“There are better things that our military could be doing than murdering civilians for oil.”: We asked UWL students to participate in a survey about going to war with Iran, here are the results

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“There are better things that our military could be doing than murdering civilians for oil.”: We asked UWL students to participate in a survey about going to war with Iran, here are the results

Protestors chant during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight Tehran.

Protestors chant during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight Tehran.

Photo retrieved from Bloomberg.

Protestors chant during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight Tehran.

Photo retrieved from Bloomberg.

Photo retrieved from Bloomberg.

Protestors chant during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight Tehran.

Luis Acosta Jr., Student Government Reporter

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With the recent events involving the American presence in the middle east, The Racquet Press conducted a survey for University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students to voice their opinions on the matter. Listed below are the five questions answered anonymously by nine UWL students: 

  1. Are you aware of what is currently occurring in Iran and the involvement of the United States? 
  2. What media platform are you most likely to go to for information on the subject?
  3. How does what is happening make you feel? 
  4. What do you feel could be a solution? What would you like to see happen? 
  5. Do you have anything else you would like to share with us?

The questions were determined by The Racquet Press executive editor Samantha Stroozas and student government reporter Luis Acosta Jr., based on news coverage of President Trump’s call to strike Iranian major general of the Islamic revolutionary guard corps Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 3, 2020 by airstrike. 

On Sept. 2, 2019, President Trump announced that a new deal presented to the Taliban, through the special representative of Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzadcould be a factor of returning 5,000 troops within the first 135 days of the deal being enacted. Four days later, these meetings were canceled due to the killing of a U.S service member by the Taliban in Kabul two days prior.  

The possibility for more retaliation came on Dec. 27, 2019, when an American contractor was killed, along with other service members being wounded during an attack on a military base in northern Iraq. Two days later the U.S sent out airstrikes to eradicate Iran backed militias in Iraq and Syria. According to U.S officials, these militia fighters are to blame for the attacks on the U.S led coalition bases, including the ones responsible for the death of the American on Dec. 27. A total of 25 militia fighters were killed.  

Dec. 31, 2019, protestors stormed the U.S embassy in Baghdad, getting only as far as the reception area. Trump stated that these actions are to be paid for, saying in a tweet that Iran will “Pay a BIG PRICE!” and how “this will never, ever be a Bengazi.” With no reports of casualties, marines and Iraqi forces worked together to secure the area, dispersing the protest. Defense secretary Mark Esper ordered “over 700 troops” with more on standby.  

On Jan. 3, major general of the Islamic revolutionary guard Qasem Soleimani was killed via airstrike at Baghdad international airport. His control of the Quds force, infamous for their unconventional war tactics and overall military intelligence for Iran, was known to support the ideals of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, the Shia Islamist political party and militant group based out of Lebanon. Over the last several months, it is believed by U.S officials that Soleimani is to be the over-arching taskmaster of the organized attacks on U.S. led coalition bases in Iraq, including the Dec. 27 attack.  

The second and current supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for retaliation, prompting the U.S state department to close their embassy in Baghdad and to call all Americans and have them leave Iraq immediately. 

Approximately 3,000 additional troops are to be deployed. Mixed emotions have been expressed throughout Iraq over the death of Soleimani, with celebrations being seen in Baghdad showing citizens running through the streets praising his death, and anti-American protests in areas like Tehran.  

Regarding the attack, Trump said “we took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”      

The Racquet Press’ Survey Results 

The survey was distributed to UWL students via social media. In total, nine students responded with anonymous accounts of their perspectives on a possible war. The participants will be referred to as “Participant 1…” in ascending order and referred to as “P1” after the first mention. All participants consented that their data be published. 

 Q1: Are you aware of what is currently occurring in Iraq and the Involvement of the United States? 

  • “100 Percent yes” 
  • Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused”
  • “No”  

Participant one: 100 percent yes 

Participant two: “Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused 

Participant three: “100 percent yes 

Participant four: “100 percent yes 

Participant five: “Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused 

Participant six: “100 percent yes 

Participant seven: “Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused 

Participant eight: “Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused 

Participant Nine:” Sort of, but I have questions or I am confused”  

Q2: What media platform are you most likely to go to for information on the subject? 

