The Instigator
Jthongme
Pro (for)
Tied
24 Points
The Contender
thrica
Con (against)
Tied
24 Points

The Iraq war is illegal and amoral and should never have been waged.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,829 times Debate No: 317
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (16)

 

Jthongme

Pro

In 2003 almost two years after the horrendous events of 9/11 the Bush Administration started saying that Iraq and it's leader Saddam Hussein were partly responsible for the hijackings. They also started to push information that Iraq was seeking nuclear material from Niger. They also insisted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or WMDs. They told the American public through a massive media blitzkrieg that Iraq posed an imminent threat to America and her allies throughout the world. These criterion and the criterion that we were going to build democracy we why we attacked a sovereign nation for little legal or moral reason.
thrica

Con

1) Illegal by what legal system? "Illegal" is a term applied to individuals and not nations, simply because the international arena is still fundamentally anarchic. Though there have been trends in the direction of international law over the past century, state sovereignty still takes precedence as evidenced by the fact that all international institutions to date operate on an opt-in basis. Countries essentially get to choose what, if any, international law applies to them.

If you mean the American codex of laws, can you point to a particular law which would make it "illegal"?

2) You assume that the Bush administration told the American public about Iraq with deliberate malice of intent, knowing what they were saying was false. I assume this is the basis for you calling the war "amoral". Can you prove it was malicious intent and not intelligence misinformation?
Debate Round No. 1
Jthongme

Pro

YOu seem to miss the U.N. charter, which the United States signed and ratified, which states the no one nation shall take unilateral action against another. I'm pretty sure that that's a law. An international law. National laws don't take precedent over basic human rights which include security, and happiness, food, shelter, and warmth. I'm pretty sure if people are bombing you you don't have those. So state rights don't trump human rights.
Well let's take a for instance on the amoral part. The Bush Administration told the American people that Iraq was pursuing nuclear material, called yellow cake, from Niger. the United States government sent a senior diplomat to Niger to look into these claims. He find no evidence to support this claim, which he reported to the FBI and the CIA. However, President Bush wanted to use it in a speech even though his CIA liaison told him that there was no evidence to support that claim. Well he used it, and it came out that it was falsified information and he had to fire some people and the government slipped the name of the CIA agent wife of the senior diplomat who wouldn't verify Bush's claims. Her name is Valerie Plame. Or how about the fact that the Bush Administration tried to convince the American people that there was a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein when the CIA said that there was no evidence to support that. In fact there was evidence that Osama bin Laden approached Hussein in the 80's for weapons and was treated poorly.
thrica

Con

Bypassing the UN does not necessarily an action unilateral make. The UK was, and still is an important ally in the war, and though the US and UK comprised the vast majority of the original troops, around 40 other nations went in with us. Though it was not within the framework of the UN, it was hardly a unilateral action.

In addition, the American resolve to topple the Hussein regime started in the first Gulf War, and far from subsiding during the Clinton administration, was actually ratcheted up with, for example, the Iraq Liberation Act, signed in 1998 by President Clinton and stating the intent of the US to work in no uncertain terms for the topple of the Hussein regime. Thus the Iraq war should not be seen as a private initiative of Bush's, but rather the culmination of decades of animosity towards the Iraqi government. There was in fact significant reason to believe that Hussein was developing WMDs, not the least of which was that he consistently refused to let in UN inspectors.

"I detest his regime. But even now he can save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully."
-Tony Blair

Even still, that was hardly the only justification. Paul Wolfowitz said, "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue - weapons of mass destruction - because it was the one reason everyone could agree on". Everyone does not agree on something that they know is false, and certainly the administration, if anyone, would be aware if anyone knew it was verifiably false.

It doesn't look like deliberate deception was behind the "massive media blitzkrieg" at all so much as a conviction based on the fact that Hussein refused to cooperate with UN inspectors that Iraq posed an eventual threat.

