The Instigator
Skynet
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
LiberalHoyaLawya
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Abuses of Abu Ghraib prisoners by Americans can be blamed on the Left

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
LiberalHoyaLawya
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,730 times Debate No: 19922
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Skynet

Pro

First round is for acceptance. This is not a semantics debate, and while some spectators may experience symptoms resembling acute exposure to trolling, I assure you, that is not the intent.

I am arguing that if blame for the infamous Abu Ghraib prison scandal is to be extended beyond soldiers and officers immediately involved, it would be tied more directly to the political left than anyone in the White House at the time of the scandal.
LiberalHoyaLawya

Con

Wow. This should be interesting.
Debate Round No. 1
Skynet

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting, and can see from his profile that he and I are polarized on every issue we admitted to having a position on, with the exception of late-term abortion. I commend you for that, sir. But I digress.

The Liberal movement is more responsible for Abu Ghraib than the conservative Bush Administration.

Conventional views of pornography:

Conservatives: “Conservatives therefore think that it is entirely legitimate for the state to prohibit consenting adults from publishing and viewing pornography, even in private, in order to protect the moral health of would-be consumers and of society as a whole.”

Liberals: While degrading pornography is “low value” speech, it must still be protected under principal of free speech, and therefore be allowed to exist, whether approved of or not by the liberal defender. [1]

The George W. Bush administration actively opposed pornography. [2]

The degrading treatment that prisoners underwent, specifically the sexually abusive and suggestive photos, are not in line with official guidelines, nor is it clear that the White House knew anything nor ordered this treatment. It seems apparent that approval of the abuse came to an end at most the level of Gen. Paul J. Kern. While the White House may be responsible for not providing clear direction to interrogators, [3] this in no way allows or directs an interrogator to humiliate a prisoner in a sexual way, which you can see did happen in the photos.

So I have made a case that the President may not have been all that responsible for the abuses, how can I blame the left for it?

This behavior is not viewed by the Left as acceptable for soldiers, so why should it be acceptable to defend the portrayal of these acts for profit and dissemination among civilians, who are the hiring pool for the military? Viewing pornography degrades sexuality, and can lead to actions like what happened at Abu Ghraib. [5]


-The Right and the Bush Administration disapproved and condemned the actions at Abu Ghraib.

-Some soldiers directly responsible for pornographic abuses of prisoners were involved in viewing and making pornography. [4]

-Pornography can lead to sexually degrading behavior towards others.

-The Right and the Bush Administration disapproved of, and actively attacked pornography.

-The Left generally defends pornography.

-The Left does not deal with the end results of their view on freedom of speech, and so encouraged (or at least defended the “right” of) civilians and military personnel to be entertained by sexually violent behavior. But when guards and interrogators carry out similar actions that are encouraged by such entertainment, it is condemned.

-The Bush Administration condemned not only the activity at the prison, but the pornography that encourages it.

-The Left is more responsible for the prisoner abuses than the White House.

1 http://plato.stanford.edu...

2 http://thinkprogress.org...

3 http://www.nytimes.com...

4 http://prospect.org...

5 http://www.thelantern.com...

(Because of their graphic nature, I decided not to post a link to the pictures in question here, but if you really want to find them, it's not hard at all to find them.)
LiberalHoyaLawya

Con



Pro's attempt to blame liberal support for pornography as the primary cause of the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib is absurd. There is zero evidence that pornography has any effect on violent behavior, and, in any event, the militant lawlessness and anti-Muslim bigotry fomented by conservatives in the wake of 9/11 played a far greater role in the torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib.

1. Pornography does not lead to violent behavior

To support his contention that "pornography... can lead to actions like what happened at Abu Ghraib," Pro cited an opinion column from one college newspaper, devoid of any empirical data. A comprehensive international study by Milton Diamond, however, demonstrates the fallacy of Pro's argument. After showing that a dramatic increase in the availability of in pornography in Japan and the United States over recent decades was coupled with an equally dramatic decrease in violent sex crimes, the study concluded that "if anything, there is an inverse causal relationship between an increase in pornography and sex crime." [1] Similar studies have arrived at identical conclusions. [2, 3]

Without Pro's speculative and pseudo-religious premise that pornography causes violent behavior by "degrading" the sanctity of human sexuality, his entire argument fails.

