The Instigator
imabench
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Thelaughingman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The United States is too involved in Middle Eastern affairs

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,530 times Debate No: 19386
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

imabench

Pro

I believe that the United States is both today and in the past, too involved in middle eastern affairs and issues.

Middle East = Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait

The Con must simply show that the US is not very involved in Middle eastern affairs.

Con may use the first round for arguments or just acceptance.
Thelaughingman

Con

The United States is most certainty a governmental body which attempts to reflect the ideals of a Democracy. A Democracy is government run by the people where there is no distinction between the peoples whole the government serves. Every individual has the same rights as the next person within a democracy therefore creating a system of government where there is an equal ownership of the rule of law by all people.

Under the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution the United States has declared that all people, whether they be under the rule of law of the Democratic government or an outsider has self evident rights. These rights which we hold to be self evident create the core values on which a Democracy operates.

Being that these rights are universal to all humans it is the responsibility of a Democratic nation to protect these rights even if they are being infringed in another sovereign. If a Democracy fails to protect these rights or ignores the fact that these rights are being infringed upon, then it erodes away the core values that make the government what it is.

In the middle east the people are being oppressed by their governments in many ways, such as governments limiting free speech or the liberty of the people or even committing genocide which is taking the life of the people whom the government is there to protect. When these instances occur, it is the responsibility of a free democratic nation to intervene and protect these inalienable rights.

These rights must also be protected even against the will of the people whose rights are being infringed. This is true because if a democracy would not protect these rights then these rights would not be inalienable or self evident. By doing this the democratic nation would lose its core structure and basic principles and would suffer from an essential identity crisis.

The United states involvement in the middle east cannot be seen as an over reaching imperial body, but must be viewed as the protection of the fundamental principles it has sworn to uphold. To protect the life and liberty of all humans not just those who happen to fall within arbitrary lines in the sand
Debate Round No. 1
imabench

Pro

1) The United States is not a democracy, it is a constitutional republic where the people elect representatives to represent their interests in the government.

2) "Every individual has the same rights as the next person WITHIN a democracy therefore creating a system....."

That is true, but as you have shown this only applies to people within the government we live in, and only this government.

3) The Constitution and Declaration does grant all men self evident right but no where does it say that it is the right and duty of Americans and the government to occupy foreign countries to give others these rights.

4) "Being that these rights are universal to all humans it is the responsibility of a Democratic nation to protect these rights even if they are being infringed in another sovereign."

No where in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other code of American laws does it grant the United States these powers to infringe on a foreign nation to implement such rights.

5) " If a Democracy fails to protect these rights or ignores the fact that these rights are being infringed upon, then it erodes away the core values that make the government what it is"

So then the US has very poor core values. After all we granted all men these rights but for years and years after these glorious words were entombed forever America was rather contradictory. People owned slaves, women could not vote, there were laws limiting immigration into the country, Native Americans were removed from their own lands, even today the US occupies territories such as Guam that are US territory but they do not enjoy the same rights that normal Americans do.

6) "These rights must also be protected even against the will of the people whose rights are being infringed"

If people do not want the same rights as Americans then why does America have to intervene if the people dont want it, if no code of laws grants the US to do this, and if no other democratic nations assist either? The US is not the sole Democracy in the world but we play a far, far, far greater role in meddling within the Middle East while other democratic nations do not intervene. Is every other democracy in the world wrong or hypocritical?

7) "but must be viewed as the protection of the fundamental principles it has sworn to uphold"

These principles though only apply to the United States, not to sovereign nations. When the Supreme Court decided Brown v Board of Education for example that struck down segregated schools in the US, but not the whole world because US laws are only applicable to the US, not the rest of the world.

8) "To protect the life and liberty of all humans not just those who happen to fall within arbitrary lines in the sand"

If this were even remotely true then why is it that the US has only been focusing on primarily the Middle East? There are many many many many many nations in the world that are far more oppressive to Human Rights than the middle East yet we do not pay much attention to them. Belarus, Myanmar, China, Somalia, Venezuela, and numerous countries in Africa have a much longer list of oppressing human rights than Iraq but the US pays far less attention to them or tries to enforce these goals on these people.

The US is not designated by any code of laws to be the absolute enforcer of everything Democratic. US rights apply only to the US and the people within it and it is not the responsibility, the right, or the goal of the US to instill their ideas of government on foreign nations, that is called Imperialism. If the day ever comes where the US is supposed to enforce democracy on all parts of the world, then the fact that the US is focused primarily on the Middle East rather than other parts of the world would still mean that we are too involved in Middle Eastern affairs.
Thelaughingman

Con

The United States, in fact, is a democracy though it is not a pure Democracy. A Democracy is an ideal in which people hope to obtain it is more abstract than just being a simple form of government. As it is today the united states functions more as a Democratism but still holds the ideals and values of a Democracy. A Democracy is not a form of government but a way for society to function without a rule of law because a democracy is a system where people have a mutual responsibility to their neighbors and accept the task of being part of a society. A government only comes in to play to help guide people to reach a point where it will no longer be needed to enforce these responsibilities on the people.

The constitution is a good example of this, it is a document to ensure that the country and the people within the country never fall below a certain point and always keep democracy as their ultimate goal. This can be seen in the constitution itself when the founders gave the right to congress to make laws as the times changed signifying the difference between a document like the constitution and other documents that govern peoples life like the bible or the qua-ran in the middle east. The constitution unlike those other documents was founded to be amended with the times and the founding fathers even belied that by laying the framework for a democracy it would be the job of the people to move the government closer and closer to the ideal society of Democracy.

This societal idealism functions on the basis that all men are created with certain rights. To achieve this ideal is to come to the universal recognition, through any country or any society, to have the same rights. This is true because if just one man is not created equal than the whole concept on which a Democracy attempts to function will be eroded away from beneath it. These truths which are self evident should not be selective to those who, under the random circumstances of their birth, are born in the middle east or anywhere which creates a culture of caste systems and people at their fundamental level are better than their neighbor. This is where the government of the united states must intervene, in cases of rights violations, it is the responsibility of the PEOPLE in a democratic nation to pursue the rights of all humanity which will ultimately define and secure their own right and the way to do this is use the body which the people have created to deal with matters at that level, the government.

Your last post is full of red herrings which do not speak to my claims but try to distract from the point. The point you make about people owning slaves and lack of woman's suffrage does not take away from the responsibility of a democratic society to protect it's values. All it means is that the framework for this ideal society was initially not as good as it could have been, but as the country has grown and the society has changed and made advancements the framework was there for the federal government to move it's society closer to this ideal.

For example in the 1960's the federal government had the power to end Jim crow laws because they were seen to be going against the ideal societal model of a Democracy, and it is because of this power of the federal government that helped end a lot of racial inequality even in places where it was acceptable by the majority of people.

Another point where you make a distraction is the fact of why we chose the middle east rather than other parts of the world to be involved in. That is extreme nonsense to say that we are ONLY being involved in the middle east. We are very involved in world affairs for the reasons i laid out above, but the middle east is a much more volatile region in the world and have housed militant groups which have sworn to destroy the principles which the american society was founded on. These regions are predominantly ruled by a document, the qua-ran , which is considered to be timeless and written long ago but still has the ability to be interpreted and used the same way as hundreds of years ago. It does not lay a framework, like the constitution, for a society to move it self to an ideal form of self governance but instead shackles the society into the customs and methods of the past even as the world changes around it. This also makes the point that just because there are other places which have the same problems doesn't make the case that we shouldn't pursue these values in the middle east because no matter what task you hope to accomplish there must always be a starting point and i do believe we do not trade or even acknowledge Cuba because of some of these reasons.

These affairs, once again are not of the middle east or of the united states or of the united nations but are affairs of humanity. If a society recognizes that every person in their species is born with certain qualities, rights, then it is the duty of that society to protect those rights because failure to do so contradict the values that that society holds so dear.

