The Instigator
big_chief90
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
kenito001
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

Is the "war on terrorism" really helping anything?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,403 times Debate No: 1191
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (11)
Votes (15)

 

big_chief90

Con

Is the war on terrorism actually helping anything? I don't believe that it is. We go into Iraq under the false belief that Iraq had WMD; however, we find none. So, we continue to stay in Iraq under these horrible conditions in which nothing is being accomplished. Yet, our President believes that we are doing the right thing. I believe that this is a horrible belief. We are continuing to lose soldiers every day, and for no reason. What can we do to solve our war on terrorism problem and actually get something accomplished...Hmmm, I've got an idea...withdrawal!
kenito001

Pro

The War on Terror shall be defined as the Authorization for Use of Military force beginning on September 18th 2001. This authorization officially marked the beginning of the War on Terror, and is the legal justification for the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. While I believe that the debate topic is quite elementary, all of my arguments will be in affirmative of the issue "Is the US winning the War on Terror?", and the only answer to this question is yes. The purpose of the War on Terror is to use political, military, legal, religious, and personal actions taken to curb the spread of terrorism throughout the globe. In order to vote or determine the winner of this debate, it must not be proven that the War on Terror is a success, but that it is not a complete failure. If it is helping something, then that constitutes as it helping "anything".

First and foremost, the US has succeeded in protecting itself from terrorist attacks. While terrorist attacks such as the Madrid train bombings and London attacks still occur, the US has accomplished its own domestic protection.

In terms of the war in Afghanistan, up until 2006 when the US saw a major snag in the number of readily available troops, the US overthrew the Taliban regime and began to capture high ranking Al-Qaeda operatives. While the distribution of opium has funded the Taliban's resurgence and the lack of resources has harmed the US, America has reduced the rate of troop deaths while protecting the Afghanistan freedom and their new government. The new Afghani regime itself must be considered a victory.

Iraq, however, is a completely different story. While US officials foresaw a short stay in the country and potential overwhelming support from Iraqi citizens in instilling a new democratic government, the sectarian violence between the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds has kept American troops in Iraq. Regardless, it goes without question that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein threatening other countries and instigating conflict.

"We go into Iraq under the false belief that Iraq had WMD; however, we find none."
The CIA intelligence to invade Iraq has since been declared false, however just because the US was unable to find WMDs does not negate their existence; whether they were destroyed or shipped off to Syria.

"So, we continue to stay in Iraq under these horrible conditions in which nothing is being accomplished."
Offing Saddam and establishing a new Iraqi government has been accomplished.

"Yet, our President believes that we are doing the right thing."
It would have been political suicide for Bush to withdraw from Iraq prematurely. Whether invading was the right decision or not, staying the course as he has done was correct.

"We are continuing to lose soldiers every day, and for no reason."
Troops die in war, that's why it's called war. They die for the reason and purpose of the War on Terror: protecting the security of American citizens and granting freedom from corruption and terrorism to all peoples abroad.

"What can we do to solve our war on terrorism problem and actually get something accomplished...Hmmm, I've got an idea...withdrawal!"
A withdrawal would leave Iraq in chaos. It is self-centered and absurd to not consider the large number of deaths that would result from withdrawing today, even the likely collapse of the new Iraq government. Pulling out would only put the Shia, Sunni, and Kurds to engage in even more sectarian violence than ever before.

And, according to Playboy magazine, pulling out is only 44% effective...
Debate Round No. 1
big_chief90

Con

While I think your arguments are quite good, you still have not made me think otherwise.

Yes, Saddam has been caught and removed from power. However, what was he doing to the United States? Did we have any proof that he had any part in the 9/11 attacks? Did we have any reason to actually go into Iraq to remove him from power? These are questions that we have to think about. While, I do not think that Saddam was a good man, he did bring many good things to Iraq such as a decent education system. Again, I'm not saying that he is a good man, but I do not see why WE had to go into Iraq to remove him from power. If his citizens hated him so much, then why didn't they do it themselves or reach out to neighboring coutries. Oh yes, I understand why we went in there...We are being typical United States...putting our nose in other peoples business.

Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attack. He was the main reason we started this war on terrorism...however, we have yet to find him. We have yet to find a man running around in the Mountains, yet we found a Dictator of a powerful Middle Eastern country...kinda seems funny to me. We have not removed the Taliban from power, nor have we solved anything in Iraq except for creating more hatred towards the United States. We may have deterred them from some attacks, yet they are still attacking...So, really we have not accomplished anything.

You also mentioned Political suicide for Bush to withdraw troops...but hasn't he already commited politcal suicide by staying in Iraq? His popularity is very low, and he is a joke among the world population...He is the worst thing possible for the Republican party. Lets face it...most of the American population does not agree with President Bush.

