Assassinating evil leaders is not the right thing to do

Emma Weaver, Staff writer

The U.S. is no stranger to assassinating leaders of foreign countries that abuse their power, from Osama bin Laden, the Nuremberg Trials, to most recently, the assassination of Qasem Soleimani in Iran. The moral impact, number of soldier casualties, and the possibility of war breaking out are swirling around the White House once again.  

According to the UN Charter, article 24, assassination during peacetime is against international law. Even though the U.S. military has a presence in Iran and other Middle East countries, we were not officially at war with them, and have only declared war in Iraq. However, our government also has not drafted an official Declaration of War against Iran, leading many to say that the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani is President Trump’s way of declaring war. 

Despite that, the assassination of leaders or political figures who choose their wellbeing at innocent people’s price is definitely the particular type of person that assassination is carved out for. People tend to bring up Adolf Hitler as a prime example of the right person to assassinate. Based on the fact that Hitler killed roughly over six million people, it is understandable to have a man who started mass genocides be killed before he can do any more damage. 

Taking everything into consideration, the drone strike on January 3, on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and seven other military officers is definitely in the thin grey area of right and wrong. 

The U.S. has been in an undeclared war with Iran since 1991 after the launch of the U.S. led air assault “Operation Desert Storm.” Yet, the assassination of their Major General could have been the breaking point of war. 

So far, Iran has been hesitant to declare war against the U.S., but they did retaliate. After Soleimani’s death, Iran proceeded to launch missiles at U.S. bases and shoot down a Ukrainian plane which resulted in all the passengers dying. But, since then, it seems that the country has gone quiet.

World War III could have been a possible outcome of this assassination had Iran not decided to back down. With tensions already at an all-time high between the two countries, it is hard to see the line between right and wrong in President Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani.

Even though the intentions of President Trump, and other members of his cabinet, were for the wellbeing of the U.S., it is still a slippery slope. 

Between repetitive attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East, to thousands of soldier casualties in combat, it’s easy to see why the government wants to pull out of the terror in the Middle East. But killing their Major General was probably not the smartest move on Trump’s part.

Both points of view considered, Soleimani’s death was a situational tactic that luckily turned out for the better. But the possibility of war breaking out should be enough for any leader to think twice before they execute their order.