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Archive for Saturday, September 2, 2006

Panel speaks about lingering effects of 9-11

September 2, 2006

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Diana Carlin remembers trying to answer one major question from students during a class about the Nobel Peace Prize on Sept. 11, 2001.

"We were trying to understand why someone would hate us so much," she said.

In Lawrence and at Kansas University, many people refused to retaliate with harsh words or harassment toward the 265 KU students from Middle Eastern countries, she said. The following weeks were marked with a trip to the Islamic Society of Lawrence and a chance to provide a strong dialogue, she said.

"I felt extremely proud with the way the community members wanted to learn," said Carlin, dean of the KU graduate school and office of international programs.

On Friday, Carlin and other panelists said that five years later, the 9-11 terrorist attacks still affect a broad range of issues in America, including political, economic and philosophical.

The panel spoke as part of the "Peace, War and Global Change Seminar" at KU's Hall Center for the Humanities.

Carlin said 9-11 has given a boost to international education, as more KU students now study abroad. Domestically, leaders also have pushed for further developing student interest in science and technology.

Michael Mosser, who now teaches at the U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, said the 9-11 attacks have influenced virtually every piece of legislation because of the new emphasis on security.

Whether the country uses law enforcement or military tactics against terrorists continues to be a major debate. Mosser mentioned the arrest in Britain of the 12 suspects accused of plotting to blow up commercial jets over the Atlantic Ocean.

"They caught these folks using very strong, intelligent police work," he said.

Tim Challans, who also teaches at Fort Leavenworth, said many contemporary philosophers opposed the moral grounds of invading Iraq in 2003 and that the country was now engaged in something with neither "internal or external justification."

"We can actually defuse this war that others are trying to foment domestically just by being able to see and think through what is happening," he said.

Melissa Birch, director of KU's Center for International Business Education and Research, said the stricter regulations on travel visas also has frustrated some longtime international business partners. Some business leaders say America has lost some international good will.

About 20 people attended the forum. Mosser and Challans spoke independently and not as representatives of Fort Leavenworth or the Army.

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