Three Saint Mary’s professors debated potential alternative routes of action in the Syrian conflict during a panel discussion titled, “What is an Ethical Response to the Crisis in Syria?” in the Vender Vennet Theatre on Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the Center of Spirituality, the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Political Science. Joseph Incandela, Aquinas chair and professor of religious studies, said when he was first invited to be a part of this panel two weeks ago, he believed a military strike was imminent. However, a military strike against Syria does not guarantee peace because of the uncertainty surrounding the conflict, he said. “So even if this works quote on quote, do we trot out our mission accomplished banner and say our work is done here because all of this other killing could go on, but as long as we got the ones from chemical weapons and those are in the closet stay in the closet than we have succeeded?” Incandela said. “That seems an odd stance to take.” Sonalini Sapra, associate professor of political science and gender and women’s studies, said leaders do not explore other alternatives to military intervention enough. “There are other ways the U.S. could intervene that could use multilateral institutions like the U.N.,” Sapra said. “They could use their diplomatic means to get the Syrian parties on the ground to agree to a cease-fire and then start a negotiation process that way. I think the diplomatic route has been relatively unexplored until last week. There are other ways to intervene without a military intervention.” Marc Belanger, chair of the political science department, in contrast to Sapra and Incandela, said violence can build as well as destroy and occasionally accomplishes some goals. “In the last 20 years, three genocides or three situations I consider genocide were stopped not by diplomacy but by violence: I refer to Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda,” Belanger said. “Where in every case a far from perfect actor intervened: Vietnam in Cambodia, Rwandan forces in Rwanda and the United States and NATO in Bosnia, to bring to at least a halt for the time being extraordinary levels of destruction. On the other hand, I can certainly list other conflicts where violence did very little but destroy.” Incandela said the best way to stop violence is to prevent it from escalating in the first place, and if it does get to that point, world leaders should consider non-violent and diplomatic options. “Sometimes violence is like fast food,” he said. “It is eaten in haste and not very fulfilling.”
View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. West End Goes in One DirectionFor all you directioners out there, we’ve got the Best Song News Ever! One Direction are heading to the West End…Sort of. Only One Direction: The One Direction Story, which bills itself as a concert celebrating the music of the biggest boyband in history (what about Take That?) is set to play the Lyric Theatre October 26 through October 28. The tribute act will put on a fully interactive show that features songs from all four of One Direction’s smash hit albums. Probably best if you know all the words to “What Makes You Beautiful” if you’re thinking about taking a trip to this one…The Most-Produced Plays for 2014-15 Are…Interesting little nugget of information here. Courtesy of American Theatre, the top five most-produced plays of 2014-15 were as follows: 1. Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, 2. Peter and the Starcatcher, adapted by Rick Elice from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, 3. John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar, 4. To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Christopher Sergel from Harper Lee, 5. Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar. You can check out the full list here.Casting Set for Bertie Carvel’s ApeFrom Miss Trunchbull to Hairy Ape?! Adam Burton, Buffy Davis, Callum Dixon, Steffan Rhodri, Rosie Sheehy and Nicholas Karimi will join the previously reported Matilda Tony nominee Bertie Carvel in The Hairy Ape. Directed by Richard Jones, the Eugene O’Neill classic is scheduled to begin previews on October 17 and officially open on October 29 at London’s Old Vic Theatre.Shows to Keep an Eye On? A couple of industry-only readings are on our radar. Farah Alvin (It Shoulda Been You) and Jarrod Spector (Beautiful) will headline new musical Date of a Lifetime on September 17. Featuring a book and lyrics by Carl Kissin and music by Rob Baumgartner, Jr., Tony winner Jerry Zaks has been tapped as creative consultant. Meanwhile, Tony winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt), along with Jill Paice (An American in Paris) and more, will star in a re-conceptualization of The Testament of Mary on October 1. Conceived and directed by Michael Rader, this new adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s work will feature five different women sharing the title role of Mary, each representing how different cultures around the world view Mary.NPH’s Best Time Ever’s Solid StartTony winner Neil Patrick Harris’ new NBC series, Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, premiered on September 15 to a respectable 6.8 million total viewers. According to Deadline, the show had a decent 1.9 rating among the all-important (to advertisers) adults 18-49 demographic. Check out below last night’s finale; eagle-eyed U.K. viewers will be able to spot British national treasures Ant and Dec (Best Time Ever is based on their show Saturday Night Takeaway), along with Harris’ sidekick, Olivier nominee and the potentially Broadway-bound Nicole Scherzinger.
Greek company Energean Oil and Gas has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) that will result in $98 million of cash inflow for Energean. Left to right: Energean Israel Country Manager Shaul Zemach, Energean Group CEO Mathios Rigas, INGL Chairman Eitan Padan and INGL CEO Samuel Tordjman (photo credit: INGL)Energean explained on Monday that the MOU is for the transfer of title of the near shore and onshore part of the infrastructure that will deliver gas from the Karish and Tanin FPSO into the Israeli national gas transmission grid.Energean said it expects the detailed agreement to be signed in the first quarter of 2019.As consideration, INGL will pay Energean 369 million Israeli New Shekels, approximately $98 million. Energean expects 15% of the consideration to be paid and contribute to available liquidity in early 2019. About 80% of the consideration is expected to become available to Energean’s liquidity pool at hand over, with the remaining 5% due following an 18 month warranty period.The MOU covers the onshore section of the Karish and Tanin infrastructure and the near shore section of pipeline extending to approximately 10km offshore. It is intended that the hand over to INGL will become effective shortly after the delivery of first gas from the Karish field in 1Q 2021.Following hand over, INGL will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of this part of the infrastructure. Energean will not incur any charges or tariffs for use of this infrastructure.Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean Oil & Gas, said: “The MOU is an important milestone for the Karish and Tanin development. The Open Access System infrastructure being built by Energean will enable connection of future gas discoveries to the system, further contributing to Israel’s energy security and diversity of supply. Our collaboration with INGL demonstrates the Israeli government’s support and commitment to the Karish Tanin project, from which natural gas will flow to the Israeli market from 1Q 2021.”The construction of the Karish and Tanin FPSO started last November following the cutting of the first steel at the COSCO yard in Zhoushan, China. Energean has chosen a newbuild FPSO based on an existing design and will adopt a spread moored system, which it believes reduces technical risk on the field. First production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2021.