The Instigator
claypole
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Zero
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

The US has not fought a single just war since WWII.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,175 times Debate No: 4655
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (8)

 

claypole

Pro

Using the following criteria (if there are others please suggest) I judge all wars fought by the USA as being unjust, either totally or in part.
Only under all of these "Jus Ad Bellum" (and perhaps some others) may war be waged:

Just cause. "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations."

Right intention
Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.

Last resort
Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical.

(Some though not all of US activity in WWII can be called just, I believe.)

A potential opponent should be able to show why any wars that have been or are being fought are morally defensible. If they do not find fault with my conditions, their candidate(s) for a just war should conform to the 3 "Jus ad bella" above.
Zero

Con

Salutations to both my opponent as well as my dear audience. I have never debated a day in my life and will do so as of now.

In this debate, I shall be arguing that the War on Terrorism is just, although like my opponent, I will not be insisting that all of the activity in the "War on Terror" can be called just.

We shall now look to my opponent's criteria:

Just cause: The grave public evil which is being attacked is the tragedy that ensued due to terrorist actions during 9/11.

Right Intention: Correcting a suffered wrong is the case as correcting the wrong that came from 911 is what has been attempted at being corrected.

Last resort: Terrorist are unreasonable and peaceful viable alternatives have not been successful due to the unreasonable demands which terrorist in general make. Furthermore, attempting the aforementioned methods of peace would be impractical.

By no means does this mean that I am defending the United States' invasion into Iraq . Rather, I am simply arguing that it's war stance against terrorists (especially the ones responsible for 911) is well justified. If my opponent attempts to argue that I must include all of what is the War in Iraq, then I see no reason not to include the actions of the United States' in WWII, specifically the bombing of civilians in Hiroshima. Either way, I win.

To add, I am going to attack the instigator's argument from a completely different viewpoint. The instigator claims that the US was justified to enter the second World war, yet if we look back to "last resort", we clearly see that the US did not attempt and exhaust all peaceful viable alternatives. After fulfilling merely two conditions of jus ad bellum, the US went into action. The only argument my opponent can offer is that it would have been impractical to try any peaceful methods with the Japanese that had bombed Pearl Harbor. I'll have to see his argument on this before I respond further.
Debate Round No. 1
claypole

Pro

Sadly the opposition seems to have swallowed a little too much U.S. propaganda to be able to perceive even the most basic facts about the motives and achievements of the United States' "War on Terror".
As you all know, the main method adopted in this war has been to combat Islamic Terrorism by invading Islamic states. I will not go into the effectiveness of this rather bizarre method but rather, I will stick to explaining how this particular war fails on ALL 3 of the criteria.

First of all, my opponent defends American military actions in the war on terror on the grounds that they are punishing the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. You may see some ambiguity in the justification given, but the main idea here is that the US is correcting an act of aggression (to do so, it is performing an act of aggression itself, but never mind that). It is a nice idea, but it's not what the Bush government actually did.

Lets look at how what they actually did differs from my opponent's ideals. Luckily, this isn't very hard as evidence for violation of this criterion shows up in the very first action taken in the war on terror: the bombing of Afghanistan. On October 7th, 2001, when the bombing began, President Bush warned Afghans that it would continue until they handed over people that the US suspected of terrorism.

You might say that the term "suspected" here seems a bit dubious in defense of an attack which included serious damage inflicted on civilian populations. But at least we had the right country, right?

Sorry, we didn't.
Eight months later, FBI head Robert S. Mueller III told editors at The Washington Post that after perhaps the most intense manhunt in history, "We think the masterminds of (9/11 attacks) were in Afghanistan, high in the al-Qaida leadership. Plotters and others — the principals — came together in Germany and perhaps elsewhere."

So it was Germany all along. We now know that the individuals actually responsible for 9/11 were centered mostly in Germany and The United Arab Emirates (rather than just providing a bit of hate-filled, anti-American propaganda, as certain Afghans did).

So, the just cause was never served (we didn't bomb Germany or the UAE), and this also means we lose our right intention. From here, we could start looking at the various retrospective causes which were cooked up, but they are certainly not for this debate. Our other option is to go somewhere along the lines of "at least we tried", and say, as my opponent alluded to in his provision of a Right intention, that it's OK to fight a war, provided you say your attempting to do some good.

