Thursday, January 19, 2006

War Debate at RIT

I had the opportunity to table at a debate on withdrawing troops from Iraq that was sponsored by RIT's Anti-War Group and the College Republicans. There really wasn't that much said that "informed" people haven't heard before. The College Republicans took most of their arguments straight from Fox News and at the end, they backed themselves into a corner, which most righty pundits would if they were allowed to be questioned.

The Anti-War Group pretty much used the same arguments you can read at Common Dreams or Alternet. Though they did make one point that I had not heard yet that stood out for me.

Bush and his minions continue to connect Iraq with 9/11 every chance possible. Many on the left have had a difficult time dealing with this because they don't want to look unpatriotic and/or wimpy. Well, one person on the Anti-War Group took it to the College Republicans before they had a chance to bring it up. She said that our feelings around 9/11 (fear, anger, etc), is just how Iraqi citizens feel now on a daily basis. Nice.

Both sides relied on polls. At times both were reaching trying to tie numbers with their points. As debaters, all six seemed a bit inexperienced, but they did well. One highlight was the College Republicans' president who continued to insist that Iraqi's love the fact that we're there. In fact, he used what he called "pop culture" when he said (more than once) "They're loving it. They're sucking (democracy) up."

Only later he admitted that of course they don't want us there, no one wants to be occupied. By the end, one really got the sense that it was the White Man's Burden all over again for them. Another of the CB's said, "they don't want us there, but they need us there."

I would attribute this to them being "kids" but many so-called adults think the same.

I did wonder if there were any spies in the room. Like I care. I wouldn't be surprised if I was already on a list or two. As our Fake President said, "Bring it on."

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