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US should intervene in Libya

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2011 Category: News
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,149 times Debate No: 16839
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)




I would like to thank whoever in advance accepts my debate. I would also like to to thank my audience for reading this debate

I would like my opponent to start first. Although it may seem unfair, I would like him/her to make points on why they believe the US should intervene in Libya

The next two rounds will be rebuttals and the last round will be conclusions.

All sources must be cited

By intervene, I mean the military.



Resolved: The US should intervene in Libya

Ob. 1 – We are already intervening so the resolution should correctly read: "The US should be intervening in Libya."

Ob. 2 – Presumption for pro. When it comes to sending aid to help people in danger, then presumption should go to the side which seeks to aid. Thus, you presume a Pro ballot. This is true because the opposing sides needs to show clear outweighing harms as to why one shouldn't act to help a friend, ally, or someone in need. For example, if I said Joe was drowning and Steven was right next to the river, then we would presume Steven should assist Joe. It would be up to the opposition to show why Steven shouldn't help, e.g. Steven can't swim. The impact of this is two-fold: (1) if Con hasn't done enough work in his speeches you vote Pro and (2) this requires that Con present his own case and can't simply refute.

Ob. 3 – The word "should" in the resolution asks us to provide a sound reason to do X. Nowhere in the resolution does it imply what context should refers to. Thus, as long as I prove that there is an obligation to act, then you affirm.


C1: Protection of Human Rights

The U.S. has an obligation to step in where they can as a way to protect human rights abroad. Since the US has this ability, seeing as it is the most powerful nation on earth, then US should step in. Humans are equal, and thus deserve equal protection, even if others do not see this as an obligation.

(1) Borders are arbitrary. One cannot make a moral claim based on arbitrary factors. As such, the US has an obligation to act to protect others because not doing so would make moral obligations dependent upon arbitrary and non-chosen factors. Thus, people don't deserve to be punished simply for being born in the wrong area of the globe, such as in Libya.

(2) Equality. Humans are equal due to their equal capacity for rationality. As such nothing fundamentally distinguishes human beings. Therefore, nations or people with the ability to protect human rights need to because it is what everyone is equally deserving of.

C2: Democratic Promotion is Advantageous

A) The Democratic Peace Theory [1].

In short the democratic peace theory states that democracies rarely if ever go to war with each other. Two internal links are isolated:

(1) Ideological. Democracies have ideological ties to one another which make them more willing to enter into agreements and alliances. Liberal ideologies which pervade democracies make these nations more susceptible to negotiations, alliances and agreements which make it very difficult to go to war.

(2) Structural. The structure of governments within democracies make it difficult to go to war. For example, public opinion would be a main hindering factor for war. The majority of a public wouldn't be open to war as easily unless clear evidence was given for its need.

Thus, by promoting democracies abroad, the US will be heavily reducing the probability of war within volatile areas and hot spots around the world. According to Muller, an analysis of history does empirically prove that democracies do not go to war with one another, except in a few isolated circumstances. The DPT does not endorse Kants view of perpetual peace but it does show that war will ultimately be reduced which protects a larger amount of people globally.

B) Reduction of State Violence. Professor Rummel finds that democracies between 1900 and 1987 saw only .14% of their populations die annually in internal violence, whereas authoritarian regimes was .59% and for totalitarian regimes 1.48%. Rummel also finds that citizens of democracies are far less likely to die at the hands of their governments. Totalitarian and authoritarian regimes have been responsible for the overwhelming majority of genocides and mass murders of civilians in the twentieth century. [2]

C) Free Trade.

Mancur Olson tells us that democracies are much more likely to have free trade agreements and policies especially with the help of the US. This is true because democracies have a vested interest in exporting and importing goods more freely as a way to increase the flow of capital within society. [3] And free trade is good. James tells us that free trade is advantageous for the Us specifically and for people abroad because it reduces the risk of great recessions, spurs innovation, expands capital flow, creates lower prices, increasing the variety of goods and increases productivity. Thus, free trade is good for the people of Libya. Olson goes on to further point out that democracies have the most stable of economies throughout the world including the Middle East – Israel and Turkey. [3]

C3: Intervention in the Middle East and securing hegemony in the Middle East solves multiple problematic scenarios for the US.

