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SSA Topic: The Last Word

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Before this forum breathes its last (or at least before the shortcut gets wiped off the Forums page), I think we should at least give this topic its due send-off.

 

So - share your final thoughts. Best aff you heard? Most ridiculous? Fond memories? Bitter regrets? Still praising the Framers, or cursing their names? Here's your last chance...

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I enjoyed judging. I felt like a lot of people really cared about their affs, it was nice to see people argue for things they thought mattered.

 

Then again maybe they were just good at making things seem that way.

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this res was a great one for me to start my high-school debating on... it was really ez to argue both sides, but yet at a level where the lay judge could understand with minimal analysis and such... favorite aff was NOMA (easiest one to beat in Kansas lol)...

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I just don't understand why people kept running disease advantages with MEDFLAG. It's a strong aff, but 200 air force doctors in training are not going to solve for global AIDS spread. So many better advantages to be reading.

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I really loved this topic, it was my first, but it had some great stuff going behind it, i would say my only regret is not going to more tournaments, well there's other stuff but it's rather insignifigant. I remember having a discussion at the beginning of the season about how you like to be neg since it's easier to win, but you feel like a jerk saying we shouldn't help some of the most underpriveledged people in the world.

I can only hope next year will be just as good, which right now it's looking like it will be.

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My favorite aff probably had to be the Niger Delta aff by St. Stevens, because they either really did believe it or were really good at making people believe that they believed it. Not to mention that they were phenomenal debaters.

 

But this has to be one of my favorite resolutions. I am very sad to see it go.

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I just don't understand why people kept running disease advantages with MEDFLAG. It's a strong aff, but 200 air force doctors in training are not going to solve for global AIDS spread. So many better advantages to be reading.

What teams are you thinking of? Most teams that read Medflags (St. Marks, Westminster) didn't have disease advantages -- mainly hegemony if I remember correctly.

My favorite aff probably had to be the Niger Delta aff by St. Stevens, because they either really did believe it or were really good at making people believe that they believed it. Not to mention that they were phenomenal debaters.

 

But this has to be one of my favorite resolutions. I am very sad to see it go.

Was it the same affirmative as Bellarmine? I remember I hit them early on in the year and the advantages were instability/oil shocks from terrorism in the Niger Delta.

 

Great topic, certainly enjoyed it. Afraid next year's resolution is way too broad!

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, i would say my only regret is not going to more tournaments,

I totally agree, sometimes I'd get lazy and just do extemp and be done. Next years topic is not to my liking, i wouldve preferred the "central asia" topic, but eh....fav aff had to be water for poor act, common, but nonetheless i was comfortable with it. that and i HATED consult japan...damn arizona teams! jk. Overall good times with africa. learned alot which i guess is the "important" part. idk, with the whole Resolved doc and this wide array topic like SSA, this year was actually one to remember. who knows.

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I thought that this was a great topic to introduce novices to debate. Africa seems to be a topic that many people do have strong opinions on. There's a lot of room for what cases you can run, although it isn't quite as broad as the oceans topic was or even the civil liberties topic. I enjoyed debating this year, especially since there was a lot of kritik ground. It seems like a topic that everyone could compromise on. No matter what your style is, you can find a very easy way to debate it. Compared to last year's national service topic, I though Africa was much better and probably much more educational.

 

My favorite aff had to be Carnivals of Attrocity run by Highland Park. I know what most of you guys are thinking right now, but I know I thought it was really cool. It probably wasn't completely in line with Nietzsche's philosophy, but you have to give them credit.

 

For something a bit more topic related, I would choose debt relief, the aff I run. It seemed to be a popular case at the beginning of the year, and then people figured out that it was easily beatable. We teched ours out though, so it lasted the whole year. Logically speaking, it's probably the only policy right now that's doing Africa any good. With the neoliberalism stuff aside, it seemed like the more I debated the case, the more I became convinced that it was probably the best plan in the real world.

