With all of the harrowing news coming out of the television these days, it’s a wonder American citizens can sleep at all. Hurricanes, political turmoil on an international scale, and news of uprisings the world over are troubling enough, but news audiences were rattled beyond belief this past week when word leaked out that Iran had shot upon a United States military surveillance drone over international waters. Unmanned and unarmed, the drone was reported by the U.S. government to have been on a classified surveillance mission not violating anyone’s airspace at all. Iran, however, has painted a very different picture.
Pentagon/Department of Defense press secretary George Little seemed calm, cool, and collected when he informed the public that the government had not ruled out the possibilities of both diplomatic and military approaches to the situation, but watching President Obama’s public address regarding the matter bordered on sad. The words fell from his lips in the way you would expect them to if he was trying to remember the lyrics to a song he had only heard once. “With respect to the drone inside of….uh, Iran. I’m not going to comment on…intelligence matters that are classified. As has already been indicated…we have asked for it back…and we’ll see how the Iranians respond.”
But some are saying that perhaps the most troubling question is not how the President and his advisors are handling the problem right now, but how they have handled it in the week leading up to the story’s release. While the official dissemination of the story did not take place until Thursday, the event transpired nearly an entire week beforehand. Many of those with their ears to the ground believe that the story reeks of a cover-up, stating that the only reason the information was withheld from the general public was to allow Obama’s re-election to go off without a hitch, but the situation may be far more sinister than something as trivial as a presidential election.
The question that the American public needs to be asking itself, is why was classified information regarding a military surveillance drone allowed to sweep across the nation like a virus. A term like classified is not thrown around lightly within the federal government, and while we may not know the exact nature of the drone’s “mission,” we know enough to be aware of the U.S.’s involvement in that corner of the world. Could this be a deliberate attempt by those in power to drum up the support of the American electorate for another conflict overseas? A country that we are already with odds at shooting at drones claimed to be well within international waters holds some very strong implications, and is definitely a reactionary issue when it comes to the majority of Americans.
Tensions with Iran have been rising for years now, and many believe that this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The hostile situation between our two nations is of grave national importance and must be handled as delicately as possible. With support from countries like North Korea, Russia, and China, Iran has found themselves in possession of short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, as well as a virtual galaxy of many other instruments of death. Military analysts also fear Iran’s nuclear capabilities, as well as their power to launch an EMP strike at their discretion, a devastating military tactic that they have been threatened with in the past.
With the war efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq over the past decade, the U.S.‘s continued presence in the Middle East is something that has exhausted this nation, as well as others all over the world. The fact of the matter remains though, that the current events in the Persian Gulf could spell a continuing conflict for years to come.