‘World War III’ Trends On Twitter After Trump’s Iran Attack

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This week, without even apparently attempting to consult Congress, President Donald Trump dragged the United States closer to more violent conflict in the Middle East via the abrupt assassination of Iran’s top commander, Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani. The Trump administration has claimed that the attack was sparked by planned, imminent attacks on U.S. interests in the region that were set to be led by Soleimani, but considering already stated assertions from Iranian leaders that retaliation against the U.S. will be coming, there’s a very real possibility that the attack heralds a sharp escalation in conflict. “World War III” promptly trended on Twitter following the Soleimani strike, as observers grappled with the gloating from the president and his supporters.

Prominent Trump ally and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even issued a threat of more attacks against Iran that this time would target the country’s oil facilities. He tweeted:

‘To the Iranian government:  If you want to stay in the oil business leave America and our allies alone and stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.’

The U.S. has already imposed plenty of economic sanctions against Iran, but Graham made his threat for violent military action targeting the country’s economic interests abundantly clear.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jim Risch (Idaho), and Ben Sasse (Neb.) all also joined in on the comparatively small chorus of vocal supporters of the president’s strike.

In response to a post by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) expressing concern about the implications of Trump’s abrupt strike, Sasse — who was once thought of as a moderate Republican! — ignored the people that the president has simultaneously put in harm’s way and tweeted:

‘This commander-in-chief — any C-in-C. — has an obligation to defend America by killing this bastard.’

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s Executive Vice President Trita Parsi noted:

‘Hawks are celebrating Soleimani’s assassination not because they believe it weakened Iran. Or the IRGC. Or that Iran will lose in Iraq. But because they believe we have passed an IRREVERSIBLE POINT OF ESCALATION. From here, war is unavoidable, they believe. And celebrate.’

Advocacy organization Win Without War’s Executive Director Stephen Miles added:

Whatever happens next, understand & never stop pointing out that Donald Trump walked into office with no crisis with #Iran. He then filled his cabinet with warmongers, walked away from a multilateral diplomatic accord, and purposefully engaged in ‘maximum pressure.’ He owns this.’

The National Iranian American Council’s senior research analyst Sina Toossi agreed, tweeting:

Trump’s Iran policy has been seeking to incite war w/ #Iran since he reneged on the nuclear deal in May 2018. If a war breaks out, the blame lies squarely with this disastrous policy & its proponents. We learned nothing from the Iraq war. Stop quoting its cheerleaders on Iran.’

The president has addressed the situation with close to nothing in the way of substantive strategy or policy. In the hours after the initial strike, all that he did was post a low quality image of an American flag, and the next day, he promptly took to mocking Iran on Twitter like the only issue at stake here is his ego and that of the Iranian Supreme Leader.

Check out more Twitter reactions…

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