Should the U.S. use military intervention in Syria?
Debate Rounds (5)
And for the sake of good sportsmanship, if any loopholes or parlor tricks are found, don't use them simple to achieve a quick win. Please and thank you.
Syria has been in crisis for the past 3 years. What began as pocketed protest inspired by the Arab Spring in December 2010 against the policies of Bashir Al-Assad, evolved into a revolution for his removal by 2011, spiraled into a civil war the rivaled pro-Assad communities against anti-Assad communities by late 2011, and is now, in my opinion, deteriorated into a proxy war with no clear victory in sight. Such catastrophe has lead to the death of over 100,000 people--some of Syrian decent, some not--and with over 2.5 million Syrians being displaced, both within Syria and on the outskirts of neighboring countries. Since the beginning of June chemical attacks have occurred within Syria which have sparked the question of U.S. intervention.
I detest to such intervention of multiple occasions, which I have generally narrowed down to 7. Some reason are structured by fact, some by possibility scenario, and others by logic. 4 of the 7 reasons deal with the question "why" and the remaining 3 deals with the possible aftermath. And I will then end my round of the debate with a paragraph of action. I shall begin with the why of the matter.
1. The majority of people are against it.
Polls have shown that the vast majority--over 60%--of the populace in both America and Turkey, two nations where the Head of State are pro-intervention. And so far in the U.S. many of those in Congress and other politicians disagree with intervention where as the House of Representatives has a correlation with the public (being anti-interventionist). Also many representatives of the United Nations oppose military intervention as well. For the U.S. to disregard the domestic public, the foreign public of its allies, and the overwhelming international community would be both a moral crime but also a legal crime against U.S. law involving the balance of power between the Judicial, Legislative and Executive branch and against multiple Articles in Charter 7 United Nation's law.
2. Assad is most likely NOT responsible for this attack.
Why would he do such a thing? He, as well as any rational person, knows very well of the international consequences that are in store for him if chemical agents are used. Now such consequences will be moot if he was losing, but over the past 4 months he has been winning the war[7--green represents Assad's forces]. He occupies the majority of cities and has no reason to jeopardize his position in power by using chemical attacks. In fact, it is the rebels who would have motive to use of chemical agents in order to frame Assad in an attempt to get him attacked or to at least create a stalemate. The first chemical attack was in late 2012 and coincidentally a few months earlier Obama spontaneously announced that a chemical attack would be a "red-line".
3. The United State's intelligence and reasoning is either flawed or unclear.
The U.S. and its allies have claimed the know with certainty that Assad has used chemical weapons without releasing concrete evidence to the public or any other well established institutions such as the United Nations or World Court. Furthermore Russia and the United Nations have found evidence that it is the rebels who have been causing chemical attacks for months (a claim that pro-interventions have yet to reply to) and that Assad has been removing chemical agents away from Damascus. And may I say the Assad wasn't aware of the attacks.
4. The United States has ulterior motives.
Obama's constant rhetoric is that we must intervene because dying oh a chemical agents is a horrible experience and that many children have died, which is all true, but are worries pure? Less than 1 percent of the deaths in Syria are due to chemical agents . Does it not hurt a child to have shrapnel from a grenade pierce his body? To burn alive from the flame of an air-strike? Why are chemical attacks the red-line? If Obama truly cares about the Syrian people he would have intervened when the death toll reached 10,000. In my informed opinion, I truly believe that the U.S. wishes to destabilize the region to get another step closer towards invading Iran. Such an invasion would mean direct control of the oil in the region and the canals that are used to extort them. And such a war would be unjust as the U.S. have done many things to agitate them such as removing their democratically elected leader in 1956 and installed a dictator as well as fund Iraq in the Iran/Iraq War and knowingly gave Saddam biological weapons.
Now I shall move towards the reasons regarding the likely aftermath. Keep in mind the these scenarios do not follow a multi-verse-type scheme and are all capable of unfolding in unison. These scenarios arise from the most probable possibility if the U.S. cripples Assad's military assuming that he will then fall from power which will leave his country in the hands of rebel fighters and foreign mercenaries.
