The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
JoeBob
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

The UN should give Iran an atomic weapons-backed guarantee against a pre-emptive strike by Israel.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,483 times Debate No: 4644
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (6)
Votes (14)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

In exchange for complying with her obligations as a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Tehran should receive the assurance that any unprovoked attack on Iran by Israel will be met with an appropriate and immediate military response from UN members, including the use of nuclear weapons if necessary, with no further reference to, or agreement of, the UN Security Council required.

I suspect that the knowledge that Israel (a non-signatory to the NPT) already possesses nuclear weapons capable of obliterating Iran and that Israel's politicians have been adopting an increasingly bellicose and aggressive attitude towards Tehran has prompted the Iranian regime to explore the possibility of developing a nuclear deterrent to the threat Israel poses.

The nuclear deterrent prevented war between the USSR and the West for decades during the Cold War and the same principle could apply in the Middle East.

However, under my proposed agreement, the nuclear weapons should remain in the control of the five UN Security Council Permanent Members, namely China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of which are, of course, nuclear powers.

If this proposal was adopted, Iran would have no legitimate reason to seek a nuclear capability and Israel would have no legitimate reason to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran.
JoeBob

Con

Your assertion is that the UN Security Council members should enter into a defense pact with Iran such that if Israel ever launches an attack on Iran then the Security Council members will launch a military retaliation against Israel on Iran's behalf, to include the use of nuclear weapons.

In essence, if the Israeli government was stupid enough to fire a missile at Tehran, then Washington, Paris, and Beijing should nuke Jerusalem.

First, it is highly unlikely (though not impossible) that this apparently very aggressive and stupid administration in Israel would ever initiate military hostilities with Iran. The only country Israel has ever attacked is Lebanon, and they have somehow managed to fail in even that endeavor. The wars in the 60s and 70s were defensive actions.

Second, Iran is one of the most abused nations of the 20th century. They have been invaded by both Middle Eastern and Western nations, repeatedly; been the victims of WMD and genocide; been robbed of their only natural resource (oil); had their democratically elected governments overthrown by the US/UK; and yet still have been branded an "Axis of Evil" nation. Iran has never invaded another nation, has never employed any type of WMD, and has tried to spread peace and democracy throughout the Middle East. Their aggressive president is no more evil than our aggressive president, the primary difference being that our president has actually initiated wars because "God told him to do it." Viewed in the light of history, Iran would be insane if they didn't want nuclear weapons as self-defense deterrents.

Third, Israel is already surrounded by military enemies. For the leaders of the Western world to announce that they too are declared enemies of Israel will not increase stability in the region. Instead, it may prompt other Middle Eastern nations to take action against Israel in the belief that the world is on their side.

Fourth, Israel has no pressing need to attack Iran. They have no actual interactions below the political sphere. Iran has much more pressing matters than Israel, such as the religious civil war on their border.

CONCLUSION: Forming nuclear defense treaties with Iran would only escalate the violence and instabilities in the Middle East.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

Many thanks for to my opponent, JoeBob, for taking up this debate.

He began:

"First, it is highly unlikely…(that) Israel would ever initiate military hostilities with Iran."

I beg to differ. Israel has made her military intentions perfectly clear. At a recent conference in the US, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert said:

"(the) Iranian threat must be stopped by all possible means."

And earlier this month, Israeli Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper:

"If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,"

http://www.reuters.com...

There words are backed up by this month's show of strength when Israel demonstrated that they had the capability to strike Iran by holding a large-scale military exercise.

http://edition.cnn.com...

Indeed, according to senior Israeli military sources, plans to use nuclear warheads to attack Iran are already in place.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk...

My opponent then wrote:

"The only country Israel has ever attacked is Lebanon…"

To say that Israel has only attacked Lebanon in recent years is to ignore their attacks on Syria, the most recent being an air strike in September last year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

This incident not without precedent. In 1981, Israeli warplanes destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor Saddam Hussein's regime was building.

In addition to attacking Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, Israel also routinely attacks Palestine. Referring to the Palestinian resistance of Israel's illegal occupation of their land, Matan Vilnai, Israel's defence minister, recently said:

"…they (the Palestinian people) will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah (holocaust) because we will use all our might to defend ourselves…"

http://www.guardian.co.uk...

The second tenant of my opponent's argument was:

"Iran is one of the most abused nations of the 20th century." And he went on to give examples of this abuse.

I am no apologist for Islamic fundamentalism or the current Iranian regime but I am in full agreement with my opponent's assertions in this matter. Indeed, I would add one recent example of how Iran has been misrepresented by right-wing media in the West.

Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was widely reported to have said…

"Israel should be wiped off the map"

http://www.foxnews.com...

…when the direct translation of what he said was:

"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time"

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk...

My opponent's third point was:

"Israel is already surrounded by military enemies. For the leaders of the Western world to announce that they too are declared enemies of Israel will not increase stability in the region. Instead, it may prompt other Middle Eastern nations to take action against Israel in the belief that the world is on their side."

I merely propose that Iran should have a guarantee against attack by Israel, not that Iran should become allies of the Europe, China and America at the expense of Israel. I believe the US, in particular, will always be firm allies of Israel and if it was necessary for the UN to take action against them, the US would ask one of the other Council members to pull the trigger.

The final tenant of my opponents argument was:

"Israel has no pressing need to attack Iran."

Iran is suspected of developing a nuclear weapons capability and this week demonstrated that they have missiles capable of delivering such a payload to Israel – an action that was regarded as highly provocative by Tel Aviv.

