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NATO countries' citizens should oppose to a foreign military intervention in Syria

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,611 times Debate No: 37225
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
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Round 1: Rules and acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Arguments and rebuttals.
Round 4: Rebuttals and conclusion. Arguments and evidence only to refute something from the previous message.

Keep it civilized.
Try to not use propaganda as sources.
Try to learn and accept the possibility of being wrong.
Have fun.


I accept.

May I suggest that burdens be as follows: Pro must show citizens should oppose intervention; Con should show the opposite. Also, I think we should avoid new arguments or evidence in the final round.

I look forward to the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Did Assad launch the last chemical attack?

Who launched the chemical weapons attack? This is an important point since it's the excuse Obama is using for the Syrian invasion. If the White House's accusation happened to be false, we should, at least, wonder why they are so eager to attack Syria even without the back of its European allies nor the UN*, as it would be a reason they don't want the public, the people, the true sovereigns by rule, to know.


To start, we only have to Google for a couple of minutes to realise that there are accusations against both the Syrian government and the media. Assad himself says the accusations agaisnt him are illogical*, as he does not intend to hurt innocent population, but the rebels.


But there is a bigger reason about why he shouldn't have launched any chemical attack: Barack Obama*. The US has already invaded other countries, many of them Arab (Iraq, Lybia), and they didn't even have any serious reason for the attack against Iraq. Obama had explicitely warned him to not to use chemical weapons, so If there were serious suspects that he did, Assad himself would be 'justifying' an intervention, to some people's eyes. And Assad, whatever he says, does NOT want an invasion*.


Turkey at the north, Israel and the south, the lesser known loyal to US country of Arabia Saudi not too far, and tons of American military bases all over the place. Organized terrorists well supplied. And the claim of Iran that they would help Syria in the event of an invasion can't really be backed, since Russia did already say they won't interfere in the conflict*. Iraq was destroyed. Syria has no chance of survival.


If Assad did it he would just be stupid, and he doesn't have the looks.

Lesser known facts about the rebels

What would American people of the so called 'War on Terror' If they knew that the US is actually supporting Al-Qaeda? In fact, the Syrian rebels have an enomous amount of Al-Qaeda afilliates *, and they DID use chemical weapons*, and DID receive support from Western countries*.




Someone may argue that the rebel chemical attack happened after the rebels announced they had financial support from the West. It's true (according to my sources). But Obama has never said anything about this, you'd have to be blind to not to see the double standarts!

So far, we know that Al Assad had no interest in launching the last chemical attack, but the terrorist have already done it. In fact, as I'll explain later, the US government (not to be confused with the American people) has interest in having an excuse to intervene, which would be Al Assad being found guilty of launching a chemical attack.

Can the US bring democracy to Syria?

One argument I've read a lot lately is that, since the Syrian deserve freedom, the US should give it to them. However, this is quite questionable since there is less people who think the US is a democracy instead of a plutocracy each day. I won't get into that matter though. My argument in this point is that no country of NATO can succesfully bring more civil or legal rights (de facto) to Syria through a military intervention.

To start, most Syrian people support Al Assad**, so putting someone else in charge by the force will just bring even more violence. This is just common sense.

And even If he didnt have popular support, NATO would have to put the rebels in charge If they don't want to be MORE hated by the non-Western countries. Remember: the rebels, who have terrorists in their lines. I remember a very recent case in which a supposed rebellion for democracy ended up bringing the Sharia Law to a country: Lybia*. Now the Lybian can vote, but they can't choose any secular party nor president. I guess NATO is not as concerned for democracy is it is for natural resources.




Lastly, I want to remind you that a militar invasion has a quite obvious result: deaths*. Is this how we should export a political system (assuming that we should, which I don't think)? Won't the Syrian people grow to hate Occident instead?

The interests behind the scenes

Pitifully, If someone thinks the USA goes to war to bring someone democracy or freedom, this person is naive. The only reasonable causes why the USA goes to war is either to protect itself, or to get natural resources. To invade the US today is almost unthinkable today, so the only thing they should 'defend' agaisnt is terrorism (which is also arguable). And yet, in almost 30 years not even 4000 people have been killed by terrorism in the US, 3000 of them in an unrepeteable event*.


In the other hand, more than 100.000 people died in the War of Iraq. It's stupid to think that at least half of them were actual or potential terrorists. They won't be terrorists anymore, but they have given a really strong reason for their children to become it: hate.

So the 'defense' excuse is a really lame one.

It's loot.

The only fitting reason why the US government wages war so much is not for an idealistic view of the world, not even to protect their citizens (they don't need to), it's just for loot.;


Coming back to the start of the round, this is why Obama doesn't says the real reason he has to invade Syria. That is why Bush had to fake his claims of Iraq having nuclear weapons. That is why the US government designs an external policy of invading several countries in the Middle East and apparently there are reasons to invade them all.

This explanation makes sense. It's logical. It fits with facts and reality.

Neither the European nor the American citizens can allow our governments to lie us and commit genocides around the world just to get more money. It could be us any day. Our economies may weaken and become not so untouchable anymore, or we could even be fomenting the appearing of terrorist groups in the countries we are invading.

We can't allow our governments to violate - to rape the human rights. To invade other countries. To loot their natural resources.

What is the difference between the nazi policies and the US' ones now? The nazis had to take social policies to get the support from population. Maybe the West has grown worse than Hitler.