5. Putting Americans at risk.
Both Syria and Iran have stated that they would retaliate if attacked. To put the American population, or any innocent individuals, at risk for such loose claims is absurd. The U.S. may say that it does not want "boots of the ground", but what will happen when Assad retaliates? Will America simply turn the other cheek and let soldiers and civilians die or will America retaliate? If America retaliates, then why attack in the first place if it will eventually place soldiers on the ground?
6. Instability plea: cohesion.
It is obvious that the various groups of fighters will not be able to form a cohesive government. They have already begun defining territories and killing each other for months. What do you think will occur when there is no common enemy and groups like Al-Qaeda and their subordinates, who have been staying out of the conflict and stockpiling weapons while the FSA and Assad fight one another, go on the offensive? Who will stop them? Who's stopping them now? With many children being orphaned, radical forces are recruiting children and teenagers at an alarming rate. And will foreign fighters pour in to fight al-Qaeda? Have non-military foreign Muslims ever willingly entered a foreign country on the sole bases of fighting al-Qaeda before? No.
7.Instability plea: neighboring lands.
Another situation is that once Assad falls, it will become a lawless haven for the transportation of unsupervised weapons and chemical agents that can be used against any in the region, including Russia. In fact, with Russia's Chechnya radical Muslim issue, they have every right to support Assad as he is the only source of stability. Without Assad, Syria will become a free zone, like Libya.
In total, the U.S. has no valid reason to attack and even if they do such an attack would be more hazardous towards them. Obama claims that he is advocating for intervention to uphold the American reputation. A reputation that doesn't exist for a nation that has been in war in most of it's existence and fails to directly intervene without ulterior motives: Sudan, Congo, Rwanda, etc. And most importantly, the U.S. used Agent Orange on a widespread scale in Vietnam and have used hazardous munition in Iraq which affect the Vietnamese and the Iraqis in vicious ways even til this day. Well they turn the other cheek once another "intervenes" with their wrong doings? The U.S. has proven again and again in Libya and Iraq that not only knocking the balance of power in a nation will worsen it but that they will do absolutely nothing to rebuild it or help the appointed government. Sadly I feel that Libya and Iraq are small microcosms of Syria. If the U.S. truly wanted to help the Syrian people, it will make a treaty with Assad stating that he will be removed from power if the U.S. destroyed all radical groups in exchange. Then, and only then, will the radicals be neutralized thus preventing a lawless nation. I'm not saying that the U.S. should necessarily aid Assad, but they shouldn't attack either unless they are committed to rebuilding.
Point 2. Has the Pro ever heard of a "coup de grace"? Well, it usually is the knockout blow in a war  and generally a dictator might want to show people not to cross him again by using chemical weapons. As to calling Assad a rational person, how does anyone know the mind of a dictator. In his mind, there might be 50 reasons to use tear gas or sarin. Besides, Syria is more or less outside the international systems, so he must have thought the consequences (especially the economic ones) were non-existent or low. That's not something the public is privy to, is it?
Point 3. Firstly, the release of the evidence is a national security issue, and the US should decide who it will reveal it to. For all we know, Mr. Putin might have already seen it. Besides, Russia, Iran and China are the only countries stating that Assad is innocent , the report was submitted to the UN as your source states. Of course, while allowing for the possibility that Assad didn't know of the attacks, you can't say with proof that that was the case.
Point 4. Let's face it, even America can't stop war anytime soon. It's a regional conflict, and conventional weapons are deadly enough. But chemical and nuclear weapons must not be stopped, they torture and kill. When conventional weapons are used, the US should push for an end to the fighting; it should step in when more deadly weapons are used. Conventional weapons can be compared to getting shot in the head, chemical weapons are like bleeding out. The latter is much less humane. I don't think the US has ulterior motives, there is no evidence to the contrary. Besides, the Cold War raged from 1947 to 1991 , and this did lead to many unwise decisions, including Saddam's biological weapons.
