March 1st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

Opinion: Americans, don’t ignore Syria

Editor's note: Ahed Al Hendi is a dissident who fled his native Syria after being  imprisoned and tortured by Syrian authorities for establishing a secular student organization that was against the regime. He is now the Arabic Programs Coordinator at CyberDissidents.org, a New York-based human rights organization that highlights the voices of pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East.

By Ahed Al Hendi, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I am a 27-year-old Syrian-American who came to the United States as a refugee.

In January 2009, I stood at the John F. Kennedy international airport in New York staring at a giant American flag.

As I examined each stripe, I thought of the long path I had traveled over the past two years to escape the tyranny of in Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Bashar al-Assad: Syria's unintended president

I said to myself that everything has an end, and in my case, a happy ending.

I told myself that Syria would never change so I should forget about it.

I was jailed and persecuted for my political views and I was tempted to just be an American and leave it all behind.

But I could not.

And the current unrest reminds me why all Americans must not forget Syria.

I was jailed for more than a month in Syria.

Those first couple of weeks, I was resigned to solitary confinement. My head brushed the ceiling of a small cold cell where I could not fully extend both arms. I slept naked, on a cement-like floor -in December–not far from the hole that served as a toilet.

I recall being handcuffed, blindfolded, punched, and slapped.

I heard the screams of other prisoners as they were tortured.

Plus, there was the psychological torture - they told me I would stay there for two years, and did not tell me where I was or how much time had passed.

Then, jail conditions were very, very bad.

Now, I hear prisoners are being killed.

Syrians need safe zones for refugees; injured people need medical help, and all defectors need support for their acts of courage.

I still have friends and family there.

Before the Syria uprising, the only concern my group and I had, as DC-based activists, was to raise awareness about the human rights abuses in our homeland.

Syrian expats uniting for common cause

We sought to remind the world that Syrians were languishing in prison for their beliefs.

It did not require more than a computer and internet connection to inform the world of their plight. From time to time, we filled out forms with local police and organized protests at the Syrian embassy. (I was always inspired how easy it was to hold a protest here. )

Now, our task has changed. We are making sure that American media and policy-makers know the truth about the Syrian regime and possible options to help the Syrian people.

Despite pronouncements by the United Nations Human Rights Coucil, our mission remains hard. No one seems interested in helping the Syrian people.

Thousands are being killed, but the world does little more than talk.

Why the world isn't intervening in Syria

I am constantly haunted by the contrast of Syrian repression and American freedom.

America is individual freedom, democracy and justice, but Syrians are not being supported by Americans.

Living in the United States has made me desire the same freedoms for Syria even more.

The uprising is still fresh in Syria.

My hope is that the Syrian people get the help they need.

The opinions expressed are solely those of Ahed Al Hendi. 

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Politics • Social justice • Technology • Who we are
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Paul

    God, please ... No more wars for us .... I have no qualms in sending my son to defend our country from external attacks, but twenty years worth of wars in some god forsaken hellhole are good enough. This is china's century as they claim, now is the time to step up.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sami

    The USA will intervene, theirs oil on stake, infact more than 50% of the world's oil is on steak. The GCC is getting involved and they want Assad down, we gotta keep the Sheikhs happy if you want cheap gas in your car

    March 5, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. enkephalin07

    This persistent manipulation of western sympathies doesn't make me any less wary, even knowing that Assad had done that for years, so I suppose it's only fair. We probably would've rushed in if Russia and China hadn't vetoed our resolution, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. We can't afford to go without a collation into a situation that too many of our enemies would want to see us fail at, and take advantage of, especially not for a nation that may just be using us, then turn around and resent us for taking the risk.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. MP in VA

    I don't think it's fair to say that the US is "ignoring" Syria. Frankly, the US is in a no-win situation. If we sit back and let things unfold, the US is accused of "ignoring the plight of the oppressed" and criticized roundly. If we get involved, we are vilified as meddling, war-mongering infidels interfering in the affairs of Muslims. I personally feel that the current path we are taking with Syria is the right path for our country. I would guess there are all manner of behind-the-scenes diplomatic and covert activity, but being directly involved is not where we should be.

    March 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Lipka

      The thing that can be done to help is to supply the fighters with lower-tech weapons. Missiles should not be give out like was done in Afghanistan... but send them as many assault rifles, sniper rifles, grenades and RPGs as they manage to fire. These types of weapons are cheap, can be delivered quickly and even if they fall into the hands of terrorists, they do not increase the threat level from what it is now... BUT proceed with caution, do a search for a story "Fury over attack on British war graves in Benghazi", it has a video as well, funny, as British and others recently helped to liberate Libya but the Islamists have already forgotten.

      March 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carmen

        That is what the US gave the Taliban to fight Russians, to Lybian rebels that really are muslim fanatics with an ALquead leader that are torturing and killing who are not radicals inclusding women and reporters, also Sharia Law rules now,
        Muslim do not thank except they will hate us more.
        The dissients can go back and fight, but not one dollar, not one drop of blood should be given for Syria or any other country, if you want to donate , I bet they dissident will be happy to get your help.
        Not to mention that like in Egypt, Irak, Lybia the first thing muslims do is kill Christians in their countries.

        March 5, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. forreal89

    What is an syrian american. These people need to leave. All I hear from them is complaints. If we help they hate us if we don't they hate us. Maybe the write should go back to Syria. All these people do is complain about being discriminated against and how they hate America. Go back dude.

    March 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MP in VA

      Not cool. A Syrian-American is an American of Syrian descent who should not be disrespected for posting his or her views. Disagree with him if you like, but don't be ignorant.

      March 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Lipka

      Judging by your bad English, you are not American either LOL

      March 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • i dont care ,let them die

      USA, just send the Muslim invaders back where they came from.

      March 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • SyrianAmerican

      How can you say such awful things about duel nationality citizens? Come to Silicon Valley and see how many immigrants are helping the economy with their innovations. America is built on her immigrants and we all need one another in good and bad times like Syria needs us now.

      March 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. i dont care ,let them die

    i dont care ,let them die

    March 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      how cruel that statement. How inhumane. Your karma is not going to be good for you !

      March 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syrian American

      If you were lucky to have a Syrian friend they would care about you.

      March 6, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. ptsdLoading

    I feel for Syria, but America needs to start taking care of its own people instead of spending billions of our tax dollars on other countries!

    March 4, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • sonny

      Seems that for a revolution you need a bonded group of poeple w a common cause; india and Ghandhi, Blacks and MLK Jr, etc. It seems that in the beginning of every "arab Spring" its all about freedom from tyranny, in the end the groups running this shirade are not any more sincere than the local dictators. Enough of the BS. Let them figh there own battles as did India and Ghandhi, blacks and MLK Jr. Then they only have themselves to angry at when those just as rottnen as the dictators take control and not the US.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • sonny

        And by the way this should apply to all the battles for Isreal too. They have nukes, let them defend themselves. We are a broke nation. Look at everystate. Every corner is cutting this and that. All our allies should fight their own battles. Sorry Charlie.

        March 4, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. mbm1ame

    I really feel for the Syrians too, but honestly the middleast is one place I think where arabs should be left to deal with their own problems, if they need more help we can give aid, I mean just look at Aghanistan, just over a bloomin book. Not to mention Pakistan. Oh and Libya the place we thought might have been an example of what we could have done in Syria there was video of Libyans destroying gravestones of commonwealth soldiers because of the bloomin book that was accidentally burned in Afghanistan, which we have apologized over till we were blue in the face. I'm sorry I'm beginning to think Russia and China did us a favour. But the Syrian people will be in my prayers

    March 4, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. KJMU

    Where is the Turkish and Arab humanitarian flotilla to Syria? Where are the activists who seem to forget everyone else’s tragedy except if their actions are directed against the US and Israel? Where are their voices? Where are their actions? Why there are not peaceful marches with thousands of Muslims in Washington, London, Paris, etc? Poor Syrians, nobody cares, the US and Israel are not involved!!!

