[eDebate] Webb. # of wars

J T jtedebate
Sun Apr 12 11:14:49 CDT 2009

In Clay's defense, he did know it was a movie line...Clay is an avid movie-line quoter...he does a mean Braveheart speech!

W. James Taylor ("JT")

Asst. Debate Coach

Emporia State University

***Nothing in this email should be taken to represent Emporia State Debate or Emporia State University.  The contents are the sole opinion of the author.

--- On Sat, 4/11/09, Blake Johnson <blakejohnson at urbandebate.org> wrote:

From: Blake Johnson <blakejohnson at urbandebate.org>
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Webb. # of wars
To: edebate at www.ndtceda.com
Date: Saturday, April 11, 2009, 6:12 PM

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 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 Hitler, On Nietzsche by Georges Bataille, Webster's Dictionary by people who understand what words mean.

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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