The Instigator
Safia.Abdalla
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Fabian_CH
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The UN and other countries should interfere militarily in Libya.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,335 times Debate No: 15338
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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Safia.Abdalla

Pro

With the recent violent occurrences in Libya (http://www.monstersandcritics.com...) it is pretty obvious that international military interference is necessary.

1. Several international human rights were broken in Libya.

The first law that was broken was for the Libyan people to be able to protest for the removal of their leader (http://www.hrweb.org... 21) . Most importantly Gaddafi broke international terms on genocide (http://www.hrweb.org...). He had mercenaries kill several of the anti-government protests going directly against Article I. This requires that the international community take direct authority and punish him and his supporters for the crimes they committed.

2. The international community has before intervened on several similar cases.

Other than the UN, one other semi-international party that takes action is NATO. NATO is involved in Afghanistan and the situation there. In these times the situation in Libya is way more urgent and requires military help. So if you can do it in Aghanistan, why not do it in the even more needy Libya?
Fabian_CH

Con

Hi! Let's hope for a good debate :)

__________

I notice that you didn't define "military interference". I will do that now, then:
I assume that we agree that it is synonymous to "military intervention". (If you disagree, I'd be happy to debate the merits of any alternate definition.) This in turn is defined as:
"the deliberate act of a nation or a group of nations to introduce its military forces into the course of an existing controversy" [1]

1) You argue first that international human rights were broken in Libya. This is inarguable. It is similarly inarguable, though, that human rights are currently being broken by virtually all governments in the world, most importantly by the United States and her allies (who would presumably be the ones to intervene). A few examples: (All examples taken from Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org... and http://www.amnestyusa.org... )

Furthermore, since there is an ongoing rebellion in Libya, one could even argue that there is at present a better chance for the human rights violations of the Libyan government to be remedied than there is for those above. Is it your argument then that the UN should intervene militarily in the United States?

You assert specifically that the Libyan government is perpetrating genocide. Your source defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" [2] May I ask you which national, ethnical, racial or religious group the Libyan government is targeting? Also, please provide evidence.

2) Your argument with Afghanistan is not very convincing. First, it is undeniable that today, almost 10 years after the beginning of the NATO involvement in Afghanistan, the human rights situation is still terrible. [3] Second, Afghanistan serves as a perfect example of an intervention gone wrong. As stated before, it began almost 10 years ago - and yet to this day there is no end in sight. [4] Meanwhile 1499 Americans have died, along with many more of their allies, totaling 2364 dead. [5]

3) On to my own argument: The perhaps most important number of casualties I haven't even mentioned yet. At least 9759 Afghan civilians have been killed so far, and the trend is going up, rather than down. [6]

This is the most important point to remember:
A military intervention is nothing else than war. And in war, countless innocents die. Only if we are ready to accept the deaths of thousands of innocent Libyans should we even consider intervening.

Is bringing one government to justice for their human rights violations really worth thousands of innocent lives? (And remember, there is an ongoing rebellion, so the government may be brought down whether or not anyone intervenes. The only thing an intervention would do is up the death tolls by several degrees.)

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[1] http://www.encyclopedia.com...
[2] http://www.hrweb.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://articles.cnn.com...
[5] http://icasualties.org...
[6] http://www.guardian.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 1
Safia.Abdalla

Pro

I agree with your definition of military intervention.

Point I:
The point you make about human rights violations occurring in various nations without any attention brought to them is an excellent point. However, that is another debate for another day. For the time being, one should focus only on Libya and it's singular situation. Also note, that a rebellion does not justify for a ruler killing his people. And by people we can identify quite a list of people Gaddafi has placed in danger. First and foremost, I would say the victims are people and not just any people but those who have simply exercised their inalienable right to free speech (1)(2). Also note that if you find this argument disagreeable, Article III of the Convention of Genocide (3) states the following points are also punishable "(a) Genocide; (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide; (e) Complicity in genocide." The two points that stick out to me are C and D. Gaddafi threatened to fight until the last drop of blood (4) and ordered his army to shoot at unarmed civilians (5) and ordered mercenaries to kill the Libyans when his army would not to do so (6)(7). His actions have constituted for both A and B an hereby this makes him punishable. He obviously cannot not be told to remove himself from office over some tea and cakes and in this situation military force in the only way left.

Point II:
Once again we should not judge current actions based on past failures especially when at this moment as I type of this argument and as politicians are debating no-fly zones and military intervention, millions of people are dying. This statement was not said to be over dramatic. But to bring about a very important different between Afghanistan and Libya. The situation in Afghanistan is more complex and sometimes spills over to Pakistan and involved such forces as the Taliban(8).The situation in Libya is similar to that of the French Revolutions. Blood will be spilled until someone decides to walk into the battle field and assist the side that needs help which is obviously the civilian side.