As well by picking small segments out of context from my position and responding to the words in that sentence rather than the meaning behind those particular words, you are not addressing the issue but attempting to skew my words and uses them in ways that would not make your point but makes your argument a stawman.
Debate Round No. 2
imabench

Pro

First of all im not trying to distract readers, I am using your own words to show that your logic is flawed to try to prove my point. For example,

You define Democracy as: "A Democracy is not a form of government, but a way for society to function without a rule of law because a democracy is a system where people have a mutual responsibility to their neighbors and accept the task of being part of a society."

But every credible source of information defines Democracy as something far different:
"a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority" - Merriam Webster
" a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." - Dictionary.com
"Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives." - Thefreedictionary.com

Your definition of Democracy is wrong because nowhere is Democracy an ideal nor is it a system where people accept mutual responsibility for people of distant and rightfully independent nations. Since Democracy does not call for the US implementing democracy overseas that nullifies a rather large part of your argument. Democracy is just a form of government it is no ideal society we are trying to work for to achieve.

" it is the responsibility of the PEOPLE in a democratic nation to pursue the rights of all humanity which will ultimately define and secure their own right and the way to do this is use the body which the people have created to deal with matters at that level, the government."

According to YOU it is the responsibility to do this, but every other credible source that knows what Democracy is disagrees. There is no trade off like you suggest here where people get their own rights if they help other people outside their borders from getting these same rights first. It is also not the right of the government to go around annexing countries just to install their idea of Democracy on sovereign countries.

"Another point where you make a distraction is the fact of why we chose the middle east rather than other parts of the world to be involved in. That is extreme nonsense to say that we are ONLY being involved in the middle east. We are very involved in world affairs for the reasons i laid out above, but the middle east is a much more volatile region in the world and have housed militant groups which have sworn to destroy the principles which the american society was founded on"

I also never said the US was only involved in the Middle East, you put those words in my mouth when I did not say that.

You also havent shown any other world affairs the US is involved in at all.

Militant groups in the Middle East dont hate our "American principles" they hate our foreign policy regarding the Middle East, support for Israel, etc. Osama said that himself in his ultimatum following 9/11

http://www.guardian.co.uk...
http://ebtx.com...
http://servingthekingstea.blogspot.com...

"If a society recognizes that every person in their species is born with certain qualities, rights, then it is the duty of that society to protect those rights because failure to do so contradict the values that that society holds so dear."

There is a great deal of difference between society and species. lets look at the definition of society now,
" companionship or association with one's fellows" - Merriam Webster
"an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes." - Dictionary.com
" A group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture" - The free dictionary

Societies are different, independent, categories of the organized peoples of the human race and no one society has authority to implement their ideals over all the other societies that make up the Human race like the Con believes. The US does not have the inherit right to go around and implement democracy in any form they please.

The US is too involved in the Middle East, and the reasons that the Con has offered to justify such extensive intervention is illogical because his definitions of society, democracy, the powers of the US government, and the sovereignty of foreign nations are flawed. The US does not own the ultimate authority to implement their own ideas of society over independent nations, that concept is called imperialism and it is not a justifiable reason for why the US is so involved in Middle Eastern affairs...

By the way what is a stawman?
Thelaughingman

Con

Democracy:
"a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges." - Dictionary.com
"the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges" - Marriam Webster
"a social condition of classlessness and equality" thefreedictionary.com

I disagree that my definitions of Democracy are wrong, in the three credible sources these definitions were found right under your definition, i really surprised you missed these so easily. Any society that strives to be classless and equal must recognize that all people in their society or not have the same rights and are excluded due to "the absence of hereditary of arbitrary class distinctions". This means, on a fundamental level, every person born has the same rights. These rights do not differ person to person based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, location. These rights are free of "Hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions" such as the random circumstances of birth, which means if you are born outside the US borders you still have the same fundamental human rights as citizens of the country, because these are not citizen rights or societal rights they are human rights which are universal throughout the species.

The concept of people in a democratic society having the responsibility to pursue the rights of humanity is an abstract one and people don't "get rights" from the direct perversion them. It is impossible for a democratic society to ignore human rights violations because by doing this they are taking away the very structure that makes their society run. To ignore the infringement of rights is to recognize that some people do not have them, and if some people do not have these rights then they are not a universal set of rights like put forth in the declaration of independence and the constitution and thus the people of the society have just as little claim to those rights as the people whose governments take them away.

