The Instigator
Ameliamk1
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
theHomelessPanda
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

The Iraq War

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
theHomelessPanda
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,001 times Debate No: 37483
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

Ameliamk1

Pro

I ask everyone who views this to have an open mind. I understand the Iraq War is among the unpopular wars in American history, only behind Vietnam, so please view and vote on what you read, not what you think.

With that said, I will be debating that the Iraq War was good and just, and one of the most noble undertakings in human history. (Note I said one of the most, not the most, so please don't start listing wars).

Round 1 is for acceptance only, and may the best man win!
theHomelessPanda

Con

I'm willing to accept!

Please note*: I work full time, and am a full time student. I will do my best to post timely arguments, but no guarantees. So if I go silent, that's why.

I'm looking forward to hearing your arguments!
Debate Round No. 1
Ameliamk1

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate, and good luck!

The Iraq war is among the most hated and polemical wars ever fought in American history. Those who criticize it declare it unnecessary and based on errant claims of WMD"s. While Iraq and Hussein were indeed involved with these deadly weapons, the primary reason why the Iraq war is both noble and just are the horrible crimes committed by Hussein. Examples must be used, as words cannot describe the atrocities suffered every day in Iraq. Christopher Hitchens puts it best. "You can tell when someone does not know what they are talking about when it comes to Hussein. If they say, "well, Hussein is a bad guy", then they don"t know."

Brief Background of the Iraq War

Saddam Hussein, after taking power through a brutally ingenious coup, invaded Kuwait in 1990, holding the state for a full sixth months before being forcefully expelled by an international coalition. He would have been removed from power, but the first George Bush bowed to the Saudi oil barons and allowed him to remain as dictator of Iraq.
Ten years later 2996 people were killed in a vicious attack on the World Trade Center, raising fears and passions in America. As a result, the Bush Administration began an investigation into the countries these terrorists came from, resulting in the claim that Iraq held WMD"s. These alleged weapons turned out not to exist (sort of), but both Bush and Clinton administration official agreed the evidence was conclusive, and the invasion of Iraq began. (1)

The Shameful History of the American Anti-War Movement
While I do not find the anti-war movement in America unreasonable, it is important to recognize when a war is justified, if not necessary. We as a country should be very grateful that the anti-war movement"s advice should not be heeded. To show this point, here is a list of what would be the case in the world without the wars this group fought tirelessly against.
1.Kuwait would be under the dictatorial and fascistic leadership of Saddam Hussein. (His next target was Saudi Arabia, by the way, with much of the world"s oil)
2.The Taliban would control Afghanistan, and harbor al-Qaeda
3.Korea would be united in a fascistic communist society, with Kim-Jung Un as its leader.
4.Saddam Hussein would have WMD"s, and very possibly nuclear weapons (I"ll go into this later)
5.I don"t want to know what Hitler would have accomplished
6.Bosnia would have been ethnically cleansed
7.Kosovo would be in the dictatorial hands of Yugoslavia
8.Osama Bin Laden would be alive and operating

All of these things and more would have come to pass had the council of the anti-war movement been listened to, and they should be held responsible for what they did accomplish, such as causing the deaths of 800,000 people in Rwanda. I reiterate, calling for peace is one thing, but a complete disregard for reason in the face of principle is a grievous error, one that millions of people have paid for with their lives. (But never those who make this error). (2)

Now on to the Iraq War itself:

The Fallacy of the Non-Existence of WMDs

One of the main falsehoods believed today is that Iraq and Haddam Hussein had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. However you look at it, this pretense is simply false. Not only was Hussein attempting to develop chemical and biological weapons, but he was, with a level of success, attempting to purchase nuclear weapons and technology from North Korea. WND News says of Hussein"s bid to open trade lines with North Korea, "Had he not been stopped, those channels might have been used to obtain nuclear weapons from North Korea". (3) Besides this potential disaster, in the early 1990"s Iraq was caught designing missiles armed with small pox, as detailed in the book Demon in the Freezer. (4) Of course, he also used chemical weapons on his own people, but I will get in to that later. Indeed, saying WMDs and Iraq cannot be worded together in a sentence is false, and the incredible threat on the US and its allies could in themselves justify a war, although that is but a small part of my case.

The Day Haddam Hussein Took Power

If you were around in 1979, you could have watched live on C-Span the terrible minute that Hussein took power. In front of the ruling council in Iraq, President Ahmed Hassan Bakr came up to speak. Immediately you could tell he was a broken man, of body and spirit. He walked up to the stage and confessed to a long series of crimes, such as trying to overthrow the ruling party and attempted assassinations. He begged to receive the death penalty. First, however, he said, he wished to read off names of his co-conspirators, and he started listed members of the council, who were promptly escorted out by police. As you might have guessed, they did not survive the hour. After about a dozen of these, panic begins to set in, and members jump up in complaint, and met the same grisly fate as their comrades. Then others started jumping up and shouting praise to Hussein and his party. Haddam Hussein walks up to the stage, to enormous cheers, and declares himself ruler of Iraq. (5)

THE DEATH PENALTY IN IRAQ
Very liberally used, putting someone to death was a punishment for anything involving the dishonoring of the Government or of Islam. Since I do not have many characters left, I will list off crimes punishable by death under Hussein.
1.Owning a satellite dish
2.Distributing a leaflet or media of any kind
3.Not wearing a hijab
4.Getting raped (Women only)
5.Form any kind of assembly
6.Critizing any member of the ruling party
7.Degrading party symbols or documents, such as spilling coffee on one
8.Being Kurdish
9.Being a Shi"ite Muslim
10.Executing a virgin women (although you could rape her, then it would be ok).
These are simply the ones I know off the top of my head, and there are many more. I challenge anyone to make a list of humans rights abuses, and see if they can come up with one not committed by Hussein.

SURRENDER OF SOVEREINGTY
Before I conclude, I would like to address the untruth spread around that the invasion of Iraq was illegal by international law. Indeed, it was perfectly legal, to some extent even encouraged by international law. This is because Iraq had surrendered its right to be a state by violating not just one, but all four of the actions that can remove the sovereignty of a nation. They are: (6)
1.Harboring known terrorists- Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, some planners of 9/11)
2.Violating the Genocide Convention- Attempted ethnic cleansing of the Kurds
3.Invading sovereign nations- Kuwait, with Saudi Arabia next on the list
4.Violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty- Attempting to buy weapons off of North Korea
The invasion was not illegal, by international nor legal nor moral regulation.

I have much more to say on the topic, but I will begin with this. Good luck to my opponent, and I look forward to their next entry.

(1)http://usforeignpolicy.about.com...
(2)http://www.infoplease.com...
(3)http://www.wnd.com...
(4)http://richardpreston.net...
(5)http://news.bbc.co.uk...
(6)http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk...
theHomelessPanda

Con

--Responses--
You spend a good amount of your first entry bashing the Anti-War movement, rather than justifying the Iraq War, so I will spend a good amount of words refuting that.
**As a side note, you declare that you follow Libertarian ideology, an ideology that is HEAVILY anti war and non Interventionist. I urge you to actually read the LP platform.
http://www.lp.org...

1)You noted that a point of importance was that Hussein's next target was Saudi Arabia. I don"t remember the breakdown at the time of invasion, but I know in more recent years that the vast majority of our crude oil is produced domestically, and imported from Latin America and Canada. Not Saudi Arabia.
--I find point particularly heinous, another country"s economic value to us is not an appropriate justification for war. The American military does NOT exist to protect private interests abroad.

2)The Taliban harboring Al Qaeda without war. Guess what. We dismantled the Taliban and occupied the region and didn"t do much do disrupt Al Qaeda.

5)The anti-war movement (me being an open member of it) does not oppose the DECLARATION of war in 1941, as both the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany posed a massive threat to the U.S and the entire world for that matter. It is not even remotely comparable to the "police actions" we have seen in the last 60 years, in which war was never even legally declared. So your point is irrelevant

7) It"s interesting that you mention Kosovo. The NATO bombings in Kosovo were condemned by much of the world, and are incredibly controversial. Some go so far as to call them war crimes, as numerous civilian installations were targeted. Amnesty International claims they were human rights violations. Serbian sources claim that more civilians died that anyone else.
(1)http://www.b92.net...

I find it disgusting that you blame the Non-interventionist movement for the deaths in Rwanda and the rest of the world. The United States, is a Sovereign Nation. Our Government DOES NOT exist to police and protect the WORLD. The United States is already the largest funder by far of the U.N and NATO. (1,2). We have spent Trillions upon Trillions of dollars on aide to other nations. We have spent trillions of dollars on wars to "protect". If we followed your suggested logic of being worldwide police, the U.S might as well declare itself the global authority.
1) http://www.nato.int...
2) http://www.un.org...

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Now for the actual issue, from what I could glean, you seem to be largely trying to convince me that Saddam was evil. That is neither the issue at hand, or something that I disagree with. You say that you will get into more of this later, please don"t, as the issue is not how evil Saddam was.

-----Saddam"s Human Rights Abuses As a Justification----

Yes, Saddam Hussein was a sadistic, genocidal monster who slaughtered his own people. The Al"Anfal campaign is generally accepted as genocide, and is often use by interventionists as a motivator for war. Estimates are that around 100,000 people perished. (1) While it was undoubtably a human atrocity, it occurred in the late 1980"s. We invaded nearly 20 years later. A bit of a delayed reaction I would say. You cannot realistically justify the Iraq War on a 20 year old event, and that seems to be your only substantial justification for the Iraq incursion.

Iraq was one of several Islamic fundamentalist that brutalize/brutalized their own people, and one of many nations that abuse human rights. I don"t disagree that it was deplorable. But we cannot justify the drastic nature of a unilateral (2*) military intervention because of the seemingly brutal practices of another culture, that differ from our own western values. If that were the case, we would have to invade Iran, North Korea, Eritea, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, and Democratic Republic of Congo just to name a few. So in your pro-war view, should we be military involved in every single place? Should the U.S continue to perpetuate a dominant global western hegemony? Are we truly the ultimate bright light of moral justice and righteousness in the world? Who are to enforce this view through militaristic brutality?

http://news.bbc.co.uk...
I call the Iraq war a unilateral intervention because America supplied and financed the vast majority of the war. I think that"s fair, although it doesn"t fall under the rigid definition of unilateral.

--WMD"s--
To me this is the biggest failure of the Iraq War justification. The remnants of the chemical and biological weapons programs that were found were largely abandoned in 1991.(1,2) Hans Blix was the head U.N weapons Inspector at the time, and supports the assertion that there were no serious threats from WMD"s. (3) You state that they posed, or were near to posing a potent nuclear threat to the U.S and our allies, this is simply incorrect. They did not have Nuclear technology, and wanted to buy Nuclear technology from a Nation(North Korea) whose nuclear credibility is questionable at best, even today. North Korea bought their technology from China, and as far as I know don"t even have adequate technology to launch the device. So I seriously doubt that 10 years ago Iraq posed any real threat to the U.S or our allies.

For your own reference, the actual instances of WMD"s being found by ISG( Iraq Survey Group ) has already been compiled on wikipedia . http://en.wikipedia.org... The majority of these instances go toward disproving the notion that Saddam stockpiled WMD"s. In my opinion, Wikipedia is a tremendous resource.They cite nearly everything that is added, including the entire list I recommended to you.

(1)http://www.factcheck.org...
(2)http://www.globalsecurity.org...
(3)http://www.npr.org...

----Post War Ramifications---
The removal of Saddam"s Ba"ath Regime did not end the slaughter. Approximately between 123,000 and 134,000 Iraqi civilians died as a "direct result" of the U.S invasion of Iraq. (1) A large majority of that blood is on America"s hands. There are multiple instances of Americans raping, beating and murdering civilians. (2) These instances are nearly inevitable in war. These kind of things undoubtedly caused a spike in militant extremism in the reason, and bred an anti-western sentiment.

--Where is the justice and nobility that you declare this war had?

There was none. War is ugly. War is dirty, bloody, and horrific. America unintentionally slaughtered children, women and thousands of innocents, and labeled those lives as collateral damage. We also lost thousands of our own valiant young men in the process.

--Did the ends justify the means?

No. After hundreds of thousands of deaths and immeasurable suffering and destruction in the region, the U.S leaves Iraq crippled. It is widely considered a failed state, failing to provide basic services and protection for it"s own citizens. (3) So did this so called "noble and just" war really do anything to help the Iraqi"s? That seems to be your main motivation for supporting the Iraq war, helping the Iraqis. So I ask you, what stops another tyrannical regime from taking over? Not much. There is a cyclical nature of dictatorship in un-developed, socially chaotic nations. The cycle of dictator-war-liberation-ruler-dictator has been seen all over the world.
(1)http://costsofwar.org...

(2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
(Merely a compilation, the actual cases are easily obtainable)

(3)http://www.foreignpolicy.com...

----Legality of the Iraq War----

The legality of the Iraq war is highly contested to say the least. I am no International law expert, so I cannot make any extensive comments. In 2004, Kofi Annan stated that he considered the War illegal and violated the U.N charter. (1) I would guess that he is more qualified than me to judge International law. The issue of wether or not Iraq forfeited state sovereignty is also controversial, as there are many differing perspectives on the issue.

(1)http://news.bbc.co.uk...

As I have in other discussions in debates, 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
Debate Round No. 2
Ameliamk1

Pro

Your working for the Iraqi government, a low-paying desk job. One morning you come in, after brewing yourself a nice cup of decaf, and stumble on the way in to your office and spill some coffee on some papers bearing the party symbol. Oh, your sorry? Too late, the police are on the way. You have about five minutes to call your loved ones. But don't worry, they won't kill you just yet. First they round up your family, your friends, your acquaintances, anyone who meant anything to you. Then they torture them to death, using all horrible means they can, while you watch and clap and laugh and suggest new ways to add to their torment. After they are all dead, then a member of the party sentences you.

And if you get sentenced to death, at least you go to the grave with the satisfaction that you got off with a light punishment.

This was a crime punishable by death, and it seems I will have to be much more specific and personal to get my point across.

Now, on to my response. I will begin by responding to unrelated quotes that I immediately took issue with:

"As a side note, you declare that you follow Libertarian ideology, an ideology that is HEAVILY anti war and non Interventionist"

Yes, about that. I just feel that people who fight so hard for freedom should care about other people's freedom, as well.

"I find point particularly heinous, another country"s economic value to us is not an appropriate justification for war."

I was under the impression that the Libertarian platform was only interventionist when US interests were involved.

"I find it disgusting that you blame the Non-interventionist movement for the deaths in Rwanda and the rest of the world."

It's unfortunate you find that disgusting. I find it disgusting that people with your opinion prevented an intervention that would save nearly a million lives. You justify it by using the old argument that the US is not a policeman for the world. Perhaps your right. Except who else will enforce international law, and prevent atrocity? The rest of the security council? It truly must be terrible to live in a place where your own government launches gas at you, only to have the country with the ability to prevent this travesty decline to do so because of people who stand for freedom. That's what I find disgusting.

"You spend a good amount of your first entry bashing the Anti-War movement, rather than justifying the Iraq War"

Yeah, one out of six sections. You spend almost half of your argument on that topic.

Now on to rebuttals:

SADDAM"S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AS A JUSTIFICATION

My opponent begins by condemning Saddam Hussein, good for him. He also points out the An'Anfal campaign that led to the deaths of 100,000 people, but says that it took place in 1980, and that this is not a justification. On this point, I would like to say that I did not specifically site this as a justification. That genocidal effort was horrible, but truly was the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds were executed every day in mass hangings, shootings, with their bodies thrown in shallow graves together. And you are willing to leave a man who committed genocide in power, because he hasn't done it again yet? As his religious fervor grow toward the end of his reign, (1) how long do you think it would be before a similar event took place, before the Christians, or the Shiites, were slaughtered?

Next, my opponent points out that Iraq was one of several fundamentalist and fascistic states. While Iraq was almost decidedly the worst, I don't quite see how other states being equally horrible justifies Hussein's crimes. That is akin to saying that ending the holocaust is pointless, because America has internment camps as well. Also, the WMD's that did exist, if not in Iraq at that point, and the potential of an invasion of Saudi Arabia, does put Iraq within the US's interests.

WMD's

My opponent begins by stating that Iraq surrendered on its chemical and biological weapons program in 1991, after having used them both on Iran and on the Kurdish people. I do not dispute this. After all, who needs chemical and biological weapons when you can have nukes? Also, having used them before, and having a direct source for these weapons, why do you again believe Hussein is past or above this? If a war had ensued between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, do you honestly believe Hussein would use fair means and closely adhere to the rules of war?

