The Instigator
Pricetag
Pro (for)
Losing
42 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
50 Points

The World would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,473 times Debate No: 2206
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (22)
Votes (28)

 

Pricetag

Pro

Please read this entire debate before voting. My belief is backed up with facts and logic, not a "blame America first" attitude. It truly is not as crazy of an idea as it may seem, just read with an open mind and then vote. Thank you.

I see the Iraq War as a huge mistake and I believe, with good reason, that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

I think a little history of Saddam is in order... One must understand that Saddam was legally a criminal at the time of his rise to power in Iraq. He participated in a coup in 1963, and left the country when the new leader tried to arrest some of the party leaders under him. When he returned in 1964, he was arrested. He escaped in 1968 and participated in another coup that put him in a high position in government. He began to amass power through his military rank and eventually brought up many other members of government on treason charges based on evidence he claimed to have found that they were spies. This put him in power as the self-declared president of Iraq.

One must understand that much of Saddam's early work was indeed beneficial to the Iraqi people. However, Saddam was a Sunni, and acted in manners that were repressive to the Shiite and Kurd populations of the country. As part of this beneficial action, but more due to his propaganda campaign, statues and posters of him were erected around the country.

In 1979, the Iran-Iraq war gave Saddam the excuse he needed to begin a genocidal extinction of the Kurdish population in northern Iraq, a group that had always been at odds with Saddam's Sunni-controlled regime. It is a matter of record that chemical weapons were used not only against Iran targets and military, but IRAQI civilians as well. Saddam continued his campaign against the Kurds in northern Iraq, resulting in somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths.

It is also a matter of record that between 3/15 and 3/19 1988, Iraqi forces under the order of Saddam Hussein launched a chemical warfare attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja, population 80,000. That's quite a "town." The attack killed roughly 5,000 people with agents like mustard gas, sarin, tabun, VX, and hydrogen cyanide.

Clearly, one can see that Saddam Hussein is by no means a fair and impartial leader. He seized power from a legitimate government illegally, and subsequently used his power to repress two significant portions of the population in his country (Kurds and Shiites). He then perpetrated a campaign of genocide against one of these populations.

I submit this is indubitable evidence that the world would NOT be better off with Saddam Hussein in power. Consider his past behavior applied to current world politics... which ethnic group would he kill off next? The Kurds? The French? Americans? No country, and certainly not the world, is going to be better off with a genocidal, unfair dictator in power. I will certainly live under no such rule.
Debate Round No. 1
Pricetag

Pro

Pricetag forfeited this round.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

I choose to let my opponent's argument speak for itself in that last round...

What's that you say? Ah... yes, that's where I thought the facts and logic were.

I think the implications of a genocidal, unfair dictator having world power are clear. Let's hope one never comes to power.
Debate Round No. 2
Pricetag

Pro

I've been very busy with school lately, sorry I missed the last round.

I don't deny that Saddam was a horrible dictator; however, he was the lesser of two evils.

1. His megalomania did not allow Al Qaeda to take hold in Iraq. His power although threatening to his own people was contained to those borders. He would not let Al Qaeda operate because he saw it as a direct threat to his power. Now with the corrupt Al Maliki government in power Al Qaeda has a potential to gain strength and in many ways is.

2. Sectarian violence was only waged by Saddam himself and while I admit that did cause considerable damage over the span of his almost 25 year reign, now, according to a study by MIT the civilian casualties caused by this war and the ensuing sectarian violence is almost 600,000. Significantly more damage in just 5 short years compared to Saddam's 25 years (http://mit.edu...).

3. Iraq was the only nation that Iran was intimidated by. Iran is dominated by shiites and while so is Iraq, they were under the rule of Baathists which are Suni. This kept a puppet government from forming in Iraq, a spectre that will now haunt the country and in all probability will happen.

While I don't deny that Saddam was a horrible dictator, statistically there was less horror and carnage during his reign than there is currently during this Maliki administration. Also, there was not a threat of a puppet government or an invasion from Iran. This leaves one of the biggest threats (if not the biggest) to international security unchallenged from taking over the entire middle east. Keep this in mind as this debate truly comes down to the lesser of two evils, which unfortunately was Saddam. Vote based on logic, not emotion. Good day to all.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Saddam may have been the lesser of any number of evils. But he was still EVIL. I don't see the statement of him being the lesser of any number of evils as important at all... would you rather be shot once or 5 times? It's immaterial...

1. It was not Saddam with some high minded ideal against al-Qaeda that kept AQ out of Iraq. The fact is, that Osama bin Laden has never liked the Iraqi government. Historically, al-Qaeda has seen no need to even be in Iraq - Saddam did a fair enough job killing infidels, as well as Muslims, so why would al-Qaeda perform terrorist activities in Iraq?

What's more - although it has never been PROVEN - there was a terrorist training camp at Salman Pak, Iraq, which later became the seat of Iraq's chemical weapons research projects. In the mid 1990's, there was a group of terrorists training at this facility on how to hijack jetliners (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Coincidence? I think not...

2. "Sectarian violence was only waged by Saddam himself"? I suppose he dropped the bombs and flew the planes over Kurdistan, and personally executed dissidents... Obviously this is not the case. Sectarian violence was waged by Saddam's entire regime, and by the people he oppressed - should they not defend themselves?

Secondly, your estimations of death tolls, while correct, are also misleading. The estimated death toll from Saddam's regime is 300,000. However, there is also the small matter of the war Saddam started with Iran, a war that cost some 1.7 million lives. Your figure also discounts the three weeks at the beginning of the war wherein Iraq's near-400,000-strong military was defeated. Furthermore, the 600,000 figure only counts excess deaths, not where the responsibility lies. When Iraqi insurgents kill Iraqi security forces, that's not an excess death as a result of the invasion - that's civil war.

So, by my count, even keeping with your figures, 600,000 more people have died in a revolution freeing an oppressed majority of the Iraq population, as well as another oppressed minority group. This figure includes sectarian violence between Iraqi sects as well. On the other hand, Saddam Hussein is responsible for some 300,000 genocide and oppression-related deaths, as well as some 1.7 MILLION deaths in a war he started.

3. "Iran is dominated by shiites and while so is Iraq, they were under the rule of Baathists which are Suni. This kept a puppet government from forming in Iraq." This utterly baffles me. This point considers an oppressive government led by the minority, and in power as a result of a military coup to be legitimate, while the current democratically elected government by the majority is representative of a "puppet" government? I'm quite confused.

Iran was not intimidated by Iraq... they were attacked without notice and repelled the attack. Then they went on the offensive for six YEARS of the Iran-Iraq war. Sounds REALLY intimidated to me.

>> "While I don't deny that Saddam was a horrible dictator, statistically there was less horror and carnage during his reign than there is currently during this Maliki administration."

Your entire argument concerning the lesser of two evils hinges on discounting the statistics from war when applied to Saddam's reign. It's no small wonder that statistically the current model causes more deaths - they're in the middle of a WAR. If I consider a 5-year slice from Saddam's reign, then the current administration becomes the lesser of the evils because of the 1.7 million deaths from WAR during Saddam's reign.

If you want to consider these two administrations comparable, you have to wait until this administration is stable. At the moment, it's simply a case of revolution - the fact that a government has just been overthrown and is practicing insurgency in no way implies that the previous government was legitimate, better, OR just! You also have to take perspective into opinion. Do you suppose the Shiite or Kurd populations prefer Saddam or the Maliki government? I'll tell you right now - the Kurds are THRILLED. Why? They happen to be not dying anymore...

>>"Also, there was not a threat of a puppet government or an invasion from Iran. This leaves one of the biggest threats (if not the biggest) to international security unchallenged from taking over the entire middle east."

This is quite simply false. Iran may have nuclear bombs, but they lack the ICBM delivery systems. Consider - if Iran attacks someone - they're going to either attack US forces in Iraq or Israel. This isn't particularly smart. Either Israel or the US will almost certainly nuke them in return. Iran only has the capability to successfully nuke one target at this time. Either of their potential targets has the capability to destroy EVERY SINGLE CITY IN IRAN. Iran is not a threat to international security, nor have they been historically expansionist.

>>"Keep this in mind as this debate truly comes down to the lesser of two evils, which unfortunately was Saddam."

Yes indeed, keep that in mind. The debate concerning statistical "evils" is not relevant - the numbers depend on when you take the data from. You can't compare a long-term regime over decades of peace and war to a short-term regime during civil war. It's simply inaccurate - while the numbers may be correct, they do not give an accurate depiction.

Instead - consider this: Would you rather live under a genocidal dictator that kept the peace with fear, or under a democracy during civil war? Would you rather have the chance to defend your home, or would you rather the government simply take your property at its will?

Regardless of what evidence is presented in Saddam's case - social programs, national unity (sort of), etc... One CANNOT escape the FACT that he has perpetrated genocide in the past, and been oppressive to the people of his country. That is certainly not better for the world.
Debate Round No. 3
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Yeah, I know, but I couldn't resist taking that one out of context ;)
Posted by Pricetag 9 years ago
Pricetag
I was actually referring to the other comments, not our debate, so yes those things are with malice. I was referring towards more freedom to sexual expression, free speech, etc.

Likewise good debate, I only wish I would have had more time to make my point; however, so is life.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
"We need to learn to tolerate that which does not harm others with malice."

I suppose killing the Kurds with mustard gas, sarin, tabun, hydrogen cyanide, etc... was not malice...

A good debate though! In the end, from the comment section, I think we agree on the concept that there's this misguided notion that democracy and Islam are mutually exclusive. Neither side is willing to find a common ground, as you say - and that's the root of the problem.
Posted by Pricetag 9 years ago
Pricetag
I truly think the only way to end religious extremism is a widespread period of enlightenment for all countries and religions. Until this comes about and we can learn to tolerate each other, nothing will change. Islamic extremists want Sharia law and they see anything less than that a direct attack on God. Virtually all Islamic extremists profess this belief. Sharia law would get rid of every freedom and make us live in a very different place than we enjoy right now. A place where you can stone a woman for committing adultery or be hung for being a homosexual. That is what they want and that is what they fight for. They are not willing to find a common ground and we shouldn't be forced to. I am convinced that there are no absolutes and everyone needs to recognize that. We need to learn to tolerate that which does not harm others with malice. Then and only then can we live peacefully with each other.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 9 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
I think the root of the problem here is not that our way of life is inherently flawed or immoral - I think it's the misunderstanding by BOTH the US and Islam that Western democracy and Islam are not mutually exclusive... once that understanding can be reached, I think we'll see a lot fewer religious wars between the Middle East and the West.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
I guess I feel as though to defeat radical Islam, which we must, the first step would be to make sure we have our ducks in a row, so that they can't just point a finger at us and claim that we are pushing a flawed way of life on them. I see an interesting balance, that you point out. On one hand, they are obviously not going to be receptive to our influence if we have a heavily-christian president like Bush or Huckabee. On the other hand, they are also going to be resilient towards someone with views that tend to oppose the modern christian movement, which would obviously entail a lax view of homosexuality. Now I hope that we can agree that "freedom of speech, freedom of religion, sexual freedom/preference, feminism" should be protected no matter what. Beyond the fact that these freedoms are what our country is founded on (in my opinion), we have to keep progressing towards the greatest good for humanity, which is a clear and absolute reference of morality which we can make sure and preserve for the people of the earth. This reference for morality cannot be religious in nature, because religion is not demonstratable. But freedom can be agreed upon, demonstrated, and backed with reason. I guess the challenge then would be how to show to the peoples of the world that our freedoms are both attainable and workable for them. It is important as well to show the inevitable nature of technology and progress and how they will be swept up in the winds of change if they do not keep progressing with us. I guess you could say that our war efforts in Iraq are satisfying all these requirements I put forth! But shouldn't we have a peaceful way of accomplishing this mission? Shouldn't we have been already trying to do this all along, instead of just jumping over there now and pushing it on them with force? Have we really been doing our best to secure life, liberty, and happiness for the world OUTSIDE of our borders? We are at the point now that we must, I would argue.
Posted by CP 9 years ago
CP
Rob, I think you are letting the reality of the situation become shrouded by your anti-religious sentiments. (Let me make it clear, that I am by no means a bible pusher, and would consider myself more agnostic leaning than anything.) Radical Islamists are waging a jihad not against Christian morality, but western social ideologies. While you can make the argument that a good portion of these ideologies are "christian-backed", you'd be overlooking the fundamental issues that clash with the Radical Islamic doctrine that have little, if any, ties to christian beliefs. To name a few: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, sexual freedom/preference, feminism.

