IDIB, SYRIA — Rifat Abadi is ten years old and lives in Syria. He says that for as long as he can remember, his country has been at war with itself. Rifat told the world in a vlog entry he made on his YouTube channel that the airstrikes conducted by President Donald Trump in retaliation for Bashar al-Assad, the president of Rifat’s own country, using chemical weapons on his own people in a town not far from where he lives.
“I think it’s a good thing that the world is paying attention,” Rifat spoke into the camera, “and is paying attention to the nightmare we are living every day. The airstrikes launched by American President Donald Trump were surprising, especially because we were told he didn’t want to do regime change here in Syria.”
Rifat says that while he’s not sure, ultimately, how society can “bomb its way to peace,” but he is thankful that Trump took interest in country’s plight in a different way than he had in the past.
“We are one of the six countries on his Muslim ban,” Rifat told his YouTube audience, “and so it’s kinda funny that he cares enough about us being gassed to fire fifty cruise missiles at an air base, but doesn’t care enough to let us come into his own country, away from ours which is being bombarded now by both the good guys and the bad guys.”
He says that he and his friends have all expressed feelings of being like rats trapped in cages. They’d all prefer peace at home, but since they’re being bombed by their own president and the most powerful, richest country in the history of the world doesn’t want them either, Rifat says they’re at a loss.
“But,” Rifat said, “we hear that even though President Trump didn’t ask his Congress for permission to start a war, that these kinds of things usually give a boost to presidential approval ratings. And we can all see that Mr. Trump could use all the help he can get in that regard. So I guess if I have to die like a rat trapped in a cage, bombed on both sides, it’s nice that his legacy and ego is getting a good stroke and polish.”
Rifat says that he’s hopeful the American courts keep Trump’s travel ban from going into effect. However, if he and his family aren’t able to gain entry into the refugee relocation program, he just hopes he’s not made into a “political football in vain.”
“I just hope that whatever bump in approval ratings Trump gets,” Rifat said, “that it’s really, really worth it. I’d hate to know, as a bomb was dropped on my head from a plane I can’t tell if it’s on my team or not, that he wasn’t getting at least a 15-20% bump in his favorables. I don’t want to be turned into a political football in vain, after all.”
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.