The Instigator
rkmcdaniel
Pro (for)
Losing
45 Points
The Contender
Demosthenes
Con (against)
Winning
49 Points

The US has a right to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,059 times Debate No: 184
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (29)
Votes (30)

 

rkmcdaniel

Pro

October 26, 2005: IRIB News files a story about a speech given to the "World Without Zionists" conference. In that speech, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states that Israel should be "wiped off the map". Because of this, and other inflammatory statements made by the Iranian government, and giving the volatile nature of the region, I agree that the United States has a right to stop the Iranian government at all costs from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Demosthenes

Con

The United States has thought for too long that we have the right and responsibility to tell other countries what they can and can't do. We are not the world's policeman, we are as imperfect as anyone else, and to those who say that Iran is a security risk I ask who the last country to start a major war was...

That would be the United States of America correct? And here we are, with our 27,000 nuclear weapons, worrying about if some backwater Arab nation with no launch capabilities gets ONE?

Here's the focus of my argument - We are Not the world's policeman.

George Washington warned us against this kind of thing 231 years ago. We cannot drop the 101st Airborne into another Arab nation's capital city without a reasonable cause beyond "We don't trust them." I have a hard time figuring out why some will allow India or Pakistan to have nukes, when those two nations could end up nuking each other by sundown tomorrow. There are other more dangerous nations for us be annoyed with.

I wouldn't worry about Israel. We've seen time and again they can take care of themselves thank you very much. And Iran won't nuke any of the other Arab nations because the influx of jihadists to Iran would make Iraq look like a picnic.

The rest of the world has a right to advance and better themselves, and also to protect themselves from imperialists who seek to keep the old order of "Europe First" along with America because we're the only ones with nukes.
Debate Round No. 1
rkmcdaniel

Pro

I have two contentions: the notion that it is not the job of the United States to be the world police, or to even defend the defenseless is wrong. Second, Iran does have launching capabilities that threaten much more than their fellow jihadists.

To address your argument that the United States has no right to police the world, I must respond by invoking the very cheesy, yet all too true, line from the movie "Spider man". "With great power comes great responsibility." The United States has the most powerful military force on the planet. With that power, the right and duty of the United States to protect itself and the rest of the world from perceived threats is given. If the United States perceives that Iran is enriching Uranium in order to obtain a nuclear weapon, then it has a right to stop them. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a branch of the United Nations, Iran has been caught many times violating the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty. In June of 2003, the Director of the IAEA stated that Iran had not met the requirements of the Nuclear Non proliferation Treaty. In August of 2003 a report by the IAEA stated that "Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) were found in an Iranian nuclear facility." Again, an IAEA report in November of 2003 indicated that Iran was still not meeting the minimum requirements of the treaty. Now, the NNPT states that countries can pursue the enrichment of uranium for civil purposes. This is what Iran has claimed, they resumed this pursuit in secret. Why would they do this? Because they are pursuing the bomb. It is clear that Iran has no innocent intentions in its nuclear programs. If they do, then why are they so secretive in pursuing enriched uranium? They have admitted to separating out highly enriched uranium as early as 1998 in order to pursue alternative nuclear uses i.e. a bomb.

To address the statement, "some backwater Arab nation with no launch capabilities..." Iran absolutely has launch capabilities. According to multiple sources, to include Newsweek magazine, Fox News, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, the National Intelligence Estimate, the UN, and many more, Iran has a wide variety of launch capabilities. Their most popular choice would most likely be the Shahab 4 missile of which it has hundreds. THese missiles have a range of more than 1200 miles. Just to give an illustration, if launched from the Tehran (there are many more launch sites that are closer to the border thus maximizing the range of the missiles) they could reach targets that include: any Israeli city, Ankara the capitol of Turkey, any target in Iraq (if you will remember Iran and Iraq within the past 20 years ended decades of violence between them), any city in the now free and democratic country of Afghanistan, Kuwait, and the United States military bases in Bahrain and Turkey. Remember, this is just when launched from one site, there are many more sites to choose from.

If you consider this a major war, what would you consider WW2? This is not a major war. This is a hunt for terrorism. Don't forget that a recent news source ran a story about military deaths. It stated that more US military casualties took place during the period leading up to Iraq and Afghanistan than have taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan.

India and Pakistan didn't sign the NNPT, and they have had nuclear weapons for sometime now, yet they have not killed each other. Tensions between them have greatly diminished, and they are practicing restraint. That is why they can have nuclear weapons.

To end, I will ask a simple question. If you were walking down a street and happened across an innocent old lady getting mugged, would you not feel that you have the right and the duty to intervene? Of course you would. This can be applied to the international community. The United States is the most powerful country in the world. Because of that, we have both the right and the duty to police it. That is not to say that other responsible countries such as Britain, France, Russia, etc. don't have a right and a duty as well. But the United States definitely does.
Demosthenes

Con

The line from Spider-Man is too alruistic. To, answe your question, of course I would intervene. But that's two, possibly three lives instead of MILLIONS. An invasion with Iran, while probably cheap in cost to America, would decimate that country and create yet another breeding ground for grassroots jihadists.

Iran is a sovereign nation with a decent enough record of restraint, considering it was Saddam who attacked Iran not the other way around. India and Pakistan both have long historical records of attacking each other for the smallest thing. You mention progress - what progress? For the last 60 years these countries have been assassinating each other's leaders, bombing embassies, and building even larger amounts of nuclear weapons. The last skirmish between Indian and Kashmiri (undoubtedly Pakistani-funded) freedom fighters was in 2005! Our focus should be on teaching Iran how to hold nuclear power intelligently, not dictating based on our idea of how the world should work.

To answer the launch capabilities question, where in that long list of targets was the United States of America mentioned? Not in Israel, who I think has a pretty decent track record of protecting itself wouldn't you agree? Not in Turkey, who has shown itself to be a fair-weather friend at best, and at the moment is undergoing civil unrest BECAUSE they are our ally? Iraq? They don't have the guts. They without question do not have the guts to nuke any country with a sizable U.S. presence in it.

To answer your claim of the Shahab 4, the missile in question isn't even being developed anymore. After the dismal test results of the Shahab 3, Iran abaonded the testing of the 4 series. The Shhab 5 and 6 were similarly shelved almost 10 years ago, according to the October 1, 1998 Washington Times. In 2006, according to a watch group dedicated to the Iranian nuclear program, the Shahab 5 and 6 are barely speculative as of the writing, and it would probably take 8-10 years before a protoype is even POSSIBLE. If Iran and North Korea are as linked as some believe, just a preliminary look at NK's missile situation fills me with laughter, not dread.

Last and definitely least, of course World War 2 was a major war. Where did that come in? Deaths are NOT the measure of how major a war is. The reality is the United States has nearly 175,000 military personnel in Iraq and probably a similar number in Afghanistan. To say this isn't a major war is lunacy. The war on terror is a major, global war. While not the equal of a traditional world war, it is a major war.

The way I see it, it's not even a war on terror. It's a war on Islam. A few hundred crazies go after America, and now every Muslim that turns up in Iraq opposing us is a terrorist. They don't see CNN or Newsweek, they see a Western super-power invading not one, but TWO Muslim nations. That'd be enough for me. I don't condone some of the actions they take, but their motivation is without reproach. The Qu'ran says a Muslim must defend the rights of other Muslims. We are simply giving people like al-Sadr and bin Laden the exact kind of news they want - America invading countries with large Muslim populations. We can't do that anymore.
Debate Round No. 2
rkmcdaniel

Pro

I think John McCain said it the best, he said that we could have left Germany in WW2 because the Germans would not have followed us home. But if we leave the Middle East, they will follow us home. If the United States does not play offense with people that threaten us and the world, we will end up playing defense, after we have been hit some more. You say that "The way I see it, it's not even a war on terror. It's a war on Islam. A few hundred crazies go after America, and now every Muslim that turns up in Iraq opposing us is a terrorist," Do you realize that America was attacked before 9-11? Since the Mid 70's the US has been playing defense with terrorism:

1979: US Embassy in Iran seized by radical students in Tehran.
1982: 30 Americans taken hostage in Lebanon by Islamic radicals.
1983: US Embassy in Lebanon destroyed by Islamic radicals, 63 dead.
1983: Marine barracks in Lebanon bombed by Islamic radicals, 300 troops dead.
1983: US Embassies in Kuwait bombed by Islamic radicals.
1984: US Embassy in Lebanon bombed, 24 dead.
1984: Islamic radicals hijack Kuwait Airways flight 221 and divert it to Tehran, 2 dead.
1988: PanAm flight blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland.
1993: World Trade Center Bombings.
1995: US military base bombed in Saudi Arabia.
1996: Khobar tower bombings in Saudi Arabia.
1998: US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed, over 200 dead.
2000: USS Cole bombing.
2001: 9/11

As you can see, it is not a "few hundred crazies" it is a grass roots anti-American movement that has been afoot in the middle east for the past 50 years. To sit back and stick our heads in the sand and hope nothing happens ur pure foolishness. Any sensible leader knows that if you fail to plan, you should plan to fail.

