IRAQ: A lesson about IR

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Blog, Current Events, Lessons, ModelUN, MUN Debate Topics | Comments Off on IRAQ: A lesson about IR

IRAQ: A lesson about IR

Hello boys and girls. As a former teacher, I would occasionally witness a news story so horrific and perplexing that I would cancel the day’s lesson plans, and instead, have a conversation about the news. Today is such a day that I have to stop working and take to the blog. As an author of MUN-E and a former advisor of a student club dedicated to teaching political compromise, A.K.A. DIPLOMACY, under the auspice of Model UN, the news of the day beseeches me to discuss the quagmire in Iraq. As a United States citizen, I must also speak up to denounce the continuing rhythm of our foreign intervention that causes so much destruction. Essentially, if you are practicing Model UN and hoping to pursue a career within the International Relations umbrella, the recent series of events are a beautiful lesson of what NOT to do with your foreign policy. The main article that I will citing in this discussion is found here. It is loaded with facts that you may have never been taught. For example: …it’s quite likely that Iraq’s border were specifically drawn to cut across ethnic boundaries and thereby assure a failed state, because Britain had learned through history that failed states were the easiest to control. This was their preferred MO in India and numerous other colonies, and by 1916 it was a more or less perfected tool of statecraft. I don’t want to jump too far ahead too soon, but I am citing this factual passage to invoke your thoughts about the future of our world and the role of a major world power like any P5 country. In school, especially grades K-12, we learn that wars happen due to evil personalities and corrupt governments who take advantage of people… and that “peacekeepers” like the most “excellent” United States intervene and set these evil leaders straight. I don’t want to discuss the truth of this lesson yet, instead I want to share some of the foreign policy activities of P5 countries interfering in the Middle East in the past year. Assad’s Syria, as an ally of Russia and the sovereign controller of land that is ideal for a network of transcontinental oil and gas pipelines, is no friend of the UK or the United States, aka “The West”. The West, along with Saudi Arabia, begins sending weapons to the “Syrian rebels”, which are actually a faction under the Al Qaeda umbrella, a well-known terrorist organization that has been supported by Saudi Arabia since the 80’s (notice how the mainstream news never tells us that “the US is paying for weapons to be given to the same terrorist organization who claims responsibility for 9/11″… but instead they say that “we’re supporting the Syrian Rebels”). Exactly one year ago, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tells us, “We have stepped up our assistance, but I cannot inventory for you all the elements of that assistance. We have provided and will continue to provide substantial assistance to the Syrian opposition, as well as the Supreme Military Council.” After a false flag chemical attack and under the...

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ANTI-P5 Policy & Debate

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Blog, Lessons, ModelUN, MUN, MUN Debate Topics, MUN-E, Uncategorized | Comments Off on ANTI-P5 Policy & Debate

ANTI-P5 Policy & Debate

Gearing up for the BIG conferences? HMUN? ILMUNC? NAIMUN!!!? If you didn’t get a P5 country, do you feel like you’re already losing? Well, in today’s world of instant information and detailed historical events, the P5 countries may have a weaker position than ever before. YOU have to be the one to call out these major players on their historical failures! It’s the MODEL UN, not the REAL UN, so there are no real consequences to calling the Russians liars, or calling the Americans arrogant. We have seen small countries like Bolivia completely upend the position of the United States by citing the corporate privatization schemes the Americans push in small countries around the world (Bolivia almost had its entire Water Supply privatized at the end of 1990’s). Sometimes you have to be clever about your position. You have to use emotion and diplomatic “outrage” at the policies of the big boys in order to cement your benevolent resolutions! Remember, in the UN, there are only a handful of “big guns” while there are more than 100 small nations who would rather support a non-P5 with a strong voice, instead of the typical powerhouse high schools who always get China or Russia. You have to be clever at how your argue against the powerful. We’re going to run down a spin of the P5 (UK, US, RF, China, & France) and show you some gaps that can be exploited for political gain! These are useful in both crisis and large committee… and they’ve been proven to work. Let’s start with the original P1, the British! The United Kingdom Why did we call the U.K. the original P1? Well, one look at this map should tell you why. The Royalty of Great Britain have reigned over most of the world. In all countries that are now “independent,” the UK still maintains corporate economic power as well as military power through key investments and allied military bases. Just because these territories are no longer called “territories” does not imply that they are sovereign, independent states. For example, the borders that were drawn around Iraq by the British after World War I were known to house mutually despondent cultural groups that still struggle against one another today. Were new borders drawn and economic policies reformed, the place may find peace… but why would any superpower want peace in a faraway land? Well, they don’t. Main Lesson of this article: Superpowers maintain power by “allowing” instability to be maintained in lesser nations. This is how the P5 operate under the mandate of the oligarchs that manage their welfare. P5 economies and their militaries are too powerful to be usurped by nationalist intentions of smaller, unstable countries. After World War 2, all of the countries between East Germany and the Ukraine became a border of chaos between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. This was done ON PURPOSE so that neither side (UK/US vs. Russia) could gain an inch. The political war in this region is still going on, the most notable recent event is the Ukrainian anti-government protests, arguments over being economically...