Why don't you remember that the next time terrorists fly a plane into an office block and say that they were "attempting to correct the wrong that came from"....say....Hiroshima.

Before I get to the subject of the "Last Resort" justification, I think I need to do some clarification.
I will attempt to explain what I meant when I said "Some though not all of US activity in WWII can be called just".

Since I did say SOME, to keep things simple let us ignore all actions taken against Japan, and focus on what can easily be justified.
When Germany invaded countries in WWII, it was, for the most part, to replace peaceful regimes with Nazism. The occupations that ensued, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, involved massive human rights abuses, like the Holocaust. This unlawful occupation and the accompanied genocide were still going on when France asked us to intervene. A requested intervention to put a stop to crimes of this sort is probably the best justification for US military action there has ever been.

The issues surrounding the rest of WWII, including US bombing of civilian populations, are very complicated, and it was for this reason that I phrased the title the way I did: the arguments on the just/unjust sides are simply too vast to approach here.

So what's the difference between the War on Terror and these particular parts of WWII?
Well, US military action against the Nazis clearly meets both the first two criteria (and I hope you'll agree, the third), whereas I have already shown that the opponent's first two justifications of the War on Terror fall far short of justifying what the US actually did.

I hope you can now see the difference between defending certain actions in a war and calling an entire war just. As it is, my opponent actually is trying to call an entire war just. To this end, as he rightly noticed, the 3rd criterion is where one REALLY runs into problems.

In the War on Terror especially, the aggressors have avoided diplomacy like the plague. My opponent justifies this on the grounds that you can't negotiate with terrorists. However, most terrorists can be dealt with by peacefully eroding their support base, and this case was no exception before the US started to widen the terrorists' support base by casting themselves as "the enemy" in the eyes of many young Muslims. Look at any poll among Muslims about the causes of terrorism for evidence of this (the two favorites are Guantanamo Bay and the western presence in the Middle East) .
This link provides an insight into the diplomatic means available in 2003 for removing Saddam - by removing the sanctions which casted The US as the enemy in the eyes of normal Iraqis:

http://www.antiwar.com...

So it might well have been possible to remove Saddam simply by retracting the sanctions which silenced any pro-American opposition, and allowed him to portray himself as the only person standing in the way of American oppression.
How then can you possibly justify this entire wing of the War?

In conclusion, my opponent chose a very difficult war to defend, and failed to justify it under my simple criteria. As the actions of the Bush government in this war violate these criteria so much, I suggest he find a different war.
Zero

Con

NOTE: Before we move onto the instigator's errors, please note that nowhere in his last round did he respond to my attack against the idea that the United State's entered WWII as a last resort, as dictated by the instigator's definition. I gave him the opportunity to expound on how the US exhausted all manner of peace with Japan or whether or not it was simply impractical to attempt peace, yet he has refused. Let me give you a good reason as to why the instigator couldn't or won't be able to reasonably respond: It's because the United States had ample opportunity to insist peaceful methods, therefore not making an immediate assault as impractical or a last resort. It is because of this that the instigator has already lost this debate since the resolution makes it clear that WWII is an example of a "just war." Therefore, even if you do not buy my argument concerning the war on terror, I am still victorious.

Moving on, please note that this debate concerns whether or not a war can be waged and not actions taken afterwards in the war, hence clarification such as

"Only under all of these "Jus Ad Bellum" (and perhaps some others) may war be waged" -claypole.

Looking at that, all of what the instigator brings up which doesn't concern why the war was waged is to be disregarded.

Finding Islamics terrorist? Strawman. Please note the exact terms of the war on terror, as noted by the Bush administration:

"The Bush Administration has defined the following objectives in the War on Terrorism: [23]

1. Defeat terrorists and their organizations.
2. Identify, locate and destroy terrorists along with their organizations.
3. Deny sponsorship, support and sanctuary to terrorists.
1. End the state sponsorship of terrorism.
2. Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability with regard to combating terrorism.
3. Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight terrorism.
4. Working with willing and able states.
5. Enabling weak states.
6. Persuading reluctant states.
7. Compelling unwilling states.
8. Interdict and disrupt material support for terrorists.
9. Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens.
4. Diminishing the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit.
1. Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states and prevent (re)emergence of terrorism.
2. Win the war of ideals.
5. Defend U.S. citizens and interests at home and abroad.
1. Implement the Nation Strategy for Homeland Security.
2. Attain domain awareness.
3. Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and availability of critical physical and information-based infrastructures at home and abroad.
4. Integrate measures to protect U.S. citizens abroad.
5. Ensure an integrated incident management capability."

