For Christ’s sake.
Week one. Week one of the new decade and Donald Trump has already pissed in the water cooler. Happy New Year to you too, you bastard.
In case you missed it, just two short days after the turn of the year, #WWIII was trending on Twitter. The US executed a drone strike on an Iranian general in Iraq, killing him and other Iranian and Iraqi officials.
And the shit has hit the fan, splattered around the room, and is now festering into a big, shitty nightmare.
We’re in the fun position of having arguably the worst ever start to a decade in terms of world peace. #2020, woo.
But there are interesting developments closer to home, too. The Labour leadership race is now in full swing – it appears to be a straight-up battle between continuity-Corbyn candidates and moderate, centrist-types.
While one conflict is arguably more pressing (and possibly catastrophic), whoever becomes Leader of the Opposition is also the one who will go mano-e-mano with Boro Jojo.
So. What to make of our illustrious start to the decade?
WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE
No, we’re not. Simmer down.
General Qasem Soleimani was killed by a Trump-sanctioned drone strike last Friday. Rather than throwing a match into a tinder-box, this is more like throwing a hand grenade into a Lynx factory: far more combustible, and profoundly whiffy.
Iran has responded furiously, promising vengeance against the US and its allies (gulp). Iraq has also been extremely critical of the move and, to be fair, they know a fair bit about US interventionism.
Retaliating to the retaliation, Trump has regularly tweeted about how big his arsenal is, and how ready he is to use it.
Because, if there’s one thing we know about Trump, he’s definitely compensating for something. And it’s not his tiny hands.
Which ties into the first question: why did this happen?
Answer: Because Trump Has a Tiny Penis
Soleimani was essentially the right-hand man to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s ruler. If timed correctly, claiming his scalp could have been a profound victory for Trump, much like a bin Laden or Hussein affair. Instead, it reeks of an impeached President trying to look tough ahead of an election this year.
Essentially, he’s trying to improve both his chances in both elections and erections.
US-Iranian diplomacy has recently been about as friendly as an after-work tipple with Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden. But it wasn’t always this way.
One of Obama’s finest legacies was his hard-fought deal with Iran that stopped their nuclear weapon development programme in return for lifted sanctions. It stabilised the region, stopped an unpredictable nation from gaining nuclear power, and was a masterclass in negotiation and diplomacy.
But because Donald Trump has a severe trouser deficiency and is a caricature of insecurity, he tore the whole thing up when he became President. Any success of Obama’s was to be covered in dog dirt, put in a bag, set on fire, then covered in dog dirt again for good measure.
That led to Iran being understandably suspicious of the US again. And, over the following years, Trump’s braggadocio on Twitter only riled the Iranians further.
With the region in flux once again, a protest broke out at the US Embassy in Iraq over New Year. The protestors broke in and caused considerable damage – all of which was not lost on Trump.
As such, when he received the intel that he could take out one of Iran’s top generals, and a man lauded for killing Western troops, he jumped at the chance, without consulting any of his allies.
Because, and I cannot stress this enough, he is a massive jeb-end.
So… Do We Need To Worry?
Well, there’s definite cause for concern for UK troops and citizens in the Middle East. Iran has a lot of clout in the region and operatives across the continent, and service personnel will probably be their first target for retaliation.
But will this lead to #WWIII? No, almost certainly not.
Unlike Trump and his tiny penis, the rest of the international community has moved swiftly to deescalate the situation. Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and other EU leaders have all phoned their Iranian counterparts to try and ease the tension. Even our very own Boris Johnson has popped up from his sun lounger on his £20k-a-week holibobs to try to calm things down.
Additionally, if Iran were to go full-on bonkers with their revenge and target civilians, they would end up hopelessly outgunned, without the moral high-ground, and open to all manner of sanctions. Iran’s previous acts of subterfuge against the West have been carefully planned to be deniable, using splinter groups or factional tribes to strike.
Any change to that strategy would be catastrophic for them.
So no, you don’t need to start buying baked beans by the pallet and building lead-lined bunkers. It’s all going to be fine (ish).
And What Of Labour?
Aha! Glad you asked.
As per last year’s Tory Leadership Contest, Between the Lines will go through every candidate individually and tell you what you need to know about them. This will happen over the next couple of weeks.
The new leader will be selected on April the 4th. Until then, expect to see the Corbyn diehards try to do everything in their power to keep Labour a far-left party, despite their absolute spanking in the election.
Because, so far, the frontrunner in the race is Sir Keir Starmer, who is essentially Tony Blair for the 2020s.
It should be quite fun, but remember: this leader will be in Opposition for five years (barring a colossal Johnson clusterfunk). For the considerable future, we’re in the hands of Bonky Jong.
Who, despite the crisis with Iran, has still not come back from his holidays.
…Leaving Dominic Raab in charge.
Maybe we are all doomed.