The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
25 Points

Resolved: That the United States should intervene in another nation's struggle for democracy.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,143 times Debate No: 16928
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (5)




This is a PF debate. Anyone accepting this debate will be expected to know the rules of PF (including reliability of sources, what a crossfire is etc.). Round 1 will be speech 1, plus any questions my opponent has that need to be answered. Round 2 will be crossfire 1. Round 3 will be speech 2, and round 4 will be crossfire 2. Round 5 will be final focus.
1. Democracy may not be the best form of government for certain countries.
2. Democracy in other nations is none of our business
3. Intervention is expensive

In this debate intervention will include any military or political/economic intervention.

Contention 1: Democracy may not be the best form of government for certain countries.
Democracy has been a shining success in the US, but that doesn't mean that it will be for the Middle East, or for any other region for tat matter. There are a lot of examples in history of failed democracies, from France's directory during the French Revolution to Germany's Weimar Republic. In order for a democracy to succeed it must be non-corrupt and have the support of the people over all other forms of government. So far only Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia have shown any interest for democracy, making democracy the best government for them but not for other nations.
Also, if a nation supports democracy and is willing to fight for it, there is no need to intervene. The civilians of Egypt ousted Mubarak by themselves. The civilians of Tunisia ousted Ben Ali by themselves. The French Revolution occurred by itself. There is a saying that the end justifies the means, but everyone agrees that the less involvement on your part required in the means, the better. If people that want democracy can get democracy without US intervention, then why should the US intervene?

Contention 2: Democracy in other nations is none of our business, and may not even benefit us
Form of government in the Middle East does not affect us in any way. We could care less about whether Karzai (president of Afghanistan) was a dictator or a democratically elected leader, just as long as he didn't support al Qaeda. Likewise, we could care less about whether Saudi Arabia was under a dictatorship or a democracy, as long as they supply us with cheap oil. Since form of government is none of our business, there is no reason we should waste our time and resources trying to change it. We do not even have our allies' support. According to Journal of Democracy Volume 22, Number 2, the "Global powers" are "not promoting democracy", but instead "responded with equivocation or silence", while "authoritarians have acted with aggression and self-assurance".
Intervening in general creates enemies (such as Osama). One can only expect more enemies when the intervening party has no business in the situation. In everyday life, we hate nosy people that butt into conversations where they have absolutely no part. In the international world, nations at war or chaos hate nosy nations that intervene where they have no business. This concept was clearly demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan, where growing amounts of people want the US to get out, and perhaps will be demonstrated in Libya and Syria.

Contention 3: Intervention is expensive
According to President Obama, the Iraq War cost "eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars." The cost of Afghanistan was similar: nine years, tens of thousands of American and Afghan lives, and almost half a trillion dollars [1]. It's common knowledge that wars are expensive. The question is: are these expenses worth the fate of Iraq and Afghanistan. The answer is a resounding no. Not only does the US fail to get any benefit from the wars (Saddam Hussein did not possess WMD's and Osama would've been shot with or without the war in Afghanistan), but it also gets plenty of disgrace and shame for not being able to make progress for nine years. The Taliban are stronger than ever and Karzai's impotent security forces are nowhere close to finishing their training.

I oppose the resolution based on the possible unsuitability, potential backfire, and potential expense of democracy promotion and urge you to vote con.

[1] The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
[2] planet debate
[3] past debates


=My Case (Pro)=

C1: Protection of Human Rights

The U.S. has an obligation to step in where they can as a way to protect human rights abroad. Since the US has this ability, seeing as it is the most powerful nation on earth, then US should step in. Humans are equal, and thus deserve equal protection, even if others do not see this as an obligation.

(1) Borders are arbitrary. One cannot make a moral claim based on arbitrary factors. As such, the US has an obligation to act to protect others because not doing so would make moral obligations dependent upon arbitrary and non-chosen factors. Thus, people don't deserve to be punished simply for being born in the wrong area of the globe, such as in Libya.

(2) Equality. Humans are equal due to their equal capacity for rationality. As such nothing fundamentally distinguishes human beings. Therefore, nations or people with the ability to protect human rights need to because it is what everyone is equally deserving of.

C2: Democratic Promotion is Advantageous

A) The Democratic Peace Theory [1].

In short the democratic peace theory states that democracies rarely if ever go to war with each other. Two internal links are isolated:

(1) Ideological. Democracies have ideological ties to one another which make them more willing to enter into agreements and alliances. Liberal ideologies which pervade democracies make these nations more susceptible to negotiations, alliances and agreements which make it very difficult to go to war.

(2) Structural. The structure of governments within democracies make it difficult to go to war. For example, public opinion would be a main hindering factor for war. The majority of a public wouldn't be open to war as easily unless clear evidence was given for its need.

Thus, by promoting democracies abroad, the US will be heavily reducing the probability of war within volatile areas and hot spots around the world. According to Muller, an analysis of history does empirically prove that democracies do not go to war with one another, except in a few isolated circumstances. The DPT does not endorse Kants view of perpetual peace but it does show that war will ultimately be reduced which protects a larger amount of people globally.

B) Reduction of State Violence. Professor Rummel finds that democracies between 1900 and 1987 saw only .14% of their populations die annually in internal violence, whereas authoritarian regimes was .59% and for totalitarian regimes 1.48%. Rummel also finds that citizens of democracies are far less likely to die at the hands of their governments. Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of genocides and mass murders of civilians in the twentieth century. [2]

C) Free Trade.

Mancur Olson tells us that democracies are much more likely to have free trade agreements and policies especially with the help of the US. This is true because democracies have a vested interest in exporting and importing goods more freely as a way to increase the flow of capital within society. [3] And free trade is good. James tells us that free trade is advantageous for the Us specifically and for people abroad because it reduces the risk of great recessions, spurs innovation, expands capital flow, creates lower prices, increasing the variety of goods and increases productivity. Thus, free trade is good for the people of Libya. Olson goes on to further point out that democracies have the most stable of economies throughout the world including the Middle East – Israel and Turkey. [3]

C3: Intervention in the Middle East and securing hegemony in the Middle East solves multiple problematic scenarios for the US.

Brzezinski writes, "The combination of oil and volatility gives the United States no choice. America faces an awesome challenge in helping to sustain some degree of stability among precarious states inhabited by increasingly politically restless, socially aroused, and religiously inflamed peoples. It must undertake an even more daunting enterprise than it did in Europe more than half a century ago, given a terrain that is culturally alien, politically turbulent, and ethnically complex. In the past, this remote region could have been left to its own devices. Until the middle of the last century, most of it was dominated by imperial and colonial powers. Today, to ignore its problems and underestimate its potential for global disruption would be tantamount declaring an open season for intensifying regional violence, region-wide contamination by terrorist groups, and the competitive proliferation of weaponry of mass destruction." [4]

Thus, promoting democracies in the middle east helps secure US hegemony in that area, which prevents the scenarios highlighted by Brzezinski.

=His (Con) Case=

C1: Democracy may not be best form of government

1. His argument about failed democracies is incorrect - not influenced by a liberal democrcy. e.g. the US

(i) The french revolution was from its beginning an illiberal democratic movement. I.e. The revolutionaries expounded liberal ideas but in practice thought it fitting to implement illiberal policies. Without the aid of foreign power, there was no regulation on the way in which the new government was set up. This is not the case today since the US strives to implement liberal democracies.

(ii) The Weimar Republic's form of democracy didnt fail because demcracy failed, it was because of tough circumstances, i.e. stagflation. This resulted in a loss of confidence in a democracy which then resulted in Hitler. Again, a foreign power wasnt there to help regulate and mediate.

(iii) TURN: After WW2, the allies did insitute a democracy in Germany, and it still stands today.

(iv) TURN: Leaving Egypt to fend for itself has also resulted in illberal policies within the structure of democractic change. E.g. religious tolerace has actually gone down because there is no protection for Coptic Christians and Jews. This can be seen with the increase of attacks and burning of churches.

2. You are empirically incorrect as well. Algeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain had also shown interest in democracy but because of the autocratic hold on power the attempt at democratic reforms have been futile. That is why the US' aid is essential. This can be seen in Syria where the Monarchy has cracked down entirely and has killed hundreds of innocent protesters.

C2: None of our business and may not benefit us

1. XA C2 and 3 from my case. There are clear benefits for us as well as the members of that nation.

2. Democratic reform is preferable because it helps to reduce terrorism long run. This is true because the factors for the creation of terrorism - xenophobia, economic hardships, religious intolerance - would be mitated by educational and economic reform which comes with democracy.

3. Your analysis of "global powers" is misleading. The international stage has mor players, yes; however the US is the hegemon at this point in history and the world is unipolar. The EU canarely supply its military across the Mediterranian Sea, China isnt a democracy so its not going to promote it, and Russia has identity issues with the US (due to the Cold War) so its not going to support the US either. However, ideogically Europe has supported democratiztion, e.g. in Libya.

C3: Intervention is expensive

1.No impact argued. Who cares?

2. The US is the worlds reserve currency, which gives us the ability print large amounts of capital needed to fund these nterventions.

3. Benefits outweigh - Free trade will in the long run economically help the S, which will counter and negative externalities of expenditure. Refer to my case.

4. The Taliban isnt stronger than ever. They have retreated from most parts of Afghanistan and are being forced into the FATA region in Pakistan.


[2] Rummel, Democratic Peace: Reevaluating China's Democides

[3] Olson, The Logic of Collective Action

[4] The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership"

