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Should the U.S. Intervene With Genocide In the Middle East?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 771 times Debate No: 67231
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Hey guys,
So for school I had to upload this essay about my topic which happened to be, should the U.S. intervene with genocide in the middle east so this is my argument.

Genocide In The Middle East
1938-1945 Nazi Germany implemented its state-sponsored program of killing six-million Jewish men, women and children, who according to Hitler, were an inferior race. This is an extreme example of genocide in the 20th century during World War 2, but genocide is definitely still around today. Genocide is the mass killing and or enslavement of a specific race or ethnic group. It exists in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and is connected to terrorism and rioting. Currently, in the Middle East the mass killings are running rampant and after 9/11 the U.S. went headstrong into the Middle East to stop terrorism. While this is a very heroic gesture it may not be the wisest decision.
As a member of the UN (United Nations), the U.S. is part of many decisions made about the Middle East. Genocide has always been a huge issue within the UN as well as the question of what to do about it. During the Rwanda Genocide in 1994 "the resistance of numerous U.N. Security Council members hampered the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda from the outset and caused an international failure to save hundreds of thousands of lives." For many years there "has been much debate among academic scholars and within international organizations and governments over the tension between state sovereignty and outside intervention" (Proquest Staff). But as an independent country the U.S. feels like they should not have to help with the Middle Eastern problems. People might say that the humane thing do would be to help the people of the Middle East and stop the genocide. The citizens of the Middle East feel helpless against these persecutors. And, "proponents of outside intervention in nations where genocide is taking place believe that protecting the rights of individuals is more important than respecting the sovereignty of a nation" (Proquest Staff). Although during debates "some critics fear that outside intervention can become no better than the colonial imperialism and can do more harm than good" (Proquest Staff). The proponent of outside intervention almost is not worth it because of the repercussions. The U.S. as a country should probably be more concerned about its own problems than the Middle East"s.
As many people know, the U.S. has an enormous list of problems, such as debt and extreme taxation. Despite our best efforts America "has always been a debtor nation" That debt was sometimes unavoidable was acknowledged even by the Founding Fathers" (Scaliger). Another major problem that leaves America in a non-progressive state because of the recurring quarrel between the political parties. Citizens feel if they choose political representatives who will not cause an uproar in office they make good candidates yet, "electoral cycle after electoral cycle, in district after district, voters choose to elect "safe" candidates of both parties who can be relied upon not to rock the boat" (Scaliger). This should prevent us from trying to fight any wars because wars are especially expensive. Wars cost people, food, time, economic resources, and weapons. Wars are the main reason why the U.S. (and really any other country) has a large amount of debt. The people of America suffer from it too, "that, in a nutshell, is what happened after World War II, in countless towns and cities all over the land - millions of Americans learned anew to work hard in the private sector, save money, and build a better future for their children and grandchildren" (Scaliger). History has shown time and time again that economic troubles are exacerbated by a military conflict. If the Middle East wishes to solve their problems through violence, there needs to be a change but not with more violence.
The UN has had many meetings telling countries to stay out of the Middle East conflict and respect the autonomy of the sovereign states. In, "1988 U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the United Nations Convention on the Prevention of Intervention of Genocide" (Proquest Staff). The Prevention of Intervention of Genocide was created to deter countries from trying to use violence whilst preventing genocide. "There could be instances in which interventions are actually humanitarian, but if you look at history you can find very rare examples of these: Sierra Leone may be a recent example. But mostly, what is called humanitarian intervention is just aggression" (Chomsky). As the quote says, many instances of intervening in a violent and forceful way just ends up with no resolve, and loses on both sides. There have been people who feel no matter what happens, genocide needs to be dealt with even if violence occurs, "we need to understand that the responsibility to protect is a continuing one, borne by governments, armed groups, international organizations, and individuals alike" (Proquest Staff). But the armed intervention would no longer be needed if we could develop non-violent like ways to solve the problem. But, "it is still sobering to acknowledge that we are still struggling to find surer ways of preventing genocide and promoting the responsibility to protect" (Proquest Staff). There needs to be a way to negotiate with the Middle East and show them that their dictator-like ways need to stop. I am sure the people of these countries, and victims of genocide would greatly appreciate this.
The U.S. should not intervene with the genocidal states of the Middle East. The mass killings or enslavement of a specific race or ethnicity needs to stop but not through the violent ways in the past. The U.S. as a country is not obligated, they need to respect the autonomy of the sovereign states, and they have enough of their own problems. In closing, the world needs to develop less violent ways of dealing with genocide. Until then the U.S. should not interfere in the endeavors of the Middle East.


