[eDebate] Middle East Topic & Thanks

Adam Farra adamhfar
Wed Apr 4 22:18:26 CDT 2007

Our community should vote for a Middle East topic.

The reasons:

1) Depth. In my recent memory, my debates over the Middle East have  
been shallow - most of them involved reading Beres, and in some cases  
talking about allied proliferation on the high school WMD topic  
(Israel) - I believe most debaters my age have the same experiences.  
However, overwhelmingly, most debaters will benefit from thorough and  
rigorous debates over US policy towards the Middle East.

2) Timeliness. If there is one thing that will affect the US role in  
the next century it will be its involvement with the Middle East -  
oil concerns, geopolitical concerns, regional hegemons, ethnic and  
religious conflict, democracy promotion, terrorism, resource  
shortages (water, in particular), market development - the topics  
covered by comprehensive debates over the Middle East are endlessly  
fascinating and completely appropriate given current US involvements  
in Iraq and Afghanistan, its diplomatic back-and-forths with Iran,  
and its saber-rattling with Syria. The literature is ripe and  
continues to evolve at a pace that will allow for refreshing topic  
developments well past Wake tournament.

3) The topic paper was sweet. Not to take away credit from anyone  
else, but kudos to Maffie and Mancuso on writing a topic paper that  
deals head on with some of the central problems we've had for the  
past couple of topics - the lack of the use of terms of art, striking  
the right balance between an overly-specific list topic and a  
ridiculously broad "theme" topic, crafting strong affirmative ground  
with actual solvency authors in the literature while providing for  
some really kick-ass negative generics that can be tailored to each  
affirmative - it all has been dealt with in a really thoughtful way.

Most importantly...

4) No constitutional amendment CP and no "institutional capital" DA.  
If I ever hear the constitutional amendment CP and some poorly-strewn  
together court capital DA ever again I'm going to fucking lose it.  
Kennedy is not the swing vote - he's just a loser.

Thanks to everyone for a great NDT - Dartmouth CO: you all are  
totally awesome, and if we had to go out to someone I'm glad it was you.

Emory HH - Julie and Aimi, you all totally rocked it. I'll echo the  
rest of the community's sentiments. And an additional congrats on  
being (I believe) the first woman-woman team to win the NDT.

And to our panel in the doubles: Brian McBride, Gordon Stables, Thad  
Blank, Kevin Hamrick, and Jarrod Atchison - five of the best critics  
I can think of who have taught me so much about debate in the past  
year that I can honestly say I always look forward to hearing your  
thoughts on our debates, even when we've lost. Other critics who are  
at the top of my list of people I respect: Josh Branson, David Heidt,  
and Aaron Hardy - three of the smartest and greatest people in our  
activity; I never stop learning from you all, and I am forever in  
your debt for taking debate seriously and always being thoughtful and  
constructive in your decisions.

See you all in the Fall -

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