My opponent states
If this was a few months ago and the statement read "George Bush has run his course..." we wouldn't be debating on the merit of other
If you cast your mind back to the second half of last year, the talk was entirely about who Bush ought to be replaced by.
The sentiment of change was in the air. Admittedly people were talking about Bush as a “lame duck” president, but the focus was on who would
succeed him- Obama, Hilary or McCain. Picture a situation where there were no other viable candidates… where Bush was unconstitutionally running for
a third term, opposed only by Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich. That is the gulf between the caliber of the candidates for world leader. The USA is
untouchable at the moment, as no other country even comes close to making the mark.
My opponent states
My position that the US government is not standing up for the rights of all its citizens is to illustrate their lacking in social and moral
standards, not what they should be forcing onto the rest of the world.
But whose morals are you using to judge the USA? Are they not your own subjective viewpoints?
There are groups in the USA which would decry gay marriage as a moral abhorrence. Indeed prop 28 shows that these groups are a majority! There are
groups in the USA which fundamentally disagree with universal healthcare. Are you saying that these people are 100% definitely wrong, and that their
views deserve to be discounted?
The USA may not “stand up” for the “rights” of people you empathise with, but that does not mean that they are incapable of protecting basic
natural rights on the global stage.
Is gay marriage a natural right? Not according to the accepted theories of natural law. Natural rights exist intrinsically, and marriage is inherently
a man-made concept. Thus man can choose, as a collective, who can be included in his creation.
I thank my opponent for his personal viewpoint as a Canadian. I’m afraid I really cannot comment on it, as it is once again a subjective experience.
The USA faces a great deal of disdain from Canucks north of their border, and the relationship seems to be one of both sides taking each other for
granted. Does Canada thank the USA each day for NAFTA boosting the Canadian economy? If the USA decided to take away their preferential treatment of
Canada, the consequences would be dire.
My opponent states
It is my opponents belief that diplomacy is crucial to the role of leader, yet the US government sorely lacks in this area. And through action
and inaction, history dictates that our leader has had a chance and it has failed. The time has come to move on into a new era with a new leader
Once again, I must disagree. The USA perpetually engages in diplomacy and inter-country dialogue. These instances are overshadowed to a great extent
by the limited incidents where military intervention was taken.
My opponent thinks the USA is a big yard dog, attacking anything that passes. Yet we can see that the USA is actually highly restrained overall.
Has the USA attacked Iran? Has the USA attacked North Korea?
If the opponent’s picture of the USA as a nation of warmongers is true, why isn’t the USA currently engaged in wars with the aforementioned
My opponent scorns my statement that the USA was responsible for intervening against human rights violations in Iraq. Of course the premises given for
entering the country were vastly different to the real reasons, yet the fact remains that if my opponent supported human rights, he wouldn’t
complain about the intervention.
Take a look at the human rights violations of Iraqis under the Hussein regime:
If my opponent believes that a world leader must step up and intervene against human rights violations, why does he claim that invading Iraq was a
My opponent calls the USA a bully, but only because he is once again resorting to attacking the leader. A leader is always vulnerable to criticism,
namely by armchair generals who use hindsight to criticize. The only real test of a nation’s stewardship is to see whether the world was better off
without that stewardship.
Would the world have been better without the USA acting as a counterweight to the USSR?
Would the world have been better without the USA’s contributions to space travel, science, engineering and the arts?
Would the world have been better without the USA’s interference in Kosovo, Rwanda and Iraq?
There are many more such questions that we must all ask ourselves in order to fairly gauge the US’ leadership of the world. The auxiliary point is
of course that we must consider if the USA hadn’t been the world leader, then who would have taken that spot. Would the USSR have made a better
world leader? Personally I don’t think so…
1. Do you think that there were human rights violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein?
2. Do you think that these violations, if they existed, have ceased post-2003?
3. Do you believe that a world leader must intervene militarily to cease human rights violations?
Soulslayer’s Second : Morality
In this post, I will examine one of the most difficult factors in world leadership: morality.
I will examine the morality of having a world leader, the basis of natural rights, the record of the USA and the record of the other countries who
could take over from the USA in the future.
We live in a world where some countries are bigger and more powerful than other countries. We also live in a world where countries have different
moral beliefs and systems. Is it even morally acceptable to have a world leader at all?
On the face of it, having a world leader is probably immoral. How can we allow a country to order around or influence other countries, with or without
a vote? It goes against the concept of sovereignty doesn’t it?
Well yes, but we must also consider the nature of the world. There are issues that cannot be solved through a stand of moral pontification. There must
be one leader who can act as the focal point for the efforts of the world against the real problems of our day.
Take piracy for example- who shall solve it conclusively? Without a world leader, there would be no consensus on how to proceed. The USA declared that
it was acceptable to attack pirates at sea and on land, using military forces to do so.
While it is a morally unacceptable position in theory, in practice we require a pragmatic world leader. I believe the USA fills this role, and does it
with only a few mistakes.
In short, I believe the USA being world leader is the best choice from a list of options. All other options such as another country being the leader,
or there being no leader at all, would result in world situations far worse than the current one. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The individual mistakes made by the USA (if indeed mistakes at all), are far outweighed by the positive aspects of having a world leader.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the definition of natural rights.
Natural rights (also called moral rights or inalienable rights) are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of a
particular society or polity.
So what are natural rights then?
Not gay marriage. Not universal healthcare. Not any
thing which revolves around human conventions.
Natural rights are inalienable- the right to life and liberty. Has the USA violated or protected these principles?
The record of the USA
The USA was a pioneer of natural rights. The declaration of independence and the constitution form the basis of modern interpretations of natural
Detractors of the USA often claim that it is a fascist state, which arbitrarily violates natural rights. I hope my opponent does not fall into the
same camp. If he does, I would ask where is the evidence of the US violating natural rights on an international level?
The invasion of Iraq, while depriving some Iraqis of the right to life (ie many civilians and Iraqi armed forces members died), also prevented the
wholesale violation of natural rights by Saddam Hussein.
If anyone believes that the USA habitually violates the natural rights of citizens of other countries, without due cause, then I would have to ask to
see the evidence.
The record of the closest competitors
: I shan’t bother with excessive verbiage. I’ll only ask you to consider the following.
The oppression of the people of Tibet
Censorship of the press
Habitual capital punishment (10k people a year)
Support for the Sudanese government despite the situation in Darfur
In 2000, human rights Ombudsman Oleg Mironov estimated that 50% of prisoners with whom he spoke claimed to have been tortured. Amnesty
International reported that Russian military forces in Chechnya rape and torture local women with electric shocks.
Russia is a country of origin for persons, primarily women and children, trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
If the USA seems bad to you, then imagine how much worse the situation would be under a country that has less regard for natural rights.
This is the basis of my argument. No other country can take over from the USA as world leader and act out the role in a capable fashion. Hence the USA
simply cannot be replaced at this point in time.
As long as the USA is required in its position of power as world leader, it cannot be claimed to have run its course. Additionally if no other country
is capable of stepping up to the position, it cannot be said that it is time for another country to take the position.
Thanks, and back to you sir.