The Instigator
tarsjake
Pro (for)
Losing
29 Points
The Contender
zakkuchan
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

war on terrorism

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Started: 1/5/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,312 times Debate No: 1402
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (17)

 

tarsjake

Pro

We as a country and the whole world should be very concerned with the rising of islamic extremists. They want to destroy our way of life and our prosperity. We need to stay on offence in the war on terror.
zakkuchan

Con

Terrorism, and the Islamic extremism from which much of it is born, are legitimate threats to the security of our nation, and the world. These are serious concerns that must be faced; and that portion of the case for the War on Terror is certainly valid. My case, however, hinges not upon claiming the threat invalid or not serious enough to prompt action, but upon the argument, which I will present here, that war is not the way to handle the threat of terrorism.

I will present 5 points to support this claim:

1.The most effective way to solve the problem of Islamic extremism, and thus a large portion of terrorism, is by opposition from within the Arab world. Islamic extremists distort the true messages of Islam; and they are, and will remain, a small minority within the Muslim population. The most effective way the problem of Islamic extremism can truly be solved is by a counter-movement from the vast majority of Muslims who are much more cool-headed, telling the extremists that they refuse to let them hijack international perception of their faith. The fact of the matter is that most Muslims are not pleased that the world now has the perception of their faith as violent and extremist; after all, what rational individual would be pleased with their culture and their faith being polluted in this way? What we need is to encourage moderate Muslim leaders to speak out against the extremists; and this, it can reasonably be assumed, would be a more powerful message against Islamic extremism than hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis due to American intervention.

2.War is not an effective means of dealing with terrorism. Terrorism is not a traditional threat. It is boundary-less, decentralized, and all but leaderless. It is a tactic used by many of the enemies of America, not a foe that can be pinned down by large-scale military operations. In the past, America has always been effective in war when we officially declared war against a concrete threat, set a precise mission or missions to accomplish, and sent our troops in force to pursue those goals. We have not traditionally been successful in war when we don't do these things; and terrorism is something that, by its very definition, cannot be faced off in such a concrete manner. The best definition we have of who our enemies are are a few lists of terrorist organizations compiled by our intelligence; and for a soldier in the field, there is no definite way to distinguish between these enemies and civilians. Everything about facing terrorism with traditional warfare is completely and fundamentally wrong.

3.The true nature of our struggle with terrorism is a battle of ideologies. What is facing off in this conflict are not two distinct "sides" comprised of allied nations; it is instead two ideologies: the ideology of freedom and democracy, and the ideology of oppression and extremism. This is not, in any way, a traditional war. There is no definite boundary between the two ideologies, and there is not a single nation in the world that is comprised entirely of people supporting one side. These opposing ideologies must battle it out. The best we can do, as a nation, is to peacefully promote the side most of us believe in.

4.Any future direct threats to Americans can be dealt with internally by increased domestic security and police action. There is no doubt that we don't want another 9/11. And certainly, there is a potential for such an event, regardless of the foreign policy we pursue to confront terrorism and extremism. But if this threat cannot be faced by our military in traditional manners, how do we combat it? The answer is simple: we increase our domestic security (while being careful, of course, not to step on personal liberties), and we improve communication between our intelligence agencies and our police bodies, so that any threat of another attack on America can be discovered and dealt with before it comes to fruition.

5.The costs of our military actions in this faulty "War on Terror" are staggering. The current death toll of American soldiers in the war in Iraq is 3911, with 28822 wounded.* Furthermore, a recent report by Congressional Democrats regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan entitled "War at Any Price?" found "that the total economic costs incurred to date -- including "hidden" expenses, such as higher oil prices, interest on borrowing, and the long-term care of injured soldiers -- are already about twice the 800 billion dollars the Bush administration has asked Congress to appropriate through 2008." The report also goes on to say that this total cost could be as high as $3.5 trillion by 2017.** It doesn't take detailed analysis to know that these costs, both human and monetary, are not worth it.

In conclusion, the War on Terror is based upon the fallacy that terrorism is a traditional enemy that can be faced by traditional large-scale military operations. The threat can more effectively be faced off through opposition within the Muslim world, as well as our peaceful support of the ideology that we want to prevail, and improved domestic security. Furthermore, the costs of the war are too high to be worth it. Altogether, it is clear that the War on Terror is not the proper course of action for America in dealing with the threat of terrorism and Islamic extremism. Thank you.

*http://www.antiwar.com...
**http://ipsnews.net...
Debate Round No. 1
tarsjake

Pro

First off I would like to say you are so far off base with EVERYONE even left-wing liberals. However I will go though and rebuke all of your points.

1.If you believe that the best way to deal with these terrorists is by using moderate muslims then you need to rethink your foreign policy. We need to fight our own battles and with our victories will come the hearts and minds of moderate muslims. The western world needs to deal with this problem, and they need to deal with it now.
2.I'm not sure what your saying but it sounds like we should sit back and wait for them to come to us.
3."These opposing ideologies must battle it out. The best we can do, as a nation, is to peacefully promote the side most of us believe in." So we need to battle it out but we have to fight peacefully. Next you'll say if we would just TALK to them.
4.Your basically saying we should concentrate on defense and not offence. If you didn't know you don't win wars like that. Right now we are fighting in the Middle East, so we're not fighting the war over here.
5.I am truly am deeply sorry about our fallen troops and are debt; however when you say "both human and monetary, are not worth it." Your saying freedom, democracy, and AMERICA are not worth fighting for.