    March 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Wilberforce

      It's amazing that the small nation of Israel,composed of only about 8000 square miles of land-roughly two times the size of Rhode Island- generates so much ill feeling. Israel's territory is only about one-SIXTH of one percent that of the 22 hostile Arab nations that are 640 times her size.And they have 45 times more people than Israel- 340 million Arabs versus 7.7 million Israeli citizens (more than a million f whom are themselves Arab).Growing hostility towards Israel can be found across its southern border in Egypt with the influence there of the muslim brotherhood.This organization has sired 86 branches across the islamic world since the 1920 s. The more dominant are in Egypt, Syria,Jordan,and the Palestinian territories ( the branch in the latter being the terror group Hamas ,which now runs Gaza).

      March 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guest

    Looks like we have some pro-Assad propagandists and their sock puppets posting here. Now we know who Gadhafi's propagandists went to work for after Gadhafi was killed.

    March 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      poison does not die.

      March 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BumbblY SlikCins

    Even the most popular that could not be censored website explaining the law and organized crime got the jist you wanted and turned there explanation into the desired racket of context. Yay just stay out of it america, cough cough, little late for that, i know what you did last summer Mr. Miss. gender confuser Producers, diss the diss of the diss diss diss bury even the function of law, and all foundation princples of governments and economics for a good racket of what again, instability so American monkey brained grads can point at the bad persons of chosen already, I know what you did last summer, it's called treason in America, go get con-grease to cover asses again.

    March 3, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BumbblY SlikCins

    Seriously where are my posts, I should just report myself or i could go shoot nickles with pellet gun, how accurate is that 45? Miss that first year psycho, to be a psycho or psycho it is not the question but the the thing of abusive absurd context demanded of grade school teacher to ignore as if, well what happened to that piece of brain anyway, there is old nazi science study on the subject, Bum Dooom Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, acheiverments:-\ I think I think I read your problem writen by a 18 year old freshman, The anti-god math science is responsible, close now just find the source tick tick tick tick tick tick and god is anti-god, and blah blah blah contradiction oblivion dissed disinformation, so there for disinfo the disinfo, every year like a clock. Adn imagery money buying imaginary resources to support your mythical crimes of extorting the civilized populations that don't mimic your denial happly or not really, hum hum Cnn nice racket know wonder you backed barrack he got you a bigger chunk of the internet by censor things like What is Organized Crime, you morons with one treasonous obstruction from preschool on to kepp it all in the good graces of Mite Morons and others Anti-god above all even shience class, and the rest of you fascists. Anyway post that freakoes and you glass like mental state.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. BumbblY SlikCins

    Let me explain as simply as possibly, like the grown man that through a hiss fit with 45 caliber pistol the other day on likes youtube or something, becuase is 16 year old daughter threw a tampon, err tantrum on facebook. What is wrong with america? Seriously nothing is your fault, nothing is your problem, everything is one tantrum away from getting your way, just like that full grown man saying I am smart, I am college grad, I did this, I did that, blah blah blah bang bang bang, yet he cannot even deal with a 16 year old females little tantrum, bite me losers. Sold you kids and yourselves to fascist, known science, brainwashing, appease only your self and denial of all reality, I got text book after text book and example of words and action to prove this whole hypothesis of Brain Washed Americans Brain Washing Children so they don't have to deal with reality, let alone the obvious obstructions of justice you call Federal con-greas that really just do your bidding, half brained hack jobs of trying to force your will onto the rest of the world anfda just complain point to save face and repeat like a clock every year, denial of will actions, moral complete brains you most have lost along your journey. What was I going to say, dumber by the second just thinking about it all, lost you are even to explaining the simplist of mental functions, owe know you cannot gender or gender a hormone shot for gender confused toddler is the way forward, you america say anyway, lost to define the human condition you imposed with simple never equated statement of it is truly human nature, abusive absurd nonsense for your kiddies or deal with your kiddies, and as you were all brain washed you shoed let me quote your leader america , "Stone you children". Find a new clock wiedoes, us hear with brains left intact are just counting your ticks, rather boring I say. tick tick tick tick tick, by the way cnn, your post function kinda bites me.

