The Instigator
wheelhouse3
Pro (for)
Losing
52 Points
The Contender
marxandlennon
Con (against)
Winning
55 Points

the war in iraq is necessary until we finish it

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,656 times Debate No: 381
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (33)

 

wheelhouse3

Pro

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States and a democrat , believed that "there are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction" (Kennedy 32). Much of America has formed the opinion that the "action" in Iraq is unwarranted. However, idleness is far too costly. America's presence in Iraq is necessary for the continued freedom, liberties, and safety of this nation.
"Americans play to win at all times" (Patton) and like a dog, will fight when you "rattle their cage". Terrorists "rattled the cage of America" by attacking the U.S. on September 11, 2001, and in the face of such mortal danger diplomacy is not an option. Therefore, in response, America launched a counter attack on Afghanistan. However, when documents were found from Saddam's Rogue Regime in Iraq containing the information that nuclear weapons could be produced in as little as two months, America quickly realized that Afghanistan was not its only worry. With its potential to supply weapons of mass destruction to the enemy and continued refusal to abide U.N. resolutions, "Iraq became a dangerous player in the war on terror" (Rummler). Afghanistan is a blatant threat, and when a nuclear-armed and defiant Iraq chose to supply this threat, it became a hazard as well. These "enemies of freedom are not idle" (Bush par 22); thus, America cannot afford to be complacent nor idle.
There are some Americans, however, that believe America's liberty would be better defended if Iraq was left alone. According to war antagonist, David Gaffen, it is those citizens who feel that "the only thing scarier than a nuclear-armed Iraq with Saddam Hussein at the helm is a nuclear-armed Iraq with nobody at the helm" (Gaffen par 19). Or in other words, it is the Iraq after Saddam Hussein that America will have trouble facing. Opponents to the war fear that the U.S. will not be able to fix a broken country with such deep religious divisions as Iraq. There are many who feel that America "hasn't demonstrated yet that it is willing to make the total sacrifice needed to commit the resources necessary to converting a [fractured] country… into a rocking, free-market place" (Gaffen par 9). This opinion is widely accepted even when America had sacrificed over 288 billion dollars and 133.5 million of its population after World War II to repair a shell shocked Europe, who had faced one of the most revolting dictators in history. If the U.S. sacrificed so much to restore an entire continent affected by one ambitious man, who is to say it isn't ready to mend a single country?
How much worth can one life be when billions perish? What purpose will living serve when death is the only knowledge of life? According to Len Sherman, an expert of foreign affairs, "America has to fight a war in Iraq because [it] need[s] foreign oil to sustain… life" (Sherman par 1). Oil is the engine of economy and when oil is absent so is an economy. America's thriving economy is what keeps its people alive and so the U.S. cannot allow 60% of the world's oil supply to be under the control of a despot. Having control of that oil secures its free flow at market prices and gives America the upper hand on its enemies. That upper hand is too much to risk when "at no previous time has American security been as seriously threatened" (Roosevelt par 1), and as Senator John McCain said, "we cannot afford to fail" (McCain par 18). Failure is not an option for those at war, and withdrawing from Iraq would mean the failure of our economy, country, and eventually, our lives.
War is never easy, but Americans have always been ready to pay the price of freedom. Is the war in Iraq justified, and is it worth the costs America must pay? "That is something every American must answer for themselves" (Rummler). However, since being in Iraq there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil. To be free from terrorism is to have liberty and "they who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security" (Benjamin Franklin).
marxandlennon

Con

I will point out, in this argument, three things. First of all, the war in Iraq was not necessary to begin with. Secondly, the effects of leaving Iraq would be more beneficial than staying. And thirdly, that the war in Iraq has detracted from our ability to fight in Afghanistan.
1. The war in Iraq was not at all necessary.
In your case, you bring up the war being necessary to respond to the 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001. That would be fine, except that we attacked the wrong country. George Tenet, ex-CIA director, said on 60 Minutes that the Administration "could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al-Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period." A CIA report concluded that, although Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda had contacts in the 1990s, these links never developed into any sort of cooperation, and Hussein was in no way behind the 9/11 attacks. You also mention Iraq's WMD capabilities, however, first of all, the few chemical/biological weapons that were found were no longer usable remnants of the Iran-Iraq war. Secondly, UN inspectors, the military, and the CIA have all concluded that there were no nuclear WMDs in Iraq. Ever. And Iraq *was* obeying UN resolutions, inspectors were inspecting right up until the bombs started falling.
2. The effects of leaving would be beneficial.
The US invasion has, without a doubt, destabilized the Middle East. Brent Scowcroft, in an article for the Wall Street Journal, said that invading Iraq would increase the amount of anti-American sentiment, increase terrorism, and destroy the balance of power in the MidEast. All of this has happened since the invasion. In addition, we've destabilized the country itself, with the country slowly tearing itself to pieces before our soldiers' eyes. We waste both American and Iraqi lives, and uncountable billions of dollars by remaining in country and we must stop this deadly flow before it gets worse. You say that we can't allow a despot to possess 60% of the world's oil reserves. First of all, what 60%? Iraq is 4th on the list of oil reserves, which, while significant, is nowhere near 60%. And regardless, all we've done is make that oil less accessible, not more. I would submit that only the Iraqis themselves can stabilize their country, and the US presence is not helping.
3. We're being distracted from Afghanistan.
The consensus of most foreign policy experts is that Osama Bin Laden, the man actually behind 9-11, is hiding somewhere in Afghanistan. Not Iraq, but that other country we invaded. And due to the US emphasis on Iraq, the Taliban and al Qaeda are resurging. Attacks on coalition troops have quadrupled between '05 and '06, according to a New York Times article. If nothing is done soon, a UN report warns that the new Afghani government, a success compared to the one in Iraq, will fall, and an Islamist, terrorist regime will rise once more. The US cannot afford to let this happen simply because we are unwilling to give up on our failed experiment in Iraq.
Debate Round No. 1
wheelhouse3

Pro

lol I love how you're putting in words that aren't there.
1. I DID NOT say that the war Iraq was necessary to respond to the attacks on 9/11. I said that we attacked Afghanistan for that. I said that it was necessary for war in Iraq because they threatened to support Afghanistan. I never said that they HAD any nuclear weapons. Documents were found saying that they could PRODUCE nuclear weapons in as little as 2 weeks, not that they already had them.
2. You mention that our presence in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East. I'm sorry but can you name a time when the Middle East was ever stabilized? Their religious confrontations have been the cause of their destabilization, not our presence there.
3. Our presence in Iraq has not distracted our military from Afghanistan. Our presence in Iraq has distracted the American public from the war in Afghanistan. Just because the public isn't as aware about the war waging in Afghanistan doesn't mean it isn't being fought just as hard.
marxandlennon

Con

1. First of all, I apologize for misreading your first post. However, you *did* bring up intelligence about Iraq's WMD capability that did not exist. Iraq never had WMDs, and any evidence that Iraq had any ties to terrorist groups to give WMDs to is limited at best. And Iraq *never* threatened to support Afghanistan in any way.
2. True, religious divisions haven't helped mideast stability- but neither have we. The US invasion has caused a civil war to slowly play out as we speak, with Shi'a and Sunni death squads killing civilians left and right. In addition, we've only increased the power of Iran, as they have positioned themselves as the only true anti-American power in the region. We've triggered this civil war, we can't afford to be drawn into it any further. Also, the fact that such a significant portion of our forces are in Iraq means that the US has less ability to respond to crises back home, or any new trouble abroad.
3. And, yes, with our forces stretched this thin, we are being distracted. The amount of NATO forces in Afghanistan hasn't risen, despite the Taliban resurgence. Thanks to Iraq, we're dangerously close to losing our control of the real target, Afghanistan.

And I would say that the war in Iraq has very little to do with the absence of new terror attacks, but rather the increase in civilian watchfulness and the performance of the FBI and CIA.
Debate Round No. 2
wheelhouse3

