The Instigator
Chuckles
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Iran presents a real threat to the welfare of the United states and the world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: News
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,551 times Debate No: 480
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (21)

 

Chuckles

Pro

I believe Iran presents a true threat to the welfare of the united states and in fact the world. The reasons i present to support this statement are:
1. Nuclear Capability
2. Terrorist Funds
3. Religion

1. While there was a report that said Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weapons in 2003, there are other reports (notice it's plural) from both the US and Israel and more, that estimate Iran will have the capability to produce Nuclear Weapons (NWs) ranging from as early as 2009 to almost 2020. So i would like to see more reports that truly establish that Iran does not threaten us in the sense of creating NWs. There is more information to support the possibility that Iran IS building NWs. But then also, Iran's nuclear programs, supposedly for civilian power, are under the control of MILITARY officials. Is that a little strange, or is that just me? Iran has acquired and developed nuclear technology, directly violating treaties and commitments made to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Add that to statements calling for the destruction of Israel and such, claims to peaceful intentions become. much more suspect

2. Iran is known as well as Syria to fund and aid terrorist organizations. while it is true that we cannot prevent all funds going to terrorist organizations from reaching their destination, and that we cannot eliminate all the terrorist groups, we CAN prevent a large part of the organizations that present a threat to the US. Iran funds many of these groups, as well as warring Shiite groups in Iraq so that the new Iraqi government might lend them an advantage (Iran is a Shiite state). Worse is the fact that this money may come from oil revenue from the US, so we could virtually be funding our own enemies.

3. In order to understand some of Iran's (as well as much of Islamic groups') actions, we have to look at their religion, Islam, specifically shia Islam, more in depth. Shia and Sunni were distinctions that did not always exist. That difference goes back to the so-called 12th Imam, or The Mahdi, or the Hidden Imam. An Imam is an anointed leader or ruler said to be anointed by Allah. They may also be a prayer leader, cleric, or prophet. The story goes something like this: the 11th Imam died without any proven successor. There was much squabble about who would be the next Imam until a 9 year-old boy arose claiming to be the 12th Imam. There was even more chaos and scuffles surrounding the heir and the 9 year-old boy went into hiding in 941 AD. The people split into Shiite and Sunni groups. Sunnis believe in a different line of succession and that the 9 year-old boy (named Abu al-Qasim Muhammad or Muhammad al Mahdi) was an impostor. Shiites believe that al-Mahdi is the true 12th Imam and that he will come again. The catch to that belief? They say teh Mahdi will come in a time of extreme chaos and subjugation, in a time of tyranny and oppression. "According to the Hadith the criteria for the Hidden Imam are:

* He will be a descendant of Muhammad and the son of Fatima
* Will have a broad forehead and pointed nose
* Will return just before the end of the world
* His appearance will be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos, tyranny and oppression
* Will escape from Madina to Mekkah, thousands will pledge allegiance to him
* Will rule over the Arabs and the world for 7 years
* Will eradicate all tyranny and oppression bringing harmony and total peace
* Will lead a prayer in Mekkah which Jesus will be at his side and follow in." - http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org...

Many groups have dedicated themselves to preparing the world for the Mahdi's coming. Ahmadinejad has said multiple times (in almost every major speech he gives) that he will prepare the way for the Mahdi, that Allah actually directed him to do this. "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in a speech to prayer leaders across his country. "Therefore, Iran should become a powerful, developed and model Islamic society."
"Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi's return. We should avoid copying the West's policies and systems," he said. Even in a speech to the UN general assembly he made referances and spoke at length about this 12th Imam, confusing many delegates and pissing off Sunni delegates.
So the goal of Iran under Ahmadinejad AND THE COUNCIL is to prepare the way for a second coming of the Mahdi by creating chaos and terror.

So for those three reasons presented,
that Iran may be or will be pursuing nuclear weapons
that Iran funds and aids terrorist groups that declare jihad against America
and that Iran is dedicated to cause chaos in order to bring about a second coming of sorts,
I believe that Iran presents a direct and imminent threat to the United States and the world as a whole.
clsmooth

Con

1. Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. This is an accepted fact, even by the Bush administration. If you want to label Iran a threat because it might one day develop nuclear weapons, then that argument could be made for any country in the world.

2. Iran does fund terrorist groups. However, the terrorists it funds have never committed acts of terror on U.S. soil. The question of the debate here is, "Is Iran a threat to US," not whether they're a threat to peace in the Middle East. Al Qaeda is a Sunni organization, and one thing is clear -- Sunni radicals hate Shiites. Al Qaeda went so far as to destroy a Shiia Holy Site in Iraq. There is no connection between Al Qaeda and Iran, and Al Qaeda is the terrorist group that attacked the U.S. on 9/11, and would do so again.

3. Your "religion" argument revolves around Ahmedinijad being a nutcase. That is not debatable; he is. But he is also a very unpopular nutcase, and he won't be in power long. Furthermore, he is nothing but a figurehead. The Islamic clerics are the ones who are really in control. And like all bureaucrats, their first order of business is to stay in power. Taking action against the U.S. would obviously depose them from power in a matter of minutes.

Now, for my arguments as to why Iran is absolutely no threat to us.

EXHIBIT A: They are running out of oil -- FAST. Millennium Wave Investors estimates that Iran will be out of oil by 2014. Without the money from oil, not only will they be unable to make nuclear bombs or fund terrorists, the government itself will collapse.

HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT IRAN'S PENDING OIL CRISIS:

Oil provides more than 70% of government revenues for Iran

Those revenues are at an all-time high in real terms, but thanks to population growth, they're 44% off their real per-capita peak in the 1980s

Oil revenues are expected to decline by 10-12% per year through 2013, and disappear altogether by 2014 or 2015

Due to inadequate refining capacity, Iran is already importing most of its gasoline — the Mullahs' grip on the nation is so tenuous that they need to spend money on bread and circuses — not the country's future — to stay in power

Government spending ("bread and circuses") has quadrupled since 1999

Iranians are able to buy gas at a subsidized price of $0.0034 per gallon — not $3.40 per gallon, but $3.40 per thousand gallons: How long can that last?

Read more about this at http://www.forbes.com...

EXHIBIT B: Iran's people want freedom. They overthrew one dictator almost thirty years ago, and most of them didn't know they were doing it for another set of dictators. Iran was one of the most secular, pro-Western countries in the Muslim world until U.S. intervention led to the Islamic Revolution. And now, the people are re-asserting their desire for freedom in protests and rallies. When we provoke them -- calling them "evil" or threatening to pre-emptively nuke them (as every major presidential candidate but Ron Paul has done) -- then they support their government... Just like how Democrats supported Bush after 9/11 or Charlie Rangle shouted down Hugo Chavez for criticizing Bush in Harlem. But if we just leave them be, there will be a Counter-Revolution soon -- certainly by the time the oil money runs out.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

The article above details a student protest against the fascist government of Iran. Here is an excerpt: "They chanted slogans against President Ahmadinejad and carried placards saying 'Live free or die', 'No war, no fascism' and 'Women must decide their fate, not the state.'"

It is no coincidence that this protest occurred almost immediately after the NIE report was released -- taking away the neocons' excuse for pre-emptive war. No longer threatened by a foreign enemy (the U.S.), the Iranian people are now free to rebel against their dictatorial government. We need to give them space and let it happen.
Debate Round No. 1
Chuckles

Pro

Chuckles forfeited this round.
clsmooth

Con

FACTS why Iran is not a threat:

1. They will run out of oil by 2014 or 2015. Oil is where they get their money to fund terrorists, etc. The lack of money will result in domestic unrest. See below:

2. There already is domestic unrest. It is from young people who favor a laissez-faire capitalist / liberal democracy. When we rattle their cage, they consolidate behind their corrupt rulers. When we let them be, they rebel against their corrupt rulers. Our cage-rattling = supporting the ruling class. Laissez-faire non-intervention = supporting the overthrow of the regime.
Debate Round No. 2
Chuckles

Pro

First, let me thank you for accepting this challenge. I look forward to learning some new things hopefully, and a stimulating fun debate. And let me say that this may sound a little rushed. I have 45 minutes to post this and i just got done with drug testing for debate (lame or what?). Sorry.
Now, first I will go over rebuttals given by my opponent (con) and then continue onto my (pro) side of the flow.
Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, yes. sorry. They are, however, pursuing nuclear power for electricity and such. What experts worry is that they will use the knowledge gained from pursuing civilian uses for nuclear power to make a nuclear weapon. so the Knowledge can be transfered over to the military side easily. This also helps explain why MILITARY officials run the civilian nuclear power program.
Now for the question of funding terrorism. Although Iranian-funded groups may not have committed crimes on US soil, they DO commit crimes and attack US forces and allies elsewhere. Iran has funded, as well as Syria, terrorist groups operating in and against Iraq and other US allies. These are some of the people (yes Al Qaeda does too, and yes, Al Qaeda is Sunni) who plant roadside bombs that kill American troops and Iraqi civilians. As stated in the resolution, this presents a threat to America and the World by inflaming violence in an already vulnerable area. And my resolution DOES state, that Iran presents a threat to the US, but the whole world as well. So obviously a country funding terrorism anywhere is a threat to the whole world, but even more so in this volatile region. And besides terrorist groups, Iran funds radical Shiite militias in Iraq, extending the cycle of violence, so that they can gain influence in Iraq's government's doings.
Yes, as i have stated in comments on other debates before, Ahmedinajad is a nutcase, but only a figurehead nutcase. The clerics on the council control the country's affairs, including the election. These clerics have control over who joins the election and who doesn't. The candidates are chosen by this council. Ahmedinajad was selected to be part of the election and selected for President. And yes, his term ends soon and he is unpopular and he will be gone soon. But this council will simply choose a better-liked radical akin to his kind. The name will change but the type will not.

Now, onto his actual case points:
EXHIBIT A: He says that Iran is running out of oil. It is. Sort of. The mullahs have not reinvested in digging new wells or maintaining old ones. thus oil and revenue must diminish. But, as stated in his own rebuttal, the clerics on the council will do what must be done to stay in power. They may wait a time, but they will not risk rebellion. And while prices may go up for a time, i do not think that the Iranian people will rebel because their gas prices went up from .34 cents a gallon. Iran's actual oil is not diminishing. It's still under Iran. But mullahs have not invested in its maintenance and reinvested in new wells. See, over time, wells inevitably diminish production yearly. So to stay ahead you must drill new wells. Many mullahs have not done this because they are reluctant to wait the 4-6 years it takes a new well to produce adequately. And they are not maintaining pipes, so oil leaks into the ground. Sooner or later, because the top clerics will do what they must to stay at the top, they will reinvest in oil. yes, prices will go up on gas in Iran. but the Iranian people will not rebel. They will be upset, much like we as Americans are, they might even protest. But there will be no rebellion, and Iran will regain the oil it lost over time. Iran will retain unfriendly ideals, and Iran will still present a threat. I agree that this is a weak point, but not weak enough on its own.

EXHIBIT B: My opponent relies partially on his first point to carry this point, that there will be a grand revolution, that there will be a free-er Iran. First, who is to say that this new Iran will be much, if any, more Pro-American? And, like my opponent said in his case, United States INTERVENTION led to this earlier Islamic Revolution. We did not "give them space and let it happen". We MADE it happen. We ACTED. And that is what would be required now for any revolution to happen. And might i say, as shown by the previous Revolution, relying on a brand new revolution to bring about a new, friendly government is highly UN-reliable and dangerous. This new government has no guaranteed Pro-US stance, and no guarantee it will work. The new government will not likely run much better than the current one, and quite possibly could be even more dangerous. Relying on a new revolution to happen will not produce results, let alone the results we would like, and intervening to start a revolution will be worse.

And so to reaffirm my case,
As i said in my rebuttal, even if Iran is not pursuing "weapons", they are still enriching uranium. They are still pursuing nuclear power. and knowledge from nuclear power is easily transferable to nuclear WEAPONS. so in effect, Iran is still pursuing nuclear weapons. And this nuclear power will not be needed when the Clerics actually act to stop the diminishing oil problem. The ends of nuclear power is nuclear weapons.

Iran, like Syria, funds terrorist groups that menace not only America and its interests (such as Iraq), they menace other parts of the world as well. In Lawrence Wright's book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, he writes about Iran funding Hezbollah. Hezbollah, as I'm sure most of the audience and my opponent knows, menaces the fledgling government and country of Lebanon. Countless other expamples show that Iran funds terrorism groups around the world, attacking US interests, and making the world, especially the Mid-East, more and more vulnerable. If we want a safer country and a safer world, this must be stopped. A terrorist ridden Middle East only hurts the world. We cannot eliminate terrorism, but we CAN diminish it.

Once again, Ahmadinejad and the clerics behind him believe, much like Christians with Christ, that "the Mahdi" will come and save Islam. Also, much like Judaism and Christianity, they teach that this savior's coming will be preceded by a period of war, strife and turmoil. The problem is, Iran works to bring about this period of turmoil. Their goals include bringing about this period.
So obviously Iran present a threat
clsmooth

Con

Iran is a sovereign nation and has every right to develop nuclear power. That is not a threat to the United States. Perhaps it is an indirect threat to Israel. But that is Israel's problem, not ours. The subject of the debate is "the U.S. and the world." While Iran may be a minor threat to "the world" (mostly its own citizens), it is not a threat to the U.S. Even if it developed nukes, which it is a long, long way away from doing, it would not have the capability to strike the U.S. And it will not have the money to develop nukes as the oil runs out. Funding for Hezbollah will also dry up. No more threat.

You say: "Although Iranian-funded groups may not have committed crimes on US soil, they DO commit crimes and attack US forces and allies elsewhere." Simple solution: Get the forces out of other nations and dismantle all alliances. I know this idea is "radical" given the Rooseveltian liberalism of both the Right and the Left, but it is the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers. Modern conservatives and liberals both put FDR and Truman ahead of Washington and Jefferson, and this is a grave mistake.

