Round 3: chissler vs 44soulslayer: "America! Enough Is Enough!"

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posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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The topic for this debate is: "The United States Has Run It's Course. It Is Time For Another Country To Step Up And Be The World Leader"

chissler will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
44souldslayer will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 05:42 AM
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"The United States Has Run It's Course. It Is Time For Another Country To Step Up And Be The World Leader"

Have truer words ever been spoken?

Let us share a few words to begin.

  • Kyoto
  • Global Warming
  • Health Care
  • Accountability
  • Economic Climate
  • Marriage

    The topic that my opponent and I have been offered is quite subjective, which I think will make for a great debate. So while both of us will be able to freely offer tangible facts that reinforce our position, I feel that a few key points that I am about to make are the driving force behind why the time has come for another country to step up as the new world leader.

    Any team, group, organization, etc. needs a leader. America is that leader. Attitude reflects leadership. Any member of any team anywhere will tell you that. And while America is strong with their military, I would like to think that we should be asking for more than fear. Our leaders should not be feared, they should be respected. The United States and respect are not exactly synonymous terms. I'll expand on this later.

    With some of the terms I've listed above, they hilight some of the points I'll address through this debate. On health care for citizens, the right for all citizens to wed, controlling emissions to off-set global warming, accountability within the basic fundamental make up of the country... all of it is sorely lacking behind other countries that are now lapping the United States. Our current economic climate is not completely attributable to the human error of those with their finger on the button, but some of it is. We, the citizens, stretched ourselves too far and are responsible as well. But those entrusted to lead and make sure our current hardships do not occur were asleep at the wheel. And yet nothing comes of that. No accountability.

    Countries all over the world, some of whom are much more poverty stricken than the western world, emphasize on providing health care to it's people. The United States is all about business. Well, as much of the world has come to realize, health care is not a business.

    Marriage! Not that long ago we said that women were not permitted to vote. We also said that black people couldn't vote. Today we hang our heads in shame at our utter stupidity and ignorance. But yet we say that same-sex marriage is wrong? I'm almost waiting for the punch line in all of this. Divorce rates are through the roof and then some, yet we say that the sanctity of marriage needs to be salvaged and it is purely a bond between man and woman. Man oh man! While other countries around the world have seen the light and adjusted to off-set such blatant ignorance, the United States is still sorely lacking. While some states are fighting, it is a battle they are currently losing.

    As mentioned, attitude reflects leadership.

    A good leader is admired, respected, trusted and adored. A weak leader is feared. In order to lead, one must first institute control over the situation. Control does not imply passivity of the people, but it does imply that the masses must acknowledge the person as the leader, otherwise they are incapable of leading. A good leader earns this through the admiration, respect, trust and adornment that I mentioned above. A weak leader uses scare tactics and threats of violence to scare people into believing that they need to admire, respect, trust and adorn them. With the United States of America, fear is used far too often over any of the aforementioned. Only recently these torture documents are being released. Where is the moral compass for these leaders? Which also only reinforces the lack of accountability.

    However, we have an ace in the hole here. The elephant in the room whom I've yet to acknowledge. Barack Obama. If I were to attempt to debate that he is a poor leader and short of any of the qualifications I previously mentioned, well I'd look like a few of the guys who came before him. However, he is only one man. A man who is inheriting a broken system built by idealistic men many, many years ago and now reinforced by the corrupt. We're dealing with a team game and while the United States may have one of the more talented athletes at the helm, he's out there alone. If this were a football game, it's great that he can throw the ball 100 yards. But if he has nobody to catch it, it isn't worth anything. So while Obama inspires, he lacks the surrounding units to truly make a difference and through this administration the United States of America will remain lagging behind other countries in so many areas.

    Obama implemented his executive orders rather quickly which he is able to do inside of the law. But outside of that he needs support from the team. And his team is running in the other direction.

    Countries who put their people first and are concerned with the quality of life are in a position to step up and be that leader. Those who promote health care for their sick, those who keep their civil servants accountable for their actions, those who do not prejudge their citizens on sexual orientation and impugn their rights... that is who should be at the helm.

    Sticking with the sports analogy, Obama is without a doubt a first overall pick which means he is the best available player. But as is true in all sporting leagues, the best available player at the time goes to the weakest team. And as is the case, Obama is playing for a team that just doesn't make the grade when it comes to what our civilization needs.

    An end to the scare tactics, an end to the fear and allow us to promote the respect and adornment that our world leaders should have.

    As I progress through this debate, we'll delve much deeper into this topic and focus on specifics that reinforce my position. We'll examine statistics as well that indicate the direction our leader is trying to take us is not the direction we intend to head.

    Socratic Questions...

    SQ1: Is the United States doing enough to off-set global warming?
    SQ2: Should the United States permit same-sex marriage?
    SQ3: Do you agree with the US' approach to health care as a profitable business?
    SQ4: While millions starve and die of preventable diseases around the world every single day, do you find it objectable that the United States wastes so much money on bail-outs to undeserving executives?
    SQ5: In your opinion, how culpable is the United States for the current economic climate? If you can, offer a number on a 1-10 scale. (10 being the highest or most culpable.)



  • posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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    Many thanks to the mods, judges, readers and my opponent for their participation in this debate.

    I will address my opponent’s opening statement later on, but I would like to begin, as usual, with a dissection of the debate title followed by my debate scheme.

    Soulslayer’s Opening Statement

    "The United States Has Run It's Course. It Is Time For Another Country To Step Up And Be The World Leader"

    The important underlying assumption in the title is that the US is undeniably the strongest country in the world, and is therefore the de facto leader of the world. I don’t dispute this contention at all- the US is clearly the leader of the world, and this can be proven through even a cursory look at the statistics- GDP, HDI etc.

    The first statement made by the question is that the US has run it’s course. I aim to show you throughout this debate that this statement is simply incorrect. The leadership of the USA is still firm, and still active. You needn’t stand on your desks and say “Oh captain, my captain”, yet surely you must acknowledge that the USA remains the dominant superpower of this century. At this moment in time, the USA remains one out of many: E Pluribus Unum.

    The second statement made by the question is that another country ought to step in and fill the supposedly vacant spot of world leader. Which country could this possibly be? All the evidence shows that no other country even approaches the broad reach of the US in the economic, military or social spheres of influence. I will show you that it is not time for another country to take over as world leader, simply because no other country is ready for the task. I’m sure it would be great if Switzerland could take over as world leader so that there would be no more wars- but that is merely a pipe dream. We have to acknowledge that the position of world leader is attained through joint dominance in the commercial and martial fields, and as such the USA remains top dog.

    Through this debate, I will show you that the USA is still a force to be reckoned with. I will show you that the USA still has the economic strength, the political strength, the military strength, the moral fortitude and philosophical stature to continue to be the leader of the world. I will also show you that no country can even dream of replacing the USA at this juncture.

    _______________________________________________________
    Rebuttal Section

    The heart of this debate is about foreign policy, and the fine balance of power that exists in the world. This debate is about how different countries may interact with each other, under the oversight of a leader. It is not, in my opinion, about domestic US policy. A man can be a brilliant CEO for a company and a terrible father for his own children at the same time. To question his ability to lead his company based on his manner of treating his children is understandable, but logically irrelevant.

    My opponent mentions Kyoto, and the US’ lack of engagement with the global warming issue. Kyoto only serves to prove the strength of the US’ influence upon the world stage. Without the US, global warming was not addressed. Admittedly, the US has been lacklustre in addressing climate change up to this point- however the issue is contentious. Can anyone conclusively state that climate change is occurring as a result of man made actions? I’m sure if the US had been more proactive, there would have been further criticisms that the US was allowed to “grow dirty” in the 19-20th centuries, while they then put pressure on the emerging economies of China and India to limit their pollution.

    My opponent also brings up gay marriage. I fail to see how that is relevant to inter-country diplomacy and discussion. The US is perfectly capable of being a world leader while preventing gay marriage. Indeed, how would the US be able to lead a world largely intolerant of gay marriage while themselves supporting it?

    My opponent questions the nature of healthcare in the US. Again, this is a separate issue and has no bearing upon the capability of the US to lead the world.

