“World War III” Trends on Social Media After President Biden’s Speech in Poland

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After President Biden flew to Ukraine to visit Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to provide aid amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, he went on to make a stop in Warsaw, Poland. Poland has proven an important place for Ukrainians to take refuge in the past year. Biden met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and delivered an address regarding the U.S.’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In the speech, Biden essentially expressed that Russia’s invasion of democratic Ukraine signified a threat to democracy worldwide.

Biden’s direct criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin was applauded and criticized alike by Americans for different reasons.

Some felt that Biden’s address was a powerful show of allyship and support for global democracy. Amid Republicans like 2024 presidential hopeful Nikki Haley questioning Biden’s intelligence based on his age, some felt that this trip to Europe goes to show that his stamina should not be questioned.

The criticism of the visit came primarily from Republican politicians and voters, who feel that the U.S. should not be assisting Ukraine due to their lack of membership in The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Additionally, an unrelated clean water crisis befell the town of East Palestine, Ohio on the same day that Biden quietly left for Ukraine. A derailed train leaked toxic fuel into the town’s water supply. The Mayor of East Palestine said in a press conference that it was a “slap in the face” that Biden did not visit the small town in person, and instead opted to travel to Europe.

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern, the company whose train crashed in East Palestine, to clean up the water supply that their train destroyed. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg stated that he will also be making his way down to East Palestine when the time is right.


Amid all of the controversies, the internet has spiraled into a panic about what some feel is an impending third world war. And as usual, what better way to cope than through memes on the internet. Many took to Twitter to share humorous clips paired with captions about why they couldn’t be drafted into World War III. The draft ended in 1973, while the U.S. was still at war with Vietnam. Anti-war and anti-draft protests were widespread across the nation, which is likely what led to this decision. Since then, the U.S. military has run entirely on voluntary service.


Some expressed darkly humorous sentiments surrounding how Gen Z members of the military would act. This would be the first armed conflict involving the U.S. to begin in their adult lives, and to begin in the age of internet culture.

Despite the memes being used as a coping mechanism, many remain aware of the severity of what a nuclear war would really mean for the world. A war of such scale with modern technology would decimate thousands of cities and lives.


The U.S. is not required to send American troops to Ukraine at this point, as Ukraine is not a member of NATO. So far, the aid provided has been primarily in the form of equipment, but there are a few troops deployed as reserves in southeastern Romania in case of an emergency.

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