Next my opponent claims that North Korea, whose veracity in nuclear weapons is questionable, could almost certainly t have provided weapons to Iraq in 2001. Your right, and its a dang good thing we took them out then, isn't it? If we had not, Hussein would still be in power, and still be closely associated with North Korea.

Also, North Korea almost certainly has biological, chemical, and nuclear capabilities at this point. (2) (3)

POST-WAR RAMIFICATION

My opponent reports the loss of civilian life, around 134,000 people, at the hands of the United States. Those civilians were innocent, and such a high number is a terrible thing. Wouldn't it be even worse if more were killed?

You know where this is going. Here is a list of some of Hussein's offenses with casualty counts.

1. Civilian Executions- 600,000 deaths
2. Kurdish Ethnic Cleansing- 100,000 deaths
3. War with Iran- 500,000 deaths, mostly civilian (4)

Saddam Hussein was in power around 8,000 days, and averaged 75-125 civilian deaths a day. (5) Imagine leaving that man in power up to today.

Nearly ten times more civilians died as a result of Hussein then as a result of the US invasion. For this reason it is a triumphant day for human rights when we took him out. My opponent says the blood of those civilians is on the US's hands? Well, I shudder to think of the seas of blood that would drown him and his anti-war compatriots had they been listened to.

As for the rapes and murders by US soldiers, they are terrible and sad and the soldiers responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But, I reiterate, you want terrible, look no further then what those soldiers were firing at. Hundreds of rapes every day, with the raped facing punishments, if they were women.

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE AND NOBILITY THAT YOU DECLARE THIS WAR HAD?

Where is it? In the eyes of the millions of children that we saved from death and torture and fascism. In the faces of the mothers whose children's and families deaths were avenged and averted by the US. A man I would argue far worse then Hitler or Mao or Stalin is dead, and there is no greater justice than watching his limp body swing from that lonely tree in Baghdad.

DID THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?

Yes. I challenge my opponent to deny that leaving Saddam in power would lead to far greater evils then were committed in the course of the war. Iraq is still unstable, but a new government is in place, a much more reasonable one, who in fact very recently turned on their old ally, North Korea, and raided a cargo ship containing weapons heading for Bashar Al-Assad. (6) Lives saved, a people freed, a monster of a human being dead, the Iraq war is truly one of the noblest conflicts in human history.

(1) http://hollowverse.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.bloomberg.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(5) http://wais.stanford.edu...
(6) http://articles.chicagotribune.com...
theHomelessPanda

Con

Debate2.2

-As I stated, I do not need you to convince me that life was horrible under the Ba'ath regime. So please, no more hypotheticals. I don"t want to try and argue over which fascist state was the worst. It"s pointless and doesn"t pertain to the debate you instigated.

-The Libertarian Platform supports war when it follows the rules of our Constitution, and when there is clear and present danger to our national security. Iraq posed no such threat to national security. Saudi Arabian oil is not a matter of national security. Speaking of Saudi Arabia, Freedom House Index lists them as one of the 9 Worst Human rights offenders in the world. (1) So maybe we should go there and topple that regime too instead of painting them as a potential victim of Saddam as you do.

(1) http://www.freedomhouse.org...

-The argument against America being world police, while cliche and overused, is legitimate. We are not do not have the means to be the ultimate authority in the world, and should not be that authority.

-Again, your attempts to emphasize the brutality of Saddam are not relevant, as i said before, so maybe I should be clearer.

I know and understand that Saddam Hussein was a scourge upon humanity, and is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands. I'm not denying or debating that.

-Also I really don't see why your attempts to demonize me and the non-interventionist contingent are at all relevant. We are not "drowning in a sea of blood" and I never ever, ever attempted to "justify" Saddam's crimes. I am not your enemy.

AMERICAN RESPONSIBILITY
By your logic, I can safely assume that you think America is responsible for every atrocity in the world. I find that very inaccurate. That's like saying that you yourself are responsible for every murder in your city because you could have been patrolling the streets and slums, potentially preventing and avenging murder, and because you don"t do this, you are responsible for every murder that happens. R32;
That is a heavy load for you to carry. Such is the load you place on America. I feel compassion for the people of the world, but also the people in my own country, who the American government IS responsible for. But we as a nation cannot save everyone. It is a hard and brutal truth that people will always die and suffer. The United States cannot be singlehandedly responsible for stopping every single evil person in the world as you insinuate. And at what cost to our own? How many American lives have to be spent? Must we sacrifice everything we have in a futile attempt to enforce military hegemony on the world?

By your logic we should currently be fighting dozens of these wars in North Korea, Iran, etc. in the name of human rights and WMD"s. We could not support that type of policy. We would collapse. The purpose of NATO and the U.N is to enforce and ensure peace worldwide. Those organizations receive the majority of their funding from the United States already. Maybe the rest of the world should step it up, and assume their responsibility to their fellow humans. Or maybe the global mechanisms communally created to stop this kind of thing should stop it.

Since we waged war in Iraq, we ARE DIRECTLY responsible for thousands of deaths. Our tax dollars financed the deaths of countless Iraqi citizens. Also we are now largely responsible for whatever happens in the nations' future. State-building and peace-building are some of the most intricate and complex processes in the political spectrum, and once you militarily intervene, you are responsible for rebuilding what you have helped destroy. We somewhat constructed a negative peace, lacking reconciliation or rebuilding, two of the most critical aspects of a stable, positive peace. If you study the history of theory behind peace building and state-building it is commonly accepted that negative peace is prone to relapsing into conflict.