As for the Plame affair, the post-invasion situations are a completely different argument.
Debate Round No. 2
Jthongme

Pro

Well having a green air freshener in your car doesn't make it green, nor does having a few thousand other troops to our 120,000. There were 45,00 from Great Britain, 2,00 Australians, 300 Danes, and 200 Poles. The forty other nations you mentioned didn't offer any combat troops. Now lets compare that to the Coalition of the Willing in 1990: 697,000 from the United States, 100,000 from Saudi Arabia, 45,400 from Great Britain, 35,000 from Egypt, 14,600 from France, 14,500 from Syria, 13,000 Morocco, 9,900 from Kuwait, 6,300 from Oman, 5,500 from Pakistan, 4,300 from the United Arab Emirates, 2,600 from Qatar, 2,200 from Bangladesh, 2,000 from Canada, 1,200 from Italy, 700 from Australia, 600 from the Netherlands, 500 from Senegal, 500 from Spain, 400 from Bahrain, 400 from Belgium, 300 from Afghanistan, 300 from Argentina, 200 from Czechoslovakia, 200 from Greece, 200 from Poland, 200 from South Korea, 100 from Denmark, 50 from Hungary, and 50 from Norway. They also had U.N. resolution 660 condemning the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and demanding their immediate withdrawal. Something we didn't have, get, or wait for the second time around.
The Clinton years did see a ratcheting up of talk of deposing Saddam but there was no solution for it just words. So yes it was a Bush family legacy. On inauguration day President George W. Bush wanted IRaq democratized and Saddam removed as seen in this quote," After leaving the administration, former Bush treasury secretary Paul O'Neill said that an attack on Iraq was planned since the inauguration and that the first National Security Council meeting involved discussion of an invasion." So yes it was planned from the beginning with the Bush Administration full well knowing what they were doing could be wrong as this quote form Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld shows, "Despite key Bush advisers' stated interest in invading Iraq, little formal movement towards an invasion occurred until the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to aides who were with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on September 11, Rumsfeld asked for: "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit Saddam Hussein at same time. Not only Osama bin Laden." The notes also quote him as saying, "Go massive", and "Sweep it all up. Things related and not." So with no U.N resolution and no real information the Iraq war was illegal started for amoral reasons.
thrica

Con

The proportion of foreign troops to our own is irrelevant. We had support going in (45,000 British troops is quite a bit), ergo, the law prohibiting unilateral military action does not apply here.

Action is not the only important political tool. Bush could not have gone to war against Iraq if the animosity theretowards had not persisted through the eight years separating him from Bush Senior. You make the point that the Bush administration used 9/11 to rally American support for an Iraqi invasion. This proves it was opportunistic, but not necessarily amoral. The administration set themselves up for a strong confirmation bias when formulating a response to 9/11 - certainly not wise, but there is still no evidence suggesting the war's justification was a deliberate and malicious lie.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Eradicatorer 9 years ago
Eradicatorer
Pro is right about the UN charter. It is international law. The US is on the freakin security council. It has due process that the US did not abide by, and is completally hypocritical for yelling at other nations to obey the UNs policies, then dissobeying them ourselfs. Pro won this debate on that point alone.
Posted by Jon_Brookstone 9 years ago
Jon_Brookstone
Saddam Hussein was not connected to 9/11. According to a Washington Post article ~ 60-70% of Americans believed he was in 2002. Hussein dispanded his weapons of Mass Destruction in 1999, yet a similar percentage of Americans believed he had them in 2002 as well. And Iraq, unlike Pakistan, wasn't a state sponsor of terrorism. Yet we invaded anyways.
So don't tell me that the media wasn't responsible for this war, because it was. And one shouldn't have to go to the Daily Show to find that out. Many networks either increased the war fever by reporting about how the war was inevitable or possibly very devastating, and almost all networks indirectly increased support for the war by not checking their facts.
Notice how the rationale for war seemed to change when the war stopped going our way? We invaded, found out that the UN was right and that there were no WMDs, and we still had Cheney, Bush, and others saying how we would either find them, or (during the 2004 election) that withdrawing would lead to another 9/11. Seriously, Cheney actually said that.
What Cheney or Bush would never admit is that this war was nothing more than an attempt to gain control of Iraq's oil. In the mid 90's when neoconservatism was starting as an ideology, Wolfowitz wrote about his ambition to invade Iraq, and mass produce oil to put Opec out of business. When Bremmer and the CPA controlled Iraq, they actually tried to force a privitization bill down the Iraqi parliment's throat (didn't work).
Wars in oil producing countries mean more profits for oil companies, thanks to higher oil prices. And if Bush really cared about the Iraqi people, where is his Marshall Plan? His entire reconstruction of Iraq (which officially is already supposed to be complete) consisted of giving no bid contracts to companies owned by friends.
You never invade another country to just increase your own power. But that's what's happened. And if that doesn't make this immoral, maybe 600000 Iraqi deaths will.
Posted by wheelhouse3 9 years ago
wheelhouse3
I still am not convinced that you have proved your case Jthongme. You have no proof in my opinion; no credible sources or any of that. Your argument is solely based on conspiracy theories. There are quite a lot more documents proving that Iraq was looking into supplying WMDs to Afghanistan than there are reporting that Bush was lying about it. Besides why would he want to lie about it? He has nothing to personally gain from this war. If it was a lie, he would have given up the ruse long ago.
Posted by nrw 9 years ago
nrw
I'd say, based on the arguments in this debate - the act to intervene in Iraq despite warnings from many places even our own organizations was pretty unilateral.

