The Instigator
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The Contender
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4 Points

The 2003 liberation of Iraq was the right thing to do.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 692 times Debate No: 48687
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




This first round is for clarification and for acceptance only. I will be arguing that the liberation of Iraq was the right thing to do and my opponent will be defending the popular opinion that it was wrong. Thank you to my opponent in advance and good luck :) Hopefully we can have a good debate!

In response to a comment, the argument is simply whether or not the removal of Saddam Hussein from power was morally justifiable or not.


I will be arguing that the removal of Saddam Hussein through invasion was the wrong thing to do. I look forward to hearing my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


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
  • al-Anfal Campaign (1986-1989), the ethnic cleansing in which Hussein ordered the extermination of every living thing in the Kurdish North, killing over 180,000 Kurds.
  • Marsh Arab massacre, the purposeful destruction of the marshlands, destroying the (mostly) Shiite Marsh Arabs' food supply. In the 1950s they numbered half a million. Since Hussein fewer than 20,000 still remain.
2) Aggressions towards a neighbouring state/occupying their lands
  • Iran - Iraq war (1980 - 1988), starting with Iraq's invasion of Iran on the 22nd September 1980.
  • Invasion of Kuwait (1990)
3) Aiding/harbouring international gangsters or terrorists
  • Abu Nidal, the most ruthless of Palestinian political leaders ( "I am the evil spirit which moves around only at night causing ... nightmares.") operated for years out of Iraqi office.
  • Abu Mussab al Zarqawi (Al Qaeda's deputy) lived for years n Baghdad by personal invitation of Saddam Hussein.
4) Violation of the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT)
  • In 1990 Iraq was clearly in violation of its NPT and safeguards obligations, and the IAEA Board of Governors ruled to that effect. The UN Security Council then ordered the IAEA to remove, destroy or render harmless Iraq's nuclear weapons capability. This was done by mid 1998, but Iraq then ceased all cooperation with the UN, so the IAEA withdrew from this work.

Iraq was a serial offender on all 4 counts (only one of which has to be committed one time to be subject to intervention) and also committed many other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Iraq occupies a key space in the Arab world and in the world economy and it could no longer be left in the hands of an evil, sadomasochistic crime family.

"I think it's a certainty that historians will not conclude that the removal of Saddam Hussein was something that the international community ought to have postponed any further (indeed, if there is a disgrace, it is that previous administrations left the responsibility undischarged)" - Christopher Hitchens, No Regrets, Slate 1/19/2009.


- All Hitchens' debates, summed up here:



It is easy to be idealistic in this debate and root for the overthrow of all bad guys around the world. However the problem is that invasions are not always helpful for a country and are not very cost effective. I will demonstrate that in the rest of my argument.

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).

Harboring Criminals

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.

Debate Round No. 2


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!!


That fine. I look forward to hearing from you then.
Debate Round No. 3


sam.conran forfeited this round.


Extend my arguments to this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
I think it served the greater good, but was not justified. While he did oppress millions, we really did not have a good solid reason to invade, which makes us look bad and goes against the processes of the international community. Also, a bit suspicious on why many soldiers were guarding the oil rigs. Looking at you Mr. Oil Big shot (Bush). I am a bit skeptical on a lot of actions he may or may not of did. His deal with the half brother of Osama Bin Laden -_-
Posted by sam.conran 3 years ago
Edit to my first round should answer your question? :)
Posted by A341 3 years ago
Are you saying that the method by which it was done by was the right thing to do or just that the idea was good?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF