James Rubin, former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs under President Clinton, and Ian Buruma, a political and cultural commentator on Asia and the author of The Missionary and the Libertine: Love and War in East and West, spoke against the motion.
The debate, held on September 14, 2005, was chaired by Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for the Guardian who has written extensively on international relations and the dilemmas of intervention.
Intelligence Squared is London's leading forum for live debate, holding regular debates on the crucial issues of the day and inviting the leading intellectual and political lights on the given subject to participate in them. The format of the debates is modeled on the one employed at the Oxford and Cambridge university Unions: a challenging, sharply defined motion; a team of speakers to propose the motion and a like number to oppose it; and a moderator to keep the speakers and the audience in order and force everyone to stick to the issues. After the main speeches and before summation, contributions are asked from the floor: audience participation is a key feature of the occasion, providing a rare opportunity for the public to voice their opinions and to challenge those of the speakers. A vote is taken before the debate begins and then again at the end so as to give a measure, often a very dramatic one, of the extent to which the audience has been swayed by the oratory and arguments of the speakers in the course of the evening.
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Very good debate. They manage to avoid getting bogged down in questions about Iraq. Both sides make good arguments and the audiance adds some good discussion. Worth a listen.
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