Making Sense of Syria: Understanding the Past, Looking Towards the Future

On Monday, September 23, 2014 the symposium, "Making Sense of Syria: Understanding the Past, Looking Towards the Future,” featured Aaron David Miller, who helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process for two decades as an advisor to Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State, delivered keynote remarks. Read current student, David Davila's short articles on the event below: 

On Monday morning, I had the opportunity to attend the Washington Internship Institute’s (WII) symposium, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Middle East analyst and author Dr. Aaron D. Miller shared on the topic, “Making Sense of Syria: Understanding the Past, Looking Towards the Future.” According to Miller, the United States has effectively prevented another 9/11. He went on to explain that interference in Syria is unnecessary, and that this conflict would be “a very long movie.”

“There is a deep sense of anger and humiliation in this area towards the USA,” said Dr. Miller. Our books, movies, and films are viewed as vulgar and unclean. As a nation, we are confronting an issue where they don’t accept our values, causing dangerous tension. Furthermore, on a fundamental level they don’t respect our values, and view our extravagance as a hallmark of gluttony.

“It was an illuminating discussion regarding the geopolitical environment within the Middle East,” said Eric James Ostrander, a senior at Farmingdale State College, and WII student. More than forty people were in attendance, admitting substantial Q & A discussion. Following the event, refreshments were served at a reception for students, teachers and panelists.
— David Davila, Fall 2013 intern at Center for American Progress