We humans are fickle creatures aren’t we? By nature, we possess a drive to fulfill our own selfish desires and control our own destinies. And when we are unable to control or understand something, we either fear it or even despise it. Whether consciously or unconsciously, humanity has lived under this fearful, self-serving mindset for thousands of years and unfortunately that won’t change anytime soon.
Fear is a contagious emotion, one capable of causing mass hysteria with little more than a word or thought. For centuries fear has spread chaos and panic across the globe through word of mouth alone.
However, now we have the internet, an endless digital realm in which information can be shared with the entire world with a simple tap of a touchscreen. This allows fear and panic to spread with much greater haste.
Case and point, World War 3. Since the dawn of this new decade, whispers and rumors of a third world war have become more prevalent than they have been in years. These rumors were primarily sparked when Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3 in Baghdad, Iraq.
This assassination sparked mass outrage from both sides with President Donald Trump being the focal point. Some view the killing of Soleimani as immoral and uncalled for. Others view Soleimani as a terrorist and see his death as a victory for the United States.
Regardless of which side of the argument one may fall upon, both sides can agree that the prospect of another world war is rather frightening, especially today where nuclear weapons are more accessible than ever before.
Amongst young people, the fear of being drafted has grown so great that the Selective Service System website crashed due to high traffic volumes.
Since Jan. 3, #WW3 has trended worldwide on Twitter and a seemingly endless swarm of memes flooded social media. These memes and jokes have brought with them backlash from people who deem them crude or tasteless in the wake of potential war. Others consider them to be our generation’s way of coping with fear. Either way, the fact that we live in a society where memes are our response to controversy says more about us as a generation then we’d probably like to admit.
So with this much fear and uncertainty concerning the future of our country, how likely is a third world war and a draft?
To put it simply, a third world war ain’t happening, at least not right now. Now a war between Iran and the United States, on the other hand, is a very probable outcome to the assassination of Soleimani. Currently, this affair is solely between America and Iran.
As for another draft, this is even less likely than World War III itself. The original military draft was abolished in 1973 following the Vietnam War. For another draft to happen, Congress would have to approve it, which is unlikely considering Congress and the president get along like cats and dogs. If World War III broke out, it would not be a war fought with soldiers but with missiles. Besides, our military is packed with more than enough volunteers that a draft would most likely not be necessary.
In conclusion, the current situation with Iran is something to be concerned about but a third world war it is not. It is, however, an effective demonstration of fear and how quickly it can turn a molehill into a mountain thanks to the internet. In this day and age, we must be careful not to be swayed by the mass hysteria of social media and be able to decipher the truth in a sea of lies.
Samuel J. Claude