[eDebate] Webb. # of wars

Blake Johnson blakejohnson
Sat Apr 11 20:12:25 CDT 2009

Wow.  I'm unsure how much of this was written with your tongue in your cheek
(or Ozzy's) but it ranks among the most disrespectful, impudent, and, for
all of that, ignorant posts I've ever regretted opening.  I'll try to
separate what looks like argument from what sounds like a drunk frat boy
mangling the recital of a monologue from a movie/play meant to criticize
just those assumptions he's making (i.e. that war is only/primarily
something that militaries do to *each other*) while speaking down to a
professor who unwittingly provoked his insecure wrath.

Your entire argument rests on a lazy reading of the "quick and dirty guide
to war," written by "strategypage" -- by its own admission, an unqualified
weblog mouthpiece for defense interests, complete with a military
jokes<http://www.strategypage.com/humor/default.asp>section -- nearly
four years ago, when there were apparently only
*"15-20"* wars going on (seriously, what high school debater cannot name
more than 20 ongoing violent conflicts?).  A few reasons this is absurd:
 First, its reading of world affairs is entirely underwritten by the sort of
assumptions massey is calling into question -- most obviously, the realist
presumption that wars only happen between sovereign states.  And so
startegypage says: "Even the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 was not an
'invasion' by the United States, but rather U.S. forces joining in an
ongoing civil war between the Taliban (and their al Qaeda allies), against
the Northern Alliance."

Secondly, it was dishonest even when it was historically relevant.  Your
blog sums up the Afghan war awfully concisely, "A few hundred American
commandoes and other specialists, a few dozen bombers, [*sic*] were all that
was sent to the Northern Alliance, and that was all that was needed to
overthrow the increasingly unpopular Taliban." Hmmm...  Is this still the
conventional wisdom?

Had you looked a couple of google hits lower, you would have found
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5465.  Here, a slightly more objective,
slightly more qualified, and slightly more recent reading of world affairs
notes that "the number of wars and armed conflicts worldwide remained almost
unchanged from previous years at *43*"  So much for the presumption that
policy debate enhances research skills...

The most lollable part of your post must be:

"Yeah I have got a better idea, lets all sit around and read Nietzsche all
day and see where that gets us. Perhaps we can structure the international
order around the ubermensch or we can sit around and think about our
feelings (ontology?etc.) all day?. I wonder where we would be
then?hmmm?.wait?that?s right?Nazi Germany."

I won't even start on how juvenile, historically oblivious, and just plain
stupid this comment is.  Suffice it to say that if you think Hitler
understood or even really read Nietzsche, or that ontology has anything to
do with your "feelings," you should consult some "books."  Here's a good
start: Mein Kampf by Adolf
Nietzsche by Georges
Webster's Dictionary by people who understand what words

Also, how's this for UQ?  The man you are talking to like a child has --
utilizing the very same methods you are your ilk are so cavalier to dismiss
-- coached two CEDA Nationals Champions in the last three years.  Chu got?


Blake Johnson
Executive Director
Bay Area Urban Debate League
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