Should the US take military action against syria
Debate Rounds (5)
First round for acceptance, so feel free to post your arguments first.
**As a disclaimer, I will use my exact arguments from my other debate for my first entry, as I spent a good amount of time crafting them, and my other opponent forfeited.**
As for your claim that Assad's troops fired on U.N inspectors, I would appreciate it if you would cite a source. I cannot find anything to evidence that, and this is the first I am hearing about it. No offense but I seriously doubt that statement is accurate.
The reasons why we should stay out of Syria are numerous.
----Syrian Rebels (FSA)-----
Arming/Supporting the rebels is dangerous ground to say the least. It has been reported that the rebel faction is affiliated with militant Islamic Extremists, not people that we want to arm. We already made that mistake when we armed militants in Afghanistan so they could fight the Russians. Then they fought us.
There are multiple allegations of war crimes, civilian kidnappings, murders thefts from Turkish merchants, prisoner executions, body mutilation and torture committed by the FSA. Much of this has been confirmed by HRW (Human Rights Watch)
So do we have any sort of confidence that FSA(Free Syrian Army) will provide a regime superior to the current one? And who is the U.S to choose one Human Rights abuser over another?
The FSA is NOT a credible force worthy of American support.
-----Iran and Russia------
This entire situation is reminiscent of the Cold War, although it isn't as blatant as the proxy wars between the U.S.S.R, and America, the correlation exists. Iran openly supplies and backs the Assad regime, and have recently deployed 4,000 soldiers to support the Assad Regime. It is not in American interests to increase tensions with a budding nuclear power that is already at odds with the west.
Putin and Obama are now butting heads again thanks to Syria. Russia has come out in support of the Assad regime and has supplied them in the past, and now opposes intervention . Russia is locking out the Security Council and blocking the U.S"s request for the use of force in Syria. The use of force in Syria would be a breach of international law and protocol. I find it ironic that America breaks international law and protocol in order to enforce it.
Breaching international law does nothing but devalue the U.N and proliferate the colloquial idea of America as World Police. Straining already tense international relations is not something that we need either. Much of the world opposes military intervention, including a very large part of the American population.
If America intervenes in the Syrian conflict, we are partly culpable for whatever the outcome may be. If the Assad regime is overthrown, Syria is presented with the monumental task of state building. Although the FSA proclaims it has ideals of equality and democracy at heart, there is no guarantee that the following regime will be any different. The same cycle of liberator to dictator to civil war has been happening in Africa for decades. If America intervenes, we assume some responsibility for the product of our intervention, we cannot(shouldn"t) simply hit and run.
Peace-building and state-building are some of the most complex and difficult processes in the political spectrum. Are we really ready to assume another one of those responsibilities? Especially after seeing how miserably unsuccessful our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been. I don"t believe that our incursions into those communities have bettered those countries. I don"t think many people do. A Syrian intervention would produce a very similar situation, likely much worse. How do we now that the instigation of liberal state building would be beneficial or even realistically possible in Syria? The placement of liberal institutions in Iraq/Afghanistan has been largely unsuccessful.
In the last 10 years, America has already gone through grueling, and largely unsuccessful democratization efforts. We do not need the financial responsibility of upholding a mock democracy while being forced to rule a post-conflict society with martial law.
Why here? Why now? Genocide, murder and other mass human rights violations have been and are taking place in Somalia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Korea, many of which are comparable or worse than the Syrian Civil war. Where is the standard for Intervention? How can we justify saving Syrians over Kenyans?
How can we afford another war? The national deficit is still skyrocketing. Does being world police supersede our duties to our own country?
Finally, being the pacifist that I am, I believe that violence begets violence. The use of force to pacify a nation has many secondary and tertiary consequences.
I will leave you with the words of our own President, Barack Obama.
"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." 2007
As for the UN Inspectors being fired on, look here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
You mention bias, yet you cite Huffington post, which is often criticized for its Left wing bias. But, I don't doubt the factual roots of the article. The same is true for everything I cited in my previous arguments. Also, thank you for showing me that, I hadn't ever heard about that happening. This being said, I would like to point out that the shooter was "unidentified", and likely will never be identified. You claim that Assad's troops fired on them. This is pretty illogical, as Assad would have no interest in killing U.N inspectors, as an open attack would ruin his credibility. There are a lot of people in the Middle East, and the world that resent the United Nations. It does stand as a testament to the instability and violence present in the region though.
As I stated in my arguments, the FSA is guilty of dozens of reported human rights abuses, and there have very likely been more unreported ones. Many dictators and brutal authoritarian regimes have risen to power under the guise of liberty and freedom. Africa has been victimized by this cylce for decades: Dictator---War/Coup---"LIberation"----Dictator. If you need actual examples I will be happy to supply them. I
I Seriously doubt that fear is the motivation for the FSA stealing from Turkish Merchants. If I were a member of the FSA (who is likely armed) and supposedly fighting for freedom, and I saw a foreigner near me, and my adrenaline was "pumping through my veins" the last thing I would do would be to rob that person. Regardless, these are the least atrocious of their violations which include Murder, torture and kidnappings.
Also, the idea of intervening in Syria is wildly unpopular in America, (1) and after all our government exists to act out the will of the people. That's what makes us a democracy.
Other than that, you didn't really respond to any of my other arguments against intervention, so I can't really make any further comments.
I respect your arguments, but either way, on side will eventually end up winning. The loser will face many casualties. I believe that, if the Rebels win, we will have a new US Ally, and there will be a new democracy in the world.
It's interesting that you bring up the American revolution. Yes, we would have undoubtably lost without French aide. But there is a striking difference, the American revolutionaries were not involved in an Intra-state civil war like Syria is. Syrians are going to have to learn to live with each other after this, and somehow build peace. Time and Time again, history shows us that all to often, leaders proclaim freedom and liberty, an revert to authoritarianism. Numerous savage dictators have risen up under the guise of a liberation movement.
I don't suggest that the Assad Regime is superior to the FSA, but I do submit that if the United States should play no role in this decision. If we are to militarily intervene, we are subsequently responsible for whatever the outcome of that nation. We assume the responsibility to reconstruct what we destroyed. Building a new nation, and building peace is extraordinarily difficult, and America has seen how difficult this is firsthand in Iraq and Afghanistan. After nearly an 8 year occupation in Iraq, we have left behind us a failed State (1), that lacks the most basic of services and protections for its occupants. There is still widespread violence and unrest.
It is my main contention that Military Intervention is self defeating and counterproductive. Mass violence and death is no way to show a people how to live in peace. America, with a depleted economy and large scale internal strife, is in no place to fight a war, and assume the responsibilities of post war occupation and reconstruction. The majority of America opposes military intervention, (2) which is yet another reason not to attack. Our government is designed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. So if the majority of Americans oppose intervention, we should not intervene. There is too much at stake. We are not world police.
Aside from that, you did not really make any clear arguments.
I would remind you as I stated earlier that the FSA has committed drastic Human rights violations as well. Around 1,300 people died from chemical weapons, which still have not been ultimately confirmed as Assad's actions. The War, waged by both sides killed 100,000 and displaced millions long before the chemical weapons were used. (1)
American efforts of peace building and democratization have been largely unsuccessful. Our attempts to turn nations into "peace-loving states" have not done this. Peacebuilding is extraordinarily time consuming, difficult and carries no guarantee of success. Does America really have the means to support that kind of policy right now? The assumption that capitalism and democracy are the universal solution to everything, is a misstep, we never seem to pay attention to the grassroots. What do the Syrians want?
There is very little evidence to suggest that the Syrians actually want an intervention either. (2) American citizens are largely opposed to it as well, as I cited earlier. So should the American government really defy the desires of it's own populous? I certainly don't think so.
Intervention at this point in time would be illegal. As I said earlier, it is a sad irony that America breaks international law in order to enforce it. Why don't we use the global mechanisms created to enforce peace to mitigate the situation?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sleezehead 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: theHomelessPanda made a pretty convincing argument. aiah never really did. Sorry. Con did much more of an argument than to suggest Assad was evil.
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