And If we don't stop it, it will be our fault.


As per the round one rules, I will only be presenting my case/core arguments in this round. I will rebut my opponents remarks in my next speech. Thanks to Pro for this opportunity to debate!

Contention One: For reasons of stability and of human rights it is necessary to take action in Syria.

"The humanitarian case is a clear reason for U.S. action, and so is that fact that many in the region hold the U.S. accountable for not acting and question its strength and willingness to support them in an emergency because of U.S. willingness to stand aside in this crisis. Given UN and other outside estimates, there now have to be over 110,000, dead and possibly twice that number because suspect deaths are not being counted. There are at least two to three times that total in seriously wounded. This means a total of at least 260,000 casualties." [1] Presumably, this disaffection with the U.S. would also apply to its western allies, including the UK and the remainder of NATO, who are just as inactive/unresponsive as the U.S. My source goes on to observe that "these costs are small, however, relative to the total cost to Syrian civilians, and to the stability and economies states around Syria. An estimate by the State Department"s Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU), dated May 1, suggests that 6.8 million Syrian are in need of serious assistance and that 4.25 million are internally displaced, with a total of 1.4 million outside Syria. The size of this tragedy is growing steadily, as well as destabilizing Syria's neighbors. Experts estimate that at least 8.2 million Syrians are now affected out of a total population of 22.5 million -- 36 percent of the total population and counting -- even if one ignores casualties. The immediate human impact is obvious, and the economic and social costs to both Syrian civilians and Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan will rise indefinitely unless the Syrian people get a government they and the world can accept." [1]

Contention Two: A strike will reinforce international norms against WMD or NBC use.

"At first he merely arrested protesters. Then his forces began firing on them. Next his soldiers swept hostile neighborhoods. Then the Syrian Army began firing rockets and mortars at rebel positions. Assad moved on to indiscriminate bombing. Then his army apparently used chemical weapons in small attacks. Finally, his army appears to have undertaken a major assault with nerve gas. We"ve been the frog in the beaker. To me there"s some hope that destroying military aircraft or intelligence headquarters can persuade Assad that chemical weapons are not worth the cost and that he is better off employing more banal ways to slaughter his people. That's unsatisfying but would still be a useful message to other leaders. It would reinforce the international norm against weapons of mass destruction...Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use of chemical weapons...if the coming clash gives us a chance to do more to arm certain rebel groups or share intelligence with them, that would still be worthwhile -- all while backing the idea of a negotiated settlement. For all the risks of hypocrisy and ineffectiveness, it"s better to stand up inconsistently to some atrocities than to acquiesce consistently in them all." [2] "It is essential to respond directly and meaningfully to any use of such weapons so they are not used again by the regime. But the reasons for a strong response transcend Syria. It will be a very different 21st century if weapons of mass destruction --whether they are chemical, biological or nuclear -- come to be seen as just another type of weapon. There needs to be a robust taboo surrounding their use. Any leader must know that a decision to deploy them will sacrifice sovereign immunity and result in many in the world accepting nothing less than ousting and arrest." [3]

Contention Three: Failure to intervene Strengthens Iran.

"Without forceful American action, al-Assad's latest maneuvers constitute a victory for his regime and its top allies, Iran and Hezbollah. Giving a boost to this alliance runs counter to regional and global peace and stability. Iran and Hezbollah have a nefarious track record. They have carried out a wave of terrorist attacks in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Just last week a judge in Thailand sentenced an Iranian man to life in prison for his role in a terrorist plot against Israeli diplomats in Bangkok. Iranian and Hezbollah agents have been implicated in terrorist plots in Argentina, Cyprus, Bulgaria, India and elsewhere. Even if you don't care about Syria or the Middle East, handing a victory to this dangerous threesome should worry everyone." [4] "the Syrian conflict does not involve major risks with outside powers, but it is steadily strengthening Iran and Hezbollah"s role in the region. It is dividing Lebanon and giving the Hezbollah and extremists a larger foothold there, creating new problems in Jordan and Turkey, pushing Iraq toward civil war and pushing Iraq"s Shi"ite leadership toward added dependence on Iran. If Bashar al-Assad wins or survives in ways that give him control over most of Syria, Iran will have a massive new degree of influence over Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in a polarized Middle East divided between Sunni and Shi'ite and steadily driving minorities into exile. This will present serious new risks for an Israel that will never again be able to count on a passive Assad. It will weaken Jordan and Turkey and, most importantly, give Iran far more influence in the Gulf. BP estimates that Iraq and Iraq together have nearly 20 percent of the world"s proven oil reserves, and the Middle East has over 48 percent." [1]

Contention Four: Intervention, statistically, works.

Intervention has "contributed to a marked decline in violence resulting from civil war. According to the most recent Human Security Report, between 1992 and 2003 the number of conflicts worldwide declined by more than 40 percent, and between 1988 and 2008 the number of conflicts that produced 1,000 or more battle deaths per year fell by 78 percent. Most notably, the incidence of lethal attacks against civilians was found to be lower in 2008 than at any point since the collection of such data began in 1989." [5] Furthermore, "even when civil wars do not stop right away, external interventions often mitigate violence against civilians. This is because"interventions aimed at preventing mass atrocities often force would-be killers to divert resources away from slaughtering civilians and toward defending themselves. This phenomenon means that even when interventions fail to end civil wars or resolve factional differences immediately, they can still protect civilians." [5]

Contention Five: Rebels can appeal for assistance on moral grounds.

"And where sovereignty is unconstrained, we could argue that human rights invigilation by third party outsiders becomes justified, to exercise the scrutiny and control of sovereignty that insiders would exercise if their sovereigns allowed them to...the legitimacy of collective self-determination 'the right of states to be sovereign' derives in turn from individual self-determination, the right of individuals to be free. If this individual right is crushed, an individual retains the right to appeal for help outside, and those outside have a duty to assist." [6]

Thus, NATO citizens should not oppose intervention in Syria. With that, I negate, and I look forward to Pro's responses.

1 - Anthony H. Cordesman holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), August 23, 2013, "US Options in Syria: Obama"s Delays and the Demsey Warnings,

2 - Nicholas Kristof, 8-28, 13, "Reinforce a Norm in Syria," New York Times,

3 - Richard N. Haass, 8-22, President, Council on Foreign Relations, America Must Respond to the Atrocities in Syria,

4 - Frida Ghitis, 8-28, 13 is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review, 8-28, CNN,

5 - Western, John, 2011, [Associate Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College] and Joshua S. Goldstein [Professor Emeritus of International Relations at American University], "Humanitarian Intervention Comes of Age: Lessons from Somalia to Libya," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 90, No. 6

6 - Ignatieff, Michael, 2001, [former Leader Liberal Party of Canada, member of the UN-mandated International Commission for Intervention and State Sovereignty. Currently, a fellow at the University of Toronto] "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry," ed. A. Gutmann, p. 40
Debate Round No. 2


---Note about my previous sources---
I hate to bother you readers, but I have been reported that some people can't see some my sources (apparently the Telegraph's ones). However, the articles can still be found If you search for the very titular from each link. To add 'Telegraph' in the search will may be of help.
---Thank you for the bother---

Source study. How an empire is run

For a big part of my life (particullary when studying history) I have been told and realised how important is to know who is telling you what you are reading or hearing. This helps you to understand the reasons behind his or her statements, sometimes these reasons even makes its credibility to shake.

This is one of those times.

Particularly, the thing that draws my attention the most is the 3rd source, the Council on Foreign Relations ( ). At first glance, it just looks like a typical news agency, that covers a really large wide of topics. I search how it defines itself: 'The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.', and the independent word grinds in my ears (or my eyes). There's no way such a big organisation is independent. It has to rely on some kind of financiation.

And indeed it does. I am unable to find data about its exact income and assets (clumsy me), but I find something much more relevant: its 'corporate members':

Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Chevron... Wow, this is la crème de la crème of the finantial industry. Wait, no, Chevron is more related to oil business. Most of the members in that list are multibillonaire, capitalist, international companies, whose business affect to great parts of the world. I (like many Americans, though I'm not one) still remember when Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest (and conscious) actors in the triggering of the current economic crysis, put the US government into its knees to get billions of dollars from the state, even when it had already made (EVEN MORE) rich a lot of rich people.

It's a fact that a lot of the most giant sharks of the Western capitalism are in that list. Rothschild, General Electric. Giants don't become giants funding ONGs. Giants become giants in their never ending search for greed. Microsoft, Coca-Cola. The oil companies, particulary, got an enormous profit from the Iraq War *.


Shell Oil, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips. Billionaries companies. They form part of Big Oil, don't they? I have big news: They appear in that list.

The CFR is NOT an independent organization, and though it says it doesn't lobby, IT DOES (;) '[convens] meetings at its headquarters in New York and in Washington, DC, and other cities where senior government officials, members of Congress, global leaders, and prominent thinkers come together with CFR members to discuss and debate major international issues'.

I must personally thank Con for providing this source, as it has led me directly to a gold mine of evidence: the oil companies' lobbying and its connections with the United States government. This can't but to support my last statements in the last round: NATO is an empire, and its Masters wear top-hats. Though its countries apparently are democracies, in the backroom the government set up military operations to get other countries' resources. Mass murdering, looting and violating other countries' sovereignty is just collateral damage of its totally rightful search for profit. This is capitalism taken to its final consecuencies.

And now, let's come back to Syria, our current victim.

Untouched topic: The evidence of the chemical attacks

So far, Con hasn't touched the topic of the evidence that Al Assad used chemical weapons. He quotes a source that says that his government 'apparently used chemical weapons in small attacks', yet again no evidence is offered. He actually isn't going to find any, because the acuser, the United States government, hasn't shown any, which is stunning, because it would immediately give it the UN support.

It's important to remember that this is the reason Obama has argued to make the intervention preparatives. If this happened to be false, US administration's claims would fall to the ground.

First Con's Contention: Stability

Actually this is not that much of an argument, but a lot of data. Data I don't see a reason to refute. Evenmore, we agree that we could intervene! But not military. As your own source says, '6.8 million Syrian are in need of serious assistance and that 4.25 million are internally displaced, with a total of 1.4 million outside Syria', so why not send real humanitarian help? I mean food and sources to give a temporary home to the displaced people. This seems a really more appropiate way to help people, rather than bombing its country. ...But on a second though, a non-military intervention wouldn't force Syria to give up its natural resources, so that wouldn't be profitable. Ever tried to make a campaign to send real humanitarian help? Cuba is a much (MUCH) poorer country and sends a lot of doctors everywhere, sometimes for free.

Second Con's Contention: Persuasion on the use of mass destruction weapons

This one can be summarized with this sentence: 'It is essential to respond directly and meaningfully to any use of such weapons so they are not used again by the regime. But the reasons for a strong response transcend Syria. It will be a very different 21st century if weapons of mass destruction'. There is an obvious problem with this one: there's still no evidence that Al Assad used any of them, thus it may not be that much of a well directed warning.

There is a less violent way to prevent anyone from using such weapons: to shuck off them. And the US is in a great position to start such negotiations with Russia, China, UK, France and India, since US itself has an enormous amount of them.

Third Con's Contention: The opportunity to destroy an Iran ally

Con gives examples of Iranian terrorist found all over the world. Yet it's stupid to think they are founded by the Iranian government: US has been invading its region for a decade and Iran wants, needs allies. You don't protect your country by promoting disorganized minor terrorist operations. It's just ridiculous.

I know a country that is a bigger threat for everyone, that throws governments all over the world like no ones business and shows little or no respect for many democracies all over the world.

Note: The image misses many countries on the right side.

Can we really rely on a country with such record to military intervene anywhere?

Fourth Con's Contention: Intervention saves people

Con's quotation don't include the study that shows the statements it makes. Sadly, only the owners of the book he quotes can know If it's on the book. However, anyone can check that it's published by the Council of Foreign Relations. I have talked quite a bit about it at the start of the round, remember? I just wanted to show the link.

In any case, be that data true or false, a military intervention on this civil war isn't going to save lives. In fact, there's a wide range of situations that it could provoke, due to the fact that even within the rebels there's people who don't want the intervention*.;

'The people are sick of the war and hate the jihadists more than Assad'

There are many rebels who don't want US to intervene. The Syrian in general don't want the US to intervene. And apparently most Syrian want, above everything, to finish the war.

Apparently the US's administration intention doesn't fit with almost anyone's wishes in Syria. When I say that many things may happen in Syria If US goes there, I mean that rebels may start killing themselves due to not agreing on it, Syrian people may insurrect agaisnt the US army, and in the worst of the cases, the conflict may scalate into a war with Iran.

It seems stupid to have to explain this, but to bomb Syria will cause more violence.

Fifth Con's Contention: The rebels make use of their self to autodetermination

And so do Syrian when they support Al Assad's government. I have provided many sources that back this, and most of them come from Western media. You can find them all in the first round.

Bonus 1: ww

How lucky that Al Assad gave them an excuse to invade Syria, right? Actually, it seems that they had a reason to make a chemical attack happen in Syria. I won't provide evidence because I don't have it, but it actually makes sense. As I explained in the first round, it would have been a big mistake for Al Assad to do it, thus it has no sense that he did it.

Bonus 2:

Obviously not an argument, just a breath for the readers from such a wall of text ;)


I'll address Pro's case first, and then defend my own.


C1: Were chemical weapons used, and if so, by whom.

Pro accuses me of failing to address this question; I was waiting for my rebuttal to tackle this issue. "The French and British findings, based on samples taken from Syria, came hours after a UN team said it had 'reasonable grounds' to suspect small-scale use of toxic chemicals in at least four attacks in March and April." [1] Even the Russians have concede CWs were used, even though they claim Assad wasn't behind them. Additionally, the UN investigation's preliminary report is fairly unequivocal in that some CWs were deployed. [2] This leaves us with the second question of "now that we know sarin or other CWs were used, who used them?" Con states that it is irrational for Assad to use chemical weapons, but let's come back to this in a minute. First, let's consider who could have used chemical weapons. It is unlikely that the rebels used chemical weapons, as they would have had to acquire them from Assad's heavily guarded facilities. And, with only minimal weaponry, how could the rebels have successfully deployed CWs in so many areas. The EU's chief diplomat states as much when she observes that Assad had the means of utilizing CWs in this context, and is therefore, the most likely culprit. ( ) Returning to the issue of logic, Assad never believed the U.S. would actually attack--Assad has Russia, Iran, and China in his corner, plus, the West is admittedly reluctant to get involved. Furthermore, "the reason that Syrian military units may have resorted to CW...was as a desperate measure to drive rebel forces from a key suburb of Damascus." [3] (This analysis can also be found in State Dept. archives.) Assad was losing the battle for the Capital; a loss of that city would be devastating for Assad's image and his force's morale, not to mention being a tactical nightmare. Assad balanced the immediate benefits of CWs use vs. the nebulous possibility of foreign intervention, and found that it was, in fact, logical to use CW. Lastly, even if you don't accept that Assad was the perpetrator, despite the evidence, the U.S. should intervene as a peacekeeping agent to try to halt further CWs use by any actor.

Next, Pro continues to press the notion of "invasion," when Obama isn't for invasion. Airstrikes and missiles aren't the same thing.

C2: The Rebels

I don't deny that many rebels have links to al-Qaeda, but, simultaneously, that does not mean that we cannot support those factions that are moderate. "The U.S. can influence the situation in Syria...Syria is only one example of the fact that failing to exert that influence does not make the situation better." [4] What this source argues more broadly is that by selectively supporting moderate or secular Syrian rebel groups, the U.S. can boost their influence among the rebel movement. The FSA, according to Pro's sources, is one "moderate" we could work with. In this way, U.S. intervention could positively work against extremist groups. Even if you don't accept this argument, the U.S. should still intervene in an attempt to halt the violence and WMD use. am unable to find Pro's telegraph articles, and I would appreciate him messaging me new links to them so that I can examine them for round four.

C4: Democratization

Pro's only example of the U.S.'s inability to democratize efficiently is Libya, which, of course, is only one example. It's cherry-picking. But, let's make two points here: (a) U.S. intervention is not about democratization, it is about halting a slaughter and WMD use, and (b) even in Libya, it is still better now than before. In Libya, there is still freedom of speech and freedom of religion--no one is forcing you to convert. You can vote, you can publish pro-secular articles, you can protest--none of these things were possible under Gadhaffi, so, the situation may not be ideal, but improvements are there. Also, sharia law is not synonymous with oppression--that's a very ethnocentric view to take. Every culture has social norms about dress, marriage, etc. In Utah it was once legal to be a polygamist, does this mean that Utah was once oppressive? No, it doesn't; it merely shows there were different norms codified at that time.

C5: Other interests.

The U.S. isn't putting feet on the ground, nor is it willing to engage in a long-term commitment, as is clear from polling. Ultimately, our interests in the region are twofold: (a) to stop the destabilization of the region, as I noted in my own case, and (b) to halt the conflict impacting millions of people. Either way, the violence is halted, and the region benefits. It's not U.S. imperialism when there is real evidence of CW use. Finally, the Iraq war is not a good comparison, because it was an invasion, whereas it is unlikely that will be the case in Syria.


Overview re: Sources: Pro goes on a lengthy digression in an attempt to impeach my CFR source. There are three simple reasons to reject Pro's arguments: (a) many investors are left or center donors that would counterbalance the more right-leaning companies, (b) the author is neutral, and (c) the article makes rational sense. Starting with the first point, just to name a few, Bloomberg, Soros, and Time Warner (whose CEO donated mostly to democrats [5]), are more left-leaning organizations or people that would help to balance out the "giant sharks" Pro cites. Secondly, Richard Haass, who actually wrote the article, was formerly at the left-leaning Brookings Institution. He has advised both left- and right-leaning politicians, and is highly respected in his field. Thirdly, the evidence itself made sense. A robust taboo on WMDs is needed to prevent their use and proliferation. Even if the source were biased, that doesn't mean it doesn't make sense--and this evidence does make sense. Pro spends so much time impeaching the source he never addresses it's content; extend it across the flow. Intervention will reduce WMD use. Lastly, even if you buy none of these points, the CFR evidence is only used once, and is not even the main piece of evidence in the sub-point that I use it in. Therefore, even if it's thrown out, it only has a minimal affect on my case. Also, the link that shows that the CFR lobbies is not functions--I would appreciate a new link being messaged to me.

C1: Stability

I would ask Pro how we are supposed to distribute aid when even the UN investigators are shot at? It's too volatile to have civilians on the ground until the situation has be stabilized--intervention is a great way to do this, as my arguments show. Furthermore, non-military intervention may get people foodstuffs and medicines, but it won't end the fighting. And until the fighting ends, people will continue needing humanitarian aid. Instead of only sending aid, why don't we stop what is creating the need for aid, i.e. the civil war?

C2: WMDs

Pro asserts that we should simply engage in non-proliferation and WMD reduction diplomacy. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that diplomacy will yield results in time for Syria's people. Also unlikely is that nations with WMDs will give up all of their stockpiles. WMDs will never completely vanish, which is why it is crucial to maintain strict int'l norms against their use, which is what I'm advocating here. Pro drops my argument that a strike would bolster the anti-WMD norm; extend my arguments. Instead, Pro says there is another alternative, but as I note, it's not a foolproof or comprehensive solution. The norm still needs to be upheld, and that is why anti-CW intervention must be employed.

C3: Iran

Frankly, we're not here to debate the morality of the U.S.'s past actions; we're here to discussion Syrian intervention. However, Iran supports myriad terrorist groups [8, 9, and 10], including Hezbollah [6], which itself calls for "organized terrorism" campaigns [7] against Western targets. This seems like state-sponsored terrorism to me. [11] Pro offer no sources to back his claim that Iran doesn't sponsor terrorism; in fact, Iran is a theocracy ruled by the Ayatollah, and as such, it used terrorism a means to spread it's extreme ideology. Syrian intervention will harm Iran, Pro drops this. Iran must be kept weak.

C4: Lives

I suggest Pro Google my source. They are reliable. Additionally, my points about Iran, less WMD use, and greater ability to dispense aid prove this contention. Pro criticizes my for using right-leaning sources, but then uses HuffPost which is notoriously left? I think at this point, most sources are fair game. Again, we're not striking b/c we want to, or others want to, but because we need to. Syrian propaganda and influence over pollsters impacts those numbers. Regardless, Assad is repression at the very least a minority, which is wrong. Also, in the region he isn't so popular [12.] Pro drops the substance of my card; extend it. The minority can still appeal for external help.

12 -
Debate Round No. 3


---Telegraph again---
I already explained how to access my Telegraph sources. I'll go with an example.
Already provided URL:;
If it doesn't work, copy the titular "Syrian-opposition-says-West-is-already-aiding-rebels" in Google, type "Telegraph" next to it and you will find the article.

Rebuttal: Chemical weapons could have been given to the rebels

Unfortunately Con couldn't read my previous source, though it was given at round 2. It's a fact that rebels have received aid from Western countries for a long time, not only because the rebels themselves recogized so, but because it's the only reasonable way that a rebellion could have lasted this long against a profesional army when most of the population supports the current government. Therefore, If it would have been an interest for the US government, it could have be given chemical weapons to the rebels.

Rebuttal: Geopolitics never were in Al Assad's favour

Though Con claims Al Assad never though the US would intervene in Syria, this is easily refutable. The US has already intervened in many Middle-Eastern countries recently, and the self proclaimed Assad's allies are not in position to help him.

Turkey (from NATO) at the North, Israel (from NATO) at the South, Arabia Saudi (presumably an US ally) also at the South, while the Syrian allies are Russia (which has border with many buffer states, as well as the heavily militarized Turkey as a reminiscence from the Cold War), China (which is so far away and can't really compete with NATO in military terms yet) and Iran (part the ruinous state of Israel). If NATO intervenes directly, Syria can't be helped.

Rebuttal: The rebels made the last attack with chemical weapons

Con's source claims the chemical attack was a last resource against the inminent rebel attack to Damascus. But If the Syrian army is composed of more than 100.000 soldiers*, how could a chemical attack that only killed between 200 and 1500 be a help to maintain the city? A large army force would have probably been defending the capital, and many of the deaths would probably have been civilians and even Al Assad's forces.

And besides the argument that it doesn't make sense to use such an incontrollabe resource to kill so few people when you have such a large army, there's the UN investigator case too.

According to Con's source, the UN investigator was killed while he was trying to gather the evidence the US claimed they had. If it would had been an action from the loyalists, it wouldn't have made sense to kill the UN investigator BUT NOT to kill the US ones. But If it would have been an action from the rebels, it would make sense, as the US investigator may be attending arbitrary interests (such as his own country government's), but the UN one is supposed to find out the truth (or else many countries would complain).


Rebuttal: US can invade Syria without sending its own land forces

Because the US's government may get profit If the rebel factions they support get the control of the country, as it happened in Lybia*1,*2. If this was the real US government's intention, it would explain why it is so aggresive against Al Assad, but not against the rebels, who are also under suspect of using chemical weapons, according as both my source and Con's.



It's an invasion as long as you use military force to guarantee a certain group a country's government.

Rebuttal: The importance of the Council of Foreign Relations

If both Con and the readers read my previous round again, they will find I wasn't attacking any particular argument, but the interests behind the CFR. Though Con claims that "many investors are left or center donors that would counterbalance the more right-leaning companies", this doesn't matter, as large donors are in a much better position to impose their interests, and any large donor is large precisely because it moves by greed. Evenmore, If we check my previous source again* and check the Founders privileges, we can find the following: "Invitations to Ambassador’s Lunches and the Foreign Policy Breakfast Forum series with members of Congress", which means that there is an organization that organizes regular meetings between members of Congress and executives from the Founders privilegees, in which we can find 4 companies related to financial and banking services and 3 oil companies, out of 8. This is only one example out of the so many we don't know of how the US system is corrupted to its veins...


Rebuttal: The morality of past US actions matters

...because it's intrisecal to its system, in which the large corporations enjoy plutocratic benefits from direct contact with Congress members and CIA's high ranks, its capacity to propagate opinions that 'legitimize' policies that benefit them though mass media, which is the only explanation that fits with its historial* and this* (again, previously presented sources.

*: http://w


Too many arguments and information has been brought to scene. Let's remember everything that's happened.

2001: General Wesley and Democrat politician affirms the US government was already planning the invasion of seven countries in the Middle East.
2002-2012: Many Middle East countries are invaded, this usually supposses profit for private individuals.
2011: Syrian 'Civil War' starts.
Feb 2012: Syrian rebels admit they are being supplied by Western countries.
2012: Both candidates to the US presidency assure the importance of Syria.
2012: Numerous polls reveal most of the Syrian back and support Al Assad's government.
Dec 2012: Obama warns Al Assad: 'If [he] uses chemical weapons, there will be consecuences'
Mar-Apr, Jun 2013: Acussations against both Syrian government and rebels of using chemical weapons.

Aug 2013: Chemical attack takes place. US claims they have evidence that ensure Al Assad was behind it, while...
Sep 2013: ...the UN investigator dies trying to collect same evidence.
Back to Aug 2013: Obama says he pretends to attack Syrian government facilities to prevent them from using chemical weapons.

What an arbitrary behaviour.

The United States of America is a criminal state that does not only not assure basic human rights to its citizens like housing and food (it's not in its Bill of Rights, nor there are mecanisms that make sure everyone sleeps warm and full at night), but also invades, loots and blockades other countries against their people wills, proving they don't care about their sovereignty.

This is possible because, though it's formally a democracy, the power the big economic powers have got allow them not only to pressure the government when it takes policies that prejudice them, but it also generates and spreads opinions that allow politicians whose ideology only helps the big corporations and even have means to influence the Congresists themselves.

The intervention in Syria is simply another example of this: it's the interest of the big oil companies to maintain control in the region, which the previous (Gaddafi) and actual (Al Assad) leaders didn't allow them. The 'Humanitarian' excuse doesn't sustain itself as there have been already more than 100.000 deaths, yet the trigger is a minor conflict with between 200 and 1.500 deaths that is caused by Chemical Weapons. They accuse Al Assad of using them yet they can't prove it, and there are equally standing accustions against the rebels. Yet the only line of action the US government contemplates is to bomb the Syrian Government.

I am not going to ask you to vote me.

If you want a true democracy, in which everyone's votes have the same value, a democracy in which the wealthy don't impose their opinion through the use of the mass media, a democracy that doesn't invade other countries for personal interests and that recognizes everyone's right to have basic housing and food,

Then, stop the intervention. Send a letter to your Congressman, join an activist group, take place in manifestations, join a political party and CHANGE it.

This is not only for you, this is about us.

About everyone else who doesn't live in the United States, and doesn't have such a large army to defend them, everyone whose government policies are influenced by foreign lobbies and organisms such as the IMF.

We also want democracy.

But we can't have it If you bomb us. We can't have it If we're dead.

So please, respect our will.



The order for this round will be Pro's case, My case, and, lastly, Voting Issues.


C1: Chemical Weapons.

It is important to note that Pro no longer denies that chemical weapons were used; he simply asserts that the rebels could have used these weapons. Firstly, this charge is fairly unsupported--the Telegraph evidence on which Pro's claims rest never mentions that CWs were given to the rebels by the West. In fact, it is highly unlikely that this is the case; the West is well aware that CWs could be mishandled by rebels and make the situation worse. It is not in NATO's interests to grant the rebels CWs. I admit that munitions were given to the rebels, but munitions are not the same thing as CWs, and Pro's source only references munitions and light arms. Pro also makes a critical drop: (1) Pro drops that Assad is the only actor with the means of deploying CWs, meaning he is the most likely to have used them.

Next, Pro tries to claim that Assad never thought NATO would intervene. Pro then cites the geopolitical risks Assad was facing, concluding by stating, "if NATO intervenes directly, Syria can't be helped." None of this evidence actually addresses whether or not Assad thought the U.S would really attack. Assad was well aware that if NATO attacked, he wouldn't stand a chance, but he thought it would never come to that. Sure, Russian doesn't border Syria, but it has warships off the Syrian coast and has been stymying NATO efforts in the Security Council. On top of that, Russia and China form a powerful political and economic block--NATO doesn't want to annoy them too much because both of them have the power to do even more to hurt us diplomatically and economically. Assad thought these deterrents would be enough to spare him, especially when you consider how unpopular war in Syria is with many NATO citizens. So yes, he knew he could repel NATO, but he never thought he would have to.

These leads to a second key issue: the logic for Assad's attack. Pro claims Assad's forces could vastly outnumber rebels; however, this is fallacious for several reasons: (1) Assad's whole ARMY might be 100,000, but they are fighting all over the country and it is unlikely that more than a few thousand would have been defending any one city, even Damascus, (2) those few thousand are not going to be concentrated in one area of the city, they will be disbursed to hold as much of the city as possible, (3) the rebels were about to gain control of a key neighborhood that could have caused some of Assad's forces to be cut off, which would have enable the rebels to make huge inroads. Assad fired weapons into the area after withdrawing his forces, so it didn't matter if the CWs were hard to control, because there is a predictable radius in which the damage would be inflicted. Withdrawing soldiers from that radius would prevent ancillary harms to his own forces. And, we're talking about a chaotic war zone; the UN investigator may not have been deliberately targeted; that's very hard to prove. Additionally, the U.S. investigators did not go into areas that were as volatile as the ones the UN inspectors did, so it's logical that the U.S. inspectors weren't shot at.

Ultimately, Assad was the only actor with the ability to deploy CWs, and he had a logical motive for using CWs, it is safe to say that his regime was the one that massacred/gassed those people.

C2: Rebels.

Pro completely drops my source and my analysis about how NATO can intervene and support moderate groups, and by doing so, NATO can curb the influence of al-Qaeda. Extend this.

C3: Democratization

Pro drops my two points that (a) U.S. intervention isn't about democratization, but rather humanitarianism, and (b) that even Pro's example of Libya is still better after intervention than before. Extend these arguments.

C4: Other Interests

Pro claims that the U.S. isn't reacting strongly to the al-Qaeda elements of the Syrian opposition because of a profit motive. However, this completely ignored the arguments I made in response to Pro's C2 which Pro dropped. These arguments demonstrated that NATO would intervene in support of moderates. Even Pro's sources agree that the FSA is a "moderate" group. Furthermore, the evidence Pro dropped suggested that NATO intervention in support of moderates would give moderates more power within the opposition, and therefore, NATO intervention would reduce or eliminate much of al-Qaeda's influence within the opposition movement. As for the assertions that the rebels used CWs, this evidence is minimal and lacks the credibility that the evidence against Assad does. The U.S. is also not aggressive against Assad; it's aggressive against CW use, and currently, the evidence of CWs use is strongest against Assad. Finally, you can hardly call Obama's hesitancy to become involved in Syria "aggression."

Let's clear up this notion of "invasion." The U.S. would engage in limited strikes that would disable Assad's ability to launch CWs. It would take no other action--John Kerry and Obama have emphasized this point at length. Therefore, NATO wouldn't be using force to guarantee a change of government, merely, we would be preventing WMDs from being used. Assad still has a fully operational army without CWs, so simply striking against CW facilities does not guarantee his downfall. A NATO strike doesn't equate to invasion.


Overview: CFR

So, Pro claims that 3 out of 8 of the major donors to CFR are right-leaning. That's not even 50%. Furthermore, the left and center groups do donate hefty amounts of money, and so do help to counterbalance those issues. Additionally, arranging meetings with members of Congress does not mean that CFR's publications are biased. It's one thing to arrange meetings, in which no CFR representative is present, and to publish false literature. On top of that, Pro makes a ton of drops: (1) Richard Haass is a reliable author and (2) the actual text of the CFR publication is logical, and unbiased. So, when we evaluate the credibility of the actual text I cite, we can see that the article was written by a reliable source and is, itself, logical. Even if the CFR as an organization were faulty, that does not mean ALL of it's publications are unreliable. Tis particular source I quote is reliable, and should therefore be considered valid. Even if you don't buy that, the CFR evidence is only one of many sources I cite, and the only one Pro challenged. It's a small portion of my argumentation, and I can win without it.

C1: Stability

Pro makes more drops here: (1) we can't distribute aid in Syria because this situation is too volatile, and (2) humanitarian aid alone won't stop WMD use. Extend this contention.

C2: WMDs

Pro makes more drops here too: (1) diplomacy will take too long, (2) it's unlikely Assad will truly surrender all of his CWs, and (3) a strike will bolster the norm against using WMDs. Extend these as well.

C3: Iran

Again, Pro COMPLETELY drops this contention. Extend the following points: (1) Iran supports terrorist groups, (2) intervention in Syria will harm Iran, (3) keeping Iran weak is beneficial.

C4: Lives Spared

Yet more drops by Pro. Extend the fact that a Con vote will actually save more lives by reducing WMD use, etc. Also, Pro uses the HuffPost--Pro criticizes me for using a right leaning sources (CFR) but then uses a very leftwing source. Pro cannot just say that my source is biased, and then go on to use biased sources of his own. It's hypocritical. Final point that is dropped: an oppressed minority--in this case the opposition--can call for outside support, and the outside would be obliged to intervene on a moral level.

Pro makes a comment about how past actions matter because they're indicative of what will happen in the future, but consider the following: (1) Many NATO leaders, including Obama, are extremely hesitant to wage wars, (2) the U.S. doesn't want this conflict, (3) there is clear evidence of CW use. At this point, it doesn't seem likely that the NATO would be acting imperialistically by striking because there is such clear indication of violations of int'l law.


Pro makes a very pathos-based concluding argument that was, frankly, devoid of any logos appeal. Pro paints the U.S. as some imperialistic devil--but, even if you buy this, in this particular case, the U.S. does have legitimate cause to intervene. We're not here to impeach the U.S.'s past actions, we're here to discuss Syria--and in Syria, there are many good, ethical, and legal reasons to initiate a limited strike for the purposes of disabling Assad's CW capacity. Also, Pro, in his attempt to excoriate and defame the U.S., forgets that the topic is not U.S. specific--it's referring to the whole of NATO. With that, I ask you as judges to set aside your personal feelings on the conflict in Syria; please, judge only on the merits of the arguments and vote solely on who you thought won this debate on a technical level, whether that is Pro or Con. Thank you.


I will leave the determination about spelling to the judges. I would like to note though, that in the comments, Pro stated that he could not use new sources in the last round; yet he uses at least one new source in R4 (for example, I will also leave this up to the judges to decide whether this should factor into the score; I just wanted to mention it.


First VI: Pro's Case lacks offense: (1) Assad is most likely to have used CWs, (2) Pro drops his own C2, (3) Pro drops his own C3, (4) Pro drops that a NATO intervention would harm al-Qaeda, (5) intervention would not be an invasion.

Second VI: Con's Case has a ton of offense: (1) The CFR evidence is valid, and even if weren't, it's only used in one contention, (2) Pro drops my C1, (3) Pro drops my C2, (4) Pro drops my C3, (5) Pro drops my C4. At this point, the ENTIRE Con case STANDS UNREBUTTED.

Thanks for judging! Vote Con, please!
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by bsh1 5 years ago
If anyone would vote on this before it expires I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
Posted by Kiroen 5 years ago
Shamefully it's the last round, so I can't use new sources, but the interested ones should know about this:
Posted by bsh1 5 years ago
Invasion implies troops on the ground; and we're not talking about carpet bombing--firing targeted missile as specific targets is a different ballgame entirely.
Posted by Kiroen 5 years ago
No, he 'just' talked about bombing the country lengthwise and crosswise, to change Al Assad's mind.

That the US government doesn't call things by its name doesn't mean we shouldn't.
Posted by MysticEgg 5 years ago
I literally read Pro's first sentence (excluding the question) of round two and facepalmed. Yet another warped tale of events. Obama has not mentioned an invasion *once*. Just sayin'.
Posted by dannyc 5 years ago
Yeah but that is like telling your opponent to 'bring good arguments', it's a worthless statement, of course they are going to bring good arguments or at least what the perceive to be good arguments. Saying don't bring propaganda is bascially saying don't bring sources I don't thik are valid, but he/she can't know what sources you don't think are valid unless like I said they are literally propagand posters, but no one uses them as arguments.
Posted by Kiroen 5 years ago
It's not that much of a 'rule', but a remainder for people to not to blindly trust a certain source because of his or her political or nationalist feelings.
Posted by dannyc 5 years ago
Saying 'try not to use propaganda' leaves it open to any source you don't like being claimed to be propagande and dismissed, unless they are going to link you posters of 'we want you to fight in syria' then saying no propaganda is a bit pointless.
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