Brzezinski writes, "The combination of oil and volatility gives the United States no choice. America faces an awesome challenge in helping to sustain some degree of stability among precarious states inhabited by increasingly politically restless, socially aroused, and religiously inflamed peoples. It must undertake an even more daunting enterprise than it did in Europe more than half a century ago, given a terrain that is culturally alien, politically turbulent, and ethnically complex. In the past, this remote region could have been left to its own devices. Until the middle of the last century, most of it was dominated by imperial and colonial powers. Today, to ignore its problems and underestimate its potential for global disruption would be tantamount declaring an open season for intensifying regional violence, region-wide contamination by terrorist groups, and the competitive proliferation of weaponry of mass destruction." [4]

Thus, the US needs to intervene in Libya as a way to promote stability in the North African region, secure an ally in the war on terror, prevent tragedies, such as the violence against the Libyan people, and as a way to signal strength to Middle Eastern and North African countries which might try and act independently of US hegemony.



[2] Rummel, Democratic Peace: Reevaluating China's Democides to be 73,000,000

[3] Olson, The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups

[4] The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership" p 59-61
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for accepting this debate

Yes, we are indeed intervening currently in Libya. I also thank my opponent for pointing out that error

As for Ob. 2, pro stated that I needed to give a logical reason as to why the US is not "fit" to help out Libya whether or not it has anything to do with us. The logical reason is because we are certainly not capable of helping Libya with more military aid. Currently, the US is fighting two other Muslim wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. Roughly 35% of the total amount of money spent on the military since 2001 is because of them. ( Adding another war to the list is simply undo-able.

Protection of Human Rights

A) I ask for pro to explain what basic human rights are being violated by not intervening with military forces. The people in Libya are indeed being recognized by Qadaffi's violent actions. We are intervening but this debate calls for non-military actions.

For Pro's contention one, I would like to state that the US and in fact Europe is blamed currently for providing Muammar al Qadaffi, weapons in the past. With this fact, I would like to point out that the US did indeed "help" Libya. However, we are the ones to have brought upon the violence that is occuring right now. ( He calls for the continuing of military intervention which equates to killing and murdering of people and defends his side by stating that humans deserve equal protection.

(1) I would like to ask my opponent why he believes borders are arbitrary. They are indeed, not. Look at Korea or Vietnam. Those countries went through war to decide the boundaries thus proving borders are in fact made not by random choice. I agree, currently the US is the most powerful nation on earth. But I would like to ask, so what? The fight in Libya is not ours. Our only desire to intervene with Libya at all is due to their pure oil but currently, Libya is not selling much due to the strike there. We are only importing .63 percent of our total amount of oil recieved from Libya. ( Even still, Libya is not really of self-importance to the U.S. They are not being punished for being born there, they are just in a conflict they have yet to solve themselves.

(2) Like I have stated, I would like Pro to explain how/which law the US is ignoring. We are intervening. This debate however, calls for a less violent way of intervention.

Democratic Promotion is Advantageous
Libya is a non-democratic society. It is an absolute dictatorship lead by Muammar al Qadaffi. Therefore, I do not understand why Pro tried to make an argument by stating that democracies rarely if ever go to war with each other. I do not understand the point he is trying to make. If what I think he is trying to say is correct, which is: the US should try turning Libya into a democratic nation, that is almost impossible unless we go to war and eliminate the entire government. Calling for war just to turn a whole country into a democracy is completely selfish and undo able with unecessary deaths to both sides. If the People of Libya want a democracy, they should handle it on their own. It is simply not our fight.

B) My rebuattal for this one will be similar to the previous. Trying to turn a whole country into a whole different system of government is impossible. Why Libya? What do they have that we want? Oil? Is that really worth investing more money? We have been trying to eliminate Osama Bin Laden and the taliban since the tragic occurrence in 9/11. We called for war and the war is still happening today and that was just to eliminate a small group and its leader. At least it was a valid reason to call for war since they attacked us. However, we are trying to eliminate a whole government, and they have not done anything to us. What Pro calls for is violence to achieve less violence which doesn't really benefit us in any way.

Due to the lack of words remaining, I will rebut Pro's last contention in the next round and provide my own arguments


--Libya isn't of self interest towards the US--
  • Oil has impacted Libya and currently the country is on an oil strike. Due to this fact, the US and other countries aren’t gaining any oil from them. However, it isn’t of importance to the US considering Libya only brings in 44,000 barrels of oil a day, which is less than 1% of the US’s total oil import. Additionally, because the US doesn’t receive much oil from Libya, it would not be hard for other countries to contribute for the absence of Libyan oil.;It is clear that the Libyan people need to be freed from their tyrant leader, yet the United States does not necessarily have the means to do it. The economic consequences as well as the risk of American lives discourages action, but the rights of our fellow men and women must also be defended. True independence and freedom must be achieved in Libya, but the decision is if the United States should be the one to enforce it.
--There are less violent actions to solve this problem--
  • Rather than just hastily adding more military into Libya, the US should think of a more non-violent solution. The US has many beneficial ways of damaging Libya non-violently as well, such as international sanctions against Libya or threatening war crime trials against Qaddafi.

--This can become a bigger problem than the US expects--

  • Calling for war can lead to a devastating conlusion. If the US acts too hastily, then it could lead to much more serious events and more terrorist acts from the Libyan government. He began with radical Arab comments and “propaganda” for support in his extremist movements, but later supported violence against his rivals. He also called up terrorist groups which were the main reasons for death of American citizens in Libya.

--It is not our fight--

  • Are we at all being affected by Qadaffi? No. The only reason we could possibly WANT to have Libya on our side is because of their oil. But that is not a reason to call for war. It will make it look like the US is greedy and attacks countries with a rich oil supply. Also, if the People of Libya want a democracy, then, in time, they will get it. No matter how powerful Qadaffi might be, as long as the people want a democracy, they will get it. However, if they do not, then the US is in no situation to tell them otherwise.


==My Case==

Ob. 2

Con: It costs a lot, like Iraq and Afghanistan

1. Since we are the worlds reserve currency we have the ability to rack up a large debt, as can be seen.

2. Plans are already in the process for bringing down the debt. As such, I wont link into any harms you might bring up.

3. This is non-responsive to the poin of Ob. 2. Thus, you concede the Observation. This means if you dont uphold your end of the BoP, presumption goes for a Pro ballot.

4. You give no arguments that say another war is undo-able.

C1: Human Rights

Con: What human rights are being violated?

1. Well, after Qaddaffi started bombing his own civilians, even ones not part of the rebellion, by not intervening (e.g. setting up a no fly zone) we are allowing the violation of the right to life; established as a human right according to the UN Charter.

2. Moreover, the Qadaffi regime had violated right to liberty such as free speech and press.

Con: US and Europe to blame

1. Wrong action in the past by the US does not justify inaction.

2. TURN: We have an obligation to protect the people we have put in harms way. Ths is the only way to compensate for our wrong doings in helping a tyrant.

Con: Military intervention kills people

1. Military intervention is reactionary to the wrong doings of Qadaffi. If he governed justly then we would have no obligation to step in.

2. Long run not acting will result in worse harms. E.g. more State violence and bombings against citizens, continued repression of freedom, and excerbated civil war.

(1) Borders are arbitrary

Con: No they arent - e.g. Vietnam

1. My opponent misses the point. This is saying that borders are determined by humans, like Vietnam. However, people do not choose where they live, i.e. in which borders. Thus, "nationality" is not a determining factor of moral obligation because that would make morality based on chance. Thus, we cannot punish people for something they did not choose, such as to live in Libya. Therefore the US has an obligation to protect those people.

Con: We just want oil

1. Doesnt matter what are intentions are. My argument is that an obligation exists to intervene. Now if the US recognizes this obligation, I dont care because it doesnt matter.

(2) Equality

1. His argument doesnt respond. Thus he has dropped that rationality makes people inherently equal and worthy of the same protecion. As such the US has an obligation to protect innocents against the oppression of Qaddafi.

C2: Democratic Advantage


Con: Libya isnt a democracy...

1. Thats the point. The rebels have called for democratic insitution in Libya. Thus, the US by aiding the rebels is helping to further democracy throughout the world.

