Like nation, LU students conflicted on Syrian crisis

By The Lincolnian staff

Lincoln University students have mixed opinions on how the United States should handle the crisis in Syria.

President Obama addressed the nation in a televised speech Tuesday night. He said he would give diplomatic negotiations a chance to end the crisis over the use of chemical weapons but remained committed to using force if necessary.

Many students said they want Syria to surrender its chemical weapons without the United States military becoming involved in another Middle East conflict.

“America can not afford to go into another war,” said Tametra Thomas, 18, a freshman psychology major from Washington, D.C.

“President Obama should find a way to get Syria to hand over their weapons without the use of military action and risking the lives of our troops in Syria,” said Jasmine Dabney, 20, a senior health science major from Baltimore.

Still, the United States should act to prevent Syria from using chemical weapons again, even if that means a military attack, some students said.

“President Obama should give Syria a chance to surrender their weapons, and if they decide not to, he should put matters into his own hands and get the military involved,” said Alea Binder, 18, a freshman broadcast journalism major from Lancaster, Md.

“I wouldn’t want the risk of being unsafe in my country because we neglected to do anything sooner,” Binder said.

Several students expressed concern about the involvement of Russia in the conflict.

“If we go to war, then we would have to be concerned of the retaliation of both Syria and closest ally, Russia,” Dabney said.

“If we put troops in Syria, our big concern will then become Russia because they are allies and they have nuclear weapons,” said Toni Smith, 19, a sophomore psychology/sociology major from New Castle, Del.

Some students said the United States should stay out of the conflict entirely.

“Our country and economy are not in the position to be helping another country after we have just recently ended the war in Iraq,” said Charnice Jones, 21, an English major from Westchester, N.Y.

Roheem Roten, 21, a history major from Chester, Pa., said the United States should not become entangled in another country’s affairs.

“It’s their civil war, and it’s their problem,” Roten said. “Syria should not do anything with their chemical weapons. It’s like raising children: How can I tell you what to do and how you raise your children?”

Makeda White, 17, a freshman broadcast journalism major from Aberdeen, Md., said Syria has the right to protect itself.

 “Every country has the right to have their own protection, whether it be chemical weapons or others, but I don’t think they should use them unless threatened,” White said.

There’s no simple answer, said Jillian Lee, 19, a sophomore health science major from Baltimore.

“I don’t think should Syria have possession of chemical weapons, and they should hand them over to the U.S.,” she said. But “the U.S. shouldn’t force them with military actions because that would cause another war, and America cannot handle another war after Iraq.”

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