Debate: Words of War

Friday, October 03, 2014 - By: Ibrahim S, Captain of Debate, Whittall ‘15

As the sun set on West Coast Canada, it emerged on the eastern coast of Hong Kong. As it did, three Brentwood students, and three from the Australian International School of Hong Kong were set to debate the controversial idea that the War on Terror is futile. Separated by 6000 miles, the students resolved to debate online via Skype. With the Brentwood holding the proposition, and Hong Kong as the opposition, I watched an intercontinental war of words unfold.

Starting things off was the eloquent Toria E, Alex ‘16 with arguments that dared the opposition to enter in. Her argument was met with strong opposition as an equally verbose opposition spat a few points, with some cutting rebuttal on the side. Going on to prove the propositions’ case was Emma F, Alex ‘16, with a delivery of concise rebuttal that left the opposition on the back heel, followed by points that brought a new perspective to the debate, concerning the lives that were actually at stake. Grounded by the ethics presented by the proposition, the opposition had to adjust their arguments, but this was done with grace as the second speaker paralleled the proposition’s arguments. With four speakers already gone, the debate was now left in the hands of the righteous third speakers.

As Afyz M, Privett ‘17 launched his rebuttal, the temperature of the room seemed to increase. A new energy was introduced to the debate and along with it came a new ferocity. Shocked by the raw power of his counter-attack, the opposition was left scrambling, throwing in “POI” in futile attempts to quell the raging debater. The tension increased, transmitting to and from both sides of the computer screen. Once Afyz had finished, the room grew silent, with wide grins all around. The silence was broken by thunderous applause from both sides, and it was then left for the third speaker on the opposing side to conclude the debate. The Hong Kong student began his summary with intensity, quickly refuting previous statements made by the proposition, as an attempt to put out a fire that could not be extinguished.

Ibrahim S, Captain of Debate, Whittall ‘15

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