The Instigator
stand4something
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
B23_Black_Dragon
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

The Unites States is not concerned with MORALITY when operating its foreign policy and entering war

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,030 times Debate No: 4974
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (9)

 

stand4something

Pro

This debate is essentialy on whether or not the United States promotes good in the world through its military interactions with other nations. I am mainly thinking in modern times but its open ended. Because its impossible to know the true intentions of why the US does what it does, i ask the voters to consider both arguments withought prejudice and pick the one that is most supported by evidence, logic, and reasoning.

MORAL OBLIGATION is ALWAYS cited by pro-war interests in the United States when decribing the neccessity of a given military aggression. War is carried out under the banner of LIBERATION regardless of the circumstances (or will) surrounding those that are allegedly being "liberated". The US claims to be the chief exporter of DEMOCRACY, which it toats as the primary way to societal justice and prosperity. Throughout the world America has claimed that democratic government is the answer to all ailments and has vowed to encourage democracy, while simultanously destablizing democratic regimes and funnelling influence to dictators in the very areas in which it claims to support democratic change. In reality, the Unites States is only concerned with promoting democracy when politically convient and has shown no substantive effort to create a more democratic world (a world where individuals have rights). It has in fact prevented a more democratic world from existing by systamtically exploitting conflict to create a better market for its interets, whether that means supporting genocide or assasinating a democratically ellected presedient.

If the United States where in the business of uniformly spreading democracy and human rights, our foreign policy would look very different than it does. This claim is ONLY used as a devise....a justification...and has no correllation with reality or the constuct or american policy realting to foreign states.
B23_Black_Dragon

Con

"MORAL OBLIGATION is ALWAYS cited by pro-war interests in the United States when decribing the neccessity of a given military aggression."

--- Why do the pro-war organizations cite Moral Obligation when advocating the use of the American military on international soil? If "The United States is not concerned with MORALITY", then why bother?

Unless.... well .... you would think the only reason we cite, iterate, and reiterate moral obligation is that WITHOUT a moral obligation, it would be impossible for a Democracy, such as the US, to enter into any extended military operation.
-----------------------------

"If the United States where in the business of uniformly spreading democracy and human rights, our foreign policy would look very different than it does."

My response: So? We're not here to argue if Moral Obligation is the ONLY consideration. The question at hand is not what US foreign policy would have been like if we only acted based on morality. The question at hand is what US foreign policy would be like if we NEVER act based on morality. Take for example the Spanish - American War.

The Cuban revolution began in 1895, and although American expansionists have been wanting to war Spain for territorial gains for decades, it wasn't until 1898 that we entered. In between, long before the sinking of the Maine, was a furious propaganda war where Cuban nationals advertised the atrocities being committed against their people by the totalitarian Spanish backed regime. American territorial ambitions were NOT ENOUGH ALONE to bring the USS Maine to Cuba. If American policy was dictated by ONLY self interest, we would have warred with Spain in 1895, if not earlier. The fact that there were 3 intervening years is evidence that the Moral Considerations ARE a factor in American Decision making.
Debate Round No. 1
stand4something

Pro

stand4something forfeited this round.
B23_Black_Dragon

Con

Moving right along, a whole new bundle of arguments:

What is America ruled by? All 300 Million people? 30 Million? 3 Million? 300? The more cynical, or paranoid, the fewer. Some of the readers might even subscribe to the idea that there's a shadow organization numbering no more than 30 who control the direction of American foreign and domestic policy.

What do these numbers all have in common? Well, ultimately they're all a number of People.
That's right, People.

Whenever we speak about an American decision regarding foreign policy, we have no choice but to ultimately acknowledge that it is a decision made By People, and even if these people are not Saints, it stretches credibility to imagine that these people operate without ANY sense of morality.

Do you know anyone with absolute No sense of morality? I don't. And as long as you can't either, then you can't realistically believe that the decision makers of America operate without any sense of morality.

Remember, America, even though often personified, is not an actual person.
---------------

Secondly, The US Government gives circa 15 Billion in Foreign Aid per year. My opponent will have to explain away EVERY single Cent to dismiss Morality entirely in regards to US Foreign Policy.
Debate Round No. 2
stand4something

Pro

Sorry about round 2...I'll try to catch up here.

In Round 1 my opponents writes:

"Why do the pro-war organizations cite Moral Obligation when advocating the use of the American military on international soil? If "The United States is not concerned with MORALITY", then why bother?
Unless.... well .... you would think the only reason we cite, iterate, and reiterate moral obligation is that WITHOUT a moral obligation, it would be impossible for a Democracy, such as the US, to enter into any extended military operation."

I would agree that without the APPEARANCE of a Moral Obligation, "it would be impossible for a Democracy, such as the US, to enter into any extended military operation." As we all know, apperances can be decieving. This concept plays into the point i made in my opening about the disconnection between American rhetoric and American action. My opponent refences a superb example of this with the Cuban Revolution of 1895 and the role the United States played in the surrounding events and influences. At the time of the Cuban Revolution, Unites States owned over 50% of all Cuban industry, primarily in sugar and tobacco. Although it was polically a Spanish colony, U.S. interests ran and operated its economic engine. Keep in mind that Cuba had only abolished slavery less than a decade before this point (1886), an act which was fiercey opposed by many in the US government who were beholdin to the system's benefactors.

