August 11, 2012

Sens. John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey O. Graham [“The risks of inaction in Syria,” op-ed, Aug. 6] are correct in their assertion that America’s reluctance to intervene in Syria has allowed the Syrian revolution to be longer and bloodier.

For months, Syrian revolutionaries have asked for the creation of safe havens as they fight for the freedoms that we as Americans take for granted. It is not too late to provide more support to the Syrian people, whether by arming the rebels or by establishing a no-fly zone now that the regime is using its air force on its own cities.

Bashar al-Assad’s regime will eventually fall, but the country will be destroyed and the potential for radicalism will increase the longer the conflict continues. Not only will more lives be lost, but the United States will also miss an opportunity to show the Muslim and Arab world that we don’t intervene for only our personal interests. This has happened before in Bosnia and Kosovo, but sadly it seems we have not learned from our inaction, which also contributed to the genocides in Darfur and Rwanda.

Mahmoud Khattab, Elk Grove, Calif.

The writer is chairman of the Syrian American Council.