The Instigator
FrontLineConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Winning
44 Points

Stay in Iraq until the job is done.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,537 times Debate No: 446
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (21)

 

FrontLineConservative

Pro

Considering the interests of the Iraqi people, the U.S. and Allied troops, and the honor and integrity of this great nation, we must stay in Iraq until the job is done.

We may never know if Saddam Hussein actually had W.M.D.'s in Iraq. Reports do show that he had acquired W.M.D.'s and may have filtered them through other countries over the past 20 years. Regardless, Saddam and his government were responsible for the murders of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens. There were ordered executions of political opponents and advocates of free speech.

I firmly believe that if we pull out of Iraq right now we will lose the integrity and honor that American servicemen and women are fighting for this very hour. We cannot leave the Iraqi's with false hopes. We must defeat the enemy on their ground or we will have to fight that war on our turf, amongst our neighborhoods, and with our children watching it with their own eyes.
Tatarize

Con

What job? Which job are we doing? Fighting both sides of a civil war? Establishing democracy in a region barely governable by tyrants? Stealing the oil? Getting rid of the WMDs? Attacking them there so they won't swim the Atlantic and attack us here? To replace a dictator who opposed the terrorist with terrorists and funding operations for terrorists?

Most of your arguments are sunk cost arguments. They are the flawed logic that leads people to wrongly refuse to cut their losses. The logic which makes people bet their bottom dollar on bad cards, or support a losing effort simply because we have lost by supporting it. The costs and losses, failures and successes, in the past, are irrelevant to the choice to stay. The question you should be asking yourself isn't how much we've lost for so little and what we can do to make it mean something. You should be asking yourself if, we know today what we know today... would you put the troops on the ground? If Iraq is as war-torn and messed up as today, do we put boots on the ground knowing what we know? There are no weapons of mass destruction, no Saddam, no greetings as liberators. Do you invade a gutted country with little hope for anything? I say the answer is no. Now, the sunk cost fallacy says that each time you weigh the decision, what you've "invested" is irrelevant. The millions of displaced and murdered Iraqis, the couple trillion dollars this war has cost, the thousands of American Soldiers lives, and the international loss of faith are irrelevant, not to mention the bogus reasons for waging the war. The question is, would you put boots on the ground today? If the answer is no, then we shouldn't have boots on the ground. Just as you shouldn't invest another billion dollars in a project which has produced nothing and doesn't show signs of producing something. Just as you shouldn't keep calling to the river with a hand you invested too much with on the flop. You don't throw good resources after bad.

You cut your losses with the situation you have today.

As you brought up some of these pointless notes allow me to address them:

* The only reports showing Saddam Hussein had some W.M.D.s were the once receipts of those weapons we gave them during the Iran-Iraq war. After that point the good intelligence suggested that he wasn't developing them, and it took a considerable amount of cherry picking to invent a story that he had them or was even developing them. We had weapons inspectors on the grounds before Iraq's infrastructure was destroyed. If we actually wanted to look for these phantom weapons that would have been the time to do it. We had the world community ready to pressure the hell of Iraq. We had that threat contained. If that was the intent, deciding to go to war anyway was beyond stupid.

We cannot justify staying in Iraq today because the president mislead the American people. What happened then is a treason, but has nothing to do with the question at hand. Is it worth it to stay, when we look at what we can gain or lose in the future? We know how much we are losing in this war, and we know what we won't lose if we leave.

* As for the question of "IF" he had weapons. The Duelfer couldn't have been any more clear, there were no weapons of mass destructions in Iraq. Just as Iran has, as we learned recently, shut down its program as well. The entire line of debate concerning the completely botched job selling the American people this war doesn't matter. Yes, it was horrible. Yes, it was wrong. No, it doesn't matter.

We cannot justify staying in Iraq today because the president mislead the American people. Presenting phantom "reports" which suggest he magicked away his reportedly massive stockpiles doesn't matter at all. To put this in perspective, imagine if Saddam had massive stockpiles, we found them and we removed them all during the war and we are now in a situation where Iraq is exactly like it is, and we managed to stop a massive threat. This would perhaps justify the invasion in 2003, but it would not justify a continued presence in 2007. Again, that's the sunk cost fallacy. What are we going to gain if we stay there? What are we going to lose?

* As for the claim that the war is justified because Saddam is a bad man, that is also a sunk cost. It doesn't matter. We aren't fighting Saddam anymore, we are watching as millions of Iraqis are murdered and displaced. While we try to secure a small area in order for the Iraqi government to sit around and do nothing.

Sure, Saddam was bad. There are a lot of bad men in the world. However, it doesn't justify staying. It cannot justify staying. If we were still fighting Saddam, that might have been a point to argue. Though, we could have done that with a sniper bullet rather than a full ground war. But we aren't still fighting Saddam.

* The claim that pulling out of Iraq will dishonor the integrity of the troops is laughable. They do what we ask of them, even if we just set them in the middle of a civil war and give them nothing to do. Just as bringing them home will be easily followed.

They have done nothing wrong. They have not been dishonored nor have had their integrity questioned. The Administration is dishonored. The Administration is without integrity. The reason the sunk cost fallacy is so powerful is because of pride. People hate to realize that they lost a lot and gained nothing (less than nothing in this case). Losing a lot more in order to pretend a chance exists that those losses are not in vain is dishonorable and shows an extreme lack of integrity. Declare victory and bring the troops home. They did everything we asked of them, and though those who asked were incompetent it should not, and would not, make the troops look bad.

* The majority of the "enemy" only exists on their turf. We are talking about people who have some stolen Iraqi weapons from depots we left unguarded with perhaps an old Iraqi soldier from Saddam's disbanded army. These aren't the kinds of people who can fly across the Atlantic very easily.

I will however grant you that, of all of your arguments, this is the one and only argument which isn't sunk cost. It is the only argument which doesn't say... we screwed up so bad we must stay. We screwed up so bad that we might as well stay. We screwed up so bad that we will look bad if we don't stay. We gained a small bit for the massive losses and those things justify our staying. We are actually discussing future downside here. We are looking at a consequence of leaving with regard to future events. This weak nothing of a pathetic argument is the only shred of anything which even remotely qualifies as a reason to stay. How sad is that? The only 'real' argument you have is that if we don't have easily available American troops to be murdered by cowardly roadside bombs some poor Iraqi is going to travel five thousand miles to stick out like a sore thumb and try to kill some American here. How about we spend one tiny fraction of what we spent on the Iraq war to make sure people can't do that rather than putting troops in harms way as fodder! If the Iraqis don't have some local Americans to kill they will have to come to our turf where they have no upper hand. That isn't an impressive argument. Moreso when one considers the facts that our boots on the ground in Iraq are breeding more terror. Terrorism numbers have been skyrocketing as a result of our actions. And in the future, looking at the numbers we will have more terror if we stay than if we go.

We will save 8 billion dollars a month, thousands upon thousands of American lives, and prevent terror by leaving. If we stay, we will lose billions, respect, lives, and continue to make Iraq a hotbed of terror.

We should cut our losses. Take our victories, declare victory, come home, throw a parade for the troops and focus our efforts on security. I don't care if doing so will dishonor the Administration for making really bad choices.
Debate Round No. 1
FrontLineConservative

Pro

You're great with "filler" and it's information, mislead information might I add, that you probably received from sites like MoveOn.org after you googled "Liberal Agenda."

First off, the majority of our oil imports come from Canada not the Middle East. CNN won't tell you that, but the U.S. economic report will.

To your question of "whether or not I would put troops on the ground today" knowing that there were no W.M.D.'s, yes I would. No one should ever live under a dictatorship that will kill, mercilessly, it's own citizens. We are the model of freedom and we should ensure that no one in this world is denied basic freedoms. Seeing the Iraqi's flock to voting booths in 2004 under intense mortar fire from insurgents only further confirms my belief that we are there for the right reason.

Your argument that the president led us into this war and that it's his fault is bogus. Look at Congress' voting record. Lot's of democrats voted to throw Saddam out of power. The president did what he thought he had to do and I can promise you that in 30 years you will not be as critical of him when you see a stable and independent democratic Iraq.

I want to debate you, not your search engine.
Tatarize

Con

I addressed your arguments. I did not give "filler" information. I showed why your claims were false, and why your claims didn't matter. Even if the reasons for the war were right and more correct than we believed, it wouldn't help us one jot addressing the question at hand. Should we stay in Iraq? To make this decision, the past doesn't matter. What do we have to gain if we stay? What do we have to lose if we stay? What do we have to gain if we leave? What do we have to lose if we leave? -- The past doesn't matter. It's sunk cost. Yes, Bush's decisions have been extremely horrible, but to really look at the choice we need to look at the situation we have today.

Secondly, accusing me of being a liberal or of getting my information from MoveOn.org (what ever that is). Are simply genetic fallacies, they are ad homs. You are saying that the source of the information shows it to be wrong. No. That's not acceptable. You must actually show how the obvious facts that we have only more terror to gain by staying and massive lives, money, resources to lose. That is the core of my argument and they need to be address.

* Next you say that most of our oil imports come from Canada. This is true. Most come from Canada and Mexico and locally. However, this is a red herring. It has nothing to do with the loss/gain of staying in Iraq. Though, ironically this comment is both irrelevant and naive. If you haven't noticed, we live in a global economy. If Saudi Arabia stopped pumping oil, we would be affected in a very real and dramatic way. The price of oil would go up and Canada would sell to other markets which paid more, and we would need to pay more. Just because shipping oil from across the world is more expensive and we get it from the local markets doesn't mean the global price isn't set globally.

Let me stress this point. THIS HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH THE ARGUMENT! I am very knowledgeable with regard the oil markets and could write at length on that topic. From the depletion of light crude to the technologies needed to extract oil from the tar sands, none of it matters. It isn't a cost of leaving Iraq. If I were to take your naive view of the world that only Canada it would suggest we need less involvement in the middle east, and thusly support my case. Again, we have everything to lose by staying and we don't have to lose any more. We don't have to lose another man or woman in action, another dollar down the sinkhole, another day protecting a government which cannot and will not function, another moment in the midsts of a civil war!

You say that no one should ever live under a dictatorship? But, ignoring the problems of other dictatorships, they don't. Saddam is gone. That's a sunk cost. You are saying that you would invade to protect people from Saddam? There is no Saddam. He is dead, as are thousands of our soldiers. That is a sunk cost, we have no more dictatorship to overthrow in Iraq.

We were the model of freedom. Now we're regarded as an inconsiderate bully with blood on our hands. The "purple finger revolution" aside, what are we gaining from staying? There's no there there. They elected a government we took down and put back up and we have an Iraqi government which does nothing. I'm glad you feel happy about people voting, but that's what happened in the past. It could have been the happiest, most fun, most perfect, most civil, most absolutely wonderful event in the history of the world. It doesn't make Iraq less of a torn-apart hellhole today. It doesn't give the Iraqis a functional government. It doesn't give us some benefit in the future. It doesn't do us one jot of good. We aren't going to gain anything by staying. That's the point. That's the only point anybody needs to realize.

This ad hoc secondary reason to bring freedom to the Iraqi people is amusing, but again, isn't worth it. How many American troops should we lose due to some faint infantile hope that Iraq will become a magical utopia of democracy? How many more billions and trillions of dollars should we spend toward this phantasm of a hope? Sure, your race horse is running on three legs and is half blind... but if all the other horses magically die, you'll win. I mean we spent too much already and don't have a prayer... but we need to make it worth it by spending much more? Take a good look at the reasons there. It's sunk cost and the glue factory is offering real money.

You're advocating actions not based on future returns but on pride, you don't want call it over because if it was over today George W. Bush would be the worst president ever who lost thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, billions of dollars and faith of the rest of the world for nothing! It would have been done for less than nothing, for more terror, more hate, more disrespect. Despite what you'd like to believe all we have accomplished. We could have done all the good we've done with one bullet. Even more good with two... where is Osama bin Laden when you need him? Oh, escaped.

This is why we must only look forward. The lost lives and resources don't matter when it comes to the question of if we should stay. What matters is what do we have to gain? What do we have to lose? Nothing and everything, respectively.

A lot of democrats voted to give the president the authority to use force as a bargaining chip to get Saddam to allow weapons inspectors in: it worked. We had them on the ground looking for, and not finding, the non-existent WMDs. Giving them time to do their jobs, would have done everything we needed to do there. Though this too is simply a red herring. It has nothing to do with future cost or benefits. You simply disagree with history. There was a stable and independent Iraq, in 2002. Democracies in the region tend to elect the likes of Hamas. Having the people elect those they agree with isn't going to help us out when, looking at the polls, most of them want us gone. But, I digress.

You can't ask the question of if we should stay in Iraq and support it with a bunch of nonsense arguments about what happened in the past or some kind of odd revisionist history. You need to look at the situation today. We have a nonfunctional government, a civil war, and a massive amount of incurred losses... and more to come if we stay. And what do we get if we stay? A pipedream thirty years off? Not only that, it's a pipedream from the same people who brought us "greeted as liberators!"

Finally, you made the comment that I'm using a search engine. Let me make three quick points on that. First, moot. If I were using a search engine it would have no bearing on the truth or falseness of my statements. They still must be looked at on their own merits. Second, false. I am not using a search engine. I assure you, I know a lot about world affairs and understand what's going on. I've been well informed for years and have a fantastic memory. I am, quite honestly, typing this out of my head. Third, thank you. I'll take that as a complement that you think I'm brilliant and are finding it nearly impossible to counter my position and well-made arguments. This probably has more to do with the dearth of reasonable argument for your position than it does my stellar performance... thank you all the same.
Debate Round No. 2
FrontLineConservative

Pro

My argument is simple and to the point. If we pull out of Iraq, it will become a safe haven for terrorists. These terrorists are constantly plotting attacks against the U.S. and our allies including Israel. So to say that we should just pull out and let the Iraqi government handle it's own problems is to say that we do not care about the safety of our country.

We have lost thousands of lives in our war against terrorism. Every life that is lost should not be taken lightly. President Bush knows this and has stated this on numerous occasions.

Truman was president towards the end of WWII and he was hated. Look at how the history books write about him now.

I have many friends in the Marine Corps and other branches of the military. Three of my friends have fought in Iraq on two tours of duty. The general consensus is that we have to stay in Iraq until the job is done. They speak of how the Iraqi military is progressing in their training but that they cannot take over full control now. We're their now, we cannot leave until we know that they can fend for themselves.

I wish you only knew the magnitude of the first free elections that were held in Iraq. You completely pushed that to the side.
Tatarize

Con

You have the audacity to say that your argument is simple and to the point when your previous three rounds have consisted of nothing but right-wing talking points?

Your argument seems to be, from what I can piece together:
* Leaving Iraq will make it a safe haven for terrorists.
* Leaving Iraq will make the terrorists follow us home.
* We must stay in order to create a magical land 30 years down the road.

These are, at the very least, not sunk cost arguments (unlike everything else). However, they are naive and silly. There are a number of places where terrorists plan attacks and we tend to just bomb those places when we find them. Secondly there's an obvious difference between planning an attack with a step which says "travel 5,000 miles" and one that says go down the road an plant a bomb. The number of terrorists events and potential terrorists only goes up the longer we stay. They don't like us, and kids wanting to join the Jihad need only be rallied to the cause of American boots on Muslim soil and can easily go to the country to "repel the occupation". The insurgency (which is largely who we are fighting) don't care for the terrorists types but for now (until America leaves) they are in their interest, and will be killed off after we leave (some of them aren't being tolerated now even with the similar goals).

Your argument boils down to more future terrorism, however, that's an argument for leaving not for staying. We are creating terrorist organizations and giving them recruits and resources by staying. They are progressively getting more and more proficient and more indoctrinated.

If we stay, we have to look forward to:
* More terror.
* 8 billion+ dollars more a month.
* Hundreds more dead American soldiers.
* Hundreds of thousands more dead Iraqis.
* Greater erosion of our respect in the world.
* Increasing disillusionment that the US can maintain this resulting in a weaker dollar.
* More American disillusionment with the government.

Really, when you look at the numbers. They clearly show that the US troops are a lightning rod for terror. This is the reason people think that "fighting them there" will stop them from "fighting us here" is because if we give them low hanging fruit of American troops as fodder we can somehow avoid terror at home (twisted logic wrapped around a nugget of truth). Well, we can avoid terror at home by having a competent administration that does something when the agencies pick up the spikes in activity they did prior to 9/11. We don't need to feed the evil terrorists American children to keep them from doing the nearly impossible, rather we need to spend a few of the dollars we are wasting in Iraq to make it impossible.

We have lost thousands of lives and none of them matter with regard to the question at hand. Should we stay in Iraq? We only need to look at the potential gains vs. the potential losses for each course of action. And we gain nothing by staying, save a pipedream thirty years away from the makers of "mission accomplished" and "greeted as liberators". We lose massive amounts by staying. We can't keep these losses up forever, and will waste more time before finally quiting one way or another.

The administration just wants to run out the clock. That's the most dishonorable thing you could think to do. Continue with a failed strategy for no good reason at all, except to save face. Really, a couple hundred billion dollars and swaths of American lives in order to save face? Pathetic. The entire question boils down to, how much are we willing to pay in lives, money, resources, and future terror in order to allow this president to maintain the illusion that he isn't a complete and utter failure for a few more months?

Bring the troops home. It wasn't worth thousands of American soldiers' lives for lies and it certainly isn't worth thousands more to postpone admitting to their mistakes.

Your entire argument has been extremely weak talking points without backup or reason why anybody should believe them. Other than noting that "President Bush has stated this on numerous occasions." which is to say he has the same talking points, you've provided no foundation. Certainly the burden of proof rests on those wanting to continue a failed policy to explain why it won't be a failure if we continue it. That required argument has failed at every turn.

What will staying get us? More terror, less resources, more deaths, less respect.
What will leaving get us? Away from this hopeless quagmire with our resources intact.

Your argument that, "we've lost so much" is simply a sunk cost fallacy. The idea that we should keep incurring such losses forever to make our already incurred losses mean something is pathetic. There's a reason sayings like "cut your losses", "don't cry over spilled milk" and "don't throw good money after bad" -- because they are true. Leaving might seem to acknowledge that they died for nothing more than Bush's lies, ideology, phantom nonsense and bellicose stupidity but staying doesn't make that false, simply less obvious.

It isn't worth the lives of our soldiers to help the president save face.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by a.whipps 9 years ago
a.whipps
the con won the debate when he said what job.that's exactly right. we have done our job to the best of our ability and therefore we should no longer be in this war.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Well, this debate was pretty fun. I even think discounting sunk costs should help, this war has been huge failure after huge failure and you get to just ignore that. But apparently we still need to honor the memories of lost resources with more lost resources and recount our infrequent hollow victories.
Posted by aremisasling 9 years ago
aremisasling
I love the fight them there so we don't have to fight them here argument. I can't recall who said it, but the best line I've heard on that was 'Wouldn't it be nice if they were so consderate as to fight us on only one front at a time?'

Aremis
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Certainly it would be surprising if some Iranians didn't cross the border to fight in Iraq. So long as we're there Iraq is the place to be for killing Americans. Though, I do not believe the one can establish that those Iranians were sent by Iran. You'll know when the Iranians actually support the insurgency. All they need are stinger missiles and pretty well every US helicopter is royally screwed. We lost several a week in Vietnam because they had such missiles. If Iran actually supported the insurgency we'd be toast. Our choices would pretty much be leave right then or leave after carpet bombing Tehran.

If our choppers stay in the sky, Iran isn't helping them.

The reason we should leave isn't the complexity of the situation, it's that none of the proposed ends to this are worth our time or energy. We're going to gain nothing for a heck of a lot. And the only reason why leaving right now is unpalatable to so many is it shows once and for all what an amazing waste of time, resources, and lives this war has been and how the Administration is completely at fault. They want more kids to die so the president doesn't look bad.
Posted by a.whipps 9 years ago
a.whipps
Iran has also sent Iraqi insurgents as terrorists (Trained in Tehran). therefore there are too many different links in this war and we must not stay.
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