University hosts day of dialogue on Iraq

Event features discussion between former CIA analyst, political science professor from Iraq | January 23, 2006

The University is hosting a day of dialogue on Iraq on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Kelley Auditorium. The event features a dialogue between Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst for 27 years, and Adeed Dawisha, a political science professor at Miami University, originally from Iraq.

Dawisha believes the U.S. must stay in Iraq until the Iraqis are able to protect their state and its institutions. McGovern believes that by invading Iraq, the U.S. launched a war of aggression—defined by Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime”— and the occupying troops are a magnet for continuing violence and must be withdrawn as soon as practicable.

Karol King, director of the Cinergy Foundation and an adjunct theology faculty member at Xavier, is facilitating the dialogue. Following the opening dialogue, participants break into small groups where trained facilitators help the group engage in respectful dialogue around the topic of Iraq. A large group debriefing brings the day to a close.

“This inclusive dialogue process we will use has the potential to open participants to new possibilities and insights," says Kristen Barker of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. "We hope to move away from polarization to a real sharing of ideas.”

The event emerged from a fall 2004 dialogue between Barker, a 2000 Xavier graduate, and Mike Williams, who was a current student and in ROTC. The pair was invited to dialogue in Professor Dick Gruber’s “The History of War and Peace” class. The dialogue centered on Eyes Wide Open: An Exhibit About the War in Iraq. Their dialogue grew into this event, which offers the opportunity for area residents to engage in facilitated dialogue with people who don’t share their views.

The event is free and open to the public though reservations are encouraged. To R.S.V.P. call 513 579-8547 or e-mail