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Was the Coalition justified in invading Iraq in the year 2003?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,055 times Debate No: 24432
Debate Rounds (4)
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I would like to argue that the Coalition intervention in Iraq was justified. In my opening statements, I will present several arguments that I feel are good justification for the invasion of Iraq war.

Argument One: Was it a good idea to trust Saddam on the status of his WMD?

First off, I wish to state that I do not believe Iraq had MWD. However, I contend that it would be irresponsible not to. In the year 1998, Saddam kicked out all the inspectors. Then, we knew he had WMD, as we were there disarming them. For three years until 9/11, we had no information on whether or not Saddam had WMD. After 9/11, it was necessary to analyze all threats to the United States. The news was filled with 'where will we get attacked next?'.

We had no idea what Saddam was doing, and considering Iraq had violated 11 UN resolutions, it's more risky than not to trust his word on it. Years of intelligence pointed overwhelmingly to the conclusion that he had WMD. He had used them in the past. He had not met his responsibility to prove their destruction. He had refused to cooperate with inspects, even with the threat of an invasion on his doorstep. He refused our 48 our ultimatum. He refused billions of dollars and an exile in Serbia.

The only conclusion we could get from that was that he had WMD, and no responsible President will report to Congress and the American people saying 'We'll just take his word on it'. Considering that Saddam had done things such as applauding the 9/11 attack, and threatening to assassinate Bush Sr., it would be dangerous to trust him.

Argument Two: Every Pro-War Scenario Is A Better Outcome

Scenario 1: Saddam had WMD. Not only did we take out a country with WMD, we liberated them from dictatorship, stopped his persecution of the Kurds, and ended the Sunia/Shia monopoly on oil. We gave Iraq a federalized constitution to fix the differences between its people, which could only be fixed otherwise by civil war or dictatorship.

Scenario 2: Saddam did not have WMD. However, we can now be sure that Iraq is disarmed, as it would be bad to take his word for it. On the good side, we liberated them from dictatorship, stopped his persecution of the Kurds, and ended the Sunia/Shia monopoly on oil. We gave Iraq a federalized constitution to fix the differences between its people, which could only be fixed otherwise by civil war or dictatorship.

Scenario 3: We do not declare war on Iraq. Iraq had WMD, and after the already shakey sanctions are lifted, Saddam rebuilds his infrastructure, and prepares for war. After all, he once said that his only regret was that he invaded Kuwait before getting ICBM's, and not the other way around. Guess what he'll do now that he has them?

Scenario 4: We do not declare war on Iraq. Iraq had no WMD. Saddam continues his persecution of the Kurds and his own people, and when he dies, Iraq is plunged into civil war. After all, it was a 1/3rd Sunni dictatorship in a country that was 2/3rds Shia.

Scenarios #1 and #2 are the best outcomes.

Argument Three: There was justification for the coalition to believe that Iraq was not a sovereign state.

A state is deemed to have lost its sovereignty when:
(a) it has violated the Genocide Convention
(b) if it gives aid and comfort to and harbours forces of international gangsterism.. Non state actors who engage in violence against civilians
(c) Aggressions against neighboring states or occupation of their land.
(d) Violates non proliferation treaty, fools around with weapons of mass destruction.

First, the Genocide Point. Genocide is defined in Article II of the convention as:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.'

The abuse of the Kurds from the regime of Saddam Hussein is long, and difficult to post. I will provide several examples of violations of this Article.

- HTC detailed the arrest and execution in 1983 of 8,000 Kurdish males aged 13 and upwards.
- Amnesty International in 1985 drew attention to reports of hundreds more dead and missing, including the disappearance of 300 Kurdish children arrested in Sulaimaniya, of whom some were tortured and three died in custody.
- Amnesty International estimates that over 100,000 Kurds were killed or disappeared during 1987-1988, in an operation known as the Anfal campaigns, to quell Kurdish insurgency and activities.
- According to Human Rights Watch, a single attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja killed up to 5,000 civilians and injured some 10,000 more.
- The UN Special Rapporteur reports claims by Kurdish opposition sources that 94,000 individuals have been expelled from their homes since 1991.
- And finally, the Al-Anfal campaign killed at least 172,000 Kurds.

Secondly, giving aid and comfort to international terrorists.

- We know that Abu Nidal operated in an Iraqi government office while being the most wanted man in the world. Abu Nidal conducted over 90 terrorist attacks, killing around 1,000 people. It is also worth nothing that Abu Nidal allegedly suggested to Abdullah Senussi that Libya retaliate against the United States in the form of the Pan Am Flight 73 attack.

- We know that Document BIAP 2003-000654 of the Iraqi Operation Freedom Documents was a request by Mohamad Majid Mahdi, the commander of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Air Force Base, stating 'we ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us.'

This document can be found here:

Thirdly, aggressions against neighboring states or occupation of their land.

- The Iran-Iraq was an escapade of imperialism on Saddam's part, one which led to the death of hundreds of thousands of people

- The invasion of Kuwait was a war for Saddam to expand his territory after his country was undergoing fiscal issues, in an attempt to use Kuwait's oil for money.

Fourthly, and finally, messing around with nuclear weapons.

- Iraq was cited by the IAEA with punitive sanctions enacted against it by the UN Security Council for violating its NPT safeguards obligations.

- UNSCR 707 condemmed Iraq for its violations of NPT.

Argument Five: The United States owed a debt to Iraq

The United States of America, when it intervened in the Gulf War, began its debt to the Iraqi people. A debt to free and liberate them from the regime of Saddam Hussein. We came within an inch of deposing his regime, and yet we didn't. What we decided to do instead was implement sanctions with the point of weakening his regime to allow a revolution to form. Unfortunately, this never happened, and instead, Saddam abused the sanctions. Instead of spending the revenue from the oil-for-food program, he spent it on guns and building a palace in every province he still had control over. Iraq got more Saddam and more oppression, not freedom, like we should have given them.

Not to mention that the CIA put the Baathist regime (not Saddam himself) in power to begin with. Without us, they would just be a crackpot militant group Our intervention gave them what they needed to take over Iraq. What we did in 1963 was wrong, and it is good that we were finally on the right side of history.