    March 3, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    How much oil do they have again? Oh yeah... We don't care.

    March 3, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tare

    The world is not doing anything because Syria is just acting Muslim. We are used to it. We can't change Islam and Islam is all about war, death, intolerance, lying, secular differences...and many other cultish qualities that don't belong in spiritual living. When the Islam world learns to be tolerant, loving and peaceful, then we will start living. Meanwhile, only our so called leaders will kiss your ass, for your oil. The rest of us would just let you kill one another, as usual.

    March 3, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      excellent observation.

      March 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • SyrianAmerican

      What Syria has is natural gas so read up before you generalize. I am half Muslim and half Christian but don't believe in either. Please remember that Syria is 10% Christian so what do you plan to do about that fact?
      Ignorance is bliss but your generalizations about Islam are over the top. The Syrians are not religious fanatics and to the contrary most of the 60% of her population is under 30 and they hold university degrees in a country where you have to bribe idiots to get a job as we have 30% unemployment.

      March 6, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  16. Guest

    Personally, I think that most of the world is sick and tired of putting the bill for just about any Muslim nonsense that is happening in the world. Since 9/11 (actually since the start of the 20th Century) Muslims have been nothing but a scourge on the rest of the world. Nothing but a costly bunch of people that are violent and so poorly educated in a meaningful way that they are almost incompatible with the real world.

    March 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SyrianAmerican

      This revolution has nothing to do with Islam or any other religion. It is a population rising against dictatorships, unfair work opportunities, inflation, unemployment, not enough housing, and last but not least corruption. You know the same things that make your own head spin!

      March 6, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  17. Randy

    Give me a break. Americans are stubborn to believe everything that is bad and then the other people get frustrated with them since they're such hard heads. So we go no where. We have diplomatic ties with Syria and they need help, not soldiers.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bla

    The entire middle east is a lost cause.

    Accept it and be glad you escaped.

    March 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  19. mikrik13

    So Ahed Al Hendi ran away rather than fight and wishes to talk others into fighting for his homeland when he didn't have the courage to do so himself. No thanks!

    March 2, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • William Wilberforce

      He went over there to get legitimacy, just a political statement,after all, how is he supposed to give speeches and raise money if he's never been there! Now, Syrian_American really? You can't serve two Lords it's like saying Christan_Muslim makes absolutely no sense. If he wants to advocate for the rebels cause he'd stay closer i.e. Turkey ..Why bothering coming across the Atlantic awfully far from his home!

      March 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  20. William Wilberforce

    The most famous war in the middle east is the six days war were the tiny state of Israel humiliated the Arab League. Back in 1967 the coalition formed by Syria,Egypt,Palestinians, Jordan,Irak,Saudi Arabia,Algeria,Morocco,Sudan,Tunisia and Kuwait wanted to wipe Israel off the map but instead the Palestinians lost the Gaza strip, the Egyptians lost the Sinai peninsula,Jordan East Jerusalem and Thur West Bank,and Syria the Golan Heights. No nation helped the Israelis they fought this war even though they were clearly outnumbered and they won! Why? Determination!

    March 2, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Once upon a time

      Your gallant comparison lacks some truth. Yes a little determination helps; add to it an air force courtesy of Americans tax dollars and an unlimited supply of ammunition ( just as Russia and Iran are using against the Syrian civilians at the moment) so you see arming the freedom fighters is kind of necessary.

      March 6, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  21. lance

    sounds like another mess that obama would like to stick his big nose into.

    March 2, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      You are wasting everybody's time here. Where did it mention Obama?

      March 2, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  22. Prince Harry

    Ok we help them oust the dictator, then what? Hamas will take over and will spread anti Americanism

    March 2, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • lance

      america focuss on the economy, unemployment ,national debt , flood of immigrants crashing the country – fix america's problems not everybody else's.

      March 2, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sussay

    Dear Mr. Al Hendi. Like most Americans, my heart breaks to think about what the Syrian people are enduring. However, with Russia and China exerting so much influence in the region, it seems wiser to observe and wait for opportunities to provide humanitarian aid. Sadly, I fear this will instigate a regional conflict, and the United States has no appropriate role except for providing humanitarian aid.

    March 2, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  24. Guest

    Arabs Danced on 9/11. Arab Americans in Paterson and Brooklyn danced on 9/11, because they were overjoyed that the World Trade Center had been attacked.

    March 1, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  25. forreal89

    Go back please I will pay your airfare

    March 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  26. forreal89

    Wow another Syrian (middle eastern) arrogant ungrateful whinner telling u what to do. IF we help these ungrateful people we will end up getting US servicemen killed for what a bunch of terrorist. We need to stop letting these middle east people in our country. Sad you call your self a Syrian American go back and help yourself

    March 1, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liam

      your an idiot.

      March 4, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Joseph

    The National Conversation really is that America should stop going abroad and trying to intervene everywhere in the world, while our country is broke. Im glad many people agree.

    March 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Kathryn Harlan

    Americans are tired of wars in foreign lands and we are broke! We need to learn from the Chinese and the Russians..if its NOT MY PROBLEM DON'T GET INVOLVED. I feel for the fighters in Syria BUT ITS NOT MY PROBLEM!! AMERICA HAS A LONG LIST OF ITS OWN PROBLEMS...this country does not OWE its sons or its money to every nation around the world if its not under direct threat.. PERIOD!

    March 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  29. joey shabadoo

    who cares where they're from? they're people. innocent PEOPLE are being slaughtered.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margie

      lmfao an innocent Muslim?

      March 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • joey shabadoo

        uh...yes? contrary to what you may believe, it is foolish and ignorant to judge people based on their faith as opposed to their actions. i know many kind, friendly muslims, as well as many prejudiced, idiotic, christians. i also know many prejudiced, idiotic muslims, as well as many kind, friendly, christians. not to sound pompous, but shouldnt you be at foxnews.com?

        March 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Margie

        Just another person brainwashed to believe that these Muslim "people" aren't violent war mongers. I guess once they all blow themselves up in Syria they can have a big party with Muhammad in hell.

        March 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      Even if that is true, that is exactly what they will continue to feed to us in order to get us to go along with every war. Its called ethos and people who try to make military bases in the Middle-East know this.

      March 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Margie

    Let's send all the gays and girls who get abortions over there to help me out! They're going to hell anyways so might as well help them on their way!

    March 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenny

      God is the only one that can choose that Margie, not you. And if you are Christian, that's not really Christian-like behavior is that?

      March 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Brian

    Why should the USA worry about Syria when our government doesn't even show any concern over it's own US citizens? Millions of innocent Americans are tortured everyday by organized stalkers.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Ashley


    March 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Criolla

    Absolutly not! We armed the Lybians that the first thing they did was free all the AlQuaedea terroristas,and then the European media shows the leaders are just that, they declare Sharia Law, start torturing and killing oponents including a woman reporter,looting.
    We armed the Taliban to fight Russians and what we got ,terrorists killing Americans, Iran has sent Al Aqueada and Ezbolla acording to European news to get rid of a non religious President in Siria.
    What are we planning? Radical muslims as Leaders in ALL this countries?
    If you the author is a refugee go back and fight if that pleases you, but dont ask for money, weapons, and americans blood.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  34. WRG01

    How many Islamic countries will we "free"? No. No more. Every generation of my family has served...my kids will not. Certainly not for Syria. Tell'm to ask Israel for help. 😉 They seem to be itching to kill thousands of people these days.

