The Instigator
Akhenaten
Pro (for)
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The Contender
TheFelchster
Con (against)
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0 Points

World wars I &II were about oil in Iraq

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/28/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 310 times Debate No: 83159
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Akhenaten

Pro

I propose that World Wars I & II were about oil in Iraq and had nothing to do with freedom and protection of human rights. In fact, World Wars I &II were more about taking away peoples freedoms and rights.
TheFelchster

Con

While there is much dispute about the machinations of the beginnings of World War I, it is almost unanimously accepted by scholars that the proverbial powder keg involved European affairs, as opposed to Mideast affairs. While it is true that Germany and the Ottoman Empire entered into a secret alliance (perhaps setting up a possible misinterpretation of the facts relative to the struggle between German/British resources), the great bulk of combat took place in the European theater. Similarly, while the theater of World War II greatly expanded comparable to the previous war, again, nothing concrete suggests the war's origins centered around disagreements over petrol resources. In short, if Britain's oil-related motives in World War I involved gaining control of routes and/or resources, then it only stands to reason that their motives in World War II involved maintaining control of the same. In short, oil played a limited role in the military decisions and operations of both wars.

As a side note, the Anglo-Iraqi War (1941) lasted less than one month, and offered a strong base of British operations for continuing wartime efforts in the Mideast. While the implication is clear that the British Empire shed the blood of belligerents and innocents alike to maintain control of Iraq's resource routes, one must be careful not to assume that the Iraqis were apt to respect basic human rights and dignities; following the Anglo-Iraqi armistice, over a hundred Jews in Baghdad lost their lives at the hands of angry Iraqis, the latter of whom having turned their frustrations on innocent civilians.
Debate Round No. 1
Akhenaten

Pro

World Wars I and II were about global domination. In order to become globally dominant, you must first secure oil supplies so that you can fuel the machinery of your domination. Between 1913 to 1945 the predominant means of securing military force was by ocean going vessels. Powering these vessels required lots of petroleum.

Quote - ' In short, oil played a limited role in the military decisions and operations of both wars.'

Reply - Without a secured oil supply, neither side could conduct a proper military campaign. Thus, it was absolutely vital that oil supplies be the main priority.

British send troops to stop German railway to Baghdad. http://www.revisionist.net...

As well in Serbia British military and intelligence networks were most active prior to outbreak of war. Major R.G.D. Laffan was in charge of a British military training mission in Serbia just before the war. Following the war, Laffan wrote of the British role in throwing a huge block on the route of the German-Baghdad project:

"If 'Berlin-Baghdad' were achieved, a huge block of territory producing every kind of economic wealth, and unassailable by sea-power would be united under German authority," warned R.G.D. Laffan. Laffan was at that time a senior British military adviser attached to the Serbian Army.

"Russia would be cut off by this barrier from her western friends, Great Britain and France," Laffan added. "German and Turkish armies would be within easy striking distance of our Egyptian interests, and from the Persian Gulf, our Indian Empire would be threatened. The port of Alexandretta and the control of the Dardanelles would soon give Germany enormous naval power in the Mediterranean."

Note - World War II was just a reinforcing of the previous war efforts. The beginning of World War I was at the same time as oil became a recognized fuel source which was far more efficient than coal powered vessels.
TheFelchster

Con

"World Wars I and II were about global domination. In order to become globally dominant, you must first secure oil supplies so that you can fuel the machinery of your domination. Between 1913 to 1945 the predominant means of securing military force was by ocean going vessels. Powering these vessels required lots of petroleum...without a secured oil supply, neither side could conduct a proper military campaign...[t]hus, it was absolutely vital that oil supplies be the main priority."

This statement, while a great deal more specific than the original arguments presented, still fails to specifically address the precise manner in which Iraqi oil reserves served as a nucleus for both wars, as opposed to freedom and protection of human rights. Perhaps the original argument was too hyperbolic, and should have been pruned to specifics so as to accommodate the point trying to be made in the above block quote.

In light of the direct quote that these wars had "nothing to do with freedom and protection of human rights," the most effective and simple counterargument is to point to the liberation of the concentration camps toward the end of World War II. While this certainly wasn't the main aim of the war (and no knowledgeable individual would argue otherwise), it negates the idea that the war had "nothing to do" with protecting or preserving human rights. Per "A Short History of Human Rights," the author discusses the Nuremberg trials, noting that "officials from the defeated countries were punished for committing...'crimes against humanity'." The violation of the basic human rights of the Jews was a focal point of these trials. These trials involved crimes committed during World War II. It follows, then, that "World War II...had nothing to do with freedom and protection of human rights" is a null statement.
Debate Round No. 2
Akhenaten

Pro

1. My opponent has chosen to completely ignore 3 paragraphs of round 2. These 3 paragraphs give a detailed account of how the British military first attacked Baghdad and stopped the Germans and Turks from seizing control of the Iraq oil fields. I have clearly stated that oil based technology was just being developed at this time and the importance of oil had become of vital importance to the British Empire.

2. My opponent has concentrated his efforts on the release of prisoners after the war was finished. It should be made clear that all wars have prisoners and the release of prisoners after a war is finished is nothing unusual or extraordinary. What is important is what was the cause of the war in the first place. Obviously, the first actions of a war will give important clues as to what the motives are behind the reasons for having the war. thus, the first actions of the British in world War I were to send troops to Baghdad to stop the Germans and Turks from building a railway to Baghdad. The second World War was just a reinforcement of this same policy as well as some unfinished business from the last war.

3. Human rights were of little importance during the course of these two wars. Soldiers were sent into battle with little or no protection or armour. Thousands of soldiers were sent in against machine gun positions which were really just suicide attacks which had no prospects of success. Thus, this is evidence that the commanders had little respect for human life.

Reference from source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

The railway became a source of international disputes during the years immediately preceding World War I. Although it has been argued that they were resolved in 1914 before the war began, it has also been argued that the railway was a leading cause of the First World War. Technical difficulties in the remote Taurus Mountains and diplomatic delays meant that by 1915 the railway was still 480 kilometres (300 mi) short of completion, severely limiting its use during the war in which Baghdad was occupied by the British while the Hejaz Railway in the south was attacked by guerrilla forces led by T. E. Lawrence. Construction resumed in the 1930s and was completed in 1940.
TheFelchster

Con

TheFelchster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Akhenaten 1 year ago
Akhenaten
The declaration of self-determination was not enacted until 1960. Thus, you have supplied false and misleading information.

http://www.un.org...
Posted by Vox_Veritas 1 year ago
Vox_Veritas
I would also like to point out that the Post-WWII system created by the allies included declarations of human rights, including the right to self-determination. Allied victory was the reason for the currently existing international system that puts paramount importance on the protection of human rights.
Posted by Vox_Veritas 1 year ago
Vox_Veritas
WWII was largely a defensive war, though it actually did involve a British war in Iraq. The primary Allied purpose for fighting was the defeat of the Axis Powers. The primary Axis purpose for fighting was to conquer land in Europe, Africa, East Asia, and the Pacific (Iraq having little to do with it).
Posted by Peepette 1 year ago
Peepette
There's no point of debate here, the premise is historically correct.
Posted by Akhenaten 1 year ago
Akhenaten
Live on in a permanent state of ignorance then.
Posted by bballcrook21 1 year ago
bballcrook21
What? I would accept this but this is too stupid for me to spend my time debating.
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