The Instigator
DavidDavieson
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
msmith0126
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Placing political condition on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/28/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,394 times Debate No: 51159
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

DavidDavieson

Con

North Korea used their aid 'unjustly', which could be used to hurt other countries. They used the money given to them to advance their nuclear weapons program. Helping someone with that kind of objective is reason enough to negate. With political conditions placed on it, it would be more humanitarian.
msmith0126

Pro

Thank you for this wonderful challenge - I accept.

Reinhold Niebuhr, a famous 20th century social theorist, once said, "The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world, one in which it typically fails to do so." Because I thoroughly agree with Mr. Niebuhr, I must affirm the Resolved: Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust.

In today's round, I propose the value of Honesty, defined as the quality of being correct or realistic in accordance with fact. In today's round, as I will prove, we must be completely honest with how the system currently operates - in an unjust way.

To achieve this, I propose the criterion of Political Realism, defined by Reinhold Niebuhr as a system of thought that places high value on observing the imperfect system of peace and order. Simply, as Niebuhr states, "The international community lacks a cohesive religious or social structure to obtain unity and order. No society shares the same beliefs. Therefore, it must obtain order through coercive force and order will have to be purchased at the price of justice."

Before I continue further, I feel it is necessary to define a few key terms.

Political conditions: any conditions issued to the government of a specific foreign country that must be satisfied prior to the remittance of humanitarian aid to that country

Humanitarian Aid: any aid designed to save lives and alleviate suffering that typically takes the form of monetary contributions, military assistance, and emergency supplies.

Justice: As defined by John Rawls, fairness.

Observation 1: Given the word "unjust" in the resolution, the Negative must prove that placing political conditions on humanitarian aid is just. If the Negative does not do this, the Affirmative wins.

Contention 1: Conditions on aid are inevitable.

Sub-Point A: There are typically four clear types of conditions placed on aid from governments and organizations: increase democracy, military assistance, don't go to war with us, and don't get in our way. Whether the condition is stopping human rights abuses (increase democracy) or keeping from a government intervening in the distribution of aid (don't get in our way) all organizations and governments typically have conditions like these.

Sub-Point B: However, far less evident are the implicit conditions that are placed on aid. While it may seem quite obvious, a condition on the aid is that the country is agreeing to any other condition that is placed upon it. This means that a condition to the aid is forcing a country to agree with another country"s demand. This directly relates to my value of Honesty: I'm being completely realistic with how the system works.

Contention 2: Any condition placed on aid is inherently unjust.

Sub-Point A: National or organizational interests are incoherent with individuals' interests. An organization or country operates on a Utilitarian-ideal: essentially, they will operate politically based on "majority-rule." The problem is: they are operating for an entire country based on a portion of the population's interests. This is especially important when considering foreign countries: how can the entire population morally agree to the set condition?

Sub-Point B: Reinhold Niebuhr points out, "The relations between groups must therefore always be predominantly political rather than ethical. They will be determined by the proportion of power which each group possesses."

Sub-Point C: This means that, inherently, the system of humanitarian aid relations is based on political agreements. Any political condition placed on the aid is dealt with in political terms, not ethical or moral terms. There may be moral or ethical results of the aid - or even the conditions - but the conditions themselves are dealt with politically. This is imperative to realize: the system we operate underneath when agreeing to conditions (my criterion of Political Realism) is based on political ends.

Sub-Point D: Since the conditions are based upon political ends, the entire system is inherently unjust. We are, by placing conditions on the humanitarian aid, not treating a country fairly because we have more power over them. They must agree to our conditions to help out their own people. That is completely unfair and unjust. Forcing entire countries into agreeing with conditions from an organization or a country is inherently unjust. This is my criterion in action: to get order and compromise between countries, we have to create an imbalanced system, one that isn't just. That"s directly upholding my value of Honesty, because I have shown you that this how the system works when we place political conditions on humanitarian aid. We must value being honest in today"s debate, for if we don"t, we reject the reality of the situation in both the Affirmative and Negative worlds.

In conclusion, we must see that the entire system of placing political conditions on aid is unjust. By forcing a country to agree with certain conditions, we are not treating them fairly " we are treating with unjustly. But, to obtain order and a peaceful system, this occurs. That"s my criterion of Political Realism. This directly achieves the most important value in today"s round - Honesty - because we must be honest in the way the system works, with the way reality works, and the way political conditions work.

For these reasons, I humbly ask you for a vote in affirmation in today's debate.
Debate Round No. 1
DavidDavieson

Con

DavidDavieson forfeited this round.
msmith0126

Pro

msmith0126 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
DavidDavieson

Con

Negative
I negate the resolved: "Placing political conditions on humanitarian aid to foreign countries is unjust."
Placing: to put something in a particular position.Conditions: External or existing circumstances
Political: Based on or motivated by partisan or self-serving objectives
Humanitarian Aid: Aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies.Foreign: From another country, or in another country.Just: Fair and impartial: acting with fairness and impartiality; morally right.
Country: A nation or state.

My value is Justice. Justice is teleological so we must determine whether conditional or unconditional aid is more likely to achieve the stated goals of humanitarian aid. Global Human Assistance, an organization devoted to humanitarian aid, explains that humanitarian aid is "is aid and action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of emergencies." This means we can determine which system is just by determining which system is most effective at meeting these goals. So the criterion for the round is achieving the Goals of Humanitarianism.

1. All sides in conflicts use humanitarian aid to meet political ends.
Nicholas Morris Writes(staff member of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 1973), "Humanitarian Aid and Neutrality," Conference on The Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Acute Crisis London, 11-13 February 1998 All sides in such conflicts use humanitarian food aid for political ends and to feed their military forces. For the Bosnian government forces in the enclaves and Sarajevo, other sources were too limited to give them a choice. The provision of fuel for humanitarian purposes gives rise to even greater challenges to humanitarian aid's neutrality. The fact that UNHCR supervised delivery and ensured proper use was irrelevant in former Yugoslavia, because while this fuel met priority humanitarian needs, for example, heated hospitals; it released other fuel for the military. Thus the Bosnian government accused UNHCR of fueling Serb offensives on Gorazde and Bihac, and its opponents blocked access for UNHCR fuel, maintaining that it would be used against them. This shows that humanitarianism within itself is a strategy used to achieve political ends, so therefore humanitarianism is political so you cannot affirm and default negate.

2. Aiding enemies sustains and strengthens them.
Peter Schwartz Writes, the Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America, p. 22, 2004
Engagement" with our enemies does not make them into friends; it only makes them into stronger enemies. It provides them with the moral sanction they do not deserve and with the material support they could not have generated themselves. "Engagement" with the Soviets sustained them for over half a century; engagement with North Korea has enabled it now to brandish nuclear weapons against us.

3. Political conditions can ensure aid goes to the people in need.
Peter Schwartz Writes, the Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America, p. 22, 2004 Humanitarian aid is usually given in the form of money. Because of this it can be misused very easily. By placing a political condition on the way the aid is used we can ensure that the aid is not used in a manner that it was not meant for. These conditions can set guidelines for use and distribution of aid. The purpose of these conditions is to ensure the government does not withhold aid from the people of the country. In the 1980's The United states along with the United Nations provided humanitarian aid to North Korea. Along with this aid came many political conditions. Among these was how the aid was distributed. They placed these conditions on the aid to ensure the people in need of aid would receive it. After the 1980's crisis we continued to tighten restrictions, because the Government of North Korea was misusing the aid. The United States stopped sending Humanitarian aid to North Korea when it became evident that they were using the aid given, to further their nuclear program. This would endanger not only the United States, but many other countries that we are allies with. With this knowledge also came the realization that had the political conditions been more firm and were monitored more closely, this could have been avoided and the aid could still be given. This means political conditions can be used to ensure the aid is used for its intended purpose thus you negate.

4. A rights based approach to aid is humanizing.
P"ivi Koskinen Writes, "Human rights-based approach to humanitarian assistance " a tool to empower internally displaced women?" The Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation, 2006 what is then the added value of integrating a human rights-based approach into humanitarian assistance? Firstly, it is in the recognition and understanding that vulnerable groups, such as IDPs, are persons with rights, instead of viewing then as victims, as charity targets and beneficiaries. Secondly, the approach could help to make the whole process of assistance delivery more conscious and aware of its long-term consequences and by making relief and development actors accountable, also towards the people they are aiming to help. Thirdly, the human rights-based approach has implications for linking relief and development. Aristotelian virtue ethics says that the right course of action is always the median between two extremes. So, we can either give unconditional or no aid as the extremes. The middle course of action is to place conditions on the aid. This shows that I am achieving the goals of humanitarianism better than my opponent is so therefore you must negate.
msmith0126

Pro

msmith0126 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
DavidDavieson

Con

DavidDavieson forfeited this round.
msmith0126

Pro

msmith0126 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
DavidDavieson

Con

DavidDavieson forfeited this round.
msmith0126

Pro

msmith0126 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DavidDavieson 3 years ago
DavidDavieson
And by the way sorry for forfeiting the round, I was unable to get online at the time.
No votes have been placed for this debate.