You asked, "why is it that the US has only been focusing on primarily the Middle East?" I must have been confused when I wrote the other response i took the fact that you used only been focusing to mean only been focusing and disregarded the fact that you said primarily because if you are only focusing on something you can't be dividing your time between primary and secondary tasks.

I as well didn't list any of these conflicts because you had said we do not pay attention to Belarus, Maynard, China, Somalia, Venezuela. Which is wrong and is all the defense that statement needs. Also I mentioned the embargo on Cuba being in place for societal reasons much like our involvement in other countries.

America's foreign policy reflects it's societal principles. This is what this whole debate is about. for you to say:
"Militant groups in the Middle East dont hate our "American principles" they hate our foreign policy regarding the Middle East, support for Israel, etc. Osama said that himself in his ultimatum following 9/11" turns this debate back to square one. Every platform i have made has been to identify the fact that US foreign policy in regards to the middle east has been a reflection on a democratic societies principles of universal freedom and self governance. This is also coupled with the fact that of course religious extremists who pursue a state of minority rule and theocratic oppression would be opposed to American involvement in the middle east, if we were not there they would be able to take over and control the people.

A straw man is a logical fallacy is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

I can give you an example of this for future reference, If i make a claim that a society recognizes that all people in their species is born with unalienable rights and you give me the definition of society and species and claim they are different and therefore my claim that people in a society must recognize that their universal rights extend out beyond their society is wrong. That is a straw-man.

All the reasons I have laid out have not been correctly responded to. Instead the Pro has cherry-picked definitions from credible sources disregarding the fact that I made the distinction between a governmental democracy and a societal democracy in the first line of my first post. These independent nations have no right, in the eyes of a democratic society, to be independent if there is oppression of the people. A society must be aware of it's surroundings and protect people who are born into a state where they are treated unfairly due to the random circumstances of their birth and have no avenue to change the way that government governs over their society. If there is anything history can teach us it is that governments are their for the people not the other way around. Societies are what must be preserved and government who stifle their societies must be crushed and the power given back to the people.

As well another logical fallacy is ad hominem, such as commenting on someones grammar or spelling. It doesn't address a topic or use logic to justify your point it's just a little jab you can put at the end of your posts to leave the readers with an unwarranted sense of incredibility towards your opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
imabench

Pro

Oh dear how could I have missed the Con's definitions of Democracy? my oh my, they were only all the way at the bottom at number 5, 4, and 8 respectively..... My definitions were the first ones that came up on those respective websites the ones YOU cherry picked were the only ones you wanted to use because their definitions are just vague enough for you to warp to reinforce your own argument.... How could you accuse me of cherry-picking definitions when you did the same thing??

http://www.merriam-webster.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

" Any society that strives to be classless and equal must recognize that all people in their society or not have the same rights and are excluded due to "the absence of hereditary of arbitrary class distinctions. This means, on a fundamental level, every person born has the same rights. These rights do not differ person to person based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, location."

Perhaps you easily missed my definitions of society, societies are independent divisions of society that differ on their structure or organization. As for your interpretation of hereditary + arbitrary class distinctions they do apply to race, religion, economic status but location does not apply because again, societies are subdivisions of mankind so one society does not have superiority over all the others because they are all independent. Hereditary = genetic inherited traits that pertain to race, sex, etc. Class distinctions = income, marriage status, political orientation, etc.

Location does not apply to either of the qualities in the definition you yourself cherry picked out of my own sources...

They may be universal rights but the US still does not have the inherit power to enforce their idea of society over other sovereign nations.

As for my statement, "why is it that the US has only been focusing on primarily the Middle East?", I apologize to voters for my poor grammar and I would argue that I accidentally put the word "only" in there by mistake, but that would probably just draw an attack from the Con so........ My bad

"....but the US pays far less attention to them...."