Closing Statement
The invasion of Iraq was justified in the long term. It would be extremely irresponsible to have not invaded Iraq, and the results of them having WMD without the Coalition intervening would have been devastating. Even if we did not find any WMD, as I argued earlier, it was still better that the regime of Saddam Hussein was taken out. I ask my opponent to tear down all five of my arguments.thank


Thanks for the debate Chel.


R1) Was it a good idea to trust Saddam that he had no WMD?

We didn't need to trust Saddam because he allowed UN inspectors into the country. "In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully worded UN resolution put the burden on Iraq, not UN inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction . . . In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program." [1] While inspectors were not given access to certain sites, like Saddam's palace, historian Andrew Bacevich explains why: Saddam Hussein was extremely paranoid that the CIA would send spies along with the weapons inspectors; according to evidence uncovered by Bacevich, the CIA did have such plans.

As to chemical and biological weapons, inspectors confirmed that no new manufacturing had taken place. However, there was a great deal of debate over whether Saddam was being truthful about destroying these weapons. But it didn't really matter either way. "Scott Ritter argued that the WMDs Saddam had in his possession all those years ago, if retained, would have long since turned to harmless substances. He stated that Iraqi Sarin and tabun have a shelf life of approximately five years." [1]

In addition, it makes little sense to invade with zero evidence Saddam was lying. The evidence was extremely shaky. We had two major pieces of evidence that Saddam was developing nukes. The first was from a trip taken to Nigeria by Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband. Wilson told the CIA that the reports that Iraq was buying yellow cake uranium in Nigeria were wrong. He ultimately wrote on op-ed saying as much, which resulted in the White House (at Cheney's direction) outing Plame's identity as a spy, blowing her cover. It is also noteworthy that in her autobiography, Plame's CIA team was tasked with evaluating whether Iraq had WMD. Their conclusion, based on all the evidence, was that Iraq did not have WMD's. [2] Yet, they were ignored and marginalized. The Bush administration had already made up its mind. [2]

The reason Bush had made up his mind was that the Germans had an informant, nicknamed Curveball, who said Saddam had WMD. Quite simply, Curveball was lying. Curveball had this to say, after the fact: "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that." [3] He is gleeful at having tricked the Americans into taking out Saddam. Colin Powell has expressed how PISSED he was that no one vetted Curveball's information, and we relied on it so utterly. Powell was never fully informed where the "intel" on WMD was coming from. The Germans also expressed SHOCK that the Americans relied on their intel without even talking to Curveball themselves or attempting to verify his information using other sources. [3] Powell concluded that "the intelligence system did not work well . . . There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of those sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me." [3] Valerie Plame's autobiography makes clear that people in her team didn't speak up because Scooter Libby made clear that no dissension would be allowed; the Vice President's office only wanted info that confirmed that Iraq had WMD's. They had already decided to invade and didn't want their views contradicted.

Ultimately, the decision to invade Iraq was based on horrible intel. We should have known that Iraq had no WMD's. The fact that we had a list of all the former top nuclear weapons scientists in Iraq, and we knew that they weren't working on nukes should have been a red flag.

R2) Every scenario is better

This assumes there is no opportunity cost. We have lost 4,486 American soldiers in Iraq, and 33,184 American soldiers have been wounded, most losing limbs from IED's. [4] Estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed range from 66,000 (official US military figure, from 2004-2009) to 151,000 (Iraq Family Health Survey, from 2003 to 2006). [5] In the end, the War in Iraq will cost the US nearly $4 trillion. [6]

In addition, many of the US's current problems with a more belligerent Iran can be traced to removing Saddam Hussein. Iran has recently taken belligerent actions, including ramping up development of nuclear weapons and threatening to cut off the Strait of Hormuz, which has negatively affected world oil prices. When Saddam was in power, he fought multiple wars against Iran, and Iran had to be ever vigilant. A great deal of their focus was on containing the threat from Saddam. Political analyst Thomas Barnett explains, "Saddam was the big counterbalance to Iran for the last 25 years and he had a significant force. And as long as Saddam was around, not only was he a potential counterbalance to Iran's ambitions in the region, but he also attracted the vast majority of outside interest because of his actions. So what we basically did was we got rid of Saddam and we got rid of the Taleban, the two entities that were easily Iran's worst enemies in the region." [7] So the US did Iran a HUGE favor in getting rid of Saddam and allowed Iran to become the new regional hegemon, with Saddam out of the way.

My opponent's scenario 1 and 3 are irrelevant. We know Saddam didn't have WMD. My opponent claims we gave Iraq democracy, but Maliki is a pseudo dictator; he failed to allow power sharing with parliament, leading parliamentary officials to say he was "leading the country towards authoritarianism," and he had the official in charge of administering elections arrested when his party only came in second during contested 2010 elections. [8] Iraq is ranked a 4.03 out of 10 on the Democracy Index, with an 8 being a full democracy; to put this in perspective, Russia is ranked 3.92 as an authoritarian regime. [9] Iraq is what Fareed Zakaria has termed an "illiberal democracy" – it has the trappings of democracy (elections), but little in the way of liberal rights.

Stopping genocide is not a good reason to intervene, given we refused to intervene in far worse genocides (Rwanda, Darfur). The argument about monopolies on oil is irrelevant at the point where we get most of our oil from Canadian tar sands.

Scenario 4 is irrelevant as well, since the removal of Saddam by the US plunged Iraq into a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war anyways. Al Qaeda stoked this civil war to cause the US to expend more resources in Iraq, which we promptly did with the surge. In a famous memo, bin Laden outlined his plans to bleed the US dry; his plan was to bankrupt the US, not beat us on the battlefield. We happily obliged in Iraq.

Argument 3: Sovereignty

The United Nations' rules are irrelevant at the point where we invaded Iraq without Security Council approval. This violates the cardinal UN rule.

In addition, we don't invade every nation that violates Geneva, or we'd have invaded China. We also don't invade every state that violates non-proliferation, or we'd have invaded North Korea a long time ago. Given how highly militarized North Korea is, this would have entailed a significant loss of life.

I'll continue my refutations in the next round.

Debate Round No. 1


= First Argument Counter-Response=

Iraq was not compliant with Resolution 1441 in this first place. On January 27th of 2003, Hans Blix gave his formal report to the United States, where he mentioned several violations of this resolution. Firstly, he testified that the inspectors wanted to use U-2 airplanes to take ariel and surveillance of inspections. The Iraqi government first set forth conditions to gurantee their safety--which were considered beyond the scope of Resolution 1441. I quote, 'As these conditions went beyond what is stipulated in resolution 1441 (2002) and what was practiced by UNSCOM and Iraq in the past, we note that Iraq is not so far complying with our request. '.

He further added: 'The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.'

We must also note that the Iraqi governemnt, on December 7th of 2002, Iraq submitted a declaration of some 12,000 pages in response to paragraph 3 of resolution 1441 (2002). Blix describes it as, 'They point to lack of evidence and inconsistencies, which raise question marks, which must be straightened out, if weapons dossiers are to be closed and confidence is to arise.' He further adds, 'Regrettably, the 12,000 page declaration, most of which is a reprint of earlier documents, does not seem to contain any new evidence that would eliminate the questions or reduce their number.'

Iraq only allowed the inspectors to interview people while they were under the watch of a representative from the Iraqi government. This violated Section 5 of Resolution 1441. Hans Blix stated, 'There were also cases in which the interviewee was clearly intimidated by the presence of and interruption by Iraqi officials.' He further notes, 'To date, 11 individuals were asked for interviews in Baghdad by us. The replies have invariably been that the individual will only speak at Iraq's monitoring directorate or, at any rate, in the presence of an Iraqi official.'

Blix also notes, 'The recent inspection find in the private home of a scientist of a box of some 3,000 pages of documents, much of it relating to the laser enrichment of uranium support a concern that has long existed that documents might be distributed to the homes of private individuals.' He then states that documents could be hidden in private homes, so inspectors cannot find them.

As you note, it was not our job to prove Saddam did not have WMD. Resolution 1441 was worded to put the burden of proof strictly on Iraq--and they failed.

= Second Argument Response=

There is no such thing as a war without casualties. The casualties we have faced is a sad fact, but we cannot act as if we could invade without suffering any casualties. The Civil War killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of people, and greatly harmed the infrastructure of the South. Would you submit to me that the war was bad on that grounds? In Iraq, we had a case where almost twenty million people were the personal cattle of Saddam, so the argument that the motive was better does not stand up.

Iranian sword rattling is a joke. Iran is likely violating NPT, but even if they working on a nuclear program, it will not be anywhere close to being a threat until at least 2013. It is also worth nothing that nobody involved in the military took Iran's threat to close the straight seriously. Oil speculators get scared every time somebody coughs in the Middle East, and we can't help that. Besides, why didn't any of this new-found power only come years after we topped Saddam?

Yes, we know Iraqi did not have WMD. That does not make the scenarios irrelevant. I was outlining the options we faced pre-2003, and showed that even if they didn't have WMD, the pro-war scenario was best. The scenarios demonstrate that with or without WMD, the pro-war choice is still the best choice.

It is true that Maliki is acting more like Vladimir Putin every day. But what we have to realize is that Iraq is still a very young country--nine years old. We cannot simply use a magic eraser and fix the problems they have had for decades. Maliki might be bad, but the only path to a democracy that Iraq has is removing Saddam. Yes, there is problems, but it must start somewhere. That 'somewhere' was toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The fact that we did not intervene in those genocides does not mean we cannot intervene in places where genocides have taken place. Are you suggesting that if a genocide takes place, we should say 'We didn't do it Rwanda, so we can't do it now!' That's masochism, and it's not good.

The statistic that we only get 12% of our oil from the Middle East is misleading. It is more important to focus on the quality of the oil and what it is used for. This is why you never hear any talks about removing our dependence from Canadian oil, or Latin American oil.

Yes, the U.S. war in Iraq caused the civil war. I agree. However, I am arguing that it is better that way. If Saddam died and civil war broke out, who would stop the Sunni vs Shia ethnic cleansings that took place in Baghdad? You criticize us for non-interventionism in Rwanda, but if Coalition troops were never in Iraq, that's what you would get. I can't imagine how much worse the situation would have been if Iraq was in a civil war without international troops. There would be Islamists, Baathists, all kinds of groups fighting for power. Yes, we have that now, but the key difference is that we can fight against it, and arm Iraq to fight it against it as well.

= Third Argument Counter-Response =

The Coalition did not receive international support for its invasion, no. However, we must look at history, and decide if it's a good idea to get international support on everything. In the 1990s, NATO intervened in Europe, and captured Slobodan Milosevic, who was perpetrating genocide. Besides, I think talking about Darfur and Rwanda is interesting when you make this point. We listened to the non-interventionist side on those issues, and look what happened. We did it Kofi Anna's way in Darfur, and now we don't have to worry about genocide, because everyone there is dead.

The UN Charter protects against invasions for 'members', which would be invalidated by the fact that Iraq could be considered non-sovereign.

The fact that other nations are breaking the genocide convention does not mean that it's acceptable for Iraq to do it. You cannot justify what Iraq did by pointing out other countries. Two wrongs do not make a right.

= Addendums to my arguments =

- I recently argued you can link Iraq to terrorism. I will substantiate this argument further--by stating that Saddam Hussein offered money to the families of PLO suicide bombers. He also hosted the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and the Kurdistan Workers' Party

- I recently argued that Iraq would pursue WMD after sanctions were lifted. This is verified by the Iraq Survery Group. Even if Iraq did not have WMD, if we never invaded, the sanctions would eventually be lifted. They still had the know-how to make WMD, and we would just be facing the situation again. Invasion was inevitable, and sooner is better than later.

- I wish to note that I was not able to include sources in my earlier post, due to size restraints. I have collected as much as I can here:


==Rebuttal (continued from last round)==

As to terrorism, a Pentagon review of 600,000 captured Iraqi documents concluded that there was no Hussein-Al Qaeda link. [10] In fact, historian Seth Jones documents how the War in Iraq diverted significant resources from Afghanistan, where Al Qaeda truly resided, and undermined the war effort. Afghani civilians were at first hopeful that the US would help them, and then became embittered when they saw that we cared more about Iraqi oil. We lost a huge opportunity to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. This turns terrorism against my opponent.

As to Saddam invading Iran, Saddam menacing Iran was beneficial to US interests. Andrew Bacevich writes in the New American Militarism that Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait if he thought the US would intervene. When he postured about invading, President Bush Sr. failed to condemn the attack; Saddam took this as tacit approval. He was, after all, a US proxy against Iran; he thought he had our support.

R5) The US owed a debt to Iraq

My opponent says we owed them because of the sanctions, but this is a poor justification for invasion, considering the civilian casualties we caused. My opponent also says we owed them because the CIA put the Baathists in power, but under the same logic, we owe A LOT of countries. We owe Iran for supporting the Shaw. Thus, we must attack Iran right now, according to this logic.

We owe more of a debt to our own people. $4 trillion is enough to provide free health care to all Americans, double our education spending, fix all of our ailing infrastructure (our roads, bridges etc were recently giving a failing grade), and provide enough stimulus spending to get out of this recession twice as fast. Our money literally went to building schools in Iraq (nation-building) when we can't even provide a quality education for our own nation's children.


==Rebuttal to Round 2==

{{{ Inspections }}}

My opponent, like the Bush administration, harps on little things: "Saddam wouldn't let us into his personal palace," "Saddam won't let us interview witnesses without an Iraqi present." Yet my opponent ignores that this non-compliance was only because Saddam (justifiably, according to Bacevich) feared CIA agents dressed as inspectors. In addition, my opponent ignores all the *successes* of inspections, as George Lopez and David Cortwright point out in Foreign Affairs:

"Most coverage of the weapons inspections that began after the Gulf War focused on Baghdad's efforts to stall, evade, and obstruct UN monitors. But despite Saddam's recalcitrance, the record now shows that the UN disarmament program -- which Vice President Dick Cheney dubbed "the most intrusive system of arms control in history" -- decapitated Iraq's banned weapons programs and destroyed the infrastructure that would have allowed it to restart clandestine programs. From 1991 to 1998, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) identified and dismantled almost all of Iraq's prohibited weapons. In conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it conducted hundreds of inspection missions at weapons sites and documentation centers, systematically uncovering and eliminating Iraq's nuclear weapons program and most of its chemical, biological, and ballistic missile systems. After four months of further inspections from November 2002 until March 2003 -- which included 237 missions to 148 sites -- the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) confirmed the depleted state of Iraq's capabilities." [11]

Lopez and Cortwright also note that UN sanctions to prevent Saddam from importing material needed to build WMD *were* successful. [11] We spent a lot of money and effort enforcing these sanctions internationally; we should have trusted that these sanctions were working. [11] "By disregarding the success of inspections and sanctions, Washington discarded an effective system of containment." [11]

We really should have listened to the Russians, who did not see inspector's lists of complaints as valid evidence of WMD's. Putin said, "Russia does not have in its possession any *trustworthy* data that supports the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received any such information from our partners as yet."

Once again, Iraq was as compliant with inspections as could be hoped. "The United States led the tumultuous effort within the United Nations to pass UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which called for sweeping new powers for weapons inspectors within Iraq and threatened "serious consequences" if Iraq failed to comply with the resolution. This measure had been successful, according to the peace faction, as Iraq had allowed inspections to continue (after a four-year hiatus) soon after the measure passed, and had responded in a timely fashion to concerns raised about it, despite their concerns about continued US espionage." [12] This proves that Iraq would have responded favorably to gunboat diplomacy. Had we deployed aircraft carriers off Saddam's coast, it is likely we could have gotten additional compliance with inspections. Instead, we preemptively attacked him, giving him no chance to comply *even further* with inspections. We should have saber rattled before attacking.

It is absurd that my opponent agrees that Iran is a year away from getting WMD but we shouldn't attack them. If attacking nations with WMD's is justified, then Iran is a much bigger threat than Iraq. And the worst-case predictions on Iraq were that they were one year away from having WMD's. So this is evidence we should have waited and saw what we got through inspections.

{{{ Positive or Negative Impact }}}

Fundamentally, my opponent argues that our War in Iraq had a positive impact, regardless of whether Iraq had WMD's. I argue it had a negative impact.

My opponent's arguments for a positive impact were:

1) Iraq now has a democracy

Yet, my opponent essentially concedes that Iraq's democracy is no better than Russia's, currently, which isn't saying much. Very few illiberal democracies ever make the transition to full democracy. Dictators who have (and rig) elections are no more willing to cede power than dictators who don't hold elections. In addition, we have given Iran more influence in the politics of its neighbors; Iran gives bags of cash to politicians in order to sway them to their side. [13]

2) Oil

I don't even know what my opponent's argument is here. To avoid accusations of invading Iraq for oil, the US had decided to get ZERO percent of our oil from Iraq. The fraction of our oil that comes from the Middle East is attributable mostly to Saudi Arabia, which is why it's so bad that Iran can now threaten the Strait of Hormuz, through which Saudi oil travels.

3) Civil War

According to David Kilcullen, senior counter-insurgency advisor to General Petraeus , in "Accidental Guerilla," the Sunni-Shi'ite Civil War in Iraq was begun by Al Qaeda attacking Shi'ite mosques and blaming it on native Sunni's because Al Qaeda wanted to cause a mess and force the US to clean it up. The civil war did NOT arise natively. My opponent himself agrees that a civil war could only be caused by Saddam's death. Thus, why did we feel the need to hasten civil war?

In addition, Paul Collier, in Wars, Guns and Votes, points out that 2 new civil wars are begun worldwide each year. The US cannot possibly intervene in all of them.

4) Genocide

I will continue my argumentation in the next round.

Debate Round No. 2


=Counter-Argument One=

My opponent has cited CIA documents refuting the supposed Hussein- Al Qaeda link. Unfortunately, I did not ever state that such a connection existed. The examples I listed were: Giving shelter and comfort to Abu Nidal, hosting the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and the Kurdistan Workers' Party, and giving money to suicide bombers families. No example that I listed had anything to do with Al-Qaeda. Therefore, my point still stands. I would also like to add that Iraq was on the State Departments list of nations who sponsor terrorism until the invasion. Note that this has been the case since 1979, and therefore could have been done just to help the justify the war.

The United States may have benefited from the war, but that does not take away from the fact that he invaded the country in the first place, one that killed hundreds of thousands of people. When Saddam Hussein met with April Glaspie, she stated that 'We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts.' However, she also said that she believed that Iraq would never attack Kuwait. This was also the opinion of then President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak, who hosted diplomacy between Iraq and Kuwait. We did not tell them we disapprove of any invasion, because we did not think one would happen.

=Second Counter-Argument=

The Shah of Iran has not been in power for thirty-three years now. It would be illogical to invade Iran for putting the Shah in power, because he is no longer in power. The difference with Iraq is that the Baathist regime we put into power was still in power at the time of the invasion .

The Iraq War, at least historically, was a relatively cheap war. The Iraq war cost ten billion dollars a month, which is about half of the money we spend on monthly interest for the national debt. As stated in the New York times, 'In 2008, the peak year so far of war spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, the costs amounted to only 1.2 percent of America's gross domestic product.'

=Third Counter-Argument=

I do not see how interviewing somebody without the presence of an Iraqi official would lead to CIA spies being in Iraq. I also don't see how you can take the fears of a paranoid dictator seriously. Furthermore, your claim that Saddam was afraid of CIA spies, even if true, still leaves you with your work cut out. You have still not explained the documents that we could have gotten from private homes. You still have not explained the missing chemical bombs (which are not the bombs that degrade over time that Scott Ritter mentioned). You still have not explained the 12,000 fraudulent documents. You have still not explained why they were reluctant to let our U-2 spy planes take pictuers unconditionally.

You claim that I, like the Bush Administration, am pointing out minor things. However, this is Hans Blix, a Swedish national. If he felt it was worth including in his non-compliance report, I do not see it as frivolous.

We do not know what Iraq had done between the years 1998-2003. As Scott Ritter said, 'Iraq could reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.' This means that the 2003 inspection was the only way for us to know, and I contend that it did not lead to complete verification. Many inspectors on the UNSCOM have expressed doubt that the inspections could fully verify Iraq as not having WMD. Robert Gallucci said, "If Iraq had [uranium or plutonium], a fair assessment would be they could fabricate a nuclear weapon, and there's no reason for us to assume we'd find out if they had." Jonathan Tucker said, "Nobody really knows what Iraq has. You really can't tell from a satellite image what's going on inside a factory. Furthermore, Hans Blix said Iraq has, 'not genuinely accepted UN resolutions demanding that it disarm'. The 2003 inspection did not yield results that were conclusive enough for us to trust Saddam, and considering his multiple violations of Resolution 1441, it would be irresponsible not to do something about it.

I reiterate that even if the sanctions were working, they would not be in place for long. We know that in 1998 Saddam had lobbied key trading partners like France and Russia to lobby for lifting the sanctions. Combined with the Iraq survey group stating that he had plans to develop WMD after the sanctions were lifted, we know that Iraq would have had WMD in the future. Therefore, it was better to stop them in 2003. If we didn't, we would be facing the same problem we were facing in 2003, except during an economic recession, where money is even shorter than it was then.

I would like to argue that even if the sanctions accomplished that goal, it was better to topple Saddam after the Gulf War. The loss of human life that resulted from Saddam abusing the oil-for-food program was tremendous, and it was never worth it, when we could have gotten rid of them if we wanted to.

If we should trust the opinion of Vladimir Putin when he says that Iraq did not have WMD, why shouldn't we trust the opinion of people like Hosni Mubarak, a close friend of his, when they said that he did?

I never said Iran was a year away from having nuclear weapons. I words such as 'but' and if', to show that I was speaking hypothetically. Personally, I don't believe that they're working on anything.

=Third Counter-Argument=

I do not think you understood the point of my 'four scenarios'. When I was doing that, I was referring to the four scenarios that could of happened before we invaded Iraq. I am not referring to any future event, like a corrupt President or a large amount of Iranian influence.

Like Vladimir Putin's Russia, Iraq has a long history of dictators and oppression. We cannot expect Iraq, once its government is formed, to be a perfect democracy. It's just not something you can expect. As to most countries going towards authoritarianism, I ask how you know that Iraq won't become a democracy.

When I talk about oil, I am talking about how Sunni and Shia theocracies have a large amount of influence when it comes to the oil we get. With Iraq, we have a secular nation that can prosper and grow from oil revenue. Before the invasion, Iraq was basically a kleptocracy. I n August 2006, the Bush administration issued a report called "National Strategy Against High-Level Corruption: Coordinating International Efforts to Combat Kleptocracy". This report stated, "Hussein looted Iraq of billions of dollars by skimming workers' profits, taking kickbacks, smuggling, and stealing state funds. He used these ill-gotten gains to maintain despotic power, develop and purchase weapons, and enrich his family, cronies, and himself.'

I'm very aware that the international presence ignited the civil war. I am arguing that such a thing was inevitable, so it would be best to do that when international troops are present. We entered and took out Saddam, and there was civil war. If we never entered and Saddam died, there would of still been civil war. Except in the case of the latter, there would be no international troops to try and stabilize the situation.

It is better that we hastened the civil war because the faster it happens, the faster you get it over with. A civil war takes time to recover from, and true stability takes time to accomplish. It is because of this that it is better the civil war began in 2003, as opposed to the year Saddam dies.


==Rebuttal (continued from previous round)==

My opponent gave a number of reasons the invasion was good, even if we didn't find WMD's. Continuing with number...

4) Genocide

My opponent says we stopped Saddam from killing Kurds. But you have to remember: there is an opportunity cost to intervention because the US does not have an infinite number of troops nor an infinite amount of money. If we really cared about genocide, we should have backed the Kurdish revolution against Saddam after the *First* Gulf War. If we really cared about stopping genocide, we would allocate more troops to UN genocide-fighting missions and send them to places where the WORST genocides happen, like Rwanda and Darfur. What Saddam did, unfortunately, is peanuts compared to those two genocides. There is a lot of evidence that we did not intervene in Darfur precisely because our military was overstretched in Iraq already at the time. Bush evaluated intervention and decided we didn't have enough troops to send any to Darfur. This turns genocide because Darfur was a far worse genocide.

In addition, Johns Hopkins says our war resulted in the death of 655,000 Iraqis, and we caused 3.7 million Iraqis to become refugees, as of 2007. [1] We created a war-torn country, as bad as any genocide.

My arguments for a negative impact of the Iraq War were:

1) The Cost of War

My opponent argues "casualties happen, no big deal." But the problem is that we lost thousands of US troops in a conflict that was not central to US interests. Most veterans still question what they were fighting for and what their brothers-in-arms died fighting for.

In addition, he drops the $4 trillion price tag.

2) Iran

My opponent calls Iranian saber rattling "a joke." Yet, oil speculators considered it a legitimate threat and bid up the price of oil by a dollar due to Iranian belligerence. It is untrue that speculators are "easily spooked" because if they bet wrong, they lose *a lot* of money. Regardless, it doesn't matter. Iran's threats have hurt us all at the pump.

Iran could easily mine the Strait of Hormuz. That would be the easiest way for them to cut off oil and other forms of international shipping.

In addition, we created a belligerent regional hegemon who now has the freedom to meddle in the affairs of neighboring countries. There is evidence Iran has helped to train the Taliban against us, something Iraq never did. Iran has most definitely been sending supplies to insurgent fighters. They wouldn't dare do any of this if we could threaten them with a proxy war through Saddam Hussein. Most of their resources would still be focused on militarizing their border with Iraq.

{{{ International Support }}}

This was my opponent's point – that we had UN approval – so I guess he agrees to drop this point when he agrees that we lacked UN approval, but argues that it's good to ignore the UN (like we did in Kosovo).

In addition, Fareed Zakaria in The Post-American World argues that as China and other nations grow more powerful, the only way the US can constrain their behavior is if we obey international laws *now.* Otherwise, when China engages in similar behavior, they will have an excuse, pointing to recent American disavowal of international laws. Invading countries without UN Security Council approval means others will do the same – someday soon.

{{{ Addendum }}}

My opponent points out that Saddam had ties to terrorist groups that *don't attack the US.* He also claims (with zero evidence) that sanctions would have eventually been lifted, letting Iraq resume building WMD's. But my evidence from Foreign Affairs says that only smart (targeted) sanctions were necessary to deny WMD technology to Iraq.

{{{ WMD's}}}

Note how absurd my opponent's arguments were from the previous round: a UN inspector said, "we found no incriminating documents, but this just means Saddam is hiding them in people's houses." So evidence of nothing is evidence of WMD's?! That's absurd. We had already decided Saddam had WMD's and took absence of evidence as *proof* of WMD's.

==Rebuttal to Round 3==

{{{ Terrorism }}}

According to a recent piece by NBC News, Americans are victims of .05% of all acts of terrorism in the world. My opponent points out that Iraq sponsored the PLO, as do many countries in the Middle East. By conceding there is no Hussein-Al Qaeda link, my opponent concedes that there were no terrorist groups in Iraq that were a threat to the United States. Al Qaeda is the only group who attacks us. There are many other groups that use terrorism: we can't possibly defeat them all.

In fact, turn this argument. Saddam kept al Qaeda out of Iraq. Our invasion created a power vacuum that let them operate in the country.

{{{ The Shah of Iran }}}

My point was that we can't invade every country in which we sponsored a dictator. Kenneth Pollack of Brookings actually says that the current religious theocracy in Iran is a direct result of our sponsorship of the Shah (and the violent reaction to it). We are still extremely responsible for Khomenei seizing power.

{{{ The Cost of Iraq }}}

My opponent says Iraq cost 1.2% of GDP in 2008 – that's $150 billion in one year. You can't say something is cheap by comparing it to another huge number (the maintenance cost of our national debt or our *entire GDP*).

And that's only direct costs. The $4 trillion figure I cited, from an analysis by Brown University, includes all costs, direct and indirect. For example, my opponent's cost estimate excludes long-term costs, like paying medical bills for the injured veterans.

{{{ Inspections }}}

My opponent lists a bunch of things I didn't explain, but most of them are explained by *our paranoia* or by *Saddam's paranoia.* Saddam had at least 4 body doubles; he was extremely paranoid about being spied on and assassinated. That's why he didn't want spy planes flying over his country. The "12,000 fraudulent documents" is not a real thing; my opponent is now claiming that Iraq's entire response to the UN report was fraudulent. My opponent also asserts, without evidence, that chemical bombs do not degrade, except the chemical agents do. The dispersal mechanism is no good without the chemical agent.

My opponent concedes we sent hundreds of inspection missions and found nothing conclusive. This is *far* different from the situation in Iran, where we *know* they are refining uranium at locations like Qom, and yet we don't invade. The fact my opponent would argue that invading Iran right now, based on WMD's, is *not* justified, but invading Iraq *was* justified is completely illogical. We have *far* more evidence against Iran than we did against Iraq.

In addition, my opponent concedes that sanctions would have worked. Iraq may have asked France to lift sanctions in 1998, but they didn't comply. We were calling the shots as far as sanctions were concerned. At the point where I win that sanctions would have worked equally well in denying WMD's to Saddam, then you, as the judge, can weight a costless solution (sanctions) against an extremely costly solution (war).

{{{ Oil }}}

Iraq is not a secular nation. That's absurd. They are a Shi'ite nation. You can't just call something a "democracy" or "secular" and make it so.

In addition, Saddam using oil money to enrich his own family is no different than what the Saudis do.

Ultimately, the liberation of Iraqi oil does not affect us.

{{{ Civil War }}}

My opponent assumes that Sunni-Shi'ite civil war was inevitable. There's no reason to believe this. In addition, the US should not be in the business of starting civil wars so that we can have the pleasure of ending them. And it's not as if once a civil war happens, another cannot occur. Paul Collier says that 40% of developing nations revert to civil war within 8 years. The number is closer to 80% for non-dictatorships. Dictators, like Saddam, do a better job preventing civil wars from erupting than do sham democracies

Debate Round No. 3


Round 4 will serve as the conclusion of this debate. I would like to point out several reasons why you should for Pro.

- My opponent cites the John Hopkins study published in the Lancet journal as evidence of high civilian casualties in Iraq. However, I feel there are several problems using this as a source. Firstly, there are several issues with the methodology of the study. The paper claims to have surveyed forty houses in one day. That number is simply too high for one day. Madelyn Hicks, a psychiatrist and public health researcher at King's College London in the U.K., says she "simply cannot believe" the paper's claim that 40 consecutive houses were surveyed in a single day. "There is simply not enough time in the day," she says, "so I have to conclude that something else is going on for at least some of these interviews." Households may have been "prepared by someone, made ready for rapid reporting," she says, which "raises the issue of bias being introduced. The survey also took samples from only forty-seven clusters, which is too small of a sample size for an accurate extrapolation. The Iraq Body Count project notes several implications of the survey, such as 'Half a million death certificates were received by families which were never officially recorded as having been issue.' Later in 2010, another IBC article stated that the survey had 'been comprehensively discredited'.

We we must also take into account that only about 31%, or 180,000 troops, are actually attributed to the Coalition.


- My opponent acts as if I do not have any concern for the loss of life in the war. That is completely incorrect. I simply think that the casualties a war causes does not mean the war was a bad thing. I cite the Civil War as an example of this.

- My opponent thinks that Iran, thanks to our invasion of Iraq, can now pose a threat to the Straight of Hormuz. However, there are several things that must be noted. Firstly, Iran could threaten to block the Straight of Hormuz regardless of whether or not we had invaded Iraq. Secondly, the ability of Iran to blockade the Straight of Hormuz for any long period of time is scrutinized. Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution, said, "The expectation is that the U.S. military could address any Iranian threat relatively quickly.'


- My opponent argues that if the United States does not listen to international law, then we cannot use it to stop further Chinese behavior. However, I find this to be illogical. Resolutions that are passed in the General Assembly of the UN are not binding. Only resolutions passed in the Security Council are binding on all member states. China is a permanent member of the Security Council, and can therefore veto any resolution. Listening to international law now will not allow us to stop future Chinese behavior, because they can veto any binding resolution.


- My opponent claims that Saddam never supported any attacks on the US. However, he has still not refuted my evidence of this in the first round of the debate, so I will repeat it. Document BIAP 2003-000654 of the Iraqi Operation Freedom Documents was a request by Mohamad Majid Mahdi, the commander of Ali Bin Abi Taleb Air Force Base, stating 'we ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us.'


- My opponent asserts that other Middle Eastern leaders were also funding the PLO. This does not in any mitigate the fact that Saddam was doing it as well.

- My opponent asserts that I have no evidence the sanctions were falling apart. However, this is not true. Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then Secretary of State Colin Powell said, 'When we took over on the 20th of January, I discovered that we had an Iraq policy that was in disarray, and the sanctions part of that policy was not just in disarray; it was falling apart. We were losing support for the sanctions regime that had served so well over the last ten years, with all of the ups and downs and with all of the difficulties that are associated that regime, it was falling


- My opponent asserts that Iraq never submitted 12,000 fraudulent documents during the inspection period. However, this is completely false. Hans Blix's report to the UN stated, 'While UNMOVIC has been preparing its own list of current "unresolved disarmament issues" and "key remaining disarmament tasks" in response to requirements in resolution 1284 (1999), we find the issues listed in the two reports as unresolved, professionally justified. These reports do not contend that weapons of mass destruction remain in Iraq, but nor do they exclude that possibility. They point to lack of evidence and inconsistencies, which raise question marks, which must be straightened out, if weapons dossiers are to be closed and confidence is to arise.'


- My opponent thinks that pointing out the WMD program has anything to do with Iran. It does not.

- My opponent asserts that the UN sanctions were 'costless'. Does he consider half a million dead children to be 'costless'?


- My opponent asserts that Iraq is not a secular nation, based off illogical reasons. A nation is not secular based off the percent of its people who are religious. The United States is a secular nation, and it has a huge Christian population. The same applies for Iraq. The religious population of a nation has no bearing on whether or not its government is secular.

( Section II, Chapter I Article 14 ensures equal protection regardless of religion)
(Chapter II, Article 39 guarantees free religion.)

- My opponent points to the fact that the House of Saud monarchy in Saudi Arabia spends its money on wasteful things like Iraq. However, again, this only makes them equal to Iraq, and does not justify what Iraq did.

- My opponent thinks that the death of Saddam would not have led to civil war. I believe that there are examples of fractured nations glued together by a dictatorship that have their leader die, and then have problems with civil war. The current stability conflict in Libya is a good example. Libya is divided into different tribes and ethnic groups, and now the NTC is having a hard time dealing with all of the different factions. There have even been cases in cities like Bani Walid, where the NTC has been overthrown for not listening to tribal demands.

- My opponent holds international law to be important, yet criticizes our lack of intervention in areas where genocides took place. However, he fails to realize that we did it the 'international law' way in respect to those areas, and got horrible results. It is also worth nothing that Slobodan Milosevic could have killed many more people if NATO had gone to the UN before intervening.


My opponent says the last round will serve as a conclusion, yet he uses it mostly as another rebuttal. This is unfortunate since it allows me to focus on much bigger-picture issues.

== Weighting Mechanism #1==

As the judge, you should adopt the following weighing mechanism for today's debate: you should weigh US interests over the interests of other countries. This is because a nation that weighs others' interests above the interests of its own people cannot survive. Similarly, a man who weighs others' interests over those of his family cannot survive; he would give away all his food money to homeless people. Radical altruism, or prioritizing others interests above your own, is a bad idea.

== Weighing Mechanism #2 ==

My opponent concedes that an invasion of Iran, currently, would not be justified. If you believe Iran is worse, on a specific measure, than Iraq in 2003, then you vote Con because Pro concedes that such an invasion wouldn't be justified.

== Was the Iraq invasion good for the US ==

My opponent offers only *one* reason an Iraqi invasion could have been beneficial to the US:

1) WMD's

My opponent does very little work in the last round to salvage his WMD point. He doesn't answer the Foreign Affairs evidence, which stated that between 1991 and 1998, UN inspectors completely dismantled Saddam's nuclear program and destroyed his chemical and biological weapons. Between November 2002 and March 2003, 237 inspections of 148 sites failed to uncover any evidence of the resumption of a WMD program. As Putin said, there was no *credible* evidence of WMD in Iraq. My opponent concedes this.

My opponent argues that sanctions killed Iraqi children (by denying them medicine and food), but the Foreign Affairs article says that *targeted* sanctions were the ones that were successful (the sanctions that prevented the export to Iraq of dual use technology that could be used to manufacture WMD's). And remember, Foreign Affairs concluded: "By disregarding the success of inspections and sanctions, Washington discarded an effective system of containment." So ultimately, you can weigh a costless solution (targeted sanctions) against one that cost $4 trillion (war).

Even if you think sanctions hurt Iraq, weighing mechanism #1 tells you to weigh US interests first. Sanctions were definitely costless to us, whereas war was not.

My opponent also loses WMD under weighing mechanism #2. We have much clearer evidence, currently, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and yet my opponent concedes an invasion of Iran is not justified.

