Speaking out at Representative Emanuel Cleaver’s (D) town hall on military intervention in Syria – Kansas City – September 5, 2013.
On Thursday evening in Kansas City Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) held an open town hall on military intervention in Syria. After brief introductory remarks Congressman Cleaver opened up the microphone to anyone who wanted to speak on the subject. People did so, one after another, for almost two hours.
….Hello, everyone and Congressman…. I’m a Syrian American. I’ve been in America my whole life, I was born here. But I go to Syria, I used to go to Syria every Summer since I was born. And I would always spend my Summers there, about three or four months.
And what I want to make clear to everyone in this room is that the Syrian people are anti-war, too. The revolution began as peaceful protests. But our government, the Syrian government responded with bombs. So, thousands of people would go out [inaudible] they want freedom, democracy, like we have here in the U.S., that we take for granted. And the, and the, the Syrian regime’s response was to attack them with bombs and, like you saw last week, chemical weapons.
So, really, they left us no choice but to beg people and beg the U.S. to intervene, and the United Nations. The United Nations has done nothing for two and a half years. No one has done anything. So now we are asking the U.S. and Obama to take action against Assad, the Assad regime, against their military targets that are apparently housing the chemical weapons.
And being a Syrian and wanting the U.S. to bomb my country, that’s a big deal. That’s, that shows you how serious this situation has become, how bad it is.
And, again, Obama made clear that he will only attack the military targets that are housing the chemical weapons. He promised no boots on the ground, no American lives will be at risk [voice: “Who said that?”].
And then the guy over there said that, where are the Arab countries? very good question. I’ve been asking that for two and a half years. The rest of the world has not acted. But that does not give us a reason to be silent. We are the strongest country in the world. And the strongest, when, with great power comes great responsibility. I think we owe it to humanity. Over one hundred thousand people have died. I think that we owe it to them, you know, to at least take a chance. I mean, [inaudible} says no boots on the ground, no American lives will be at risk. So why not take a chance to help? [voices] [Representative Cleaver: “Go ahead, please, go, finish.”] Thank you. [applause]
Suppose they gave a town hall before rushing off to war and everybody came (September 5, 2013)
Norman Rockwell ain’t got nothin’ on the real Kansas City (September 5, 2013)
Norman Rockwell ain’t got nothin’ on the real Kansas City – part 2 (September 6, 2013)
A short interview with Rep. Cleaver after last night’s town hall (September 6, 2013)
Norman Rockwell ain’t got nothin’ on the real Kansas City – part 3 (September 7, 2013)
Norman Rockwell ain’t got nothin’ on the real Kansas City – part 4 (September 7, 2013)