News that President Donald Trump bombed the Baghdad airport set Twitter on fire with concerns about men over age 18 getting drafted if they applied for college federal aid under FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The FAFSA form contains a line asking male applicants if they’d like to be registered for the Selective Service, or military, draft. Federal law already requires registration in the service, and those who don’t comply could be prosecuted and jailed or fined up to $250,000.
But Friday’s news that Trump ordered a targeted airstrike in Iraq that killed a top Iranian general spread so much panic among America’s youth that the Selective Service website crashed.
The U.S. Department of Education requires all men 18 and older file for the draft before receiving federal aid. The FAFSA application is simply making sure the applicant has already done so, a fact that seemed to be lost — as so much is — on social media.
Tensions in the region are running high in the wake of Thursday’s targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Tehran’s top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East.
Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” for the U.S. airstrike, which was ordered by Trump and carried out near Baghdad International Airport.
Soleimani was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and a senior commander, according to a statement from the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who confirmed U.S. involvement several hours after the attack.
The boost in the number of troops is a sign of the U.S. being concerned that the assassination would spark reprisals by the Iranian government throughout the region.
The United States urged American citizens to leave Iraq “immediately.” The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and other protesters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.