Point 5. This might lead to risking American lives, but so would the alternative. Instability would reign and Syria would become Afghanistan. Assad would be emboldened that he defied the world and many more lives would be lost. Intervening would also show that the US will stand for what is right and will help moderate the Sunni populace [See 3 Cups of Tea]. Any other government would see more stability under a watchful American President, and the Peace Corps [and other groups] can show the Syrians that America stands for more than just fighting Muslims, it helps them too. They could get a real education, a balance between our system and a bit of the Koran. Wouldn't that help America's image after Iraq? If we do attack, it will be a long haul, but it would not require American lives and conclusive proof (if it could be revealed to the world) would stop Iran from retaliating. Besides, if infantry are required, it would be towards this ideal. How many Americans supported WWII, both before and during it ? This could also help answer your 2nd point.
Point 6. In Afghanistan, did any Mujaheddin supporter say that he wasn't sure if fighting Communism was okay because then the militia would turn on each other? Anyway, politics is "the art of the impossible" . Is it possible that the Syrian factions won't work together? Sure, but is it inevitable? I don't think so, which is why those who are anti-Assad and anti-al Qaeda should try and work for the people to support the FSA.
Point 7. Once again, how can we be sure that a government won't be formed? A popular government might well be Islamist, but it would still have their support. Russia might support Assad for stability, but why would they shun any other stable government friendly to it? Yes, the US has made mistakes in Iraq and Vietnam, but mistakes there can be corrected in Syria. While I agree that America should help rebuild the nation, why would Assad ever step down? Dictators love their power  and Assad would probably die before signing that treaty. While I'm open to Assad staying on if he destroys all chemical weapons (and gives proof), if he fails to do so I'm all for protecting the Syrian people. That, my opponent, is exactly what Barack Obama is trying to do.
 3 Cups of Tea
 Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
Refute to Point 1
It seems you defeated your prose in the first point--both in your disadvantage and in my favor. First you forget that to attack, as of now, would be against international policy, and why should foreign nations uphold their part of the policy if a superior nation should not? Using illegal actions to hurt those and the bystanders of someone who has supposedly committed an illegal action is illogical and it is inane. Second, you say, "America is interested in the stability of the region," yet you counter that with, "America is justified in bombing Syria back into the stone age." Which is it? America has never shown a urge for stability. Whether it be Iraq (which is in the worst condition in its entire history), Libya, Vietnam, and many smaller nations America has attacked, the necessity to rebuild has never been fully demonstrated. The fact that America is a superpower does not result in the illegal intervention in sovereign nations--such rhetoric is common with demagogues who's only task at hand is to destabilize and take the resources from other nations. As for your last statement, isolationism didn't bring America into WW2 (nor does your link prove so) for if it did, then that would mean nothing would have prevented us from entering the War, thereby any stance the U.S. had would eventually led us to war by your logic.
Refute to Point 2
As for point 2 I admit that I misused the phrase. What I want to say was coup d'etat, referring to the State--however my argument still stands. By the way, your link lead to "coup de gr"ce"[sic] not "coup de grace". To your second statement regarding the killing of others to deter betrayal, why has he not done so before? Why would he target a civilian populated area when there are closer armed hostiles in reach? How will that teach others not to cross him when they could simple leave? Given that I have watched many of his interviews, I can concur that he is mentally stable and has proven numerous times that he has no reason to use chemical attacks. And simple because a nation is not notorious among others, doesn't mean that the UN would not have direct punishment upon them.
Refute to Point 3
The public release of evidence required to bomb another county IS NOT a private matter! With that logic, any country is morally justified to bomb another simply because they feel the urge to; no rational evidence required. Such logic is barbaric. Putin has already said he has not seen the evidence and he has publicly released his evidence against the case, which they U.S. has yet to refute. The Fact that Russia, China, and Iran are the only few supporting Syria means nothing, the U.S. simply has more friends in the region, and simply because more bureaucracies agree with something doesn't make it right. As I've said, the majority of the population disagrees with the attack. And although I cannot conclude that Assad wasn't aware of the attack with definite proof, I can with confidence, from the fact that it is most likely his not his doing, say that he is most likely not lying.