Pro

1.Okay, *again* I never said that they *had* any nuclear weapons. You mention that Iraq did not have the capability to produce WMDs yet you also said that "the few chemical/biological weapons that were found were no longer usable remnants". If they once had the capability to produce even those, could they not also have the ability to create more now? Though the "evidence that Iraq had any ties to terrorist groups to give WMDs to" is limited, it is there and we should look into that. Where is your evidence supporting that there never was *any* threat from Iraq? I have found at least 5 credible sources sources that say that those documents found were written to Afghanistan. And I think the fact that Saddam's treatment of his people, his disregard for the U.N. (& yes there was a refusal to obey their policies in accordance with his mentions of WMDs amongst other things), and his hate for America was threat enough.
2. The Shi'a and Sunni war has been going on long before we got there. They've had hostilities since the day they were founded as religions. They've always been fighting and America shouldn't be held responsible for triggering their distaste for one another. As for Iran becoming more powerful, well, i believe that it's not that they're becoming more powerful, it's that they're becoming more of a threat. The only reason, I believe, that we aren't finished with Iraq is that Iran continues to allow al qaeda to enter into Iraq. Of course America is left with less defenses, but what war hasn't left it so? "No sacrifice, no victory". I'd much rather that the military be in a foreign land making offensive progress than here on our soil taking up a defensive position.
3. Forces will be stretched thin as long as America doesn't give them the support they deserve. Just because the amount of forces there haven't *risen* doesn't mean that we're distracted, because forces haven't *risen* anywhere. Besides, with Saddam gone things are *slowly* cooling down in Iraq and maybe if we give our best effort that can speed up that process. Without Iraq posing threats, America is better able to defend ourselves, secure "the real target", and be prepared for anything Iran decides to throw at us.
marxandlennon

Con

1. Regardless of whether your argument was "they had them" or "they can produce them", NEITHER is true. Even the president admits it now. The only WMDs they had were the chemical weapons we gave them back in the 80s. And Iraq wasn't a threat because they weren't tied to al-Qaeda, they couldn't produce WMDs, and even if they could, they couldn't attack the US anyway (no long range missiles). And with the body count in Iraq 300,000 civilians and counting, I'd say we're far more damaging to the civilians of Iraq than Saddam ever was.
2. Yes, the Sunni and Shi'a hated each other before the war, but it was only the US's depostion of Saddam that allowed that hate to reach civil war heights. Saddam's strongarming did serve a function after all (think Tito in Yugoslavia).
And when the lack of national guard troops leaves California and New Orleans without the ability to respond to natural disasters, then the problem is much greater than just a smaller defensive capability.
3. My point is that we're 'surging' troops to a failed war in Iraq, while the country that we could save is slowly slipping back to despotism because the US military lacks the troops to save Afghanistan. And things aren't "cooling down" in Iraq, 2007 is the deadliest year for US troops on record. If we continue to waste lives and money in Iraq, we'll just be losing two wars.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wheelhouse3 8 years ago
wheelhouse3
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
wow, wheelhouse, we agree on a lot of stuff. w00t.
Posted by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
good debate wheelhouse3 I think your information was very supporting! keep up the good work! be sure to check out my debate on socialized medicine.
Posted by wheelhouse3 9 years ago
wheelhouse3
Hattopic, I see what you mean I was very vague. What I meant was that without our economy(which is supported by oil) billions of people will be dying. Each life is precious and special, but when death is a part of every day life the importance of a life in the eye of the pulic dissapears. For instance, say that for almost your whole life you have killed people and watched people die. Do you think that you will care if a life perishes before your eyes anymore? That is what I was saying. It is important that we keep our economy going so that is not what we are reduced to.
Nickymissesh owarddean, thank you I enjoy that kind of comment from someone who has more experience in life than I whether our opinions clash or not.
And to all who voted for me, Thank You.
Sincerely,
Wheelhouse3
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
VaLoR, debate me on this topic.

Because all you just said appalled the hell out of me.
Posted by VaLoR 9 years ago
VaLoR
If U.S. Intelligence thought there was even as much as a 1% chance that Iraq might possess Weapons of Mass Destruction, then the invasion on the basis of eradication of WMD's is entirely justified. Despite what we know now, we still succeeded in dethroning and prosecuting a ruthless dictator and war criminal in Saddam Hussein -- that's a moral victory regardless of original intentions.

wheelhouse3,

Well done.
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
-wheelhouse3

and even though i disagree with your argument its really cool you're involved at such a young age and exploring your options and morale and tieing it into your politics.
Posted by nickymisseshowarddean 9 years ago
nickymisseshowarddean
the evidence is all there, if youre up on your history and current events. this is nothing but a special interests war. oil and maintaining north eastern iraq to invade iran from.

dont be a victim of the media anymore guys.
Posted by hattopic 9 years ago
hattopic
I have a question Wheelhouse, you say in your opening that:

"How much worth can one life be when billions perish?".

What do you mean be that?
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
I need go no further than PRO's R1, as they never give me what the US government is actually going for, or in other words, how we finish the war. The position from there then just states that the Iraq War is necessary, and the CON does a damn good job of proving that false.

RFD: Con
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