The Instigator
cory000
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Victor_I_V
Con (against)
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What should we do about Syria?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 291 times Debate No: 82884
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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cory000

Pro

On September 30, Russia broke from existing frameworks when it began its own airstrikes against rebels in Syria. As the airstrikes continued, it became clear that Vladimir Putin"s sympathies toward the brutal Assad regime were become manifest in the bombs Russian aircraft dropped not on Assad"s strongholds, but on anti-regime rebels backed by the United States and other western coalition forces.
Now both Syrian activists and Iranian officials are reporting that over the past few days, Iran has sent over 1,500 fighters into Syria via Damascus; Hezbollah fighters have also made the journey. Officials claim that these fighters are prepping to launch an assault on militants in Aleppo in northern Syria, and that this move has been bolstered by Russian airstrikes.
Not only are they using Chemical warheads but they are killing civilians that they shouldn't be targeting. Now tell me, should we just sit back and let Genesis happen
Victor_I_V

Con

1) “On September 30, Russia broke from existing frameworks… “

It would be great if you could clarify which were those “exiting frameworks”, by whom established, by whom confirmed or approved. It might be some UN Resolution or multilateral agreement, for instance, in which Russia would have agreed not to be involved in Syrian affairs. Without such references your argument looks ungrounded.

However, as far as I know, Russia has particular interest there, including long-time political and economic relations with Assad and a current asset there in the shape of Tartus Naval Base.

Russian Air Force has undertaken these tasks in Syria following the direct request from Syrian president addressed to Russian president. Sounds like a legal excuse.

Those are the verifiable existing frameworks as opposed to those that have been allegedly “broken”.


Also, it must have skipped your attention that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged (in an interview to MSNBC on Sept, 29, 2015) that America and Russia had agreed on “some fundamental principles” for solving the ongoing civil war in Syria, and that Assad should “go off into the sunset” following the return of peace to Syria. Which means not earlier than ISIS is expelled. (http://www.breitbart.com... )

He also mentioned earlier, on Sept, 18, 2015, that “our focus remains on destroying ISIL and also on a political settlement with respect to Syria, which we believe cannot be achieved with the long-term presence of Assad” (http://www.breitbart.com... )

Therefore, Russian actions in Syria, if viewed within this context, do not contradict to neither U.S.-Russian official declarations, nor to any binding international agreements.

2) “when it began its own airstrikes against rebels in Syria. “

The airstrikes were directed against ISIS, as has been declared by Russia, not “rebels”. Your argument is therefore misleading if one reads it literally. If you were referring to casualties among civilians and secular rebels (including those supported by the U.S.), as a result of glorious Russian air strikes against brutal ISIS, you could state it more clearly, but this would be a different issue that would have to be put within the context of similar cases, such as collateral damage from U.S. air strikes in Iraq or Pakistan.

Also, Russia is geographically under a direct threat from ISIS (https://www.rt.com...) considering ISIS activity among the Caucasus Muslim regions, and therefore Russian geopolitical interest in providing national security is clear.

3) “As the air strikes continued, it became clear that Vladimir Putin’s sympathies toward the brutal Assad regime “

The phrase “brutal Assad regime” looks biased, given the known context of various Muslim regimes around the world that are brutal in sense of being less democratic and less liberal then the West. This can be applied to a long-term U.S. friend Saudi Arabia, as well as to Qatar or Pakistan, or even to a current regime in Iraq with its crackdown on Sunni minority (http://www.theguardian.com...) . So I believe you understand it would be a distortion of facts to try to enforce the argument by such biased wording. It just looks childish.

4) Regarding the “bombs Russian aircraft dropped not on Assad’s strongholds, but on anti-regime rebels backed by the United States and other western coalition forces”, again, the key point would be an exact number or a percentage of such cases to a total number of strikes against ISIS, as well as how is it related to assessment of actual intentions of Russian Air Force commanders (if you argue they targeted anti-regime rebels deliberately).

But even if it was a deliberate attack on U.S.-backed rebels, why would it break any “framework” other than imaginary? On the one hand, U.S. support to the rebels has not been approved by any UN General or Security Council Resolution, there is no official U.S. or NATO presence there in Syria, and on the other hand, the tradition of such proxy wars (as in Vietnam, North Korea, Afghanistan in 1980s) does not deny occasional attacks on U.S.-backed or Russia-backed combatants. Believe it or not, such cases are quite commonplace.

The particular case in Syria is somewhat complicated for the US as it’s not that easy now to tell between various rebels. See http://www.theguardian.com... .

I would suggest this has been a mere collateral damage, considering a known difficulty in distinguishing between the militarists groups, which has been acknowledged by the U.S. government.

So it would be reasonable to ask, in response to these allegations of “Russia bombing anti-regime rebels”, how exactly have those unlucky rebels been identified as “anti-regime” while even the mighty U.S. cannot provide reliable identification when airdropping ammunition?

5) "Officials claim that these fighters are prepping to launch an assault on militants in Aleppo in northern Syria, and that this move has been bolstered by Russian airstrikes.

Not only are they using Chemical warheads but they are killing civilians that they shouldn't be targeting. Now tell me, should we just sit back and let Genesis happen"

As for the “Chemical warheads” or “killing civilians”, if these are revelations claimed by some “officials”, then references to such officials’ names would be appreciated, as well as information about which country they serve, what department they belong to or what can be their agenda. Currently it’s quite difficult to consider such argument as valid.

Just to compare, behold the following news: “US-Led Airstrikes Directed against ISIS Kill 52 Syrian Civilians in a Day, Not A Single ISIS Fighter” (http://www.globalresearch.ca... ). This is what is called “collateral damage”, this happens in any conflict. Another war feature is that any “official” from an opposing country can claim that such collateral damage has in fact been a deliberate strike (against civilian, children, pregnant women in hospitals, and so on). Again, how exactly could those officials identify Russian targets while even the U.S. cannot provide reliable identification when airdropping ammunition for rebels?

6) Alternative interpretation of the conflict background and Russian role:

One might also distinguish between popular notions on politics (which is broadcasted in media) and real geopolitics, which is about securing national interest, securing spheres of interest, creating buffer zones, alliances, establishing secret diplomacy agreements, etc. Usually the connection between the events is not straightforward, but rather subject to a long-term multistep strategy, much like in the game of chess.

It might be discovered later that Russia acted upon the U.S. consent, and took the role of the soldier fighting ISIS, while the US remained constrained in actions due to the relations with Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

Debate Round No. 1
cory000

Pro

cory000 forfeited this round.
Victor_I_V

Con

Victor_I_V forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
cory000

Pro

cory000 forfeited this round.
Victor_I_V

Con

Victor_I_V forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Victor_I_V 1 year ago
Victor_I_V
cory000's account is no longer active...
Posted by Victor_I_V 1 year ago
Victor_I_V
apart or a part? )
it's your turn now )
Posted by cory000 1 year ago
cory000
Victor if your going to be apart of this then place a thing
Posted by Victor_I_V 1 year ago
Victor_I_V
some clear bias is, to our regret, present in the argument. "Brutal Assad regime", "using chemical weapons" and so on, these are allegations that would would consume all the debates time and would still be not proved. The topic needs to be reformulated.
Posted by Contra 1 year ago
Contra
You might want to clarify the resolution, perhaps changing it to say "the US should do X" or "the US should get more involved in the Syrian conflict". Great topic choice though.
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