 

But everyone knows that the real plan here is to release to cure to AIDS. ;) Well, you all know what I'm alluding to, but it's also cool how they got so far. Who knows? Maybe it's true that the government is hiding the cure from us because they're racist. This is just another example of how much room this topic gave for creativity. We saw Derrida being run on the aff, we saw Chikungunya (and most of us still don't really know what it is exactly), and we even saw performance every once in a while.

 

I think this was a great year. Good job to all of the debaters, judges, and coaches for making it as good as it was. I think that every year has something special about it. I think all of us can relate to last year's topic and remember those Service Learning affs and that Learn and Serve America aff that SME ran in finals of NFL nationals (as well as the argument that beat it). This year had many highlights, and I can't wait to see what happens next year.

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Was it the same affirmative as Bellarmine? I remember I hit them early on in the year and the advantages were instability/oil shocks from terrorism in the Niger Delta.

 

Not at all. It was a critical affirmative that read a poem about the ongoing exploitation of the Ogone people in the Niger Delta. Plan was to give them ecological reparations to make up for the destruction done to their peoples and habitat thanks to Chevron.

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This topic loses on a 2-3 decision. This wasn't a very good topic selection. The literature base is not well suited to a policy debate advocacy. Most auhors write about statistics such as AIDS and conflict flashpoints in order to assist existing country or private donors in knowing where to focus its aid.

 

There is very few articles actually debating policy proposals like MEDFLAGS or G.H.S. This topic produced a run to the margins in terms of affs; I think Greenhill had like five country affs for the TOC. Debating these sucks because the cards are almost always contrived to access "unpredictable' advantages while being topical and trying to be very small. These do not reflect what you'd realistically hear a lot in a real discussion. I'm not blaming the debaters for simply being strategic, but the framers for not preempting what current debate practice makes nearly every round about.

 

Speaking of which, I felt like my understanding of africa was distorted and educational opportunity diminished by the int'l actor CP. The topic really should have asked what the US should do, because authors debating what approach works best for african aid always assume aid by the same donor -- you'd never hear a response such as "oh, just let other countries do the work." Now I can't speak for how educational this topic was for novices, but I did feel like most basic strategies were easily non-unique in the status quo so it might be difficult to learn to win on just them.

 

Due to the aforementioned marginality of most cases, the natural response was shitty strategies like NATO or ASPEC and other "theory-heavy" positions. These debates basically increase your education about how to judge rounds after your graduate. People who run them truly do make the debate experience worthless in terms of what's useful knowledge outside a round. Debaters who run these strategies are trained to put on ideological blinders when they prepare strategies and use the crutch to always avoid research on any topic. This makes debate less enjoyable by denying themselves the fun and excitement that could have been from putting out your best work to win. No wonder one of the debaters from a big-name school that relies on as many tricks they can to win isn't even going to camp...

 

I did enjoy reading books/articles from Easterly and Sachs. They are both brilliant scholars. Easterly should be the head of USAID, and now. Even though I should ideologically disagree with Sachs, I've really found myself swayed to his side sometimes. I felt like it was valuable to see the truth of how aid agencies play up the AIDS threat (like debaters say 'your takeouts don't assume super-deadly mutation just around the corner!') to get rich governments to steal money from blue-collar workers and middle-class families in order to produce three decades of no results and a prolonging of civil conflicts. I do think foreign aid should continue, however, as one of the most interesting things I've learned is the C.F.R.'s proposal on creating Doc-in-a-Box privately-owned chains in order to use Africa's (not-so-free) private market to solve health problems. I certainly do not think we should just "ban aid" as that would make literally every problem worse and probably cause re-entrenchment, with the candidates that have realistic shots at winning the US elections. Some government incentives for companies would be needed and it's well justifies. For me it's not an ideological question of absolute "foreign aid bad" but a matter of what works and what doesn't. Charity, private and especially public, is a thirty year old panacea of failed results. Market competition (a few success stories so far, but still early stages), governmental reform (surprisingly, there is significant progress in all but a few nations), and economic boons will solve africa's real ills like malnutrition, human rights abuse, and civil war. It will also reduce the disease/terrorism hype the West perceived emerging from the "Third" World that it helped keep from modernizing. Finally, tech (even nano!) probably can't solve all our problems like many libertarians believe -- at least not in Africa, not under the current aid policy. Final word, Nietzsche is wholly irrelevant to any discussion of US foreign aid.

 

PS: previous topic ratings: natl service 3-2, civil liberties 4-1, and wmd 5-0 (i'm a secondary source).

 

50 minutes to type this post. Damn.

Edited by Synergy
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I'm curious to know who votes on the topic. I can understand why civil liberties won and why WMDs won (obviously I didn't debate that one, but from what I've heard, it was an awesome topic). I don't know how national service could have won though, especially when the loss was given to Africa. I remember last year when a discussion came up at the end of the year and everyone was just bashing the topic. National serivce was one of those topics where there really wasn't much room for creativity. The literature base was mostly about the armed forces (and some about the peace corps), but that was about it. I know there was literature on the other ones because people did run them, but there just wasn't as much. I remember that most of the affs were critical or untopical. I think it was an okay topic for novices, but it probably wasn't was good as this year's simply because it's not a topic people cared about as much. I still have no idea of whether or not it's a good thing to add people to the Peace Corps. That seems like something the government does based on its own needs and based on its own budget. It's not a topic that comes up in the elections, and even though they talk about the military, it's mostly about technology funding and has nothing to do with increasing the number of troops.

 

As to strategies and the literature base, I think there's quite a bit of room. Strategies are dependent on the team. I know a team that ran consult NATO every round for four years straight. There isn't much that we can tell them. They had a K, the consult CP, and ASPEC, and that's all they ever ran. They got pretty far too, losing at nationals with a panel of tranditionalist judges. They lost to the national champions that year (which was the civil liberties topic). Just because many people fall back on those bad strategies doesn't mean that we all have to. There is plenty of kritik lit and counterplan lit (as said earlier in reference to international actor CPs). Even topicality was pretty interesting this year because it wasn't very clear-cut exactly what public health assistance was. And even if the debate has nothing to do with Africa, a Nietzsche debate is always fun ;). The literature base was enough to tell us that Africa has lots of problems. Impacts this year were really good, and actually somewhat realistic. The solvency for those impacts was a different story, but that's why it was so easy for the neg to play defense on every advantage. I actually found case debates to be pretty common simply because, even if a team didn't have lit on a specific case, they could always attack the solvency analytically. All in all, we did learn a lot about Africa (and a bit about Nietzsche), and even though our view of it might be a little distorted, it's not like anything changed. Policy debate always seems to distort our views of the world, but we move on and, after a while, we take a step back and reanalyze.

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I'm curious to know who votes on the topic.

 

Here is my recollection of the process. It is fairly complex.

 

Topic papers are submitted to the National Federation of State High School Associations in the summer. In August, there is a topic caucus where representatives of the various sanctioning bodies discuss the merits of each topic paper and decide which ones will be on the first ballot. There are usually five to seven or so on that ballot. Each sanctioning organization gets one vote on the first ballot. So, that's each state's sanctioning organization, plus the NFL, CFL, and I think the NDCA. It is up to the invidual organizations to decide how their vote is selected. In Ohio, each member-school of the Ohio High School Speech League submits their preferences, and that determines the order of preference on the OHSSL ballot to the NFHS. The topics are ranked in order of preference. Then, the top two choices are put on a second ballot and all the sanctioning organizations vote again. The winner is the one with the majority of the votes on the second ballot.

 

The process is explained in more detail on the NFHS website. http://www.nfhs.org/web/2003/11/process_for_selecting_the_debate.aspx

 

This year's topic meeting is August 1-3, and the expected topic papers* are Infrastructure, Civil Rights/Affirmative Action, Homeland Security Reform, Climate Change, Drugs/War on Drugs, Federal Election Reform, Retirement Security/Social Security, Potable Water Quality. http://www.nfhs.org/web/2007/05/nfhs_cx_debate_topic_selection_m.aspx

 

* "Expected topic papers" are those that the NFHS has been asked for permission to submit. You have to request permission to write a topic paper, to ensure that there are not multiple submissions on the same topic. Any given topic paper expectation may vanish before the submission deadline.