A growing number of Iranians are opposed to the conservative theocracy. This doubtlessly constitutes a majority. When applied to young people, it is a preponderance. The Old Guard is dying out, and young people -- who favor capitalism and democracy -- are replacing them. What keeps the Mullahs in control is the welfare state they've established and the nationalism inspired by America's antagonism towards their country. Step back and consider the fact that all major presidential candidates, save for Ron Paul, said they would consider a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran -- doubtlessly killing tens, if not hundreds of thousands. How would the U.S. people react to such a threat? Even the most ardent Bush haters, including myself, would rally to the president. But once the threat was removed, I would return to my anti-Bush stance. So has been the case of the Iranian people, particularly the young, as cited in my Round 1 argument.

I never said the new Iran would be "pro-American." It is not the responsibility of a nation to be "pro-American." It is its responsibility to engage in peaceful commerce with its neighbors and to respect and defend the Natural rights of its citizens. This is what Iran will do when we back off and give it time. Your history is flawed. The U.S. government orchestrated a coup to oust the secular, democratically elected prime minister of Iran in 1953, and installed the brutal Shah. Imagine that we had an elected president who was ousted by Iran, and Iran then installed a brutal dictator who jailed, tortured, and killed U.S. citizens. How would we feel about Iran? This act of U.S. intervention -- deposing an elected government! -- led to the Islamic Revolution, but pre-Revolutionary Iran was largely secular and democratic (as evidenced by the "need" for the U.S. coup in the first place!). The thing is: There need not be a "grand revolution" this time. The fascist dictatorship of the Mullahs' welfare state will crumble just as soon as we allow it to. Just as we propped up Soviet Communism for decades (to the benefit of the military-industrial complex), we now prop up Islamic theocracies like Iran (to the same benefit).

Finally, your argument that Iran is a "threat" rests on the religious superstition of its leaders. Well, our president is also a "Last Days" fundamentalist Christian. But only the most deranged liberal Democrat would argue that Bush is actually working, purposely, to usher in Armageddon. Similarly, only a divorced-from-reality neocon could make the argument that Iran poses a threat to the safety of U.S. citizens, living comfortably within our sovereign borders.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
Clsmooth - you are out to lunch here

Iran is clearly a threat , and everyone knows it

Your myopic view of international affairs and Islam is the reason why Paul wont get the nomination

Islam is the primary threat to the world

I will repeat that 10000000 times until it gets through to intelligent people

If you dont think so read

www.prophetofdoom.net

for a primer

(craig winn totally agrees with your view on Iraq BTW)
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
ceasar: Please show me the treaty that established Israel as our ally. There is no such treaty. Secondly, if Israel wants to use nukes on Iran, IT IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. Israel has every right to defend itself.
Posted by ahundredhighways 9 years ago
ahundredhighways
i can agree with the con on this debate almost all the way, but i can say the same for the pro

yes, at the moment Iran does pose a real threat to the United Stetes, they do fund terrorism, and they can really put a pinch on us when it comes to oil

but, the people are restless and oil is a poor commodity to fund their government on

but their is a small flaw with the con's opening argument, yes, Iran does fund terrorists, and no they haven't attacked us on our soil, but hezbollah has bombed american targets in the middle east and killed american citizens and soldiers

I believe that all Iran wants is to be a power player in the region, they offered to help us in Afghanistan and open negotiations with us, barganing their support for hezbollah and their nuclear program, but bush spoke to soon and called them evil, and they still offer to help in Iraq, but supply terrorists there, I believe that if we level with the Iranian government and negotiate with them to give up their support for terrorists, they will in exchange for a spot in the american economy, and when their oil runs dry, the government falls apart anyway

i listen to a lot of conservative talk and they do not tell you the whole story, just as liberals

you have to look into a story, and c-span can help with that some, but people need to get informed on the whole story on any topic and not just listen to what the commentators tell you
Posted by ceaser 9 years ago
ceaser
iran being a threat to isreal is a problem for us because we are isreal's allies. if we turn our backs on them, well, lets just say they have nukes too and wont be afraid to use them against iran.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Everyone should read this article and check out the pics of REAL Iran:

http://www.lewrockwell.com...
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Yeah, I thought it was odd that you posted your Round 3 argument about five minutes after your Round 2 time expired.

I look forward to debating you again in the future, Chuckles.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
grr...sry about that forfeited round. I got on and had 45 minutes to post, and it took a little longer to write my arguments out. Wish i could have done more debating. clsmooth you rock! I'm glad i got to debate you, i learned a lot! Glad that we got in-depth.
Posted by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
Good debate Chuckles I never really looked at it that way...
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Good debate, Chuckles. You are a worthy foe.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
jurist 24, that's exactly the point i tried to make, hope i did it well. i'd invite anyone watching to post critiques after the debating period!
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