Calhoun: We’re all getting drafted


Spc. Joseph A. Wilson [Public domain]

World War III is the talk of the decade so far.

Boatner Calhoun, Sports Editor

Actually, no. Despite what the numerous World War III memes would lead you to believe, no one will get drafted into a war with Iran. Furthermore, there will not be a war with Iran.

In the early hours of Jan. 3, the Trump Administration carried out an airstrike in Iraq, killing top Iranian military official Qasem Soleimani. The strike was very unexpected, with Trump not giving any warning to Congress. The political sphere was quickly polarized per usual. While most supporters and opponents stayed within party lines, some Democrats crossed the aisle to support the killing and some Republicans to condemn it.

The central issue over the debate was not if Soleimani was a bad guy who needed to go. It was over national security, or whether this move cost American lives or saved them. From the depths of political thicket rose the unexpected—memes. “WWIII” started trending on Twitter, and outnumbering those enveloped in a serious discussion on foreign affairs were Millennials and Gen Z-ers joking about the situation and the prospect of being drafted. Leading the charge, if you will, of these memes was the platform TikTok, where the hashtags “WWIII” and “WW3” were viewed over 1.3 billion times in the first week alone. 

The number of memes only increased, however, after Iran responded by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases where U.S. troops were being housed. With this escalation, it seemed to some that the US was on the brink of war, with war-related searches spiking on Google. The memes were becoming a reality, except they actually weren’t. 

Though most rockets hit the bases, there were no injuries or casualties, with some officials even saying Iran intentionally missed any areas with personnel. Additionally, the Iranians told Iraq that the attack was coming, with some U.S. officials believing that Iran sent a warning with the intention of America finding out. 

Although an attack on a military base seems like an act of war, the rocket barrage was more than likely just an attempt by Tehran to not appear weak to the already politically unstable population. Iran knows it has to look strong for its people, so no one rises against the government. The idea that this was only a show of strength can be seen in how, after the attacks, Iranian state TV claimed the attack killed dozens and that the attack was not enough punishment for the US. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, even called the attack “crushing response.” What they told the rest of the world, however, is that their ‘revenge’ has concluded.

Iran does not want a traditional war, and neither does the U.S. After Iraq and Afghanistan, any conflict with boots on the ground is guaranteed to lack support from both countries’ people. While the threat of cyber warfare has been presented, most Americans would have nothing to worry about as Iran lacks the capabilities to affect our tech-dependent infrastructures like electrical grids and hospitals. Whether cyberwar or no war, do not let the memes fool you, because no one is getting drafted.