The Instigator
Kenneth_Stokes
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
NiqashMotawadi3
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Bashar al-assad should stay in power.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
NiqashMotawadi3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,341 times Debate No: 34549
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Kenneth_Stokes

Pro

Let me first state that by me being for the SA (Syrian Army) and Bashar al-assad, I am in no way saying that they are good or bad--that isn't the debate--I am simply saying that out of the two sides, those who support the SA and the government and those who don't, the SA and the stability of the Syrian government is the better choice. Furthermore I suppose I should mention that I do not believe in the FSA, but such topics will be discussed later on, opponent-willing.

By accepting the debate you will be Con, against the Syrian government and must provide an argument for your beliefs accordingly. Your beliefs must consist of the actions that Bashar is removed from power and the FSA takes charge.

The main debate itself will be focused on which is better for the Syrian people, Bashar al-assad or the FSA?

Good luck.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

I thank Kenneth_Stokes for this important and interesting topic, which I was planning to add before I saw this thread in the challenging-period section. I'm really looking forward for this debate, but I'm only using this as an acceptance round that introduces my position. My argument is that Bashar Al-Assad shouldn't stay in the power, and I will be supporting this by showing how his absence would be better than his current presence and his hypothetical rule in the future. Nevertheless, I'm only considering him worse than the FSA; an independent army I do not fully support to every last detail, although I I think it is the only hope for a better Syria at this critical stage. In addition to this, I will show that it is almost impossible to keep the Syrian president in power and restore peace to the aforementioned nation. My only pre-emption is that Jabhat al-Nosra shouldn't be considered a part of the FSA, given that they both are different groups. If my challenger has any objections to that, I'll gladly give evidence for my pre-emption within round 2. Finally, I hope this debate would be really interesting and informative to readers who are confused about the situation in Syria, and to the Syrians who are worried about the future of their country.
Debate Round No. 1
Kenneth_Stokes

Pro

May I thank my opponent for accepting this unique debate with rational, educational intentions. Such features are rare on this website.

My debate will consist of four sub-points (1-4) and one main point (5). 1.) the FSA is not well-defined nor do they have control or any responsibility over their actions, 2.) the only reason the U.S. wishes to aid the rebels in an attempt to destabilize the Middle-east, 3.) many, at least a large minority, of the rebels are mercenaries, some foreign backed. And many more of them are Islamist fundamentalist Jihadist., 4.) the FSA and the various rebel-factions will not be able to form a coercive government, and mainly 5.) if Assad is knocked out of power or if the rebels are not exterminated then the country will be thrown into eternal conflict and, eventually, forgotten by the media and the public, as always.

Point number one, the Free Syrian Army is not a well-defined group and it does not have any control over it's members nor are they responsible for their actions. In reality it is an umbrella network based in Turkey that is extremely liberal with it's membership. If you die in combat and your body is not wearing the Syrian uniform, the FSA claims you into their ranks. If you are an individual civilian who has a gun, the FSA claims you into their ranks. If a video is made and no group or person is universally identified, the FSA takes the video, slaps it's logo and music on it, and claims it into their ranks. Such liberal membership policy causes double statistics in the death toll and ruins the reputation of an individual who isn't in the FSA, dead or alive. As for responsibility, it is obvious that foreign nations ignore the crimes committed under the banner of the FSA. Whether it's stealing, smuggling weapons, executions, torture and other crimes against humanity, the FSA does/will not be guilty of their crimes. Lastly the FSA is quite ruthless, as are other rebel factions. If they approach a male civilian who is fit for or not aiding their general cause, due to black and white thinking, in their eyes if you aren't for them then you're against them. I have seen dozens of videos of innocent men who have been accused of working for Assad by the FSA and executed, all the while the innocent men pleaded that they want nothing to do with this. Where are the civilians' justice?