Point III:
"Is bringing one government to justice for their human rights violations really worth thousands of innocent lives? "
We are not only bringing the government to justice we are also liberating the people who have been oppressed by him for several decades. Though I do not have a link to the actual video, there was an interview held on Libyan state TV several days ago in which a doctor was being interrogated. Not only was the fear and anxiety present in the doctor's voice, he was also forced to say simply that Libya was "perfectly OK". What struck me more surprising was how picky the interviewer was over foreign doctors. The Libyan government is scared of anything that will come from the outside in and that fear in the form of military intervention is necessary to crush them and liberate Libya.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
(1)http://www.genocideintervention.net...
(2)http://www.un.org...
(3)http://www.hrweb.org...
(4)http://www.shout-africa.com...
(5)http://www.yalibnan.com...
(6)http://thestar.com.my...
(7)http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
(8)http://www.nato.int...
Fabian_CH

Con

1) You say that my point on human rights violations is "excellent". You say it is not the issue at hand. But the issue at hand is whether human rights violations justify, or even make it a duty to intervene. To claim that yes, they do in this case, you first need to establish an objective rule, by which to decide such a case. You have not done so.

Moving on to your argument that the Libyan leadership is committing genocide. Here, you have not in fact refuted my argument. I asked you to identify the "national, ethnical, racial or religious group" [1] (your source) that is being targeted. You have not, you have simply identified "people".

You say quite rightly that people are being targeted for exercising their inalienable right to free speech. Unfortunately, this does not match the definition of genocide you have put forward yourself.

You have not yet provided proof for your assertion that the Libyan leadership is committing genocide, nor have you specified why their human rights violations (which I do not deny they are guilty of) justify a foreign attack on the country (which is what military intervention is by definition).

2) Why should we not judge potential future actions on the experience we have from similar earlier? That seems to be counter-intuitive. Of course Afghanistan is not the exact same as Libya nor could it ever be. But the fact that a military intervention in an internal political dispute subsequently requires a potentially infinite occupation is nevertheless an important lesson learned from it. And it was not only learned in Afghanistan, either; the ongoing war in Iraq has shown the very same dynamic. From a more historic perspective, one could even cite the Vietnam War as an example.

In short, it has been proven time and again that a serious intervention results in almost perpetual asymmetric warfare. And no one gains anything from such a situation. As I have already shown using the example of Afghanistan, people die on both sides of such a conflict; but even more so among the innocent civilian bystanders - the exact people you assert you want to help.

If I may, I will expand this argument a little further: conveniently for my argument, Gaddafi has recently threatened to join Al-Quaeda's "holy war" if the West intervenes. [2] [3] This makes the situation even more parallel with Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) Since I have already necessarily discussed the humanitarian catastrophe an intervention would bring with it in Point 2, I hope you will allow me to make an additional point here.

The point I want to make is that, while initially it may have been that, the rebellion is not anymore just a popular uprising to remove the dictator Gaddafi. It has now turned into an internal political power struggle. The reason I am saying so is this: Gaddafi had, about a week ago, actually offered to step down as dictator and leave the country. In essence, he offered a conditional surrender. [4] [5]

However, the rebel leaders rejected this. [6] The reason, as reported in my source article, is the "honor" of Gaddafi and of his victims.

While I personally sympathize with this stance, any obligations towards the Libyan rebellion the international community may have had became void when it rejected Gaddafi's surrender.

The only valid concern, then, is for the bystanding civilian population. I still believe that experience shows that they are better off with an internal rebellion than the kind of destruction outside military force would bring with them.

__________
[1] http://www.hrweb.org...
[2] http://mideastposts.com...
[3] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...
[4] http://www.aawsat.com...
[5] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[6] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Safia.Abdalla

Pro

Point I:
The challenge at hand is to is to explain whether the human rights violations being committed in Libya justify. Here is how they justify (and this goes back for years which just shows the severity of the situation):

1-Unlawful Deprivation of Life (1)
2-Torture (2)
3-Restricted Freedom of Religion (3)
4-Limited Freedoms of Speech and Press (4)
5-No Right to Fair Trial (5)

Also, you failed to recognize the clearly stated fact that if you did not agree with my statement that people of several various groups were being assaulted that Gaddafi was still liable for attempting to commit genocide. And if you want even more proof he did not just attempt it. Here is some proof of various assaults enacted on innocent civilians.

