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The Contender
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Resolved: Economic Sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/11/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 722 times Debate No: 12319
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LD Debate format please. Whoever becomes Neg (Con), just write n/a or forfeit the last round only for the purpose of staying to Lincoln-Douglas format. I wish my opponent good luck in the debate!

I affirm.
By all accounts, the holocaust was one of the most awful disasters in all of human history. Preisler:

"The change from civilization to death camp inmate was crushing. One could have died from that experience alone. Beatings and kicks, indulged in by the SS gave us a forewarning of things to come later. They treated us in an inhumane manner and forced us into constant motion in a "hurry up" manner. Many a prisoner was killed by them. The extermination of prisoners was aided by starvation levels of food rations. Hunger was the constant companion of all the prisoners. It was the cause of many diseases and was responsible for major changes in the prisoner's psyche."

The holocaust was, simply put, a crime against humanity – people were killed, others starved and diseased. But there is a new holocaust currently going on, in the world today. Sanctions are leading to mass starvation and death among innocent civilians, in addition to causing countries to violate human rights - just like the holocaust.

First, Definitions:
Economic Sanctions: restrictions on trade with a country in order to influence its political situation or to make its government change its policy. (

As the resolution specifies "ought not be" and not "ought never be," I do not have to prove that economic sanctions are undesirable in every single scenario, just that they are undesirable in general. If I prove the latter, then you must affirm.

I value morality, as the operative word in the resolution is the word ought, and morality is what tells us our obligations. (Merriam Webster)

The resolution implies national governments as the actor as only nations can have foreign policy objectives. Governments look at the pros and cons to make decisions. Therefore, my value criterion is maximising net benefits.

Contention 1: Sanctions harm innocent bystanders, leading to horrific casualties. McGann:

"Groups that have little interest in the issues over which the sender has sought to impose sanctions are likely to have expended little of their resources bargaining on their outcome. These "innocent bystanders," will be the groups most efficiently targeted by sanctions because their contribution to policy outcomes will be greater than other groups."

This means that the more effective sanctions are, the more innocent bystanders are harmed. The negative is caught in a so called Double Bind, as if sanctions are effective, innocent people are harmed, and if sanctions are ineffective, we shouldn't use them. If my opponent cannot prove this wrong then you must affirm by default.

Sub-Point A: Sanctions lead to high numbers of deaths. Mueller:

"Sanctions in Iraq have contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths. By 1998 Iraqi infant mortality had risen from the pre Gulf War rate of 3.7 percent to 12 percent. Inadequate food and medical supplies, as well as breakdowns in sewage and sanitation systems and in the electrical power systems needed to run them, reportedly caused an increase of 40,000 deaths annually of children under the age of 5 and of 50,000 deaths annually of older Iraqis."

This means that there were 90,000 deaths each year in Iraq due to sanctions, people who, like those forced into concentration camps, were innocent. And this scenario is replicated across the globe with high death tolls wherever sanctions are used. However this is but one of the horrible things sanctions cause.

Sub-Point B: Sanctions cause the targeted country to harshly violate rights, on top of the violations caused by the simple death toll. Peksen:

"The symbolic nature of sanctioning is perceived by the targeted political elites as a serious threat to their survival. By limiting their interaction with the outside world, sanctions weaken grassroots pro-democracy movements within the target. Use of coercion to induce political reforms such as respect for universal human rights and religious and ethnic rights of minority groups might also become detrimental to those groups seeking more rights and freedoms against the status quo regime."

This means that economic sanctions run counter to the often-used goal of "liberating" other countries from oppressive rule – as when sanctions are used, panicky political elites just act more oppressive. Overall, sanctions shouldn't be used to achieve foreign policy objectives when the goal is to maximise human rights, as it just leads to further harm.

Contention 2: Economic sanctions help cause terrorism. Fierke:

"If the loss of 3,000 lives on 9/11 was a trauma to the United States, how much more traumatic is the loss in Iraq of hundreds of thousands due to economic sanctions instigated by the U.S. and Britain? Widespread deaths, in the name of liberation, act as a source of deep anger, and an inspiration for new recruits."

This means that the more deadly sanctions are, the more they lead to terrorism – causing a vicious cycle. Sanctions will only lead to more terrorist attacks, which would be responded to, in the negative world, with more sanctions, causing terror and death. Both are undesirable under my value criterion of maximising net benefits.

Contention 3: Sanctions that fail lead to war because countries are expected to escalate once sanctions don't work. Lektzian & Sprecher:

"The sender nation, designs sanctions in a manner so that they will have minimal costs to themselves. This affects the signaling properties of sanctions and instead of signaling resolve, sends a signal of weakness on the part of the sender, making militarized conflict more likely. When states use sanctions in this manner, they run a greater risk of war because they also generate audience costs that make it more difficult for them to back down. As a result, when a sanction is observed, there is a significantly increased probability that a militarized dispute will also occur."

As sanctions lead to war anyway, they are useless in achieving foreign policy objectives. This means that sanctions are worse than just declaring war against the target, in terms of net benefits – because sanctions do not contribute anything else to foreign policy, they just lead to terrorism and death, especially of infants.

Overall, there is a new holocaust put in use today, and it is the deadly economic sanctions that do harm to innocent members of society – just like the holocaust. Economic sanctions have destroyed countless numbers of innocent lives and have results that have lead to the killings of countless more. Thus, I affirm.


I debated this topic awhile back and really enjoyed it. I dont have my exact case from back when this was the LD topic so i shall use another. Goodluck.

1 CX question; Is it moral to give weapons to terrorist?

To begin: "The Precondition to freedom is security." B/c i agree with Rand Beers i stand negated. To begin with i will offer two observations.

OB1) Because the resoution does not specify the agent of action it can be inferred that it will be the sanctioning government, furthmore the resoultion also doesnt state the size of the sanctions. Therefore Economic Sanctions can be unilateraly or mutilaterly imposed.

OB2) The affirmative must prove that economic sanctions are always and "Ought not" action. In other words the affirmative must prove that something within ES makes them alwasy an ought not action. On the other hand the negative must prove that ES are not inherently an action that ought not be done.

My Value: National Securtiy. Again the agent of action for this debate is government. A government is always looking at its own security as a paramount value, therefore we should as well. Without security Death and things like the holocacust could go on unchecked.

My criterion will be a CBA. We must see the harms and benefits of our actions to provide the best political situations.

Contention 1) Economic sanctions Ought to be used to stop the trading of weapons and preventing Proliferations.

A) Direct sanctions on Nuclear war materials.
If a nations foriegn policy objective were to stop other countries from obtaining nuclear weapons, the smartest course of action would be a mutillateral sanction on Enriched Uranium. If all the nuclear-capable countries of the world were to put a mutilateral sanction on a sole country it would be impossible to attain the resource. This would Save Billions of lives in the process and not harm a single innocent civilian. in this situation, ES are moral in that they save lives while doing no harm. A burdan is placed on the affirmative to prove how the sanction would be Immoral in this instance.

B) Indirect sanctions of weapons stops war.
A nation can use sanctions on resources in s economy to discourage the sanctioning country to not attain weapons, thus attaining its foriegn policy objective. Newsweek in 08' said "hitting the economy hard would force the mullahs to make a choice. Iran has profound economic vurnabilities. Smart Sanctions would force Iran's leaders to see the high cost of their behavior." Again a monolpy on scarce resources by the use of smart sanctions would save the lives of millions.

Your case!

To begin with, a real peeve of mine is how debaters always find a way to bring up the holocaust in debates. Then they use the suffering of those people as a symbol for how they should win debate. So,

The holocaust was the systematic murder of 6 millions jews in germany, or a real definiton:: a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life especially through fire. Economic sanctions are not systematic intentional ways of killing people. the ideas behind sanctions are to protect the public of both countries; in no way can ES, especially smart sanctions, lead to the mass intentional murders of innocent people. therefore this argument should fall.

On your first observation. You say that since the resoultion doesnt say "ought never be" then you only have to prove how ES, in general, suck. Well there are two flaws that statement.

1) Its impossible in this round to outline and debate every type of ES in the world to generalize it. You can not place limits on which sanctions we can or cant debate. that is simply unfair and abusive. You must defende The Entire Resoution in that it says, economic sanctions Ought not be used. cross apply my 2nd observation
2) Literature abuse. I cant research every sanction nor can i find evidence on ES "in general" which you havent defined. (by that i mean general) therfore we should be and will debate on specific ES such as smart sanctions.

Next. You imply a value of moraltiy, but first define morality. it is impossible to debate over subjective values such as morality. Who gets to define what is or isnt moral? I can offer an example.
" A train is running down the track with broken brakes, it has a choice. Throw one man out to stop the train and save the other 5 lives or crash and kill them all. the moral choice is throw the man ought to save the lives."
now same example "A healthy man walks into a hospital, 5 people are on their beds in dire need of 5 essential organs, would the moral choice again be, to kill the one man in order to save the other 5?"

Therfore your value can not be affirmed b/c it cannot stand nor be competed against since it is subjective.

your criterion; i agree CBA is the way to go BUT should be used to achieved something far more calcuable and objective. National securtiy.

Also in general on your framework; if economic sanctions were not imposed and nuclear weapons were to fall into the hands of an evil regime, would the lives of million compare to your 40,000 your mueller cards is indicitive of?

your Contention 1)
There is no link from the negative to this argument. the use of smart sanctions on enriched uranium would

1) not harm a single innocent person, also no one would die PERIOD
2) save the lives of millions, thus being moral. it is a more moral decision to NOT give terrorist weapons

Contention 2) your evidence is extrremly non specific to sanctions and just refers to the US trying to help in general
1) there is no link to this argument
2) the neg controls the Internal link to this argument. If terrorist were unable to obtain weapons then terrorism would stop
3) If you vote AFF terrorism will still happen in general, dont read impacts you cant solve

Lastly Contention 3) still no linik. Smart sanctions help prevent war and do not cause violence in any country. the use of smart sanctions on a rogue regime will, if anything prevent war, therefore the neg also controls the impacts to this argument along with the internal link.

So in general, My framework is the only one that can be evaluated since i am the only one that can be achieve it. In the aff world, terrorist and evil regimes would obtain weapons and kill million, thus being immoral. His criterion is cool and DOESNT achieve his value while achieveing mine. And if Smart sanctions save lives, cause no harm to innocent civilians, stop war, and dont link to any of his contentions and in fact impact and internal link turn all of his arguments then you should negate. I will provde more analysis in my next speech since i ran outta room:( sorry for the spelling too:P
Debate Round No. 1


Roadmap speech will be NC and then AC. Please denote arguments as important if they have an "EXTEND" at the end.


A. Framework/Standards

OB2) My opponent's observation


I respect my opponent's choice of his value and criterion. However, I will later go on to say why he cannot use his criterion to achieve the value. This will be done by taking out his contention level arguments.

Contention 1: Sanctions should be used to stop weapons trading and proliferations.

A) Direct Sanctions/Nuclear War Materials

My opponent claims that if countries wanted to obtain nuclear weapons, the most appropriate course to take would be to impale a multilateral sanction on enriched uranium. While I do respect my opponent's attempt at the argument, there are two major flaws with this.

First of all, where is the warrant, or piece of evidence, that justifies the claim? In LD Debate, in order for any argument to count, you must have a claim, warrant, and impact. While he as a claim and an impact, he lacks a warrant to prove why this situation would be true. In other words, how do we know through real-world applications that Enriched Uranium would actually fuel national proponents to sanction the country that is holding that particular Uranium. Also, how do we know that this sanction would not harm a single person, as my opponent claims. This argument is entirely redundant now in the round and henceforth, is discarded. (EXTEND)

Secondly, I can fulfill the burden he placed in the last sentence of the sub-point. The reason why his course of action is completely immoral is because by sanctioning a country, you are effectively controlling their behavior and thus, expressing a behavioral quality of dictatorship. To justify this, first refer back to my definition of sanctions. My opponent dropped this definition so you can assume that he agrees with the definition. My definition states that a government will make a country change a certain policy or political situation via sanctions. By him placing a sanction on Uranium, you are acting like a dictator to that regime by making them change their policy. (EXTEND)

B) Indirect Sanctions of Weapons Ends War

The claim here that he makes is that a certain nation can use sanctions to blockade resources in another country's economy to discourage the procurement of weapons. He then warrants this by giving an example from Newsweek on how the Iranian leaders would see the cost of their behavior.

First of all, what did these Iranian leaders do that made them deserve such economic aggression. My opponent is essentially forcing the Iranians to be given punishment when he has not even said what they did to actually inherit this unjust treatment. Secondly, my opponent believes that specifically smart sanctions would force the Iranian government to suffer the right amount but throughout the AC part of this speech, I will show why smart sanctions are bad.

At the end, he says that using a monopoly on resources would save millions of lives. However, he has failed to point out what Iran's people are suffering from. Why are they receiving the sanctions in the first place? If there is no reason that he can provide, then you must affirm by default. (EXT)

As you can see, because I have successfully proven why his contentions are fundamentally flawed, his criterion can not operate in a manner such that it will achieve national security.


A. Framework/Standards

He makes this argument against my Holocaust quote that the Holocaust was not like economic sanctions. The justification comes here where he says that sanctions are not intentionally supposed to murder people. My opponent completely misunderstands this because I am actually not making an argument. What I am saying is that economic sanctions are very similar to the death tolls that occurred during the Holocaust, not that they were intentional. I agree that sanctions are not intended to harm people, but those are the results. And since my criterion wants to achieve a utilitarian type environment, then sanctions are bad because they harm many people. (EXTEND)

Observation 1: He says that I cannot prove why economic sanctions are bad in general.

1) He says that I am placing limits on the types of sanctions that we are discussing. This is entirely a false statement. What I am saying is that I am proving that a certain quality or characteristic exists in every sanction, in general, that actually make them an "ought not" action, as he stated himself. I am not limiting the resolution to a certain type of sanction so there is no reason he will have to run theory debate.
2) Literature Abuse: He claims that I have not provided economic sanctions in general. This claim is entirely false again. If you look at the AC near the beginning, you will see that I have clearly defined what sanctions are. Now in the end, he claims that we should debate about specific sanctions, like Smart Sanctions. Now, he actually creates the abuse he was trying to go against. He is limiting the resolution to only one type of sanction, a smart sanction, which is very unjust. (EXTEN)

V: Morality

My opponent believes I have not defined morality, but once again, look up at the top. It says that it tells us what our obligations are depending on the word "ought." Then he says that there is no single entity that can tell us what our morals are. Well there are many examples that can tell us about morals such as the U.S. Constitution, Bible, or any other scripture that contains lessons. In the end though, people will believe what they want to believe, but governments ultimately will be the "agent of action" as my opponent states in his observation. (EXTEND)

C: Net Benefits

We have more or less the same criterion but he says that mine will achieve his. However, I have already shown why his criterion, which means my criterion as well, cannot achieve the value. (EXTEND)

He makes a small claim that if sanctions were not imposed, terrorism would occur and that would outweigh the Mueller cards. However, throughout this round, he has not provided any evidence to justify this position and therefore, this argument must fall. (EXTEND)

C1: He claims again that smart sanctions on enriched uranium would do the 2 things he said (see last speech). However, he does not provide evidence to successfully prove that smart sanctions would not cause anyone to die or that it would save millions. (EXTEND)

C2: He claims this card will encourage terrorism with a vote for the Affirmative. However, he made the false claim that it was non specific and the fact the U.S. is helping makes sanctions worse. (EXTEND)

C3: Again, no evidence for smart sanctions to say that they actually have helped in the real-world and therefore, he cannot make such speculations. (EXTEND)

He has not made any extensions to score points on arguments, so please vote Affirmative. Thank you


I will go in the same order.

(NC) V/C He consedes in saying my value and criterion are great, only that i cant achieve them. Therfore i will prove not only how i can achieve them but HOW HE CANT ACHIEVE HIS. Basically if my case still stands then i win.

Contention 1)
A) My oppenent basically dumbs down the debate by trying to explain how arguments work. I am fully aware of how debate goes and argumentation in LD. It is not my fault that he didnt understand the warrent in my claim of that argument i will reitterate slowly. CLAIM - Having US/China/Russia(and other nuclear capable states) withholding, in unison, enriched uranium from Iraq....then WARRENT it would be impossible for Iraq to obtain nuclear weapons because they dont have the resources. Finally the IMPACT is - IF you vote AFF then places like Iraq or terrorists will be free to gain nuclear weapons from everyone and blow lots of people up. THIS IS IMMORAL and why my oppenents frameworks falls. He failed to answer my CX question....for whatever it is safe to assume he agrees with me that giving WMDs to terrorists regimes to immoral therefore his framework falls. Finally he says that my claim is bad b/c there isnt evidence, that is because there isn' the time we have to post our arguements we dont have enought time to search the world or the internet for Extremly RARE evidence. People just dont write about ES and mutilateral ones on Iraq for enriched uranium. Lastly my analytical arguments are winning this debate alone. Dont let him try and weasal out and win by saying i dont have evidence. He hasnt explained why my warrents ought to be rebuttled or proved how Nation Security would not be achieved if we were to prevent WMDs from terrorist.