Point two, The U.S. only wishes to topple the Syrian government due to eco-politico reasons, as they care nothing of the civilians. The media and the usage of chemical weapons proves this point. The U.S. has stated publicly that if Assad were to use chemical weapons, that would be a "red-line" that would result in "enormous consequences". Such quick and direct action shows the eagerness of the U.S. to assault Syria. The rebels know this very well. In the past year or so there have been four chemical attacks, yet none were proven to be by Syria, as Syria has willingly moved it's chemical plant away from Damascus for the rebels won't seize it. But the rebels have indeed seized a Saudi-owned chemical plant and has obviously used it against innocent civilians in an attempt to pin the blame on the government. If Assad is not to blame, and it is known that rebels have captured chemical elements and are spreading them in the public, then why won't the U.S. engage or punish those said rebels?

Point three, many, at least a large minority, of the "rebels" are foreign backed mercenaries. On top of that issue, there are more fundamentalist factions than there are non-fundamentalist. What ever territory these fundamentalist claim, the FSA and other non-fundamentalist faction would not dare to cross into fundamentalist land because they know they will have to fight them as well. But let me save the remainder of this point for point five.

Point four, the various factions will not be able to unify. As said before, these factions are already claiming territory and not allowing certain factions to pass. So although each group has the common goal of removing Assad from power, they are most definitely not unified. And, again, I wish to save the remainder of this point for point five.

Point five, if Assad is knocked out of power or if the rebels are not exterminated by the SA then the country will be thrown into an eternal proxy warfare. FSA is in no respected position to form a coercive government. They barely have control over their own people and they are helpless against the growing number of fundamentalist factions who will eventually unite for their common cause against the FSA once Bashar is out of power. You'll have pro-Assad groups combating anti-Assad groups, members of families seeking revenge from their killed loved one (this goes both ways), Iran-backed mercenaries, Saudi-backed mercenaries, the remaining FSA, and al-Qaeda-linked groups as well as many other heavily backed fundamentalist groups, all fighting each other, just as shown in other middle-eastern countries, Syria being the worst. Not only that, but Assad, the state and many other key positions in security and wealth are virtually indistinguishable due to his dictatorship which involves the close relationship between the state and the upper-class. Killing all of the Assad supporters would be like hitting the reset button on the Syrian economic timeline, given that most of their infrastructure is already vastly in ruin. For the FSA to think that they can walk straight into office unopposed while expecting the people to obey their order is a joke. A funny, sad joke. Iran has many U.S. military bases with their guns pointed directly at it, I doubt they would accept another one.

Although it is sad to say in such a gloomy situation, the only hope for the Syrian people is if Bashar stays in power for his remaining term (which he added in the constitution due to protest) and neutralize all rebel factions, including the FSA, and then give the people the human rights they deserve. Otherwise there will be no rights, now law; just anarchy.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

A point of disagreement between me and and my opponent is on Assad's ability in ending those clashes. My position is that the two options, Bashar Al-Assad and the FSA, would still result in armed clashes and civil disorders, but that the latter is better due to specific reasons I will list and explain. Note that my rebuttal of my opponent would be presented in the next round. I apologize if my text is too condescned, but I ended up writing about 36 pages for this round.


A- Disadvantages of Bashar Al-Assad continuing his presidency

1- Loss of economic and diplomatic ties between Syria and most of the countries in the world. This is namely because of the Syrian regime's human-rights abuses and the boycott of Bashar Al-Assad around the world.

2- The continuation of the economic sanctions on Syria on the basis that it is an inhumane dictatorship.

3- Millions of Syrians would remain to live as refugees under wretched conditions in Lebanon and other countries, given that they are mostly Sunnah who avoided the genocides in Syria(some of them are even wives and children of FSA members).

4- The Syrian government's alliance with Hezbollah and the direct opposition of Israel through the Golan heights, which could lead to a conflict with Syria that could result in further bombings, genocides and civil unrest.

5- The conflict between Syria's neighbour Turkey and Bashar Al-Assad, which puts Syria in another peril, given that Turkey supports the FSA and is against Assad's human-rights abuses. This means that if Bashar stayed in power, we might witness a war that would have harsh consequences on Syria.


