The Instigator
patrock2
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
mmadderom
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points

Do you agree with Venezuela offering deeply discounted heating oil for low income families in the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,638 times Debate No: 1828
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (5)

 

patrock2

Con

While I am glad at least someone is providing low cost heating oil for low income families, I am appalled that our own government stands by and allows this to happen. The United States accepting charity from a 'rogue'(labeled as such by President Bush) government such as Venezuela for OUR poor? It is to our great shame that we have not done the same.
This administration has egg on it's face. We are told we have oil reserves, well,how much is left? How deeply has this war on two fronts eaten into that reserve? So deeply that we cannot help our own? How can we condemn another government with one hand while accepting hand outs from that same government with the other hand? I would like all the presidential candidates to address this issue. Bush's position as regards Venezuela is unsustainable the moment 'we'-He- accepted their charity.
I don't begrudge these families the heating oil at all, I am glad an oil producing nation stepped up to help us out even if it is a PR campaign on their part. Aren't we an oil producing nation also? where are we for our own people? Don't we too think that no one should be left out in the cold? I feel this situation has tarnished what little was left of our country's reputation in the world view.
mmadderom

Pro

I will start by disclosing that I am as anti-Hugo Chavez as anyone you will find. He is a repressive dictator who treats his own countrymen as subjects to his will by military force.

That said, your argument is that the U.S. Government shouldn't "accept charity" or "handouts" from a rogue nation. And that the Government has "egg on it's face" for accepting such. This is completely false on its face. For starters, the U.S. Government has no say in the matter. Hugo didn't call Bush and ask permission, nor did the Gov't grant permission or accept anything as no permission is necessary.

Perhaps you are familiar with Citgo gas stations? If so, you might be surprised to find out the company is owned by the Venezuelan Government. Just like any other company in this country, they are free to do whatever they like as long as it conforms to the corporate laws of this nation. Just as it's perfectly legal for Dell manufacturing to donate thousands of computers to school systems every year, it's equally legal for Citgo Inc. to provide discounted or free products to people in need.

You hit the nail on the head when you called it a P.R. campaign as that is clearly the intention, however, the practice itself is not prohibited by any law and the company is fully licensed to operate in the United States. There is absolutely nothing the Bush administration can do to stop it. And before you suggest it, we can't simply start kicking companies out of the country because we don't agree with their nations politics. That would be as anti-American as you could get.

As for do I agree with them doing it? Well, I don't support their motives to be sure, but I have no problem with any program that benefits needy Americans regardless of the reasons behind it. Those who choose to will see the obvious motivation behind the act and quickly recognize it's not charity driven.
Debate Round No. 1
patrock2

Con

Of course I know who Citgo is. When watching TV notice how often Citgo appears on the screen;product placement anyone?.
You say there is nothing our government can do about it. That statement is patently false. President Bush just mentioned the oil reserves today;of course something can be done about it. The Administration can make oil available to it's own families in need at deeply discounted prices.
Lets remember the elephant in the room. We have Oil. Our government can determine what we do with the oil reserves.
Do you mean to put forth that no pressure from our administration would move the oil companies to accept a little less in profits from the many billions they earn? What a PR campaign OUR oil companies and their gas stations such as Mobile and Exxon are missing out on. Our Presidential Candidates do not address this issue at all because as you put forth we dare not insult them while they are supplying oil to our citizenry. That is my point. We can't publicly label them horrible dictators/tyrants while our most vulnerable populations go without heat within the US and the resource available to those with low income?-Venezuela.
You have not made a cogent argument for your position.
The defense of any argument is proportional to the truth contained therein.
mmadderom

Pro

I'm glad you know who Citgo is. At least that way you can voice your concerns the way it SHOULD be, by not using their services. Most people have no clue that Citgo, Inc. is owned by Venezuela and worse, don't care.

No, when I say there is nothing our Government can do about Chavez offering cut price or, in some cases, free heating oil I am spot on. The Government CAN'T stop such from happening when it is companies legally operating in the U.S. that are extending this.

You keep talking about the strategic oil reserves as if this has ANYTHING to do with Chavez making a political PR move. It doesn't. The purpose of the reserves isn't to fight off jokers like Chavez, it's to support American needs in times of crisis such as depression or war. High heating oil prices in Vermont doesn't fit the crisis model.

Absolutely I put forth that the administration can NOT exert pressure on ANY industry, particularly the oil industry (which is MOSTLY foreign owned), to make them "do the right thing". It is not the place of the administration to dictate how private companies operate and never should be if we actually value free enterprise.

OUR oil companies? The majority of oil companies are foreign owned. Even the ones with majority American ownership have a large contingent of foreign ownership. Corporations don't operate at the whim of any political force. You also have to understand that the majority of the oil being imported by "our" oil companies ALSO comes from Venezuela.

This isn't a matter of President Bush saying "we don't want or need your stinkin' oil, we'll help our own". Even opening the strategic reserves doesn't counteract what Chavez is doing, it's simply responding to it. Bad idea. No way we want to let some dictator determine energy policy in this country.

"You have not made a cogent argument for your position."

This baffled me. My initial argument was extremely cogent and provided many revelations your original statement didn't seem to address

"The defense of any argument is proportional to the truth contained therein."

Was this a concession? I mean everything I wrote was 100% truthful.
Debate Round No. 2
patrock2

Con

A concession? not hardly. Everything I have said is 100% truthful. Why are you hung up on saying Bush can't do anything regarding the oil companies? I never posed that point. My point is that it is to our SHAME that a government that this administration has labeled as a rogue government steps up to the plate and offers Americans deeply discounted heating oil. My only point? We weren't doing the same.
To quote you:"Absolutely I put forth that the administration can NOT exert pressure on ANY industry, particularly the oil industry (which is MOSTLY foreign owned), to make them "do the right thing". It is not the place of the administration to dictate how private companies operate and never should be if we actually value free enterprise."

Are you naive? The administration can put pressure on any one and/or any corporation it chooses to. How do you think business gets done in Washington?

Yesterday proves my argument. President Bush spoke to OPEC pressuring them to release more oil. And yes despite your argument- He also mentioned the strategic oil reserves-(as poor people without heat IS an emergency) stating it isn't necessary yet to go down that road due to his talks with OPEC. I applaud this As this was my whole argument.

So actually Bush himself has concluded this debate I started by addressing my argument directly-therefore proving my argument. He has addressed this issue and is working towards a resolution. My argument was for that. To have OUR COUNTRY respond to the needs of it's own citizens. I never said Bush should kick Venezuela out or interfere with free enterprise. "This isn't a matter of President Bush saying "we don't want or need your stinkin' oil, we'll help our own"- Those are your words, not mine.
mmadderom

Pro

I'm hung up on it because he CAN'T arbitrarily do anything about the oil companies. The POTUS doesn't have magical powers or unilateral authority over private enterprise no matter what the product is. What you seem to be wanting would require congressional sanctions in the form of new law that would never pass as it would almost certainly be unconstitutional.

What Bush did with OPEC has absolutely nothing to do with this debate. Bush CAN pressure OPEC nations to increase production by various methods. Threat of withholding federal assistance to some of those nations is an option, threat of tariffs on their imports would be another. That's all he's doing, making it clear that if production is continued to be held down to keep oil prices high, the U.S. can and will impose sanctions on those countries wherever possible. It's little more than extortion, but he feels he has to do something to ease the burden on the people of this country and that's the only place he has any leverage to do so.

There also isn't an issue of freezing poor people because they can't afford heating oil. At least not to the extent you seem to believe. Certainly not of emergency proportions. Every cold weather state has state government programs and restrictions on power companies to prevent that from happening. It's not a matter of grandma in Vermont sitting in the cold because her S.S. check isn't big enough to pay the heating bills, it's a matter of the populace having fewer disposable dollars because heating prices have risen affecting local economies. Grandma is taken care of by state programs with some federal assistance and laws preventing power companies from cutting service for non-payment in cold weather months.

Chavez isn't doing this out of need for humanitarian reasons, he's doing it out of desire for positive P.R. Many communities have completely refused his assistance because of that.

As for the strategic reserves, if you want to open the spigots every time we have a cold spell, or gas prices get to high for comfort, there won't BE a strategic reserve available for true emergencies.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by patrock2 9 years ago
patrock2
Really mmadd You've proven yet again that there's no point talking to someone with tunnel vision who's purpose is to be right, rather than to be educated..
Read on and learn if you dare.

What part of covert operations don't you get?

http://globalresearch.ca...

"...The CIA covert support to the "jihad" operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI,--i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for these covert operations to be "successful", Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the "jihad", which consisted in destroying the Soviet Union.

Yet the CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan made famous by Rudyard Kipling, found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to "read" than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the "reliable" partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.
CIA's Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): "neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help". the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.

Is this why 911 happened? because bin laden was furious at being used as a CIA pawn?

With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of US military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a "parallel structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government".
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
And not a single one of those things backs up your claim that "The US also supported Bin Laden with money,troops,arms,in Afghanistan to help him repel the Russians". He was not leading that revolt and the U.S. did not directly give him anything. In fact, Bin Laden himself said he had no direct with the Americans in that instance and would not have. That Bin Laden joined the afghan fight against the Russians is NOT akin to the U.S. giving HIM money, troops, and arms. When you make such claims it sounds as if we directly backed Osama Bin Laden's effort to lead an army. That is far from the truth.
Posted by patrock2 9 years ago
patrock2
mmadderon HERES SOME MORE:"The U.S. government was well aware of the Taliban's reactionary program, yet it chose to back their rise to power in the mid-1990s. The creation of the Taliban was "actively encouraged by the ISI and the CIA," according to Selig Harrison, an expert on U.S. relations with Asia. "The United States encouraged Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to support the Taliban, certainly right up to their advance on Kabul," adds respected journalist Ahmed Rashid. When the Taliban took power, State Department spokesperson Glyn Davies said that he saw "nothing objectionable" in the Taliban's plans to impose strict Islamic law, and Senator Hank Brown, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Near East and South Asia, welcomed the new regime: "The good part of what has happened is that one of the factions at last seems capable of developing a new government in Afghanistan." "The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis. There will be Aramco [the consortium of oil companies that controlled Saudi oil], pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that," said another U.S. diplomat in 1997.
The reference to oil and pipelines explains everything. Since the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, U.S. oil companies and their friends in the State Department have been salivating at the prospect of gaining access to the huge oil and natural gas reserves in the former Soviet republics bordering the Caspian Sea and in Central Asia. These have been estimated as worth $4 trillion. The American Petroleum Institute calls the Caspian region "the area of greatest resource potential outside of the Middle East." And while he was still CEO of Halliburton, the world's biggest oil services company, Vice President Dick Cheney told other industry executives, "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian..."
"can you say research"?
Posted by patrock2 9 years ago
patrock2
mmaderon you have got to stop posting your statements as fact.GOOGLE IT-truncated here is what comes from researching more than one source before you speak:
.."Bin Laden and the Arab-Afghans: As well as training and recruiting Afghan nationals to fight the Soviets, the CIA permitted its ISI allies to recruit Muslim extremists from around the world. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid reports: Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries in the Middle East, North and East Africa, Central Asia and the Far East would pass their baptism under fire with the Afghan mujahideen.
One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujahideen was OSAMA BIN LADEN, a civil engineer and businessman from a wealthy construction family in Saudi Arabia, with close ties to members of the Saudi royal family. Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders.
He also worked closely with the CIA, By 1984, he was running the Maktab al-Khidamar, an organization set up by the ISI to funnel "money, arms, and fighters from the outside world in the Afghan war."
Since September 11, CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden. These denials lack credibility.Bin Laden and the Arab-Afghans"Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda, confident that it would not directly impinge on the U.S." After the Soviet withdrawal, however, bin Laden and thousands of other volunteers returned to their own countries:
Their heightened political consciousness made them realize that countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt were just as much client regimes of the United States as the Najibullah regime [in Afghanistan] has been of Moscow..."
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"The US also supported Bin Laden with money,troops,arms,in Afghanistan to help him repel the Russians"

Complete nonsense.

Bin Laden was NOT a major player in that effort and the U.S. had ZERO direct involvement with him. Osama was nothing more than a financier and psuedo warrior in that skirmish. He wasn't a General nor was he a politician. We simply didn't have any involvement with him at all.
Posted by patrock2 9 years ago
patrock2
Vikuta: LMAO ;-D You are right about that. I too am amazed that there are enough of Bush's inane remarks to even fill a calendar!- Do you think Bush will ever learn that the word is:NUCLEAR-NOT NUKULAR- You are also correct in that many Americans only know what the evening news tells us. That is the inherent problem here. We are left with the responsibility to read more and investigate below the surface stories. Many Americans no longer have the time for that.
So it becomes a circular argument. The US also supported Bin Laden with money,troops,arms,in Afghanistan to help him repel the Russians...fast forward 20 years and 911 happens-20 yrs. ago Iran was the Bad guy and Iraq our ally...Politics makes for very strange bedfellows.."Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Before anyone says anything about it, the United States has supported regimes much more brutal and repressive than Castro's. When the world's superpower hates you, you have to get your friends where you can get them.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Patrock, a calendar like that would hang as long as anyone wanted it to, but the material that they would have wouldn't be nearly as good as it is for Bush. Again, I challenge people to demonstrate that Chavez's administration is repressive. It's all what the American media want you to believe. Hugo Chavez is NOT Fidel Castro.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"My confidence is that technologies exist for replacing oil use."

Sure do. At least enough to lessen the oil dependence we currently have. In fact many of these technologies have been available for YEARS but are too cost prohibitive or undesirable for other reasons to make them work on a large scale.

-Solar heating and cooling
-Wind power
-Nuclear
-Hybrid vehicles

"But perhaps the vested interests are holding up the inventions since their revenues plummet once the dependence on Oil is gone."

Inventions aren't being held up. In fact the "vested interests" you speak of are the people most responsible for the R&D going into alternative energy. The problem is finding a solution that is cheaper and more dependable.

As long as it's cheaper to buy gasoline, people aren't going to put out the greater expense of buying a much higher cost more fuel efficient vehicle, for example. How many people can afford the up front cost of retrofitting their home with solar that will take decades to pay for itself?

It's not as simple as finding a "better" solution, it has to be a cost effective solution as well.
Posted by patrock2 9 years ago
patrock2
Hey Vikut, I actually have a 2008 calendar made up solely of Bush 'misstatements', his illogical statements, his nonsensical statements..How long would that calendar hang on the wall in Venezuela if Chavez was the target? while I am not a Bush fan, even I can see the huge amount of negative media attention Bush gets-David Lettermen is still running 'famous lines in speech moments which always casts Bush as an uneducated buffoon...Yet I also agree that our media coverage is selective about the stories reported on, and not as free a press as it once was..This administration has become infamous for secrecy levels not seen since Nixon..our rights are being chiseled away under the guise of big brother masquerading as Homeland Security, and the "Patriot Act"-the devil really is in the details... That's another debate in itself for another time...
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
studentathletechristian8
patrock2mmadderomTied
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Vikuta
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