Hello all, I will be arguing the pro side of this resolution, that the United States should intervene with genocide in the Middle East. I would like to start off by noting quite a few valid points in his argument and would like to state my Burden of Proof as this: if there is a single instance in which the United States morally held an obligation to intervene within another country, due to the genocide of any group of people, then I have succeeded in my claim.

First, I would like to define genocide as "the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation." I would then like to offer the idea that genocide can be committed by a government against its own people, and for an example we need look no further than Nazi Germany which my opponent has already pointed out. Millions died in the Holocaust, including a large number of German Jews: citizens of Nazi Germany. Now let me extend this idea to a more modern example, the Syrian Civil War, perhaps?

As of a report dating as far back as October of 2013 (so the number would have increased since then), over 41,000 civilians have been killed during the Civil War, and another 6 million were displaced. Understand that I am in no way from a statistical point of view underplaying the significance and the heinous nature of the Holocaust, rather, I am bringing into light the atrocities committed within Syria by government forces. Though not to the same scale as the Holocaust, the number of civilian deaths in Syria only continues to rise to this day, and one would be hard pressed not to describe the killings as a "deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation." In fact, with the Syrian government sanctioned chemical weapon attacks against its own people (with a total of about 1400 deaths from these chemical weapons), one can clearly see genocide being committed by a government against its own people. Looking back, it is hard to believe that the Civil War was sparked off by peaceful civilian protests against the government, to which said government authorized "the use of tanks, attack helicopters, and artillery against protesters and the torture and execution of children".

So what is the role of a nation as large and powerful as the United States in such an instance, in which there is an opportunity to intervene? The moral responsibility of a person who is in a position of power to stop a crime is to indeed do so, so why should that be any different for a larger collective? Upon learning of the chemical weapon attacks on civilians in Syria, the Obama administration made a promise to intervene with the Civil War, however, ultimately failed to do so, other than posing sanctions. As the death toll rises even today, one must ponder whether it was the effectiveness of the sanctions that failed, or the fact that more should have been done to help calm the situation, or even bring it to a swifter end.

The United States, an unrivaled military power, should not sit idly by as thousands of innocents are slaughtered by the government. Now, the nature of the aid that the United States has provided to various nations in the past has largely been military support. This takes a wide variety of meanings, including but not limited to landing troops, providing equipment, supplying vehicles, and providing relief for victims of war. An interesting trend to note are the responses to the war and what the nature of United States support for Syrian victims should have been. While 50% thought that America should not take military action (as opposed to the 42% who thought the opposite), when asked about "limited to airstrikes using cruise missiles launched from U.S. naval ships that were meant to destroy military units and infrastructure that have been used to carry out chemical attacks," a full 50% supported this policy while only 40% were against it.

Note that this sort of aid is still military in nature. My opponent would like to suggest nonviolent efforts alone to end genocide in the Middle East yet has not provided examples of effective measures that might be the solution to this problem. While it certainly would be beneficial to solve things without military aid, it is important to acknowledge that in order to either speed up the war, or the quell it completely, the United States, the large military power that it is, needs to provide this support in order to save the lives of civilians. Relief to those affected by war crimes and government sanctioned genocide is not enough to actually STOP these atrocities. While I would certainly prefer a different solution entirely, one has not presented itself as of yet.

I would like to thank my opponent for the well thought out argument and congratulate him/her on the effort put into this.

Debate Round No. 1
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheSpoonyRealist 1 year ago
I will attempt to write up a response, unless someone else is doing so currently.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had adequate conduct throughout the debate. S&G - Tie. Both had proper spelling and grammar throughout. However, I would like to tell Con to utilize spacing in your debates. Reading a giant block of text isn't very fun, and the format would be much more presentable when broken down into individual paragraphs. Arguments - Pro. While con gave some compelling reasons why we shouldn't intervene with genocide in the middle east, Pro was able to effectively rebut those points as well as present some strong, unchallenged arguments in favor of intervening. Due to Pro's effective rebuttals and arguments, he wins arguments. I would highly warn Con against instigating 1 round debates, it doesn't give you the opportunity to provide rebuttals to your opponent which ultimately hurts your chances of winning the debate. Sources - Pro. While both utilized sources, Pro presented them in a way that allowed the audience to check the validity instantly whereas Con just cited refs.