The Instigator
twsurber
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
LB628
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Resolved: Economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
LB628
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,385 times Debate No: 10740
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

twsurber

Pro

SOR: I affirm the resolution as stated.
VP: Justice
VC: Human Rights. "As the performance of our duties of every kind depends on life, and the performing them with vigor and efficacy depends upon health, we are very strongly affected with whatever threatens the destruction of either. Burke"

C-1: Economic sanctions are unjust in regard to human rigths beacuse they have a history of ineffectiveness, thereby wasting time and effort. Further, who is to say that the imposing nation (s) are in the right? It is entirely possible that they are imposing sanctions for reasons other than what they were declared, thus infringing upon the rights and freedoms of human beings.

C-2: Citizens of the country (ies) being sanctioned often bear the brunt of suffering while the intended targets enjoy status quo. This too is unjust in regard to Human Rights. The underlying premise is that the citizens will tire of any depravities, and thus either demand change or effect a change of leadership to alleviate their suffering. Either way, it often unjustly puts citizens in harm's way directly or indirectly. "Leaders often obtain things they need from other sources sympathetic to their cause, while their people continue to suffer those comforts. Orwell"

C-3: Sanctions also affect the citizens of the imposing nation (s) in the form of lost trade, and hurt feelings. Not only do they lose trade and capital, it also affects the symbiance and interelational harmony amongst nations. Nations will be forced to choose one side or the other, or attempt to ignore the situation by remaning neutral. This choice is humanely unjust to the citizens of countries because nations will likely harbor feelings of resentment toward one side or the other.

Thanks to my opponent in advance!
LB628

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for this debate, and hope it will prove interesting and fruitful.

Based on the resolution, and the format of my opponents case, I presume this will be debated in an Lincoln-Douglas format, and hope voting will be based around that premise.

I will begin by presenting my own case, and then rebut my opponents.

I negate the resolved, that "economic sanctions ought not be used to achieve foreign policy objectives".

The resolution uses the term ought, which indicates that an obligation exists to not use economic sanctions. Because every person has different obligations, and to different people, we need to determine whose obligations we are discussing. Because the actor in the resolution is a state, it must be the state who has an obligation regarding economic sanctions. We therefore need to analyze the obligations of the state, to determine if they prohibit economic sanctions. Because a state is considered illegitimate when it violates its obligations, my value is governmental legitimacy. The obligations of a state are outlined in the social contract. John Locke explains the basic tenets of the contract "Whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any common-wealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those laws; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws, or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end, but the peace, safety, and public good of the people." Given that the obligations of a state are to its citizens and only to its citizens, the effect of economic sanctions on the obligations of the state must be evaluated in terms of the impact on the citizens. Because the ultimate goal of all foreign policy objectives is to secure the safety of the citizenry, either directly, or by advancing their interests, my value criterion is maximizing the safety of citizens.

Observation 1: The affirmative must show that there is an obligation to never use economic sanctions. Simply demonstrating that some sanctions have been poorly implemented is not a justification of the total banning of sanctions.

Contention 1: Economic sanctions can increase the safety of citizens.
Subpoint A: Economic sanctions deny weapons to military threats and undercut dangerous regimes.
By limiting the resources entering and exiting a given country, economic sanctions reduce the possibility of a military buildup, particularly in the area of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. David Cortright and George Lopez write "Most analysts argued prior to the Iraq war -- and, in many cases, continue to argue -- that sanctions were a failure. In reality, however, the system of containment that sanctions cemented did much to erode Iraqi military capabilities. Sanctions compelled Iraq to accept inspections and monitoring and won concessions from Baghdad on political issues such as the border dispute with Kuwait. They also drastically reduced the revenue available to Saddam, prevented the rebuilding of Iraqi defenses after the Persian Gulf War, and blocked the import of vital materials and technologies for producing WMD[s]. The unique synergy of sanctions and inspections thus eroded Iraq's weapons programs and constrained its military capabilities. The renewed UN resolve demonstrated by the Security Council's approval of a "smart" sanctions package in May 2002 showed that the system could continue to contain and deter Saddam. Unfortunately, only when U.S. troops invaded in March 2003 did these successes become clear: the Iraqi military that confronted them had, in the previous twelve years, been decimated by the strategy of containment that the Bush administration had called a failure in order to justify war in the first place." By removing access to revenue and material, the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq drastically reduced its war making capabilities.

Cortright and Lopez give further examples "In Cambodia, sanctions, combined with UN peacekeeping and election assistance isolated the Khmer Rouge and effected a democratic transition in an atmosphere of internal peace.
In the Yugoslavia wars, sanctions exerted effective bargaining leverage to convince Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic to moderate his war aims in Bosnia and pursue negotiations that led to the Dayton peace accords. And the more targeted financial sanctions imposed after the Kosovo war no doubt contributed to the demise of support for Milosevic in the elections of October that have replaced him. In Libya, sanctions contributed to a settlement of the dispute over the trial of terrorists suspected of bombing Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. According to the U.S. State Department, they persuaded the Quaddafi regime to reduce its support for international terrorism." Sanctions, therefore, are a useful tool in the diplomatic toolkit, and one which can increase the safety of a nations citizenry. Therefore, the use of sanctions should not be banned, because they can help protect citizens, by limiting the danger posed by a militaristic enemy, and thus enable a nation to uphold its obligations to its citizens, and therefore maintain its legitimacy as a government.

I will now address my opponents case

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Starting with the value debate.
My opponent provides no link between justice and the resolution, and does not explain how upholding justice proves the resolution true. I, on the other hand, do. We should therefore prefer my value.

My opponent does not provide a link between human rights and justice, or explain how upholding human rights upholds justice. We should therefore use my value criterion because it links to the value.

C-1:
1: No impact. My opponent never indicates how sanctions damage human rights, other than saying that they "have a history of ineffectiveness". This does not indicate harm to human rights. Neither does "sanctions being imposed for reasons other than what they were declared".

2: Disproven. Human rights do not have a history of ineffectiveness. As demonstrated by my second quote from Cortright and Lopez, they have been used effectively many times.

C-2:
1: The intended targets are the citizens.

2: No demonstration of damage to human rights. Simply saying that citizens are being harmed by sanctions does not indicate human rights are being harmed.

C-3
1: I accept that sanctions do harm the sanctioning country somewhat.

2: I would like my opponent to provide examples or evidence that sanctions create resentment. There is nothing forcing nations to chose one side or the other, and even if there were, that occurs with any international issue. Nothing about sanctions is unique in that respect.

3: "Resentment" is not a violation of human rights. There is no impact here.

In conclusion, economic sanctions are useful and effective diplomatic tools. My opponent has not shown them to be damaging to human rights, while I have shown them to be helpful in keeping citizenry safe.

I eagerly await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 1
twsurber

Pro

Ought is not a hard and fast, written in stone kinda thing, but rather a suggestion. It implies that if better alternatives existed, then they should be used in place of sanctions.

Opponent's VC = Government legitimacy
I'm not sure that I agree a state is illegitimate if it violates it's obligations. That is a powerful accusation to denounce the existence of a nation simply because something wasn't achieved. Whose measuring stick would we be using to determine legitimacy? What state hasn't failed at one point or another in some obligation? Does that make them any more or any less legitimate? Defining government legitimacy in a way that all agree upon could be an arduous undertaking.

Opponent's VC = Maximizing the safety of citizens

I do not necessarily need to prove that sanctions should never be used, but merely that if better options existed, they should be used to achieve the same end.

Due to the historical lack of success of sanctions, what other options have we? The elephant in the room is the 2 edged sword of war. Like a fistfight at school, fighting doesn't necessarily resolve the issue at hand unless the issue is who happened to be handier with their fists on that particular day.

When a stronger country attacks and defeats another country, then further still imposes their will upon them, they have indeed achieved the same thing that sanctions were meant to achieve. Does it protect human rights or the safety of citizens? Again, we encounter the 2 edged sword. In conflict not only will militants be killed and property be destroyed, but also people will suffer collateral damage. It is unavoidable. Then we have to determine if the ends outweigh the means. In the long term, a corrupt government that would ignore sanctions would be quelched and replaced by a more conducive government. Thus, people from all nations would enjoy safety, human rights, and it would prove to be just in the long term.

Justice is achieved when human rights are realized. Again this statement opens Pandora's box if human rights are not checked. Thomas Jefferson once said the right to swing one's fist stops before the tip of another person's nose.

C-1 rebuttal
Sanctions damage human rights because they effectively put restraints upon people's human rights. Also, sanctions imposed for reason other than declared imply a hidden agenda that could be used for personal gain. This would violate human rights and be unjust.

Part 2 of my C-1 challenge appears to have been typo'd. Please rephrase if you meant Sanctions instead of human rights. No drops.

C-2 rebuttal
1. The intended targets of sanctions should not be citizens, but rather the policies of the government. Unfortunately, the citizens are the one's most often affected by sanctions, which would in fact diminish their human rights. An example may be something like this: A country that depends upon the sale of crude oil for it's livelihood has a sanction placed against it barring the sale of crude oil until they comply with a demand to stop mistreating an indigenous ethnic group within it's borders. The build up of unsold oil could cause economic concerns. Further, the available capital would diminish causing a recession. Citizens would not be able to afford basic food staples, medical care, clothing, etc. This would cause suffering and a loss of their human rights which would also be unjust, per my VP/VC.

C-3 rebuttal:
An example of causing resentment would be the Falkland Islands. The USA was on good terms with both Great Britain and Argentina. GB had control of the Falkland Islands which were off the coast of Argentina, literally thousands of miles away from GB. When the disagreement between AR and GB escalated, they both sought the USA to side with them. Americans of Latin descent would have likely sided with Argentina. Anglo Saxons would have likely sided with GB. Ultimately, the USA sided with GB and Gb won the conflict. To this day there is resentment from Argentina toward the USA.

The Argentineans may have wondered why GB insisted upon having control of something so far away that was their own backyard so to speak. They may have felt that their human rights were being violated, which was unjust to them, thus extending my VP/VC.

Thanks so much! Surbs
My opponent provided some nice examples of protecting people by limiting the flow of weapons. In one sense any country has the right to defend itself, and disallowing the procurement of arms would obviously degrade that capability. When a country cannot defend itself, it becomes more vulnerable, which backs up my VP/VC of protecting human rights. Further, to refute my opponent's contention, when sanctions are put in place, the temptation to defy the sanctions becomes stronger. Not only will countries that do not support the sanction continue to freely trade with the country being sanctioned, but also, the country being sanctioned will attempt to obtain the restricted items from the black market.

We would like to think that the safety of citizens would be better protected, however, as I illustrated, the threat may not be decreased at all.
LB628

Con

"Ought is not a hard and fast, written in stone kinda thing, but rather a suggestion. It implies that if better alternatives existed, then they should be used in place of sanctions."

Then it seems you should provide some alternative to sanctions to indicate they should not be used.

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"I'm not sure that I agree a state is illegitimate if it violates it's obligations. That is a powerful accusation to denounce the existence of a nation simply because something wasn't achieved. Whose measuring stick would we be using to determine legitimacy? What state hasn't failed at one point or another in some obligation? Does that make them any more or any less legitimate? Defining government legitimacy in a way that all agree upon could be an arduous undertaking."

A states obligations are broad, mainly to do with protecting its people. While a state obviously cannot help it if it sometimes fails, the issue has primarily to do with intent. If the state does not intend to do the best it can, and act as best it can to carry out those intentions, it has failed in its obligations. Perhaps I should have phrased it differently, but the broad point remains.

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"When a stronger country attacks and defeats another country, then further still imposes their will upon them, they have indeed achieved the same thing that sanctions were meant to achieve. Does it protect human rights or the safety of citizens? Again, we encounter the 2 edged sword. In conflict not only will militants be killed and property be destroyed, but also people will suffer collateral damage. It is unavoidable. Then we have to determine if the ends outweigh the means. In the long term, a corrupt government that would ignore sanctions would be quelched and replaced by a more conducive government. Thus, people from all nations would enjoy safety, human rights, and it would prove to be just in the long term."

What would be just in the long term. Military conflict? If that achieves the same thing as sanctions, but with more violence, how is that more just?

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C-1:
How do sanctions put restraints on human rights? What sanctions are restrained. I see no damage to property, life or liberty from a simple refusal of trade.

An agenda of personal gain does not mean someones rights have been violated. It requires action to harm rights, and the actions do not harm rights, whatever the motives.

While part 2 was incorrectly quoted by me, I do not believe I misrepresented it, and the point remains. The reason for imposing sanctions has nothing to do with their impact on rights.

C-2: What you seem to be saying is that people have a human right to force others to trade with them, regardless of whether they want to or not. If that were not true, I hardly see how you could derive harms to human rights from a refusal to trade. No one has the right to force others to trade, without regard for their desires.

C-3: I concede that resentment occurs. There remain two things which need to be explained. 1: How is this different from any other international issue. In any situation where people take sides it will cause resentment.
2: Resentment is not a human rights violation. Feeling that your human rights have been violated does not make them violated. I may feel my rights are violated because you refuse to give me money, but that does not make them so.

Value: My opponent has not yet explained how we can evaluate whether or not sanctions should be used in terms of sanctions. Because he has not done that, but I have explained how governmental legitimacy can be used to evaluate the the resolution, we should evaluate the round in terms of governmental legitimacy.

Value Criterion: My opponent has yet to link human rights to justice or governmental legitimacy. Until he does so, we should evaluate the round based on how well sanctions protect the citizenry of the sanctioning nation.

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"Further, to refute my opponent's contention, when sanctions are put in place, the temptation to defy the sanctions becomes stronger. Not only will countries that do not support the sanction continue to freely trade with the country being sanctioned, but also, the country being sanctioned will attempt to obtain the restricted items from the black market."

The temptation to deny sanctions cannot exist before they are put in place. While countries can obtain restricted items on the black market, they are harder to obtain, more expensive, and take longer to get. The overall effect remains. Flow of restricted items is reduced.
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In conclusion, I have shown that we need to evaluate the round based on governmental legitimacy and the safety of citizens. I have further demonstrated that sanctions can reduce the flow of weapons, and help defend against unstable or militaristic foreign powers. My opponent has not been able to demonstrate the injustice of sanctions, or provide a better alternative, as he said he should.

I await my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 2
twsurber

Pro

2AR

ALTERNATIVES
Other alternatives include but are not limited to: diplomacy, and non-violent trade boycotts. While similar in intent, a well-organized, coalitional trade boycott would effectively serve the same without the violence. A group of nations would merely freeze financial assets and cut off all trade. Ideally, participating nations that supply needs to the boycotted country would be included. A true sanction would have to be enforced by military/police members with weapons. Let's examine some of the tasks necessary to enforce a true sanction.

A) All mail incoming to the sanctioned country would have to be opened and inspected.
B) All vehicles would have to be stopped and inspected.
C) All travelers & luggage, both arriving & leaving would have to be inspected.
D) All aircraft coming and going would have to be inspected.
E) All seagoing both coming and going would have to be inspected.

COUNTER
While a nation may presume that they are protecting their citizens by imposing a sanction, they are also depriving them of trade and capital from the sanctioned nation. Further, given the above assets necessary to enforce a sanction, they would have to put many of their citizens in harm's way to do it. That is not only costly, but also counterproductive.

LONG TERM
If diplomacy fails, the long term solution may have to be removal of the corrupt leaders/government by force. However unpleasant as that may prove to be, all future relations would be tranquil, thereby making the long term solution more viable.

OP C-1:
Depending on what items were being sanctioned, it could have a catastrophic effect on human rights. If the restricted items included food, clothing, medicine, & needed building materials then human rights of mere existence would placed in grave danger, moreover, UNJUST.

If sanctioned items were technology, raw materials, textiles, or base items; at the very least, citizens in those industries of the country being sanctioned would lose their employment security, and the primary means to earn their living. This would lead to hardship in their right to earn a living.

OP C-2: I concur and stipulate that no one has the right to force trade upon another. I'm not really sure where you intended to go with this one.

OP C-3: Resentment can last for generations. Sanctions put otherwise neutral countries between a rock and a hard place.

OP VPC: Governmental legitimacy is in the eyes of the beholder and is quite subjective if not completely enigmatic. Further, his criterion is double speak. While sanctions may indeed protect their citizens, they also cause harm and hardship upon their citizens.

FINAL COMMENT
When countries are not in compliance, they know that sanctions usually follow failed diplomacy. Therefore they CAN begin preparations to deny sanctions that are likely sure to follow. While they may obtain needed items, they must do so at great risk and great cost.

MY CONCLUSION:
I have shown my opponent's case to be as full of holes as an economic sanction. Historically, economic sanctions have proven to be largely unsuccessful at best, and at times, embarrassingly disastrous. Further, as I stated, economic sanctions are unjust to all parties, impractical, and violate human rights. For these reasons, I respectfully request that the judges vote AFF/PRO.

I wish to thank my opponent for an excellent debate!

In L-D fashion, there is no such thing as a 2NR, therefore further discussion should be disregarded.
LB628

Con

In his previous speech, my opponent states that additional negative arguments should be disregarded because there are no additional negative arguments in a Lincoln-Douglas debate. While he is correct, given that he has provided new arguments in his last rebuttal, I ask that these arguments be discarded as well, or that my responses be given weight.

One of the alternatives my opponent provides is "non-violent trade boycotts". Such an action would be an economic sanction. While he states a number of requirements for a true economic sanction, this list makes no sense when the definition of an economic sanction is examined, "Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country (or group of countries) on another for a variety of reasons" from http://en.wikipedia.org..., or "international agreements to restrict trade with any nation that all agree are acting in an unacceptable manner" from http://www.edukits.ca.... This alternative is therefore not an alternative at all.

The other alternative, diplomacy, has two problems. First, an economic sanction is a diplomatic action, not a military one, and second, my opponent provides no evidence with of the efficacy of diplomatic action, nor does he explain how it is better than economic sanctions.

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Counter
While I agree some damage will be done to the sanctioning country, such damage is minimal. How much damage has the North Korean sanctions actually done to the United States, for example? Practically none, but they have had a devastating effect on North Korea.

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C-1: My opponent has responded to neither of my arguments against contention one. His arguments in this contention were that economic sanctions are ineffective, and may be imposed for hidden reasons. As I pointed out, neither of this indicates damage to human rights, and sanctions have been shown to be effective.

His response perhaps belongs better under contention 2.

C-2: Again, my opponent assumes that forcing others to trade with you is a human right. Regardless of whether or not others have food and I do not, I have no right to take their food from them, and I have no right to force them to trade their food to me. Given that such a right does not exist, I fail to see how it can be violated.

C-3: Yes resentment can last for generations. I have never denied this. I have denied that such resentment is a humans rights violation, and I pointed out that this occurs with any international issue. You have not refuted these statements.

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Value: While I agree that the view of the legitimacy of a government can change from person to person, that change results from how those people view how well the government has fulfilled its obligations, which simply proves my point that a government which does not fulfill its obligations is illegitimate.

Value Criterion: My opponent has not provided a reason why protecting citizens is a bad standard for obligations, but has simply stated that I do not fulfill it, a claim which I disprove on the contentional level.

Therefore, this round should be evaluated by which side is best able to protect the citizens of the sanctioning nation.

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In my own case, I provide 5 clear examples of sanctions being used effectively, in some cases ending wars, or preventing future ones. These examples have never been disputed, and serve as clear evidence of the use of sanctioning.

In my opponents case, I have disproved claim of human rights violations he put forth, and shown that sanctions are effective measures.

Because my opponent supports the total removal of these useful tools, and I have demonstrated them to be effective in protecting a nations citizenry, and therefore upholding governmental legitimacy, and proving that there is no obligation to ban sanctions, I urge a Con ballot.

I would like to thank my opponent for this most entertaining and useful debate.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by LB628 6 years ago
LB628
The new arguments I was talking about were the alternatives, which had not been provided before, and the specification about what was required for an economic sanction.
Posted by twsurber 6 years ago
twsurber
Wow, a 2NR. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Posted by twsurber 6 years ago
twsurber
Sky ace, What new arguments? I merely responded to or clarified questions that I was asked, otherwise they would have been drops. Surely a superstar L-Der such as yourself would rather me respond to challenges or clarify them rather than drop them right? :o)
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
Con as soon as I saw your final round post I was about to vote Pro, because I don't appreciate people not following LD format, but Pro you are not allowed to make new arguments in the 2AR. If anything I find that more insulting to LD than what Con did.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
Nevermind...they started getting too it in Round 2.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
Though I do kinda get Con's link to the resolution...atleast it is clearer than Pro's.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
Neither side in their case proves that Economic Sanctions are the best thing to "achieve foreign policy objectives", you just argue are they good or bad. You should try to worry less about are they good or bad and just worry about whether compared to other methods, LIKE WAR, are they better or worst.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Bump this up to 72 hours, and I've got it.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, BANANA PHONE!!
I've got this feeling, so appealing,
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by LB628 6 years ago
LB628
twsurberLB628Tied
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Vote Placed by twsurber 6 years ago
twsurber
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Vote Placed by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
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Vote Placed by mcala7 6 years ago
mcala7
twsurberLB628Tied
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