Mohamed Taher Khairullah serves as mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey in addition to being a full-time teacher. He was born in Syria, raised in Saudi Arabia, and cultured in the United States. Khairullah tweets as MayorKhairullah.
A few days ago, a fellow activist from Twitter contacted me to discuss an online campaign for Syria. The campaign called for NATO to intervene in Syria. This was a topic that I hadn't made up my mind about at that point, but I wasn't completely against due to the brutal nature of the Syrian regime toward the people of Syria. I had to question whether or not I was going support that call. My final decision was to go for it for the following reasons:
1. When it comes to bloodshed, the regime is more willing to spill the blood of its people than anyone else. When things escalate, and I believe they will, the regime will have no problem killing hundreds or thousands of Syrians on a daily basis as it did in Hama. Any targeted strikes on Shabeeha forces will reduce the number of civilians killed because the regime will be more focused on protecting itself.
2. Financially, Syria stands to gain a lot from its new-found freedom. The world has become one big trading village. The Syrian people are known to be great business people. Unfortunately they have been robbed from the opportunity to prosper as they are treated as servants of the Assad family. Any business person, especially those with large businesses, knows that they must share part of their wealth with a family member or close friend of the Assad clan. There have even been incidents where businesses were taken away from their owners by members of the Assad family with no court system to protect them.
When someone looks at the conditions of living in Syria, he or she can see that it will be nothing but better in the absence of the regime. Protesters know that stopping now is suicidal. The current circumstances all point to a continuous increase in bloodshed. Any economic restrictions that helping countries might impose on Syria will not mount to anything nearly as bad as the daylight robbery of the Syrian economy done by the Assad family on a regular basis. In addition to the previously mentioned points, I am sure that the Syrian people don't mind living the rest of their lives in a dignified manner.
The call for intervention is not limited to a specific organization, country, or method. I do believe that the most acceptable intervention is an intervention by Turkey and Arab countries. On the other hand, the most acceptable type of intervention is the establishment of a neutral zone that is protected.
Regardless of who or how, one thing is clear. The Syrian regime is not going to be toppled by street protests. It's willing to kill thousands and that is exactly what it will do if protests stop. Protection of civilians in Syria has become an international obligation.