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Panelists discuss 9/11 and its aftermath on its tenth anniversary

Jack Lule, department chair of journalism and communications, joined faculty members Saladin M. Ambar, John Pettegrew and Nitzan Lebovic in the panel discussion on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Few Americans have forgotten where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001.

Nearly 3,000 people died when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and into the ground in Shanksville, Pa.

Several Lehigh faculty members examined the events of 9/11 from a global point of view when they held a panel discussion Sept. 21 to mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack.

Panelists included Saladin M. Ambar, assistant professor of political science; John Pettegrew, associate professor of history; Jack Lule, professor of journalism; and Nitzan Lebovic, assistant professor of history.

The event was organized and sponsored by the Dialogue Center (Chaplain's Office) and Global Union, and was moderated by Lloyd Steffen, professor of religion studies and university chaplain.

Ambar said the economic recession in the United States was a sign that “we are living in the dream of Osama Bin Laden.”

The American economy has failed, said Ambar. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he added, have left Americans in a state of cognitive dissonance.

Pettegrew said America was in a state of “a dissolution of law.” He said it was “hypocritical” for the nation to decide to go to war, first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, in the wake of 9/11.

Lule, who directs the Globalization and Social Change Initiative, said American media coverage had been “abysmal” in the ten years since 9/11. The media, he added, was failing to fulfill its duty as a watchdog of the government.

Lebovic, who is Apter Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values, questioned whether the U.S. government had perhaps crossed a fine line in its reaction to 9/11.

“How do we really know what democracy means if they [the government] sometimes act the same way as terrorists?” he asked.


Story by Lindsay Plodwick '13

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011

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