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The Contender
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NATO is violating the UNSC resolution 1973 in Libya

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,321 times Debate No: 16191
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




This is a four round debate.

First round for Acceptance / Definitions
Second round for arguments
Third round for rebuttals
Fourth round for rebuttals + conclusions

No new arguments are allowed in 4th round.

The burden of proof is shared. So while I will prove that NATO is violating the resolutions, con has to show that it is following the resolutions.

No semantics.


NATO: A military alliance :-

UNSC resolution 1973 :-


Hoping for a good debate!


Thanks for the debate baggins.


"Is" = present tense, meaning my opponent must prove that NATO violated the UNSC resolution on or before the date and time when I accepted this debate. Otherwise, this debate is unfair as the situation on the ground may change after I accept. The U.S. could switch sides and start arming Gaddafi, for all I know, which would make this topic impossible to debate. So any article published after 1:30 pm PST April 28th is invalid.

I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting this challenge. I accept your rejoinder that we will limit ourselves to events which have taken place prior to my posting of the debate (or your acceptance). I may talk about decisions that had been taken and announced earlier - but not yet implemented.

UNSC resolution 1973 was passed on 17th march 2011 against Libya Arab Jamahiriya (called Libya from here), 'to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack'[1].

I will show that the subsequent armed interference by NATO forces (Led by US), flouts the words and spirit of the aforesaid resolution. Further, I will argue that the excesses are not by accident or mistake - rather the way the resolution was pushed indicates that there was no intention to obey it in first place.

I will try to be brief with each argument - as I have lots of ground to cover.

1. Unsound justification: The is justified on the basis of calls by African Union and Arab League. However African union had not given any call for military action[2]! The locus standi of Arab League to comment on Libya is suspect. Even then they had restricted themselves to a request for a 'no-fly zone'[3].

2. Five member country abstained from resolution (Brazil, India, China, Russia and Germany)[1]. India mentioned its apprehension that the resolution was 'based on very little clear information' and insisted 'Political efforts must be the priority in resolving the situation'. As per Russia the resolution 'was not in keeping with Security Council practice'[1]. Former president Putin described the attacks as 'crusade'.

3. South African and Nigerian hesitance: The two members from Africa voted for resolution. However later at BRICS summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), the South African envoy acknowledged that they had done so under immense diplomatic pressure. Nigeria has decided to go along with South Africa[4]. Later president Jacob Zuma openly asked for halt to the air strike when he visited Tripoli.[5]

4. Iran's opposition: Iran has been traditional rival of Qaddafi. However in this case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran commented[6]:
“Whenever it is appropriate, the U.S. and its allies stand with despotic rulers and when necessary they sacrifice them to ensure their own interests,”

4. Attack on Libya within few hours of the resolution[7]: NATO was ready for the attack even before the resolution was discussed. It was just waiting for rubber stamp to start bombing.

5. Supporting armed rebels: The resolution asked everyone to 'protect civilians'[1]. Rather NATO forces have interpreted it to mean 'assist armed rebels'[8] . Had this been the intent of UNSC resolution, it would have talked about taking part in civil war rather than protecting civilians.

6. No massacre by Libya: There have been no clear report of any massacre of civilians anywhere by Libyan armed forces. There were reports of violent suppression of protest - but that has been going on in several countries in the region. There were some reports [9] which can be seen as 'inspired' by anyone in the post-WMD era.

7. Carnage by rebels: In a BBC report, there was news about 60 civilians from Chad being murdered in cold blood by the rebels.[10]

8. Collateral Damage: There are several reports of several collateral damage due to attacks by NATO troops. As one unnamed diplomat wryly put it[11]:
"Air strikes, bombing and cruise missiles are not aimed at protecting civilians but to destroy military targets, which inevitably leads to civilian deaths. As in Afghanistan and Iraq, the West will put civilian deaths under the category of collateral damage. This in effect means the right to kill citizens of the Third World in order to protect them"

9. Drones: Obama has authorised the use of drones in Libya[12]. Drones are notorious for causing large number of civilian deaths[13].

10. Regime change: Several NATO countries have insisted that they want a regime change in Libya[14]. Nothing like that has been mentioned in UNSC resolution. Former Russian President Putin termed it as 'an intervention in a sovereign state' [15]

12. Attack on palace of Qaddafi: Initially David Cameroon stated that killing Qaddafi is not the objective of the mission[16]. However a few days later attacks were launched on the official palace of Qaddafi in Tripoli[17].

13. Rejection of peace efforts: Backed by NATO, it is the rebels who have rejected the peace efforts made by Hugo Chavez[18] and African union[19].

14. Unease in Arab League and African Union: Once the attacks began, Arab League, Secretery General Amr Moussa[20] said
"What has happened in Libya differs from the goal of imposing a no-fly zone and what we want is the protection of civilians and not bombing other civilians,"
The African Union has also condemned the invasion[21].

The uprising in Libya started as a genuine people's movement. But unlike in other Arab countries - it turned quickly into an armed rebellion and then descended into a chaotic civil war. The NATO countries, led by enthusiastic England, France and USA - quickly manufactured a UNSC resolution to dive into it - probably eying future oil contracts.

What is most remarkable is - ever since the NATO invasion - there has been no protests against Muammar Qaddafi!

I look forward to my opponents arguments.



Thanks Baggins


R1) Unsound justification

1. The African Union asked for intervention in the Ivory Coast, not Libya. My opponent must just be confused here.

2. According to Fareed Zakaria, it is impressive that the Arab League, a group known mostly for championing the Palestinian cause, would ask for Western intervention at all.

3. The motives for creating the resolution are irrelevant when the debate is about whether the letter of the resolution was violated.

R2) Five Member Countries Abstained

Again, this is irrelevant to the question of whether the UN resolution has been violated. If we were debating about whether the President violated House Resolution 1786, it wouldn't matter that some Congressmen abstained from voting for it. How the resolution passed is irrelevant.

R3) Nigerian hesitance

Again, irrelevant. We don't care how the resolution passed for this debate, just whether it has been violated.

R4) Ready before it passed

Again, irrelevant. Had the resolution not passed, the order would have been given for those forces to stand down.

R5) Supporting armed rebels

1. No evidence is provided that NATO has given arms to rebel groups. It is being debated in some countries, but has not yet been implemented. My opponent has agreed he must prove that the UN Resolution has already been violated.

2. NATO is also the political alliance itself, with its own command structure. If France does end up providing weapons to Libyan rebels, it's not NATO doing this. The United Nations did not attack Iraq, even though the US and UK are member countries. In the same way, individual sovereign action is not NATO action.

3. The source provided here specifically says the UK WILL provide body armor. Firstly, body armor is not a weapon, it is protective gear. Second, the UK hasn't done it yet.

R6) No massacre by Libya

This is pretty silly; there's overwhelming evidence that Gaddafi attacked civilians. Even though they are banned by international law, Gaddafi used cluster bombs against civilian populations. [1] In Misrata, civilians report that they were sleeping quietly in their homes when the bombings started. This goes beyond shooting protesters; there is a clear difference between bullets and cluster bombs.

In one incident, when rebel forces were routed in Misrata, Gaddafi forces entered the city and started firing on civilians, using heavy machinery like tanks, and even destroyed three ambulances that tried to save the wounded. [2] This is the main justification for arming rebels – that when Gaddafi forces break through, they murder civilians. It's also the main justification for destroying tanks and heavy weapons – because these have been used repeatedly against civilian populations.

R7) Carnage by rebels

The article actually says that 60 people from Chad were murdered by local villagers because Chad mercenaries were being hired by Gaddafi and used to murder local villagers. It's hard to say who is right in a situation like that, but if Chad stops supplying Gaddafi with troops, the article concludes that the hatred of the Libyan people will disappear.

Since no arms have been supplied to this group of villagers, this doesn't prove that NATO did anything bad in this case.

R8) Collateral Damage

1. The quote is theoretical; it doesn't prove there was collateral damage.

2. Even if there is collateral damage, Gaddafi has shown a willingness to use his heavy weapons to murder civilians. Destroying his capacity to do so should be a top priority.

3. Collateral damage is not a violation of a UN Resolution. If the UN authorized us to stop a genocide in Rwanda and we accidentally dropped a bomb on a civilian, that doesn't mean that the entire operation is suddenly violating the UN resolution.

R9) Drones

1. We have not used drones yet, so again, my opponent is trying to debate the future, not the past as we both agreed.

2. Drones have better precision missiles than regular aircraft. There's no reason not to use them.

3. His article sites some lone reports in Iraq of civilian deaths; it hardly proves that drones are systematically bad.

4. Sources in Pakistan say that drones have become extremely accurate by using better on-the-ground informants. [3] Since we have so many assets on the ground (Libyan rebels), we will get accurate intelligence on precise locations to strike. We kill civilians in drone strikes only when we are not informed that there are civilians in a particular building where we are trying to kill a high value target.

R10) Regime change

1. Obama saying that he would like Gaddafi to step down is NOT the same as NATO suddenly pursuing regime change. NATO has not put troops on the ground or tried to assassinate Gaddafi. However, given that Gaddafi is murdering his civilian population, protecting civilians does require applying extreme pressure on Gaddafi to call off his military campaign.

2. There's a difference between pushing something politically – asking for regime change and Libyan officials to resign in protest – versus doing so militarily.

R11) My opponent had no #11

R12) Attack on Gaddafi palace

My opponent's own source here says that Gaddafi was stationing heavy weapons and troops in his compound. If he doesn't want his compound bombed, he shouldn't make it into a military target. His actual palace was at the other end of the compound from where the bomb was dropped.

R13) Reject Peace Offer

You have to realize; although they are called "rebels," the people of Libya want the same thing as the people of Tunisian and Egypt. They want an end to an oppressive, autocratic regime. All the "peace offers" would entail Gaddafi remaining in power for the rest of his lifetime. The UN supports the Libyan's right to protest their government without having cluster bombs dropped on their heads. The rebels did not fire first – Gaddafi did, which is why the term rebel is a misnomer.

R14) Unease

The Arab League is still flying sorties along with NATO, so they can't be all that uneasy. And this doesn't prove the Resolution was violated.

1. Remember, the protests started peaceful. Gaddafi fired first. [4]
2. We only stepped in when Gaddafi started using air and cluster bomb strikes on his civilian population.
3. We have no oil interest in Libya. Libya does not even make the list of the top 15 countries we import from. [5]


Debate Round No. 2


Thanks for your rebuttal.

I had stated in introduction that in this debate - both the sides share burden of proof. I had expected my opponent to show how NATO forces are supporting the resolution. How their main focus is on upholding what the resolution asks them to do. However my opponent has not presented his own arguments at all. So all that the voters have to decide now is whether I win - or it is a tie. No one should vote for my opponent in any case.

==Rebuttals of rebuttals ==

RR1) Unsound Justification:

RR1.1) My point was that African Union had not asked for military action in Libya. This is important because the UNSC resolution assumes their support.

RR1.2) It is interesting to note that my opponent has not provided a ling to the article by Fareed Zakaria. Perhaps because in the article the author has freely discussed what kind of excuses USA should look for before interfering in other countries and extend US domination.

RR1.3) In the first round I had promised to show that (1) NATO has violated letter and spirit of resolution and (2)there was no intention to follow them in the first place. To understand this, we need to know the basis on which the resolution was passed. The background of the resolution is valid to this debate.

RR2) Abstaining countries and their reservations: Extend the earlier points. Also consider RR1.3

RR3) Nigerian + South African Hesitance: Extend the earlier points. Also consider RR1.3

There are two point #4. I acknowledge and apologise for the mistake.

RR4) Iran's opposition: My opponent has not addressed this argument. Extend the arguments.

RR5) Supporting armed rebels:

RR5.1) I never said that NATO has armed the rebels with weapons. However they are assisting the armed rebels in their fight through their bombing campaigns over Libyan forces. This is direct involvement in the civil war.

RR5.2) The invasion is going on under NATO banner. They are responsible for what the member countries do.

RR5.3) First UK has already supplied the body armors[1]. Second, body armor will be used by rebels to fight against Qaddafi. It is not used to protect civilians. Moreover Britain is already having a team in Libya which is being expanded. Thus it is a violation of the resolution. And last - I had mentioned I am free to talk about decisions taken before the debate started - even if they have not been implemented yet.

R6) No massacre by Libya: You have to explain as to what is so special about Qaddafi's actions compared tp what is going on in other countries like Bahrain or Syria. Moreover - America itself has been earlier guilty of killing large number of civilians[2]. The NATO never bothers with Israel and its actions.

R7) Carnage by rebels: Are you trying to defend a massacre. An eye witness said:

"We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: 'You are providing troops for Gaddafi.' The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves."

They killed these people in cold blood because several people from their country are fighting for Qaddafi!

I am not accusing NATO of killing these people. (NATO does not uses crude techniques like shears and axes. It uses fancy aeorplanes with bunker-buster bombs). However the NATO is supposed to protect civilians in Libya. So why is it helping rebels rather than enforcing a cease-fire.

RR8) Collateral Damage: There have been several charges of collateral damage by Libya (of course denied by NATO). We are not in a position to verify it yet. However, given the NATO record, I think that collateral damage is quite likely to be high.

Also I think collateral damage in a mission to protect civilians is quite relevant.

RR9) Drones:

RR9.1) Drones are already being used[3].

R9.2 + R9.3) Your attempt to defend drones as accurate sounds silly. We had Hamid Karzai, Afghan President and American stooge, publicly wept on meeting victims of drone attacks[4]. Amnesty International considers use of drones as unlawful.

RR9.4) The link you provided about accuracy of drone talks about some device (locally known as pathri) which NATO supplies to their moles to plant in the houses where drone attack has to take place. An intelligence officer reports:

"People are sleeping outside the houses, in case somebody has thrown this pathri inside. It's created fear in the area."

RR10) Regime change: Obama, Sarkozy and Cameroon issued a joint statement. A report said:

"Gaddafi must ‘go and go for good’ before rebuilding of the country could begin", they said, rejecting calls for an immediate ceasefire.

If these gentlemen are dedicated to protecting civilians - why did they reject ceasefire? They are not trying to change regime so as to protect civilians. They are trying to change regime by endangering civilians.

RR11) No #11. It was my mistake in numbering. I apologise.

RR12) Qadaffi palace attack: Assuming Qadaffi had heavy weapons and troops in his compound - was it endangering civilians? Liam Fox has insisted that assassination of Qadaffi is 'potentially a possibility'.

RR13) Rebel rejection of peace offer: Understood that rebels don't want Qadaffi. However if they do accept Qadaffi - we will have peace. Question is why are NATO countries not putting pressure on rebels to negotiate? Is killing Qadaffi the only acceptable way to peace for NATO? Is it mentioned anywhere in UNSC resolution?

RR14) Unease: While curbing revolutions in their own countries - Arab states do not have much locus standi to comment on Libya. I notice that you have conceded the point about African Union.

The oil import: You are correct that Libya does not export oils to America. This does not mean they are not having oil. It is having the largest oil reserve in Africa[6]

I look forward to further respose from my bluesteel.



Thanks baggins.



"Shared burden of proof"

1) This amounts to nothing more than demanding negative proof. If I said you had to PROVE that Glenn Beck did NOT rape and murder a girl in 1990, the only way to do so would be to ask for the evidence that he did rape and murder a girl in 1990 and then refute it. I can't know what parts of the UNSC Resolution are supposedly violated unless my opponent tells me.

2) Mark Thompson of Time Magazine reports that the US air force destroyed 25% of Gaddafi's forces in the first few weeks and completely destroyed Gaddafi's air force, implementing a no fly zone. [1] This upheld the mission of the UNSC Resolution.

R1) Unsound Justification

1. The AU doesn't matter here. My opponent never provided a source saying we lied about getting their support.

2. I didn't provide the link to Fareed Zakaria because I read the article in Time a couple months ago and don't remember the article title. This doesn't refute my argument though that Arab League support is an INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT and is sufficient to prove that we have local backing for our initiative in Libya.

3. a) We don't care about violating "the spirit" of something. A police officer can't arrest me for violating "the spirit" of a law. He can't say, "although you only had one beer tonight, I feel like the spirit of the drunk driving law is that you should never drive after drinking, so I'm arresting you." Allowing "the spirit" of the law into any debate just creates a subjective, wishy-washy debate about what the law was intended to do. The interpretation changes each time based on the person interpreting the law.

b) Most of my opponent's "spirit" arguments come from countries that are not part of the UNSC (African Union) or abstained from voting (Russia). We should look to what the voting Security Council members intended to look at what the Resolution was actually intended to accomplish.

R2) Abstaining countries

Extend my (dropped) argument. If we were asked whether the President violated a House Resolution, we wouldn't care which Congressmen abstained from the vote; we'd just care what the House Resolution said and what the President did.

R3) Hesitance

Extend my dropped argument. If we were talking about a House Resolution, saying that Congressman Smith was hesitant about the Resolution is irrelevant to whether the President violated it.

R4) Iran's opposition

I didn't address this because my opponent numbered his case wrong and I thought I addressed his number 4. But the argument is the same. We wouldn't care if Congressman X was opposed to the bill if the question was whether someone violated the Resolution. Who cares that Iran didn't support it; they don't even have a vote on the Security Council. Also, Iran has stated steadfast support for the rebels. [2]

R4, again)dropped by my opponent

R5) Libyan Rebels

1. a) My opponent claims bombing Gaddafi gets us "involved in a civil war." The term civil war is a misnomer. When the U.S. tried to free ourselves from a despotic ruler in England, we termed ourselves freedom fighters and termed our struggle a Revolution. The same is true of the freedom fighters in Libya, who are trying to free the country of a despotic ruler.

b) Remember that last time Gaddafi forces routed the freedom fighters, they started murdering civilians and blew up three ambulances. Protecting the freedom fighters is central to our mission of saving civilians from Gaddafi.

2. NATO isn't the same as member countries. There are separate command structures there. There is a NATO commander for NATO forces, but there are separate French and UK command structures. NATO is not responsible for what every other command structures are doing since it has no control over them.

3. a) My opponent never answers my argument that when the freedom fighters lose a city, Gaddafi murders its inhabitants. Supplying body armor to them ultimately protects civilians.

b) What the British do outside NATO's command structure, as far as putting teams on the ground, is none of NATO's business. There's nothing NATO can do about it. Still, remember that helping the freedom fighters is critical in many ways to protecting the civilians that they took up arms to defend.

Also, from my opponent's own article, "Mr. Hague said the officers would not be involved in training or arming the rebels."

R6) Why Libya

My opponent demands I explain things that are irrelevant to the resolution. But I already explained, Gaddafi dropped cluster bombs on villages that protested against him. That dwarfs anything done to protesters in other countries.

R7) Carnage

I'm not defending the murders, but they are understandable given that Chad is sending mercenaries to help Gaddafi murder his own people. Chad should stop helping Gaddafi.

My opponent concedes this point anyway by agreeing that NATO had nothing to do with it.

R8) Collateral Damage

1. No hard proof.

2. Collateral damage happens in war time. My opponent never answers my analogy, that if we were in Rwanda to stop a genocide, just because an accident happened and civilians died doesn't mean we VIOLATED the UN mandate to protect Rwanda. The same applies to Libya. Just because there is collateral damage doesn't mean we are in violation of the UNSC Resolution.

R9) Drones

My opponent never answers my argument that drones have highly accurate Tomahawk missiles. There's no reason that an unmanned plane with a highly accurate missile should be viewed as any worse than a plane with a pilot, with often less accurate missiles.

Sure, there are isolated cases of drones killing people. And in Pakistani villages that harbor Al Qaeda (in the FATA region), many people are afraid of drones, as they should be. But drones have a much lower kill percentage for civilians (civilians killed over insurgents killed) than does close air support in Afghanistan and Iraq. So they are more accurate than regular air support.

R10) Regime Change

Pushing politically through a "joint statement" for Gaddafi to step down and honor the wishes of his people IS NOT the same as using military force to kill him. Obama can say whatever he wants to the press without violating the UNSC Resolution.

R12) Gaddafi palace

My opponent asks whether tanks and rocket launchers in Gaddafi's compound endanger civilians. The answer is most obviously yes when you look at all the rocket attacks on Misrata and the tanks that were used to murder civilians and then blow up the ambulances that came to try to tend to the injured. It's widely considered a war crime to explicitly target medics and medical assistance teams on the battlefield.

R13) Peace

If the US had issued a statement in Egypt that we expected the protesters to accept peace with Mubarak, we would be hated throughout the region. Remember, the Libyans have a right to rise up against their dictator. If his willingness to resort to murder of civilians forces the Libyan people to give up on their independence struggle, that would defeat the entire purpose of the UNSC Resolution: defending the people's right to rise up against an oppressive ruler without being cluster bombed.

R14) Unease

I don't care if people are uneasy; it doesn't mean anyone violated the UNSC. I'd be uneasy about the situation in Libya too; it's a scary region right now.


My opponent concedes that Gaddafi fired first, dropping internationally banned cluster bombs on civilian protesters while they were sleeping. My opponent agrees that when freedom fighter forces lose, Gaddafi murders the civilians they are defending. Everything that NATO has done in Libya has served the broader purpose of protecting civilians and their right to protest an oppressive government.

Vote Con

Debate Round No. 3


Many thanks to bluesteel for his post.

Before I move forward to rebuttals, I am assembling the points - which matter most to the top.

1) Shared burden: Negative proof is quite possible. Character attestation, good conduct record, alibi etc. may constitute part of negative proof which may help Glenn Beck. In a 'criminal case' burden of proof is on prosecution. Part of the reason is that the accused is with in the power of the judiciary. In a debate, burden of proof is by default on Pro/Instigator.

