The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
LuciferWept
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should President Trump be held responsible for the recent mission that killed women and children?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 428 times Debate No: 99487
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Capitalistslave

Pro

Rules of debate:
1) No personal attacks, insults, ad hominem
2) The total number of rounds minus 1 should be used for debate, since I am not using round 1 for debate. If con disapproves of the number of rounds I am doing, they may suggest an alternative amount(in comments, or else I won't be able to change the rounds) and I'll likely accept it.

The facts regarding the case:
During this military mission that Trump ordered, 14 al Qaeda operatives were killed, but so was a US commando, injuries to 6 other soldies, and the deaths of 30 civilians including 10 women and children, one of which an 8 year old girl. [1] [2][3][4] [5] [6]. I figured I'd offer a myriad of news sources(source 6 is just a search of other sources you may use), some conservative, such as the Blaze, others liberal such as Secular Talk from youtube, and one from a foreign country. Various facts about this can be confirmed from each of those news sources combined. There should be no complaint about my sources, since left-wing, unbiased, and right-wing sources all confirm this.

What I mean by "held responsible".
I would argue that he should be held responsible by being tried by international court for war crime. This is what I mean by held responsible.


Sources:
[1] http://www.independent.co.uk...
[2] https://www.youtube.com...
[3] http://www.usnews.com...
[4] http://reason.com...
[5] http://www.theblaze.com...
[6] https://news.google.pk...
LuciferWept

Con

I'll take the role of Contender.
Since you did not offer an argument for your first round and placed clearly in the rules that one round must not be used for debate, I waive this round.
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

I will keep my argument short and to the point.

Now, I would like to stress that my position is merely that president Trump should be tried, not that he is guilty of anything for sure. I believe that there is enough suspicion to warrant a war crimes trial.

Under U.S codes for war crimes, prohibited murder is defined as "The act of a person who intentionally kills, or conspires or attempts to kill, or kills whether intentionally or unintentionally in the course of committing any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause." [7] In addition, " if the killing of a civilian, a noncombatant, is intentional or is not justified by military necessity, a war crime has been committed."

There is no known instance where those 30 civilians that were killed were taking part in the hostilities that the Al Qaeda members were. In fact, the 10 year old girl was an American citizen, to claim she was taking part in the hostilities would be absurd. I would argue that it was not a military necessity to kill these al Qaeda members or perform this mission. Al Qaeda has not even been a threat to us in a long time, as they've not conducted any attacks against the US in years[9], so I question the necessity behind this attack against Al Qaeda. One could argue they are our enemy, but we are the ones attacking them, we are the ones on the offensive, they are not the ones attacking us for the most part. This attack performed by us, if anything, would provoke more terrorists. They see that we've killed innocent citizens, and will rise up against us. This also makes me question the necessity and intelligence behind this military operation.

Since Donald Trump is the one who gave the orders to these Soldiers to kill the Al Qaeda members, he is responsible for those civilians dying, and for justice to be met, this needs to be investigated into, have a trial set for him, as well as a trial for the ones who actually killed the civilians. Again, he may not be guilty, but I believe what I stated above warrants a trial.



Sources:
[7] https://www.law.cornell.edu...
[8] http://www.crimesofwar.org...
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org...
LuciferWept

Con

"War is a cruel thing, and the crueller it is, the quicker it will be over." -General William Tecumseh Sherman[1]

The United States has been at war with the organization known as Al Qaeda since September 11, 2001. That means it has been going on for more than fifteen years now. Instead of opting for a vicious approach, the United States attempted to adopt the Galulan[2] approach to war, which is to "win hearts and minds". This was mainly due to an epidemic in the American military of politicians who fancied themselves to be generals and generals who wanted to be politicians. None of them cared for the fighting man on the ground, who was little more than a pawn in expanding modern Progressive values.

Pro points out the Rules of War, and to quote directly from the seventh source he provides: “(c) Definitions.—As used in this section, the term ‘grave breach of the Geneva Conventions’ means conduct defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions relating to the laws of warfare signed at Geneva 12 August 1949 or any protocol to any such convention, to which the United States is a party.” The laws of war signed in 1949 are the current codes of war, yes, but they are also the most gravely flawed laws of war in recorded human history. This is because they were not the product of reason and wisdom, but a purely emotional reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust. To begin my argument, I quoted the American general William T. Sherman, the man who burned the South down during the Civil War[3]. Despite the back and forth going on around the Potomac River, it was by this cruelty that the Union won the war and was empowered to abolish slavery. The reason: Sherman scared the hell out of the South. The United States, previous to 1949, has a virtual 100% victory record when it came to warfare. After adopting the emotional and political idealistic document called the Geneva Conventions, the US has since engaged in five major wars. It should be mentioned that for these five wars, the US was the most technologically advanced military power in the world. Yet, the victory record post-1949 is quite pathetic. The Korean War ended in a draw, the Vietnam War ended in the Evacuation of Saigon and the fall of South Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm was a victory, Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Freedom's Sentinel is still ongoing, and Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the rise of the Islamic State.

Pro claims that the killing of civilians is the cause for this. It is not so! After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese lost all of their belligerence, and that docility continues to this day. The people who choose to go to war (i.e. training and planning a surprise attack upon civilians, such as the Sept. 11 attacks) and those who throw their lot in with the belligerents and join the war make themselves targets. In doing so, they not only place targets on themselves, but upon those they surround themselves with, whether by choice or accident. In killing not only the actual enemy, but those around them, we send the same message WT Sherman sent to the once enthusiastic citizens of the Confederacy. We send them fear. Although a few more may turn to terrorism in light of this (whether because of their values or just an excuse) they will be outcast by those around them and thus will be abandoned.

In closing, I should mention that Pro takes a very idealistic view of war. It is not ideal, and situations are not easy. To again quote that Union General who torched Atlanta, "War is Hell". To place further burdens and regulations on those who have to order the killing and those who have to do the killing will only make them less able to accomplish the mission. Those we fight, whether it be Al Qaeda or ISIS or some other group, will not burden their fighters with such foolish laws, and will not observe the Geneva Conventions. In war, there are only two choices: kill or be killed.

So Trump, Obama, Bush, and those soldiers who carry out their orders should never be brought to trial for war crimes.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...'s_March_to_the_Sea

Debate Round No. 2
Capitalistslave

Pro

The quote offered by my opponent is rather ironic and bordering hilarity. If being cruel helps the war along, when why have we been at war with terrorism for decades even when we use means that kill innocent civilians, and we have been for decades? Also, if we supposedly follow this tactic called the Galulan approach to war, then why have so many drone strikes and other vicious approaches been going on? One only needs to google the number of drone strikes, and how many people have been killed due to them, to see that we've been using violent methods.[10]

Quote from my opponent here on will be italicized
The laws of war signed in 1949 are the current codes of war, yes, but they are also the most gravely flawed laws of war in recorded human history.
Nonetheless, they are the laws we agreed to. It doesn't matter how terrible they are. Unless we change the laws regarding warfare and agree upon it with the UN, we are subject to being held liable to these laws, even though we haven't been held liable for our actions. No one seems gutsy enough to put a US president on trial for some reason.

So, to argue that these laws were purely done out of emotion, and this illegitimate, is irrelevant, and it would be an entirely different debate altogether. With this debate, it should be assumed that the current law is what applies, since I am talking about a current president. So, whether we need to change the laws we agreed to, doesn't apply to whether the president is guilty, or at least needs to be tried, under our current set of international law.

Re: the pathetic win ratio following the Geneva convention
You have to keep in mind that correlation doesn't mean causation. To argue that the geneva conventions are the cause of our terrible victory record, requires more evidence, such as disproving all other possible explanations. One possible explanation I have for our bad win record, is that we've changed from having defensive wars, to offensive wars. Prior to the Geneva conventions, almost all of the wars we were involved in were defensive, or defending our continent even. In addition, we stayed out of other countries' business. When we get entangled with foreign problems, we will often lose. If the founders were right about anything, it's that we shouldn't get involved in foreign problems. All of our current problems can be blamed on the fact we became entangled in foreign problems. We have no business in the middle east, except trade. If we weren't the world's police power, maybe there wouldn't be so many people who oppose us. We have no one to blame but ourselves for having so many enemies. The one who is trying to police the world is going to have enemies. History has shown that.

