The Instigator
KingYosef
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
soundman
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

"Islam" and "terror" are facades over-simplifying the heart of the M.E. struggle

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,020 times Debate No: 1576
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (7)

 

KingYosef

Pro

4 Rounds

The current situation in the Middle East would exist in essentially the same form if Islam never existed.

Throughout history, when cultural warfare erupts it has been in the name of an idealogy or religion, this is due to the phycological effect it has on citzens of the culture, allowing them to identify with a cause. The fact is that very few have been fought were an idealogy or religous purpose are truely the desired result (American Revelution is one). they are used as facades to generalize the enemy and garner patriotism. the consequences are drastict, yet the basic human need for identification will never allow for a 20/20 view on global affairs.

The Problem: The general American view of how to defeat the war on terrorism is through destroying radical Islam and establishing democracy in its place. As previously stated, Islam is a facade of the true struggle. Oil, Power, Influence, Land, and respect lie at the center of the struggle, branching off and manifesting themselves in different forms and wrongly interperted by unfamiliar eyes. If it weren't the Muslims and Jews fight over palestine, it would be the Christians and Jews. If the U.S. didn't have an Islamic power struggle to fix in the Middle East, it would find another way to divert attention and when no one is looking, install pipelines.

Islam Vs. The West are just two new teams in a never ending game of command and conqouer.

Since this is the opening argument I will leave it at that.
soundman

Con

The way this argument was formed is backward. You started off with an assumption (that the struggle in the ME is all about oil and land) and then tried to form an argument for it. If you understand Islam, you would understand why we fight them. In Islam (not even radical Islam, this is written in the Koran) all infidels "non-believers" are to be put to death. Any follower of Islam that kills these non-believers is rewarded in the afterlife. That is why this country was attacked on September 11th. Because we are their enemies. In there beliefs, we deserve to die. They are doing what they believe they are RELIGIOUSLY commanded to do. This country has responded to defend our citizens by removing the radical applications of these views. It is about idealology and religious beliefs.
Debate Round No. 1
KingYosef

Pro

"The way this argument was formed is backward."

It is true that from the beginning of the Iraq war, leftists have discouraged against the occupation of Iraq, claiming that the motive was oil, not creating a foundation for Democracy. yet the Bush administration recently and unintentionally empowered those leftists.

In December, George W. Bush was quoted as saying that Islamic extremists will "gain access to vast oil reserves and use Iraq as a base to overthrow moderate governments all across the broader Middle East."

Shortly there after, an oil conglomerate by the names of James Baker spoke of his support for a favorable Iraqi resolution that would allow him to gain further access to Iraqi oil.

This information, paired with recent Baker report recemendations for supposedly strengthening Iraq, reveals the truth that the war in Iraq is about oil above all else.

the recommendations are as follows...

Recommendation 62: Iraq should create a fiscal and legal framework for investment as well as pressing Iraq to continue reducing subsidies in the energy sector until Iraq pays market price for oil products.

Iraqi people do not have the ability whatsoever to pay market price for oil, therefore the majority of the oil would go to investment (the United States).

Recommendation 63: The United States should help the Iraqi government in privatizing there oil industry into a commercial enterprise to encourage investment by outside oil companies.

That recommendation speaks for itself.

This information, along with the United States history of manipulating the Middle East for oil, un-blurs the picture that accessing oil is the primary objective of foreign policy in the middle east.

Since I know you will ask, here is the past history...
- Afghan/Soviet war (late 70s to early 80s)
- Cheychen war (1996)
- Gulf war (1989)

"You started off with an assumption (that the struggle in the ME is all about oil and land) and then tried to form an argument for it."

If you dig down deep enough, past the tag of an ideological war between the west and Islam, past the cultural differences, past the oil, you reach the bedrock of this war, and every war ever waged. Wars are waged for power and respect. attaining oil is a concrete example of power, it is a growing commodity and the more you have the better off you are. for the hierarchy of a group (for this argument the U.S. government), to achieve its desired goal in attaining power or respect they need the endorsement of people. Since the beginning of civilization, the hierarchy has exploited human nature in rallying their people and empowering their cause. George Bush himself had it easy, as a powerful tool fell on his lap. 9/11 was a horrible atrocity for the United States. Though when examined intrinsically, It is clear that the attack did not call for such an overzealous counter attack. George Bush wanted to begin occupying the middle east though and empowered the sudden American patriotism in achieving his goal. It is also a scientific fact that fear overpowers logic. George Bush then acted on the current American fear that resulted from the attack, speaking of terrorism, and how freedom was at stake, thinly veiling and geniously implanting an ideology of us vs. them. All the seeds were planted, and as long as he promised to protect us, and do harm to those who did it to us, we were just pawns in his game.

