3.31.2005

Lesson learned

In a fit on non-thinking, I agreed to go with a couple other people to represent the College Republican viewpoint in a "Panel Discussion" on the Iraq war. It was the three of us, two "moderates" who represented the "the war was wrong, but we have to stay there now" cause, and three people from various leftist groups - Stop the War!, the Greens, and the Socialists, if I remember correctly.

Is it bad when, 15 minutes into a discussion, your team decides it really needs a drink? Is it bad when, 20 minutes into the discussion, your team decides it would really like to punch everyone else in the room in the teeth? Because that's mostly what happened.

The moderator was great - he was very balanced. There wasn't anyone who could vaguely be described as a "centrist" in the audience. And the "moderates" were really not. Some choice bits:

According to the moderates:
--Rwanda was an opportunity missed by America, not the U.N., to do good and promote our values.
--Also, we have left Iraq in worse shape both politically and in terms of infrastructure.
--Iraqis like American troops because they're at our mercy, not because we're doing good things for them.

--They don't want to be seen as too patriotic [don't worry - you won't - ed.]
--Indonesia and Nigeria should be seen as examples of "par to sub-par democracies".

According to the leftists:
--Current violent strife between the Sunnis and the Shias was created and instigated by the US.
--We can't know what would happen if the US pulled out of Iraq right now, according to the leftists.

--[standard garbage about the terrorists having a "right to self-defense"]

Best comment of the night? One of our team whispered, "We could have made a fun drinking game out of this!

Update: Thankfully, a couple of beers and a pile of Easter candy have set me right!

Update II: Fittingly, a guy at open mic night in the Union capped off the evening, by singing a song: "Who's got the crack? Whooooo'se got the craaaaaack!?"