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So I am a T debater at heart, and I thought one of the biggest issues was in the wording of the topic. The term "public health" is a term of art, as people say, and there is a lot of literature on this term. That said, the resolution said "public health assistance", which was not as abundant in literature. There were a few definitions, but by far the best literature was under public health. I feel like the resolution would have been better if it was written "The USFG should substantially increase its assistance for public health in SSA". That would have made it clear cut that public health is a specific term of art, and assistance doesn't have to be part of that.

The reason I would have liked this is that the literature on the term "public health" was amazing from a T debate standpoint. The evidence actually talked about why different definitions were better, and in terms of things like limits. It made the debate so much easier. The prime example I can think of is the Gostin 01 evidence

 

Scholars and practitioners have long been conflicted about the "reach" or domain of public health.[ 11] Some prefer a narrow focus on the proximal risk factors for injury and disease. Under this perspective, public health should identify risks or harms and intervene to prevent or ameliorate them. This has been the traditional role of public health, exercising discrete powers such as surveillance, infectious disease controls (e.g., screening, vaccination, partner notification, and quarantine), and sanitary measures (e.g., safe food and drinking water).

Others prefer a broad focus on the societal, cultural, and economic foundations of health. Under this perspective, public health should be more concerned with the underlying conditions that are associated with poor health.[ 12] For instance, the field of public health is ultimately interested in the equitable distribution of social and economic resources because social status, race, and wealth are important determinants of health.[ 13] This inclusive direction for public health is gaining popularity; consider how many of the federal government's health objectives for 2010 seek a reduction in health disparities.[ 14] Public health researchers are also venturing into areas far from their traditional expertise, including violence, war, homelessness, and discrimination.[ 15]

The problem with an expansive view is that public health -- as a field, as a mandate -- becomes limitless, as almost everything human beings undertake affects public health. By this account, public and private activities across a wide spectrum are the work of public health. To many, this all-inclusive notion of public health is counterproductive. First, by defining itself so widely, the field lacks precision. Public health becomes an all-embracing enterprise bonded only by the common value of societal well-being. Second, by adopting such a broad array of behavioral, social, physical, and environmental interventions, it lacks a discrete expertise. The public health professions consequently incorporate a wide variety of disciplines (e.g., occupational health, health education, epidemiology, and nursing) with different skills and functions. Finally, by espousing controversial issues of economic redistribution and social restructuring, the field becomes highly political. While public health practitioners like to conceive of their field as a positivistic discipline that stresses the importance of science and technique, the field is, in reality, imbued with values and influenced by interest-group politics.

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I didn't think Africa would actually be the topic in the first place, but I think my predictions for the topic itself were pretty close.

 

The Africa topic will make for two kinds of rounds: ones with generic disads and T-"public health assistance", and ones with generic kritiks and T-"public health assistance". There will be thousands dinky little affs that get a tiny fraction of their solvency for malaria and win anyway because they link to nothing.

 

http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1338208&postcount=72

 

I'm sympathetic with Synergy and DarthChetu. The topic area (foreign aid for public health in Africa) was a good choice, but the wording of resolution needed a makeover. The topic should have been restricted to a smaller geographic area, the term "foreign aid" should have been in there instead of "assistance," and "public health" should have been replaced with a laundry list of smaller case areas.

 

"Public health assistance" was a disaster. As I said back in May of of last year, "There are almost ZERO incidences in the literature of the term 'public health assistance' used in the possessive sense, as the resolution uses it." The resulting ambiguity, combined with the fact that the entire continent of Africa was the object of the resolution, made the research burden impossible for the neg. There were just too many bizarre affs and no sure way to beat them on T. The reason you saw nothing but generics - agent-changing CPs, critiques of aid, and lots of politics - was that the neg really had no choice. Researching case-specific neg is a waste of time if you hit an unheard-of aff every round, and writing a mainstream aff is the wrong strategy if you know you can win the solvency and T debates with a squirrel.

 

All that aside, judging this year was fun. Novice rounds were simple and easy to critique, and advanced rounds were unique and stimulating. I debated Africa in 2000 in college, and this was a good opportunity to pass on the lessons I learned to the next generation. I still would have preferred Central Asia, but this was a perfectly good second choice.

 

Next year will be even better. Energy is still a big topic area, but the object (the US) is more homogeneous and predictable. More importantly, the key limiting terms are defined much more clearly in the literature. There are only about a dozen or so non-fringe "alternative energy" technologies and another couple dozen useful "incentives." Sure, people will still run dinky CPs, politics, and generic Ks, and there will be plenty of "the New Scientist says my obscure technology will save the world" cases. But it will be much easier to deal with all these, and there will be many more in-depth rounds to enjoy and learn from.

Edited by Tomak
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Great double post up there.

 

I enjoyed the topic simply because I enjoyed running a Deleuze and Guattari Sex Workers AFF. It was fun and people often assumed we wanted to have a sex change. Could have been worse.

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Afraid next year's resolution is way too broad!

 

I really dont see how incentives for alternative energy, when there are a limited number of existing incentives with solvency advocates in the literature base is soooo much more broad then public health assistance.

 

To be honest, on the list of important political and social issues Africa was never my #1; however I honestly did enjoy judging debates on this topic and feel like this years debates were debates that needed to happen.

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Here is my recollection of the process. It is fairly complex.

 

Topic papers are submitted to the National Federation of State High School Associations in the summer. In August, there is a topic caucus where representatives of the various sanctioning bodies discuss the merits of each topic paper and decide which ones will be on the first ballot. There are usually five to seven or so on that ballot. Each sanctioning organization gets one vote on the first ballot. So, that's each state's sanctioning organization, plus the NFL, CFL, and I think the NDCA. It is up to the invidual organizations to decide how their vote is selected. In Ohio, each member-school of the Ohio High School Speech League submits their preferences, and that determines the order of preference on the OHSSL ballot to the NFHS. The topics are ranked in order of preference. Then, the top two choices are put on a second ballot and all the sanctioning organizations vote again. The winner is the one with the majority of the votes on the second ballot.

 

The process is explained in more detail on the NFHS website. http://www.nfhs.org/web/2003/11/process_for_selecting_the_debate.aspx

 

This year's topic meeting is August 1-3, and the expected topic papers* are Infrastructure, Civil Rights/Affirmative Action, Homeland Security Reform, Climate Change, Drugs/War on Drugs, Federal Election Reform, Retirement Security/Social Security, Potable Water Quality. http://www.nfhs.org/web/2007/05/nfhs_cx_debate_topic_selection_m.aspx

 

* "Expected topic papers" are those that the NFHS has been asked for permission to submit. You have to request permission to write a topic paper, to ensure that there are not multiple submissions on the same topic. Any given topic paper expectation may vanish before the submission deadline.

 

Sorry about the miscommunication. I know about the selection process, although that post added a little bit more to my knowlege. Thanks for the information on the topic of 09-10, but unfortunetly I won't be debating it. I was actually wondering more about Synergy's post saying that Africa lost on a 2-3 decision. I was just wondering who those five people are.

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All five are Synergy.

 

And, I agree with Tomak. The topic was great, the resolution was problematic. It should have used the term foreign aid, and it should have listed five or so specific countries as topical areas. I also, in hindsight, would have liked to see a list of topical public health problems.

 

List resolutions are good.

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My thoughts -

 

I think a lot of you don't give enough credit to the highly-specific debates that went down as the year progressed. I thought the diversification of affs by NDCA/TOC was at an appropriate range and I thought most debates were well researched. I definitely thought that the scope of this topic made it far superior to the nat'l service topic, which I thought became much too limited because many affs were ridiculously stupid and others just died as the year went on (Citizen Corps)

 

I think that Greenhill caught on to the right idea at the end of the year and I wish I had the time to invest to make that work earlier in the year as well. This would have made debates even more interesting because it would at the very least force teams to get more specific DA links (i.e. you could easily win a China DA against most of the country affs, but it's hard if you don't have country-specific links)

 

While I think a lot of the topic became contrived, I also liked the way the topic eventually achieved a decent media focus as the year went on (Bush's Africa trip, PEPFAR reauthorization) much the same way as the surge/Gates proposal debate took place during tournaments late last year.

