Lasell Professors, Community Discuss Syrian Crisis

Lasell Professors, Community Discuss Syrian Crisis

September 18, 2013

Members of the Lasell community gathered recently to discuss the pros and cons of a military intervention in Syria, following a panel discussion sponsored by the Donahue Center for Values and Public Life.

The event, held September 18 in de Witt Hall, featured a panel that included Lasell Humanities Professors Joe Aieta and Dennis Frey and Communications Professor Dana Janbek.

Each professor spoke for several minutes on the issues surrounding the crisis and uprising in Syria, ranging from the religious underpinnings of the crisis to the political response by other nations to the resulting refugee crisis.

Aieta focused on the religious factions within the country and provided a historical context for the discussion. Frey raised the question of whether human rights violations are a true political motivator, while Janbek discussed the untold stories of the crisis including the large number of Syrian refugees inside and outside the country.

"Human rights has become a political football tossed by the United States and other countries," said Frey. "It is often used as political maneuvering."

Janbek questioned whether the American public has received the full story of hardship for the Syrian people, explaining that two million refugees are now in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, while four million Syrians remain displaced within Syria's borders.

Following the discussion, the audience made several comments and statements about the crisis and asked questions of the panel. President Michael Alexander asked the audience to discuss whether the U.S. should intervene militarily. Others suggested that the United States could aid Syrians affected by the crisis by providing support to countries that have accepted the refugees.