A1- Loss of economic and diplomatic ties between Syria and most of the countries in the world.

Because of the inhumane practices of the Syrian government, it has lost many of its diplomatic relations with previous allies such as: Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, United States, Belgium, Spain, and the Gulf States[1]. It even has been excommunicated from the Arab League in 2011 and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in 2012. This, of course, has negative consequences on Syria's economy, because many of those states refuse to engage in any economic relations until Assad is overthrown. That clarified, Syria's economy is in a deplorable state and it needs all the help it can get from the rest of the world, provided that the Iranian support is not enough to keep the economy standing on its two feet. For instance, the Syrian government’s reserves decreased from $18 billion to $2 billion because of the conflict, according to a report released by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research in January 2013. According to that same report, $48 billion is currently required for the reconstruction of Syria with a predicted amount at $60-200 billion if the conflict continued. This all occurred even with a financial support from Iran, which means that Syria needs the support of Eastern and Western states which have boycotted the government because of Assad.

[1] http://www.haaretz.com...


A2- The continuation of economic sanctions on Syria.

As mentioned earlier, the economic sanctions had dreadful consequences on the Syrian Oil Production. For instance, the Syrian regime is unable to find buyers for around 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which forces the Syrian state treasury to loose about $5 billion dollars a year[2]. Moreover, the Arab League Economic Committee opposed Bashar Al-Assad by suspending flights from member states to Syria, ending transactions with the Syrian central bank and freezing all Syrian assets in Arab countries[3]. Syria is already in a deplorable state due to the accumulated effects of the civil war, so the removal of Bashar Al-Assad would remove those sanctions and help in ehancing the economic state.

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk...

[3] http://www.aljazeera.com...


A3- Millions of Syrian immigrants would remain to live as refugees under wretched conditions.

The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon alone is approximated to be 1.2 million[4]. This great influx of refugees is namely because of Sunnah escaping violence and oppression from the Alawite minority, and as the Syrian National TV and Pro-Assad media stated, the fact that the FSA members are sending their families to Lebanon to protect them from the Syrian regime[5]. If Assad continued to rule, there is no guarantee that those refugees would be allowed to return to their lands, which are mostly lands that have been destroyed and could be easily conquered by Alawite residents, who are already against the wide expansion of the Sunnah in Syria. Assad, in my opinion, would prefer them not to come back because of their infamous support of the FSA and the fact that they are mostly Sunnah; thus, a source of opposition to his regime.

[4] http://www.yalibnan.com...

[5] http://english.al-akhbar.com...


A4- Potential conflict between Israel and Syria with dire consequences on the latter.

The Syrian government used to support Hezbollah on the lebanese front, while maintaining peace with Isreal on the Syrian fronts such as the Golan Heights. The leader of Hezbollah recently declared an opposition of Israel from the Golan heights and with the help of the Syrian Army[6]. This means that Bashar Al-Assad, and in attempt to protect his regime, has given more incentive for an Israeli attack that targets Syria. If Bashar was removed, a new page would be started between Syria and Israel. Note that the Israeli bombings in Syria were praised by some FSA officials[7], which could mean that an alliance between the two is not that far-fetched. There is also an accusation from Bashar Al-Assad himself that Israel is helping the Syrian rebels[8], which could be true after all.

[6] http://www.reuters.com...

[7] http://www.israelandstuff.com...

[8] http://www.timesofisrael.com...



A5- The conflict between Syria's neighbour Turkey and Bashar Al-Assad.

The Syrian national army is not in a position to fight against a powerful nation like Turkey, and Syria had enough bombings, battles and invasions. Provided that Bashar is despised by Turkey, it is advisable to remove him to restore diplomatic and economic ties between those two countries, at least to ensure that a conflict is not even possible. There many reasons to believe that such a war is possible. For example, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced in October 5 2012 "We are not interested in war, but we're not far from it either," after the incident in October 3 when Turkish troops attacked Syria[9].


[9] http://www.guardian.co.uk...



B- Advantages of replacing Bashar Al Assad with the FSA

1- Return of intellectuals who were shunned by the Syrian government because of certain political opinions, and who would help in building a better Syria.

2- Financial support from allies like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other rich nations who supported the Syrian revolution.

3- Political life in Syria after centuries of absence.


B1- Return of intellectuals who were shunned by the Syrian government

There are many thinkers who were shunned from Syria after years of persecution, but I'm going to only mention a few that would return if Assad was overthrown. Syrian lawyer and human rights activist Razan Zaitouneh, who was was awarded the 2012 Ibn Rushd Award for Freedom of Thought, and Syrian author Samar Yazbek who shared a Pen Pinter literary prize with Britain’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy[10].

[10] http://www.asafeworldforwomen.org...


Debate Round No. 2
Kenneth_Stokes

Pro

Kenneth_Stokes forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

I was expecting my opponent's rebuttal in this round. Anyhow, I'm going to provide my rebuttal as I promised in the earlier round.


A- Can Bashar Al-Assad really stop the armed clashes and the civil disorders?

This seems to be a main assumption in my opponent's argument, even though it is unrealistic due to many reasons:

1- The frail state of the Syrian national army which is now relying on Hezbollah to fight its battles[1].

2- The nature of the FSA's resistance, which is basically coming from "beehive" military factions of a persecuted majority in Syria[2].

3- The presence of foreign soldiers in the FSA that pass the wide Syrian borders, and who are backed by many rich nations in the Arab world. This point was also listed by my opponent, and it ensures the presence of a continuous and well-funded resistance against the Syrian regime[3].

[1] http://www.reuters.com...
[2] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...
[3] http://online.wsj.com...


B- Brief critique of my opponent's main points.

B1- "The FSA is not well-defined nor do they have control or any responsibility over their actions."

Even if the FSA were as disorganized, chaotic and dispersed as my opponent claims, this does not necessarily mean that they would always stay like that. Take as an example Hezbollah which started as a set of disorganized and "not well-defined" factions in south Lebanon, and after the retreat of Israel, changed into one of the most organized and powerful militias in the world[4].

[4] http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com...


B2- "The various factions will not be able to unify. As said before, these factions are already claiming territory and not allowing certain factions to pass."

According to their own definition, they are not a military that holds territory but one that seeks to spread the Syrian army in all Syria so that it weakens its defences[5]. Even though they are dispersed because of this strategy, they fight for the same goal and help each other with weapons, artillery, shelter, food and military operations[6]. The talk about their dispersion is exaggerated and inaccurate.

[5] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...
[6] http://www.thenational.ae...


B3- "The only reason the U.S. wishes to aid the rebels in an attempt to destabilize the Middle-east."

This is a non-sequitur. Even if it was true, it doesn't work as a reason for why the FSA cannot rule. The US, and if truly wanted destabilization, would ensure that Assad stays ruling while the FSA continues fighting him, which contradicts putting the FSA in power.

B4- "Many, at least a large minority, of the rebels are mercenaries, some foreign backed. And many more of them are Islamist fundamentalist Jihadist."

My opponent has to explain why a majority of "Islamist fundamentalist Jihadist" would oppose a Jihad call from Lebanese Salafees[7]. It is clear that the majority of the FSA are moderate Muslims, who identify themselves separately from Jabhat Al-Nusrah because of their dismissal of radical Islam. As an FSA spokesman in Aleppo said, the FSA doesn't share the beliefs of Jabhat Al-Nusrah, but they are fighting the same enemy together[8]. Needless to say, the Pro-Syrian forces are using Hezbollah, a mercenary of Jihadists, and newly-trained Shite jihadists on their side. Hence, a mirrored situation exists even if my opponent's accusation was true.

[7] http://www.naharnet.com...
[8] http://www.usatoday.com...


B5- "The FSA and the various rebel-factions will not be able to form a coercive government."

