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Should the US take military action against syria

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,965 times Debate No: 37511
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




I believe that the US should take military action against Assad. He killed thousands of civilians in Damascus, many of which were women and children. if the US were to take military action, Assad would certainly surrender, given the US's military history.


I will be arguing that The United States should not perform any sort of military action in Syria

First round for acceptance, so feel free to post your arguments first.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello. I found that, looking at your previous debates, you have talked about this very issue. Why should we NOT attack Assad's nation. There is already a rebellion, and Assad is a dictator. hHs troops fired on UN inspectors who came to investgate the chemical bombings


Yes. I'm passionately opposed to intervening in Syria.
**As a disclaimer, I will use my exact arguments from my other debate for my first entry, as I spent a good amount of time crafting them, and my other opponent forfeited.**

As for your claim that Assad's troops fired on U.N inspectors, I would appreciate it if you would cite a source. I cannot find anything to evidence that, and this is the first I am hearing about it. No offense but I seriously doubt that statement is accurate.

The reasons why we should stay out of Syria are numerous.

----Syrian Rebels (FSA)-----
Arming/Supporting the rebels is dangerous ground to say the least. It has been reported that the rebel faction is affiliated with militant Islamic Extremists, not people that we want to arm. We already made that mistake when we armed militants in Afghanistan so they could fight the Russians. Then they fought us.

There are multiple allegations of war crimes, civilian kidnappings, murders thefts from Turkish merchants, prisoner executions, body mutilation and torture committed by the FSA. Much of this has been confirmed by HRW (Human Rights Watch)

So do we have any sort of confidence that FSA(Free Syrian Army) will provide a regime superior to the current one? And who is the U.S to choose one Human Rights abuser over another?

The FSA is NOT a credible force worthy of American support.

-----Iran and Russia------
This entire situation is reminiscent of the Cold War, although it isn't as blatant as the proxy wars between the U.S.S.R, and America, the correlation exists. Iran openly supplies and backs the Assad regime, and have recently deployed 4,000 soldiers to support the Assad Regime. It is not in American interests to increase tensions with a budding nuclear power that is already at odds with the west.

Putin and Obama are now butting heads again thanks to Syria. Russia has come out in support of the Assad regime and has supplied them in the past, and now opposes intervention . Russia is locking out the Security Council and blocking the U.S"s request for the use of force in Syria. The use of force in Syria would be a breach of international law and protocol. I find it ironic that America breaks international law and protocol in order to enforce it.

Breaching international law does nothing but devalue the U.N and proliferate the colloquial idea of America as World Police. Straining already tense international relations is not something that we need either. Much of the world opposes military intervention, including a very large part of the American population.

----Post Conflict-----
If America intervenes in the Syrian conflict, we are partly culpable for whatever the outcome may be. If the Assad regime is overthrown, Syria is presented with the monumental task of state building. Although the FSA proclaims it has ideals of equality and democracy at heart, there is no guarantee that the following regime will be any different. The same cycle of liberator to dictator to civil war has been happening in Africa for decades. If America intervenes, we assume some responsibility for the product of our intervention, we cannot(shouldn"t) simply hit and run.

Peace-building and state-building are some of the most complex and difficult processes in the political spectrum. Are we really ready to assume another one of those responsibilities? Especially after seeing how miserably unsuccessful our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have been. I don"t believe that our incursions into those communities have bettered those countries. I don"t think many people do. A Syrian intervention would produce a very similar situation, likely much worse. How do we now that the instigation of liberal state building would be beneficial or even realistically possible in Syria? The placement of liberal institutions in Iraq/Afghanistan has been largely unsuccessful.

In the last 10 years, America has already gone through grueling, and largely unsuccessful democratization efforts. We do not need the financial responsibility of upholding a mock democracy while being forced to rule a post-conflict society with martial law.

Why here? Why now? Genocide, murder and other mass human rights violations have been and are taking place in Somalia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Korea, many of which are comparable or worse than the Syrian Civil war. Where is the standard for Intervention? How can we justify saving Syrians over Kenyans?

How can we afford another war? The national deficit is still skyrocketing. Does being world police supersede our duties to our own country?

Finally, being the pacifist that I am, I believe that violence begets violence. The use of force to pacify a nation has many secondary and tertiary consequences.

I will leave you with the words of our own President, Barack Obama.

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." 2007
Debate Round No. 2


While these newspapers are highly convincing, many of them are biased. If you were to compare Assad's regime to the Rebels, who would you side with. A man who kills children? Or people who are fighting to basic Human Rights? As for the Turkist Merchants, the people are scared. Imagine this: The nation is at war. Your and family could be killed at any moment. You are working as a rebel in order to secure basic human rights.You see a foreigner near you. Remember, you are suspicious of everybody. Adrenaline pumps through your veins. What would you do. What is better: A man who kills his on people with Weapons of Mass Destruction, or a militia fighting to secure basic Human Rights.

As for the UN Inspectors being fired on, look here:


I would not side with either. Both sides are guilty of human rights abuses. Both sides are waging a brutal and ugly war. I am no ultimate authority, and I do not know what is best for Syria, so I don't support my tax money supporting another potentially catastrophic military intervention as we have seen in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

You mention bias, yet you cite Huffington post, which is often criticized for its Left wing bias. But, I don't doubt the factual roots of the article. The same is true for everything I cited in my previous arguments. Also, thank you for showing me that, I hadn't ever heard about that happening. This being said, I would like to point out that the shooter was "unidentified", and likely will never be identified. You claim that Assad's troops fired on them. This is pretty illogical, as Assad would have no interest in killing U.N inspectors, as an open attack would ruin his credibility. There are a lot of people in the Middle East, and the world that resent the United Nations. It does stand as a testament to the instability and violence present in the region though.

As I stated in my arguments, the FSA is guilty of dozens of reported human rights abuses, and there have very likely been more unreported ones. Many dictators and brutal authoritarian regimes have risen to power under the guise of liberty and freedom. Africa has been victimized by this cylce for decades: Dictator---War/Coup---"LIberation"----Dictator. If you need actual examples I will be happy to supply them. I

I Seriously doubt that fear is the motivation for the FSA stealing from Turkish Merchants. If I were a member of the FSA (who is likely armed) and supposedly fighting for freedom, and I saw a foreigner near me, and my adrenaline was "pumping through my veins" the last thing I would do would be to rob that person. Regardless, these are the least atrocious of their violations which include Murder, torture and kidnappings.

Also, the idea of intervening in Syria is wildly unpopular in America, (1) and after all our government exists to act out the will of the people. That's what makes us a democracy.


Other than that, you didn't really respond to any of my other arguments against intervention, so I can't really make any further comments.
Debate Round No. 3


Many deaths are worse than a few deaths. and isn't it convenient that it was a sniper firing on UN vehicles? And isn't it convenient that the shooter was listed as unidentified? And lastly, didn't people have to die during the American Revolution? Didn't a second party (France) have to chose the rebel's side? And wasn't it chaotic at the beginning (and end) of both wars.

I respect your arguments, but either way, on side will eventually end up winning. The loser will face many casualties. I believe that, if the Rebels win, we will have a new US Ally, and there will be a new democracy in the world.


Yes, it is very convenient that shooter was classified as "unidentified", very suspicious to say the least. But we do know that Assad's troops did not openly and obviously attack the U.N as you stated.

It's interesting that you bring up the American revolution. Yes, we would have undoubtably lost without French aide. But there is a striking difference, the American revolutionaries were not involved in an Intra-state civil war like Syria is. Syrians are going to have to learn to live with each other after this, and somehow build peace. Time and Time again, history shows us that all to often, leaders proclaim freedom and liberty, an revert to authoritarianism. Numerous savage dictators have risen up under the guise of a liberation movement.

I don't suggest that the Assad Regime is superior to the FSA, but I do submit that if the United States should play no role in this decision. If we are to militarily intervene, we are subsequently responsible for whatever the outcome of that nation. We assume the responsibility to reconstruct what we destroyed. Building a new nation, and building peace is extraordinarily difficult, and America has seen how difficult this is firsthand in Iraq and Afghanistan. After nearly an 8 year occupation in Iraq, we have left behind us a failed State (1), that lacks the most basic of services and protections for its occupants. There is still widespread violence and unrest.

It is my main contention that Military Intervention is self defeating and counterproductive. Mass violence and death is no way to show a people how to live in peace. America, with a depleted economy and large scale internal strife, is in no place to fight a war, and assume the responsibilities of post war occupation and reconstruction. The majority of America opposes military intervention, (2) which is yet another reason not to attack. Our government is designed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. So if the majority of Americans oppose intervention, we should not intervene. There is too much at stake. We are not world police.


Aside from that, you did not really make any clear arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


Since this is the last round, I would like to make a statement to any potential voters. If you would have to choose between a man who kills thousands with chemical weapons, or those who would like to oppose him, who would it be? I will be supporting military action, for Assad is evil, and those who oppose him are also evil, but not as evil. I believe that the US can form Syria into a peace-loving state. For the greater good


Since this is the last round I would like to point out the fact that voters are voting on the debate, not their opinion. I'm sorry my friend but you didn't really do any debating. No offense, but it's the truth.

I would remind you as I stated earlier that the FSA has committed drastic Human rights violations as well. Around 1,300 people died from chemical weapons, which still have not been ultimately confirmed as Assad's actions. The War, waged by both sides killed 100,000 and displaced millions long before the chemical weapons were used. (1)

American efforts of peace building and democratization have been largely unsuccessful. Our attempts to turn nations into "peace-loving states" have not done this. Peacebuilding is extraordinarily time consuming, difficult and carries no guarantee of success. Does America really have the means to support that kind of policy right now? The assumption that capitalism and democracy are the universal solution to everything, is a misstep, we never seem to pay attention to the grassroots. What do the Syrians want?

There is very little evidence to suggest that the Syrians actually want an intervention either. (2) American citizens are largely opposed to it as well, as I cited earlier. So should the American government really defy the desires of it's own populous? I certainly don't think so.

Intervention at this point in time would be illegal. As I said earlier, it is a sad irony that America breaks international law in order to enforce it. Why don't we use the global mechanisms created to enforce peace to mitigate the situation?

Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Jon_Day 5 years ago
I agree that you were clearly the superior of the two participants in the debate, and that you opponent was BEYOND lacking. However, my initial comment did not single you out, so there's no need to act as though that was the case. I feel my criticism of the nature of this debate was warranted, as it was merely the expression of my opinion. The fact that you took it so much to heart makes me wonder if you're not too emotionally invested in the topic. Just a thought, not an accusation. However... did proceed to create a caricature and strawman of my statements, which would likely be due to an emotional investment that exceeds rational discourse. Here is said strawman/caricature: "Your notion that I should say "I don't Know" is idiotic. So the news is just lying to America about the thousands of Syrians dying? " <-- If you read my actual statement, and the context within it was contained, you will see that my point is that I am saying "I don't know" to the topic of the debate. In other words, "I don't know if we should intervene or not". I never implied that people were lying. In fact, I didn't even take a position, but you seem to be sort of slanting things as though I'm on the opposing side of your position. Perhaps this is the result of your opponent not providing enough of a debate, and thus you're seeking to attempt to rekindle it with me. It won't work, because I literally do not know if we should intervene or not. I read the debate, because the topic does interest me, and I'm curious to see if someone can convince me one way or the other. Neither of you were able to do so, although you were far more convincing.

That's really all I was trying to get out, and I'm not sure there's a need to continue. I have no problem with you as a person, and I actually am finding that you seem to be a very astute and clever individual. Perhaps at some point we will find ourselves in a friendly a debate on a topic we both feel strongly about. I look forward
Posted by theHomelessPanda 5 years ago
My response was really just an attempt to make some rude irrelevant comment mocking yours. I'm sorry, but my ideas are well developed and I hardly had anything to work with to express them, again look at my opponents responses. He hardly engaged at all. So please don't go around saying things like "then perhaps debate is not the best activity for the participants.". Especially, again, when you have not participated on a debate on this website, which I find very relevant.

As for the debate itself, every debate is based on a deeper philosophical framework, and in the end most often comes down to a debate on that framework. The same is true for most interventionism discourses.

Your comment was hardly constructive criticism. I participated in the debate to the full extent that I could, my opponent gave me nothing to work with. You said "each source is tremendously biased", which is just untrue. I would like to see a source that is truly neutral. My worldview doesn't suggest to me that each and every news source is nothing but lies. If yours does, congratulations. Your notion that I should say "I don't Know" is idiotic. So the news is just lying to America about the thousands of Syrians dying? GTFO.

You are completely free to post whatever comment you like! I never said that. But by the same rationale, your ability to comment does not validate what you say, or make it relevant. Such is the nature of all instances of free speech.
Posted by Jon_Day 5 years ago
Hello theHomeless Panda. I'm not certain that the number of debates I've participated in should be a matter of concern. The point is irrelevant. My point was less about the legitimacy of the sources (although that was a partial component to my concerns), and more about the fact that these sources were the foundation of the entire argument. That is not how a debate works. You are supposed to present your own ideas. Certainly citing sources is a good method, but simply providing a list of sources with very brief snippets of each, hardly constitutes an argument or "debate".

If the intention was to debate interventionism as a philosophy, that should have been the debate topic. Instead, the debate topic is very specific in nature. It is in relation to a specific instance in which interventionism may be employed, and does not deal with the nuances of the entire philosophical framework.

"Where should I go to find these all mighty facts that you preach of? Maybe I should actually go to Syria and count the dead bodies, since that's the source you found the least credible." <-- that's your job. If you were unable to locate "all mighty facts", then perhaps rather than adopting a position, you should simply suspend judgement, as I have. I have no problem saying "I don't know".

Additionally, I was only giving you constructive criticism. The overall tone of your response seems to suggest that I should not be allowed to comment on the debate, nor criticize you in any way. I don't believe you have 1) authority 2) justification 3) rationale (I could go on) for feeling this way, or attempting to impose arbitrary requirements on me within the comments section of the debate. You not liking what I have to say in a comment, is not a legitimate rationale for suggesting that I not post my comment. It's called "comments".

Lastly, your accusation that I have not read the debate is baseless, totally unfounded. I read the entire debate, and am within my rights to comment
Posted by theHomelessPanda 5 years ago
@Jon_Day I would like to remind you that the debate over interventionism is largely a debate over theories and ideas, and does not require a vast amount of facts. I don't know why you think it's prudent to be rude to the debaters, especially when you haven't participated on a debate on this site.

As for the legitimacy of sources, If you would have read the posts, you would have noticed that I addressed the very topic of Huffington Post's bias. I also cited several non editorial sources. That being said, your cynical view on journalism is warranted, but hyperbolic. Where should I go to find these all mighty facts that you preach of? Maybe I should actually go to Syria and count the dead bodies, since that's the source you found the least credible. Fact is, lots of people died. Is that hard to believe?

I would like to also remind you, that had you actually read the debate and sources, you would notice that the articles that I cited provided sufficient sources for their own information. I cited them because they conglomerated these sources, and were easier to find than the actual data (as depressing as that is). Yet to every article, there is a root of truth. I fail to see how my sources are illegitimate, even if they were, they don't invalidate my arguments, which are largely based on theory

If Jon_Day, feels that not reading a debate, or the sources it uses, is sufficient to make empirical comments on it, then perhaps this is not the website for him to be on.

Posted by Jon_Day 5 years ago
It seems to me like neither party participated in a debate. Thus far, all I've seen are two people posting links to newspaper articles, and then using cherry-picked excerpts from those articles to support their position. No FACTS are presented, and each source is an extremely biased source. Journalism in 2013 is not exactly reliable as a source for factual information, especially not resources like the Huffington Post, and especially not where the articles are editorial in nature. If the notion held by both participants is that linking to a bunch of editorial newspaper articles is sufficient for a debate, then perhaps debate is not the best activity for the participants.
Posted by theHomelessPanda 5 years ago
I couldn't agree more!
Posted by Sitara 5 years ago
I am tired of nations policing the world. Do you want to die like Rome?
Posted by aiah17 5 years ago
Well, at the beginning of this debate, i talked about the US taking actions into their own hands NOT about arming rebels. That should be decided if Assad falls.
Posted by aiah17 5 years ago
Well, at the beginning of this debate, i talked about the US taking actions into their own hands NOT about arming rebels. That should be decided if Assad falls.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sleezehead 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: theHomelessPanda made a pretty convincing argument. aiah never really did. Sorry. Con did much more of an argument than to suggest Assad was evil.