    March 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • josejalepenio

      that's so stereotypical.The UN should be arming these rebels.After,we supposedly fight for 'unity and freedom' right?

      March 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Ct

    Ignore? CNN runs ads everyday about it.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      it's just as I've said all along. This media outlet wants the US in the middle of the Syrian civil war. Even worse than getting involved in Libya, all the Syrians hate Americans and will take the first opportunity to slit our throats. No matter to the media, they just want lots and lots of blood to report on.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  36. OnTheRoad

    It is really funny how you complain that Americans have forgotten and or givenup on Syria! It seems to me that 'YOU' are the one that has forgotten and given up on Syria! Syria is 'YOUR' country yet you decided to leave it! Syria did not pack up and leave you! So, unless you pick up a gun and go back and try to take your country back, don't expect anyone else to do what you can't/won't do!!!!

    March 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  37. newaddict

    NO American wants to send his child, brother, sister, father, grandchild, friend to possible die saving Syrians! Why? I don't think you can find 10 Syrians that would send his child, brother, sister, father, grandchild, friend to help ANY American. I'm so tired of these Muslim countries begging for help just to stab us in the back a few months later, need some examples? Check out Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

    March 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • josejalepenio

      that's the brotherhood you idiot.not the people,

      March 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      Well said!

      March 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  38. bccream

    I am from a country who's forefathers fought and won independence from a way too powerful army and brutal compared to Syria and that was without any foreign help. Please resolve your home matters at home, God helps those who help themselves.

    March 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • GiveMeAbreak

      1. At the time america was a syria, no real economic resources, to plunder for England. Just a market to sell Britsh goods.
      2. American revoluntaries did not fight in uniform. They also shot officers, which was considered a no-no at the time. That was because soldiers at that time were often mercenaries who were controlled to some level by the officers.
      3. America revoluntires never faced the full might of the Britsh empire, not worth the effort.
      4. FRANCE provided significant support for the american revoluntionaries and without their support the american rev. would have probably been lost. Not because they loved america, it was because they HATED england. Remember a guy named Benjamin Franklin????

      You probaly also think you helped you team win the superbowl by watching it on TV. Get a clue.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • newaddict

      ummm...we were helped by France.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      You honestly cant compare the revolutionary war to todays military background in todays world.
      First of all,WW1 changed everything.Then WW2 changed everything again.
      The cold war kept us at a stalemate for several years,and now this so called war on terrorism is a war of paranoia and fear,kind of like what I remember the cold war being.The difference is in the cold war everyone was afraid to do anything because of what would happen,and now we're afraid of what people will do who are desperate and have no fear of consequences.
      They didnt have nuclear war and suicide bombers in the revolutionary war

      March 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Todd Little

    Editor's note: Ahed Al Hendi is a dissident who fled his native Syria after being imprisoned and tortured by Syrian authorities for establishing a secular student organization that was against the regime. He is now the Arabic Programs Coordinator at CyberDissidents.org, a New York-based human rights organization that highlights the voices of pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East.

    here is another sanctuary illegal immigrant given prosperity.. cry me a river...