It would be effective to state this reason, if Bashar could actually control Syria as he did before. But this is clearly not the case, given the Syrian government lost its power in many parts of Syria. Therefore, it is pointless to use this as a reason for why the FSA should not rule, when Bashar Al-Assad has lost his tight grip on the Syrian nation, and cannot form a coercive government due to all the changes.

B6- "If Assad is knocked out of power or if the rebels are not exterminated then the country will be thrown into eternal conflict and, eventually, forgotten by the media and the public, as always."

I wouldn't say "eternal," but definitely long-lasting, and this is currently the situation in Syria even with Assad present. The proxy war is continuing in both scenarios, which means that this claim is ignoring the mirrored situation which won't be that different in this regard.


C- Rebuttal of specific claims in my opponent's argument

Contention 1: "But the rebels have indeed seized a Saudi-owned chemical plant and has obviously used it against innocent civilians in an attempt to pin the blame on the government."

According to my opponent's citation, this was done by Jabhat al-Nusra, not the FSA. And I agreed to debate based on the condition that those should be treated as two different groups. Here is the citation: "On 8 December, it was reported that members of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front had recently captured a Saudi-owned toxic chemicals plant outside of Aleppo." In addition to that, the citation does not say that chemical bombs from this plant were used against innocent civilians. This is a baseless claim.

It is true that there is no proof yet on who is behind the chemical bombings, but there is good evidence that the Syrian government is behind it:

1- "Zahir al-Sakit, a former Syrian army general from the chemical weapons branch, said he was instructed to use chemical weapons during a battle with the FSA in the southwestern area of Hauran. But instead, Sakit disobeyed the orders and swapped the chemicals with disinfectant water he called "Javel water."[9]

2- "An 23 April 2013 the New York Times reported that the British and French governments had sent a confidential letter to the United Nations Secretary General, claiming that there was evidence that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in Aleppo, Homs, and perhaps Damascus."[10]

3- "By 25 April the U.S intelligence assessment was that the Assad regime had likely used chemical weapons – specifically sarin gas."[11]

4- "After clandestinely spending two months in Jobar, Damascus, several reporters for the French news media Le Monde personally witnessed the Syrian army's use of chemical weapons on civilians." [12,13]

[9] http://english.alarabiya.net...
[10] http://www.nytimes.com...
[11] http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[12] http://www.lemonde.fr...
[13] http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Contention 2: "FSA is quite ruthless, as are other rebel factions. If they approach a male civilian who is fit for or not aiding their general cause, due to black and white thinking, in their eyes if you aren't for them then you're against them."

This is an outrageous generalization stated without any evidence, although it claims that it describes a dominant behaviour among the FSA members. BoP on my opponent.

Contention 3: "I have seen dozens of videos of innocent men who have been accused of working for Assad by the FSA and executed, all the while the innocent men pleaded..."

This won't pass here that easily. We need proof that those men were actually innocent.
Debate Round No. 3
Kenneth_Stokes

Pro

Kenneth_Stokes forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

My opponent has forfeited again. I guess he doesn't want to debate this topic anymore.
Debate Round No. 4
Kenneth_Stokes

Pro

Kenneth_Stokes forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

I'm really disappointed that this debate wasn't a full debate. However, I hope it was informative and helpful in showing both sides of the ongoing issue.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by The_Serb 3 years ago
The_Serb
he he well we could debate it now?
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 4 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
Kenneth, I'm willing to repeat the debate on the same topic or another similar topic. But you should get better Internet. :-)
Posted by Kenneth_Stokes 4 years ago
Kenneth_Stokes
I am so sorry. My modem wouldn't connect to the internet for quite some time.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by makhdoom5 4 years ago
makhdoom5
Kenneth_StokesNiqashMotawadi3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: simply FF.
Vote Placed by JonathanCrane 4 years ago
JonathanCrane
Kenneth_StokesNiqashMotawadi3Tied
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Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
Kenneth_StokesNiqashMotawadi3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF.