The Instigator
MarineCorpsConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
81 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Con (against)
Winning
96 Points

Iraq war/Afghanistan War/War on Terror

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,675 times Debate No: 279
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (71)
Votes (54)

 

MarineCorpsConservative

Pro

I believe it was right to go into iraq and it is right to stay the course. I also believe that things are improving in Iraq due to the troop surge under the charge of General Patreus. I believe that it is right to destroy the terrorist cells on their own turf because if not they would have more training camps and a wider support base. I know that we are helping innocent Iraqis who want to make a better life for their families. I believe that the majority of Iraqis want a free society where they are free to walk the streets without being in fear for their lives. I do believe that if Iraq keeps going as well as it is going that the main mission should be shifted to Afghanistan to continue the hunt for Bin Laden and secure the region of the ousted reminents of taliban fighters and al queda and also to provide humanitarian assistance to the population who strongly need it.
clsmooth

Con

Thank you for making this debate, MarineCorpsConservative. I trust that it will be productive and entertaining. I will begin by addressing some of the points you have made in your opening statement.

You said: "I believe it was right to go into iraq and it is right to stay the course."

I say: The support for invading Iraq was based on what is now accepted as false information. Some even consider it to have been deliberate lies, although this is admittedly contentious. Still, it cannot be objected to that certain members of the Bush Administration had "regime change" in Iraq as part of their pre-9/11 agenda and were looking for any and every excuse to launch an invasion of Iraq. Finally, there was no formal declaration of war from Congress, nor did the president seek one. We have never won a major war without a formal declaration, and we've never lost one in which there has been a congressional declaration of war. It is unconstitutional to go to war without a formal declaration, and thus it cannot have been "right" to invade Iraq. The president, Congress, and military officers swear an allegiance to the Constitution, and they violated it with this war.

You said: "I also believe that things are improving in Iraq due to the troop surge under the charge of General Patreus."

I say: I will concede that things are "improving" but improving from what? From the utter devastation caused by our military intervention? Yes. But improving from what life was like under the admittedly brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein? No. Iraq enjoyed the largest middle class in the Arab world under Saddam. Life was good by Middle-Eastern standards in Iraq. Christians could practice freely and even enjoyed top positions in Saddam's admittedly fascist government. But now Christians are marked for death by the Islamic Radicals that Saddam kept at bay. This invasion has been good for some of Iraq's elites, but not the Iraqi people, and least of all, the Iraqi Christians.

You said: "I believe that it is right to destroy the terrorist cells on their own turf because if not they would have more training camps and a wider support base."

I say: The constitutional method for hunting down terrorists would be to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal, which Congress laughed at when one of its own members brought such a bill to the floor. Which founding father was it that said "We should not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy?" (I looked it up; it was John Quincy Adams -- not technically a founding father, I guess, but close). The federal government's duty -- as outlined in the Constitution -- is to secure our borders and provide for the common defense. Terrorists plotting in Pakistan (whose military dictatorship we support, by the way -- despite the fact that the country undoubtedly hosts bin Laden) cannot hurt Americans within our borders if we never let them in. And finally, our intervention -- killing of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children, and destroying private property -- is what expands the terrorists' support base. Our presence in the Arab World expands support for terrorists -- so says our own CIA.

You said: "I believe that the majority of Iraqis want a free society where they are free to walk the streets without being in fear for their lives."

I say: Unfortunately, your belief is incorrect. The vast majority of Iraqis want a religious dictatorship. The only thing they cannot agree on is whether the dictator should be Shiia or Sunni. Iraqis were safe to walk the streets under Saddam. That ended when he started dropping bombs on said streets.

That ends my arguments for Round 1. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
MarineCorpsConservative

Pro

Ok. First of all you posted some good topics.

You said that the administration was, "looking for any and every excuse to launch an invasion of Iraq."
Since when was terrorists running planes into the towers an excuse. Yes i know you might say that Iraq didn't have anything to do with that. I believe that is wrong. I have personally seen way too much evidence that Sadaam supported the terrorists responsible for this. Does that constitute an ivasion? No, but if you tear down one of the major sources of income al queda is receiving, Iraq being that source, al queda will crumble. Why do you think that al queda is on the run now and hasn't had very many significant attacks since Sept. 11?

You said, "utter devastation caused by our military intervention."
We did not cause the devestation. The terrorists fighting us did that. We have built schools, government buildings, hospitals, etc.... The terrorists are the ones destroying them. This is why the Sunnis decided to join our side. Because they are sick of the violence and want a change.

You said, "Life was good by Middle-Eastern standards in Iraq."
I strongly disagree. If being tortured daily and being afraid to walk down the street in fear for your life is good then i would hate to see what a bad life was. I just finished reading a book called Mayada: Daughter of Iraq. It tells some of these horrible stories. I suggest you read it. When i was deployed over in Iraq back in 2003 i spoke with many of the local population that would attest to the fact that life was definately not good.

You said, "The federal government's duty -- as outlined in the Constitution -- is to secure our borders and provide for the common defense."
Well alot has changed since, September 17, 1787. I for one DO NOT want to sit here at our borders waiting for another country to build up the means to strike again. I believe in taking the fight to the enemy and "killing him before he kills me." If we pulled all of our troops out now what would that say to the enemy? Hmmmmm, well they cut and ran. We could do this again. No. We cannot show a weakness otherwise they will think that they can do this again. Look what happened when Clinton was in office, After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished. Did not happen under his terms. After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished. Did not happen. After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished. Didn't happen. After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished. Didn't happen. After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors, Clinton promised that those responsible be hunted down and punished. Didn't happen. Maybe if Clinton had kept those promises, an estimated 3,000 people in New York and Washington, DC. who are now dead would be alive today.

You said, "The vast majority of Iraqis want a religious dictatorship."
That is all that they know. They are slowly coming around to democracy. Who wouldn't like a say so in their way of life?
clsmooth

Con

First of all, I said that certain members of the Bush Administration had plans to go into Iraq BEFORE 9/11. This is documented by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, a lifelong Republican who worked in the Ford administration as well as for Bush 43. It was also exemplified by the urging of the Project for a New American Century's letter to President Clinton urging regime change -- and that letter was signed by Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, among others.

Secondly, there is little/no evidence that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. Al Qaeda opposed Saddam's secular government, even. Even the White House has dropped any attempts to link 9/11 to Saddam. The stated purpose for going into war was that Saddam posed an iminent threat. Subsequent intelligence virtually proves that to be false.

Thirdly, the schools we've built with U.S. taxpayer money represent a redistribution of wealth that goes agianst conservative principles. Why should I be taxed to pay for an Iraqi school? If I want to pay for an Iraqi school, I should do so voluntarily, through charity. And of course, much of what we're building is actually RE-building -- because we destroyed it in the first place. This is a major corporate-welfare handout to the contractors from the U.S. taxpayer. We can't even afford this war without the Federal Reserve printing money and devaluing the dollar. Taxes aren't even enough. We have to borrow more and more money from China and Saudia Arabia (where the hijackers were actually from, by the way -- and who rule their country with an iron fist that makes Saddam look like Thomas Jefferson).

Fourth -- I said "by Middle Eastern standards." The odds of being pulled off the street and tortured by Saddam were very low compared to the odds of being "collateral damage" by a U.S. bomb now, or, more likely, killed by an Iraqi death squad. This is especially true if you are a Christian. Saddam was a brutal tyrant, but at least he exercised a monopoly on violence and tyranny in his Iraq. People were safe as long as they "stayed in line." People should be free, but it is not our job to liberate the world. It goes against everything our country was founded on.

Fifth -- You say "a lot has happened" since the Constitution has been ratified. Really? That means the Constitution can be ignored? Then why must the president swear an oath to it? Why not abandon it altogether? This is the liberal view. I did not know a self-described "conservative" would be sharing it. Interventionism does not work, either in the economy or abroad. The Constitution is the law of the land, and it must be obeyed or else we are living under dictatorship. We are to be a nation of laws, not a nation of men. If something truly is outdated in the Constitution, then it should be amended. The Constitution exists as al imit on our government because our Founders knew that our government could not be trusted.

Sixth -- It is not our job to give the Iraqis an education in political science. Why not Saudi Arabia, which is more despotic than Saddam's Iraq and from whence the hijackers came? And why couldn't we declare war, no matter what the reason, before launching an invasion?
Debate Round No. 2
MarineCorpsConservative

Pro

You say that because we destroyed schools in the first place schools shouldn't be rebuilt? That just doesn't seem right. Are you really that selfish where you don't want to help the children in Iraq that are in need? Besides, we did not destroy these schools. The terrorists set themselves in mosques, schools, veteranarian clinics, etcc.... so when a battle does break out it makes us look like the bad guys. So the terrorists destroy them by setting themselves in there in the first place. Also the terrorists will at times destroy a school or hospital if U.S troops are in the area so they can try to get the iraqi population to think that we did it.