    March 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      life a little too easy for you todd? its because YOU are American. YOU didnt have leave an oppressing country fleeing for your life. YOU will find it much easier to get a job and to live. YOU are the TYPICAL American, and i feel bad for your stupidity. but hay, you didnt have to work for anything in your life, so i understand. it will get better for you in the future and you will become a nicer person in this life. if not now, then when u die, you will be satisfied

      March 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Mike in Montana

    Excellent.., excellent letter, commentary or story. I feel for this young man and his home country, although, I hope he also calls the United States home. Why, we are doing nothing in Syria, is beyond me.. Yes.., we are talking tough and doing sanctions against Syria. However.., each day, more innocent citizens of Syria, including young children and babies are being killed. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military, including paid mercenaries are killing their own people. President Bashar al-Assad does NOT want to lose his family rule of Syria, including his power, money and pure greed. Why.., his beautiful intelligent wife, Asma al-Assad, does not tell her husband to stop the killing of his own people is also beyond me. We or the whole world, know that President Bashar al-Assad is NOT the smartest guy in the Syria or the world. The United States, NATO and other European countries, including the middle-east, should stop, President Bashar al-Assad from killing innocent Syria citizens. Sadly.., we are going to watch more citizens of Syria be killed each day, including young children and babies, until the very end of their life. Sad.., we have tough words and sanctions.. Words and sanctions will NOT stop President Bashar al-Assad from killing his own people, as we watch. This young man's letter, is a wake-up call and a plea to save or protect, more innocent Syrian citizens from being killed needlessly by President Bashar al-Assad, and for some reason, we just don't get it. How sad, for everyone, including the world. Mike in Montana

    March 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Finally! Someone with some sense! All these people saying: if you wanted to help, why did you leave? It makes sense. Yes, you can fight for change IN Syria...and then get shot. Coming to America to raise awareness of the onslaught in Syria helps people who have never expirienced oppression know why we NEED to help.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bezboz

        Raise awareness, right? Has there been anything on the home page of CNN other than Syria for the last 11 months? People have been emailing, calling, texting and walking up to me to ask me how the family in Syria is doing.

        I am really tired of telling them that all they see on the news is exaggerations and lies. F you and your revolution. Go to Syria and fight if you want freedom.

        March 3, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  41. JOSE0311USMC


    March 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Esam

    I recall when the Syrian people took to the streets to streets in protest over American policy in Iraq and over our policy in Lebanon. The Syrian people burned our flag, spit on our presidents picture and shouted down with America. The Syrian people have had little or no respect for Americans, our way of life or our Christian beliefs. Now you want our help! Why should we do anything to help your country. Even if we helped and even if we spent one American life for Syria, it would all be for not.....the Syrian people would protest against us again. You need to look for help someplace else. Try other countries in the middleeast. We are not the world police.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      As a "Christian" nation, wouldn't we want to help the people being senselessly killed?

      March 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  43. AGrey

    I certainly feel for the Syrian people, and perhaps there are valid reasons for the US to intervene. However I've known people from all over the world, and those who come from regions of conflict always think the US should intervene. They overlook the fact that the US is a country, not a world police organization. It does not receive tax money from the world to operate. It receives it's funding from working American people who expect that their taxes would go to ultimately benefit them and their families. The US is rarely compensated for it's humanitarian operations, and tends to establish military basis in lieu of that, and the continued presence of US military forces in these countries creates anti-American sentiments.

    People want the US to put in it's time, resources, and American lives, and they do not want to give anything in return. I frequently wonder, had the US found itself in a compromised position and required the aid of the countries it once helped, how many of these countries would rise to the occasion? With all of the back stabbing these countries have committed against the US, I'm inclined to think very few.

    Additionally, there are over 210 countries in this world, the most of whom sit idle without pulling their humanitarian weight.

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      Wow! That was the best comment I've ever seen posted on CNN. Please voice your opinions loudly in whatever state you live in. There is someone who has a similar voice-Ron Paul-but WE NEED MORE PEOPLE TO SPEAK UP LIKE THIS.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  44. ladydi

    The USA should stay out of it............we have enough military dying overseas............let them fight their own battles

    March 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      March 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retreat Hell

      Yes I lost ten buddies to IED's and RPGs. I want to go home and stay home. I don't want to be in Afganistan for the next 2 years!

      March 2, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |