The Instigator
ohnoyoulost
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
PartamRuhem
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points

President Obama was justified in intervening in Libya.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,737 times Debate No: 17469
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (7)

 

ohnoyoulost

Pro

He is, I will explain my case in the next round.
PartamRuhem

Con

I will take Con, and prove that President Obama was not justified in intervening in Libya. Good luck Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
ohnoyoulost

Pro

It was important for Obama to intervee in Libya because it helps spread democracthe muslim world, and Libya produces oil which is a vital resource for the U.S. Also, as the hegemon the U.S. has a moral obligation to help peple if it can. This intervention helps us and them so its very justified.
PartamRuhem

Con

I will take the lack of explanation on my opponents part to assume that she is just outlying contentions.

I will start my argument by defining some things my opponent left out.

Justified (in accordance to the Merriam-Webster dictionary): to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act done

This alone wins me the argument, seeing how Obama actually went against the law and by the War Powers Resolution by not issuing a report or getting permission from congress in regards to militarily intervening in Libya.

National Security- "National security is the ability to preserve the nation's physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders." *Thinking about national security: defense and foreign policy in a dangerous world.* Nowhere in my definition does it grant lawful reasoning to Obama's decision to intervene in Libya.

My contentions are as follows

1) President Obama's acted unconstitutionally

The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war and, implicitly, the power to decline to do so. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (http://www.loc.gov...) stipulates the president must get congressional approval to send American forces to combat zones beyond a 60-day timeframe. In March, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that seizing control of Libyan airspace would be an act of war. But since establishing the no-fly zone, the Obama administration has not specifically stated that the United States is at war with Libya.
"When there is no imminent threat to our country, he cannot launch strikes without authorization from the American people, through our elected representatives in Congress," wrote Representative Justin Amash, a freshman Republican of Michigan, on his Facebook page. "No United Nations resolution or Congressional act permits the president to circumvent the Constitution." (http://www.nytimes.com...) So it is justifiable that the President may use military force in events of immediate danger to our country, and according to Amash and many other representatives and otherwise, Libya isn't one of those dangers. Some of these representatives are Jerrold Nadler of New York, Barbara Lee of California and Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland.

2) Intervention in Libya is going to lead to more and more American intervention.

"We had better get this straight from the beginning, or there is going to be a situation in which war lingers on [in] country after country, situation after situation." stated Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana. He couldn't be more right. Hillary Clinton states her piece on the issue, saying "We are supporting a mission through NATO that was very much initiated by European requests, joined by Arab requests," Is using the American military for foreign goals a sufficient lawful reason for intervening in Libya? I don't see how it could possible be in the interests of National Security when the ones asking us to do it in the first place was a handful of foreign nations. This is also going to lead to a snowball effect of unjustifiable use of America's resources.

Think if you feed a dog at the table. NO matter the morsel you feed him, he will come back, most likely as soon as he is finished with your first offering, begging for more. Eventually, the dog won't even leave the table, sticking around and agitating for every bite. Is that at all justifiable? To lead American down that road? Our fore fathers would have been ashamed.

3) Libya is of no National Interest/Security to the United States
Going against his own reasons for justification by not backing those reasons up, Obama stated in his letter to Congress "Preventing a humanitarian disaster in Libya was in the best interest of...national security goals." And what exactly are these interests and goals? This is not to mention his statement during his campaign for the Presidency, in December, 2007. Barack Obama told The Boston Globe that "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." There is clearly no imminent threat to our nation with the cruelness of Moammar Gadhafi, being that it is within their own borders. While this is sad and not desirable, it isn't the job of the U.S. to step in on solely these grounds, making this unjustified and not in our National interests.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.

*Conclusion*
So multiple sources point to Libya being a sad story, but not a danger to the United states. How could the President possibly be justified in issuing military intervention without consent from Congress and without the cause of National Security? If you do consider this justified, then you might as well consider it justified for Obama to spit on the Constitution whenever he felt like helping out our buddies by not going to congress, whether its war or anything else. The intervention in Libya shows America to be the hand that feeds, and is actually going against our national security by using money we don't have on something we don't need.

I would have continued further on all my points, but I am trying to keep this simple for everyone. I await Pro's response, hopefully more detailed and intellectually put together.
Debate Round No. 2
ohnoyoulost

Pro

The intervention was not unlawful during the first 30 days of the intervention, and since the rsolution is about the initial intervention, Cons legal arguments fall. More U.S. intervention increases U.S. hegemony, which is a good thing. Libya IS of national interest. Establishing an oil producing democracy in the muslim world would be most beneficial for the U.S.
PartamRuhem

Con

So far, we can see Pro giving claims with NO factual support, NO sources, and honestly no merit. I will defend my position and then go on to my opponents "claims".

1) President Obama's acted unconstitutionally
Pro is trying to tear this down by saying that within the initial 30 days, in accordance to the War Powers Resolution, Obama was doing nothing wrong. Pro claims that the resolution was meant to focus on the initial intervention. But it quite clearly states "President Obama was justified in intervening in Libya". Not "President Obama was justified in the initial intervention in Libya". You can't change the topic once we have started debating, sorry. Also, it is past the initial 30 days....it's also past 60 days, and still nothing from the Obama administration. Therefore, my legal argument not only stands, but is left untouched.

2) Intervention in Libya is going to lead to more and more American intervention.
Pro has failed to even recognize this contention, so allow me a brief second to reiterate it's importance; American soldiers and resources, who are clearly in Libya for the gains of foreign nations, not for protecting democracy (if it was, are showing our Country to be the police of the world, someone you can just rely on to do all the work. Many countries allied with the U.S. have very small armies, because they know we will step in and defend them. Is it our job to spend our valuable American lives and resources? Because that's exactly what's happening. Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies, estimates the price. "Harrison estimated the cost of the no-fly zone after the first strikes are over at $30-100 million per week. " (http://www.alarabiya.net...)

3) Libya is of no National Interest/Security to the United States
Pro attacks my contention with the notion that Libya supplies all our oil, having some great leverage over us. It's simply not the case. In fact, Libya is very low on the level of oil the supply us with. They are not even on our list of top 15 oil importing countries, and are 17th on the list of top oil exporters (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...). With 16 other nations to get our oil from (us being one), how does it make sense to spend billions of dollars helping out the Libyans, when there is NO gain, despite what Pro claims.

Now on with my opponents position and points. I will sort them as such;
1. Spreading Democracy
2. Increase in U.S. hegemony

1. Spreading Democracy
Obama acted to protect fledgling democracies in the Arab world (and to protect Libyan civilians) but it's not clear what this doctrine implies with regards to other troubled states. For example, Burma (Myanmar) has one of the most repressive governments in the world and an incipient pro-Democracy group led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Millions of civilians have been displaced, brutalized, or killed, while Burma's neighbors are all struggling to become more democratic. It's reasonable to ask why hasn't the US formed an international coalition to topple the Burmese dictators? This leads to Pro's first point being invalid, and it falls.

2. Increase in U.S. hegemony
First of all, that's just a horrible reason to be invading a place. It sounds straight up dictatorial, and that's NOT justified under our constitution AT ALL. Neither is spending valuable American resources in the name of foreign influence justifiable. I refer to my definition of Justified (in accordance to the Merriam-Webster dictionary): to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act done. Is increasing U.S. influence a sufficient lawful reason? No, it's not. It's not even a good reason, let alone a lawful one. Completely unjustified. Secondly, stating that it's a matter of an increase for U.S. hegemony is not a priority level reason. If it was, we would be allowed to occupy and control foreign countries, issuing spheres of influences. Completely ludicrous.

|Conclusion|
All of the four sentences Pro posted are not back by any facts, and are just speculation and should be taken as such. I have refuted the points my opponent has made, and we all come to the conclusion that all my contentions held up, and every point I made about Obama being unjustified was valid, sourced, and completely relevant, while Pro's were the exact opposite.
I urge a Con vote for the three contentions: President Obama's acted unconstitutionally, Intervention in Libya is going to lead to more and more American intervention, and Libya is of no National Interest/Security to the United States.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
YYW
Read the following:

http://www.brookings.edu...