Extremists ARE a real threat to America and everything America stands for. I wish you could realize that they are a threat to everyone not just the people who support the war but everyone who does not believe in there radical Islam.

PS: try not to copy and paste this time :)
-Jake
zakkuchan

Con

First off, I am offended by your last statement about me copying and pasting. The only thing I copied and pasted was one news source's analysis on the Democratic study in my last point, and when I did that, I put it in quotes and cited the source with asterisks. The rest of my case was entirely my own work, and I am offended by even the implication that I would plagiarize.

Secondly, most people believing in something (or a claim of such, whether correct or not) is not valid reasoning for its truth under any circumstances in logical debate. Debate is about formulating and defending a case for your side, not simply discussing which side more people agree with.

1. You ignored the actual claim I was making. You were on track in your first sentence on this point. ("If you believe that the best way to deal with these terrorists is by using moderate muslims then you need to rethink your foreign policy.") But then, instead of backing up this claim and giving me a reason why I ought to rethink my foreign policy, you sidestepped the point I made and acted like I said we need to ignore the threat and not deal with it. I never made such a claim in my entire case; all I said was that war is not the proper way of dealing with it. And in this particular point, my claim boiled down to saying that a backlash from moderate Muslims "would be a more powerful message against Islamic extremism than hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis due to American intervention", which you didn't address whatsoever.

2. Here, it is obvious that you either misunderstood my point or couldn't refute it. This point in my initial case was about the non-traditional nature of the threat of terrorism, and my claim that it can't be dealt with through war. You're not addressing this point if you don't address that claim.

3. Again, you missed and/or ignored my point. If you don't address the actual claim (that this is a battle of ideologies, not a traditional war between two definite sides), then you haven't offered a meaningful attack on this point. But I'll humor what you said here anyway, just for the sake of clarifying my point. Yes, I absolutely think we should talk to our enemies. It would be much more effective than invading nations that have at best an indirect connection to our enemies, because it would show these nations, and the world in general, that we and the rest of the democratic western world are open to peace and diplomacy, which would certainly be a positive development. This is a battle of ideologies, and ideologies cannot be forced through war, especially an ideology as inherently peaceful as democracy and freedom.

4. Yes, I'm saying we should focus on defense rather than offense. And yes, I realize you can't win a war through defense. But in case you forgot, I'm arguing that there shouldn't BE a war at all. And the claim that we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here is ridiculous. The fact that we're in Iraq or Afghanistan does not in any way stop a terrorist from coming to the United States. If you think it does, I'd love to hear why.

5. No, when I say the costs aren't worth it, I'm saying that an irrational war against a threat that cannot be faced through war is not worth the cost. Of course I think freedom, democracy, and America are worth fighting for; if I lived during World War II, I'd fully support the war effort, and I'd even consider enlisting. But I don't think the War on Terror is an effective way to deal with the threats we are facing today; and THAT's why I don't support it, not because I'm unpatriotic or cowardly.

In your closing statement, you just restate something I've already agreed with: that terrorists and extremists are a legitimate threat. The whole "I wish you could realize..." statement is about something I've already realized, which would be clear if you were paying attention at all to my case. And you haven't adequately addressed the areas that we DO disagree on, so this is a pointless thing for you to spend your time trying to prove.

My opponent, in his previous round, repeatedly sidestepped the central points I made against the use of war as a means to deal with terrorism. Most of his attacks missed my points entirely, and the claims that he made through them, he did not back up whatsoever.
Debate Round No. 2
tarsjake

Pro

tarsjake forfeited this round.
zakkuchan

Con

My opponent's forfeiting of this final round, despite the fact that he was online several times since I posted my second round, leads me to believe that he has intentionally given up this debate. That in itself should count this as a win for me; but just for emphasis, I'll point out some key points about this debate:

-My opponent was the instigator, yet he didn't offer any of his own points to the debate, or any support for anything he said.
-My points were solid, and went mostly un-touched by my opponent.
-My opponent used his second round (and his only post of any length at all) to make an appeal to popularity, several straw man arguments, and a reiteration of a non-resolutional point that I'd already conceded (that terrorism is a threat).
-My opponent also used personal attacks, including the insinuation that I plagiarized, which I in no way did (and I'm sure you could verify that with a few google searches).
-I refuted my opponent's attacks thoroughly, where they came anywhere near my case.

I hope everyone votes based on the debate, rather than their knee-jerk reaction to the topic.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by zakkuchan 6 years ago
zakkuchan
Well thanks. :P

I like this site, because it forces me to systematically write up why I believe what I believe, and I think that's cool. It's definitely helpful for my intellectual development...even when I lose or tie because of people NOT READING THE DEBATE. :P
Posted by midgetjoe 6 years ago
midgetjoe
zac.... your first post is AWSOME, I've never seen itexplained that well before...
Posted by zakkuchan 6 years ago
zakkuchan
To quote Jim Carey, in "Liar Liar":

"Jordan fades back. Swoosh! And THAT'S THE GAME!"
Posted by sheepgotoheaven 6 years ago
sheepgotoheaven
Smash this lunatic Zak. Your doing a good job.
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
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