11/12/2009 – War on Terror Debate

The Society met on Thursday to discuss “Resolved: The Global War on Terror has been a Failure.”  Starting out the evening on the affirmation, Mr. Alex Henderson outlined efforts of the United States in Afghanistan, arguing that Afghanistan is the War on Terror and has been a monumental failure.  Debuting before the Society in her induction keynote, Miss Claire McCarthy countered this claim fiercely.  She argued that our intelligence capabilities have improved drastically, reducing the number of isolated terrorist cells worldwide and preventing attacks on American soil.  Also joining us for his induction keynote, Mr. César López eloquently argued that terrorist groups have actually become stronger since 2001 because of the polarizing actions of the United States.  Finishing off the opening keynotes on the negation, Mr. Silvio Gutierrez gave an entertaining but thoughtful speech, arguing that we must construct an ideology of tolerance and justice that can compete with extremism.

Floor speeches for the evening went well, although as Mr. Desnick kindly reminded us, “they can’t all be gems, folks.”  The non-members who spoke this evening did a particularly excellent job of keeping the debate focused and engaging.  After four wonderful closing keynotes, the Society divided the room to pass judgment on the defining American foreign policy agenda of this century.  In a cuttingly close decision, this resolution was negated, 16-15-2.  Miss McCarthy and Mr. López were inducted with cheer – the Society is grateful to add them to our ranks.

Please join us next week for what will surely be the defining debate of the fall season: “Resolved: The states ought to legalize gay marriage.”


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