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A quick start to MUN 2013-2014!

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Blog, Current Events, ModelUN, MUN, MUN Debate Topics | Comments Off on A quick start to MUN 2013-2014!

A quick start to MUN 2013-2014!

Would you believe the fodder for discussion this year? Although most of the world seems to require some intervention and policy reform, the number of issues that can be debated is a blessing for Model UN clubs! Each and every delegate in your club should have AT LEAST ONE major world issue that they feel very passionately about. Already we have a global debate on chemical weapons and the ongoing wars throughout the middle east, we have a national debate on universal healthcare, a global economic “recovery” is showing no signs of improvement, another year of extreme weather is furthering the case for climate change, and now we’re in a government shutdown that has lasted nearly a week. As a Model UN delegate, it is your duty to have an opinion! Are you using these issues in your club meetings? Have you become more passionate about your arguments? Have you investigated the roots of these problems to inform your opinions? When you discuss your feelings about these issues, are you watching for the reactions of your fellow delegates? Are you using eye contact and strong body language when you take the stage? Are you confident in your own power to communicate your position? Get serious about the world. Get serious about professionalism and social intelligence. Raise your awareness and strengthen your presence. Get MUN-E....

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Preparation for MUN 2013-2014

Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Blog, Current Events, ModelUN, MUN, MUN Debate Topics, Updates | Comments Off on Preparation for MUN 2013-2014

Preparation for MUN 2013-2014

NSA Spying, Drones in America, Historic Weather and Floods, a new Iranian president, the Keystone pipeline, the IRS scandal, GMO foods and Monsanto, the Turkish Uprising, and we’re not even at the halfway point of 2013 yet. If you aren’t familiar with these headlines AND you want to have a successful year in Model UN, consider this your summer reading list. The earlier you begin training your eyes and ears for the arguments you’ll be hearing in the next year, the better you’ll be at debating with your peers. The college students who are in charge of the coming year’s conferences are hard at work shaping these controversies into background guides. They are intently watching the news, reading online reports, and studying the background of the key players in these world events. Considering the fact that most high school students have the entire summer off, it’s a really great opportunity to transition 30 minutes of your daily TV time into 30 minutes of active engagement in a news program. The best option, in my opinion, is to lump all of your news watching into Sunday morning on CNN. There are three programs in particular that are back-to-back and offer very clear delineation (SAT word for description) of political segmentation (SAT word for differences): (1) State of the Union with Candy Crowley, followed by (2) Fareed Zakaria’s GPS, followed by (3) Reliable Sources. State of the Union is a show dedicated to US national affairs, Fareed Zakaria’s GPS is a show dedicated to international affairs, and Reliable Sources is a show that turns the spotlight onto the news itself, analyzing how “newsworthy” are the stories being told and if there is any “spin” being given to the major stories of the week. These three TV shows may be the most informative 3-hours of television that you can observe any given week of the year, especially as they relate to the stories you hear about on a daily basis. Make these shows a part of your summer TV entertainment routine… and watch it with a friend so that you two can argue your own opinions in preparation of the upcoming year of debate! And you should buy our book for summer reading. Cause it’s awesome. Didn’t you read the testimonials? [BuyBookCenter]...