1-"Libya Violence Escalates as Qaddafi's Son Vows `Rivers of Blood'" (6)
2-"Qaddafi Launching Two New Attacks on Rebels, Libyan Envoy Says"(7)
3-"UK official slams Libya attacks on civilians"(8)

"You have not yet provided proof for your assertion that the Libyan leadership is committing genocide, nor have you specified why their human rights violations (which I do not deny they are guilty of) justify a foreign attack on the country (which is what military intervention is by definition)."

And if you do not believe that the Libyan government is not committing genocide, then explain to me how they can possibly vow to fight until the last drop of blood, hire mercenaries, and order the actions above to be committed? And what justifies for national military intervention? The heinous crimes committed against innocent people. You can draw a similar analogy on a smaller scale to the incidents of World War II. The UN has prevented many lives from being harmed in the past and they must to do so again with the assistance of other countries.

"Why should we not judge potential future actions on the experience we have from similar earlier? "

The United States entered Iraq (amongst many other reasons) to fight the fact that Saddam Hussein had repeatedly went against international rights. Why are you judging the fact that that one mission was a failure that others would also seems to be so? You base your argument heavily on the past, and seem to ignore the present situation in Libya. If you may can you please tell me, what should be done about Libya? Should we just let them fight away with intervention and let civil war destroy them more than it ever would the same way it did to several other countries in Africa.

You also mentioned the fact that Gaddafi threatened to ally with al-Qaeda if other countries were to intervene on his reign of terror (9). Interestingly enough, he also claimed that his anti-government rebels were with al-Qaeda. Not to mention the fact that his son, his public spokesperson, and he himself repeatedly stated that the entire uprising was caused by none other than al-Qaeda (10)(11)! So you are trying to convince me that Gaddafi is really going to support the people he claims have supported his own enemies? I am sorry, but I find that hard to believe. Gaddafi is probably doing this because he knows that with outside military intervention he is likely to lose. Thus he has decided that he would threaten the West with their biggest enemy in order to scare them away. Judging by his actions and attitude, I would say that this is perfectly probable.

You also mentioned the fact that Gaddafi volunteered to step down his rule in exchange for his own safety. In essence, what he was saying was the following "Hey guys, I know I totally killed a bunch of people and made all this crap and lied a bunch of times and maybe I got some mercenaries to do some dirty work when my army wouldn't and yeah I guess I did hurt and kill a lot of people. But hey! I can step down from leadership as long as you let me and my family get away with all our cash". Who does he think he is? He has done wrong like every other leader in the world. No one is going to let him get away with causing a turmoil. Sure, he is offering to step down like so many people wanted. But what do you think that would mean to the millions of people who fought for him to do so, that he was leaving but he was leaving victoriously. They did not just take to the streets to ask him to step down. They did it because they had had enough of him and because he had not fufilled the responsibilities of a leader (12).

"I still believe that experience shows that they are better off with an internal rebellion than the kind of destruction outside military force would bring with them. "

Better off with an evil ruler who wants to wipe out the entire population? The same ruler who said he would fill the streets with rivers of blood? I strongly disagree with you. These Libyan rebels rejoiced at the no-fly zone (13) and that gives me reason to believe that they need more support. Also, can you please give other reasons besides past incidents that would indicate that a military intervention would bring the people not Gaddafi doom?

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Since this is my closing argument I would like to say this is one of the best debates I had. Excellent comptetion!

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______________________________
(1)http://www.state.gov...
(2)http://www.spiegel.de...
(3)http://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca...
(4)http://www.ncbuy.com...
(5)http://www.libya-watanona.com...
(6)http://www.bloomberg.com...
(7)http://www.bloomberg.com...
(8)http://www.gulf-times.com...
(9)http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com...
(10)
(11)
(12)http://www.libyafeb17.com...
(13)http://articles.latimes.com...
Fabian_CH

Con

Fabian_CH forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Safia.Abdalla 6 years ago
Safia.Abdalla
Well. Let us just say America has already made its way into Libya. :D
Posted by Fabian_CH 6 years ago
Fabian_CH
Thanks! :) I do have to say, though, I was half playing devil's advocate. 'm not quite sure what I think of the whole thing and how it's developed yet.
Posted by Safia.Abdalla 6 years ago
Safia.Abdalla
It's OK. You did great nonetheless.
Posted by Fabian_CH 6 years ago
Fabian_CH
Gah, sorry for forfeiting, I must have miscalculated my time left. This was a great debate though, thanks :)
Posted by Zealous1 6 years ago
Zealous1
Eh, the US is already intervening. I think we shouldn't all flood Libya.
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