Refute to Point 4
Point 4 made little sense. I believe at some places you intended to say unconventional instead of conventional and your description of their effects are contradictory. Both conventional and unconventional weapons are deadly. Both torture and kill. Both can cause one to "bleed out". Both are inhumane. When Imperial Japanese soldiers were burnt out of caves by flamethrowers utilizing heavy mixtures of tar, that was worse than a chemical attack. When hundreds of Vietnamese children died slow debilitating deaths from breathing in or eating something contaminated from Agent Orange, that was worse than a chemical attack (in fact, it was a chemical attack!). When the shrapnel from a grenade or a ground mine explodes and penetrates an innocent civilians body, leaving them unable to move for days, it is worse than a chemical attack. Sarin, in particular, usually kills with 3 to 30 minutes. I provided much evidence to towards the claim hat the U.S. has ulterior motives in the previous round. The U.S. still has not proven to make rational foreign decisions, given the fact that they invaded Iraq on unwise and irrational decisions. Money and time that could have been used elsewhere. Your 4th link is broken also.
Refute to Point 5
Point 5 is also illogical as well. The alternative would not risk American lives. Assad does not have the capability to strike American civilians, nor does he have the moral and legal ability, something he would gain if America strikes without definite cause. He didn't defy the world, he simply defied the U.S., as did not use chemical weapons as he has already given up control of them. Once again, the U.S. has and still ignored many conflicts that are able to be deterred such as in South America and Africa, yet do not do so. Nor has the U.S. ever "moderated" any Muslim populace. Your "3 Cups of Tea" link is non-existent. Syria under an "American president" aided by the Peace Corps will have little to no affect [regard Iraq]. Your preceding statement made me chuckle. Syria is (was) one of the last secular Muslim countries in the Middle East, and since the U.S. and the so-called Friends of Syria have been hauling weapons to radical extremist who have been, in turn, forcing moderate parents to fight their Jihad while killing Christians and Atheist who refuse to convert. And how would the attack not cost American lives? Refer to my 5th claim in the previous round. Your view on Syrian future is very... romantic--almost novel worthy, but ultimately overly optimistic. WW2, which was fought for different motives and involved far more powerful nations, cannot be compared to the Syrian Proxy War. Even so, judging from your link, Americans had actual reason to support Britain and France. It is already inevitable that the factions won't band together because they have already begun killing one another and claiming territories. A rebel or mercenary who fought for a territory is not going to let a rival faction reclaim the land. Simple. And if you truly think Al-Qaeda, a radical group who post dozens of videos of beheading infedels on a weekly basis, genuinely care about the general welfare secular Syrians in Syria then you are delusional.
Refute to Point 6
How do I know there will not be a stable government? Once again, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. Seculars fighting politically indifferent seculars fighting extremist who are fighting extremist whom have a different brand of extremist viewpoints (Sunnis and Shiites). Russia is not shunning any stable government for there are none by far and history has proven consistently, again and again, what happens in these situations. The only difference is that Syria is much worse and complex given how many foreign powers are involved and the fact that many extremist are far more fortified and well-funded than they were in Iraq. In fact, if a stable government is erected, it will surely be pro-American and thereby anti-Russian. Assad has no reason to step down in the current situation. Perhaps before the war began, but not now. If Obama truly, TRULY wanted the nterest of the Syrian people, then he would of pressured Assad to step down during the revoltuion, not after Syria is unstable.
I believe that I have refuted all of your points and most of your reasoning whilst many of my claims remain either illy-regarded or untouched. All else is loosely contested around suspicion, such as whether Assad is lying or not--suspicion that neither side can definitely prove, though I truly believe my notion is more believeable.
Point 2. My apologies for the link. I'm not saying Bashar al-Assad is retarded or defected. What I am saying is that he is using terror to fight his enemies, to fight those who may become his enemies, and unavoidably (collateral damage) his own supporters or neutrals. Yes, they might get angered but generally the people get cowed by a show of force , which Bashar clearly provides. Besides, Syria is largely outside the international system and would not lose if Google decides not to invest there, because it doesn't there right now.
Point 3. In the Cuban Missile Crisis, John F. Kennedy never publicized the evidence of Soviet missiles , he went to them discreetly and kept the crisis from being a nuclear shootout.Obama MIGHT have tried this, but he may have failed and then became a hawk. Besides, usually in an international forum the majority of the world's GOVERNMENTS decide a course of action. If the US has more friends worldwide, obviously that does mean the will of the people (in this case governments) triumphs. And don't get me wrong, just how you believe Assad to be an honest man, I believe that these governments are actually trying to do what they think is right.
Point 4. My apologies for the link. Speculation is not hard evidence, what you present is pure speculation Just because some sarin leaves Damascus doesn't mean that Obama wants to start Armageddon. What I meant to say was that conventional weapons are deadly, but there's not a chance in hell that it can be stopped in the world as long as we have dictators ruling in any country. Yes, US foreign policy could be better; yes it could worry more over the South China Sea; but no, that does not mean that we turn a deaf ear to chemical weapons. Besides, if Assad can defy the world over chemical weapons, why would Iran not do something different with nuclear weapons.
Point 5. You yourself said that Syria and Iran would "retaliate". Aren't you upbraiding yourself? We're debating whether he used chemical weapons as much as we're debating a strike on Syria is justified. If the US reveals their evidence, would you support attacking Syria? 3 Cups of Tea is a book written by Greg Mortenson, I was referring to that. Besides, with a moderate populace, the formation of which will be helped by an attack on Syria. It's a cruise missile attack we're referring to, like the one against Osama bin Laden in 1998 . Yes, I am optimistic, I believe Syria can change, but you condemn it to an eternal civil war, you condemn it to an endless quagmire, and you don't give it any hope for change. Where have I mentioned that al-Qaeda will moderate? I had suggested that about normal Syrians. Yes, Libya does have problems, but it has established a parliamentary democracy and is on the road to recovery. Iraq and Afghanistan are different situations because they have US boots on the ground, that won't happen in Syria. As a matter of fact, Obama has called for Assad's resignation as early as May 2011. He said, "Syrians have displayed 'courage in demanding a transition to democracy [but Assad's regime] has chosen the path of murder and the mass arrests of its citizens...President Assad now has a choice: He can lead that transition, or get out of the way.'"  So yes, Obama HAS asked Assad to step down, while you have incorrectly stated otherwise. Yes, some groups are mutually exclusive, but left to there own designs, at least they would kill less people than if Bashar continued his attacks ON TOP OF their internal struggles.
With regards to my 7th point, I had suggested an answer for your 7th point in Round 2 which you have not looked into. Does this mean you have forfeited on that particular point?
On a lighter note, will the last round be just for conclusions? If not, are you open to this?
Thanks for a thrilling first debate here on DDO.
John F. Kennedy on Leadership by John A. Barnes
Refute to Point 1
The action is illegal because you are threating sovereign territory over false pretenses that have not been proved. If even chemical weapons were fired by a rogue Syran soldier, that still wouldn't justify the destabilization of the entire Syrian miitary complex as long as Assad or any major general did not ordered the attack. And even if the U.S. were to take military action, they should be fair and attack all factions linked with the dozens of previous chemical attacks in Syria as well. And Vietnam was just another example on how the U.S. invades without rational. Looking at the arguments against the Domino Theory, from the link you provided, it is more rational to believe that there was no "world communism" threat and that the so-called spread derived from "indigenous or nationalist" rivalrys. As for your WW2 remark--of course Pearl Harbor would have never occured! Because without isolationism we would have been in the war much sooner, and any number of attacks could of occured then!
Refute to Point 2
I could defeat this entire prose by saying that the U.S. have been using the same, if not similiar, tactics of "terror" since the end of WW2. The drone strikes in Pakistan that kills a minimum of 50 innocents for every 1 suspected terrorist. And that is only Pakistan, not including Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the thousands of other deaths that weren't exposed by truthers such as Edward Snowden. What you are failing to realize is that Assad is not the only factor. The only difference between Assad and a faction is that Assad will be held accountable for his actions whereas factions are aloud to behead, rape, starve, torture, execute, and recruit child soldiers unwavered. The domestic population is screwed either away. At least with Assad they will have more stability. As for your last sentence about Google, I don't understand what you're trying to say.
Refute to Point 3
I'd have to disagree with opening statement for various reasons. 1.) Kennedy did eventually publicised the evidence because, unlike Obama, he actually has evidence, 2.) The CBM is uncomparable to Syria as, unlike Kennedy, Obama publicly claims to have proof without showing it, 3.) The CBM was a result of U.S. military actions in Turkey, and 4.) Your link is broken and therefore cannot back your statement. And I assure you, simply because a government is the friend of another government does not mean that the people are friends as well. Take Saudi Arabia for example: The leaders are unelected profligate monarchs (a dictatorship) who impposes harsh laws against the public. Is the U.S. bombing them? No. Sanctioning them? No. Giving them advice on how to run a democracy? No. Why? They have oil. Government relations =/= democratic support. To be truthful I don't like Assad nor do I see him as an honest man, but once again, he has no reason to use chemical weapons for a war that is swinging in his favor. There are many areas on this Earth that truly need direct foreign military intervention, yet do not. Economy and the global power struggle are all that matter to most governments.
Refute to Point 4
To be honest, I have no problem with a foreign nation bombing the chemical sites of another. However one cannot truly say that a nation such as the U.S. does not have ulterior motives when they ignore the mass deaths in Latin America and Africa along with the human rights abuses of friendly nations while only targeting unfriendly nations (Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, etc.). It is not that difficult to lend a few post-WW2 era reconaissance planes to impoverished nations to held stop the drug trade. It is not difficult to threaten rebels in Africa and condemn them for their crimes. In order to not achieve these things--which have little to no backlash--you must intentionally try hard not to. And Iran has every right to have nuclear arms, as I have stated before.
Refute to Point 5
I am in no way scorning myself. The fact of retaliation was used to refute the claim (which you have yet to dismiss) that once we attack Syria, the one strike will not be in the end of it. Again, when they retaliate the U.S. with either let them attack with no counter retaliation or retaliate back, thus causing a war. A strike will therby rationally lead to a war. And if the U.S. reveals its evidence and the evidence has merit, then I will only support a strike if the U.S. agrees to hold the factions, including the FSA, involved in other crimes against humanity as well. Such a position has not even been brough in conversation by U.S. officials, meaning it probably won't happen. Once again, the fact that eludes you is a.) Syria was a moderate society before the war, b.) The majority of the moderate population is either in The Syrian Army, dead, or seeking refuge, c.) many radicals are entering their nations from all of the planet (Saudia Arbia, Yemen, Sudan, UK, Britian, Indonesia, etc.), and d.) these radicals are recruiting children while killing other non-extremist, especially Christains, thus reducing the moderate population while inflating it with radicals. If Assad is gone, then social science suggsts that these factions will fight each other just as they do everywhere else. The only way Syria can change is if Assad AND foreign mercenaries are neutralized. By the way, the cruise missiles you linked to also bombed a medicine factory that was making aspirin. If you were hoping to give the cruise missile optimistic value, it just back-fired. And in what way am I condemning it to an endless struggle. How would it be at struggle if Assad regains power? Politically struggle, perhaps, but military? As I have said over and over again, there is more and more reason to believe these factions will not simply lay their arms down and go home after Assad falls; the once sovereign nation will just become a land grab, forgotten by the world like the many struggles that endlessly persist because of the U.S.'s actions. Optimisim that for some reason THIS time will be different even though the situation is far worse than Iraq, may be the only claim you can faintly stand upon. Libya has not established a parlimintary democracy. To say that is like saying that and individual or group with politically beliefs therby have control of the land. They don't. Libya's "government" (if you truly want to call it that) is relying on rebel groups, some hostile, for stability of entire cities. If you truly believe anarchy, mass kidnappings, rape, widespread crime, a 10% loss in revenue in the past 2 years (since 2011) as a "road to recovery", then you obviously are too blinded my optimism to recognize sorrow and utter failure. And I'll admit, I was partially wrong about Obama's stance, however he did nothing to physical prepare the Syrian people for revolution. And yes, each group alone will cause less harm, but there are three divisions: pro-Assad, pro-FSA, or pro-radical. Together, the pro-radicals will surely overwhelm the FSA once Assad is gone. The radicals are smart; they've been letting the FSA take the brunt of Assad war machine. Meanwhile, as shown in the picture in the second round, the FSA has lost its grip and cannot survive on its own devices.
I made an numerical mistake regarding your 7th point, however I believe it was challenged at the end of point 6 and throughout the entire debate as well as in this round, therby it was not completely disregarded. However to restate my position, Syria cannot form a coercive government on its own, and perhaps with foreign help either. Your counter claim seems to rely strictly upon blind optimism and the unassured claim that Obama will continue to aid the Syria people after Assad's fall.
This round will serve as the last of the sparring debate while round 5 will serve as a final conclusion on why you or I should win.
Point 2. With regards to your argument, please read this article by Sebastian Junger . He says that all the conflicts he's covered has been solved by US military action, even Afghanistan, which is experiencing its lowest level of civilian casualties in a generation. You point to Iraq, I'll point to Bosnia, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. The US is the world's superpower; it acts as the latter's policeman and steps in during difficult situations. I'm not sure about your age, but during the Yugoslav Crisis, the Serbs accused Sarajevans of mortaring themselves. That never held water, that's what Assad's doing, and it looks like the same story to me. The Google point was about FDI.
Point 3.That wasn't a link, it was a book, I've written the author's name. JFK said that if the Soviets publicised the evidence he showed them, he would cancel the deal, so you never know, Obama might have told Putin to keep quiet. I've specified GOVERNMENTS in the previous round, knowing well that you'd suggest what you did. Your link says nothing about JFK publicly revealing the evidence . Again, nobody knows the mind of a totalitarian dictator, and there might always have been some reason (for him) justifying the attack. While it is unfortunate that the world doesn't recognize many pressing problems, it's not like Assad isn't a bad guy.
Point 4. Yes, the United States has ignored such incidents, yes it has looked the other way sometimes, but when it does the right thing and plays its role as the world's sheriff, you shouldn't criticize it. The US has tried to stop the drug trade, especially heroin (admittedly mainly in its own borders). Are you suggesting that Iran, one of the world's biggest rogue states, a sponsor of terrorism  and a nation that has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel and the US, is a responsible nuclear power. If Syria can use chemical weapons on its own people with impunity, will Iran think twice about nuking Israel?
Point 5.Again, I previously touched on just the merits of attacking Assad, but I AM interested in holding other guilty parties accountable for their crimes. About the escalation, don't you have trust our armed forces and intelligence? Yes, Syria MIGHT try to launch an attack, or it might use verbal rants. In case of the former, I trust the US Army and the CIA to keep us safe and disarm the DIRECT threats to our National Security. Anyway, what if Obama gets a UN Security Council Resolution backing a strike? Our topic was American intervention, but both of us discounted the possibility of Obama passing something in the UN. Regardless of the radical-moderate "imbalance" in Syria, Bashar al-Assad still used chemical weapons against his people, his alibi sounds dangerously like that of the Serbs during the Kosovo War during the 1990's and he deserves to at least stand trial at the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, failing which I believe the US is justified in attacking Syria. Whether or not the other factions should also face an attack is another question, but I would support that as well.
5. Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky (Book)
I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate, for as usual, I learned many things from regarding opposing viewpoints. However I am still have not been emotionally or rationally swayed towards his objective. Mainly because I feel my opponents logic disregards history as well as likely future events and substitutes it with short-term results. Assad is a bad leader--I'll admit that--and perhaps he should be removed from power, but for the sake of of human life in general, destabilizing him will be far worse than if he were to remain in power. I still believe he is not responsible for the chemical attacks. I still believe the U.S. has ulterior motives. And I still believe the situation is far too complex for simple military bombings on on the State to handle. If the world truly wished to solve the issue, it would focus on quarantining various areas of the land to force a cease fire which would lead to an disarmament of all weapon holders (either peacefully or by force) and the UN will substitute as government for a year or so until stability occurs. This action should be ordered and directed by the UN without influence from any ulterior NATO motives. In fact, any NATO nation should no be allowed to participate in direct military action. Until this happens, I rationally feel that it is in the best interest of Syria, and people in general, if Assad or some other formal stable institution remains power to combat the amount of mercenaries, radicals, and foreign invaders pouring in from its borders unpunished.
Ultimately, I feel my main claims of Syria probable future, Assad not using chemical weapons, and NATO's ulterior motives, have gone undefeated. I thank you for taking time for this spar. It is left to the voters to decide who is the winner. And to the voters, if you vote for or against me, please leave a detailed summary on why, for I may improve on my rhetoric.
P.S. Assad has (or is in the process of) removed his chemical stockpile to another institution.
I'd like to thank my opponent for a wonderful first debate, and I'm with him in asking all you voters to PLEASE provide a reason for your choice, so that we can both improve and have an even better debate in the future. I think I should win because the US has a proven track record with recent foreign intervention, as I have stated before, see Bosnia, for example. Yes, Iraq went wrong, but it's only an exception. Besides, you can never get to know a megalomaniac, so if Bahar refuses to help the West and Russia move forward in a joint investigation, I'd fully support a US cruise missile strike (as I do know). Besides, it will just be one strike, and anyway, Syria has harboured terrorists before, the latter has just bitten the hand that fed them. Anyway, I think the main tenents of my argument still stand, so please VOTE FOR ME!!!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Two central issues emerge: whether Assad or the rebels committed the gas attack and whether gas attacks are different in some important way from conventional munitions. Con's argument that Russia doesn't consider Assad guilty is not credible, though Pro could have made stronger arguments. Pro pointed to the indiscriminate carnage of chemical weapons making them different, I don't think Con overcame that. I think Con's best argument was the danger that the US could be drawn into a larger war; Pro argued that taking a stand would have less risk in the long run than setting a precedent of ignoring gas attacks. I though the debate was very close. I give the edge to Pro because of Con's weak arguments about Assad being innocent and gas being like any other weapon. I think Con could have won by stressing the dangers of the US being drawn into a larger war. I'm personally undecided on the issue, so the debate was interesting.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Okay. Con should've named his points something other than "Point 1-7" because it got confusing. That said I vote Con because Pro doesn't really give me enough impact to change the status quo (which is not bombing Syria). I don't really see a warrant for the argument that chemical weapons are so bad that they warrant intervention when nothing else does--Cons argument about how all deaths can be painful ect. is more compelling. I buy that the US has ulterior motives in intervening in Syria but Con doesn't really explain to me why this is necessarily bad. I'm also told that intervening would elicit retaliation and it wasnt even made clear that Assad used the weapons! On stability I think Con controls the direction of the link-- The historical examples of failed nation building are better than Pros vague appeals to "stability" in the region. I think Pro should've taken the ulterior motives argument and ran a oil/hegemony case but he didnt. Over all, neg wins.
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