You also say I "tried" to form an argument, the base of my argument is from an article in "Foreign Policy" magazine. a magazine widely read (translated into countless languages) and even used by politicians as decision making aids. I did not plagiarize it whatsoever, I simply used what I learned in the article and applied to the the current Middle East vs. West conflict.

"If you understand Islam, you would understand why we fight them."

My father is a Syrian immigrant

I grew up in house where the TV channels flipped between CNN and Al-Jazeera

I have spent over a year of my life in Syria, and have been to Iraq as well

Do you know what its like to be in a taxi cab in Aleppo and sit silently as the taxi rants about how if he ever saw an american, he would kill him. he tells me this after he says i have an accent and asks were im from, I said canada.

You think you understand Islam, but you see it through biased eyes.

"In Islam (not even radical Islam, this is written in the Koran) all infidels "non-believers" are to be put to death. Any follower of Islam that kills these non-believers is rewarded in the afterlife."

There are hundreds of english translations of the Qur'an, most of them published in the past 30 years. F.V. Griefenhagen, a historian who has spent much of his life studying english translations of the Qur'an came to the conclusion that recent translations of the Qur'an have been translated through the paradigm of cultural struggles. This is made possible for two reasons. Arabic and English are like water and fire, completely different translating a book would be hard enough. Religious texts are not static language, therefore they must be translated through the translators interpretation.

"That is why this country was attacked on September 11th."

We were attack on 9/11 because we had it coming. The united states trained the taliban with CIA war tactics and intelligence gathering tactics, as well as supply them military aid. Osama Bin Laden was manipulated into leading a war against the Soviet Union which Islamists fought unknowingly on the Behalf of the United States. Osama Bin laden was ashamed and angry for being tricked among other things. I don't want to type it all. if you really want, I will paste the argument from one of my previous debates in the next round.

"They are doing what they believe they are RELIGIOUSLY commanded to do."

This is the only thing you are even partially right about in your argument. The radical islamists do believe they are religiously commanded to do so. but most of the radical islamists join the movement in search of a "family" or a cause. a terrorist prison camp has proved this by capturing terrorists and treating them like humans inside, with ping pong tables, vocational classes, family like dinners and conversation and laughter. they have released 700 former radicals back into society with a 100% rehabilitation success rate. that leaves the few true radicalists, who rely on these followers for their power, that actually believe this bull. Without their followers, they are powerless, and hence radical islam becomes nothing but a tiny cult if that.

I spent the entirety of this round disproving your con argument in which it appears you took this debate to do nothing but ridicule me as an uneducated, extreme leftist empathizer. I hope you will debate the topic in the third round.
soundman

Con

First off, I would like to apoligize if you felt like I was trying to ridicule you. That was never my intention. However, I feel you are misinformed on some things, and was presenting the facts of the situation, that is why we are here.

"...the Bush administration recently and unintentionally empowered those leftists."
"...James Baker spoke of his support for a favorable Iraqi resolution that would allow him to gain further access to Iraqi oil."

I fail to see how a private individual represents the Bush administration. Is oil a factor in this war, yes. It is a major resource, and of great interest to any developed nation. However, you cannot find a basis to logically argue that Bush has tricked us into this war. This country was deliberatly attacked on September 11th, 2001. Thousands of Americans died that day. To say that we had it "coming to us"........angers me. My countrymen died. My country was attacked. That pissed me off. Retaliation is the only logical response to that kind of an event. Fear overides logic? Anger overides fear. Do I support the war in Iraq? Yes. In Afganistan? Yes. Do I support those who are exploiting this nation's tragedy and the subsequent war for personal gain? Absolutely not. Is this personal to me? Yes. I'm sorry if that is not what you are looking for.

"...the base of my argument is from an article in "Foreign Policy" magazine."

Just because an article has made it to publication does not guarantee it's reliability. Am I discrediting this magizine at all, no. But, the articles in that publication are subject to the journalists biases, the same as our opinions.

"Religious texts are not static language, therefore they must be translated through the translators interpretation."

This is a hermenuetically inaccurate statement. Though a popular one, any hermenuetical scholar will tell you, you interpret a document according to the author's meaning. The author wills a meaning into the text, and as an interpreter, it is a person's job to discover that meaning. You cannot interpret ancient words in a modern context, because meanings, etc. have changed. This applies to legal documents, religious documents, or any other manuscripts. I have taken college level courses on this subject. This paragraph you cannot refute.