In this case I specified in the opening round that the burden of proof will be shared. The question that begs answer is how did you interpret 'the shared proof' clause? Frankly, you should not have taken up this debate if you are not in a position to present your own case.

2) The 'spirit' of resolution:

a) It is best if we follow all laws in 'letter and spirit'. That is - apart from following the laws - we also consider intent of the law. I agree a policeman cannot arrest you for drunken driving - if alcohol level in your blood is below critical limit. However, you are indeed violating the spirit of law. The policeman will be justified in issuing you a non-formal warning. In matters constituting international politics or national policy, adhering to letter and spirit of laws is essential.

b) Just because one side has majority - it does not mean the minority opinion is irrelevant. In India, when a bench of supreme court gives a split verdict, they specify their reasons for the decisions and the minority opinion is also kept in mind while taking further decisions. I am sure you have some equivalent mechanism in USA. In united nations also, all those disagreeing with a resolution record there dissent and it matters. I suggest that you should go through the UN press release (I posted in round 2) to see how prominence is given to opinion of countries which abstained.

c) Bluesteel has conceded all my arguments regarding the intent of resolution with a protest that it is irrelevant. I have shown it is relevant and hence my arguments are upheld.

3) The 'letter' of resolution: This is the only part that is left to debate. Let me recapitulate the reasons which show that the letter of resolution has been violated.
a) The purpose of mission is to protect civilians
b) Civilians can be protected by a ceasefire - which can be easily implemented
c) The NATO has rejected ceasefire - and is pursuing regime change - which may not be simple.
d) This further increases risks to civilians. Thus the resolution is being violated.

===Final Rebuttals===

Time magazine article: My opponent shows that NATO has achieved its target solely based on American army claims!

R1) Unsound justification: African Union matters. Arab league does not really matter. Look at position of Libya in map[1]. Qaddafi was head of African Union last year. Libya had very poor relations with Arab League.

R2 + R3 + R4) Abstaining Countries, Hesitance of African countries and criticism by Iran and preparation for attack within few hours: Read my argument #2 about spirit of resolution.

Iran sympathises with rebels - as do most people. I would encourage you to read the whole article to which you have provided reference.

R5) Support for armed rebel:

1. My opponent tries to compare Libyan rebel to American freedom fighters. I suppose Americans took the risks and fought for their freedom themselves. Just imagine a superpower X who decides to baby step Americans towards freedom while bombing England back to stone age! That describes the NATO role in Libya. NATO should not have gone beyond a ceasefire. Having done so - they are violating UNSC resolution.

2. Action in Libya is currently taking place under NATO banner. It is responsible for action of member countries. If it has no control, it should condemn those actions.

3. The basis on which you has justified armor supply to rebels can also be used to justify arm supply. Also - you have to explain why rebels need armors after ceasefire is imposed.

R6) Use of cluster bombs: America has previously cluster bombed a complete country[2]. Israel has used depleted uranium munitions over civilian targets. [3]

R7) Carnage by rebels: My opponent said:

"I'm not defending the murders, but they are understandable ..."

THEY ARE NOT UNDERSTANDABLE. If you can understand them, something is seriously wrong with you.

R8) Collateral damage: I have explained - that hard proof at this stage is not possible. There is no lack of charges about collateral damage.

My opponent has to explain - why ceasefire is not better than regime change in light of possibility of collateral damage. This question will apply to Rwanda also.

R9) Drones: I do not know technical reason why drones are inaccurate. However I can guess. Unlike with any normal pilots, you do not need any justification before using drones. They don't ask questions.

What the world knows for a fact is that two American allies are begging you to stop it.

R10) Regime Change:
1. NATO refuses ceasefire requested by Qaddafi, African Union and others.
2. The leaders declare they will not rest until Qaddafi is gone.
3. Bombarding continues - along with attacks on Qaddafi's palace.
Sounds like an effort at regime change to me.

R12) Qaddafi's Palace attacks: How do tanks and rockets kept at a palace at Tripoli - assuming they were present - pose a danger to civilians?

R13) Peace: Had the Americans got involved in Egypt, they would have been criticised by everyone. NATO is in Libya to protect civilians - not to assist a freedom movement. If it is getting involved, it is a violation of UNSC resolution 1973.

R14) African Union unease: My mistake if I used a simple word. African Union is furious[4]. Ugandan president accuses NATO of double standard. Namibian president termed the attacks as 'western invasion'. Jacob Zuma (South African president) is angry. While calling west as 'bloody vampire' the president of Zimbabwe bemoaned:

"It is this oil, oil, oil which is the undoing of the Libyan people."

My opponent has dropped my argument about oil being motive. He has ignored the fact I pointed out: since NATO invasion - there has been no protest against Muammar Qaddafi!


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said:

“Whenever it is appropriate, the U.S. and its allies stand with despotic rulers and when necessary they sacrifice them to ensure their own interests”

He is wrong. I hope, he is wrong. Most of the NATO countries are democracies. When these leaders return to their voters, they will be asked:

1. Why was the ceasefire not imposed - when it was a simple solution to protect civilians?
2. Why did they insist on regime change, knowing it will cause even more misery?

At least I hope they will be asked...

Mumkin hai zamana rukh badle
Yeh daur-e-halakat mit jae
(Maybe the world will change direction / This era of destruction will pass)

Thanking bluesteel for debating with me.




Thanks baggins.

I'll try to cover all the major issues in the debate, but in more of a summary format.

1) Shared Burden

My opponent admonishes me that I should not have taken the debate and offers an analogy to a court room. However, what he is doing amounts to the prosecutor standing up and saying, "I don't have a case that I'm confident in, but you must prove that your client did NOT rape and murder the victim. Go!" There's a reason that demanding negative prove is considered a logical fallacy. So are appeals to authority (character witnesses), the evidence my opponent suggests that I present in my case.

Conclusion: If I refute all my opponent's examples of violations, as far as this debate goes, I've upheld my burden to the show the UNSC Resolution was not violated.

2) The ‘spirit' of the resolution

My opponent has the gall to suggest that I am breaking that spirit of the drunk driving law by having a single beer before driving home and that a police officer should be able to PULL ME OVER and issue me a written "warning." This is ridiculous, considering my BAC would be .01, well within the legal limit of .08. This example just proves why "the spirit" of a law is unenforceable and trying to decide violations of the ‘spirit' of a law leads to arbitrary standards.

Conclusion: look only to the letter of the law.

3) Letter of the law

My opponent offers 4 reasons that the letter of the law has been violated. I'll show how I've refuted each one.

1) The mission was to protect civilians

Destroying Gaddafi's air force, tanks, and rocket launchers is critical to protecting civilians since Gaddafi has shown repeatedly that he will use these pieces of machinery to murder his civilian population, if they try to protest his rule.
Helping the freedom fighters, who took up arms to protect their loved ones, is critical to protecting civilians because when Gaddafi forces break through freedom fighter lines, they go on mass killing sprees, like in Misrata.
No evidence has been provided that NATO has armed freedom fighters or offered them training. The "support" to them has all been limited to destroying dual use equipment, that has also been used to kill civilians (tanks, air planes).

2) Civilians can be protected under ceasefire

Gaddafi does not respect international agreements. If we signed a cease fire and left, he would quickly go back to violently suppressing protesters and mass killings of civilians, knowing NATO would not have the political will to deploy a second time. Appeasement with Hitler didn't work and Gaddafi shows similar contempt for international law.

3) NATO rejected the ceasefire

The freedom fighters rejected the cease fire because they don't trust Gaddafi and want him gone. If NATO forces them to take the cease fire, Gaddafi has beaten the protesters by using force, which was his original intent. If NATO took the cease fire, it would be seen in the Arab World as supporting Gaddafi.

4) Just a re-hashing of #3

Refuting the Alleged Violations

1. Unsound justification

The AU rejecting the UNSC Resolution 1) doesn't prove the Resolution was violated; 2) doesn't prove the justification was unsound; 3) is pretty irrelevant when the Arab League signed on and agreed to fly air sorties with NATO . If we were asking whether someone violated federal law, saying that the law had an "unsound justification" because 20 Republicans voted against it would be a pretty bad argument.

2, 3, 4

How a Resolution passes is still irrelevant to whether it was violated. I refer you back to my House Resolution analogy. My opponent says minority opinion matters, but as far as a law being broken, we don't care why some people opposed the law. Once a majority vote for it, that law becomes law, and we look to the letter of the law to see if it was violated.

Also, abstaining is most definitely not the same as voting against something. A single veto could have stopped the Resolution.

5. Support for armed rebels

My opponent never proves here that we are supplying freedom fighters with weapons. In my mind, giving them body armor to protect themselves is akin to giving them sunglasses or water. No NATO country has given them weapons or training.

He also never answers the most important argument, which is that I have proven that when Gaddafi's forces break through "rebel" lines, they start murdering civilians. For this reason, providing air support and body armor to the freedom fighters makes sense, since they are protecting their civilian populations from mass murder.

6.Cluster bombs

New argument about the U.S and Israel, and it's irrelevant to whether it's okay for Gaddafi to cluster bomb protesters in his country.

7. Carnage by villagers

My opponent concedes that NATO had absolutely nothing to do with this.

8. Collateral damage

My opponent has not proven that a single person has died from collateral damage in Libya.

My opponent asks about a cease fire again, but Gaddafi would not honor a cease fire and would go back to murdering civilians, AND it would be a bad move to force the Libyans to accept the terms of an oppressive dictator. Despite our best recent efforts, we would be hated in Libya for the next 200 years if we did so.


It's been unrefuted that drones are less likely to cause collateral damage than normal air support. Also, my opponent can't prove that there has even been any collateral damage.

10. Regime change

Obama asking Gaddafi to step down in a press release is not the same thing as pursuing a military goal of regime change in Libya. Obama can say whatever he wants in the press without violating the UNSC Resolution. It's silly to think that a PRESS RELEASE amounts to violating the UN Resolution.

The bombing of the "palace" was one bomb dropped on an enormous compound, where Gaddafi was storing tanks and rocket launchers used to murder civilians. His palace was at the complete opposite end of the compound. If we wanted to actually kill Gaddafi, he would most definitely already be dead.

Conclusions: my opponent has not proven that any of our actions in Libya have violated the UNSC Resolution.

11. Peace

Refuted elsewhere

AU unease

Of course, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the MOST BRUTAL DICTATOR IN AFRICA, is going to condemn US action in Libya. He's afraid he's next.

Conclusion: don't look to AU objections, when they are led by men like Robert Mugabe.

My opponent cites Mahmoud Ahmadenijad next; he may want to use better sources in future.

I have clearly refuted all of the above arguments.


The problems in Libya started when the Arab Spring spread to Libya and started protest movements there. Gaddafi responded by dropping bombs on cities that were hotbeds for protests, like Misrata. The UN and the Arab League felt that this was a war crime (bombing civilians for protesting) and decided to step in. NATO destroyed Gaddafi's air force and continued to destroy his heavy weaponry (tanks and mobile missile launchers) to prevent them being used against civilians. NATO also offered cursory assistance to freedom fighters who were defending their homelands from Gaddafi forces; Gaddafi forces had empirically gone through towns raping and murdering civilians, even blowing up ambulances that had come to ferry away the injured and the dead. Even if Gaddafi refuses to step down, as long as he ends his military campaign against civilians and uses his military only in self-defense, NATO will leave, as per the requirement of the UN Resolution.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by askbob 5 years ago
In essence NATO is the body of member states. It is not a member of NATO.

Such would be saying because a man from Texas traveled overseas and killed a man from Pakistan, that Texas was murdering Pakistani Civilians because Texas should have control over it's members. You can only hold NATO responsible for the decisions it makes as a body. Also striking grounded airplanes and tanks is not the same as killing civilians. Nor are civilian causalities the same as going after civilians. Furthermore, arming civilians is also not directly harming them.

It was a difficult burden of proof to begin with.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
Thanks a lot :)
Posted by bigpoppajustice 5 years ago
This is a really solid debate. Good job guys.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
I mentioned it so that you don't claim I am cheating. I know voters are wise enough to not to consider it.

BTW, I am seeing only 2 debates on first page - and this is not one of them. Any idea why?
Posted by bluesteel 5 years ago
Judges are always urged not to consider arguments not made in the debate round so there was no reason to post that, unless you really do want it to play a factor in the judges' decisions.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
Voters are requested not to consider the following report for voting. As agreed in round 2, please vote only on the basis of arguments in the debate.

Son of Qaddafi and 3 grandchildren were murdered in NATO attack. Saif-Al-Arab (29) was a student at Technical University of Munich while the grand children were aged less than 12.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
Adding all the links was way more difficult that I initially thought :-(
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by askbob 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: An excellent example of a debate should be. In my mind, bluesteel won the argument because baggins failed to prove his resolution. Not only did he fail to show or provide substantial evidence that the member countries actively were harming libyan civilians, but he also had no proof that NATO was authorizing and condoning deadly force against civilians. If you are going to make a resolution, you have the burden of proof. Demanding negative proof is inadequate. more in comments.