CC ISSUE: APR 2012 Last updated: Apr 5, 2012
An Open Letter to President Obama
My name is Mahdi Sahloul, I am a 15-year-old Syrian American. Knowing you will easily transcend over the GOP candidates in the 2012 presidential run, I ask for one favor: push for military action in Syria. In Homs, my homeland in Syria where I used to visit every summer, has been bombarded with artillery, tank shells, and soon chemical weapons. Neighboring cities in Syria are also being demolished by the Syrian Army.
According to sources cited by the United Nations, up to 8,000 to 11,000 people have been killed, primarily protesters but also including 2,350 to 3,600 members of the Free Syrian Army. Many more have been injured, and tens of thousands of protesters have been imprisoned by the brutal regime. For months, the Assad regime has been bombarding my hometown Homs, the heart of the revolution, killing children, women, innocent civilians, and many foreign analysts, such as Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik. The Syrian Revolution isn’t just a Syrian issue, it’s a humanitarian issue.
President Obama, think of all the children being tortured at this single moment. Protesters kidnapped and arrested by the regime are being burned, humiliated, cut open, lashed, and de-nailed. Do you want to be labeled as the president who stood on the wrong side of history, or the president who stood on the right side of history. Like you stated before in an address regarding the Syrian revolution, “The question for us is clear: will we stand with the Syrian people, or their oppressors?”
I have participated in flash mobs, protests, vigils, events regarding Syria, as well the rest of the Syrian community in America. We are not alone. Just recently at a protest in front of the Chicago Tribune building in downtown Chicago, a former United States Marine took the stage after my speech and stated, “America is on your side.”
We need a no-fly zone, and more importantly, a no-tank zone. President Obama, I’m asking you as an American who supports you and looks forward to your presidency in 2012, free my homeland Syria.