You say, "People were safe as long as they "stayed in line."
I once talked to a former Iraqi soccer star that had battery cables attached to his earlobes and shocked until he was unconscious because their team lost a game. After this his soles on his feet were beaten so badly that his soccer career would be over for the rest of his life. Nobody was safe under Sadaam Husseins rule.

You say, "It is not our job to give the Iraqis an education in political science."
Where else are they going to learn how to use a democracy. It is best that they learn by us because we are the best examples.
clsmooth

Con

It is very easy to be generous with other people's money. I would gladly give to a charity to build schools in Iraq. But I do not believe in forcing other people to do it. How would you like it if your taxes were 100% in order to fund every charity in the world?

If terrorists destroyed schools, who built them in the first place? Saddam Hussein? Why should it be the U.S. taxpayer's responsibility to rebuild schools that terrorists destroyed in Iraq? What about schools in Canada or Africa or even in the U.S.? There is not enough money to rebuild them all. We should first be responsible for our own children and communities, and then look to charities to help others who are in need. This is the traditional conservative viewpoint. You are reflecting a very big-government liberal viewpoint.

The facts remain that the odds of being killed by the tyrant Hussein were much lower than the odds of being killed by an Iraqi death squad or errant U.S. bomb in post-Saddam Iraq. These are facts, not opinions.

It is not our job to educate the rest of the world. Why Iraq? Why not Saudi Arabia? Why not China? Why not all of Africa? Why not the penguins in Antartica? We can't do it all. We shouldn't want to do it all. Our federal government was created by the states to provide a common defense -- not to build Iraqi schools or educate foreigners on democracy. When exactly did the U.S. become a democracy anyway? It was founded as a constitutional republic with a limited government. Aren't you supposed to be a conservative?

You never answered these points, or at least, you did not do so to my satisfaction:

1. The War in Iraq was undeclared, and thus, unconstitutional. The president, Congress, and military officers take an oath to defend the Constitution. How can the war be "right" when it forced them to violate this oath? If they are not bound by that oath then they are dictators, not republicans.

2. The War in Iraq cannot be funded except by printing money and taking loans from Saudi Arabia -- from whence the terrorists who caused 9/11 actually came.

Afghanistan was not even broached. That's a good point, because the War in Iraq has entirely distracted us from Afghanistan, where there was a much more legitimate case for war. Meanwhile, Pakistan's brutal military dictator is our friend, and bin Laden is safe in Pakistan. And yet we give Pakistan more money. Awfully generous of us! Just about as generous as it was to support Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, or to support the Shah of Iran who was even more brutal than Hussein. History shows that interventionism does not work. Our government's role is to provide the common defense, not to wage wars for the interest-income of China, Saudi Arabia, and the big banks.

The War in Iraq is not right because it was not declared, there were no WMDs, there is no logical basis for "bringing democracy" to Iraq and not every other country in the world, it can only be funded by inflating the money supply, and it goes against every imaginable principle of limited government and republicanism on which this country was founded.

I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3
71 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MrJs1G 5 years ago
MrJs1G
@blond_guy

Oh please. When will people like you stop citing the Lancet / ORB research surveys as evidence for "hundreds of thousands" dead...? It's been discredited and refuted over and over again.
Posted by blond_guy 8 years ago
blond_guy
Granted that the Iraq war did us a lot of good. But it did us a lot of bad to. Just ask yourself. Is it worth it?

My answer: Hell no! You saved a few and killed hundreds of thousands of others.
Posted by ClayTrainor 8 years ago
ClayTrainor
CLSmooth man, you dominated this debated in my opinion.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
BTW: easy2know and I have buried the hatchet. Like I said elsewhere, I originally misunderstood his statement (my error), which led to me making an incorrect statement. He then insulted me based on my untrue inferrence, and then the insults escalated, etc., as tends to happen on the net.

We have shaken cyberhands. Merry Christmas to all.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
I disagree with your interpretation in every case.

It was interventionism that created the fake country of Iraq in the first place.

It was interventionism that led to the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

It was interventionism that led to Hitler's rise -- he galvanized people adversely affected by the after-effects of WWI.

And most, it certainly was NOT intervention that led to the collapse of Communism. That's absurd. Communism is a corrupt and inefficient system that collapsed under its own weight -- it was inevitable. But U.S. intervention helped keep it alive for decades. In order to believe intervention was needed to defeat communism, you have to believe that communism could work in the absence of intervention -- and it can't. I don't see how stealing money from U.S. taxpayers to give grain to our supposed enemy, the USSR, helped defeat Communism. It only worked to the benefit of military contractors.
Posted by ReaganConservative 9 years ago
ReaganConservative
Once again I have to disagree with you bud. Interventionism is what DOES work. Interventionism has eradicated nazism, fascism, and communism. Interventionism is what took out Saddam Hussein, a homicidal maniac who posed as a threat to the rest of the world, as well as his own people. Interventionism is what stopped the entire continent of Europe from speaking German. Interventionism is why there are still Jews in Europe today. Interventionism is why the Soviet Union collapsed. Interventionism is why Iran supposedly abandoned their nuclear program in 2003...the year we invaded Iraq. Interventionism is what gave Afghanistan their first free election in their history. Interventionism is why women were able to vote for their elected leaders in Iraq. I'm sure you can give me reasons why interventionism has been proven a disaster, because you're a smart guy, but I have to strongly disagree when you say history proves it doesn't work.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
Interventionism is what doesn't work. History has proven this to be the case. Why do you adopt the Wilson/FDR/Truman foreign policy if you're a conservative? Don't you know that "war is the health of the state"? The Keynesians and Fabian socialists loved WWI and WWII because they empowered the government so much. The massive growth of the federal government can be traced back to the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam.

Pearl Harbor occurred because of our intervention. It was not an unprovoked attack. And plus, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the evidence strongly suggests FDR knew it was going to happen. I highly recommend The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, by Thomas Woods.

I take back the mean things I said about you. You obviously care about the Constitution and about limited government, etc. But being a conservative who just happens to support interventionism and undeclared wars funded by fiat money and income taxation is just as illogical and hypocritical as a conservative who just happens to support socialized medicine funded by fiat money and income taxation. Even if you are hawkish, as a conservative, you must insist on a formal declaration of war and, at the very least, REAL MONEY (not printing-press money) to fund it.
Posted by ReaganConservative 9 years ago
ReaganConservative
If my tax money is going to the United States military, then so be it. What I don't want to happen is most of my paycheck going to some welfare recipient because he or she doesn't want to get a job. What I don't want is my taxes being raised because the USA decided to turn into the USSA (United States of Socialist America) and socialize medicine. The mere thought of socialism sickens me.

I can see why you would think a non-interventionist approach would be the right way to go, but it just won't work in today's world. First of all, it didn't work before WW2...Pearl Harbor. It's rather difficult to refrain from getting involved in a conflict when a terrorist organization flies commercial air jets into two skyscrapers, killing 3,000 people. Non-interventionism simply is not an option with today's events. If we applied that approach, Saddam Hussein would still be murdering thousands upon thousands of people, Iraq and Afghanistan would still be under despotic rule, and God knows what kind of WMD program he would be pursuing. I understand the good intentions behind the approach and I can see why candidates like Ron Paul are supporting it...but it just won't work.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
I will give you credit, RC, you are one of the few (only?) here who doesn't obviously support the income tax, as per your profile. The income tax is an instrument of tyranny second only to the fiat-money central banking of the Federal Reserve. Of course, without these two things, your wars could never get funded. This is the quandary of the modern conservative who has turned his back on the non-interventionist foreign policy of the Old Right: You can't really oppose big-government Keynesianism and still have your wars. It would be impossible to fund these wars under a regime of voluntary contributions, or even a federalist apportioned tax to the states. States would rebel! We need states to rebel!
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
If you honored the Constitution then you would insist on a formal, congressional declaration of war before invading a sovereign nation.

If you were against the redistribution of wealth, then you would not support involuntary taxation to fund a war than 70% of the country does not agree with; the funding for which goes first to military contractors, and secondly to the nation of Iraq. That's redistribution of wealth, from the productive American taxpayer to foreigners. Let me control my own money and I will gladly give to charity. But taking it by force is wrong.

I'm glad you acknowledge the existence of the Constitution. That is better than most here!
54 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by greenlightgo08 7 years ago
greenlightgo08
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by jess_ily 8 years ago
jess_ily
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by mastajake 8 years ago
mastajake
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Ineffablesquirrel 8 years ago
Ineffablesquirrel
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by ClayTrainor 8 years ago
ClayTrainor
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by g_of_tongues 9 years ago
g_of_tongues
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Vlast 9 years ago
Vlast
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by elanortaughann 9 years ago
elanortaughann
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by dirtycommiepig 9 years ago
dirtycommiepig
MarineCorpsConservativeclsmoothTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03