Con: Looking for democracy is selfish

1. So? Whats the impact to this argument

2. It isnt selfish because the rebels WANT democracy.

3. The benefits of democracy outweigh any possible theoretical objection you bring up.

Con: Let them do it

1. We tried and thats when Qaddafi started bombing his own people into submission.

2. They cant win without air support. Thus, the US and Europe can provide this necessary step in the fight for democracy

(1) Ideological

(2) Structural

1. He conceded both of these internal links. This means that promoting democracy does lessen thechance for war. AND this is a damning concession because the Pro has access to the impact of less war. This will outweigh any negative argument. MAgnitude: less people ill be dying. Probability: He has conceded the links, so it has to be taken as true for the round.

B) Reduction of State Violence

Con: Changing system is impossible

1. It has succedded in Iraq under Bush and Obama. So no it isnt impossible.

2. We have the support of a plurality of the population so the issues we have faced in other areas wont come to be since it isnt an imposition as some have stated.

Con: Oil and Osama

1. This is completely non-responsive to the argument. I am nt arguing for an oil benefit or for killing Osama,

2. He has conceded the substance of the point. Promoting democracy reduces state violence. Thus, less people are dying in the Pro world.

*Dont let him try and back track. His silence in these issues are consent*

==His Case==

C1: Oil

1. This isnt an offensive argument. It is simply a preempt assuming I would argue for oil. So this point doesnt matter. But I have the time....Soooo IMPACT TURN - High oil prices good.

tratfor, 1/8/2008. "Annual Forecast 2008,"

"Oil prices sustained strength continues to shove a great deal of cash into the hands of the world's oil exporters — cash that these countries cannot process internally and that therefore will either be stored in dollars or invested in the only country with deep enough capital pools to handle it: the United States. Add in the torrent of exports from the Asian states, which generates nearly identical cash-management problems, and the result is a deep dollarization of the global system even as the U.S. dollar gives ground. The currency steadily shifts from the one of first resort to the true foundation of the entire system."

2. He conceded in the last speech they need to be freed. Thats enough to vote Pro. Remember, conceded Ob. 3? As long as I prove SOME obligation exsts, you vote Pro. Well....its his own words - they need to be freed.

3. He doesnt tell you what the economic risks are. Plus, non-unique. If the risks are so bad we would be feeling them already. But that isnt the case.

C2: Alternatives

1. PERM - do all. Military action and non-violent solutions are not mutually exlusive. You can vote Pro and still use other methods.

2. Your burden. You need to prove how other methods work. Analytics and empirics would be necessary.

C3: Terrorism

1. Qadafi gave up on terrorist groups awhile ago. It wasnt inhis best interest. The last one was the Lockerbee bomber.

2. Terroism against his rivals is non-unique. They are in a civil war. Do u think they care if they are being killed from a terrorist or a Qadaffi military fighter? No, not really. [1]

C4: Not our fight

1. Again OIL DOESNT MATTER IN THIS ROUND. However I did impact turn it. So thats offense from your side of the flow for me

2. People already think the US is greedy, so non-unqiue.

3. IVe shown an obligation exists, and even you said so as well.

4. No warrant as to the fact that they will actually get a democracy. You just asserted that they will get one.

5. US aid is needed to gain democracy because as is shown it was only until after the no fly zone did the rebels gain the advantage.

Debate Round No. 2


ilovedebate forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


I sincerely apologize to my audience and my opponenet but I don't have time to debate this topic anymore

I forfeit this debate please vote pro


Alright cool.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
Depends on the determination of the democratic rebels.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
How long would you expect the mission to last? That is, if the goal is not only to overthrow Gaddafi, but to also institute a full democracy as well.
Posted by Merda 5 years ago
Looks like Serk is having no trouble bouncing back from his Constitution debate.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Looks like that was a shot waiting to be fired.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
Lol, well it wasn't that hard. You pretty much want to go to war with every nation under the sun.
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
haha good call BV :P
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
Also, by limiting the debate to only the military, you exclude contractors, which makes it near impossible for pro to win. Using only military personnel is just not possible right now with the wars and assistance operations we're already in.
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
Good morning. USA is already bombing Libyan people for several months.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
Yeah challenge CiRrK directly.
Posted by quarterexchange 5 years ago
I would take it but I don't want to go first.
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Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Smackdown