Debate Round No. 1


I have a few questions about your case.
1. First, I would like to question your argument on humans being equal. While it is true that all people are created equal, is it true that they end up being equal? Remember that there are those in poverty and there are those who are millionaires.
2. Second, I would like to address your point on all humans deserving equal protection. If I hire a bodyguard, is it true that you also deserve the protection of that bodyguard even though you've signed no contract with him/her? If not, applying the same concept to this situation, why should the US protect non-citizens that don't live in the US and don't follow our laws or pay taxes to our government?
3. Third, you may think that borders are arbitrary, but most of us would disagree. Arbitrary is defined as subject to individual will or judgment without restriction ( So you're saying that I can draw lines around the entire continent of Asia and claim it as my land?
4. Fourth, define what human rights should be protected by all nations and people. You make it sound like autocratic governments slaughter their own civilians for sport. While that may be the case for some countries, it is certainly not the case for the majority of countries, and the proof is that the ruling class is still the ruling class in those countries.
5. Now I will interrogate you on your second contention. For your point A, you stated that democracies rarely go to war with each other because of similarities in ideology and the difficulty of gathering public support for the war. I concur that people with similar ideologies are less likely to go to war. However, the converse is also true. People with different ideologies are more likely to go to war. I would think that Israel's ideological difference from Middle Eastern states about Israel's right to exist would far outweigh any shared ideology about form of government. Also, your conclusion that public opinion would hinder war efforts is false. As Nixon and the US presidents preceding him proved, you don't have to gather public support for the war. Just don't tell the public what's going on. Ideological differences between the Middle East and the West is too large to bridge, and public opinion isn't needed to support a war, so how would promoting democracy in the Middle East increase the safety of our allies and ourselves?
6. For your point B, you stated that democracy reduces state violence, since democracies kill less of their civilians. However, you fail to mention such atrocities in US history as the 2nd Red Scare and Bleeding Kansas. Democracies are no more immune to violence than are autocracies, and statistics of murder and death are not the only statistics for violence. How then does promoting democracies reduce state violence?
7. For your point C, you stated that democracies are more likely to engage in free trade. I would argue, however, that national interest is much more significant in determining whether a country engages in free trade than form of government. It would explain why Communist China is engaging in free trade, even though Marxism requires that ties with Capitalists be broken. Since form of government is at best a minor factor in whether a country engages in free trade, how does democracy promotion increase free trade?

I will refute your 3rd contention in my second speech.

8. Now I will rebut your rebuttals. Your rebuttal to my first contention states that it is not the unsuitability of democracy, but other factors that led to the failure of certain democracies in history. I argue that these factors are present if the US decides to promote democracy. "The French revolution was from its beginning an illiberal democratic movement." A revolution controlled and manipulated by the US is liberal? "The Weimar Republic's form of democracy...failed...because of tough circumstances." Afghanistan and Iraq are going through easy times? Tunisia and Egypt are having good times?

Your rebuttals for my 2nd contention were answered y the above questions, and I will defend my 3rd contention in speech 2.


Responses to His Questions

1. The point about equality is referring to the fundamentals of human nature, like rationality. Sure people become inequal while people go through life but the fundamental notions remain the same. Ergo we need to treat people as a whole equally.

2. Human rights arent gained through contract and exhange. They are rights gained through common bondship of humans. However, I would content since the US did ratify and agree to the UN Declaration of Human Rights we also have a contractual obligation to protect human rights.

3. Thats not the context of arbitrary I am referring to. My argument is that people dont choose which borders they live within. Thus, saying peoploe deserve specific rights simply based by location, then you are, by extension, saying moral obligations in terms of rights allocations are arbitrary.

4. Human rights refer to the 3 negative rights and certan functional rights, like right to free religion. And its not slaughter for "sport," its slaughter to maintain power at all costs. Democracies do not go through this since democracies ensure safe transition of power. You might say some democracies have had this problem bu refer to my liberal vs. illiberal analysis.

5. First, your analysis about different ideologies is true and false. My argument say that democracies have a decreased chance of war because of ideological ties. Thus my world will always have a decreased chance ompared to your world. So youwould be extending overall less offense. Second, my structural point would also be true in your examples, say in Vietnam because due to immense public pressure we did pull out eventually. However, I would also say the US is an exception because it is the hegemon in a unilateral system. The other countries we are promoting democracy would obviously not be in this position.

6. The argument you make is mixing apples and oranges so to speak. My argument was concluded from a multiple regression analysis. Sure the US has had some internal problems however that does not negate the stat that autocracies do have far more internal and state violence than democracies. Just look today, autocracies in the Middle East and China have far more State violence than any democracy in the world, e.g. US and Europe.

7. Again, your argument is mizing two different things. Your one example, China does not negate the analytic I provided. The Olson evidence tells us that due to the nature of democracies, free is widely more recieved and utilized. This is also empirically true. Isreael, Turkey, US, and the EU are much more recpective and promotive of free trade whereas most autocracies are not.

8. First, yes, when the US promotes democracy it is more of a liberal democracy than an illberal democrcy. For example, Iraq was given rights to freedom of religion and protectionfor minority groups. On the otherhand, as I have mentioned, Egypt is going dowhill because they are mixing illiberal policies within a democractic structure. So yes the French Revolution failed for the same reason - they wanted to promote democracy but impose an illiberal worldview. Second, the Weimar Republic went through economic collapse. Their form of currency was almost worht zero. However in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US has modermized it by far in comparison to what it was. TURN: Your argument about Egypt and Tunisia flow my wat proves that revolutions without the aid of the US take a far turn for the worse.

Questions for Opponent

1. What benefit are you gaining from your case? What is the advantage and impact? How does it outweigh?

2. How would you envision the world with a US retreat from the global scene? That is what would the world be like as apolar?

3. Would the Middle East be preferable without the US there?

4. How do you intend on solving the Iranian nuclear crisis?

5. How do you intend on solving terrorism?

6. Is there any time the US, in your opimion, is justified in intervening in another nation's struggle for democracy?

7. Is democracy preferable to autocracy, or do you see them as equally valuable?

Debate Round No. 2


Answers to my opponent's questions:
1. The advantage of not intervening is saving crap loads of money that can be better spent to improve our domestic environment. We have spent more than a trillion dollars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the day when we can call the troops back with our mission accomplished is nowhere in sight. The same thing would be said of any other wars/invasions that the US may start to promote democracy. It outweighs the alleged benefits from your case since the US cannot afford the long-term cost of democracy promotion, no matter what benefits promotion may bring.