Also, on the issue of withdrawal, we have to let the Iraqi government stand on its own two feet. They continue to rely on us for everything, and have yet to take a stand and be prepared to govern its own nation. So, it seems to me that being in Iraq is not doing anything but spoiling the Iraqi government. They can not continue to rely on us for everything.

The American people are crying out for real leadership in our country. Real leadership that will listen to their wants/needs. Our current President and his current view on the war on terrorism is not accomplishing that. While we may have put one man out of power, who's to say that another man even worse won't take his place. The Middle East has been a region of war for thousands of years. By us sticking our nose in the Middle Eastern affairs, it is not going to accomplish peace in the Middle East. You will always have hatred in that region.

I understand your arguments, and I respect your opinions; however, you really have to look at the whole picture. We have lost thousands of our nations soldiers for the death of one man. We have claimed victory, yet we still lose more and more soldiers everyday. Also, as far as your comment on war goes, it almost seems to me like you take our soldiers for granted...and I quote, "Troops die in war, that's why it's called war." You make it seem like it's no big deal that we lose men and women of our armed forces. I, for one, think that is very disrespectful. Yes, the troops are troops to protect the United States, but exactly when did Iraq invade the U.S? When exactly did Saddam set foot on United States soil? Saddam did not want war with the U.S, yet we persisted and made up false reasons for our war in Iraq.
kenito001

Pro

"Yes, Saddam has been caught and removed from power. However, what was he doing to the United States? Did we have any proof that he had any part in the 9/11 attacks? Did we have any reason to actually go into Iraq to remove him from power?"

The 9/11 Commission report, written by a bipartisan and unbiased committee, briefly mentions Saddam Hussein as involved with the harboring and support of the plans by al-Qaeda against the US in 2001, however he holds even greater involvement with the USS Cole bombing in 1999, a direct act of terrorism against the US and its people.
Additionally, while Saddam's major ties are not to al-Qaeda, he has traded weapons with Syria, being fully aware that they supply Hezbollah, an international terrorist organization, with weapons and supplies. The invasion of Iraq therefore weakened the capabilities of terrorists to engage violence against the U.S. and its allies, thus advancing the War on Terror and America's fights against terrorism. While you may not agree with the current state of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was a war criminal for the genocide of his own people and deserved to be executed. The insurgency and turmoil in Iraq is linked to poor military planning, to which General Petreas has improved the military strategy and America's ability to save troops lives while restoring peace. My friend, a freshman at West Point, had a phone conversation with the General himself and was able to ask him any questions about the state of Iraq. The General emphasized that while the US has not yet declared Iraq a victory, it has taken the steps towards making Iraq more peaceful and placid than it ever was under Saddam. Troops overstaying is not unfamiliar to the history of the U.S., as troops are still on the border of North and South Korea since the Korean War. While the US has enjoyed the luxuries of being the world's only true superpower, it bears the basic obligation in this globalized 21st Century, of acting on behalf of all the people and nations in the world to promote democracy and freedom.

"If his citizens hated him so much, then why didn't they do it themselves or reach out to neighboring coutries. Oh yes, I understand why we went in there...We are being typical United States...putting our nose in other peoples business."
You must understand the turmoil of Iraq as a nation to answer the question. Saddam, a member of the Sunni minority, was supported by his people but opposed by the Shia majority and the Kurds. Saddam gave the most domestic support, deriving the intention of establishing an education system to educate the Sunni and allow them to flourish and succeed as a society in Iraq. The Shia, on the other hand, were oppressed by Saddam and did not revolt against him because they themselves were constantly engaging in sectarian violence. The violence in Iraq did slightly increase after the invasion, however its coverage has been bolstered by the American media. Prior to invasion, there were many fewer reports of violence released to the international public from Iraq because of the limited press coverage and freedom of the press. Some experts estimate that the sectarian violence now has decreased with the presence of American troops in comparison to before invasion.

"Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attack. He was the main reason we started this war on terrorism...however, we have yet to find him. We have yet to find a man running around in the Mountains, yet we found a Dictator of a powerful Middle Eastern country...kinda seems funny to me."
bin Laden is not restricted to one specific country. He is accustomed to using secretive measures of hiding and evasion. Saddam, on the other hand, was hated by the Saudis and Iranians, so he had to stay within the borders of Iraq, making him much easier to find. Regardless, Afghanistan is much more rigid geographically than Iraq. Iraq is primarily desert in comparison to Afghanistan's mountainous terrain.

"We have not removed the Taliban from power"
We have in fact removed the Taliban from power, however they are still able to fund themselves with opiate, traded abroad and grown by desperate, impoverished Afghani farmers. The main flaw of the War on Terror in Afghanistan is the failure to eradicate the opiate crops. However, with the emergence of microlending and a greater focus on this problem, the US has began to improve on this front.