    Overall, I would have to state that the factors mentioned are largely irrelevant. There is a clear division between the remit of domestic and foreign policy. Each country determines their own position regarding gay marriage, environmental protection, healthcare etc. The job of “world leader” is one of encouraging stability, driving economic prosperity and conflict resolution through power projection.

    The crux of my opponent’s argument is that he thinks the USA is morally incapable of being the leader of the world because it does not adhere to his system of beliefs. What of the beliefs of the rest of the world? What of the Nordic countries who would welcome global warming, or the 1.2 billion Muslims of the world who do not accept the idea of homosexuality being moral, or the capitalists who think that socialised healthcare is a morally bankrupt concept? Why must we be moral absolutists in the modern age, rather than accepting a morally relativist position (which states that each country can determine its own policy).

    The USA does not need to be a compassionate leader, conforming to liberal morals. Providing healthcare to low income families will not resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Allowing homosexuals to marry will not solve the problem of Somali pirates hijacking ships in high-seas. The leader of the world must be strong and capable. The leader of the world must be the rock of stability which the rest of the countries can depend upon. The USA has, for the past century, been that country and it will continue to be so for at least another half century.

    My opponent states


    A good leader is admired, respected, trusted and adored. A weak leader is feared.


    I’m afraid I don’t agree with that statement. There are many styles of leadership, where each unique type best suits each situation that may arise.

    Chamberlain was trusted and adored. Was he a good leader?

    Hitler was feared. Was he a weak leader?

    A cursory look at Sun Tzu’s seminal tome “The Art of War” will show you that a General must be at once respected and feared. The master must possess both carrot and stick. A leader is not merely to be loved and adored- that’s what mothers are for.

    I finish my rebuttal with answers to the Socratic questions:

    SQ1: Is the United States doing enough to off-set global warming?
    SA1: No, but who says the US should be doing anything about global warming.

    SQ2: Should the United States permit same-sex marriage?
    SA2: My view is irrelevant (though for the record, I think gay marriage should be permitted). The decision should be left entirely up to the US electorate. Prop 28 comes to mind…

    SQ3: Do you agree with the US' approach to health care as a profitable business?
    SA3: Yes I do. How does this have any bearing on inter-country diplomacy?

    SQ4: While millions starve and die of preventable diseases around the world every single day, do you find it objectable that the United States wastes so much money on bail-outs to undeserving executives?
    SA4: In the short run, the actions of the US government may appear contemptible. In the long run, it is vital that the engine of capitalism is fixed so that it may work again. Capitalism has lifted more out of poverty in the emerging markets than any charity, or cash handouts to the poor. Wall Street is the engine of capitalism, and if it requires all our fuel at the moment, it will be sure to repay it in full soon (eg Goldman Sachs recently repaid their entire bailout amount).

    SQ5: In your opinion, how culpable is the United States for the current economic climate? If you can, offer a number on a 1-10 scale. (10 being the highest or most culpable.)
    SA5: Highly culpable- 8. However the US is also responsible for leading the recovery. When the world was in crisis, the world turned to the USA- and the USA delivered (stocks rose 6 weeks in a row recently).
    _________________________________________________________

    I finish with a few Socratic questions of my own:

    1. Which other country is capable of taking over as world leader?

    2. What is the role of "world leader"?

    3. Do you think the US should be exporting and enforcing liberal morals (gay marriage) on other countries?

    4. Where do you draw the line between domestic policy and foreign policy?


    Thank you, back to you sir.



    posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 04:10 PM
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    First Rebuttal

    I'll begin this reply with a response to my opponent's opening statement, some question and answers in the Socratic form and then conclude my post with a further illustration of why the time has come for the United States of America to move aside as our world leader.



    I will show you that the USA still has the economic strength, the political strength, the military strength, the moral fortitude and philosophical stature to continue to be the leader of the world.


    I'll agree to one and split on another. The current economic situation in the United States is not an enviable one in any sense. Moral fortitude? If anything, the United States is an absolute blemish on this planet when it comes to the moral fortitude of our nations. Philosophical stature? This the civilized nation that openly supports imprisoning men and women without offering a day in court and even torturing. So while they do carry the military strength that the position may entail, it is desperately lacking everywhere else. And it is in our current climate that we must put down our guns and extend our hands in friendship. While the "world leader" is the renowned military power of the world, wars will continue to be fought and innocent lives lost. The world leader should be the arbitrator in a conflict not the fuel.