To address your rebuttal arguments, when did I ever say that the US should invade Iran? I never said that. I said that if Iran were to gain a nuclear weapon, they should be stopped. That simple. There are a lot more ways to remove a threat than invading a country i.e. special operations, surgical air strikes, political pressure, sabotage. The US and other countries have used these practices many times in the past to eliminate global threats and they can be used against Iran if need be.

To address your statements about the launching capabilities, I must respectfully say that your sources are wrong. Iran itself has stated that they have the Shahab 3 missiles operational, as of November 27, 2007. Here is the link to the news article: http://www.missilethreat.com... (scroll down to the Iran story).

You also state that on the list of possible targets there were no US sites, again, I must respectfully say that you are wrong. I said, "United States military bases in Bahrain and Turkey." There are two very important bases for US operations in the middle east. The base in TUrkey is responsible for keeping troops in Afghanistan and Iraq supplied. The base in Bahrain is responsible for directing the fighting in these two countries. These are prime targets for a nuclear attack, and well within missile range.

To address your claim about major warfare. Troop levels absolutely determine the type of warfare. As of 4/30/07, there were 146,000 troops in Iraq, and less than that in Afghanistan. These two wars have been going on since roughly late 2001. Since then, there has been less than 5,000 military casualties. Now, just for a comparison, lets look at the same time period during WW2. In roughly the same amount of time (about 7 years) in WW2, over 14,000,000 allied troops killed. I dont care what you say, World War 2 and the War on Terrorism are two completely different types of wars.

In your closing paragraph, you make it out to be the fault of the US that we are being attacked. Almost as if we are the bad guy. I must disagree strongly. Did we ask for 9/11? What did we do to cause 9/11? What exactly is their motivation? Fighting against a country that they attacked? What did they expect to happen? I will tell you what they expected. They expected the United States to do what it has been doing ever since these attacks first started in the 70's, nothing. They expected us to sit back and do nothing. Their plan back fired on them, and they awoke a sleeping giant for lack of a better term. We got a President in the Oval Office who would not play softball with them. So I don't see that they are justified at all for the attacks against innocent civilians.

I will finish with this. I am not advocating the invasion of Iran. Your entire argument is crafted around debunking an invasion of Iran. I am advocating that we play offense with terrorists, and nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. We dont need to wait until we or an ally have been nuked until we step in. We made that mistake in the past, and it bit us badly on 9/11. Don't forget that. If you believe that the Iranian government is an innocent government that only wants to help its people by providing nuclear energy, you are dead wrong.
Demosthenes

Con

The bases in Bahrain and Turkey are valuable yes, but you didn't address my point that Iran doesn't have the guts. Are you seriously saying that Iran has the guts to attack U.S. personnel directly and publicly, knowing that the American public would demand a response the likes of which would make Iraq seem like a skirmish action.

Also, to your number of 14,000,000 million allied troops killed, I would point out that about 12 million of those were Russian, and that was the result of poor generalship and a bad overall supply system. The numbers are not exactly comparable, considering that was a declared war, this is an ideological war.

And where do you get the guts to say I'm blaming us for 9/11? All I said was that in the 6 years since 9/11, we;ve invaded 2 Arab nations, one with cause and one without. But the Arab population of the world DOESN'T see it like we do. They see United States Marines kicking down people's doors and shooting people. What are they supposed to think? So they don't buy the line "We are defending our country by invading another." I barely buy that line. Grass roots anti-American movement? Try a grass roots anti-imperialism movement. You can't go around invading sovereign nations AND THEN BLAMING THE CITIZENS FOR DEFENDING THEIR CITIES. That's lunacy and its doubletalk.

Thucydides, one of the greatest Athenian admirals of the Peloponessian war, said the sinews of war are infinite money. We've spent hundreds of billions, if not trillions, on the war against terror, and you have the gall to say it's not a major war? We still have armor and air forces in an area where both do nothing but create collateral damage. To say this isn't a major war is willful blindness.

In YOUR last paragraph, you said and I quote, "I am advocating that we play offense with terrorists, and nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. We dont need to wait until we or an ally have been nuked until we step in. We made that mistake in the past, and it bit us badly on 9/11. Don't forget that." Play offense? What is this, a game? The offense you're talking about is people's lives. Nip the problem in the bud? WHAT PROBLEM? I trust Iran with nukes because they have no reason to use the bomb. What will they gain? Answer me that! Until you can tell me what Iran will gain by nuking anything flying the American, Turkish, or Israeli flag, there really isn't anywhere else for this to. And by the way, that link you gave me in your last post turned up one very interesting thing - F-16's can shoot down ballistic missiles now. The Israelis have more than 4 squadrons of current generation F-16's, and I'm sure that the DoD is already providing them with a way to recreat the technology. There is NO WAY the Iranians will EVER use the bomb. Do you know why? Because I don't think their entire nation wants to be wiped off the face of the earth. Israel WILL return in kind. That's a guarantee.