2. Conservatives are responsible for the factors that actually lead to Abu Ghraib

A. The invasion of Iraq

If the Bush administration hadn’t decided to invade Iraq in the first place, the abuses at Abu Ghraib would have never occurred. Iraq was an unnecessary war initiated under false pretenses, and the torture at Abu Ghraib was only one of its disastrous consequences.

B. The mismanaged occupation of Iraq

Abu Ghraib was merely one example of the Bush administration’s broader mishandling of the occupation of Iraq. From their erroneous pre-war prediction that Americans “would be greeted as liberators” [4], to the premature declaration of “Mission Accomplished” [5], to the inadequate troop levels used for occupation [6], to the disastrous decision to disband the Iraqi military and police in late 2003 [7], the Bush administration’s numerous mistakes all contributed to the violent instability in Iraq at the time the abuses in Abu Ghraib began in early 2004. By putting too much stress on too few troops, the Bush administration made something like Abu Ghraib inevitable.

C. Hostility toward international laws governing the treatment of POWs

In waging the "war on terror," the Bush administration put forth a constant resistance to international human rights laws, especially legal prohibitions on the use of torture. [8] Conservative enthusiasm for so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" contributed to an anything-goes mentality among military interrogators, which ultimately resulted in the torture that occured at Abu Ghraib.

My opponent claims that "the Right and the Bush administration disapproved and condemnded of the actions at Abu Ghraib," but this is a stretch at best. Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld refused to acknowledge that "torture" had occurred at Abu Ghraib [9], while Republican Senator James Inhofe said he was "probably not the only [Senator] . . . that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment." [10] Leading conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh dismissed the atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib as no worse than typical fraternity hazing. [11] As evidenced by their reactions after Abu Ghraib, conservative indifference toward the torture of enemy detainees was certainly widespread before it.

D. Anti-muslim bigotry in the wake of 9/11

Because much of the torture and humiliation at Abu Ghraib was specifically intended to prey upon the religious convictions of the Iraqi detainees, [12] it is safe to say that anti-Muslim hatred played as big a role in the Abu Ghraib abuses as any other factor. Beginning with President Bush's "crusading" rhetoric in the early stages of the War on Terror, [13], many conservatives today remain under the mistaken impression that the United States is at war with all of Islam. [14] Along with the other factors above, xenophobia also lead to Abu Ghraib.

Sources

[1] http://www.hawaii.edu...;
[2] http://papers.ssrn.com...
[3] http://www.slate.com...
[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] ;
[7] http://www.guardian.co.uk...;
[8] http://www.nytimes.com...
[9] http://nytimes.com...
[10] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[11] http://mediamatters.org...;
[12] http://www.soundvision.com...
[13] http://www.csmonitor.com...;
[14] http://www.time.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Skynet

Pro

I think my opponent actually IS a lawyer! I'm going to have to concede because I'm not trained to debate, I just do it for fun. Enjoy the win, sir.
LiberalHoyaLawya

Con

Thank you, Skynet. Just out of curiosity, did you really believe what you were arguing, or were you just trying to challenge yourself with a difficult argument?
Debate Round No. 3
Skynet

Pro

I wasn't sure, I wanted to challenge myself with defending it. I am anti-pornography, though.
LiberalHoyaLawya

Con

While blaming Abu Ghraib on pornography is crazy, it isn't unreasonable to criticize porn in general. I've always been amused that feminists and social conservatives both oppose pornography, but for totally different reasons... talk about "strange bedfellows!"
Debate Round No. 4
Skynet

Pro

Skynet forfeited this round.
LiberalHoyaLawya

Con

Pro conceded this debate; please vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JernHenrik 1 year ago
JernHenrik
Was homosexual pornography the catalyst behind the depravity of Abu Graib?

Maybe..

It sure didn't make it better
Posted by Muscle_Boy 3 years ago
Muscle_Boy
con wrote:
While blaming Abu Ghraib on pornography is crazy, it isn't unreasonable to criticize porn in general. I've always been amused that feminists and social conservatives both oppose pornography, but for totally different reasons... talk about "strange bedfellows!"
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
SkynetLiberalHoyaLawyaTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
SkynetLiberalHoyaLawyaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by cameronl35 5 years ago
cameronl35
SkynetLiberalHoyaLawyaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes, obvious win for Con.