Takeaway Listener Talks U.S. Syria Intervention & Gulf War Memories

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

This week we've been hearing from lawmakers, experts and analysts as the U.S. considers military intervention in Syria.

But The Takeaway has also heard you—the citizens, voters, soldiers, veterans, and in some cases, survivors of war. The voices of Takeaway listeners are crucial as the American people anxiously watch the deepening Syrian conflict and the road to potential U.S. intervention. 

Ahmed Daoud, a Takeaway listener in Minneapolis, was a child living in Kuwait with his family during the Gulf War and experienced U.S. intervention firsthand. That experience was a profound one, shaping his idea of what U.S. intervention can accomplish.  

After his family left Kuwait, Ahmed was educated in the United States and is now an American citizen and works as a semiconductor engineer in the Minneapolis area. He explains what it was like to experience the Gulf War, and how the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have changed his perspective on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. 




Ahmed Daoud

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Ahmed Daoud from Minneapolis, MN

Hello Derac,

I regret that you found my interview frustrating but I hope I can shed some light on my perspective.

I wasn't so much asking for US support as I was saying that it is morally inexcusable to sit back and do nothing while people are being massacred in the most brutal of ways. We have the resources and we ought to use them for noble causes. It is most definitely our fight since this is a humanitarian issue and we are humans. We should not be a nation jaded by past mistakes and allow that to suffocate our willingness to do genuine good in the world.

Unfortunately, they UN is too bureaucratic to take any sort of action within a reasonable time-frame, especially with Russia muffling any and all cries for a humanitarian intervention. The concerned parties in the Middle East and the countries bordering Syria already have their hands full and their resources spread thin as they try to accommodate and manage the huge influx of refugees who have managed to escape Assad's Russian funded war machine. Additionally, they are a border's cross away from him and any intervention from them will literally bring the war into their borders.

Derac, I am an American, former fellow Chicagoan, law-abiding, 30%+ taxpaying citizen. I have had life-saving surgery in Cook County Hospital, my sister was cured from cancer by American doctors, and she proudly graduated in the first graduating class of Walter Payton Prep in downtown Chicago. I have been here for over a decade now, I have been educated in American Universities and I have worked for and started American companies. I take no pleasure in seeing my country's resources squandered aimlessly but this is not the case here. I was once a child who Saddam threatened to gas and American intervention saved my life and that of my family. Consequently, I feel gratitude, loyalty, and as of 2006 (when I got my US citizenship), patriotism towards this country and I share that sentiment with many others in Kuwait, Libya and elsewhere and the same can be true for generations of Syrians.

When I said the phrase "boots on the ground", I was quoting current political rhetoric. I greatly respect and support our troops and I am enraged by how our country is handling their well-being. They are my friends, my neighbors, my coworkers and my fellow Americans. My aversion to the notion of having them in Syria, is twofold:
1. I don't want to see Syria further harmed due to the complex and turbulent dynamics that prolonged foreign (US or other) military presence often results in;
2. I truly do not want to see ANY more of my fellow Americans put in harms way.

I hope this has helped you realize that you and I agree on more than you had assumed and that the case I am making is a purely humanitarian case.

Sep. 06 2013 04:57 PM
Derac from Chicago, IL

I listened to your show today with mounting frustration. I think Ahmed's interview crystalize my feelings. He was 'asking' for US support but we don't want you hanging around. You know what, fine Ahmed, its not our fight. We made mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan [and Vietnam earlier] so we shouldn't make that mistake again. People are killed every day all over the world. There have been terrible atrocities in Africa. There were terrible atrocities in the Iraq-Iran war in the 80s. War is hell and people get killed. The weapons are irrelevant. Are chemical weapons morally worse than drones raining missiles down on the citizens of foreign countries ? Take it to the UN. Take it to the International Court. Let the concerned parties in the middle east handle it. Just keep us out of it. Enough is enough. And, please, can people just stop saying 'boots on the ground' ? They are our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our friends.. have some respect.

Sep. 04 2013 03:11 PM

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