My opponent believes that it was the Morality of U.S. policy that prevented us from entering the Spanish-American War prior to 1898 (which was when the Teller amendment was passed and a congresional declaration of war was made). However what my oppenent has neglected to tell you was that the United States was in negotions with a weakened colonial Spain to purchase Cuba (not liberate) which fell through in 1896. In 1898 the US battleship, the USS Maine, mysteriously exploded off the coast of Cuba (Spanish claim to know nothing about it and it is now generally believed that it was not an enemey attack), and the event was used to stir public sentiment into a pro war-position. The US public was also bombarded by the media with messages of the horrible conditions of their neighboring Spanish colonial subjects (in Cubas case, conditions that were made considerably worse by the proceeding American puppet governments). Its true, the government must present the facade of Morality when selling a given Imperial venture, as it did with Cuba, but this FASCADE is not the TRUTH. To understand America's rise in modern history is to understand the oppurtunistic CORPORATE nature of U.S. policy.

Lets take a look at Cuba after the so called Revolution.

"The growth of US sugar estates was so quick that in 1905 nearly 10% of Cuba's total land area belonged to US citizens. By 1902 US companies controlled 80% of Cuba's core exports and owned most of the sugar and cigarette factories"
-Navarro, Jos� Cant�n: History of Cuba, Havana, Cuba, 1998, p. 76

-Compare this rapid success of U.S. interest to the desparaging and fleeting conditions of most Cubans and you have a good picture of the winners and losers of the revolution. Couple this U.S. economic dominance with the Platt amendment, which essentially gave the U.S. control over the Cuban Military, and you have a very un-democratic democracy.

I encourage the viewers of this debate to do a little research on Fulgencio Batista, the U.S. backed military strong man that reigned over Cuba defacto/and officially from the 1933 Coup until Castro's revolution. There was NO morality in American policy towards Cuba. The U.S. supported and orchastrated the murder of thousands and the oppression of millions in Cuba and created a political dynamic that virtually guarantees perpetual militarism in Cuban government. Why did it do this? Money or Morality? I dont know how anyone could intelligently argue the latter.

My opponent makes an interesting arguement when he said:

"Whenever we speak about an American decision regarding foreign policy, we have no choice but to ultimately acknowledge that it is a decision made By People, and even if these people are not Saints, it stretches credibility to imagine that these people operate without ANY sense of morality."

These people, in the context we are speaking of, dont operate as people, they operate as components of an intitution. Institutions operate for many purposes, however, I do not believe the institutions that manifest U.S. foreign policy have a moral purpose. In the case of Cuba they opperated primarily with an economic purpose and completely overlooked, even perpetuated the moral catastrophe that ensued. The United States government (and the financial institutions that exercise great power over it) has no more of a moral compass than a cigerette company. Morality is merely a pragmatic means to an end, but never the end itself. Quite simply, WAR can not be the means to that end.

Finaly my opponents says that because we give money(over $15 billion per year) to foreign contries that this must mean we are doing good in the world. I have two short responses to this arguement.

1. My premise was never that the Unites States does nothing positive in the world. Even though we spend less of our economy on foreign aid than any other industrialized nation in the World, we do infact shell out about $15 billion to various inernational programs.

2. The U.S. would not give a cent to any foreign (or domestic) institution (or individual) if it did'nt see a net benifit in the action. As I said, the U.S. is not in the business of making things better for the people of the world, but sometimes it can be benificial if it is viewed as such. Symbols are important.

Sorry for missing round one and thanks for debating.....
B23_Black_Dragon

Con

'I would agree that without the APPEARANCE of a Moral Obligation, "it would be impossible for a Democracy, such as the US, to enter into any extended military operation."'

--- If the "APPEARANCE of a moral obligation" is necessary then CLEARLY the "United States is CONCERNED with Morality when operating its foreign policy". At this point my opponent has conceded the topic of debate.

What my opponent admits is that unless the government can Persuade the people that the war is justified on Moral Grounds, there will be no war. If you ask me, that's a pretty strong indicator of why the US is ALWAYS concerned about morality when operating its foreign policy.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by bullslapper 9 years ago
bullslapper
It is clear we have many immoral people in the Government and some wars are not being fought for moral reasons.
But self-defence is a moral reason and we should be able to defend our Country. This was a good debate.
Posted by B23_Black_Dragon 9 years ago
B23_Black_Dragon
If you meant "The US bases it's foreign policy on Morality" then that should have been your debate topic.

Perhaps you should spend half a minute to construct a more aptly phrased topic the next time you post a debate.
Posted by stand4something 9 years ago
stand4something
--- If the "APPEARANCE of a moral obligation" is necessary then CLEARLY the "United States is CONCERNED with Morality when operating its foreign policy". At this point my opponent has conceded the topic of debate.---

If you notice, in round 1, I elaborated on what the premise meant. My resolution is not that the U.S. is not concerned with Morality, it was that the U.S. is not concerned with morality when operating its military instrument in an effort to affect foreign policy...yes, moral obligation is cited when selling the operation of their military, but that is not the same thing as being guided and confined by morality.

My opponent want's to argue semantics instead of defending his position...unfortunate
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
"If the "APPEARANCE of a moral obligation" is necessary then CLEARLY the "United States is CONCERNED with Morality when operating its foreign policy". At this point my opponent has conceded the topic of debate."

Sweeeeeeeeeet. I like.
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