Radicals Islamists would rather give up their lives than see their society degenerate to the point where their sons are in gay pride parades burning the Quran or their daughters boozing in bikinis kissing other women. When they look to western culture, that is what they see us bringing to them and they detest it.

In your terms, we are the western culture and they are the anti-western culture.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
My comment below is admittingly a little too harsh, generally speaking, towards Christianity. I want to say that there are a lot of Christians who believe what they want to believe and that is great; that is beautiful. We are all different and I really do accept those who are different than me as beneficial to our... aesthetic makeup I guess you could call it. My problem here is with the people who support President Bush and his war and the Christian right who attack Islam. The Christian right uses politics to purvey their religion, which is wrong. Huckabee is up there telling people that he is going to change our constitution to be more in line with the bible, which is outrageous and if I seem harsh in my words towards Christians in general I apologize, but I have to say that we are living in times where Huckabee can get on stage and say that and get away with it. I know he probably won't win the race anyway but there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the politics of this nation if someone can get away with saying that when they are vieing for the most powerful position in known history. All you people that support Huckabee and Bush I hope you realize that all you (and they) are doing is creating anti-Christian hatred due to your callous purveyance of your religious beliefs.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
CP:
"I'm confused as to what leads you to believe that by relinquishing religious faith we will cease to become targets of Islamic Radicals. "

I would answer this simply by saying that what I am trying to tell you people is that I believe newton's third law applies socially as well as physically. Racists create anti-racists, liberals create conservatives (and vice-versa), and generally speaking, culture itself produces anti-culture. Think of these marylin manson looking people with the makeup and such, and why they do what they do. They are doing their thing in retaliation to others. This is an inherent part of culture, and religion as well. I believe that our ultimately powerful, mostly Christian culture is producing adverse affects across seas in other countries, and they are not going to stop until we resort to virtue instead of bombs to win our war. There exists a strategy that could satisfy conservatives and liberals alike, to win this war, and it is NOT bombs and guns. These people are never going to accept our western Christian way of life in thier country; they would rather die. They are proving that every day to us. We need to use humility in this situation. They probably don't like atheists any more than they do Christians, granted, but there HAS to be a common ground that we can stand on. That common ground has a first step that is very clear: to let go of our stubbornly held, 2,000 year old superstitious beliefs in deity and the religion that comes with it. Face it, Jesus was a great man and you people are destroying everything he stood for. He didn't believe in churches, in fact in the new testament he specifically warns against them. He preached virtue, not superstition. We are going to hang ourselves with this war sooner or later with force, when what we really need to do is actually think about what is best for them and act in that faith. All Christians want to do with Iraq is Ideally turn them into more Christians.
Posted by CP 9 years ago
CP
Rob,
I'm confused as to what leads you to believe that by relinquishing religious faith we will cease to become targets of Islamic Radicals. Islamic Radicals use literal (mis)interpretations of the Quran and believe it is their duty to either turn or kill all "kafirs" (non-believers). Do you think that an Atheiest is any safer than a Christian from these radicals? The only way to "escape" violence from this radical ideology is to become completely subjugate and fully accept Islam.
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