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Lethal force against the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters would be justified

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,264 times Debate No: 97566
Debate Rounds (3)
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"Our agreement as citizens to obey the law to maintain our social order is sometimes described as an essential part of the social contract. This means that, in return for the benefits of social order, we agree to live according to certain laws and rules." -- American Bar Association [1]

Suppose thousands of Native Americans and their sympathizers stormed your apartment building and declared the building their own, to do with as they please, because of an ideology that claims the land belongs to them. What should the response be? It is an act of war, and this closely resembles the current actions of the protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The DAPL protesters are persistently breaking laws with their persisting illegal encampments [2], illegal roadblocks [3], threats of violent attacks [4] and actual violent attacks on innocents using IEDs [5]. Like all other national residents, they are not above the law, but they are illegally trespassing and violently agitating with the intent of blocking a legal construction project [6].

Given that the law rules, how can this persisting illegal activity be thwarted? Arrests are not enough, as hundreds of arrests have not prevents illegal agitators continuing to pour in. Crowd control methods, such as water cannons and rubber bullets, are unlikely to prevent the persistent violent harassment of construction workers by thousands of zealots. If the law rules, then the best option is to declare war against the invaders, arrest them all as prisoners of war, and resistance of any sort must be met with strong-to-lethal force.

If the causes of the protesters were good causes, then the proposed solution would be an overreaction. Sometimes, laws are broken for the sake of a greater good. But, the two primary explicit causes of the protesters, being (#1) to protect drinking water from pollution and (#2) to protect claimed "sacred burial sites" from desecration, are both weak and seemingly ad hoc.

Claim #1 is struck down by the rarity of pipeline ruptures. There are currently 2.4 million miles of energy pipelines in the USA [7], and only about 440 pipeline ruptures in the latest 17-year period have been catalogued by Wikipedia [8]. That means, over a 17-year period, there is one rupture for every 5454 miles of pipeline. That's about the arc length from the southern tip of Florida to the westernmost island of Alaska. A much greater threat to clean drinking water seems to be the defecation from thousands of protesters who lack outhouses [9].

Claim #2 also fails, as it failed to convince seven archaeologists of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, who conducted a survey of the land in question and failed to find "evidence of human remains or significant sites" [10].

The most plausible primary motivation of the protesters is mere contempt for both the energy industry and the white colonist rule of law [11].

The proposed solution has an American precedent: the Whiskey Rebellion. An overwhelming armed federal force led by President Washington quashed an illegal violent rebellion against a tax. No lives were lost in quashing the rebellion only because the rebels quickly surrendered in response to that strong hand. Had they fought back, they would have been slain, and justly so. Let history repeat itself.

[1] American Bar Association Division for Public Education, 2016, "What is the rule of law?"


Thanks, Pro-

Pro's proposal is short-sighted, historically ignorant, radically unconstitutional, and profoundly anti-democratic.


Let's note that Congress has only declared war 5 times during its 240 year history.[1]. Throughout all the many years of battle with hundreds of Indian nations, Congress never once saw fit to declare war. We didn't declare war when the 7th Calvary got slaughtered at Little Big Horn. We didn't declare war when Pancho Villa invaded or when Iran took Americans hostage. We didn't declare war after 9/11. If Lincoln could refrain from declaring war on the Sucessionist States believing such a formal declaration against his fellow Americans unconstitutional, I think we can maintain our composure when a few people decide to oppose a pipeline.

Also, Pro may be unaware that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 forbids the use of the US Military to enforce law or domestic policy, [2] or perhaps he is advocating for the repeal of that law.


Since 1985, the Federal Code authorizes the use of lethal force under the following circumstances:

" 1047.7 Use of deadly force.
(a) Deadly force means that force which a reasonable person would consider likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Its use may be justified only under conditions of extreme necessity, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. A protective force officer is authorized to use deadly force only when one or more of the following circumstances exists:

(1) Self-Defense. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to protect a protective force officer who reasonably believes himself or herself to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

(2) Serious offenses against persons. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offense against a person(s) in circumstances presenting an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm (e.g. sabotage of an occupied facility by explosives).

(3) Nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the theft, sabotage, or unauthorized control of a nuclear weapon or nuclear explosive device.

(4) Special nuclear material. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the theft, sabotage, or unauthorized control of special nuclear material from an area of a fixed site or from a shipment where Category II or greater quantities are known or reasonably believed to be present.

(5) Apprehension. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to apprehend or prevent the escape of a person reasonably believed to: (i) have committed an offense of the nature specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) 1 of this section; or (ii) be escaping by use of a weapon or explosive or who otherwise indicates that he or she poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to the protective force officer or others unless apprehended without delay.

1 These offenses are considered by the Department of Energy to pose a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm.
(b) Additional Considerations Involving Firearms. If it becomes necessary to use a firearm, the following precautions shall be observed:

(1) A warning, e.g. an order to halt, shall be given, if feasible, before a shot is fired.

(2) Warning shots shall not be fired. [3]

Pro's arguments suggest that the code should be amended to remove any extreme necessity and applied to the standard of "persistent lawbreaker." That is, absent any Sixth Ammendment protection, absent the counsel of a defense lawyer, review of witness testimony, trial by jury, judicial findings or review, officers of the law should be authorized to apply deadly force in any circumstance meeting that officer's determination of persistent lawbreaking. Pro doesn't state the nature or degree of the infractions warranting summary execution but does include misdemeanors like trespassing, obstruction of a right-of-way, and criminal threat alongside assault, which is at least sometimes a felony.

What about traffic violations, I wonder? If, for example, a highway patrolman were to pull over the same driver speeding both to and from the grocery store; to the mind of some law enforcement officers, such conduct might be fairly characterized as "persistent lawbreaking." Would Pro's new code authorize that patrolman to apply lethal force? If not, Pro has failed thus far to dustinguish where the line should be drawn when applying lethal force against persistent lawbreakers.

Pro concedes that there are circumstances when civil disobedience is tolerable, "Sometimes laws are broken for the sake of a greater good," so we should make a point of telling police officers that they should refrain from killing people with "good causes," the determination of which will apparently be refereed by Pro.

That's too bad in the case of the DAPL protests, since Pro demonstrates an inadequate command of the facts and history impelling events.


Pro employed a metaphor to justify proclamations of war: thousands of Native Americans invade an apartment deluded that the property is theirs. Except, of course, history tells us that Whites invaded Sioux territory, not the other way around. And census data tells us that in every conflict between the two, Whites greatly outnumbered Indians- so let's ammend that thousands against one ratio. Pro dismisses Sioux property rights as mere " ideology," but it is more than that. The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie gave the Sioux explicit property rights to much of the Northern Great Plains, including the land west of Missouri River and south of the Heart River- including the historic Cannonball Ranchlands where today's NODAPL dispute takes place. In exchange for a peaceful westward expansion, the US was to pay $50,000/yr for 50 years. The US Senate ratified the treaty but limited the annuity to 10 years. In practice, the US Govt only made one payment while the Sioux kept up their end of the bargain for another decade. [4]. In 1980, the Supreme Court upheld earlier decisions that the US Govt had taken Sioux property unfairly and dishonorably and ordered compensatory judgement now exceeding $1 billion, which the Sioux Nations refuse to accept, demanding instead the return of their wrongfully swindled lands. [5]

Pro uses the phrase "Rule of Law" pretty heavily in R1, but the rule of law is a cruel facade for govt. corruption if it only applies to one side of a dispute. The Supreme Court has already ruled that most of mineral rights of the Sioux Nation- the gold of the Black Hills, the oil of the Bakken Formation was obtained illegally. It may be unrealistic or idealistic to demand the return of trillions of dollars worth of property from a wealthier, better-armed majority but historically speaking, the "Rule of Law" that Pro waves about is overwhelmingly on the side of Sioux.

Space won't allow a fair chronicle of every ethnic cleansing and promise broken by the US (Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" is one well-researched survey) but we should take into account:

*The Sioux Treaty of 1868 which halved the Sioux's land and was instantly violated by gold mining in the Black Hills. [6]
*The 1877 Agreement that annexed the Black Hills, the richest and most sacred third of Sioux land. [7]
*The 1889 Partition which removed more arable center of Sioux territory for white settlement, halving Sioux territory again and breaking the tribes up into 5 reservations on the residual high plains. This act of Congress also removed Sioux children from their homes by force to be placed in boarding schools. These children were forced to adopt Christian beliefs and speak only English - any expression of Native culture was strictly punished. [8]
*The 1910 Pine Ridge Act appropriated half the Pine Ridge reservation for sale to White farmers. [9]
* In 1960, most Sioux living along the Missouri River, including the majority of Standing Rock's population were forcibly relocated west to accommodate the flooding 5 new dams and reservoirs along a 230 mile stretch of the river. The Sioux lost almost all of the fertile land remaining to them- 90% of Sioux timber and 75% of all wildlife were lost to the reservoir. [9] The majority of homes and villages on Standing Rock Reservation were inundated. Although the Sioux were promised 100,000 acres of irrigable land as compensation the US Govt has still not delivered. Although the US Govt estimates that the Oahe Resevoir generates $150,000 in annual benefits for local economies, none of which is allocated to compensate Standing Rock.

We should note that the destruction of the Reservation's home town was only 56 years ago. When big floods disturb the bottom of the Oahe Resevoir, as happened in 2011, flotsam is knocked loose- doors, furniture, occasional bones and skulls, and often come to rest on the beaches at the top of Oahe- where the Cannonball River meets the Missouri: the very place where Standing Rock Protests are camped today.

If Pro wonders why govt assurances that DAPL won't contaminate the water and soil of Standing Rock are met with anger and disbelief, Pro should recall how few promises made to these people have ever been honored.

Much more to say re: pipeline failures, archeology & more in R2. I look forward to Pro's response to the above.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, levi_smiles (Con), for your participation and rational contribution to an emotionalized zeitgeist.

Con claims, "Let's note that Congress has only declared war 5 times during its 240 year history." Not so. According to his own source (#1), Congress declared war eleven times (albeit among five wars). Con writes as though a declaration of war is an action of extreme authoritarianism, but it is generally in the interests of the enemy individuals, as it binds the American military to domestic and international laws ensuring the humane treatment of prisoners or war, etc. The American history of fighting de facto wars without constitutionally declaring war follows from authoritarianism, as the President and military has far more leeway in a mere "military action." A congressional declaration of war against the DAPL insurgency would be a compromise. Instead, as of yesterday, the President effectively chose to surrender.

Con argues, "Also, Pro may be unaware that the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 forbids the use of the US Military to enforce law or domestic policy, or perhaps he is advocating for the repeal of that law."

Con wrote as though he did not pay any attention to the text of the Act. It reads as follows, per his source #2:

"Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."

I place emphasis on "except in cases... expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress." A congressional declaration of war would fulfill this exception. It is a key exception for the federal government to defend the nation against large organized enemies, whether they break the law or not.

That is not the only citation that Con presented but seemingly failed to pay any serious attention to. Con cited the law of CFR 1047.7, but Con failed to notice that it applied only to the Department of Energy(7), not the Department of Defense (of which the National Guard is a part). Were it to govern the DoD, it would be completely ridiculous.

As a way to rebut the analogy of Native Americans invading an apartment building and declaring it their own, Con states, "Except, of course, history tells us that Whites invaded Sioux territory, not the other way around." This is less of a rebuttal and more of a concession: Con believes that non-Native-American residents do not have the legal right to their land, but he believes the land belongs to the Native Americans. Con's position therefore favors a complete handover of American land to the Native American race. If the DAPL protesters agree with him, and by all signs they do(8), then this would make the DAPL protesters enemies of the American colonies, and a declaration of war is justified.

I would assume that Con means to cede ALL of the USA to the Native Americans, all such land being previously 100% Native American territory, except he clarified to limit his position to ceding only the land of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. It is hardly a compromise, as the land covers all of western South Dakota, most of the NW quadrant of Nebraska, most of the NE quadrant of Wyoming, and some of both Montana and North Dakota(1). Under Con's legal principle, any Native American sufficiently descended from tribes of that respective land would be free to take the possesson of any house otherwise belonging to a White, Black, Asian or Hispanic, on any property within that land, and to thus change the locks.

Luckily for almost all residents of that region, an established legal principle exists to prevent such a thing: obsolescence.

According to Black's Law Dictionary(3), "OBSOLETE" is defined as: "That which is no longer used... The term is applied to statutes which have become inoperative by large lapse of time, either because the reason for their enactment has passed away, or their subject-matter no longer exists, or they are not applicable to changed circumstances, or are tacitly disregarded by all men, yet without being expressly abrogated or repealed." The equivalent legal principle concerns treaties, termed, "Rebus Sic Stantibus," defined as, "A name given to a tacit condition, said to attach to all treaties, that they shall cease to be obligatory so soon as the state of facts and conditions upon which they were founded has substantially changed"(4).

Such "changed circumstances" would include the establishment of five states of the USA without regard to the boundaries per that treaty, a treaty that was likewise seldom observed by the Native American party(2). Con's citation of the treaty is therefore absurd at best, but he is not alone. The DAPL protesters tend to share this argument from the 165-year-old treaty(5), as they seem to observe no limit to the level of absurdity in their racially motivated legal arguments.

Con asserts: "The Supreme Court has already ruled that most of mineral rights of the Sioux Nation- the gold of the Black Hills, the oil of the Bakken Formation was obtained illegally." The argument is implicit: Ancestral Whites 50 to 150 years ago didn't follow the law, therefore the modern law governing their modern descendants is merely a "cruel facade." But, the argument is both a non-sequitur and a concession that Con has no respect for modern federal laws that are at the expense of Native American interests. If the DAPL protesters agree with Con (and, again, they seemingly do(6)), then it is a socially-systemic disregard of American colonial law, and the most appropriate response is enforcement through war.


(2) Ibid, "Ultimately, many Lakota and Dakota never knew of the existence of the 1851 Treaty and they continued their intertribal raiding."
(3) Henry Campbell Black, Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Ed., West Publishing Co., St. Paul, MN, 1968, p. 1227.
(4) Ibid, p. 1432.
(5), "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands by its right to self-government as a sovereign nation, which includes taking a government-to-government stance with the states and federal government entities. Having signed treaties as equals with the United States Government in 1851 and in 1868, which established the original boundaries of the Great Sioux Nation. The tribe staunchly asserts these treaty rights to remain steadfast and just as applicable today as on the day they were made."
(6), '"There are two kinds of laws," Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe), an indigenous activist, said to campers during a concert at Oceti Sakowin Camp. "The white man's law and the Creator's law."'
(8), '"We are wardens of this land. This is our land and they can't remove us," said protester Isaac Weston, who is an Oglala Sioux member from South Dakota. "We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water."'


Thanks Pro-

I've managed to lose the text of my argument this evening & lack the time to recreate it.

I don't think readers need to consider the worthiness of the NODAPL protests in order to reject the unnecessary overkill of a declaration of war. War ought to be a measure of last resort, necessary to secure the well-being of masses of US citizens, proportional in response to the lethality of the threat. Given that the Army Corp of Engineers has provided a rational means of de-escalation and that both parties are in the process of standing down for the winter, doesn't a declaration of war seem like expensive, hyper-provocative, Federal intrusion? Even if lethal force by police had been an appropriate response at the moment of maximum risk to Dakota Access property on Oct 3 (I don't think it would have been- neither, apparently did police), how would an escalation to formal war have improved the matter? Wouldn't such a disproportionate response have elicited far more ill will for the project now & in future? How would the US identify & enumerate the enemy and by what standard?

I'd ask Pro to elucidate the value & necessity of war making in preference to ordinary civilian peacekeeping measures.

I apologize for the lost counter arguments, but perhaps this briefer reply serves to strip away the clutter of the pipeline controversy so we can focus on whether warfare would be a just, proportional response. I'll do my best to present a condensed version of counters in the concluding round.
Debate Round No. 2


I am sorry to hear about Con's lost text. I will explain a little more fully why a declaration of war would be a just proportional response, as Con requested.

The protests against the pipeline had little rational basis, not the claimed threat to water and not the claimed burial sites. Each such explicit argument is provably ridiculous. The primary motivating force, not at all hidden, is the ideological belief that the descendants of the white American colonists have no right to the land and that the land rightfully belongs to the Native Americans. The Natives see themselves as foreign to the colonial American government and not bound by such laws, much like Con has already expressed in the first round. This means the illegal agitation can not be expected to stop with this recent victory. They will very likely attempt to obstruct the new DAPL route when it is chosen, because it is geographically and economically required to cross the Missouri River upstream from the Standing Rock reservation south of the river(3), and the Standing Rock tribe is expected to be equally convinced that their water is at risk at such a crossing. And, after that, they will instead be emboldened to find another project to agitate against as though they own land that does not legally belong to them (except with imaginative interpretations of the law much like Con has previously expressed).

Why wouldn't they? When they are in the thousands and when they have many external American allies, then they are demonstrably immune from the law. The pipeline construction delay is expected to have a significant expense(1), but, if the indigenous agitators succeed in stopping the pipeline from completion, then such an act would most certainly be a great expense to the American economy. The pipeline would mean that the costs of refining oil are greatly reduced, as thousands of trucks (and rail cars) driving hundreds of miles would be no longer needed to transport the crude oil across the country to refineries. The DAPL would make the oil industry in the Bakken region cost effective and globally competitive, resurrecting many of the thousands of jobs(2) that were recently lost due to the drop in oil prices. The pipeline would also greatly benefit the landowners in the region where the oil exists.

As I have already argued, a declaration of war would not be an excessive response, but it would favor the individual safety of the peaceful protesters. A response on that level is the only appropriate response, as a continuing surrender will greatly cost the general American economy (as I have argued in this round) and the trifling actions of law enforcement are demonstrably ineffective. Con has offered no alternative but an implicit one: the continuing surrender of the American state, as he has argued in the first round that no part of the 122,000 square miles of the land of the (obsolete) Fort Laramie treaty of 1851 belongs to the American federal government nor any other non-Native American. If that is really what motivates the illegal obstruction, and, again, the Standing Rock tribe agrees with Con on this point(4), then war against such Natives is more than plainly justified, as very many wars have been rightly fought over far lesser land claims.

I wish Con the most acuity with his final word on the matter.

(2), "An employment increase of nearly 33,000 job-years."
(4) "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands by its right to self-government as a sovereign nation, which includes taking a government-to-government stance with the states and federal government entities. Having signed treaties as equals with the United States Government in 1851 and in 1868, which established the original boundaries of the Great Sioux Nation. The tribe staunchly asserts these treaty rights to remain steadfast and just as applicable today as on the day they were made."


Pro's argument for war on American citizens depends entirely on the belief that NODAPL protestors are politically incorrect. If the protestor's arguments can be shown to be false, Pro states, then war is justified.

Con believes that distrust and occasional disobedience against the authority of govt. is a foundational principal of American democracy, that the demand for increased enfranchisement has been the the most powerful engine for American success, that our shared survival as Americans depends upon our collective willingness to listen to the free speech of new thought, empowered by the First Ammendment to advance the American experiment into new frontiers. We Americans must encourage movements that debate, protest, resist, and revolt, even wrong-headed movements so long as those movements don't threaten our integrity to any existential degree. To violently suppress speech merely because the govt. determines that speech is wrong is the way of the despot and poison to democracy.

We need not care whether Standing Rock's argument is sound to reject the impulse to kill the men and women at Standing Rock. Lawful Americans do not kill Americans except in response to imminent threat without peaceful redress. We do not authorize our govt kill except as a punishment of last resort, when all other alternatives increase the threat to peace. No such threat is evident in the events at Standing Rock and Pro's contention must be dismissed as overreaction.

Standing Rock does not need to be right to invalidate Pro's argument for war, but Pro's argument against the protestors also fails to consider events from any perspective except the corporation's. There is much to consider in the history of genocide and betrayal from the Native American point of view but let's focus on the two arguments brought forward by Pro.

Pro dismisses Standing Rock's concerns regarding pipeline ruptures by ridiculously dividing the length of existing pipeline by the number of pipeline ruptures recorded in Wikipedia. We could dismiss the Deepwater Horizon explosion as unrepresentative of the 200+ rigs in the Gulf that operate each year but how does that account for the risk of a repeat of the US 's worst environmental disaster: doing more than $100 billion dollars in economic harm & costing the region at least 22,000 jobs? [1] Even so, Pro's numbers suggest a major pipeline rupture once every two weeks over the past 17 years. Minor spills and ruptures occur almost daily. 176,000 gallons of spilled oil was discovered this week [2] along a 5 mile stretch of Ash Coulee Creek ( a tributary of the Missouri and upriver of Standing Rock's water source at Oahe Resevoir). Last year, 50,000 gallons spilled into the Yellowstone River (also upstream from Standing Rock), although the river was cleaned up and drinking water restored within a few weeks, a major die-off of trout (the Yellowstone is considered by many the best trout river left in the US) caused a 200 mile stretch below the spill to be closed for the entire 2016 season, devastating regional economies. [4]. The Dept of Transportation records more than 220 significant pipeline spills in 2016 alone. [3]. Nor are pipelines the only worry, upriver mining and nuclear power plants are slowly contaminating the Oahe with increasing counts of arsenic, uranium, mercury and other heavy metals. [5] [6] Other upstream communities have the option of pulling water from smaller, cleaner tributaries of the Missouri, but because the Sioux were forced onto the higher, drier plateau of Standing Rock, the Oahe is their only viable source of water.

From the perspective of the Standing Rock Sioux, the contamination of their drinking supply is not some remote possibility, it is an ongoing, slowly increasing, mostly neglected environmental catastrophe that must be halted before their homes become uninhabitable. The Dakota Access Pipeline crossing simply offered an immediate, tangible focus for their resistance against a much more far-ranging, diffusive, but ultimately existential threat.

Dakota Access invited this resistance by

1) deceptively piecemealing the project into a multitude of smaller projects in order to avoid most Federal assessments of DAPL environmental impact.

2) when the Army Corp of Engineers declined a river crossing 10 miles above Bismark citing unacceptable risk to Bismark's water supply, DAPL re-routed the pipeline south of Bismark, 10 miles above Standing Rock's water plant.

3) When Standing Rock raised the very reasonable question "how can an identical design be unacceptable upstream from Bismark but acceptable upstream from us?," DAPL tried to force a fast-track approval designed to prevent a genuine analysis, ignoring the formal recommendations of the EPA, the Dept of the Interior, & the national Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. [7]

4) Knowing that a formal COE evaluation would almost certainly veto crossing the Missouri at the Cannonball confluence, DAPL tried to rush completion before a decision could be made.

If the protestors had not prevented DAPL construction this fall, the crossing would have been hurriedly completed right about now and the Dec 4th recommendation for a full study made obsolete. The wheels of govt were turning to slow to save Standing Rock, so Standing Rock was forced to save itself. To the extent that the threatened water supply at Standing Rock is now a national issue, the protests have achieved their aim & the protestors have mostly disbanded.

Countering Pro's archaeological claims is more problematic, since discovering evidence of migratory people's who built few permanent structures is difficult. We should be able to agree that the survey cited by Pro, conducted on one day, Sept 21st, by walking along a 1.36 mile stretch of already bulldozed land looking for bones was hardly conduct worthy of archaeology.
We want to remember that this place, where the Cannonball flows into the Missouri was at the center of territorial disputes between the Arikara & Sioux tribes for generations and many minor skirmishes fought there. During white settlement, this confluence was an important an early station for westward expansion, one of the first white ranches in North Dakota, hosting a steamboat port and ferry line, a general store, hotel, & telegraph station. As I noted in R1, this is also the place where dislodged flotsam tends to wash ashore from the original Sioux towns and settlements now drowned beneath the Oahe. Lastly, this year's protest has significantly increased the historic profile of this place. I would expect serious archaeologists to factor these events when considering the impact of new construction, as 1500 archaeologists and historians did when objecting to the State's slap-dash smokescreen of a survey. [9]

A few other points where Pro got it wrong:

No declaration of war preceded the Whiskey Rebellion. That act of civil disobedience played an important role in illustrating the plight of Appalachian farmers, led directly to that unjust tax's repeal two years later, and played a formative role in the creation and support of the Republican Party. [10] However disruptive, that act of civil diobedience played an important role in US History. How much the worse would our nation be if Washington had slaughtered those men and silenced their voices?

In spite of claims of violence by both sides, more than 300 protestors have been treated at Bismark hospitals mostly for hypothermia after enduring water cannons in subzero weather, but also injuries from tear gas, rubber bullets, and dog bites. I have not found any indication that any law enforcement or private security personnel have sought treatment for injuries.

I have made no argument for or against the restoration of Sioux lands according to the 1851 treaty. Rather, I'm interested in countering Pro's claim that Standing Rock's grievances are unfounded or irrational. Filing suit to enforce existing legal agreements and having those agreements upheld by the Supreme Court serves as strong evidence countering Pro's claim of baseless agitation. I see no evidence that the current protests include any specific territorial demands- rather the Treaties are recalled to serve as a legal foundation for the civil disobedience. Further, I object to any characterization of aboriginal peoples as "foreigners" in their native lands.

As the peaceful subsidence of the protests over the past week proves, war or any lethal response would be an anti-democratic suppression of an important act of civil disobedience.. America is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, the value of which must be exploited with balance and care. Oil is one of those resources but clean water is another and just as important. Our history, our land's natural beauty, our fierce live of free speech are further essential resources. Dakota Access made a mistake when they tried to circumvent the processes designed to promote that careful balance. Standing Rock took a stand in favor of a more considerate approach. If Pro can't admire the protestor's courage, he might at least forbear from shooting on sight.

Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ApostateAbe 3 years ago
"Lethal force" is a set of methods of criminal control that either kills criminals or has a high risk of killing criminals.
Posted by Capitalistslave 3 years ago
How are we defining "lethal"? I might accept depending on how you are defining it
No votes have been placed for this debate.

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