The Instigator
joony
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points

(GY) Worldwide dictators who violate the human rights of their citizens should NOT be assassinated

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Post Voting Period
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after 6 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/26/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,309 times Debate No: 13785
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

joony

Pro

Assassination : the targeted killing of an individual for political reasons in peacetime. It can be undertaken by individual citizens, or by the agents of another state, but in either case it takes place "without any legal process."

1st Reason : Human rights are the most sacred and basic rights for humankind, and dictators also have the human rights. If you consider the citizens' human rights so important, ignoring dictators' and killing them would be a contradiction. You cannot weigh the value of the human rights because the rights are the absolute concept that is uncountable. Who decides who should be assassinated? In addition, 'killing for the sake of majority' philosophy is also used as a justification for terrorists, for example, some from the Middle East attacking the US to rid the US army of their nations for their citizens' rights. In addition, the utilitarian idea would place all the leaders in the threat of being sacrificed for their people's sake.
Moreover, the new regime that assassinated former leader according to its own criteria, in this case, for the citizens -or majority or society-, has high possibility of taking the means of assassination again for the regime using the same justification, which means it is still not democratic government that protects all citizens' rights.

2nd Reason : Assassination dictators is ineffective or more harmful. Since it is usual that it is not only the dictators who control all the system that violate the citizens' rights, eradicating only them would do little to change the whole system. Furthermore, it can even worsen the situation by bringing chaos or conflicts into the society. After Sadam Hussein was executed, for instance, his supporters caused severe violence in the name of revenge. In addition, sudden disappearance of leader or national representative confuses the citizens regardless of whether they wanted it or not.

3rd Reason (would-be rebuttal) : Assassination is not the one and only way. There are alternatives that might be a bit slower in making changes, but respect the human rights and bring more stability and legitimacy for the new government; international court, economic sanction, for example. "The Special UN Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia has been able to put Slobodan Milosevic on trial, and Saddam Hussein is facing justice in Iraq. The International Criminal Court now provides a permanent forum for such action to be taken,.."(copied from somewhere..) There are also historical examples such as Magna Carta in England, which changed the undemocratic society not assassinating the leader.
bluesteel

Con

I thank joony for the topic.

==My case==

C1) Right of Revolution

In political philosophy, the Right of Revolution is a natural right of subjects of a nation to overthrow their government if it acts against their rights and interests. The Right of Revolution was central to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it." [1] Without the Right of Revolution, the United States would not exist today.

In the same way, the people of a country must have the right to rise up against a dictator and kill him, if necessary, to abolish a tyrannical government. As Napoleon showed with his escape from the island of Elba, powerful men can too easily return to power. According to a study by Benjamin Olken of Harvard University, revolutions are far more likely to result in a democracy if the assassination of the current autocrat is successful. [3]

"The third paragraph of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that so that people are not compelled to rebellion against tyranny, human rights should be protected by rule of law." [2] Thus, if human rights are not protected, people have the right of rebellion against tyranny and thus the right to assassinate their tormenter.

C2) Successful assassinations

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there have been 59 successful assassinations of dictators since 1875. [4] Analyzing these statistics, the National Bureau of Economic Research concludes, "The successful assassination of autocrats produces institutional change - substantially raising the probability that a country transitions to democracy." [5]

C3) Iran

Iran has made numerous threats to annihilate Israel, is pursing nuclear weapons, and in its attempt to gain regional hegemony, is causing a great deal of instability in the region. It has murdered and oppressed its own people with abandon, particularly to quell protests and opposition movements. If an opposition movement successfully assassinated Ayatollah Khamenei or "President" Ahmadinejad and overthrew the current order, the world would be a much safer place.

==Rebuttal==

R1) The rights of dictators

We widely acknowledge that once someone violates the rights of another, that person gives up his own human rights. That's why we can violate the liberty of a murderer by locking him in prison – because in the act of depriving another of the right to life, the murderer cedes his own right to life and liberty.

*My opponent says: the utilitarian idea would place all the leaders in the threat of being sacrificed for their people's sake*

A ruler only rules by the consent of the governed. If the governed reject an autocrat's rule and the autocrat refuses to yield power, he can be forcibly and violently removed. This is the Right of Revolution.

*My opponent says the next regime will use assassination as well*

Assassination can only be justified if it is in reaction to a crime against the people. The people would view this State assassination as an abuse of human rights and would rise up again and overthrow the new government. The evidence from the National Bureau of Economic Research also proves that when a dictator is overthrown by his people, a democracy usually results, not another dictatorship.

R2) Ineffective/harmful

Extend my evidence that 59 dictators have been killed and the result is usually a democracy. This proves that assassination is effective and is not harmful.

*My opponent says: After Sadam Hussein was executed, for instance, his supporters caused severe violence in the name of revenge*

It actually wasn't Saddam's supporters that were causing violence – they all surrendered rather quickly. It was Al Qaeda inspired Sunni-Shi'ite violence, which sparked continual backlashes between the two religious sects. In fact, Saddam was only in power because the United States refused to remove/assassinate him during the First Gulf War, when we had the chance. Saddam took the opportunity we gave him to further oppress his people and consolidate his power. [6] The removal of Saddam has resulted in a democracy, as the National Bureau of Economic Research study would predict.

* In addition, sudden disappearance of leader or national representative confuses the citizens regardless of whether they wanted it or not*

Remember, the people hung Saddam themselves. We didn't do it. And they paraded through the streets in celebration. Al Qaeda-inspired insurgency efforts created the confusion; the vast majority of Iraqis were very happy to see Saddam dead.

The failure of a strong democratic government to immediately materialize in Iraq is largely due to the lack of a strong, popular resistance leader. Compare this to the military junta in Burma, which has a strong opposition leader in Aung San Suu Kyi, or Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, which has a strong opposition leader in Patson Chipiro. If either dictatorship were brought down, the popular opposition leader could quickly head up a new democratic government.

R3) Alternatives

*My opponent cites the examples of Milosevic and Saddam as successful trials*

Saddam was hanged to death by his own people; he was not prosecuted according to international norms. Milosevic was assassinated in prison while awaiting trial. [7] Neither dictator was going to be tried by the International Criminal Court – both were going to be tried by their own people, a trial they would have inevitably lost, no matter the circumstances.

I don't understand why my opponent draws a distinction of legitimacy between a trial and an assassination. In an assassination during a populist uprising, the dictator is being tried by the court of public opinion. In a court of law, following a populist uprising, the dictator is being tried in a court of public opinion. Either way the outcome will be the same.

*Magna Carta*

This document wasn't enough to protect the rights of Americans against the abuses of the British Crown, such as against the forced garrisoning of troops in ours homes. Only the Right of Revolution was able to protect us.

==Summary==

The people have the Right of Revolution – the right to rise up against a tyrannical dictator and take his life, if need be. The Benjamin Olken of Harvard University evidence proves that rebellions are more successful when the dictator is assassinated and the National Bureau of Economic Research study proves that successful assassinations of dictators are almost always followed by a democracy. In many countries, a successful uprising/assassination could yet result in democracy and an end to human rights abuses, such as in Iran, Burma, and Zimbabwe.

Vote Con to uphold the rights of the governed to overthrow a tyrannical dictator.

[1] http://www.ushistory.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.nber.org...
[4] http://www.smh.com.au...
[5] http://www.smh.com.au...
[6] Andrew Bacevich, The New American Militarism
[7] http://www.prisonplanet.com...
Debate Round No. 1
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
Flamingo, if you read the source I cited for that, it clearly disagrees with you about whether there was evidence of poisoning.
Posted by Flamingo 6 years ago
Flamingo
The Milosevic rebuttle is wrong. He died in Hague, without any evidence of poisoning. So in fact he was tried by an International Court, not his own people.
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
Disappointing it was only 1 round debate. To Joony, 1 round debates almost always ends as an automatic loss for the instigator. You can not refute any of his points, while the opponent can refute all of yours.

Obvious votes to CON.
Posted by joony 6 years ago
joony
since i would be at my too-far-from-any-city-to-access-the-internet school dormitory for sometime, it's just 1 round debate
Posted by THE_OPINIONATOR 6 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
well i am already in a ebate or i would take this. I think it would be better in two rounds
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J.Kenyon
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