An Open Letter

Dear Mr. President,

Remember when you took office in 2008 and stood in front of a nation and promised “change” and “hope,” because I sure do. You had us finishing your every sentence with “yes we can,” and you stood there responding with “we can and we will.”

You promised a better life for the average American; you promised a lower unemployment rate and a better overall economy. Remember that?

Because it sure as hell doesn’t seem like you do. In the five years since you took office, three million more Americans are unemployed, middle class Americans are still struggling and we are still sticking our nose in Middle Eastern affairs that have nothing to do with us. I guess some things never change.

Stay out of Syria, sir. Please think about this before you make the ridiculous, irrational decision to target a country that is backed up by every other country that hates us.

Iran is among those countries. An alleged nuclear weapons-carrying, stop at nothing Iran that doesn’t really like us; an Iran that swore they would retaliate by attacking Israel.

Let’s put this in perspective: if Iran attacks Israel, we will be forced to defend Israel and have to deal with an all out war against the only other country (besides the US) that is more than willing to use nuclear weapons. So let’s not do that, sir. We don’t even have a military objective. You have promised that “American boots will not be put on Syrian soil,” but it is probable that they will retalliate to our initial strike.

By attacking Syria, we would be thrust into the middle of a civil war that we don’t want to be a part of. The rebels, whom you want to help, consist of radical jihadists who don’t have a favorable view of the United States. We would gain nothing by intervening in Syria. It’s nonsensical. Tell me why we watched in silence when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against the Kurds, but now all of a sudden we feel obliged to interfere.

How can you propose to reprimand the killing of innocent people by killing more innocent people? There is no possible way to focus the attacks solely on the Asaad Regime.

History tends to repeat itself, and the innocent are always the ones that suffer most. What makes our killing of innocent people more justifiable than his? Is it because we wouldn’t be using chemical weapons to do it? Because I’m pretty sure the families of those who have died don’t give a damn who does the killing.

May I remind you that “Operation Iraqi Freedom” killed more than 120,000 Iraqi civilians. That’s 85 times more than Asaad killed with his chemical weapons. Considering the fact that it is nearly impossible to have successful strategic bombing in which only the enemy is targeted with no casualties, how are you even considering taking more innocent lives?

Hypothetically, even if our attacks are successful and solely target Asaad, what guarantee do we have that he will stop using W.M.Ds?

Oh yes, I’m sure that the second we hit Syria, Asaad is going to transform into Ronald Reagan, adopt kittens and fight for world peace. War is never the answer, but in this case war shouldn’t even be an option.

As a middle-class American, I want you to know that you have done nothing to help me. You promised me a better life, and instead I got Obamacare. You promised me more money, and instead I work two hours a week as a private tutor and my parents are self-employed working 60 hours a week to put me through school.

Let’s fix our problems at home first. Let’s work toward a better economy, let’s limit military spending, let’s improve our education system and let’s work toward a better United States before we even think of making a better Syria, Iraq or Egypt.

Let’s transform this country back into the greatest country in the world.


Ragy Stefan.


Ragy Stefan is a fourth-year biological sciences major. He can be reached at