 

I thought it was better than national service, though I think energy will be better to debate next year.

 

Just a reminder - almost everyone, every year says that next year's topic is too broad simply because they think of infinite possibilities for affs and don't consider whether or not they will be feasible or winnable, and usually 80% of the people who post in these types of threads say the topic will suck overall.

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I think that Greenhill caught on to the right idea at the end of the year and I wish I had the time to invest to make that work earlier in the year as well. This would have made debates even more interesting because it would at the very least force teams to get more specific DA links

 

I disagree. The literature base just isn't cut out for in-depth policy advantage-disadvantage debate. There are few, very few "specific links" and most of the cards that would be read at best are a few news articles saying "Three Chinese companies are seeking resource contracts in the Congo" and the aff's internal links are probably the same. Spin is good in certain quantities, but this topic just became too contrived due to the limited impact scope of the literature and the desire for debaters for new unpredictable impacts that US is key to. That's why you're right about the evolution of 'acceptable evidence': at the beginning of the topic there were no good nano aff cards, but by the end of the year it was viable.

Edited by Synergy

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I disagree. The literature base just isn't cut out for in-depth policy advantage-disadvantage debate. There are few, very few "specific links" and most of the cards that would be read at best are a few news articles saying "Three Chinese companies are seeking resource contracts in the Congo" and the aff's internal links are probably the same. Spin is good in certain quantities, but this topic just became too contrived due to the limited impact scope of the literature and the desire for debaters for new unpredictable impacts that US is key to. That's why you're right about the evolution of 'acceptable evidence': at the beginning of the topic there were no good nano aff cards, but by the end of the year it was viable.

 

I'll try to address this with an example since the crux of this is whether or not it was feasible to get good, specific advantages to specific countries.

 

Remember the Somali medical teams aff that a lot of people thought was sweet? I think a Chinese politics DA was highly winnable:

 

Somalia is moving towards strong ties with China because of reconstruction assistance – plan destroys these

People’s Daily Online 5

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200502/04/eng20050204_172999.html

 

 

On February 1, the organs with the Somalia's transitional government in exile started moving back to their own country's capital -- Mogadishu, Somali from Nairobi, capital of Kenya. Before departure, Somalia Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi and its deputy prime minister and information minister expressed in their exclusive interview with a People's Daily reporter that the Somalia government is looking forward to a cordial cooperation with friendly China in the process of their peaceful reconstruction.  The government will be relocated in three groups and face unprecedented challenges. Through two and half years of peace talks the Somalia transitional government set up a new parliament, which selected chairman, president, prime minister, and cabinet from last September to January this year. Prime Minister Ali told the reporter, "We do not want a government in exile. Now the time is ripe for the new government to move back home. Starting from February 1 we will return home in batches and start to build our country peacefully''. According to their introduction, the new government will be back home in three batches: in the first batch, Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Geri will lead a team of Cabinet members and lawmakers based in Kenya back to Mogadishu, Somalia on February 1. The first group of members of parliament of the Kenyan-based Somali government left Nairobi on Tuesday (February 1) for Mogadishu in a move that marked the beginning of the new administration's relocation back home and at the same time set up a liaison center for the country in the capital; the main tasks for the second batch will be responsible for the return of parliamentarians and all the representatives attending the peace negotiations. They will be back at the suitable time; those who are left over at Nairobi will be back in the third batch. The deputy minister will be in charge of the work. They will be in charge of the necessary liaison and coordination work for the final return of the new government. It will be also convenient for the new government to get in touch with the international society. The deputy prime minister stressed that in view of the present situation in Somalia it is impossible for the new government to return home completely. So it will take about half a year to complete the process. People are generally concerned about the security problem in Somalia. Now the United Nations and the African Union have agreed to send peacekeeping force to Somalia and Uganda has first agreed to offer 2,000 peacekeepers to Somalia so as to guarantee the return of the new government. Judging from the present situation, the citizens in Mogadishu will welcome the return of the new government in order to end the 14-year-long anarchy. The people throughout the country long for living a stable and normal life and they are in the hope that the country will be put on an orderly development track. That is a favorable factor for the new government to return home. When talking of the new challenges facing the new government, the deputy prime minister pointed out that the new government would face all new challenges, which the new governments of any other countries in the world have never met before. He said, "Through years of war there are no troops and police in Somalia and the country is in anarchy. All the infrastructure facilities have been destroyed and it is hard for the new government to find an area to live at the Somalia's capital''. According to estimates, it will take at least half to one year for Somalia to be on the right track of peaceful development and reconstruction. It is the prime task for Somalia to restore domestic peace and collect the weapons scattered among the Somalia people and create a sound environment for the country's reconstruction. At the same time, the new government will be introduced to the people and peaceful importance will be publicized. Local governments at all levels will start to be set up while managerial institutions at all levels will be improved and a new national system will be established.  International support will be needed and China's assistance wins universal praise. The two leaders expressed that the Somalia's peace and construction cannot be separated from the support of the international society. "China is a big and influential country in the world we are very grateful to China for its support in offering the United Nations peacekeeping force to Somalia and have expressed the heartfelt thanks to the Chinese government and people for their assistance in Somalia tsunami disaster. Unfortunately Somalia becomes one of the countries suffering Tsunami disasters. And the disasters are more severe than expected. We cherish the Chinese sympathy for Somalia people and the assistance given by friendly China''. They pointed out that Somalia-China friendship goes back to the ancient times. More than 600 yeas ago Zheng He led his fleet to visit Somalia. After the founding of new China, The Chinese government has built a series of projects in Somalia involving the Grand National Theater, Capital Gymnasium, Capital Hospital and highways leading to the west and north parts of the country. The quality of the projects has won Somalia praise, becoming the best evidence for the friendship between the two countries. The senior people in Somalia have still clearly remembered the scenes when Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited Somalia 41 years ago. Among the representatives attending the peace talks many have greeted Premier Zhou Enlai and Chinese Marshal Chen Yi on the streets of Mogadishu even if they were children at that time. "Facts prove that China is a partner worthy of our reliance. China's construction levels and quality of commodities have won recognition from the people of Somalia. Somalia is on the way towards peace and development. Due to the 14-year-long civil war in Somalia, all infrastructure facilities and industrial and agricultural production were destroyed and it is very hard for Somalia to rebuild the country. As a result, a great amount of funds is required for the reconstruction. We are looking forward to the cooperation with friendly China in our national peaceful reconstruction and to the assistance and support from the Chinese government and people once again.

 

 

Plan is a foreign policy loss for Chinese politicians – Western firms haven’t invested in Somalia because of instability – China enjoys a key advantage in bilateral ties

Maleki 7

[Nima, “China Invests in Somalia Despite Instability,” July 25, http://positivity.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/china-invests-in-somalia-despite-instability/]

 

China’s willingness to invest in Somalia — before the Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.) completes work on a national oil law and as the security situation continues to deteriorate — shows that Beijing has not been deterred by the growing backlash across Africa at Chinese policies and remains willing to take on political risks that Western firms will not tolerate.

Chinese politicians perceive oil ties with Somalia as a key test of Chinese influence across the continent – they just invested millions in Somali oil deals. The plan sparks political infighting and crushes Chinese influence in the region

Asia Times 7

[Jul 24th, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/IG24Cb01.html]

 

The Financial Times reported on July 13 that the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) had signed a deal with Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf to explore the northern Puntland region for oil. The initial agreement was signed in May, and it was endorsed at the China-Africa summit held in Beijing last November. A meeting between CNOOC and Somali officials was held on June 24 to finalize the deal. The terms indicate that the Somali government would retain 51% of the oil revenues under a production-sharing arrangement. Further reporting from The Financial Times, however, revealed that Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi was not aware of the contract, suggesting that the oil deal remains vulnerable to political infighting. China's willingness to invest in Somalia - before the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) completes work on a national oil law and as the security situation in the East African country continues to deteriorate - shows that Beijing has not been deterred by the growing backlash across Africa at Chinese policies and remains willing to take on political risks that Western firms will not tolerate. Threats to China in Africa

Chinese investments have come under attack in recent months, and a general wariness about closer ties with Beijing has become part of the political dialogue in most African countries where China does business. Days after the June meeting in Somalia, a Chinese mining executive was kidnapped in Niger. The incident followed the killing of nine Chinese workers in Ethiopia, near the border with Somalia, in April. Chinese workers have also come under attack in Nigeria in recent months. Politically, Chinese investments have become a touchy subject. Michael Sata's opposition campaign in Zambia received strong backing after he attacked Chinese investments and threatened to renew ties with Taiwan. He ultimately failed in his bid for the presidency, however, after China threatened retaliatory measures if he was elected. Similar complaints have been raised in Nigeria and South Africa. China began this year to address the growing unease in Africa toward its investments. President Hu Jintao in February visited Zambia and South Africa, where he pledged further investments and a greater focus on community development plans. China has also publicly used its leverage in Sudan to press Khartoum to accept the terms of last year's United Nations Security Council resolution on the Darfur crisis. Nevertheless, China's fundamental goals in Africa have not changed. China is looking to secure access to the natural resources it needs to keep its economic expansion humming, as well as support for its policies at the UN. The CNOOC deal in Somalia is evidence that China's appetite for risk has not decreased as it pursues these goals in Africa.

 

And, Western countries don’t have these oil ties yet – means that their generic aid non-uniques don’t apply – the plan boosts U.S. influence and crowds China out of critical energy deals

Asia Times 7

[Jul 24th, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/IG24Cb01.html]

 

 

The fact that China would enter an agreement in such an uncertain legal and political environment, to say nothing of the security concerns, shows that it is still willing to take on risks that the Western oil majors cannot tolerate. This remains the main competitive advantage for China in the race to secure natural resources around the world - while Chinese firms do not have the technology to drill in some of the conditions that Western firms can, they do not have the same political and financial constraints that prevent them from investing in regions considered off-limits to Western firms. Last month, for example, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) signed a deal to co-develop an offshore block in Sudan, where China has been the dominant player in the oil sector after sanctions caused Western firms to suspend their operations or pull out completely. Sudan now supplies up to 10% of China's oil imports. In Angola, China provided $2 billion in soft loans to the government that allowed it to avoid implementing reforms requested by Western donors. In return, Angola ensured that it would provide continuous oil supplies to Beijing. CNOOC said this year that it would boost output to 78 million tonnes from 40.3 million tonnes last year. To maintain growth rates near this level, Beijing will need to continue to help its oil companies invest in regions where Western firms cannot. This means that China will fund infrastructure projects in countries under Western sanctions, such as Sudan, or where security concerns dissuade Western firms from investing more, such as Nigeria.

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well i came into high school debate on the UNPKO topic and i love that topic. That was by far the best topic i debated. I like the africa topic mainly because after two years of crap topics (civil liberties and national service) i enjoyed it. I'm not opposed to domestic topics at all. I liked the T debate and this topic gave us more impact scenarios than just nuke war. I like the broadness of the topic and i liked seeing teams believe and truly advocate their plans where as in years past it was not so except for the UNPKO topic. I truly enjoyed this topic and wish the best of luck to those debating alternative energy next year. I look forward to judging and coaching it

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well i came into high school debate on the UNPKO topic and i love that topic. That was by far the best topic i debated. I like the africa topic mainly because after two years of crap topics (civil liberties and national service) i enjoyed it. I'm not opposed to domestic topics at all. I liked the T debate and this topic gave us more impact scenarios than just nuke war. I like the broadness of the topic and i liked seeing teams believe and truly advocate their plans where as in years past it was not so except for the UNPKO topic. I truly enjoyed this topic and wish the best of luck to those debating alternative energy next year. I look forward to judging and coaching it

 

 

My freshman year was the UNPKO topic and to be honest it kicked ass, the other three topics i debated were much less interesting.

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