RE: Nagasaki and Hiroshima
The difference between then and now, is that we warned the Japanese living in Nagasaki and Hiroshima at that time through dropping leaflets that we were going to drop nuclear bombs on them[11]. This minimized the amount of civillians killed. Are we warning the people in the middle east right before we bomb, attack them, drone them, or otherwise harm them? Not that I know of. Searching for evidence of that on google also provides no results.

Either way, whether we do warn them beforehand or not, is irrelevant to whether killing those civilians violates the international law we agreed to. We need to hold the presidents who broke current international law accountable, and if we don't want this to happen anymore then we need to negotiate with the countries of the world for better international law. We can't just apply different standards of law for us because we disagree with them.

Re: Opponent's closing remarks
I think my opponent has a backwards line of thinking. Why should our war interests be put above the lives of innocent civilians? Especially when the organization we are attacking hasn't even attacked us in years! Lives matter more than our personal interests. Law doesn't work that way where we can just kill whoever we see is necessary for the achievement of our goals.

Sources:
[10] https://www.google.com...
[11] http://www.pbs.org...
LuciferWept

Con

In his closing remarks, Pro claims that I have "backwards way of thinking". I would not call it that, I but I can understand why he says this. His further remarks betray his impossibly idealistic and deluded method of thinking. Pro appears to believe that war is clean-cut. I quote him "Especially when the organization we are attacking hasn't even attacked us in years" Now, it is no secret that the United States has utilized drone strikes upon the enemy and the enemy's territory, as Pro has already demonstrated. I wonder if this is why the organization of Al Qaeda has been so hesitant on attacking: they have come to fear retribution. In my sources I shall also include a link to an excellent book on the tactics of Wahhabi insurgents. One of those tactics is one of manipulating such idealistic minds as that of Pro. They tend to use civilians as human shields[1]. If high command were to take Pro's point of view, Wahhabi/Salafist operatives would be free to move and plan more attacks on American lives, provided they remained surrounded by non-combantants. I must ask, if "lives matter" and "law doesn't work that way where we can just kill whoever", why is this line of thinking not being extended to the insurgents themselves, or their financiers, such as the rulers of Saudi Arabia? I guess anything is possible providing there is a double standard!

In Iraq, after the Abu Gharib incident, great care was taken to not only preserve civilian lives, but also to improve their quality of life. Schools and hospitals were built (on the US dime)[2]. In combat missions, US service-members have had to request permission to carry out attacks, and the officials granting permission were weighing the tactical and strategic advantages of the attack against the politically and emotionally charged ROE which they restict themselves to.[3] Perhaps, if these ridiculous laws were trashed, the war wouldn't have lasted a decade, Iraqi civilians would not be fleeing ISIS, and, yes dear opponent, 8-yer old Nawar Al-Alwaki would still be alive.

In short, President Trump, his cabinet, and the military under him are doing what they should be doing: waging a war against the Jihad. And if it is backwards to prefer my own safety and the safety of my neighbors and countrymen to that of people who associate with mass murderers, then I guess I'm as backwards as it can get.

[1] http://www.timesofmalta.com...
[2] http://www.usace.army.mil...
[3] http://www.nationalreview.com...
[4] https://www.amazon.com...

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
I should have mentioned that Obama was originally thinking of doing this attack, but chose not to because the intelligence on the matter was not sufficient, in his opinion. Now we see why he hesitated with doing this. Civilians were needlessly killed which could have been avoided if Trump would have waited for a better intelligence report.
Posted by Capitalistslave 11 months ago
Capitalistslave
JohnDoe360: I agree that Obama should have been held accountable for that. In fact, if we had it my way, every single living president would be tried for war crimes.
Posted by JohnDoe360 11 months ago
JohnDoe360
If Obama was not held accountable for the 100,000 bombs he dropped, this should not even be an issue
Posted by ILikePie5 11 months ago
ILikePie5
It's war, and who in Yemen would even sue? They don't even have a legit governmental right now. The air strike that was called in was to protect the Americans.
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