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

My opponent's conclusion was:

"Forming nuclear defense treaties with Iran would only escalate the violence and instabilities in the Middle East."

My response is that only by guaranteeing Iran's security can we stop violence escalating in the Middle East.
JoeBob

Con

Thank you Brian for launching such an interesting topic.

First, I admit that Israel has a militarily aggressive government and a history of violence with its Arab neighbor states, which includes various attacks against civilians. However, unlike Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine (which are terrorist staging grounds for direct attacks against Israel), Iran is a physically distant country with fairly limited and conventional weapons. And while Iran may be providing support to "terrorist" organizations, that is extremely different from a military threat. (The US has been supporting terrorists like the Taliban precisely because it is easier than going to war.)

And the "attacks" on Palestine are the military equivalent of bullying: rolling tanks over unarmed civilian children. This does not indicate a willingness to engage a symmetric opponent with conventional arms (Iran).

The only attack Israel could realistically initiate against Iran would be via air - cruise missiles and long-range fighter/bombers. Iran is capable of retaliating in kind, so no outside intervention is warranted. Israel has no credible reason to launch a nuclear strike - everyone knows a nuclear attack is not a military attack, it is simple genocide (and political suicide), and if Israel launched such an attack no Western nation, including the US, would continue to support them.

Second, political threats and military posturing are meaningless. The United States has been threatening and posturing for decades, but initiated military action comparatively rarely due to the financial cost and political unpopularity of such actions. For instance, the US has played a very small military role in Africa over the last fifty years, despite terrorist bombings of our embassies and numerous humanitarian disasters.

Third, the concept of a "guarantee" against military aggression has always proven disastrous in the past. (See World War I.) We cannot guarantee against Israel's actions because we do not control Israel's military.

If Israel did initiate a military disaster, I cannot imagine the United States requesting Russia or China or France to attack Israel on our behalf. It makes no political or military sense. It would indicate poli-military weakness and incompetence on our part.

The only possible non-political defense of Iran would be for us to begin secretly arming the Iranians with a missile defense shield. But of course,
every time we secretly give weapons to someone, it turns into a disaster. (See Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Nicaragua.)

Lastly, if the pursuit of nuclear weapons is a justification for military incursion by a nuclear power, then you are arguing that we should have invaded North Korea. However, we maintained a diplomatic course in North Korea and have recently succeeded in disarming their program without violence.

Iran is not a flashpoint for future war. Iran is a religious yet fairly modern democratic country, and if we would only stop calling them evil and threatening to bomb them for no reason, we would be the best of friends. Israel, on the other hand, is a flashpoint for war because it has such a vicious policy of attacking civilians and threatening violence. (See list of UN resolutions against Israel: http://en.wikipedia.org...)

Given the choice, the safest course would be to disarm Israel and force them to pursue diplomatic relations with their neighbor states. The US has repeatedly prevented the establishment of a 2-state solution to the Palestinian question, even when all other parties were in favor of it. The US needs to pull out of the politics of the Middle East, including Israel, and allow viable solutions to arise from within.
Debate Round No. 2
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Hassassin 9 years ago
Hassassin
Xera:

My emotions are torn on how to respond to your lovely satire. My initial response is of course laughter but then I am hit with an overwhelming feeling of despair and ferocity that can only be quenched w/a bloody Revolution...

haha...
but seriously

The only semi-intelligent media we have are The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and at times Real Time w/Bill Maher... although sometimes his utter ignorant and intolerant attacks on religion frustrate me.

As far as politicians go, we've got wonderful people like Ron Paul on one side and hopeful progressives such as Dennis Kucinich on the opposite... both who at least have a TRUE understanding of how to view the world w/differences on how to improve it.

We cannot change the mindset of a nation... a world perhaps... that is being undermined by an establishment which benefits from submission by ignorance. Simply put, we have dumb media and dumb politicians because of the dumb American majority... although the optimist would substitute dumb for 'confused' or 'brainwashed' .

Alright enough of my rant...
:)
Posted by Xera 9 years ago
Xera
Hassassin: are you suggesting that we should find INTELIGENT politicians and media personalities? I'm not entirely sure how that would work out....has it ever been tried before?
Posted by Hassassin 9 years ago
Hassassin
Why should the U.N. have to intervene and defend Iran... when they should be going after Israel's ILLEGAL nuclear program?!?!?!

BTW, when I 1st saw the title of the debate, I was slightly scared that this would be a 'nuke Iran' VS 'talk to those terrorists w/diplomacy' type debate. Thank God these two debaters are beyond that ignorant level of thinking. If only this was how our debates in the electoral and media arenas were conducted: by intelligent human beings who can see through the usual propaganda.

My vote goes for JoeBob.
Posted by Jamcke 9 years ago
Jamcke
I'd say if anything, Israel is chomping at the bit ready conduct a major offensive. The US/UN won't loosen their leash enough to allow them to do so.
Posted by JoeBob 9 years ago
JoeBob
Yes, but there is a vast difference between a government willing to kill dozens/hundreds of unarmed civilians on their border with limited media coverage and little cost and a government willing to kill tens of thousands of enemy combatants in a foreign land on BBC and CNN costing millions of dollars a day.

My point is that Israel's cowardly attacks do not prove they are willing to conduct a major offensive.
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
"And the "attacks" on Palestine are the military equivalent of bullying: rolling tanks over unarmed civilian children."

.............................................................

I would call that an attack.
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