So much of what I hear you saying is the same Democratic, party-line stuff I hear on the news. It's the same stuff that so many are saying. I just find it hard to reconcile with the stories I hear from troops, in interviews with Iraqi citizens, of schools being built, improved healthcare, cleaner water. If Middle Easterners hate Americans so much, why were the citizens of Iraq so eager to remove Saddam Huesein from power? If we are being so unjust, why has no other goverment recognized it and said something? Why do we have allies because of our reasons, and the only reason some countries won't help is because they don't want to be involved in a war, not because they think we are not fighting for the right reasons.

Now, before you say things like, "You just want war." "You will just support Bush everywhere." NO. Bush has done things I don't agree with, and I HATE war. No one wants war. It drains money, manpower. My brothers are dying on foriegn soil. I hate that. I have friends and family that are deployed. But it is necessary. And they are PROUD to be over there. We are a free country where websites like Debate.org can exists because of war. We have fought for the freedoms we have. They didn't come free. They are not always waged for power and respect. Sometimes a countries basic liberties and soveriegnty are threatened and have to be defended. Such was the case with the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I & II, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

My friend, understand that I mean no personal attacks. I am debating my view of this topic. The whole premise of a debate is the belief that you are right, and the other person is wrong. I do not think lowly of you, or your education. I simply do not agree with your political views and the statement you made in the topic of this debate. I am truly sorry if you are offended. Please, find historical facts and present them to me. I am not afraid to lose. I want truth above all else. I may be wrong, but you must show me, with proven facts that I am wrong, not just specualtion and 'that one guy's opinion.'
Debate Round No. 2
KingYosef

Pro

"I fail to see how a private individual represents the Bush administration."

Excuse me for my lack of clarification. James baker is a co-chair of the Baker-Hamilton Commission, appointed by congress to assess the current situation in Iraq and compose a report full of recemondations to handle the situation. James Baker is one of George Bush's closest advisors.

Don't get me wrong, I am a proud American patriot, And I agree that it is necessary to rid the world of radical Islam. You say your angry because my countrymen died and my country was attacked. I feel the same way, but listen to me when I say that relaliation was not the only logical response......

in the 1920s my grandfather escaped from Mardin, Turkey as his family was butcherd by Muslims during the Armenian Genocide. My family had lived there for almost a millenium. He escaped to Syria with nothing. somehow he became one of the richest men in Syria, the American dream in a country that dispises it. Than the Bathist Islamic government took it all away, just because they could.

I hate radical Islam.

Attacking Afghanistan and Iraq was completely uncessary if the true goal was ridding the world of radical Islam. George Bush was either a complete genius or a complete idiot in making the decision. I hope he was genius, because I would like to think that the man running our country isn't an idiot. Recognizing 9/11 as a horrendous tragedy and acting on it was exactly what Osama Bin Laden wanted. In the Middle East, were terrorist attacks happen daily, the telivized American response made us look weak and helpless. This fueled Radical Islamic nationalism. Then we declared war, fueling the nationalism further, when you keep in mind that our enemy only cares about making our life hell and has no fear of death, nationalism is all that matters. If you are trying to rid the world of radical Islam, this is the complete opposite of what you must do.

When you say that the main objective is oil, it begins to make sense. outside of the obvious large oil reserves. the discord that a national army fighting guerilla militants would cause would be great global cover for oil agendas. during the early stages of the War in Iraq, the U.S. had an uncessary amount of troops gaurding oil platforms across the country. If this was really and idealogical war, why then haven't we recognized the Armenian Genocide, a mass killing of Christians by Muslims double the size of the Rwandan Genocide? instead we opt to use Turkey as base camp for many of our military operations.

" just find it hard to reconcile with the stories I hear from troops, in interviews with Iraqi citizens, of schools being built, improved healthcare, cleaner water. If Middle Easterners hate Americans so much, why were the citizens of Iraq so eager to remove Saddam Huesein from power?"

It's all false hope. The middle east has been a battle ground since the beginning of cvilization and it will continue to be. America was founded as the home of the free and other countries followed suit. It is a grave mistake to think that we can bring it to the middle east. It is survival of the fittest over there. Saddam is gone, yes. But somwhere in Iraq there is a child who will one day fill much of the same roll as him.

Is this war justifable on the basis of 9/11?
-no

Is this war justifiable on the basis that it is in America's best interests?
-yes

This war is about oil, not idealogies. Survival of the fittest is all that matters. and that goes for absolutly everything. the evolution of civilization has moralized and hid the fact that everyone does everything for their best interests. Oil and power fit the bill in this case, while Islam and Terror simply do not. We are fighting a war against a whole culture for what one man did. Which only makes sense if it is in the interest of attatining influence.

