[eDebate] Upcoming PBS live Debates re Iraq

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Thu Sep 13 07:38:36 CDT 2007

Subject: Miller Center Iraq Debate

On June 8, 2007, the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University
of Virginia announced the launch of the National Discussion and Debate
Series (NDDS).  We want to create an antidote to the idea that political
"debate" in this country must be overtaken by sound bites and squabbles
rather than a reasoned, informed exchange of ideas.  This debate series
is an extension of our mission to examine important issues, and through
it we aim to contribute to the national conversation with a genuine,
thoughtful give-and-take that will both inform people and provoke

We've partnered with MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (MLP) to produce the
events.   During the 2007-2008 academic year, we will host five debates
on important policy issues.  The debaters, two on each side, will be
drawn from the ranks of practitioners, public intellectuals, business
and religious leaders, and academics.  Skilled, nationally known
moderators will preside over each debate.

The first debate will take place at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 18,
2007, in the historic Dome Room of the University of Virginia's Rotunda.
Margaret Warner, senior correspondent of PBS's The NewsHour with Jim
Lehrer, will moderate. Participants will have roughly one hour to debate
the proposed resolution: "Keeping troops in Iraq is vital for America's
national interests in the Middle East."  Frederick W. Kagan, Resident
Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Reuel Marc
Gerecht, AEI Resident Fellow, will argue in favor of the resolution;
Jessica Tuchman Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, and former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman
will argue against it.  The entire debate series will be webcast live,
and permanently archived on the Miller Center's web site
(www.millercenter.org/debates).  The Center and MLP are also working
with C-SPAN and PBS affiliates to carry the debates live or in delayed

The first debate on September 18 is just one element of our effort to
encourage a broader national discussion.  This is where we need your
help.  I am inviting you, as a leading organization in the debating
community, to add to this discourse.

Your organization can become involved in two ways.

You can plan to hold your own "unity event" around the September 18
debate - which could take any form, from a viewing party to tune in to
the event, to starting your own organized discussion.  It's up to you.
To help arrange your own event, I have attached a kit created by
EchoDitto, a leading company in building online communities.  Whatever
you do, we want to hear about it.  We will post information - video and
audio clips, written accounts, etc. - on unity events on our web site.
We encourage you to send us details about your event.  With your help,
we can build a virtual community of civil and informed dialogue across
the country.

We have also created another way to join the discussion.  We have
launched group pages on You Tube, My Space, Facebook, Google and Yahoo
to keep the conversation going both before and after September 18.  In
the coming weeks, these sites will house what we hope will be a vibrant
national dialogue on the war in Iraq.  Below are links to each of these
pages - so you can choose your venue, log on and join the debate: submit
a video comment, post a question, participate in an online forum. Get


Thank you for considering becoming involved in this exciting new series.
Feel free to forward this message to your members.

I want to make sure that your event goes off as smoothly as possible, so
please contact me at (434) 924-7330 or jchidester at virginia.edu if I can
help in any way.  Please relay the Miller Center's regards to your
organization-you are doing a great service in elevating the debate in
our country.


Jeff Chidester
Staff Director
National Discussion and Debate Series
Miller Center of Public Affairs
jchidester at virginia.edu
(434) 924-7330

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