P1: “Yahoo updates, Stephen Colbert, The Rachel Maddow Show, CNN. 

P2: “Twitter.” 

P3: The New York Times, CNN, The Hill. 

P4: I listen mostly to NPR or reputable news podcast. 

P5: Twitter or the New York Times app. 

P6: “NY Times, The Post, various news/current event/political oriented podcasts like The Daily and Pod Save America. 

P7: “Twitter.”  

P8: “Online articles.”  

P9: Facebook and cross-referencing with other news sites to double-check. 

Q3: How does what is happening make you feel? 

P1: No response 

P2: “Broken hearted for the innocent citizens of Iran and children who may or will be hurt or killed, confused how Trump was able to do this without congressional approval, angry at the lack of transparency. 

P3: I honestly feel scared and worried because I have a brother in the service, and I’m afraid he could be deployed to the Middle East. I also feel misrepresented because I do not want a war with Iran. 

P4: “What is happening in Iran is really scary. I mostly fear for the people of Iran and Iraq because they will bear the brunt of the violence. I fear for those protesting the Supreme Leader of Iran, the violence they will bear will be brutal and horrifying. And it all could have been avoided. 

P5: “It makes me mad, I feel that the airstrike against general Soleimani was a blunder and uncalled for, even if he was an enemy of the US, he was looked up to in the Middle East. It just complicated relations in the Middle East and increased the risk of war. 

P6: I am outraged by the abuse of power by the current president and the fact that the war crime he committed is being marketed to the public as something we should praise when it’s so obviously another attempt at distracting from the other laundry list of crimes committed by this president. I am terrified by the fact that the president took these actions seemingly on a whim and for personal gain and with little to no communication with other Department of Defense authorities or congressional approval. 

P7: “It makes me feel upset and very privileged to live in this (greedy) country. 

P8: “Upset 

P9: “Stressed”  

Q4: What do you feel could be a solution? What would you like to see happen?  

P1: “Leaving like we originally agreed to do. Even that might not be enough at this point. Hell, I wouldn’t trust anything said by the US if I lived in the region. 

P2: “Not [expletive] war 

P3: No response 

P4: I honestly don’t know how we come back from this. Mostly I hope Khamenei stands down and Iran does not retaliate anymore. 

P5: I would like the US to stay out of the Middle East, we don’t need war, and we can’t afford it. We should spend our money on other stuff.” 

P6: “The president needs to be held accountable for this and all other crimes he has committed. His abuses of power threaten democracy in this country and spread hate, fear, and white nationalism. Situations like this are the reason It’s so important to vote in 2020. Every vote counts; if you care about protecting democracy in this country, you will step up, do your civic duty, and help vote this embarrassment out of office. 

P7: “No war.”  

P8: Peaceful resolution, not going to war.”  

P9: I think we need to back the [expletive] off. It should have been handled better and it wasn’t so we need to knock it off and focus on matters in our own country and stop messing with other governments. I’m tired of the US being responsible for the deaths of innocents. 

Q5: Do you have anything else you would like to share with us? 

P1: “The USA needs to create a new system of foreign policy based on protecting our actually country and citizens, not our assets in various parts of the world. That is just code for things we’ve gained through imperialism and colonization, and without burning down and recreating the system, we will keep finding ourselves in endless wars to protect those assets. 

P2: No response  

P3: No Response  

P4: “I just hope this president is removed before he can inflict more damage. 

P5: No Response  

P6: “The WW3 memes disgust me. They completely ignore the severity and implications of what has occurred and glaze over the fact that the people who will suffer most as a result from heightening conflicts are going to be Iranian civilians. They also misunderstand what a war would look like for American citizens, and the fact that we do not currently have a draft, but rather that the military preys on those in poverty by way of tuition assistance etc., as enlistment incentives. 

P7: No response  

P8: “There are better things that our military could be doing than murdering civilians for oil.” 

P9: No response     

The results above in no way reflect the beliefs of The Racquet Press. 

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