The Instigator
MoonDragon613
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Patrick_Henry
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points

The War on Iran

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,926 times Debate No: 2736
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (11)

 

MoonDragon613

Pro

George Bush is a moron. But be that as it may, he was correct in stating that Iran was a member of the Axis of Evil. The sanctions we have against Iran are insufficient and for the following 3 reasons, we should begin military action in Iran to overthrow the existing regime.

1. Iran is dangerous to the United States.
All those who supported the War against Iraq should support even more fervently the War against Iran. They are a theocracy which has an avowed and intense dislike for America. They are developing weapons of mass destruction. They fund terrorist groups responsible for the loss of American lives (in Iraq). They have a history of attacking Americans on American soil (in our embassy in Iran). And they are a powerful threat to our ally in the region (Israel). Their repeated attempts to develop a nuclear arsenal makes them even more dangerous to the United States, and just as with Iraq, to protect American interests we should preemptive strike Iran, before they detonate nuclear weapons on American soil.

2. For the greater global civil rights
Iran, as a religious theocracy, oppresses their people and commit all manners of crimes against humanity. And I'm not just talking about the civil rights abuses committed against women. The penalty for homosexual acts is torture followed by a gruesome and public execution. Adultery? Also public execution. Of course (as a pre-empt), we cannot police the world and enforce all of our customs on every nation, but the actions taken by Iran are barbaric. Their treatment of homosexuals are virtually identical to the treatment of homosexuals by the Nazis. Even were we not a superpower, we still have an obligation to intervene, militarily, to stop the practices taking place in Iran.

3. For our duty to the people of Iran
Unlike with the people in Serbia or Iraq, we actually owe an obligation to the people of Iran. The current government of Iran exists as it does today because of our support for the previous regime, the dictatorship of the Shah. Because we supported his military dictatorship, we precluded a natural transformation / transition to a democratic government. And thus we have a duty now to correct the mistakes we made around the world, starting with Iran, by helping them establish a more humane government with greater concern for the rights of its citizens.

For these reasons I am proud to support the resolution.
Patrick_Henry

Con

Much of my insight comes from personal and professional relationships with the former white house adviser on middle eastern foreign policy, my former boss, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and several other high profile tutors.

I will start by responding to your arguments.

1. Iran is dangerous to the United States.
No, they're not. Iran has attempted no offensive actions against the territory or interests of the United States of America. On September 12th, 2001 Iran offered us their full cooperation in hunting down and eliminating those responsible for the attacks which befell our nation, and left no nation on this globe unaffected, including Iran. At the time, the democratic and social trends of Iran were leading towards a more open relationship with the west, and then the voice of our nation called them the "Axis of Evil", a move completely uncalled for when the nation had been nothing other than a willing ally just weeks before.

They intelligence behind their efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction is sparse at best. To destroy their capacity for constructing "weapons of mass destruction", we'd have to target more than a thousand locations. They are sincerely interested in investing in nuclear power as a means to avoid spending their most precious resource, and only export on domestic means. Their interest in developing an atomic weapon is likely only due to the fear that Israel is the only nation in the region which has nuclear weapons, and they've continually threatened to use them against Iran, and there is apparently this global tyrant that keeps threatening to invade Iran. Meanwhile, nations that have nuclear weapons with much graver human rights violations, like Korea, are left alone. Pakistan, left alone. India, left alone. We're sending the subtle signals that we only dick around with non-nuclear powers, whether or not we mean to.

The Term pre-emptive refers to a combat that takes place to stop an immediate threat, like shooting down a bomber that is on its way to bomb your city. Invading a country to stop them from ever building bombers is a preventative war, and considered a war crime by our own standards established at the Nuremburg trials.

2. For the greater global civil rights

What about our civil rights violations? Wouldn't it be easier to use ourselves as a shining example of civil rights if we maintained a standard of civil rights? Isn't it just a little hypocritical to intervene because of civil rights, when we ignore them in our own nation?

We can't even seem to enforce the standards of our own constitution on our federal government. Consistently, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th amendments. We're torturing individuals to provide intelligence and testimony, as well as ignoring that the Constitution restricts or government from doing things to anyone, not just citizens in order to justify what we're doing in Guantanamo Bay. What about what happened at our military prisons in Iraq? None of the brass responsible were brought up on crimes against humanity. We invaded a sovereign nation in a preventative war on based on false information that members of our own government knew was false. We also deny people rights based off of sexuality. When we fix our own civil rights problems, maybe we could then focus a lens on the Iranians?
Why are we obliged? That's what I don't understand. Let our own nation torture, while demanding that we invade another nation for torturing? Makes a lot of sense. Hypocrisy is frowned on in the international community.

3. For our duty to the people of Iran

Maybe we should start by apologizing? The United States still hasn't really apologized for the fact that we deposed their democratic government and installed a dictator to ensure that the British could still have their oil rights? Apologizing can actually go a long way, even if it was more than sixty years ago. We don't have a duty to the Iranian people, we have a duty to our own nation. I'll expand in my own arguments.