Lastly, my opponent doesn't state the impact of Saddam gaining WMD. The dire predictions of North Koreans acquiring nukes never materialized, such as the predicted Asian arms race. MAD ensures Saddam couldn't use WMD on us. So this point should actually be weighed as a non-US interest, since WMD's likely only threatened Iran and potentially Israel.

Ultimately, I showed three reasons that an Iraqi invasion worked against US interests:

1) Cost

We paid for Iraq in blood, with 4,486 Americans dead and 33,184 permanently disabled. We also paid with the health of our economy: we are on the hook for $4 trillion, at the end of the day. My opponent concedes that for the same price, we could do *all* of the following: give health care to every American, double our education spending, fix all our failing roads, bridges, etc, and pass an economic stimulus to double the speed of our economic recovery. Given that my opponent has no US-specific benefits to weigh against the cost, I *clearly* win on this point.

2) An emboldened regional hegemon: Iran

Removing Saddam created a power vacuum that led to increased Iranian power and influence in the region. The Center for Strategic & International Studies published a 2012 report which concluded that in the struggle for influence in Iraq, Iran is clearly beating the United States. [3] The CSIS further that "the 2003 invasion weakened Iraq's forces to the point where they ceased to be a key check on Iran's influence in the region." [3] The CSIS says there were two reasons Iran poses a greater threat today: 1) the removal of Saddam allowed Iran to focus their military power on other things and 2) the Iraq invasion caused Iran to fear that they would be next, causing them to aggressively seek a nuclear deterrent. In both ways, the Iraq invasion made Iran into a much greater threat to the United States.

My opponent cites a Brookings source (from Wikipedia) to say Iran is no threat, but right after that, Wikipedia says, "General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in January 2012 that Iran ‘has invested in capabilities that could, in fact, for a period of time block the Strait of Hormuz.'" If Iran were still focusing their military resources on containing Iraq, they wouldn't have been able to develop these new naval capabilities.

3) International law

My opponent concedes the Zakaria analysis that if we want China to obey international rules in the future, *we* need to obey them now. Otherwise, China will ignore these rules and point to American hypocrisy. My opponent says China can veto anything that we propose, but that's the point: we want the same power in the future – to potentially veto a Chinese proposal to invade Taiwan or other "contested" portions of the South China Sea. So invading without Security Council approval will have very bad consequences later on down the road.

When you look to US interests, you're weighing non-existent WMD's against massive costs and horrible consequences. This is a clear Con vote.

== Was the invasion good for other countries? ==

If we weigh other countries' interests too, the invasion was still not justified.

1) Oil

My opponent concedes that we get no oil from Iraq, so any benefits accrue only to the Iraqis. Liberating oil from chronyism is clearly not a good justification for war or else my opponent would be advocating for an invasion of Saudi Arabia or Iran. At the point where he agrees we shouldn't attack those countries, he concedes that liberating oil is not a good justification for war.

2) Civil War

Ultimately, my opponent fails to show that a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war was inevitable without being initiated by Al Qaeda. David Kilcullen pointed out that Al Qaeda only initiated this civil war (by bombing Shi'ite mosques) because the US was there, and Al Qaeda wanted to cause trouble for us. Without the US invasion, it's likely that no civil war would have occurred, thus preventing the death of 151,000 Iraqis. This point is turned against my opponent. Our invasion precipitated the civil war.

3) Democracy

It cost us nearly $1 trillion to set up Iraqi democracy and yet, they are as authoritarian as Russia (on the Democracy Index) and are much closer friends with Iran than the US (according to the CSIS report).

4) Genocide

My opponent concedes my genocide turn, that the Iraq invasion traded off with Darfur. He merely says that Darfur's failure was because we went through normal UN channels, but normal UN channels were to send blue-hat UN peacekeepers to Darfur. The UN wanted to send 17,000 peacekeepers to Darfur. [1] But, according to the New York Times, the US military was so overstretched in Iraq that no one in the Bush White House seriously considered the UN's request for troops from the US. [2] Without US support, the Darfur mission quickly collapsed.

This turns genocide because we allowed a *far worse* genocide because our military was overstretched in Iraq.

5) Terrorism

Yes, there were a few terrorists in Iraq, as in many other countries. Yet my opponent concedes that none of these groups attack the US. We cannot possibly stop all terrorism in the world (99.5% of which targets non-Americans). My opponent loses this point anyways under weighing mechanism #2: most experts see Hezbollah as *the* most dangerous and well-organized terrorist organization and Iran is their chief state sponsor. If an invasion of Iran isn't justified on these grounds, then an invasion of Iraq *clearly* isn't. My opponent really suffers from refusing to back an Iranian invasion as justified.

Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 4 years ago
It was quite a good debate. I'm confident you'll do well on this site.
Posted by Chelicerae 4 years ago
I'm dissapointed that I'm going to lost, but I take comfort in knowing it was an interesting debate.
Posted by bluesteel 4 years ago
thank you - I floated the idea for such a thread to airmax. It sounds like a good idea; I know I would read debates others recommended.
Posted by Maikuru 4 years ago
We need a thread where we can promote quality debates. This is a fantastic read.
Posted by Maikuru 4 years ago
Posting to remind myself to read this.
Posted by Chelicerae 4 years ago
OK. Thank you.
Posted by kjw47 4 years ago
The very next prophecy in Gods written word is this-- Whenever they are saying peace and security, sudden destruction will be upon them( Babylon the great) worldwide false religions-- that starts the tribulation. then its too late for mankind to enter the ark persay.
Posted by Chelicerae 4 years ago
Apparently, kjw47 is in frequent contact with God.
Posted by kjw47 4 years ago
God prophecyed this one coming.
Posted by bluesteel 4 years ago
i'm scared... doomsday prophecy #5,768
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's case, while initially compelling, concedes too much: UN inspectors found nothing, foreign powers contributed no compelling evidence of WMD, a current war against Iran would be unjustified, and past sanctions were (at least at the time) effective. Add to that the enormous social and economic aftermath of the war (for Iraq and US), the now increased threat of Iran, the poor political state of Iraq, and Pro's inability to prove the inevitability of civil war and Con wins arguments.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Easy win for Con on Iranian regional hegemony. Pro did not sufficiently refute the analysis that Iraq was the competitor to Iran which maintained a key balance in the region. Blue outweighed on his argument that Iran started to built up its nuclear capability in response to the US invasion