POST WAR RAMIFICATIONS II
Iraq is still plagued by systemic issues of violence, violence and discrimination against women, poverty etc. It is still considered a failed state as I previously mentioned. The current democracy is feeble at best, struggling to hold power in a chaotic nation, with crippled infrastructure, and millions of displaced and disenfranchised Sounds prime for the taking if you're a young radical group. Just like the kind of new radical group that so many sadistic leaders rose to power with. The region has a history of foreign occupations and wars, which led up to Saddam. Our occupation has left the nation in a similar state. Bombings and violence are still widespread (1), an estimated 350 were dying every day due to continued violence after withdrawal (2) there is still cyclical injustice against women, and racial instability. The American Incursion left Iraq in a state of internal turmoil. Human Rights Watch claims that Iraq is "Falling Back onto Authoritarianism" (3) So how successful has this "Just and Noble" war actually been?

(1)http://topics.nytimes.com...
(2)http://www.isn.ethz.ch...
(3)http://www.alarabiya.net...

WMD's
So if you want to use the possible potential for Saddam to maybe acquire Nuclear weapons as a justification for invasion, we should also now Invade Iran and North Korea right? Possibly even China? That way we can really just make sure the "good guys" are the only ones with nukes.

Wrong. It"s that kind Alpha mentality that runs rampant in authoritarian regimes.

A SUMMATION OF YOUR POINTSR32;
So your justification for the Iraq war seems to hinge on two points:

That there was some sort of a possibility that maybe, 10 or more years down the road, Saddam might have been able to get ahold of some nuclear technology. Largely ideas based on assumptions and guesswork.

---This argument creates a standard that any nation deemed evil must be disarmed and dismantled by the U.S. Again, while seemingly admirable, this also is not realistic. If China invaded the U.S in an attempt to disarm us under the guise of morality, we would resist, leading to war. Disarmament is not a process that can be done through force. That is the purpose of the NPT and diplomacy. To avoid war. To avoid death and destruction. To work together as a global society to make a safer world.

That America has the ultimate responsibility to be the saviors of all people in the world, and if we do not intervene militarily, we are culpable for whatever happens to them.

---While admirable on a moral basis, this claim is wildly unrealistic. You are creating a black and white standard for evaluating the world, and people. (such as me and my "compatriots" who would be "drowning in blood") The world is not so simple. The absence of military action does not implicate the United States in the deaths of those thousands of people. War is not the answer. I don"t believe that waging war in a death and war stricken region is an intelligent way to foster peace.

DID THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?
No. America"s Iraq incursion cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, as we occupied the nation for many years after we destabilized the regime(your main motivator for war). We lost thousands of American lives in a futile effort to combat insurgent factions while slaughtering thousands of innocents. We leave in our wake an unstable democracy in a region filled with ethnic and religious hate, active insurgency (1), ruined infrastructure and a highly dysfunctional economy (2). Sure, maybe the government isn"t murdering people anymore, but the bar is still pretty low. Iraq is a failed state, with a bleak future at best, and is prime real estate for continued ethnic and religious conflict. Their new Prime Minister, Al Maliki is already showing signs of Authoritarianism, discouraging protests, and "cracking down" on political opponents. (3,4) We have yet to see what true effect American interventionism will have.

(1)http://www.hrw.org...
(2)http://www.aljazeera.com...
(3)http://topics.nytimes.com...
(4)http://www.isn.ethz.ch...
Debate Round No. 3
Ameliamk1

Pro

Thank you for your argument, sir.

Now, before I begin rebuttals and my closing , I would like to form several contentions, each with sources backing them up, that sum up my position for intervening in Iraq.

CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

1. US Soldiers killed between 50-176000 civilians during the course of the 10 year war. (1)
2. Saddam Hussein, over 23 years of rule, is responsible for a at least 1.1 million deaths, not counting starvation and plague and other similar factor. (2)
3. Therefore, leaving Saddam in power would have cost many more lives than the war did.

(1). http://www.fair.org...
(2). http://wais.stanford.edu...

WMD's

1. Saddam Hussein purchased chemical and biological weapons from North Korea, and requested nuclear technology. (1)
2. North Korea currently has nuclear technology and weapons. (2)
3. Therefore, leaving Saddam in power would almost certainly result in the ascertainment of nuclear weapons by Iraq.

(1). http://www.wnd.com...
(2). http://en.wikipedia.org...

LEGALITY OF INVASION

1. There are four possible methods by which a country can surrender its sovereignty (1)
2. Iraq met all four of these standards, despite only needing to meet one. (2)
3. Therefore, Iraq lost its sovereignty, making an invasion legal.

(1). http://wiki.answers.com...
(2). http://www.monitor.net...

Now, as last round, the quotes I found especially grievous.

"As I stated, I do not need you to convince me that life was horrible under the Ba'ath regime"

I simply can't emphasize enough how horrible, how despicably disgusting this man is. Our brains have lessened the impacts of words like genocide and rape and mass graves, so I do have to be far more specific to get my point across.

"I know and understand that Saddam Hussein was a scourge upon humanity, and is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands."

Correction. Millions.

"By your logic, I can safely assume that you think America is responsible for every atrocity in the world. I find that very inaccurate. That's like saying that you yourself are responsible for every murder in your city because you could have been patrolling the streets and slums, potentially preventing and avenging murder, and because you don"t do this, you are responsible for every murder that happens."

You should feel responsible if your the police chief. A good analogy, but not quite accurate.