I acknowledged the US has paid attention to these conflicts, but not as much attention as they have given to nations of the Middle East. You still have not answered that question actually.... If the US has the "right" to overrun entire countries to instill democratic ideologies on other peoples, then why is the US focusing much of its attention on the Middle East and not in these other conflicts? The only reason you offered is that the US needs "a starting point" but that is far from a justified argument, sounds more like an excuse to me...

As for the straw man, relax, christ it was an honest question you didnt have to rant about it.... Also the example of what a straw man is is a pretty poor example since you made a statement, I showed the flaws of that statement, and your response is "well your wrong"....

Ill end with one of Con's statements,

"If there is anything history can teach us it is that governments are their for the people not the other way around"

Governments are there for THEIR people, their OWN people, as in citizens who reside and live within the borders of a nation that is maintained by their government. The US involvement in the Middle East compared to other regions, regions that are just as volatile, abusive, etc. is unbalanced, the Con has not offered a reason for why this is, and the logic that the Con is using to justify such action is flawed as I have shown....
Thelaughingman

Con

I had not cherry picked arguments, I stated there are multiple definitions one involves an ideal social structure. you claimed this was false and it was only a government. I proved you wrong. That is not cherry picking.

The Location in which you are born is an arbitrary function of the random circumstances of your birth. What makes up an individual is their genetically inherited traits which for that individual is an uncontrollable function much as the color of their skin. Being born to a middle eastern family in Iran is just as probable as being born to a middle eastern family that has immigrated to america. It is arbitrary.

A sovereign nation is a political function. Rights are universal. The universality of those rights in affect give the authority to those who benefit from the rights to ensure that the rights remain universal for even the smallest reasons as preserving the self identity of the society.

You are correct that the US has payed less attention to other areas of the world. This is because no other countries have harbor as many criminals who destroyed a world economic center in the largest city of the united states.

You are correct that governments are there for THEIR OWN people. This means nothing when I've clearly laid out the fact that it is the society that pushes for these changes. The USA is the hammer which the people. Any action by the government can be a reflection on the people and it is up to the people to use the government the way they see fit. It is a way of collaboration and to create change in the place they live (e.g. earth)

History has proven to us that authoritarianism is bad and it must be squashed by any means necessary. The united states is not committing imperialism as it is engaging in liberating oppressed people. Imperialism is what Britain did in china or in India like the opium wars. They created a dredge in the society and took advantage of the misunderstandings of foreign people. The United states has removed oppression and replaced it with nation building and return the power back to where it belongs, in the hands of the people. By doing so protecting the universal rights that all members of the human race deserves.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Bazinga 5 years ago
Bazinga
That is true, there isn't really that big a difference though.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
compared to other forms of government, very true. However there are some key differences between the two
Posted by lolcannons 5 years ago
lolcannons
A republic is essentially the exact same thing as a democracy...
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
very true, mostly
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
Of course no one could actually "win" that argument because people judge based on emotion rather than reason. We decide who we want to win first, then look for a "logical justification" after the fact. That's largely why I think this is such an absurd website -fun- but absurd. Kids misuse evidence, have the most abysmally horrific case construction I have ever seen, and then have the proceed to judge others. It's laughable, again -fun- but laughable. Most people (on DDO or not) don't even know what "winning" a debate means -much less understand how to break down arguments on a dynamic level. There are some really good debaters on here, but then again for every one good debater there are twenty who are, shall we say, less so.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
hm...I disagree
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
That would be a VERY interesting debate....
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
YYW
I'd love to see someone argue that our work won't be done until the whole of the middle east consumes more pornography than the US, elects a black president, and eats McRibs at McDonalds three times a week. The framework could be cultural imperialism... lol.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
yeah thats one tactic the con can use
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Can con argue that we are involved a lot, but that its justified? Cause the rez says we're "too" involved, indicating that the involvement is a bad thing. So you could assume that a con could argue that our involvement is a good thing and sufficiently negate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
imabenchThelaughingmanTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: In citing the Declaration it is accepted that rights are from the creator not the government. Con was all over the place, his comments about democracy and straw man were just incorrect.
Vote Placed by DevonNetzley 5 years ago
DevonNetzley
imabenchThelaughingmanTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: i agree 100 with pro about the u.s. being too involved. personaly i believe they are way too involved.