Now for my arguments as to why the war is a terrible idea.

A.)It's a bad idea.
We don't have the standing military to make a successful offensive on the ground, we lack a stable rout of supply into Iran, and sorties are a limited means of making war on another nation, and can only work effectively on easily identifiable targets. There is no means with which to win the war conventionally, and nothing to be gained from it. Admiral Fallon, the commander of the theater, himself has stated that a war with Iran will not happen on his watch. Historically, no army has had success invading the region since Alexander the Great. Iran benefits from mountains to the west, and extreme deserts to the south and east. Any attack would be a logistical nightmare, and whe insurgents, independently or not, disrupted our supply in Afghanistan or Iraq, it would spell failure for our nations army.

B.)The diplomatic consequences are severe.
Your making your arguments for war in a vacuum. Foreign policy should never be considered in a vacuum. When we invaded Iraq, it was done so without consideration of the balance of power between Iran and Iraq. With Iraq's influence in the region gone, it basically created a situation in which Iran may be able to form a Shiite hegemony. Aside from that, Iraq is now a training ground for terrorists. These Islamic fundamentalists, however, are not interested in attacking the United States. They're interested in Uniting the Muslim world under one Caliph, which means that they will return to their countries of origins and carry out an insurrection against their largely secular governments. You can call Iran a religious theocracy, but in truth, Islamic fundamentalists are their enemy too which is part of why they're more than happy to aid those fundamentalists to get out of the country. To say they're supporting troops that are attacking America might be a stretch, they're most likely attempting to find a pragmatic solution to their domestic problems. Besides, it's not like we never funded or supported terrorism when it suited us? When religious fanatics were killing Russians with our weapons and training in the 1980s, we seemed pretty enthusiastic about it.

Diplomatically, with Turkey will likely lose any position we have with them. It is more than likely that if we invade Iran, they will decided fully that we have lost control of the situation in the Middle East, and do what is in the best interest of their nation, which would be a full invasion of Kurdish territories to the south. We've created a failed state on their border, and there's no reason that they should continue to tolerate that other than on the hopes that we won't mess it up.

Russia still receives a large portion of their heating oil from Iran. China has invested more than a hundred billion dollars into developing Iran's oil industry in the last decade to ensure that they have access to stable oil for the immediate and short term future. To invade Iran is to threaten the national economies and livelihood of Russia and China, and I cannot imagine that they would take that lightly. Given the tremendous amount of our debt that China holds, and their importance to our economy, and the role they have been playing in Asia as the old habit of "Empire Without Borders" rears its head again, they might not be the wisest course of pissing them off.

The governments of the Islamic World will be left with little choice but to turn against the United States diplomatically at the very least, if not directly with their policies and intents. Our invasion would see riots and protests in every Islamic nation. Their governments could not side, could not defend, and could not su
Debate Round No. 1
MoonDragon613

Pro

Very nice, you have a professional and personal relationship to the former White House adviser. And clearly the White House is all knowing, especially when it pertains to foreign relations and the Middle East. Apparently rather than relying on the persuasiveness and logical force of your arguments, you would rather the audience defer to the superior omnipotence that is you. Because you have a professional and personal relationship to the White House. I should concede now, because clearly the White House can do no wrong pertaining to the Middle East right? (Sarcasm is my bread and butter, and for that matter my fried egg, pop tarts, and lucky charms)

Now onto your independent points.
A) It's a bad idea. -- To call this an independent point is laughable. So i'll laugh. Ha!
A.1) We don't have a standing military to make a successful offensive on the ground
That's what many detractors said when we were about to enter Iraq. How long did it take us to prevail in defeating Iraq? Iran borders the Persian Gulf and it borders our Pakistani ally. The statement "historically no army has had success invading the region since Alexander the Great" is a blatant and egregious lie. The Muslims invaded Iran around the 600s. The Turks conquered Iran in the 11th century. The Mongols invaded Iran around the 1300s. Iran lost real sovereignty to European powers (like everyone else) in the colonial era. Thus if Pro is relying on historical precedent, he has clearly dug himself quite a deep pit, despite his white house connections.

B) Diplomatic consequences.
You're right, foreign policy should never be considered in a vacuum. By all means, what do the lives of Americans here at home matter when it would annoy Russia and China? Granted that was rather flippant, but the point is, the ultimately diplomatic consequences come second to the interests of American citizens and American lives.
To that end, the first rebuttal takes into account "with Iraq's influence in the region gone, it basically created a situation in which Iran may be able to form a Shiite hegemony." Your absolutely right. Through invading Iraq we have thrown power into the hands of Iran. What I do not agree with is your contention that "these Islamic fundamentalists, however, are not interested in attacking the United States." That they're "attempting to find a pragmatic solution to their domestic problems" is not an excuse for attacking American soldiers in Iraq and their grab for power in Iraq is a direct danger to the United States. A Caliphate under Iran that controls the resources of both Iran and Iraq, a Caliphate that believes America to be a demonic hegemony of corruption, a Caliphate which does not believe in the Holocaust, and a Caliphate with nuclear weapons and a vast army of fanatical followers is a danger to the United States. So yes, the diplomatic consequences of leaving Iran alone, as according to your own arguments, is the centralization of power in the Middle East into the hands of Iran.

As to the other arguments pertaining to Turkey, Russia, and China, you have not stated one consequence to the United States that would result from an invasion of Iran. Your argument very explicitly and undeniably does not include even one hypothetical consequence of invading Iran. The international outcry in invading Iraq, a sovereign nation, without cause, was non existent. If there were serious potential consequences, Con would have listed them. So either the Con is an incompetent debater, or more plausibly, it could not actually think of any likely consequences of a US invasion of Iran from a diplomatic perspective. Either way, Con loses on this point.

Now back to my Independent Points
1. Iran is not leaning towards a more open relationship with the West. Ahmadinejad is not supportive of Democracy. That they were once in support of the United States is nice and heartening, but irrelevant. That Bush should have taken advantage of 9/11 to build strong US - Iran bonds is also irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, Iran as it is now is hostile to the United States. We would only have to target "more than a thousand locations" only if we were launching surgical strikes against various locations in Iran. If we launch a broad scale invasion to destabilize the ruling government, then they would be unable to muster the resources to develop their nuclear weapons technology. What does it matter they want nuclear weapons out of fear of Israel? Everyone wants nuclear weapons, its the In thing. And Korea is an excellent example. Because they already have Nuclear weapons, it is TOO LATE to enter Korea. We still have a chance of entering Iran, NOW, Before they get nuclear weapons. We DO only dick around with non-nuclear powers, and the last thing we want is for Iran to have the power to ignore the United States and our interests with impunity.
As to the argument that a preventive war is a war crime, well, I hope you come up with something better than that. Bush hasn't yet been tried by the World Court for the preventive war we waged in Iraq. And from the looks of it, the international community doesn't give more than 5 cents either, or at the very least they would have sanctioned the United States for committing a war crime.

2. Greater Global Civil Rights
Here Con offers no argument. The essence of Con's arguments is as follows:
We commit civil rights violations in America.
And that pretty much sums it up.

Iran Tortures it's Homosexuals.
Ending the torture of homosexuals is good.

What does it matter who ends it?

Does it matter that the French Monarchy contributed to the American Revolution? Does France being a monarchy make the world a worse place because they helped give birth to a Democracy? How about when the USSR put an end to the genocide of Jews as they rolled across German occupied territories? Are you saying the world was worse off because the USSR participated in the liberation of Jews from concentration camps? The USSR being a brutal communist tyrannical regime DOES NOT MAKE SAVING JEWS A BAD THING. By your argument, the USSR should not have entered Germany, because God Forbid, they might save some lives. The horror, the HYPOCRISY, my God, however will they live with themselves. If a horrible nation does something good, the world will be thrown into chaos, whatever shall we do, it's the End of the World.

3. For our duty to the people of Iran

Yes, let's apologize. Is an apology mutually exclusive with actually military support? If I'm reading you correctly, apparently we can't both apologize and help out, by saving Iran from the tyranny of their oppressive government. Now that might be your point of view. Perhaps you can't both apologize and offer restitutions. I on the other hand adhere to the concept that America can actually do both things. So let's let the voters decide how taxing of our resources an apology would be, and let the voters decide whether or not an apology will so consume American resources that it would render us unable to do anything else in regards to Iran.

And for these reasons I am proud to support.
Patrick_Henry

Con

Patrick_Henry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
MoonDragon613

Pro

mmm so Im not the only one taking on one too many debates. Alas, I guess it's now time to invade Iran.
Patrick_Henry

Con

Patrick_Henry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
MoonDragon613
mmhm.... care to mention one that I missed?
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
Sure, go ahead and target me if you'll humor me. My advice to you, though stay out of the bar business, and if you do decided to buy a bar, definitely don't become a political consultant and do both at the same time.
Posted by MoonDragon613 9 years ago
MoonDragon613
Actually its the time of the month when my attention span has limited itself to 3k characters. I'll host the debate again maybe later when its back up to 8.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 9 years ago
Patrick_Henry
As I was editing my 10,000 character response down to 8,000, the debate clock showed something like 17 minutes left.

Yet when I tried to post it, the time had already expired. For that much, I apologize. I meant to get back to you with a response. Want to try the debate again?
Posted by TonyX311 9 years ago
TonyX311
Hey Patrick, I think you and I should engage in debate some time. We could actually have a civilized discussion in which we listen to and respond to one another's arguments without assuming the conclusions we are trying to argue for, and don't resort to name-calling. We can refute each others' points using logic and facts rather than ignoring valid points. It would be so fun.

We could also use grammar that isn't piss-poor.
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