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Model UN Preparation

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Blog, Lessons, ModelUN, MUN, MUN Debate Topics, MUN-E | Comments Off on Model UN Preparation

Model UN Preparation

We’re going to paste some instructions for those of you preparing your research for a present day committees (as opposed to a historical committee) at a Model UN Conference. This is just a preview of the details we give in our book! [BuyBookCenter] Remember, follow these steps as we’ve laid them out. Whenever questions come up in your own research, you must find the answers to those questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow delegates or a social studies teacher in your school. Most people get great satisfaction from teaching you something you want to learn. RESEARCH STEPS FOR PRESENT-DAYCOMMITTEES Step 0 (we call it ‘Zero’ because it should be obvious) Read the background guide… duh. Research everything in the background guide that you don’t know about. Start a small journal and write about how you feel about the details of this topic thus far. If you can establish an emotional connection to this content, you’ll retain it much better. Step 1 One or two months ahead of time, you need current information. Get a good magazine: The Economist. One comes out every week. Get it every week. Read at least a quarter of the whole magazine. A quarter is not much… but you’ll quickly understand why I told you to read this magazine once you get started. Step 2 Go to the CIA factbook. Read everything about your country and your country’s neighbors. Who are your allies? Who does your country have a poor relationship with? If you are a person, go to wikipedia and start there (if you want REAL references from wikipedia about a particular subject, pay attention to the little numbers that look like this “[9]”… click on them for the actual reference and see if you can find that reference on the internet). Then ask yourself the same questions about allies and enemies. TAKE NOTES as you do this stuff! Step 3 Based on the topic of committee, the current world’s political pulse, and the major players in your community, choose a motivation and go check out the next appendix for help with the position paper. Write a draft of your position paper EARLY. You don’t need to have the final draft done for a while… but you should still do it EARLY. When any project is nearly done, it becomes natural to keep your eyes open for more ideas! If you want proof of this, read ahead in one of your classes. In a few days, you’ll notice that you understand the teacher much better than you did before. Step 4 Concentrate on the current issues in the world that directly relate to your country’s positions and “supposed” intentions. Start thinking about your potential arguments, compromises, strategies, and goals. Do it in that order. Write them down. Step 5 Go find facts to prove your arguments. Go back to chapter 5 in our book and remind yourself of those concepts about directing your arguments properly. Now with a friend explain the important issues in your committee, your delegation’s place in it, and then have some practice arguments. Step 6 (If you’re ready for Expert Level Research) Go to the United Nations website and search for recent resolutions passed in your exact committee… or research trade and military agreements between your nation,...

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Big Q’s for the next generation?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Current Events, Friends of MUN-E, ModelUN, MUN, MUN Debate Topics | 320 comments

Big Q’s for the next generation?

This is a very serious question and we can guarantee that no one around you will have a good answer… Which presidential candidate has a plan on any issue that addresses the lifelong needs of the age group that is not even in college yet, namely “children?” Inflation has been increasing faster than at any point in history. Programs like Social Security & Medicare are scheduled to be dilapidated by the time today’s children hit their 30’s. College costs are rising so quickly that students are being advised that college loans will result in costs that are equivalent to a mortgage. Updates of our country’s infrastructure are estimated to cost trillions of dollars, public schools are losing employees faster than at anytime in history, and unemployment is at an all-time high for 18-30 year olds and is NOT getting better. Today’s 20-35 year old group is making less than their parents did and this trend is on pace to turn out worse for today’s children. War has been in the news every single day of a 10 year old’s life. Technology is changing so quickly that laws, economics, education, medicine, and PEOPLE can’t keep up. This is happening WHILE THE COUNTRY IS ON A TEN YEAR TREND OF CUTTING INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION and while our nation’s scores are declining relative to the rest of the world. We need kids to ask these questions to the rest of the nation! The problems in our country are only becoming MORE detrimental to the future generation in the United States. The solutions to these problems are also going to rest on their shoulders more than any generation before them. We personally believe that the students who read this and realize their situation are going to be better prepared to change the world for their generation and themselves… And you MUNners who are practicing the skills that will be needed to change the politics of our nation for the benefit of everyone, we are here because we want to help. The future used to be a bright horizon that inspired beautiful movies and classic poems. The world NEEDS YOU to ask questions about YOUR FUTURE. We need you. And we wish you the best of luck in preparing for the future… But unlike the loud mouth figureheads and misguided voters & media, we promise to help you. And don’t be afraid let us know how we can help you even more… Learn to be one of the trendsetters in the future: Get MUN-E! Free membership to The MUNIVERSITY comes with your book!...

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