NORFOLK -- An Old Dominion University professor has deep concerns about a possible U.S. strike on Syria.

Donald Smith has friends and professional colleagues on the ground in Syria. He worries for their safety and wonders if American military intervention would do any good.

Smith, who is director of ODU's on-line criminal justice program, visited Syria in the early and mid-90's as part of an educational grant and says he made life-long friends.

'Most of my friends in Syria, I received calls from them until three weeks ago. Most of them are not terribly optimistic about anything changing,' Smith said from the front porch of his Norfolk home Monday.

Smith, who points out he is not a pacifist, worries not only about his peers' safety, but is concerned with whether a U.S. strike would accomplish much.

'I suppose the best thing that could happen would be if the Russians could convince Assad to give up his chemical weapons,' Smith said. 'That would be the best thing, because if we bomb or do anything, it's just going to kill more people. And some of them deserve it and most of them don't. That's the dilemma.'

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