An airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani early Friday, escalating a simmering conflict between the US and Iran that had flared up after an American contractor was killed in Iraq in late December.
The decision to kill Soleimani, who was one of the most powerful people in Iran and directed bloody conflicts around the Middle East, followed a New Year’s Eve attack on the US embassy in Baghdad by an Iran-backed militia. Iranian officials vowed revenge for Soleimani’s death, and the US is reportedly sending 3,000 more troops to the region.
The attack threw social media punditry into overdrive and sent unverified or bogus information flying around the internet.
This being 2020, though, many people took these dire predictions — it’s World War III! — and did what any sensible person with an internet connection would do: channeled their existential dread into memes.
As one TikTok user asked: “Do you fuck with the war?”
Some people seemed ready?
But the resounding answer was, no, absolutely not.
One person posted about tearing up a draft letter because they didn’t want to fight in a “mindless forever war.”
Many others simply detailed their strategies for avoiding a draft. (There has been no announcement regarding reinstating the draft, and the US currently has an all-volunteer military.)
Others argued that because of the military’s history of discrimination against LGBTQ people, and particularly the ongoing discrimination against trans people, they should not be drafted.
This guy is trying to find the bright side:
Others made jokes about fake birth certificates and fleeing the country.
But other social media users acknowledged that deep down they were really just scared. As are we all.
Welcome to 2020, everyone. Godspeed.
By Otillia Steadman and Ryan C. Brooks