionally, jokes and memes contributed to the concern about the situation, with worries of World Ware III and the reinstitution of the draft.
As of now, the situation has been calm overall. By the end of January, most of the conversation about Iran died down, although it does not mean that this issue won’t arise later.
Shortly after the death of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, news articles and personal posts about the situation were plastered all over the internet.
“Looking at it as somebody with a background in journalism, it’s a very serious situation,” Jack Dimond, senior instructor at Missouri State University, said. “It still is a very serious situation. I think mainstream news media has correctly made a very big deal out of it, and people have responded to that.”
People have turned to social media to obtain information, although not every source is reliable. There are websites with the goal of being satirical and websites that work to persuade people to believe their own agenda.
“Honestly, it isn’t hard to look things up for yourself; skim through multiple sources,” junior Daniel Pilotto said. “Too many people look at a tweet, and then they think they know the entirety of what happened.”
Social media is a regular culprit for blowing situations out of proportion.
“In the era of social media, certain things do have a tendency to get amplified,” Dimond said. “I do think there’s something about the way that people tend to learn about these things through social media that really intensifies the response among certain people.”
This can cause problems not only for citizens, but for international affairs as well. Although, as of now, the situation appears to be calm, it does not mean that it will remain that way.
“Iran has powerful allies like China and Russia,” government teacher Evan Palmer said. “Doing something can trigger the next thing, like lighting a fuse. It was a huge calculated risk.”
One concern with Trump’s actions was the fact that he did not go to Congress before making such a decision.
“I hope that people advised [Trump],” Palmer said. “I think we dodged a bullet, but it still could be something.”
While there has not been significant backlash from Iran, there are people who believe Trump may not be fit to lead after his decisions to kill General Soleimani.
“I believe Trump was rash in his decision, there should have been more tact to it,” junior Avery Rayle said. “I just think there could have been a more diplomatic approach, and it could make foreign affairs more difficult in the future.”
This lack of confidence in the President can contribute to the rash ideas people may get about the situation.
“I think if you’re a person who is very much skeptical of Donald Trump’s ability to lead and manage these kinds of situations, and then you see something like that happening, I think that tends to lead to a lot of speculation on social media about really bad outcomes like World War III and having to reinstitute the draft,” Dimond said.
However, others felt that it was completely justified.
“The general had to be taken out,” Pilotto said. “Had he gone to Congress, nothing would have been accomplished. It would have taken way too long. Trump saw an opportunity, and he took it.”
Trump’s use of his Twitter can also cause people to be unsure of his abilities as a leader.
“Threatening to [attack] 52 [sites] at a country via Twitter is immature,” Rayle said. “There is just no diplomatic tact within his methods. I don’t understand how it is so hard for him to be mature and rational when dealing with other countries.”
Using such a public platform can create a split between people.
“I think [Trump’s Twitter] can be divisive,” Palmer said. “It could really be harmful. I hope he tones it down.”
As the 2020 election comes nearer, voting can be a means for citizens to get their voices heard.
“The number one thing anyone should do that isn’t satisfied with their President or members of Congress is to vote,” Palmer said. “Contacting government officials is another way, but be sure to be respectful. Join a party or group that has similar values to you.”
Additionally, Palmer believes that having healthy discussions with other people to politely advocate for your viewpoints can be beneficial for promoting change.
“The more we can talk to each other, not at each other, the better off we will be as a society,” Palmer said.