Also, yea, illegal does apply. You kind of trailed off on that thrica. Many of the US's practices in the War on Terror are illegal. (Geneva Convention)

Also, thrica, your discussion of Bush Sr.'s presidency and the involvement with Iraq then hurts you I think. You seem as if you want to say Bush had an agenda to attack Iraq separate from the war on terror, and that makes the war in Iraq OK. This is problematic because it causes you to link hard to the arguments that the Bush administration lied about the reasons we went into Iraq - which makes the war in Iraq NOT OK, which means the topic statement of this debate becomes true - forcing an affirmative vote from me.
Bush never said he went into Iraq because his daddy did. Jthongme's analysis of the "yellow cake" scenario is correct.

Overall and separate from the issue at hand, it seems like (but I might be wrong), that thrica is a little bit more prepared and perhaps better at arguing this topic. I think thrica just makes a critical mistake. Perhaps in a debate again, thrica would win if he is more careful with his arguments.
Jthongme, you need to not let thrica get away with so much. You make some pretty good points early - thrica doesn't answer some of them all that well, he/she kind of strays and sticks to his/her own stuff, but you don't capitalize on that. You said something important, it should be emphasized if he/she fails to respond well enough.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
Solarman, although we are on the same side, you are clearly mistaken. Just because the Congress authorizes it, doesn't change it's standing with international law. The real question is, does the US bow to international law as higher, and is that Constitutional? We haven't passed the Rome statues, so my guess would still be no.
Posted by Solarman1969 9 years ago
Solarman1969
All you fools who think the that the war to take out Saddam that you hysterically call "iilegal" should consider the following

#1 BOTH HOUSES of Congress voted to Authorize force, by overwhelming majorities (inlcuding Hillary

#2 The UN, an extremely anti-US group, passed not one not tow but 15 Resolutions against Saddam, and voted 15-0 to Authorize the Use of Force to remove Saddam

this should put your anti-Bush rants to rest
Posted by kato0291 9 years ago
kato0291
Many of war initiatives planned and executed in the Iraq War were illegal under international law - ie the Geneva Conventions.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by joze14rock 9 years ago
joze14rock
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by mrpresident 9 years ago
mrpresident
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Jthongme 9 years ago
Jthongme
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by smackattack 9 years ago
smackattack
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by writeorwrong 9 years ago
writeorwrong
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by JoeDSileo 9 years ago
JoeDSileo
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by marxandlennon 9 years ago
marxandlennon
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Eradicatorer 9 years ago
Eradicatorer
JthongmethricaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30