[eDebate] Topic Thoughts - Middle East

helwich at macalester.edu helwich
Thu Apr 5 15:16:52 CDT 2007


I like the Mideast topic as much as anyone, and think that Mike and Steve did a stand-up job with the paper.

I have one big concern, however--topic volatility.

If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq or bombs Iran, or Musharraf is assassinated, etc., the whole game changes. That makes for an exciting, and educational topic.

BUT

Big changes in a 'problem area' also create enormous research burdens within a very narrow timeframe. Mac would be in a tough, tough spot if the US were to attack Iran midseason. I tend to think that predictability is a more important gage of whether small schools can engage with a topic, and I'm somewhat concerned.

However, I can be persuaded. So?

best,
dch
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