"You also mentioned Political suicide for Bush to withdraw troops...but hasn't he already commited politcal suicide by staying in Iraq? His popularity is very low, and he is a joke among the world population...He is the worst thing possible for the Republican party. Lets face it...most of the American population does not agree with President Bush."
It is political suicide because in order to keep the support from Bush's only remaining mainstream followers, the Christian fundamentalists and neo-conservatives, Bush must remain in Iraq and strong in the War on Terror. These are the people who account for the low number of citizens who actually favor him. Regarding popularity numbers, the only approval rating lower than Bush's on the federal level is the approval rating of Congress. The American people in general are unfavorable towards the government at this time.

"Also, on the issue of withdrawal, we have to let the Iraqi government stand on its own two feet. They continue to rely on us for everything, and have yet to take a stand and be prepared to govern its own nation. So, it seems to me that being in Iraq is not doing anything but spoiling the Iraqi government. They can not continue to rely on us for everything."
Remaining in Iraq makes sure that when we let Iraq stand on its own to feet, it does not fall to the ground directly on its face. US troops are training Iraqi citizens on keeping the peace and acting as troops to replace the US troops. Once the US has accomplished this on a drastic scale, then we will be able to begin to withdraw.

"I understand your arguments, and I respect your opinions; however, you really have to look at the whole picture."
It is you, my friend, who must look at the whole picture. The War on Terror is portrayed by the media for the less intelligible masses as a fight engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. These countries are merely pawns in the game of chess that is the War on Terror, enabling the US to work against the proliferation of any more threats to American citizens, whether from nations or organizations. Keeping strong and staying the course keeps Iran, North Korea, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and others in a position to fear the prowess of the US. While it is a logical fallacy to assume that because the US has not been attacked domestically since 9/11 because of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is not unfounded to say that at least some credit must be given to these military operations in preventing further tragedies.

To extend on the importance of keeping countries in check as much as terrorist organizations, Michael O'Hanlon in his book "Defense Strategy for the Post-Saddam Era" points out the danger of the relationship between Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah, saying that if Iran is to supply Syria with WMDs or weapons, then Syria will readily supply them to Hezbollah. He asserts that staying the course in Iraq may prevent us from going to war with Iran, because, due to the geographical border between Iraq and Iran, the US is in a very ideal position to engage in a ground and air combat invasion. The threat of terrorism must be considered not only through the eyes of Saddam, but also through the potential threat posed by his allies.
Debate Round No. 2
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
Funny that you should mention Cuba. The U.S. supported terrorist acts based out of South Florida for many years. The US is harboring Luis Posada Carriles and Oralndo Bosch, men responsible for the blowing up of a Cubana airliner in 1976. Orlando Bosch also fired on a Polish frieghter in the Port of Miami bound for Cuba in 1968. By your logic, Cuba should occupy south Florida, if not the entire United States. According to George W. Bush's logic, America is just as bad as the terrorists it harbors.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"Like supporting Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and blocking any possible resolution to the problem. "

Nothing illegal about Israel protecting itself.

If Cuba were continuously firing missiles at south Florida what do you think the response would be? Yes, occupation of Cuba, and it would be completely justified.
Posted by Vikuta 9 years ago
Vikuta
People hate America not because they "hate freedom" but because America does very bad things to them. Like supporting Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and blocking any possible resolution to the problem. America frequently overthrows democratically elected leaders and installs brutal dictators to serve the interests of America's elite. America hasn't justifiably invaded a country since WWII, but it has invaded many countries since then. America exploits third-world countries for their resources and uses violent means to keep them in line. It harbors international terrorists as well. Basically, it doesn't follow any of the rules it expects it's "enemies" to play by.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
Vikuta, care to expand on that argument?
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"If things are supposedly "improving", then I don't understand why we are still there."

Improving does not = finished.

The reason things are improving is our presence. We CAN NOT leave until they have a stable Government and viable military at the very LEAST. This is a given. I don't care if you elect Ron Paul as President, that is what will happen. No ONE MAN is going to dictate when we leave Iraq. Bush isn't keeping us there and Paul won't get us out. It's FAR more complex than that.
Posted by gonovice 9 years ago
gonovice
If things are supposedly "improving", then I don't understand why we are still there. If we did what we hoped to accomplish then why are we still there?

If we really did our job, then we should let them deal with what is left.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
How do you figure gonovice? If things are improving we wouldn't be there , that doesn't make sense.
Posted by gonovice 9 years ago
gonovice
kels, not really. i think that if we were doing anything then we would not be over there right now.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
It is helping .... things in Iraq are getting better , Iraqi civilians are actually turning in terrorist groups. Things are vastly improving over there each day. Countless terrorists plans of attack have been stopped by the US and Britian.
Posted by gonovice 9 years ago
gonovice
it really isn't helping anything at all.
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Vote Placed by kenito001 7 years ago
kenito001
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