The Instigator
USMCgal625
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Daxitarian
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points

Should the United States withdraw it's troops from Iraq?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2008 Category: News
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,452 times Debate No: 1323
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (18)

 

USMCgal625

Con

American troops have been in Iraq for several years now. Although the defeat of Saddam and the Iraq military was relatively easy, the stabilization of the country in the aftermath has been anything but easy. Thousands of American troops have died, and Iraqi civilians continue to get caught in terrorist and cross-cultural attacks on a daily basis. The U.S. continues to progress in its attempt to help the Iraqis become politically and militarily self-sufficient, but most Democrats and much of the American public has lost patience for what they perceive as a never-ending task that offers costs too high to bear. So the questions remains, does the U.S. cut its losses and withdraw now, or should it stay and try to complete an extremely difficult task which may take years or decades?

The answer is NO!!

A true Sunni-Shiite civil war could ensue, resulting in ten times the current bloodshed. Although there is daily bloodshed in Iraq, American troops largely keep it at a fraction of what it could be. They provide security checkpoints, enforce curfews, train Iraqi police, raid terrorist insurgent strongholds, and do countless other tasks to help maintain security. In fact, the vast majority of the country is stable. The trouble remains almost entirely focused in the Sunni-dominated Baghdad area. In any case, if we pull out now, a new and relatively inexperienced Iraqi police force must take over security for the whole country, which is a task they are likely not yet ready to handle. If they aren't, a true civil war could break out and make the current bloodshed pale in comparison. The U.S. Civil War took the lives of over a half million Americans. Imagine what a civil war with today's weapons would look like, especially in an area with so many fanatical, suicidal terrorists.

The longer we stay, the more time Iraqi politicians have to work out government structure differences, and the more time Iraqi troops & police have to train. Unlike the quagmire of Vietnam, we have a plan for the future of Iraq. We're trying to build a working democracy that grows and thrives. Unfortunately, such a monumental task takes time and patience. It took hundreds of years to get our own democracy working well! And that was without terrorists and countries like Iran try to sabotage the effort at every turn. Our first attempt at a constitution (the Articles of Confederation) was such a complete and utter failure that we threw it out and started over from scratch. Iraq is simply going through the same growth process. The longer we give them to work out problems, the more stable the country will be in the future. And if we give the Iraqi troops time to train and gain experience, they'll be better prepared to face the many challenges ahead.

We may have to re-invade if we don't stabilize the country since it could become a terrorist haven or could bring to power another Saddam. Iraq's democracy is definitely fragile. History shows that weak governments can easily be overtaken by brutal, power-hungry thugs...Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Hussein...the list goes on and on. The whole terror war started because the ruthless Taliban took control of Afghanistan and gave shelter to Osama bin Laden as he planned the 9/11 attacks. If we leave too soon, Iraq may become the new haven for terrorists. It could also be taken over by another Saddam-type leader or by fundamentalist clerics such as in Iran. In any of these cases, it would only create a situation where we have to re-invade and start the process all over again. And next time, we likely won't have the military bases or any world support to launch an attack.

The bloodshed currently confined to Iraq could spread to neighboring countries, resulting in not just an Iraqi civil war, but a Sunni-Shiite regional civil war. Remember, there are plenty of fanatical Sunnis and Shiites in neighboring countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, etc. The killing could easily spill over the border as Sunnis in these countries try to help their Sunni allies in Iraq, while Shiites try to do the same. Imagine the number of deaths that would result from a regional civil war where hundreds of millions of Muslims currently live. Can you think of any way the U.S. military could re-establish stability in such a scenario?

(information and statistics taken from www.balancedpolitics.org)
Daxitarian

Pro

My points:

1. The purpose of the military is to defend America, not to build nations. Kenya is having riots over their last election, should America intervene militarily in that? What about Darfur? Or ever other dispute in the world?

2. We can't build a democracy for one simple reason: You can not force someone to think. As Plato said, "Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body. Knowledge, which is acquired under corrosion, obtains no hold on the mind." The difference between the articles of confederation and what is in Iraq now is that America's revolution was an internal change. We are trying to change Iraq by external means, which is not possible. Democracy can't be spread by the barrel of the gun. Trying to make people think with force is like trying to deal with nature with persuasion.

3. While the current situation in Iraq is no where close to the cost of other conflicts, it does cost some money and is bad for the economy.

4. The war was founded on false premises, so there is no justification for us being over there.

5. Most Iraqis want us out. It is there country to build, and their civil war to fight if they choose. When the Iraqi soccer team won the Asian cup final, the first thing their captain said at the trophy presentation was for America to go home. While we might stifle some sectarian violence, we also draw terrorists from around the region to come into Iraq.

So, not only should we withdraw from Iraq, but from Korea, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Debate Round No. 1
USMCgal625

Con

So I'd like to take on some of the points my opponent brought up.

1. "The purpose of the military is to defend America, not to build nations. Kenya is having riots over their last election, should America intervene militarily in that? What about Darfur? Or ever other dispute in the world?"

The difference between the Iraq War and the genocide in Darfur, is that Iraq dictator posed a serious security threat to America. People are very quick to blame Bush for this conflict, but other prominent LIBERAL politicians agree.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeleine Albright, Feb 18, 1998. *

2. "You can't build a democracy for one simple reason: You can not force someone to think."

The are three definite signs that Iraqis want a democratic government.

First, The Coalition Transferred Sovereignty. On June 28, 2004, the Coalition handed sovereignty to Iraqi leaders - two days ahead of schedule.

Second, In January 2005, Iraqis Went To The Polls And Elected Leaders For A Transitional Government. Defying the car bombers and assassins, almost 8.5 million Iraqis cast their ballots, and the world watched in awe as Iraqis danced in the streets, held up ink-stained fingers, and celebrated their freedom. These elections were a watershed event for Iraq and the Middle East.

Third, Iraqis Adopted The Most Progressive, Democratic Constitution In The Arab World. Iraq's leaders reached out to Sunni Arabs and included them in the drafting process. Together, representatives of Iraq's diverse communities drafted a bold constitution that guarantees the rule of law, freedom of assembly, property rights, freedom of speech and the press, freedom of religious belief and practice, women's rights, and the right to vote. After last-minute changes, including a new procedure for considering amendments to the constitution next year, a revised constitution was endorsed by Iraq's largest Sunni party and approved in a referendum that drew over a million more voters to the polls than the January elections.**

3. " While the current situation in Iraq is no where close to the cost of other conflicts, it does cost some money and is bad for the economy."

Yes, wars cost money, but so does rebuilding a country after it's been attacked by terrorists. If we pull out of Iraq now, we'll be leaving ourselves susceptable to terrorist attacks, which will cost more to fix than to continue our presence in Iraq.***

4. " The war was founded on false premises, so there is no justification for us being over there."

We went to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein failed to destroy his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Once again, people are very quick to say that it was Bush's fault and we shouldn't be there because he lied. The United Nations issued Resolution 1441 which states that Iraq had clearly broken their code, basically backing up the CIA's claim. ****

And as a matter of fact, the DOD released satellite images from a month before the invasion. These images show federal Iraqi trucks carting away weapons into Pakistan. So we were in fact right. *****

5. "Most Iraqis want us out."

Iraqis who have supported and helped Americans could face death or torture. We wouldn't have been able to set up a democratic government or make the progress we have without the cooperation of many Iraqi officials. Unfortunately, if we leave too soon, these helpful citizens may face a backlash from the terrorist insurgents, and we won't be around to protect them. Remember, this is a population that lived in constant fear of Saddam retribution.And by the way, recent polls state that Iraqis want US troops to pull out AS SOON AS THEY ARE STABLE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES. ******

6. So, not only should we withdraw from Iraq, but from Korea, Europe, and the rest of the world.

The point of having troops all over the world is so that in case of a foreign attack on our country, we are able to respond as quickly as possible. We also have troops stationed at US Embassies, protecting our diplomats and allies. If we withdraw these troops, we will lose our strongholds in different parts of the world, rendering our armed forces inefficient and more time consuming. *******

* www.bostonglobe.com
** www.balancedpolitics.org
***www.usatoday.com
****UN Resolution 1441
*****www.dod.mil
******www.washingtonpost.com
******* www.purdueuniversity.edu/historydept/milhist
Daxitarian

Pro

"The difference between the Iraq War and the genocide in Darfur, is that Iraq dictator posed a serious security threat to America. People are very quick to blame Bush for this conflict, but other prominent LIBERAL politicians agree."

Reply: Saddam never posed a serious threat to the U.S. The administration cherry picked, and flat out lied, about intelligence to pull us into a war we don't need. Even if Saddam did have a nuclear weapon he would not be a security threat because we have over 4,000 nuclear weapons and second strike capabilities. For any rouge state to launch one weapon would be suicide. If their goal is to stay in power, they will leave us alone. The war wasn't about safety, it was about oil and a neo-conservative plan that we could transform the middle east so that oil would keep flowing here.

"The are three definite signs that Iraqis want a democratic government."

Reply: Yes, some do, but people in Kenya want a democracy. Just because they are having problems, does that mean it is the American military's job to facilitate the process? We can't manage the internal struggles of every country.

"Yes, wars cost money, but so does rebuilding a country after it's been attacked by terrorists. If we pull out of Iraq now, we'll be leaving ourselves susceptable to terrorist attacks, which will cost more to fix than to continue our presence in Iraq."

Reply: The Iraq war has smeared our image and has created more terrorists, according to a National Intelligence Estimate. How does bringing the troops home make it any more likely that they will attack us here? They can attack us here right now, it doesn't matter where our military is, except in the sense that if we bring our military home, we will be perceived as less of an imperial power. So the idea of us pulling out of Iraq will make it more likely we will be attacked by terrorists is just false.

"Iraqis who have supported and helped Americans could face death or torture. We wouldn't have been able to set up a democratic government or make the progress we have without the cooperation of many Iraqi officials. Unfortunately, if we leave too soon, these helpful citizens may face a backlash from the terrorist insurgents, and we won't be around to protect them. Remember, this is a population that lived in constant fear of Saddam retribution.And by the way, recent polls state that Iraqis want US troops to pull out AS SOON AS THEY ARE STABLE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES."

Reply: No, most of them want us out now. http://www.washingtonpost.com... Not only do Iraqis want us out of Iraq, but everyone in the middle east wants us out of there. And we have no justification for being there. That is why terrorists attack us. Because we are over there. On top of that, a large number of our own troops want out of Iraq. http://zogby.com... If you support the troops, then you support brining them home. We should never sacrifice any one in the military for protecting Iraqis. The military is supposed to protect the United States.

"The point of having troops all over the world is so that in case of a foreign attack on our country, we are able to respond as quickly as possible. We also have troops stationed at US Embassies, protecting our diplomats and allies. If we withdraw these troops, we will lose our strongholds in different parts of the world, rendering our armed forces inefficient and more time consuming."

Reply: By having a predatory foreign policy, we increase the chances that people will want to attack us. We are saying that we are going to preemptively attack Iran, so it makes it more likely people will want to build a nuclear weapon to defend themselves, which increases the talk that we are going to invade them, which increases the desire for a nuclear weapon, and so on. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor we went from basically zero military to the greatest military in the world. We should be spending those resources on trade and cultural exchange, which is the best way to spread peace, not policing the world. We must vow never to preemptively invade another country again if we are to get back any respect in the world again.
Debate Round No. 2
USMCgal625

Con

USMCgal625 forfeited this round.
Daxitarian

Pro

If you want to change something, you have to understand it first. If we want to change attitudes about America, we have to quit doing the things that are causing those attitudes. And if you read any about the current conflict in the middle east, it is driven by what we do over there: invading countries, overthrowing democracies, and supporting dictators who support us is a large part of that. We need to keep out of the "tangling alliances" and mind our own business.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Modus.Operandi 9 years ago
Modus.Operandi
The whole basis for the war in Iraq was that Saddam wanted to start trading oil in Euro's and stop using U.S. Dollars... This obviously didn't make Bush and the Boys very happy so then you have the whole crack pot story about nuclear weapons. Iran wants to start trading in oil in Yen (Japanese Currency) not U.S. dollars, which is why tension is so high between the U.S. and Iran right now. You really shouldn't believe everything that CNN tells you to.
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