The 2003 liberation of Iraq was the right thing to do.
In response to a comment, the argument is simply whether or not the removal of Saddam Hussein from power was morally justifiable or not.
Firstly, under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was one of the worst (in my opinion, the worst) countries to live in. Routine torture, amputation, branding, executions at which the (usually petty) criminal's family were forced at gunpoint to applaud and the secret police raping & maiming thousands of innocent citizens were all commonplace in Hussein's Iraq. Whilst the rich lived in palaces (Saddam himself had one built in every single province of Iraq), ordinary citizens lived in poverty, starving. On humanitarian grounds alone I think liberating the people of Iraq is morally justified. However, even though Iraq was worse than the rest, you may say we can't go wandering into every country with similar regimes, so I will continue.
A state is said to be subject to intervention leading to a regime change if one of the following conditions is met:
1) Violation of the Genocide Convention
2) Aggressions towards a neighbouring state/occupying their lands
3) Aiding/harbouring international gangsters or terrorists
4) Violation of the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT)
Violation of the Genocide Convention
What Saddam did was horrible but keep in kind that this happened in the 1980's. Plus there have been many governments that have committed genocide that we did not invade. These include Sudan, Cambodia, and Rwanda. The problem with the removal of the government in a chaotic country in Iraq is that it can cause Civil War and death. The violence after our invasion has caused 130,000 civilian casualties (1). If he stopped the genocides in the 1980's lets not take actions against him that is going to cause more death.
Aggression Toward Neighboring States
It is true that Saddam made some aggressive moves against neighboring states. However the last one was in 1990, 13 years before the Invasion of Iraq. It seems like he had calmed down especially after America defeated him in Kuwait. If Saddam is going to stop, then why go through the trouble of ousting him and fixing a chaotic nation.
The war cost us 1.7 trillion dollars. This is what happens when big nation tries to control a whole nation whose people uses guerrilla tactics on you. Its cost may rise to 6 trillion in the next four decades because of interest and veterans benefits for injuries related to the war (2). This kind of cost is just impractical for overthrowing someone who has already stopped attacking people. The better solution is to repel him whenever he does invade someone. The Kuwait War only cost us 10 billion (3).
Iraq has not been the only country responsible for aggression. There have been many international conflict like between Congo and many of its neighbors, Eritrea and Yemen, Cameroon and Nigeria, Burundi and Rwanda, and Peru and Ecuador (4).
Iraq has harbored criminals but this is not enough to go to war. A lot of countries do sometimes harbor terrorists such as Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria (5). A better solution to this problem is to make targeted strikes against terrorists in these countries not to overthrow the regime which would be horrendously expensive and would cost more lives than any terrorist has killed.
Terrorist organizations tend to flock to nations that are chaotic. Overthrowing Saddam's regime would create this situation. Indeed it has. Al Quaeda has had hundreds even thousands of soldiers in Iraq. Even after the surge today, Al Quaeda has 1,000 soldiers in Iraq making it the largest Al Quaeda concentration in the world (6). Currently, Al Quaeda and other insurgents hold many major cities in Iraq including Fallujah and Ramadi (7). So in terms of harboring terrorists, invasion has made things worse.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
My opponent has already admitted that Iraq destroyed their last WMDs in 1998. Sure, they don't cooperate with the UN but many countries don't. However, then things were boiling over to war, Saddam invited the CIA to inspect the areas we claimed they had weapons. So there was some level of cooperation. It was later found that all claims of these weapons was based on faulty intelligence (9).
Many countries have been know to possess and work on WMDs such as Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. The problem with invading them is the cost and the casualties.
A Better Foreign Policy
Invading Iraq was a bad idea because the nation was already chaotic and removing its government would create even more chaos and a huge death tole. This is exactly what happened with a 130,000 civilian death tole and tens of thousands more Iraqi soldiers fighting insurgents. The cost of keeping a nation like this stable was 1.7 trillion and may grow to 6 trillion. This level of spending is just impractical for such a little country like Iraq especially when Saddam discontinued most of his harmful practices a long time ago.
A better solution is what we already do when dealing with abusive regimes. We start making international sanctions against them to bring them to the table. These tactics may be weaker but at least they don't come with the enormous cost. Also, if there is an armed resistance who may be able to establish a solid government, helping this resistance is a cheap option. This has worked in Libya.
Unfortunately I don't have time to post this round (lots of work and things) so I would appreciate if my opponent could post his next argument but leave it blank so that I can arrive back in a couple of daysd to post round 4. Sorry!!
sam.conran forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||4|