You say you got angry when I said we had 9/11 coming....here is what I meant:

In 1979, during the Soviet-Afghan War, Osama Bin Laden was recruited by the CIA (covert)to fight Soviet invaders. The war, was publically called a "jihad" by the muslims involved in protecting afghanistan. the "jihad" was supported by the United States. CIA sponsored guerilla training for recruits, was integrated with the teachings of Islam. The Pakistan's Inter-services intelligence served as the middleman between the CIA and the islamic soldiers. Through doing this, the U.S. was able to hide their main objective, which was using Islamic troops to defeat the Soviet Union. CIA's Milton Beardman confirmed that Osama Bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. "Neither I, nor my brothers saw the evidence of American help" Bin Laden is qouted as saying. These Islam warriors were motivated by nationalism, and religion, yet they were being tricked into fighting for the benifit of the United States. With the backing of the CIA, and massive amounts of US military aid, the Pakistani ISI became a tremendous force, composed of 150,000 Afgani and Pakastani Millitants. With their new power, they became more agressive. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980 (war started in pakistan), The CIA and the ISI chief both agreed to decieve the world, they publically vouched for negotiating a settlement, while privatly agreeing that military escalation would be the best course. To gain funds for military operations, the U.S. and the CIA turned its heads and allowed the Drug trade, which they had been fighting, to resume. what was once a regional drug hotspot, become the the number one supplier to the United States, the Pakastani Herion-addict population went from almost none in 1979, to 1.2 million in 1985. All of this due to the U.S. interest of wiping out the Soviet Union.
After the cold war, the ISI's extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled, the CIA continued to support the Islamic "jihad" out of Pakistan. Despite its Anti-american idealogy, Islamic fundamentalism was serving Washington's strategic interests in the former Soviet Union. In 1989, the civil war in Afghanistan continued, the Taliban were being supported by the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), which in 1993, would establish connections with the ISI (the U.S. funded and trained Islamic coalition). in 1995, the Taliban was given all the training camps. At this point, the Taliban and the ISI were basically indistingushable.
In 1996, Osama Bin Laden attended a summit led by rebels Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab (both trained in CIA sponsered camps during the war). the summit was sponsered by HizbAllah, in which they planned a war in Chechnya. Despite the U.S. condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the eventual beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the American oil conglomerates, vying for control of oil in the Caspian sea.
So why did Osama Bin Laden kill innocent people on 9/11? Because the United States manipulated and used him and his people like they were an expandable resource. The U.S. used them to fight a war for us secretly, they thought they were dying for a cause, but that cause was U.S. gain. then we left the mess for him and his people to clean up. Then in the Gulf War, we go and ride tanks all over his homeland, with his people dying, from mortars and stray missles, and we won't even aknowledge him, yet 6 years later, he inadverntally, helps the U.S. again, we turned the other way, he got us oil.

Your rebutle was by far the best I have had on this site. The only reason I was angry earlier was because of the briefness of your response on what I felt was an important issue. I too am searching for the truth. I am not pro-war this, or anti-war that, I want to know why it happened. I feel the whole system of politics has grown to the point where it oversimplifies things for citizens because of the growing ambivelence to realpolitks. I am not afraid to admit I am wrong.

I am out of room, good luck in the next round.
soundman

Con

I'm sorry that I reacted in anger. I understand what you are saying. Oil is a part of this conflict. There is no way to deny it. When we invaded Kuwait, the first thing they did was light the oil rigs on fire. The first thing we did when we came in was guard them. I know oil is a part of this conflict, and it is definatly a huge resource to be protected. I just don't agree that it is the only, or even the main reason we are over there. The President cannot declare war without the approval of Congress. That check and balance system is built into our constitution. The majority of Congress had to agree that it was in America's best security and economic interests (yes, the economy is part of it, i realize). After securing approval, we went to war. Do I think we can resolve the Middle Eastern conflict, no. It has been going on for centuries. But I do feel that we can defend our country, and that it is the responsibility of our government to do so. I appreciate your ethnicity, and the perspective you bring to the debate. I am aware of things that previously, I wasn't aware of. Thank you. I am comfortable with being wrong as well.
Debate Round No. 3
KingYosef

Pro

KingYosef forfeited this round.
soundman

Con

I appreciate your debate, and am sorry you missed this last round. Thank you for your thoughts, and opinions.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by KingYosef 9 years ago
KingYosef
Soundman, I am sorry if i came off a little angry. but your rebutle was beautiful and more than I could have asked for.

once again no hard feelings
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