"By your logic we should currently be fighting dozens of these wars in North Korea, Iran, etc. in the name of human rights and WMD"s. "

Not North Korea or Iran. Too powerful. However, when I join the army I would happily go and fight human trafficking and the horrors of warlords in Africa, or the oppressions of the former Soviet Bloc. I have not pro-war, but I am willing to take a reasonable analysis of potential conflicts, and when the pros far outweigh the cons, yes, I do support military intervention.

"Since we waged war in Iraq, we ARE DIRECTLY responsible for thousands of deaths."

Look, I understand it is unreasonable to say we are responsible for the deaths in war-torn countries in, for example, Africa. But you cannot say we are directly responsible for deaths, when, if we had not intervened, far more would have been killed.

"Our tax dollars financed the deaths of countless Iraqi citizens."

That's just not true. The tax dollars went to saving lives, and as I say over and over, lives were saved. Please at least be intellectually honest and confess this point.

Now, on to rebuttals.

POST WAR RAMIFICATIONS

My opponent describes the poor state that Iraq is currently in, with many still dying of terrorists and starvation. (Far more than while we remained in occupation, by the way). And while my opponent wishes me not to go on any more about the horros of Hussein, he keeps making points that must be countered with them.

1. How many people are raped, and then executed for being raped in Iraq today?
2. How many people are executed for owning satellite dishes?
3. How many are executed for writing the wrong sentence in a paper?
4. How many chemical weapons are being deployed?
5. Does the current government still condone the throwing of acid on unveiled womens' faces?
6. How many brutal wars and invasions have the new government initiated?
7. How many millions have died as a direct result of their policies?
8. How many nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are they now purchasing from North Korea?

I could go on to about the two hundred mark. The horrors were worse than North Korea, or Africa, or China. And the death of the man responsible is the greatest victory of this decade. (He was executed in 2003, technically still this decade.)

A SUMMATION OF POINTS

-Lives were saved, and the people of Iraq are infinitely better off. I challenge my opponent to deny this.

My opponent says by this standard any nation deemed evil must be invaded. The reasons this is not true are:

1. Iraq, unlike other tyrannical countries, could be dismantled with quite low casualties.
2. Iraq posed a direct threat to US interests such as oil, and of course security.
3. Iraq invaded a sovereign nation, a direct threat to the world, and is the most important rule to uphold of the four required for a sate to surrender its sovereignty.

I challenge my opponent to find countries with similar situations that conform to these reasons.

-Iraq would continue to purchase and use chemical, biological, and very likely nuclear weapons from North Korea. I challenge my opponent to deny this as well.

DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS

Absolutely. Lives saved, everyone in Iraq is better off, and more chemical, biological, and possible chemical weapons disasters averted. Also, US and Iraqi security was protected, as well as the interests of human rights and oil in Saudi Arabia. So far, things are going well enough in Iraq, and for possibly the worst dictator in history to rule a country for 20 years, the way things are progressing is a fantastic feat. My opponent's last sentence in his previous argument is "We have yet to see what true effect American interventionism will have." I consider that, and I believe you will as well, readers, a very important admission. "Things might get worse" is not an argument.

Lives saved, a free population, and the world's greatest modern threat eliminated, the Iraq war is truly a victory for justice and peace, and I hope it will be remembers for the triumph it was.

That is my case. Thank you for debating this with me, Sir. You are truly a formidable opponent, and as I said in the first round, may the best man win!
theHomelessPanda

Con

WMD"s

1)The article that you yourself cite questions the validity of this potential transaction:
"According to Kay, Saddam was growing increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang, which repeatedly fell behind schedule in delivering the promised missiles.
Said Kay, "Saddam actually paid money, but the North Koreans kept on delaying and asking for more money until Saddam cut them off."
While the POTENTIAL for this purchase was undoubtably there, its is still highly questionable. And the point stands, why are/were we not invading and forcibly disarming nations that pose/posed a clear threat? Iraq, even if the purchases would have happen, likely wouldn"t have had a functional device, while other nations hostile to the U.S did/still do have functional devices.
2)Yes they do! So by your logic, the United States should most definitely be fighting a war in the name of WMD"s and Human rights there! North Korea actually does pose a potential threat to our security!
3)Possible. That conjecture depends a lot on assumptions. Functional Nuclear technology is tremendously expensive and complex to develop or purchase and to maintain. This being said it is my opinion that any nation that possesses a Nuclear device is a threat to humanity, the United States included. We really have very little ground to stand on and judge the rest of the world.
The United States is the only nation to ever actually use a Nuclear Device, and it was largely on a civilian population. In the same war the U.S used Napalm on a civilian population in Japan. (1) We dumped millions of gallons of chemical weapons in Vietnam, which are still effecting hundreds of thousands of people today. (2) We used white phosphorus during the invasion of Iraq ironically enough, and is reported to have caused civilian deaths in Fallujah. (2,3)
AND!, one of the biggest hypocrisies is that you miss, is that in 1988, the CIA warned the Iraqi government about an Iranian troop movement that could have potentially ended the war and Saddam"s Regime. Our satellite imagery and intelligence allowed him to accurately use mustard and sarin gas against Iranian troops.(4,5) Iraq was not prosecuted, and the U.S was rumored to know Saddam"s intent. did not vote to The Iraqi government also received large amounts of Special Ops training, financing and armaments from the U.S at this time. Iraq also purchased numerous strains of viruses from the U.S that were later weaponized. (6)
(1)http://en.wikipedia.org... (2)http://www.theguardian.com... (3)http://en.wikipedia.org... (4)http://www.foreignpolicy.com... (5)http://en.wikipedia.org... (6)http://en.wikipedia.org...
LEGALITY OF THE IRAQ WAR
Your four methods are quoted from Wiki answers, and not linked to any legitimate source, so I question their credibility. And as I said before, I am not a credible International Law expert. It is a very tricky field. That being said, if we assume that your four guidelines are accurate, let"s make a list of other countries that have forfeited state sovereignty, by invading another country, and violating the NPT. Iran(NPT), Russia(Invasion of Georgia), North Korea(NPT), America(Invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan, etc.), Israel(NPT and Invasion of Gaza and Lebanon) all stand out in recent memory. (1)
(1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
MY QUOTES
Again, the severity of Saddam"s crimes is not the issue. There"s nothing to me respond to you stating facts.
As for my analogy analyzing your logic, I found it totally accurate. You yourself confirmed that you consider U.S the "police chief" of the world! We are NOT! We are a citizen of the world. We are the "police chief" of our own country. SO, my analogy was very effective.
You say, Not North Korea or Iran. Too powerful. I find that hypocritical. If these wars are in the interest of global security(WMDS) or human rights, shouldn"t we go after the biggest threats? The nations that could potentially supply countries like Iraq with nuclear arms? In this short paragraph you bring up one of your logic"s weak points. Where is the line? How do you objectively weigh the pros and cons? What is the "red line" that warrants the help of the American military?
"Our tax dollars financed the deaths of countless Iraqi citizens"
No. I will not retract this. It is perfectly logical. Our tax dollars bought the bullets and bombs, fed the soldiers and supplied the use of the weapons that killed civilians in Iraq. So yes, our tax dollars funded the deaths of Iraqi citizens.
POST WAR RAMIFICATIONS III
I don"t know. I"m sure women are still being raped and beaten though, just like they are in the U.S.
I"m sorry but after research I cannot find any cases of this being true. Although they are banned in multiple places. The only executable offenses I found evidence for were theft, corruption, military desertion and.. Currency speculation?(1,2,)
Definitely didn"t see anything along these lines.(1,2)
If they had them, I"m sure they would be used.
Couldn"t tell you. Wouldn"t be surprised if it still happens though.
The government is FAR to crippled to wage war. Who knows what they would do.
Couldn"t tell you! But the regime is young and poor.
Again. The regime is young and poor. We used to think Saddam was a great guy. He was made an honorary citizen of Detroit back in the day.
As I have said before multiple times. I understand the severity of Iraq under Saddam. And yes, there is a respite from this brutality. But as you conveniently did not address, there is a very real chance that it will not last. I repeat, Iraq is a failed state. The United States left Iraq dysfunctional, in ruins and under the reigns of a leader that is already showing preliminary signs of authoritarianism. I will also remind you that before Saddam, the region was notorious for being similarly brutal and violent, and much less documented than Saddam. (3) There was/is a culture of violence in that nation. I think that is undeniable. It"s also understandable given their history of being invaded and occupied.
(1)http://image.guardian.co.uk...
(3)http://en.wikipedia.org...
A SUMMATION OF POINTS
At the moment, yes, the Iraqi people are better off. But, again, they now live in a failed state that does not provide a majority of the population with the most basic of services. A failed economy, decimated infrastructure, systemic violence and instability and a bleak future, and thousands of dead civilians as a direct result of the American Military itself.
Low casualties? Seriously? Ask the Iraqi citizens if they think this was a "low casualty" war.
AGAIN, the American military DOES NOT exist to protect our oil resources. That is an DISGUSTING reason for war. American soldiers and countless innocents should NEVER die to protect our oil. Iraq NEVER posed a threat to American security. Even with nuclear technology, it would be virtually impossible for them to have the U.S in range.
You are justifying Desert Storm. Not Operation Iraqi Freedom, the war we are discussing.

DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS
No. After countless atrocities and losses for the Iraqi people at the hands of America, the nation is left hobbled and dysfunctional. The 8 year occupation of the nation was an ugly, incredibly destructive and unproductive effort that cost America billions of dollars. Nearly 30,000 wounded and 4000 Americans dead and countless more psychologically disturbed have done nothing but increase anti-American sentiments in the Middle East. There are some Iraqis that would have rather never had the U.S incursion. (1) I find this one of the most critical aspects of looking at the success of this operation. We talk about these people dying and suffering, but what do they think? What do they want? It"s obvious that much of the population was not happy with U.S intervention, and that sentiment grew as the occupation continued. (2)
(1)http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com... (2)http://en.wikipedia.org...
CONCLUDING POINTS
It"s interesting that you criticize me for arguing "things might get worse" when the vast majority of your argument hinges on "mights". Saddam "might" have gotten WMD"s. Things "might" not have changed without American militarism. So by your own logic, neither one of your key points "is an argument". Your entire justification is based on assumption, so you have no grounds to criticize me.
Voters, please note that while my opponent proclaims things are better in Iraq, he continually ignores many of my points. I did my best to address all of his. He notes that "So far, things are going well enough in Iraq" without substantiation or proof. I have noted multiple sources proving the abysmal state of Iraq and it"s questionable leadership.
Also, I do not in any way condone or deny the horrific nature of Saddam"s rule. I did my best to stay on topic, I did not wish to discuss the acts of any other sadistic rulers, as It was not pertinent in my opinion. I also did not think that my opponents continued emphasis on Saddams crimes was necessary, so I did not address much of it.
I congratulate my opponent on providing an intelligent and logical argument, and thank him for his efforts!
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@thehomelesspanda: "I was taught when writing speeches to capitalize points of emphasis :("

I've seen this before and you're not alone in this. For me, whenever I see capitalization, I don't see emphasis, I see proper names or divinity. So, when you say something like "Our Government DOES NOT exist to police and protect the WORLD," I begin to think you're attributing our government, which is not a proper name, as a divine organization, akin to God or something in His name. See what I did there?

If you want to emphasize, caps, bolding, italicization, and underlining all work quite well.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@Ameliamk1: "Sir, I say many times that US interests were on the line, in security and in Saudi Arabia. Also, I never said US interests had to be on the line for us to go into Iraq. That is an opinion and an assumption."

1) I found CON's case to be stronger in regards to "national interests".
2) Your second sentence invalidates the significance of your first.
3) Your third sentence attributes your sentiments to "opinion and an assumption".

---

"The four requirements for a state losing sovereignty? Look it up. Also Christopher Hitchens talked extensively on that matter. Can you take him seriously?"

I could care less what Christopher Hitchens said about sovereignty, because you didn't quote Hitchens when talking about it. You instead sourced "thestudentroom.co.uk", which is nothing more than "the world's largest student community and we've been here to help, support and entertain students since 2001."

Next time, if you want to quote someone, quote someone.

---

"3. Another opinion, sir."

Anyone and everyone's vote here is going to be "opinion" so that's an invalid complaint from you. As it is, you didn't define terrorism, and there's little to no question that utilizing a standard definition, the CIA has engaged in terrorism to greater effect than any other organization in the world.

---

"5. It is an example of what might easily happen to you, and it is factual. "

No sources. If it was truly "factual" you should have sourced it so that audiences could judge it and your opponent could respond to it with more than just calling it a "hypothetical," which is how I took it as well.

---

"6. "Did I rebut it?" Is the question..."

No, the question is "whose case was more convincing?" Your point about Saudi Oil was irrelevant in this matter to me.

Had your opponent not proffered a solid case, then yes, your point would have stood. Unfortunately for you, your opponent was formidable.
Posted by theHomelessPanda 3 years ago
theHomelessPanda
I was taught when writing speeches to capitalize points of emphasis :(
Posted by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
Great phrase, if incorrect lol
Posted by theHomelessPanda 3 years ago
theHomelessPanda
My random propensity to capitalize. Hahahaha
Posted by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
Oops, forgot to cut instead of copy. :)
Posted by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
Sir, I say many times that US interests were on the line, in security and in Saudi Arabia. Also, I never said US interests had to be on the line for us to go into Iraq. That is an opinion and an assumption.

The four requirements for a state losing sovereignty? Look it up. Also Christopher Hitchens talked extensively on that matter. Can you take him seriously?

2. That's absolutley true, and I haven't the slightest clue what your taking it so incredulously.
3. Another opinion, sir.
5. It is an example of what might easily happen to you, and it is factual. Degrading a party paper results in death. Family members are forced to clap and cheer as their loved ones are tortured to death. I was trying to get my point, and maybe you don't agree, but it was far from ridiculous.
6. Not against my case, but yet another opinion. "Did I rebut it?" Is the question, not "What do you think "the answer is?"

Conclusion:
Sir, I say many times that US interests were on the line, in security and in Saudi Arabia. Also, I never said US interests had to be on the line for us to go into Iraq. That is an opinion and an assumption.

I never said the US could police every global atrocity. That is not a point for con. I instead argued Iraq was a different case. If I failed at that, then by all means, vote con, but you are missing the issue of the argument.

The capitalization was to make categories clear. I challenge you to find one break in that pattern.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
CONCLUSION:

I found PRO's case to be largely sensationalistic. He focuses on rape a tad too much to be credible, and his leading story in round #3 strained credulity.

PRO made substantiated points that Saddam was a "very" bad man, and that US intervention was the lesser of two evils. CON's main rebuttal seemed to be that it was none of our business, and that US interests were not on the line. While I disagree with CON on this point, it was not rebutted by PRO.

I was convinced by CON's argument that the US simply does not have the resources to police each and every global atrocity, and that such policing should be done by an international governing body, so arguments CON. I will also score sources to CON as I found them to be far more credible, and S&G to PRO because I found CON's random propensity for capitalization to be annoying.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
1) PRO: "He would have been removed from power, but the first George Bush bowed to the Saudi oil barons and allowed him to remain as dictator of Iraq."

You've got to be kidding me...will see how CON rebuts this.

2) PRO: "This is because Iraq had surrendered its right to be a state by violating not just one, but all four of the actions that can remove the sovereignty of a nation. "

The source substantiating this statement (thestudentbook?) cannot be taken seriously.

3) PRO: "1.Harboring known terrorists"

The CIA is the world's largest terrorist organization. By your ridiculous list of "rules" the US would have lost sovereignty nearly 70 years ago upon the creation of the CIA.

4) CON: "If we followed your suggested logic of being worldwide police, the U.S might as well declare itself the global authority."

While it seems CON finds the notion repulsive, I find this notion to be prudent.

5) PRO's opening "story" in round #3 is utter tripe, totally unsubstantiated and wildly suggestive of details PRO fails to elaborate upon.

6) CON: "Saudi Arabian oil is not a matter of national security. "

I'd beg to differ. Oil trades globally, meaning that global oil supply matters to oil consumers, of which the US is by far the largest. We may not consume Saudi oil, but it simply does not matter given oil's fungibility.

I did not read CON's closing. By the end of PRO's closing, it was clear how I was going to vote.

(conclusion next)
Posted by theHomelessPanda 3 years ago
theHomelessPanda
Just so you know, I have an incredibly busy week, but I will do my best to keep up on my arguments.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Ameliamk1theHomelessPandaTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments.