The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Iraq war

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2014 Category: News
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,103 times Debate No: 59311
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by troops from the United States and Great Britain. This war has also come to be known by several other names including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Second Gulf War.

Before the invasion, the government of the United States claimed that there was a possibility that Iraq was storing weapons of mass destruction that posed a threat to the wellbeing of the United States and other nations. The United Nations asked Iraq to cooperate with weapons inspectors and verify their possession of cruise missiles and other weapons, but the nation's officials were noncompliant. Surprisingly, none of these weapons were ever discovered following the invasion. This, along with several other incidents, has led to a great controversy regarding the necessity of the Iraq War.

Following the invasion of Iraq, the goals of the United States and Britain changed somewhat. The invasion led to an occupation by American and British troops and the eventual capture of Saddam Hussein, the leader of the Iraqi government at the time. Efforts were also made to improve the quality of life of the people of Iraq by removing the oppressive government and replacing it with a democratic government that was more or less set up by United States' officials.

Over 300,000 American and international troops were involved in the invasion and matched up against an Iraqi army of about 375,000. Thousands have lost their lives on both sides. Over 16,000 Americans have lost their lives and between 98,000 and 107,000 Iraqi civilians have also been killed. This is one of the main reasons why so many people have been opposed to the war.

Human rights have been a very controversial issue throughout the duration of the war. Both sides have been accused of violating basic human rights with their practices. The Iraqi government is criticized for their use of torture and death squads and massacres of their people. Many supporters of the war rally behind the effort to end these practices. However, others argue against the war because the other side has also been using practices that could be considered inhumane. White phosphorus was used in Iraq and has had negative effects on the health of civilians. Many bombings of American troops have also resulted in civilian deaths.

Public Opinion of the War

The public Iraq War debate appears to resound largely with disapproval. In 2007, BBC World Service polled over 26,000 people in 25 nations. They found that 73 percent were opposed to the way the United States handled the Iraq invasion. Another survey conducted in 2007 showed that over two-thirds of people internationally believed that the United States should withdraw from Iraq. Withdrawals have since been initiated and President Barack Obama supports the removal of troops in as timely a manner as possible.

Citizens of nations in the Middle East also have mixed opinions of the war. Over 60 percent of Saudi people have a negative view of the war and ninety-six percent of Jordan was opposed to the war as of 2007. The majority of people in France, Jordan, Lebanon, China, and Spain all believe that the world was safer before the Iraq War.

Did the United States make a bad move in its invasion of Iraq? Public opinions vary. The war has led to a large number of casualties, but the Iraq War debate still lingers on whether or not the invasion was ultimately justified.


I will accept this debate. I would like to mention that PRO first round is plagiarized. See the comment section. Moreover, although vague, PRO is arguing for the invasion of Iraq. I hope that PRO will refrain from borrowing his arguments in future rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


Muhammad_ali123 forfeited this round.


Okay, it looks like there"s a possibility that my opponent is going to forfeit the next round too, but I will continue regardless. So this round, I want to rebut basically every single claim made by Pro in Round One. For the third round I will made a case on why the Iraq war was a disaster in terms of human life as well as the focus, energy, and financial resources of the US for almost a decade. In addition, the effects continue now, where the people that thought the war was worth it then, now see the veterans coming home and their healthcare as frivolous spending. I"m sure almost everyone remember after 9/11 and in the first years of the Iraq invasion, half the country had those "Support your troops" ribbons on their bumpers. I find it nauseating and frankly obscene that those hard-core supporters of the invasions and said it would be a slam-dunk are right now members of the House of Representatives and have no interest in passing or taking a vote on the bipartisan VA legislation passed in the Senate. Personally, I would not find it criminal for any veteran to shot any politician execution-style, specifically anyone that fed the lies that lead to war and who are currently unable to justify on fiscal ground the need the health of those that lost limbs, scarred bodies, and those psychologically broken.
But let"s get to the meat of Round Two which I am dedicating to claims made in by Pro in Round One.
First, Pro contends the Bush administration possessed good evidence; evidence that led them to believe weapons of mass destruction existed. However, due to Iraqi defiance and were unwillingness to comply with UN inspectors this proved difficult to ascertain. Pro then characterizes the world reaction to the absence of weapons as "surprising." The WMD issue doesn"t even merit acknowledgment. Unless Pro reappears and want to build a case specifically for WMDs, then I won"t waste time rehashing the issue because the wealth of material dedicated to this blunder is vast and history"s verdict has already render judgment: it was failure, and epic failure.
However, let me tackle a related issue. My opponent says:
"The United Nations asked Iraq to cooperate with weapons inspectors and verify their possession of cruise missiles and other weapons, but the nation's officials were noncompliant."

This sentence lacks something very important: facts. The United Nation passed the Security Council Resolution 1441, which allowed inspectors to examine suspected chemical facilities and other purported sites that hid chemical agents or enriched uranium but UN inspectors found nothing. Swedish diplomat and Hans Blix who lead the UN"s inspection noted that while Iraq was while process slow and would likely take many months to resolve, the Iraqi government met their obligation as defined by Resolution 1441. Iraq did disagree about how to resolve issues over disarmament. The Bush administration found the 1441 unsatisfactory and argued that Iraq was in violation of the resolution.

Soon after, the US attempt to pass a joint resolution to use force through the Security Council but it failed. However, the US and a coalition of other countries invaded the country, on the rationale that Iraq was duping the UN and was aggressively pursuing weapons programs and because Saddam Hussein and Iraqi officials were directly responsible for aiding and abetting the attacks on the United States on 9/11.

While Pro"s first series of arguments rested on debunked and total false premises, one missing element in his argument is the context before the UN inspection and before the invasion. This is important because even though everything is factually untrue about Pro"s case thus far it also fails to mention the false postulates that even us there: 9/11 and the regime of Saddam Hussein were connected.

Pro soon after makes a transition that says the mission changed once the original premise that behind the war turned out to be a falsehood. This then leads to a"""
Okay, I just realized this is going to get lengthy if I continue at this pace. So basic on an assumption that Round Three will result in a forfeit for my opponent, I will address and provide the rest at that point.

However, let me attempt as quickly summarize Pro"s Round One argument: While every rationale given for invading proved false but one thing is very, very important in assessing the war: good intentions. Good intentions, lofty rhetoric, and public statements about doing great things is a metric in support. Then the rest includes statements that illustrate that the war has had profound consequences, notably lives. Therefore, the war was a net positive? No.

Anyway, already stated, everything else will be argued in Round Three.
Debate Round No. 2


Muhammad_ali123 forfeited this round.


So here are some basic reasons that will help convince voters that Con has the better argument. Both conservatives and liberals can likely agree on one point: the economic costs to the United States because of our intervention have proven to be disastrous. So far, we have spent close to two billion on the Iraq war [1]. However, this is likely to balloon to around seven trillion when every cost (including healthcare for veterans is totaled) [ibid or information found in citation one].

That is not to say that every war should be calculated solely based on a cost-benefit analysis. WWII required incredibly social and financial costs, but the reasons and objectives for incurring those costs were justified. The Iraq War is problematic because the reasons behind the intervention were misguided and deceptive, and the result has not lead to a net gain for the United States in any tangible sense.

Based on the premise that the financial resources were wasted let me explore a related point: missed opportunities to use those resources to create opportunities that would have benefited the American people. If you are a conservative, it is likely you would that shaving off several trillion from the national debt is good from an economic point-of-view. Moreover, as conservatives have argued in the past, solving debt-related problems creates certainty in the market, allowing more jobs to be created. While I think this suggestion is problematic in its own right, it is the very of a significant portion of the American people.

For liberals, who are more sympathetic to government using social resources to create social benefits there are several arguments that if we had used that money at home it would have been a real net positive. There are many ways the government could have used the financial resources of Iraq, however let me focus on one: college education, specifically public college education. It has been calculated that providing free public college education would cost 62.6 billion dollars a year [2]. So far the United States according to government reports "estimates as much as $60 billion was squandered collectively on fraud and corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan" [3]. Now I know Pro the debate does not include debating the other major war of the last decade but I thought it was worth pointing out how distorted our priorities are when we compare war and other social goods.

But back to my original point, even if we ended the free public education when it matched against the expected total for the Iraq war, it would still allow the United States to provide that good for a couple of decades. The question is did the war provide a better benefit than providing free college education? Con believes the answer is obvious.

Next, for people who believe in a strong foreign policy and advocate that the United States should intervene in countries for strategic reasons, consider this: Iran has been the principal benefactor from the US intervention and new Shiite-led government. Saddam was a despot, no would need to argue that but he prevented the country from religious sectarianism and was a powerful enemy of Iran. Now, Iran has significant power and influence in the region, benefiting the most from the American intervention [4] [5]. Iran"s gains come at the expense of the United States, undermining whatever arguments existed based on increasing our increase and goal in the mid-east region.

Pro"s best argument was the Iraq-war toppled a tyrannical leader, therefore whatever initial or later mistakes occurred, the war was just based on this alone. However, while this argument does sound convincing, it"s not particularly good if actually realized or applied as foreign policy. If it applies to Saddam, then it should hold for every tyrannical leader around the globe regardless of cost or lives lost. But only a few war hawks would actually suggest we intervene in North Korea, Syria, or Russia because the United States must ensure that no despotic regime exist in the world.

These arguments are only a fraction from the possible ones I could have chosen. However, I hope they provided a definitive answer to the questions: was the Iraq war worth it? Con"s answer is no. The Iraq war was a failure. Please vote Con.





Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by dexterbeagle 7 years ago
I just wanted to note Pro has plagiarized but I hope no one got the impression I thought this meant the end of the debate. I only wanted to highlight this from the outset. While I am new to DDO, I have come across people that copy and paste text and then provide little or no explanation behind their selection. But Preston is right, plagiarism does not disqualify a debater. From Muhammad_ali123 profile it looks like this is his first match and is likely unaccustomed to the basic rhyme of DDO debates. Even after several debates, I am just learning the ropes. I hope my comments did not discourage him from debating. In reality, I was trying to gain clarity on my opponent"s position. However, I am sure this will be clear soon enough. Anyway, just thought I"d make that clear. Good Luck, Pro. Best of luck.
Posted by Preston 7 years ago
plagiarism doesn't end a debate, it just hurts conduct and source points.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 7 years ago
My advise is to share this post in the forums if you're interested in discussing it. Otherwise, you should build your own arguments rather than stealing other people's.
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 7 years ago
Everything he posted was plagiarized from here:
Posted by rings48 7 years ago
Since you are new, suggestion: Typically people state their opinion in their debate and title so there can be a debate.

You kind of just said their is controversy over the topic without advocating a position.

So.... Either like copy and paste to a new debate with your opinion or this would be really good as a forum post.

Welcome to DDO!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF

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