The WPR stipulates a 60 day period plus an additional 30 days for withdrawal (after the initial 60 days) if necessary. 30+60=90.

How does that apply? The president gets 90 de facto days to play in the sandbox, before he has to come home according to the WPR. If this is an area of law you are interested in you should enforcement issues, encroachments on commander in chief powers from article II, etc. to gain a higher understanding of the finer nuances of the WPR.
Posted by PartamRuhem 6 years ago
PartamRuhem
YYW, the spreading democracy and us hegemony were pro's points, not mine! I was trying to sort out her couple sentences into something more clear and that's what I got. Also, you might want to do your research on the WPR, because it's definitely not 90 days but 60, and it doesn't specify troops. I agree with you about Po having a plethora of facts she could have pulled, but she didn't. It would have made for a more interesting debate, to say the least.
Posted by PartamRuhem 6 years ago
PartamRuhem
YYW, the spreading democracy and us hegemony were pro's points, not mine! I was trying to sort out her couple sentences into something more clear and that's what I got. Also, you might want to do your research on the WPR, because it's definitely not 90 days but 60, and it doesn't specify troops. I agree with you about Po having a plethora of facts she could have pulled, but she didn't. It would have made for a more interesting debate, to say the least.
Posted by YYW 6 years ago
YYW
How anyone can loose this debate is mind-blowing. Not only were do the facts overwhelmingly favor PROs side, but so does logic and reason (as well as the US constitution, international law, and a UN Security Council resolution).

Con: Spreading democracy? Increasing US hegemony? Are you kidding me?

The president hasn't committed actual troops. No american lives are in danger and therefore this isn't an act of "hostility" as provided by the WPR. Moreover, (even if you have the audacity to accept the constitutionality of the WPR -which every president subject to it has contested) the WPR only requires the president to consult with congress prior to and after the introduction of US troops to hostilities. Again, no actual troops on the ground in Libya. We are only enforcing UN orders. Furthermore, congress only has the power to declare war. President has commander in chief authority. President can do whatever he wants for 90 days pursuant to the WPR -after that he gets to make his case to congress for funding.

As for "increasing US hegemony," I would remind CON that we aren't selling the Libyans American idealism. This was their own revolution. We (and the rest of the UN) are just preventing Gaddafi from killing his people and destroying his infrastructure.

Of course, none of that matters because PRO obviously didn't even bother to perform a simple google search... this was a comprehensively disappointing debate.
Posted by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
Pro is a bad debater PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS INDEED JUSTIFIED IN LIBYAN INTERVENTION.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by NextGenerationElephant 5 years ago
NextGenerationElephant
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: We shouldn't worry about what other nations are going through internally. This sticking our nose in their business will get us into trouble. It already has. To take it a step further, Libya was an illegal war because President Obama did not go to Congress to get a declaration of war. So he basically started an illegal and unconstitutional war. The resolution you speak of contradicts the constitution, therefore making it void. The President still has to follow the constitution and he did not.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Reasons for voting decision: oh no ohnoyoulost, you lost!
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
Double_R
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made no case.
Vote Placed by Yorble 6 years ago
Yorble
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: This is a clear choice. I mean, really? Look at the debate yourself if you don't believe me.
Vote Placed by thett3 6 years ago
thett3
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Clear. Too bad, this was an interesting topic.
Vote Placed by thejudgeisgod 6 years ago
thejudgeisgod
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Reasons for voting decision: neg wins. Aff's "case" was a joke.
Vote Placed by PARADIGM_L0ST 6 years ago
PARADIGM_L0ST
ohnoyoulostPartamRuhemTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This doesn't even require an explanation it's so self-explanatory and one-sided. CON, by a country mile!