Here's why you're wrong-

Iran can't use the bomb. Period. They use it on anyone, the country turns into a parking lot. The Security Council would allow any measure the United States proposes, no questions asked. We have 27,000 nukes spread across our entire nation. Israel has near 200, maybe more by now. And Turkey might not even be a U.S. ally for long, so Iran won't nuke a country they might be able to turn. That's logic.

Cliches like "nip in the bud" and "play offense" don't help here. We have to be intelligent about this. If the United States wants to live in a world of peace and openness, we have to allow other countries to progress. We are not allowed to dominate nations anymore, not in a community of equals. The people of Iran have a right to nuclear power in all its forms, and you do not have the right to tell them no. America is not the world's proverbial Big Brother, and it's no use trying to be when we're already so unpopular.

Influence is as useful a weapon as nukes, and it's high time people recognized that and stopped thinking that guns and bombs are the only way to power. Might does not make right.
Debate Round No. 3
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nycfinestpaki 9 years ago
nycfinestpaki
wilact723 i agree with u,

but the voting system sucks
Posted by willact723 9 years ago
willact723
I had to vote for the con. Being in the Pro position is hard, it means you have to prove that "The US has a right to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." and all the Con has to do is poke a few holes in it and you lose. Which I believe the Con did.
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
Sorry, I responded to thw wrong post on my last comment, I meant to respond to this one:

" just want to know what people would think if china becomes bigger then the US, how would we feel if they came into the US and started taking all their weapons because they saw them as a threat."

Again, it is not the only the United States that is advocating the removal of a nuclear weapon from Iran, it is the entire international community, except Russia and China.
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
"Are we to believe you just randomly selected to make this argument and Iran was randomly selected to be the subject of your what if this country got a nuclear weapon argument?"

Again, it is not the only the United States that is advocating the removal of a nuclear weapon from Iran, it is the entire international community, except Russia and China.
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
Go to Fox news' homepage and look for yourself, I just did, and I found plenty about Iran. And MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NYT, etc... Iran is still in the news.
Posted by nycfinestpaki 9 years ago
nycfinestpaki
Mr.Daniel what was the last report on the news about Iran?
Posted by rkmcdaniel 9 years ago
rkmcdaniel
Dont come on this web site and tell me that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is not a current event. Read any headline news and you will see it, I grantee it. So, no, patrioticintellect, I did not pull this topic out of thin air, like you think I did. Nor did I word the topic in a "sneaky" manner as to make it contradict one single intelligence report which has come out 3 years after the fact. I simply stated that IF Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon, the United States "would" have a right to defend itself and remove it. Don't try to pin your assumptions on me. Make less assumptions next time. You assumed that I meant that Iran right now has a nuclear weapon, you assumed that I am advocating the invasion of Iran, and after I point out these assumptions, you assumed that I made a topic that was lose proof. None of these assumptions are the case. I have tried to state this in the past, and either you didn't see them, or you ignored them, either of which is not my fault.

Also, since when are theoretical topics not debated? Do all topics debated HAVE to be literal? That is an absurd statement that has absolutely no backing.

The topic is a simple statement, please stop making it more than it is to suit your arguements.

In order to win, the opponent has to prove that IF Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon, the United States would not have right to remove it. That's it, nothing more, nothing less.

That magical "IF" goes both ways, so it is not just an advantage for my side.

The opponent has not proven this, his arguements go to proving that Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon. Guess what? Thats irellevant. It doesn't matter to this debate whether or not they have one, only IF they had one. It is called a theoretical.
Posted by nycfinestpaki 9 years ago
nycfinestpaki
Mr. Daniel
I challenge you to a debate on world politics, you choose the topic, make it Iran or Israel its your choice, thank you.

Let the fun time begin
Posted by patrioticintellect 9 years ago
patrioticintellect
Are we to believe you just randomly selected to make this argument and Iran was randomly selected to be the subject of your what if this country got a nuclear weapon argument?
Posted by nycfinestpaki 9 years ago
nycfinestpaki
Mr.Daniel

The report made by USA INTELLIGENCE clearly states Iran stopped the manufacturing process of Nuclear weapons 4 years ago, so what is the Purpose of this debate? IF IRAN DEVELOP WEAPON,IF WE ATTACK IRAN. lets concentrate on the facts please and issues on how to keep Iran on the track of Nuclear technology with out heading towards a nuclear weapon.
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