The problem with complaining that ‘everyone’s an Iran expert now’

The Guardian | : Sure, Twitter has a lot of ill-informed blowhards. But don’t dismiss on-the-ground voices and those who hold powerful pundits to account

On Friday, I woke up to the news that the third world war had started. In the Middle East, a man named Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s al-Quds force, had been killed in a US drone strike. What followed was one of those strange, fevered days in which the whole of existence seems on the brink of collapse, in which the victory of the stupidest and worst people alive becomes horribly, undeniably apparent, in which it becomes impossible to stop refreshing social media as you attempt to track the disaster in real time.

For most people in the west, the experience was literally just: Donald Trump has decided to kill this guy who you have almost certainly never heard of (just look at this spike for “Qasem Soleimani” on Google Trends – it was biggest in the DC region, interestingly enough, so there’s every chance a lot of Washington insiders hadn’t even heard of Suleimani themselves), and now, apparently, this means that either you will die, or everyone in the Middle East will die, or both.

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