. . . therefore, not just islamic terrorist.

Now with all of that being properly exploited, onto directly clash:

"So, the just cause was never served (we didn't bomb Germany or the UAE), and this also means we lose our right intention."

Not at all. What does the US having made a mistake in finding the culprit's of the 911 terrorist attack have to do with whether or not it was ever justified or had the right intention to initiate it's war stance on terrorism in the first place? That's like saying a man is not justified to look and retrieve his missing wallet simply because he looked in a place where it was not located. In other words, it's completely nonsensical, hence why a large majority of the text my opponent came up with in the last round is meaningless.

"as my opponent alluded to in his provision of a Right intention, that it's OK to fight a war, provided you say your attempting to do some good."

Note that it is the instigator who originally alluded to this. If you find problem with what is to be understood as right intention, you are finding fault with the PROS definition. I'm simply showing how even by his own definition, his claim is erroneous.

"The issues surrounding the rest of WWII, including US bombing of civilian populations, are very complicated,"

Please note that this is not an argument but rather an opinion. We're not here to exchange opinions; we're here to debate! If the instigator wishes to suggest that the parts of the war which he doesn't feel as worth talking about are too complicated, he should present some legitimate arguments to back up his claim. Who is he to say what is "too complicated" for you to understand? If anything, this is an insult to your intelligence, my dear audience. However, I'm sure the instigator meant well, so don't be insulted. But at the same time, disregard his attempts to get out of having to argue in favor of something which he claims as "too complicated" to argue about.

"I hope you can now see the difference between defending certain actions in a war and calling an entire war just."

Audience, you have no reason to see this other than that it is merely my opponent's opinion that it's "too complicated for you to understand"

"As it is, my opponent actually is trying to call an entire war just."

I'm not sure what piece of fiction the instigator is reading, but you'll note that there is no point in my last round where I take up any position other than his own in agreeing to exclude parts of the war (unless he agrees to defend anything which I could exploit in WW2).

Finally, about whether or not the War on Terror was fought out of a last resort, the instigator's only offense against this is a link which includes evidence and insightful diplomatic means available in avoiding the war, however, there is immediately a big problem with this link.

This blog is not against the War on Terror itself, but rather the Iraq invasion. It merely providing an alternate and more peaceful means of the result which the invasion was meant to achieve is in turn agreeing with the War on terror (just not the strategy of invading Iraq). This hurts the instigator's case . . . badly.

As for most terrorist being dealt with through peacefully eroding their support base, this is done by agreeing to the demands of the terrorist. There's a reason why individuals such as even Barack Obama (whom my opponent supports, as shown in his profile) openly claim that it is injudicious to negotiate with terrorist. What my opponent would have us do is simply bow down to demands of any terrorist faction in order for peace. But, this is obviously impractical. Please take a gander at the motivations behind the terrorist responsible for 911: http://mb-soft.com... This country is founded on freedom of/from religion and the means of "peacefully" eliminating such motivation behind said terrorist attack is beyond unreasonable.

To really get into the absurdity of negotiation, I shall use an example. Let us say that I come barging into my opponent's house smashing his stuff and demanding that he give me his plasma screen tv or that I will continue. Should he give me his plasma screen TV? Does it make any sense that I am entitled to it all for the sake of peace? Rather than bowing down to my demands, he should either open up a can of whup@$$ or call the cops. Not only do I not get the TV I don't deserve, but I am now less motivated to demand something else out of my opponent, given that I know that he means business and is willing to get me into serious trouble.

In conclusion, I thank the instigator for the offer of switching up arguments, but I'd advise that he take his own advice as his current route is a route which is not winnable. Not only have I shown that the US was justified to wage war against terrorism, but I've also shown that the United States' entering WW2 doesn't fulfill jus ad bellum. Vote CON.

