The Instigator
rwebberc
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points
The Contender
cody30228
Pro (for)
Losing
34 Points

Iran poses a laegitimate threat to the United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,869 times Debate No: 1271
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (21)

 

rwebberc

Con

I have debated about Iran in the past, and have seen several people on this site, as well as the president of the United States make this claim.

I will be making my arguments based on the following points:

1. The US is the largest and only real superpower in the world, Iran is not foolish enough to attack us.
2. Iran does not have the political clout to garner any support for a campaign against the US.
3. While Iran has been tied to terrorism in the past, there have not been any significant terrorist attacks or significant terror plots uncovered since 9/11 to prove that we are in danger of terrorists sneaking a nuclear weapon.
4. We don't know enough about Iran to make claims regarding any large anti-American sentiment within the Iranian people.
5. Iran itself does not have the resources to engage in any type of confrontation with the US.
6. The Iranian government has made no meaningful threats to the United States.
7. The Iranian people are already dissatisfied with their government's foreign policy, specifically regarding President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and there would be little support for any confrontation with the US.

Good luck to anyone who accepts my challenge
cody30228

Pro

Thank you for the good luck, it's a nice change to debate someone that has some sense of manners
First, I will attack your individual points, bring up new points if need be, and summarize
1. Iran not foolish
September 11, 2001. Those terrorists were only a few people, yet caused us great harm and the lives of many. Don't be foolish and forget the story of David and Goliath! Small can hurt large. Even more prudent, Iran v. US is like US v. Britain. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it my friend.

2. Iran lacks political clout
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If Iran declared open war against the United States, they would have the full support of Al-Quieda, the Taliban, and any other terrorist group. Furthermore, countries who hate us and hate Israel would use this as a good opportunity to gang up on us and attack. Iran isn't liked, but we are hated

3. No threat
Never leave your guard down. Just because it hasn't happened in a while does not mean it won't. Ask any general of the army if what you said was accurate. That is foolishness caused by peace. On September 10, 2001, did anyone actually think we were in danger of a terrorist attack?

4. Ignorance
Ignorance is Bliss. Watch FOX NEWS. They had a special about this. Real video-taped footage of a parade, led by the president of Iran (cant spell his name so not going to try) burning scarecrow of Bush, burning american flags, holding a prayer that was said to damn america, and hold speeches damning america. I think this is proof.

5. Iran weak
Look to pts 2 and 3

6. No threats
look to pts 3 and 4

7. President of Iran has the upper class of the country on his side. Children are brainwashed from birth to hate America. A survey said that we had the most support from the teenagers of Iran. Why? Because they are teenagers. Look at Vietnam. Our citizens hated it, yet we still fought. Look to Iraq. Almost everyone hates it yet we are still there

Now to why we should worry
Only a small point for now
ISRAEL
Israel is our strongest ally and we have promised to protect them . Iran HATES Israel, and has promised to destroy them . Verbatem, "wipe them off the face of the earth"
They have promised to use nukes against Israel if they had the chance. That is where the violence from the USA would come in.
Debate Round No. 1
rwebberc

Con

Ok let's take a look at some of my opponent's arguments:

"September 11, 2001. Those terrorists were only a few people, yet caused us great harm and the lives of many."

Are you suggesting that September 11 is proof that Iran will attack us? The hijackers of 9/11 were terrorists, not a nation with self interests to protect. As a country, Iran would have to face the implications of a conflict with the United States and here are a few facts to consider: Iran has an economy the size of Finland's and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Iran realizes that the repercussions of a war with the US would be devastating for its people and its economy.

"Even more prudent, Iran v. US is like US v. Britain. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it my friend."

How is this even remotely true? Iran is a sovereign nation. The US is not an occupying force in Iran. As our soldier friend below points out, Iran has a fairly pro-US populace. The American Revolution was fueled by the fact that the colonies were being governed and taxed without having any representation, and it had a huge amount of support among the colonists. This is has absolutely no parallel between today's situation with Iran. Apparently it is you who has not learned from history.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If Iran declared open war against the United States, they would have the full support of Al-Quieda, the Taliban, and any other terrorist group. Furthermore, countries who hate us and hate Israel would use this as a good opportunity to gang up on us and attack. Iran isn't liked, but we are hated."

Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are already against us, what would Iran attacking the US do to change this? Although you don't seem to realize it, Iran has virtually no allies in the political world. With the exception of Syria and Iraq, Israel and every other Arab country are either quietly or actively allied AGAINST Iran (http://www.newsweek.com...). Iran attacking the US would not be a "good opportunity to gang up on us". The US is allied with some of the most powerful nations in the world and has proved time and again that starting a war with it leads to inevitable failure.

"Never leave your guard down. Just because it hasn't happened in a while does not mean it won't."

I'm not implying that we shouldn't be actively seeking out terrorists and trying to uncover potential terror plots, I'm saying that we don't have any evidence that terrorists pose an active threat to our day to day lives. In his article "Is There Still a Terrorist Threat?: The Myth of the Omnipresent Enemy" in Foreign Affairs Journal, Robert Mueller writes "One reasonable explanation (for the lack of terrorist attacks) is that almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad."

"On September 10, 2001, did anyone actually think we were in danger of a terrorist attack?"

Yes. The intelligence community had warned the FAA for years of possible attacks and the FAA dismissed them. A month before the attacks the CIA sent a message to the FAA warning of a possible hijacking (http://archives.cnn.com...).

"Ignorance is Bliss. Watch FOX NEWS. They had a special about this. Real video-taped footage of a parade, led by the president of Iran (cant spell his name so not going to try) burning scarecrow of Bush, burning american flags, holding a prayer that was said to damn america, and hold speeches damning america. I think this is proof."

This is proof? A parade from a documentary you apparently can't recall the title of or find any evidence of on a conservative news channel that is widely disregarded among the academic and intellectual community? I don't doubt that these types of events do occur, but that hardly represents the entire population. Secondly, President Ahmadinejad isn't even in control of the country's armed forces. That job goes to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini. The Iranian people WANT relations with the US. In a poll conducted in June of 2006, Iranians were asked what city in the world they would most like to visit. After Mecca (97% of the country's population is Muslim, after all) New York and Paris were virtually tied for second. Among people 50 and over, New York came in first, AHEAD of Mecca (http://www.iranvajahan.net...). The Iranian people are not a group of radical, anti-US fanatics as your friend Fox News likes to paint them.

Your next two points rely on your previous points, which I have already proven to be dubious.

"President of Iran has the upper class of the country on his side. Children are brainwashed from birth to hate America. A survey said that we had the most support from the teenagers of Iran. Why? Because they are teenagers. Look at Vietnam. Our citizens hated it, yet we still fought. Look to Iraq. Almost everyone hates it yet we are still there"

I'm not going to respond to this claim until you provide some sort of evidence for it. If children are brainwashed from birth to hate America, why do so many teenagers support the US? Your logic here doesn't really make any sense.

Finally, you end with this: "Israel is our strongest ally and we have promised to protect them . Iran HATES Israel, and has promised to destroy them."

That's fine, but the resolve here is that Iran poses a threat to the United States, not Israel.

As I have previously pointed out Iran is neither capable of carrying out nor willing to carry out a strike against the US. Yes, Ahmadinejad is a hard liner with anti-US bias, but people are characterizing him as having his finger on the button. But Iran doesn't have a nuclear button yet and won't for at least three to eight years, according to the CIA, by which point Ahmadinejad may not be president anymore. Iran is a nation full of moderates, with large pockets of pro-US sentiment. We must not alienate them based on groundless claims.
cody30228

Pro

Your rebuttals were
1. "Are you suggesting that September 11 is proof that Iran will attack us?
You missed my point. I was simply pointing out that a small force can cause great harm"

2. "Iran realizes that the repercussions of a war with the US would be devastating for its people and its economy."
Really? In truth, if Iran attacked us, we would be force to invade them. If it came to that, the Iranian people would not be so fond of USA forces. Furthermore, the rich wage war but the poor must pay. Iran's president has shown a lack of compassion for the poor of Iran and the harms of war. He tries to instigate war himself with Israel. Your point is false

3. "The American Revolution ... has absolutely no parallel between today's situation with Iran."
Once again, simply an example of how a small force can have victory against a large force.

**** After these two points, we must realize that you have not proved why the weak Iran can not harm the strong USA****

4. "The US is allied with some of the most powerful nations in the world and has proved time and again that starting a war with it leads to inevitable failure."
Not true. Terrorists have not failed against the USA yet. And most of our so-called allies are so out of fear. China has no reason to ally it self with us besides money. We have only 2 real allies, Israel and Britain, both targets of terrorists and possibly Iran. Iran has enough secret allies to harm us. To reference your own newsweek article, we else would Bush be afraid of WWIII if Iran was all alone. WORLD v IRAN does not make a WWIII

5. "One reasonable explanation (for the lack of terrorist attacks) is that almost no terrorists exist in the United States and few have the means or the inclination to strike from abroad.""
Not always true. The status quo gives little inclination, but that doesn't mean a step up on Iran's part will not change that. (See 4)But as long as there is a possibility of a terrorist threat, we should take a proactive stance and try to stop it.

6. "The intelligence community had warned the FAA for years of possible attacks and the FAA dismissed them"
My point was, we did not think a terrorist attack would happen on September 11. We weren't ready, and we didn't expect. A warning is that there is a reason to believe it could happen. Furthermore, every single piece of evidence comes after 9-11. I wan to see something before the fact, before the event, and i will believe it.

****After these three points, we can see that my opponent has not proved why another attack on the USA is impossible, or not going to happen. Since there is a possibility, we should try to stop it****

7. "The Iranian people are not a group of radical, anti-US fanatics as your friend Fox News likes to paint them."
First, I had no source title because I watched it on TV a few weeks ago and just happened to remember it. I do not believe that Iranians are all anti-US fanatics. I do believe that there is enough of the population that dislikes us (for good reason) and could cause some worry

8. "Your next two points rely on your previous points, which I have already proven to be dubious."
Not true. My 5th point that Iran was not weak had nothing to do with that. You ignored it. My 6th point only used that point as an example. So those two points still stand.

9 "I'm not going to respond to this claim until you provide some sort of evidence for it. If children are brainwashed from birth to hate America, why do so many teenagers support the US? Your logic here doesn't really make any sense."
I am not an encyclopedia. I do not source everything. Why? because i see it somewhere and remember it. Not responding because i have no source is not an attack. Teenagers are known to be rebellious. They go against the norm. I am a teenager. I know. I do this sometimes. The point was children don't like us, my teenagers rebel against the norm and do like us. It isn't the best proof, but like i said, I remembered it from past and used it.

****This all proves why Iran has motivation to attack us. Most of it was never refuted. we must all agree then, that Iranians have motivation****

10. "That's fine, but the resolve here is that Iran poses a threat to the United States, not Israel. "

****This point wins it for me. He ignores key facts that I brought up
a. Iran will attack Israel
b. USA will protect Israel
c. Iran will fight against USA
This means one thing. Iran is a threat to the United States. Since my opponent ignored this, he loses
Debate Round No. 2
rwebberc

Con

Okey doke:

"I was simply pointing out that a small force can cause great harm."

I don't disagree with this conclusion, however I do think that these situations are different for the reasons I have stated. The colonies succeeded in expelling British forces, not attacking Great Britain. We are not occupying Iran. The terrorists of 9/11 were suicide attackers not representing a sovereign nation. Unlike Al Qaeda, Iran is a member of the UN, and would suffer severe repercussions if they were to attack the US. Simply because a smaller nation such as Iran COULD cause us great harm does not mean that they will, nor does it qualify them as a threat.

You said this in response to my point that an attack on the US would be economically and politically devastating for Iran: "Really? In truth, if Iran attacked us, we would be force to invade them. If it came to that, the Iranian people would not be so fond of USA forces. Furthermore, the rich wage war but the poor must pay. Iran's president has shown a lack of compassion for the poor of Iran and the harms of war. He tries to instigate war himself with Israel. Your point is false"

According to the International Monetary Fund, roughly 60% of Iran's budget comes from oil revenue. An attack on the US would immediately cut off Iran's ability to export oil. This alone proves my point regarding the disastrous implications of an Iranian attack. The entire country, not just the rich, would pay. Furthermore, if Iran attacked us unprovoked, we would be justified in retaliating, and I believe many of the Iranian citizens would realize that.

"After these two points, we must realize that you have not proved why the weak Iran can not harm the strong USA."

My point is not that they cannot harm us. Plenty of countries, such as Pakistan, India, Germany, China, etc. COULD harm us. The point I am making is that Iran WON'T instigate an attack because of the reasons I have stated above.

"Terrorists have not failed against the USA yet."

Iran is not a faceless terrorist group. It is a NATION which must face the backlash from both the US and the international community should they attack us. We don't have to hunt Iran like we do Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It is a country with defined borders and public leaders that's not going anywhere.

"We have only 2 real allies, Israel and Britain"

Have you ever heard of a little thing called NATO? It consists of the US, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the UK, Greece, and Turkey. Its treaty states "The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all." I rest my case on that point.

In response to Mueller's quote from Foreign Affairs you had this to say: "Not always true. The status quo gives little inclination, but that doesn't mean a step up on Iran's part will not change that." So what we have is the opinion of the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at Ohio State University vs yours, I guess. That's an interesting theory you have, but it is still a purely hypothetical argument.

"My 5th point that Iran was not weak had nothing to do with that."

You have yet to provide any evidence that Iran is anything but vastly militarily inferior to the United States.

"I am not an encyclopedia. I do not source everything."

I realize this. My quarrel is with the fact that you do not source anything. Neither of us is singularly qualified to debate this subject without any outside resources, that is why I often cite data or works of leading experts. You have yet to do this even once, which means that your argument is based purely on your own opinions, which have little bearing in a debate.

"This point wins it for me. He ignores key facts that I brought up
a. Iran will attack Israel
b. USA will protect Israel
c. Iran will fight against USA"

First of all, you have given absolutely no proof that Iran will attack Israel. I didn't bother refuting your point because it has no place in this debate. Secondly, being forced to fight Iranian forces on foreign soil thousands of miles from our shores does not constitute a threat to the UNITED STATES. Our military has been involved in conflicts all over the globe for centuries. But that doesn't mean that we have been constantly under threat of attack from those places.

Almost no one alleges that Iran poses a threat of any serious nature to the United States, there are no allegations that an Iranian fleet is going to seize Boston Harbor, or that Iranian paratroopers are going to descend upon New York City. Instead the case against Iran is based almost entirely upon hypotheticals. In an interview in late September with Newsweek magazine, the president of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who recently toured Iran's nuclear facilities, said that Iran posed "no clear and present danger" to anyone. He also stated that Iran is at least eight years away from developing the technology needed for nuclear weapons, if that is indeed their goal. There are many other nations in the world who could also acquire nuclear weapons in that time span based on their current nuclear capabilities. A war with the US would be disastrous for Iran and they and the rest of the world know that. Because of these facts, Iran does not pose a legitimate threat to the United States. The burden of proof is on my opponent to provide some sort of evidence that they do.
cody30228

Pro

I sum up your last post in 5 points

1. My point is not that they cannot harm us. Plenty of countries, such as Pakistan, India, Germany, China, etc. COULD harm us. The point I am making is that Iran WON'T instigate an attack because of the reasons I have stated above.

- I must prove that Iran has motivation or can to attack us

+ Here it is
Iranian state media reported that hundreds of thousands took part in the annual demonstrations across the country. Protestors chanted "death to America" and "death to Israel" and set fire to American and Israeli flags.
http://www.nytimes.com...

In Iran, however, the feelings of the people for America are the opposite because the U.S. government has never supported nor defended the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, its people are not sensitive to the rhetoric of the U.S. government.
http://blogs.usatoday.com...

Iran has been moving relentlessly closer to the point where it could build an atomic bomb. It has converted yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride gas. Now it is spinning the gas through thousands of centrifuges it has installed at the underground enrichment plant it built secretly in Natanz, south of Tehran. A common guess is that if it can run 3,000 centrifuges at high speed for a year, it will end up with enough fuel for its first bomb.
http://www.economist.com...

enough sources for you?

2. Have you ever heard of a little thing called NATO? It consists of the US, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, the UK, Greece, and Turkey. Its treaty states "The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all." I rest my case on that point.

- I must prove that Iran will have support against America

+ http://www.linktv.org...
video shows China and Russia ally with Iran

The Chinese and Russians have balked at British, French and U.S. efforts to put the resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.
http://www.foxnews.com...

Those two powers alone are enough

3. So what we have is the opinion of the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at Ohio State University vs yours, I guess. That's an interesting theory you have, but it is still a purely hypothetical argument.

- I must prove that Iran will attack us

+ I don't try to prove that Iran will attack us, but could be a threat. I prove they have motivation, and I prove they have allies. There is a chance they could. It is impossible to prove if they will or will not, just if they are a threat or not. And they most certainly are a threat.

4. I realize this. My quarrel is with the fact that you do not source anything. Neither of us is singularly qualified to debate this subject without any outside resources, that is why I often cite data or works of leading experts. You have yet to do this even once, which means that your argument is based purely on your own opinions, which have little bearing in a debate.

- I must prove sources

+ A little overdue, but you said earlier that you believe them to be true so I found no reason to find the sources until now. I fit them in up above

5. First of all, you have given absolutely no proof that Iran will attack Israel. I didn't bother refuting your point because it has no place in this debate. Secondly, being forced to fight Iranian forces on foreign soil thousands of miles from our shores does not constitute a threat to the UNITED STATES. Our military has been involved in conflicts all over the globe for centuries. But that doesn't mean that we have been constantly under threat of attack from those places.

- I must prove why Israel matters

+ Iran's president stood by his earlier call to "wipe Israel off the map"
http://www.nytimes.com...

It's common knowledge that we support Israel. Once again,
Iran will attack Israel
US will defend Israel
US goes to war with Iran
Anyone we are at war with, is a threat

******MY SIDE
my opponent agrees that small enemies cause can cause harm. thus i only have to prove that Iran has a reason to attack the US. I do so above. I must prove that Iran will have allies to help against the US. I do so above. I prove that a threat is eminent. Because of this alone I prove that Iran is a threat

But furthermore, my Israel argument still is untouched. He ignored it in round 2, and in round 3 said he didn't have to attack it. He can not ignore and then attack. So it really goes untouched. But in the end I prove why it matters and why I should win.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
I voted on this one earlier, but forgot to provide an explanation. However, I believe my summary would be mostly similar Yraelz's, so yeah . . .
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Hmmmm. There was a structure to begin with then it sort of disappeared, that always makes me sad.

Anyways, bringing up new evidence in the final speech is a very slimy thing to do, I would urge Pro to not do such a thing. Also I noted that both the 1st and 2nd pieces of evidence went against his position. The 1st clearly states,

"Just three months after taking office, the new president is facing a storm of criticism not only from abroad over his foreign policy statements but inside the country as well."

Thereby going on to say that the hundreds of thousands story was a media bias.....

Anyways Pro ends up dropping two key points which lose him the round. First point is the drawbacks to Iran attacking us, that being the 60% oil argument. Pro never argues this, effectively agreeing.

Second point is the fighting a war outside of the United States does not constitute as a threat. While this point could have probably been easily disputed Pro never touches it thereby agreeing that a war fought outside U.S borders is no a threat.

This means that when "US will defend Israel (thereby) US goes to war with Iran" the United States as a whole will be under no threat as this will doubtlessly be fought in the middle east. Con brings up this point when he says,

"Secondly, being forced to fight Iranian forces on foreign soil thousands of miles from our shores does not constitute a threat to the UNITED STATES."

This goes un-refuted thus I must vote Con.
Posted by steveperry 9 years ago
steveperry
Are you kidding me? Who the heck is voting for cody? His points are weak and unfounded. This website is disappointing me already.
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
I welcome any forms of criticism, hj, as I am always looking to improve my debating skills, but I honestly don't know what that even means.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
Are you serious?

rwebberc gives much better analysis. cody doesnt even respond to the fiscal incentive Iran has to refrain from an attack. cody's best arguments dont even come out until his final speech, which is competitively questionable, consider rwebberc doesnt have an opportunity to respond to them.

rwebberc wins this debate hands down.

The fact that cody is currently ahead in the voting makes me question the legitimacy of the ballots on this site.
Posted by hjfrutwiufy 9 years ago
hjfrutwiufy
rwebberc sounds like a 14 year old talking to a professor in this debate
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
Haha fair enough. Same to you.
Posted by cody30228 9 years ago
cody30228
hey i had to say something right?

good debate
Posted by rwebberc 9 years ago
rwebberc
You realize the USA Today piece you posted proves my point about the Iranian people, not disproves it, right? The sentence above the link, which you have so eloquently cut and pasted, is talking about how the Iranian people trust the American government more than people in other Arab countries. Nice try, though.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
"Watch FOX NEWS."

lol, worst advice ever.
21 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by cody30228 7 years ago
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