A post by Elon Musk on his own X platform has been tagged as “misleading” and “alarmist” for suggesting that the US is provoking war with Iran by surrounding the country with military bases that don’t actually exist.
As tensions in the Middle East continue to boil and fears of the war between Israel and Hamas could widen in the region, Musk posted a meme that has circulated among anti-US communities for years.
Oh the Irany … pic.twitter.com/a1x9hFgJ0Y— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2023
But as a large number of people pointed out, the meme is inaccurate, prompting X to attach a community note providing crucial context.
It read: “There are no US military bases in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan or Pakistan. Even the military bases that do exist in the Middle East are not nearly as many as the post would have you believe.
“This exaggerated flag-based approach is alarmist. This post is misleading.”
Despite this, the post remains live at the time of writing.
The post provoked dismay and outrage from many, with Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba, writing: “Seriously, Elon, you raise your voice in defense of Iran now? IRAN? I guess you’re ‘super pro-America’…”
Estonian blogger Dmitri who has extensively documented Russia’s war in Ukraine, asked: “Why don't you encourage women in your family to go and live there?”
In a follow up post, Musk wrote: “I love getting Noted – proves that no one is free from being corrected!
“This is obviously a joke meme, but there is more than a grain of truth to it. We should aspire to see things from the point of view of others.”
Musk continues to court controversy and cause outrage by commenting on topics he doesn’t appear to fully understand, especially Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Most recently he claimed that there is no “significant” Ukrainian resistance movement in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, sparking a furious response from partisans who have been wreaking havoc behind enemy lines since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Musk’s reputation in Ukraine since the launch of Russia’s full-scale invasion has been somewhat of a rollercoaster – for the first few months of the war he was hailed a hero and his face adorned posters around the country for his work in supplying Starlink internet systems.
But by October, after proposing a peace plan that would allow Russia to annex occupied areas of Ukraine, those same posters were being torn down.
Since then, Musk’s statements have only served to further outrage Ukrainians, culminating in this week’s social media posts.
Adding to the furore, it was revealed last month that he had prevented a Ukrainian attack on a Russian Navy base last year by declining Kyiv's request to activate internet access in the Black Sea near Moscow-annexed Crimea.
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