END OF CON ROUND 2
Debate Round No. 2
claypole

Pro

claypole forfeited this round.
Zero

Con

To quote Dhoulmagus' from Dragon Quest VIII, "Such a pity." It is a pity that my the instigator was not able to attend this party for three whole rounds. Therefore, my arguments are left unquestioned, and as I've shown, make me the winner of this debate by default. Therefore, extend them all to round 3.

Also note that I was willing to negotiate with my opponent in the comment section, yet my attempt at a negotiation for debating the way he wanted to debate has been ignored. So for those who'd buy into his potential "appeal to pity" (not necessarily his intention, although there are those who may see it as such) in the comment section, note that I have attempted fairness at all cost.

Bottomline: I have shown that the United States entering WWII is not just according to my opponent's idea of just. Not only that, but I've gone the extra mile and have shown that the War on Terror is justified according to my opponent's understanding of just.

Thanks to all. The contender rest.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rezzealaux 6 years ago
Rezzealaux
no wai.

IT SHALL BE A HAREM ENDING >(
Posted by Zero 6 years ago
Zero
Ssssh. All according to plan. ;)

And it appears that I will be pairing up with C.C by the end of the anime. To again quote Dhoulmagus, such a pity. :(
Posted by bthr004 6 years ago
bthr004
Why dont both of you just put forth your debate and let the audience decide...

Claypole you pretty much lost the debate when you went on your rant about ww2. Just leave it be, your stance did not require justification in order to defend your platform.

Lets not forget, the USA did not know of the concentration camps when they invaded Europe. But if they did, then how does the MASS human rights abuse that Hussein put on his own people in the 80's not hold up as grounds for rebuttle to your point of Nazism??
Posted by Rezzealaux 6 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Zero-sama"???

Are you Kaguya now or something? o_O
Posted by Zero 6 years ago
Zero
"Zero, before I submit my argument for round 3, could you please make it clear whether you are changing your just cause from the one stated in the first round to the 21 you copied off Wikipedia in the second round."

Nothing has changed. That was just posted to rebutt your claim concerning the US only wishing to counter Islamic terrorism.

"It would also be helpful if you retracted your statements about WWII."

I've explained this during the round. I will only dismiss my criticism of you not defending the entire war when you give in to my request to not coerce me to defend all of what falls under and through the War on Terror (the invasion of Iraq specifically).

Also and as of now, to show my intentions, I will even go so far as to throw out my argument on the US not living up to jus ad bellum in entering WW2. In fact, we can restart this debate with it just being the part of the War on Terror I wish to defend as well as me making no mention of the parts of WWII which you do not wish to defend. We can simply forfeit this debate together and star anew. How does this offer sound? If we cannot reach any common ground, then I'm afraid you leave me no choice but to continue on my current path in this debate.

Awaiting your reply,
Zero-sama.
Posted by claypole 6 years ago
claypole
If you don't reply to that comment within two days, I'm happy to forfeit the debate. Otherwise it would be impossible for me to know what terms I should be arguing against.

It would also be helpful if you retracted your statements about WWII.
I made it clear in the penultimate paragraph of my first round argument (the line in brackets) that not all of what the US did in WWII fulfilled the necessary criteria. If you don't see the allied struggle against the Nazis as doing so, however, I think the gulf between us is far too wide for us to engage in meaningfully discussion about warfare or morality in general.

Awaiting your reply,
Claypole
Posted by claypole 6 years ago
claypole
Zero, before I submit my argument for round 3, could you please make it clear whether you are changing your just cause from the one stated in the first round to the 21 you copied off Wikipedia in the second round.
Posted by Zero 6 years ago
Zero
I don't really have that many views of (per se) of my own. I just know how to defend them. In fact, I don't really even have a viewpoint in this debate. Apologies if this is a problem.
Posted by Zero 6 years ago
Zero
I shall be needing your Geass canceler in the next episode.
Posted by claypole 6 years ago
claypole
Zero, out of interest, can you put some of your views (the % disagreement ones) onto your profile?
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
claypoleZeroTied
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claypoleZeroTied
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claypoleZeroTied
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