Secondly, he says because ES control the behaviors of other countries that they are immoral. Is it also immoral to prevent your child from playing with fire or drugs, or for your co-worker to steal money? There are behaviors that Ought to be stopped. in this resoultion the answer is nuclear weapons. Like i said, he failed to answer the CX question. If anything this argument should flow my way is proving how controlling a Evil regime's behavior by not selling them WMDs would be not only benefitial(my criterion) in achieving National Security(my value) and thus being moral(his value). Not only does voting neg achieve the framework of the neg but also of the AFF. The Aff doesnt even get to achieve his value becuase in the aff world everyone gets to do whatever they want, lets say obtain WMDs, and blow people up..but thats moral right? cause they got to choice their actions.

Subpoint B) he makes a bunch of "in my opinion" and "I personally, dont see how this would work" but Ironical doesnt have evidence to back this up. He says that Iraqis dont have reason to deserve these, but by pressuring citizens economically, not by violence or any deaths, the regimes and terrorists will be forced to give up their persuit of WMDs to save themselve.

My entire case still stands, he hasnt attacked anything but the claims with weak arguments about argumentation and the fact that there is little evidence. My entire case still achieves my framework, unlike his, and all the warrents still occur and solve. My impacts of nuclear war also O/W his. So im winning my case.

(AC)The holocaust thing wasnt an argument..i was pointing out how ignorant people are and how it has no link to this debate. You proved it.

Group His observation Arguments------------

The abuse is simple. He didn't define GENERAL not sanctions. How do i know which sanctions are GENERAL or not. The reolution does not say IN GENERAL simply Economic Sanctions. Therefor it is only fair to me to be able to debate over any sanctions i choose so, and debate against the sanctions my oppenent brings up. This abuse argument should flow my way.

His value - nothing you said in the rebuttal had anything to do with what i said in my attacks.
1) you didnt define MORAL, you defined OUGHT. there is a huge difference(extend my example which he conseded)
2)morals are subjectives, what my oppenent, and the people judgeing the round might have different morals..who is to say whose morals ought to be achieved and whose morals ought to be disregarded. this is a contradiction to his argument made against my second subpoint. so this should flow my way
3) Giving WMDs and Weapons to terrorists is IMMORAL. in the aff world there are deaths by the millions and terrorists get weapons b/c my oppenent thinks they should do whatever they want.
4) MY framework Solves the entire AFF case. Not giving weapons to terrorists and saving millions of lives is moral, thus achieving his Framework.

Finally his Case----

C1) didnt respond to any arguments. Should immediately flow all his contentions my way. All he says is "no evidence so i win" But
1) there doesnt need to be evidence, analyticals prove. If we dont sell Enriched URanium to Iraq, WHO WILL DIE? no one. there is your evidence.
2) he didnt respond to the warrent in my attack so he consedes how smart sanctions not only harm no ONE look up^
but also save millions by not giving weapons to terrorists. thus being moral and perserving the national security of all nations.

C2) No link - smart sanctions on Enriched Uranium would not Encourage terrorism but PREVENT it thus solving his case, and being moral. his evidence is non specific to my case and just proves how you dont need evidence to make claims against arguments.

C3) Again he still consedes everything by only saying i dont have a card, but like i said the entire round. The best argument are explained analyticals with good warrents. which a gave therfore he conseded his contention and proves that i win his case since my case solves his framework.

VOTERS (please take into consideration)
1) MY entire case stills stands, he didnt read any evidence against it (right cause he has too?).
2) All the warrents still stand. Stop selling enriched uranium, save lives, no one is hurt. your moral and achieve security.
3) My impacts Outweigh his. If anyone were to die from Smart sanctions or sanctions in general (ill give him that) then the deaths of that do not come close to the Millions if not Billions in nuclear war.
4) I achieve my framework. Simple. No weapons in terrorist hands=security (and moral flow my way:) )
5) His case falls b/c he didnt respond to the arguments and would say one sentance as in "no evidence still stands" but didnt respond to the warrents. so he consedes they fall and he doesnt have a case.
6) you arent moral if YOU GIVE WEAPONS TO TERRORISTS. its simply. he conseded this by not answering the CX questions. and i actually achieve his value by saving lives and harming no one.

My case stands, I acheive my Framework. He case went conseded, cant achieve value.
(Dont let him make anymore evidence arguments...its an unwarrented stupid argument that wasnt impact, default neg)
Debate Round No. 2


savvyboy781 forfeited this round.


Looks like he forfeits:( oh well vote
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by Valtarov 6 years ago
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