2. "How would you envision the world with a US retreat from the global scene?" That's like asking what happens when a head of the police department gets fired. Either the police department is left leaderless but otherwise intact or the police department finds a new leader to replace the one that got fired. Likewise, new democracies would be without a role model, but no harm would come to them.

3. I cannot speak for Middle Eastern states that the US hasn't touched, but Iraqis and Afghans certainly want us out.

4. Diplomacy should bring a satisfactory solution to any alleged problems with Iran having nuclear power. If not, we can always tighten the embargo of nuclear materials to Iran.

5. The idea that terrorism has a solution is laughable in itself. Terrorism is the use of violence to get something desired. If you can't get rid of greed or the violence in human nature, there is no way you are going to solve terrorism. As for terrorist groups, I see nothing wrong with the existing approach: search and destroy.

6. Yes, when the country asks the US to be involved. Otherwise it's none of the US's business.

7. It depends on the leaders. An autocracy with a good leader is a viable government. An autocracy with a bad one should fall to revolution. Same with democracy, except the bad leaders in a democracy should be impeached instead of shot.

Second Speech:
In my opponent's 2nd contention, he states that democracy reduces terrorism by eliminating xenophobia, economic hardships, and religious intolerance. He doesn't explain how democracy would eliminate these things. I will explain how democracy doesn't eliminate these things. During the 2nd Red Scare, America, the role model for democracy, went into a panic at the mere mention of Communism. This can be best described as the historical epitome of xenophobia. Also, there are plenty of poor people and anti-Semitics in the US, so in what way does democracy eliminate economic hardship and religious intolerance?
In my opponent's 3rd contention, he states that the US would gain hegemony in the Middle East if it promoted democracy there. Hegemony is just another word for imperialism. How promoting democracy will suddenly turn the US into an imperial power is beyond anyone's imagination. But even if democracy promotion had that effect, would it be ethical to colonize the Middle East? My opponent argued earlier that humans are equal and should be treated equally, and now he's arguing that we should imperialize certain nations. How anyone ever deserved to be born into an imperialized country is beyond me.
Rebutting my 3rd contention, my opponent implies that we shouldn't care about cost. All civilians have to worry about bills and savings, but apparently the US government doesn't. Whenever the government runs out of money they can just print more. Who cares about inflation? The worst that can happen is a global economic recession, and recessions end eventually. And plus, we can avoid inflation by raising taxes or borrowing from other nations. The worst that can happen is that we add a 15th digit in front of the 14 digits of our national debt. And after we successfully set up a democracy in the Middle East after 20 years, we can trade our way out of debt.
First of all, whether or not the US will be successful in setting up a democracy is still in question. Democracy has failed in the past and there is no guarantee that it won't fail in the present, even with the US's help. US troops have spent 9 years in Afghanistan, and the Afghans are still stuck with a corrupt leader that is certainly not democratic. And no wonder, since the two factors my opponent claims caused past democracies to fail are present in Afghanistan. Karzai is far from liberal, and times are so bad that whole Afghan families smoke opium poppy to ease hunger pangs.
Second, whether or not the newly found democracy will engage in free trade and help us get out of debt is also in question. As I've mentioned before, governments engage in free trade because it's in national interest, not because they are democracies.

In short, my opponent fails to show how promoting democracy will in any way help the US, instead of only weakening the US economically. I urge a CON ballot.

[1] past debates


==Answers he gave==

1. Save money

--> As Ive said mltiple times he doesnt give a reason why spending money his bad. He lacks an impact. Moreover, he doesnt give a tradeoff argument, i.e. use X money for Y.

--> His analysis of Iraq and Afghanistan is weak. First, Iraq is for the most part secure. This is why Obama is now focusing his attention to Afgahnistan. Second, our mission will asically be complete when we rout Al Qaeda out of the FATA region.

--> He doesnt tell you why he outweighs. Ill explain laterwhy I do.

2. Polceman Analogy

--> The US leaving the world stage is very different than a policeman dying. The word is unipolar atm. His example would make sense if there was one police station and everyone got slaughtered and no one else could take up the role as efficiently.

3. Iraq and Afgahnistan want us out

--> This doesnt answer my question. However, it is imortant to note that US withdrawral from the Middle East will result in horendous scenarios, e.g. Iran gaining regional hegemony. TURN: this turns his implied econ argument. Iranaian dominance in the middl east will result in the stoppage of oil shipments and production which willl cripple the US economy.

--> The afghans and Iraqis dont want us out. The onyly plausible argument is that they want PMFs removed, but that doesnt men the US in general.

4. Diplomacy solves Iran

--> If this is true than how come there program hasnt been majorly hindered?

--> Tightening the embargo doesnt solve because IRan has the implicit consent of Russia and China,

5. Search and destroy solves

--> And what do you do when they have safe haven within other nations? Ascan be seen from the Osama Bin Laden killing, Pakistan has claimed violation of national soverignty

--> To actually sp terrorist groups from functioning, allies are needed to prevent safe havens. TURN: Democracy solves since it gives the US an ideological ally in the Middle East.

6. Yes, when country asks

--> You can vote Pro. He has admitted that the US can intervene when asked. Even though this is a condition, it is a very loose condition which affirms. E.g. the libyan rebels had asked for US and NATO support.

7. Depends

--> I would like my opponent to give an example of a good and desirable autocracy. If he cannot, prefer democracy as the best form of government.

==His 2nd Speech==

Opp C2

He says that my argument about democracy isnt warranted.

--> Refer to my last rebuttal. I clearly state democracy helps to promote economic development and education reform. These are two clear warrants. My argument is that terrorism is the result of an uneducated and desperate populous. As I mentioned, you dont see major terrorist groups coming out of the the US and Britian

Red Scare

--> TURN: The Marshall plan prevented the spread of communism in Europe. This can be seen that countries which were not forcefully taken over the USSR stayed democracies.

How does democracy eliminate economic hardship?

--> Just compare the GDP of the majority of democratic countries to autocracies. That should tell you right there.

--> The analytic however is that: 1) Democracies promote free trade, 2) Democracies promote free market, 3) Democracies promote equity

The US has xenophobia and religious intolerance too

--> This is the worst argument of "he did it too".The US does not promote religious intolerance as an insitution of governental action. We are granted the right to religion. Autocracies dont have this however, which fuels extremist and terrorist activity since there is no other recourse

My C3

He says hegemony is imperialism

--> Um no. Hegemony refers to the extent of power a nation can wield, economically, militarilly and diplomatically. Impeialism refers to a country taking over another system.

--> He drops the impacts. Extend them. US hegemony is necessary to solve terrorim, instability and nuclear proliferation. This will outweigh any Con arguments because 1) a threat of a nuclear terror srike needs to be evaluated as first priority because it directly affects the lives of American citizens and the very economic thread of the US. 2) These problematic scenarios are likely because if the US withdraws from the Middle Eastern stage, that area will become apolar with Iran as the regional dominance.

Opp C3

He brings up inflation, global recessions, add to the debt

--> No impact as Ive said multiple times

--> The debt wont harm us unless we are dropped as the world's reserve currency

--> Plans are already being put into affect which will drastically alter the debt, e.g. the Ryan Plan. Most of these plans dont cut military and aid all that much. The debt can thus be solved otherwise

Miscellanious Arguments

1. The US might fail in promoting democracy

--> He needs to weigh this. Dont accept it as true until he tells you why its ultra important

--> We probably will succeed since we are the worlds hegemon.

2. Karzai

--> Since he is dependent on the US for support, any major transgressions will result in him being removed from power. Also, economically Afgahnistan has benefited due to US modernization, free market and free trade.

3. Free Trade

--> His argument again never responds to the Olson evidence. Olson tells you that it is analytically and empirically true that democracies promote free trade anbd free market much more than autocracies. Unless he can actually respond to he evidence, ignore this argument

--> This solves an econ impact he might be going for with the debt. As long as free trade is being promoted, the US benefits economcally.

Debate Round No. 3


1. When do you expect us to be able to route Al Qaeda (and the Taliban) out of the FATA region (another 9 years?)? And how much longer would it take to reform Karzai and his corrupt government into a true democracy, with major transgressions being if he violates human rights instead of if he supports the Taliban? How much do you think we will spend (another trillion?)?
2. How do monumental costs and long years spent not outweigh merely speculative benefits from democracy promotion? Whether or not there are plans to cut down the national debt, the government would still have to borrow money for war. Would this not raise the national debt, and thus our tax and inflation rates [1], and eventually lead to another global recession?
3. "The US leaving the world stage is very different than a policeman dying...His example would make sense if there was one police station and everyone got slaughtered and no one else could take up the role as efficiently." First, you got my analogy wrong. The hypothetical situation you were talking about would compare to a department head getting fired, not killed. This department head can come back and resume his/her policies any day. Second, explain your analogy. Which "one police station" are you talking about? There are over 20 countries one can turn to for aid. Who's the "everyone" that "got slaughtered"? Certainly you are not talking about our allies who can fend for themselves or people under today's autocracies. If a country's leader wanted to slaughter his own people, the US wouldn't lift a finger to stop him. Rwanda and Sudan prove this point all too clearly. "No one else could take up the role as efficiently"? If our allies spent more on their armed forces, they would be just as "efficient" as us. We spend more than the countries in 2nd, 3rd, ..., 10th place (for military spending) combined on our military, and that's probably the main reason why we are a superpower.
4. Please explain how Iran will get regional hegemony in the Middle East upon US departure. They are not as strong militarily as the US, so they wouldn't dare mess with our allies in the Middle East because they know that we would send troops and crush their forces.
5. We are keeping a corrupt leader in power, why would the Afghans not want us out?
6. Hindering the program would be equivalent to admitting to the charge that Iran was building nuclear weapons. Whether or not Iran's leader really is building nuclear weapons, he would want to have the West think that he wasn't, wouldn't he? Instead of asking or things that would hinder his program, why not ask for things that would bring more peace in the region, such as a reconciliation with Israel?
7. "Allies are needed to prevent safe havens. Democracy ... gives the US an ideological ally in the Middle East." What guarantee do you have that they would automatically become our ally? All our allies are allies from the two world wars and the Cold War. Is it that democratic governments want to be our allies, or pure coincidence that all our allies (at least the official ones) happen to have democratic governments?
8. "You can vote Pro. He has admitted that the US can intervene when asked." Can intervene does not mean should intervene. All wars are expensive and intervention eventually leads to war. Should the US really spend tons of money on war instead of domestic improvements such as universal health care? Can the US really afford another possible Great Recession? Shouldn't the US pay off some of its national debt before involving itself in the affairs of others?
9. "I would like my opponent to give an example of a good and desirable autocracy." Julius Caesar wouldn't be a good emperor (in Rome's opinion)? Alexander the Great was not a good autocrat? To give a more recent example, didn't the Americans want George Washington to be king after the revolution?
10. How does democracy help to promote economic development and education reform, and what connection do education and fiscal security have with terrorism? How does absence of freedom of religion fuel extremist and terrorist activity? Do individual terrorists come just from the Middle East or are there a few Americans involved in terrorist bombings as well? What does your answer say about your argument that terrorism arises from lack of education and money?
11. Is it democracy that promotes free trade, free market, and equity, or capitalism? The two may seem synonymous but they are not. Is it democracies have a vested interest in free trade, or capitalist societies?
12. The definitions ( for hegemony and imperialism are as follows: hegemony: leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, imperialism: the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries. In what way is US hegemony (or imperialism) necessary to solve terrorism, instability, and nuclear proliferation? Are you suggesting that Middle Eastern states can't govern themselves and need the West to bring civilization to them (Europe used the same excuse for imperializing Africa)?
13. "We probably will succeed since we are the world's hegemon." Didn't we say the same thing when we entered Vietnam? Is another failure (probably Afghanistan) worth 9 years of our time and a trillion dollars?



==Answers to Cross-fire==

1. Routing Al Qaeda out of the FATA region wnont take as long as you imply. With Obama constantly increasing drone strikes in that area, it is only a matter of time. Moreover, you have agreed to search and destroy mission, so I would think you would be for this strategy. However, my argument is that the search and destroy mission is predicated upon having safehaven in the Mddle East, espcially in this ase Afgahnistan since it borders the FATA region. Again, your time frame if off for Karzai. Probably in the next election he will be booted from office, seeing his unpopularity. And no, not another 9 yrs. Obama expects the mission to be basically over around 2014.

2. You keep saying the benefits are speculative, however you never refuted line by line my advantages. You simply said it costs a lot. That doesnt respond the substance of my arguments at all. This will be more explained in my final focus. Plus, my argument abou plans already being put into affect counters the supposed net defecit you are trying to argue.

3. Your analogy is awful. My argument against it is that no other country can or will take the place of the US. Moreover, people have called for action in Sudan but it is because of people with your logic that action hasnt been taken. And no,even if our allies spent as much it would be too much of their GDP to be effective. However the US spends 4% of their GDP on stuff of that nature. Also, our allie probably wouldnt spend that much anyway. You are gaining no solvency.

4. Iran would gain regional hegemony because there is no other power that could counter-balance, besides Saudi Arabia. And even Saudi Arabia isnt nearly as strong as Iran is in terms of conventional military prowess. Add to that Irans ambitions for a nuclear weapon. Moreover, this gives me another advantage - remaining in the Middle East deters counter-balancing proliferation. Saudi Arabia would counter Iran in the absence of the US presence in the Middle East. This threatens US security since it allows proliferation within an already unstabe area of the globe. Plus, your argument about US sending in troops again just refutes yr own position. Better to deter Iran then to have to engage with a full fledged Iran with a nuclear weapon in the future.

5. Afghans dont want us out because if we leave a power vaccum would be created. This would spur the Taliban and Al Qaeda to return to Afghanistan and create a safe haven for terrorism once again. This leads to a double bind: 1) terrorism against the US becomes much more likely or 2) the US reenters Afgahnistan which means we would have to do the entire scenario over again. It is preferable to stay.

6. What? Now why would Iran and Israel reconcile? Thats ridiculous. Your argument makes no sense. The IAEA has already confirmed Iran is creating the ability to proliferate nuclear weapons. Sanctions and diplomacy has failed. KEeping the US in he Middle East would deter Iran.

7. They would be our allies becausewe are the ones promoting the democracy there. Just like Iraq now. The government there is an ally to the US since we are the ones that instituted it there. And refer to my DPT argument about why our allies are democracies as well.

8. Your argument is that if it is in our interest then yes we should intervene. ITs not a debate over can or sould. You set up a condition necessary to affirm, vote pro. At this points its a topical affirmation. An you bring up the debt argument again. XA my above responses.

9. He says Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great were good autocrats. Besides being completely outdated, Julius Caesar was assassinated, and basically plunged Rome into a ivil war. Yeah thats good. Alexander on the other hand was too busy conquering Persia and Egypt, and when he died his lands were partitioned. Hes not a good example. And SOME people wanted George Washington to be King but mt feared a King, seeing as they were being oppressed by King George. And thiple doesnt work since we cant weigh the goodness of Washington if he was King...since it didnt happen.

10. This report explains it: Afghanistan is stil an underdeveloped nation, but has been growing rapidly with the assistance of the US and other great powers.

And you have stilled ignored my analysis. Economic development and education reform solves the reasons for terrorism. Extend my argument that empirically democracies have less terrorism than autocracies.

11. Again, you are ignoring my analysis. The Olson evidence tells you that democracies promote free rket and free trade since it is beneficial for community and the individual and it maximizes personal liberty and freedom. Moreover, it is empirically true that democracies are much more sympathetic to free trade thn autocracies. I outweigh

12. The definitions of hegemony and imperialism are similar but that doesnt make them the same. Hegemony gives a nation the ABILITY to imperialize but that doesnt mean hegemony is imperialism. And yes, these autocracies arent able to function our their own. You ignore the evidence. Without US hegemony in the Middle East countries will counter-balance each other, e.g. nuclear arms races, instability increases and thus terrorism is spurred. Refer to Cold War analysis for this to be true. Religious fundamentalism took over as a response for failures of those governments.

13. Vietnam failed because we didnt act like hegemon and we didnt use all of our force. We basically fought half@ssed, and isntead relied on man power and not our technological prowess. Plus Afghanistan doesnt have a national protector, like North Vietnam had - the USSR and China.

*Last round will be final focus. Thats where I will do all my weighing from the stated arguments.*

Debate Round No. 4


During this debate, my opponent has relied on at best speculative evidence of benefits gained from democracy promotion. Empirically, democracies may support free trade more than autocracies, but that's because most of them happen to be capitalist, and not because they are democracies. Communist China is not a democratic nation, but it engages in free trade and has made its economy second only to the US. This case illustrates that nations engage in free trade out of national interest, and national interest is not going to change whether the nation is under an autocracy or a democracy.
My opponent also argues that we need to keep Iran from gaining regional hegemony. The situation he depicts is very unlikely. As my opponent himself has stated, Saudi Arabia acts as a counter-balance to Iran's power. There is no way Iran would dare attack Saudi Arabia since they know we would then declare war on them and they can just wait to be crushed. My opponent argues that declaring war on Iran later instead of keeping control of the region now is more costly. First, this would only happen if Iran was rash enough to attack Saudi Arabia. Second, no one complained about the cost of driving Iraqi forces from Kuwait during the Kennedy era, but there are a lot of complaints now about the cost of Afghanistan ad Iraq. This should illustrate that staying in a particular country is more expensive than the occasional war.
My opponent also argues that we need to defend human rights. Human rights is a very general term that can comprise anything from natural rights to US citizenship rights. He fails to state how autocracies fail to follow human rights obligations and does not define what human rights are.

The resolution is that the United States should intervene in another nation's struggle for democracy, so it is a debate on can and should. My opponent says that since we can intervene in the event that a country asks us to, that automatically means we should intervene. Beware the costs of intervening for democracy. We went to Iraq to get rid of Saddam, and we've spent $800 billion and eight years there so far.

That brings me to my contentions. I stated that democracy may not be the best form of government for certain countries, and my opponent argues that there are no good autocrats and that failed democracies failed because of illiberality and economic hardship. First, there are good autocrats, like the ones I've mentioned in the debate although my opponent apparently disagrees. Even if all autocrats were bad, that doesn't leave democracy as the only viable option. Other options include theocracy. Second, illiberality and economic hardship are things rampant in the Middle East. If democracy fails under those two circumstances, then it will most likely fail in the Middle East, and any alleged benefits from democracy promotion that my opponent brings up would be void. We've failed before and we can fail again. My opponent argues that Vietnam was lost because we "relied on man power and not our technological prowess" and "had the USSR and China". We sent planes to bomb North Vietnam. According to my opponent that is not technological prowess. We got defeated by the Viet Cong (Communists in South Vietnam), not North Vietnam, and my opponent blames the USSR and China for sending weapons to North Vietnam. He says Afghanistan doesn't have a national protector, but he forgot that we sent weapons to the Taliban during the Cold War to fight the Soviets, and the Taliban still have those weapons, plus IE D's.
I've also stated that democracy in other nations is none of our business. The exception is if we are asked to help set up a democracy. Otherwise we are just meddling in the affairs of others, and we will make a lot of enemies. My opponent argues that democracy promotion will reap us a lot of economic benefits, but as I've said before, these benefits are speculative. The US might as well promote capitalism in the Middle East. Regional hegemony is equivalent to imperialism, and my opponent has conceded that the definitions are similar. I hope you don't believe his argument about hegemony giving the power to imperialize instead of actually being the act of imperializing. I can say that acts of genocide (a term the government uses when it doesn't want to intervene) gives the power to commit genocide but that doesn't mean acts of genocide is equivalent to committing genocide.
My 3rd contention states that intervention is expensive. Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate this point perfectly. We spent eight years and $800 billion on Iraq and nine years and $444 billion on Afghanistan so far. Suppose Obama keeps his promise of completing the mission in Afghanistan by 2014 (notice this is an extension from 2011, when he promised to start bringing the troops home). We would have spent 12 years and at least $600 billion on the Afghan War. There are over 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa [1], and we can expect similar results with these. It's apparent that we cannot afford to continue to promote democracy in the Middle East. It simply will take too long and cost too much. Any free trade benefits that my opponent says will come out of democracy promotion are 1) merely speculative, whether or not they will be realized is still in question, and 2) will come too late if they do come and won't bring us enough money to pay for the costs of war.



==Response to Final Focus==

1. He has conceded that empirically it is true democracies promote free trade and free market more. However, he states that its because of national interest and not because of inherent traits within democracies. Again, he ignores the analysis. There are 2 reasons why my analysis is correct. 1) The US is the one helping to foster a democracy and thus would institute its version of economics, i.e. free trade and free market. This can be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2) The traits of a democracy include personal liberty. This is thus resembled within the market structure. Now, his China agument does not hold weight because its one example when he has laready conceded the empiric I provided. Moreover, he would need to attach an analysis to prove an example correct - he has not done so.

2. He completely mishandles my Iran argument. I am not saying Iran is going to attack Saudi Arabia. My argument is that Iran can influence poliy decisions in the Middle East due to its prowess of conventional military and potetial nuclear capabilities. Then I said this would force Saudi Arabia to couter-balance by proliferating its own nuclear weapons. And this is not unlikel since it follows basic concepts of international relations, i.e. countries act to counter-balance potential leads from other naions especially in ones own region. Thus, I will be winning the argument that US involvement in the Middle East is the only way to keep proliferation low and thus keep instability low.

3. He has ignored my argument that he himself conceded defeat by accepting a condition to the resolution. Namely that it is in the US' best interest to intervene. And he ignored my analysis that since this condition is so vauge, it can affirm the majority of the resolution. ****He tries to argue the cost scenario but he has ignored all my responses: 1) he gives no impact besides inflation and global recession (which he gives no link to) and he doesnt say why inflation outweighs and he doesnt give an analysis on it anyway. 2) As long as there are plans in the works to bring down the debt, his argument is non-unique since its being solved either way. This is a damning concession from my opponent.***

4. He still says there are good autocracies. However he completely ifnored my indicts of the examples he gave. So as at this point you will prefer democracy to autocracy. He says other alternatives exist - he cites a theocracy. Mmm...idk if he is trying to help or hurt his own case. The only one true theocracy with any true status on the international stage is Iran. Note Iran stones homosexuals to death, and their leader believes Europe intentionally keeps clouds away from Iran to cause a drought. This is a horrible argument. He then says illiberality and economic hardship exist in the Middle East. THATS THE POINT. My plan solves those harms, and thus solves terrorism. He ignored my argument that Afghanistan has seen tremendous economic gains since the intervention of the US. Moreover, the US is trying to reduce corruption. It takes time but thats why the US SHOULD INTERVENE.

5. He keeps saying hegemony = imperialism, and he tries to defend that genocide is thus genocide. This doesnt work because genocide is the ACT of comitting genocide. Hegemony is a STATUS not an action. Imperalism is an action. Moreover, he still ignores my arguments that the US presence and intervention is key to US hegemony, and the Brzinski evidence tells ushat it is that which is needed to promote stability in the area which thus will reduce terrorism, etc.

==My Final Focus==

1. He has ignored the implicit framework I instituted in the first round: if I prove the US has obligation to promote democracy, you affirm. Extend the ignored arguments that the US has an obligation to all people insofar as borders are arbitray (people dont choose where they live) and that all people are rational beings and thus deserve protection. Extend Sub-B (Rummel evidence) which tells you that it is empirically true that democracies have far less (1) internal violence and (2) state promoted violence than autocracies. Since this is true, the US has an obligtion to intervene (stemming from the framework) to protect those people against high levels of violence.

2. The DPT which he barely tuched on gives clear reason to affirm. Insofar as democracies are empirically proven to go to war far less, the promotion of democracy reduces the level of war as a totality. This is good for 2 reasons: first, it protects against the disruption of trade (thus an economic advantage) and second, it prevents more frequent US intervention in other areas. Thus, I am gaining of the advantage of myopponent through the long run by advancing democracy as a whole in the short term. And the DPT is warranted iudeologically and structurally.

3. Free Trade. Even if you think cost is important (though I responded to it already) the US will gain an economic advantage from promoting democracy and thus the opening of many more markets for imports and exports. And he has not reponded adaquetly to the Olson evidence which tells you that democracies by their nature and empirically promote free market and free trade. And extend the impact evidence that free trade is good - expands capital flow, increases productivity, lowers prices, etc. Thus, on the long run the US will be advancing its economic position.

4. Hegemony solves. Extend my argument that promoting democracy increases the economic standing of that nation and also results in educational reform. Both will result in less terrorism. The argument here is that both solve for the root causes of people joining terrorist organizations - lack of education and a hard life style not worth living. hus, the US is gaining further protection against terrorism in the long run.

5. Intervention solves Iranian and Saudi Arabian counter-balancing. This reduces proliferation. Refer to #2 above.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 13 records.
Posted by CiRrK 6 years ago
im assuming your debating at NFLs : ) Good ole' highschool debate
Posted by CiRrK 6 years ago
Posted by merciless 6 years ago
Please post sometime before 3:00 on Friday.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Round two really won it for me.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: CiRrK introduces many arguments, most of which are not fully developed such as all people are equal, the US can assert itself to enforce a right and thus it should. This is a non-trivial moral philosophy and certainly can not be so easily justified but Con`s response is some people have more money. Similar for other contentions, argument as fairly lopsided in general 3:1. However this is a debate worth seeing more of and Con did stay in there with a solid opponent. 1:1
Vote Placed by ExNihilo 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty clear CiRrK won the advantages, esp DPT. He also extends fwk. Although I think both needed to touch on solvency more.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con offered feeble responses, especially on free trade good, and his severe lack of spaces and formatting makes his arguments extremely painful to read.
Vote Placed by Sieben 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Voted on borders, death differential, and free trade arguments. CiRrk had a lot of spelling mistakes so whatever. But Con did a bad job formatting as well.