    The heart of this debate is about foreign policy, and the fine balance of power that exists in the world.


    I agree. And is it my opponent's belief that the United States is an example of how to approach foreign policy? If the crux of the debate is foreign policy and we're currently at a juncture where the United States' foreign policies are at some of it's all-time lows, then isn't that a prime example that the time has come for another country to step in?

    I believe it is.



    The second statement made by the question is that another country ought to step in and fill the supposedly vacant spot of world leader. Which country could this possibly be?


    As I read it, it is a debate on whether or not the United States has failed in it's role as "world leader". If they were to step aside, obviously a replacement would be necessary. However, our debate is based on whether or not they have failed in this role, not who should replace them. Whether there is a formidable replacement or not, it carries no weight on how good of a job they've done thus far. With that said, I do see some countries that are worth consideration and could step into the role.

    In my previous reply I discussed the characteristics of a good leader. My opponent disagreed.



    Hitler was feared. Was he a weak leader?


    This is precisely my point. While my opponent stands for a strong leader and supports such fear tactics, the outcome of lives lost will be the same. During the Holocaust, millions of lives were lost because there was a leader at the helm who people feared and nobody questioned. I would ask for more from our "world leader". I do not want to see fear. With trust and respect we enforce accountability and operate under a true democracy. The United States has had their time and they have failed.

    Our people are divided more than ever and only pushing further apart.

     


    My opponent in his previously post has quoted my words but has unfortunately missed the purpose. He labels some of what I've said and then represents it as irrelevant. As he takes one breath and sees the little relevance in what I'm saying, he in the second breath tells us how the United States has the "moral fortitude" to remain in the position. Or the philosophical stature.

    If the United States is not willing to stand up for the rights of its own people, how can we ever expect them to stand up for the rights of others? The point of what I had to say in my opening post was that same-sex marriage is banned in the United States. Health care is not something that everyone is offered, as it is a business where money not well-being is the primary goal. So in a country where they look at man or woman and say, "No, you're different. You're not allowed to get married!".. I oppose this individual as the leader of a diverse planet of ethnicity and cultures.

    For the purpose of our debate, I believe that a government's position on same-sex marriage or health care is just as relevant as it's military. I fail to see how we could differentiate the two. It is all a reflection of their leadership.

    I believe the United States is lacking in almost all aspects.

    I'll now take a moment to review the Socratic questions.



    SQ1: Is the United States doing enough to off-set global warming?
    SA1: No, but who says the US should be doing anything about global warming.


    So our leader is asleep at the helm of an issue that could prove to be the end of our way of life. And by your own words, our leader is not doing enough.



    SQ5: In your opinion, how culpable is the United States for the current economic climate? If you can, offer a number on a 1-10 scale. (10 being the highest or most culpable.)
    SA5: Highly culpable- 8. However the US is also responsible for leading the recovery. When the world was in crisis, the world turned to the USA- and the USA delivered (stocks rose 6 weeks in a row recently).


    While it is admirable that an effort is being made to restore this financial disaster, it doesn't change the fact that countless are homeless, jobless and now without a pension. Had our leader actually been awake, this could have been prevented.

    Both of these points illustrate that the United States is not doing enough to ensure the well-being of it's people. While they are off fighting "terrorism" thousands of miles away, the people at home are long forgotten. We take pride in the fact that we've avoided another 9/11 since that tragic day, but we've also allowed such debacles as the Hurricane Katrina response and now the financial crisis. If the United States was the leader they proclaim to be, we wouldn't be talking about any of this.

    A world leader should prevent, not try to fix when it is too late.

    Let me now address some of the questions posed by my opponent.

    1. Which other country is capable of taking over as world leader?
    A1: This is hardly a basic answer but I believe there to be only a few logical candidates that would even be capable. But even these candidates have areas of improvement before being fully considered. The People's Republic of China seems to be what most people look to. While it is not a lone country, I do believe the European Union could pose to become a formidable leader.

    2. What is the role of "world leader"?
    A2: I believe the world leader to be the example of what other countries should strive to become.

    3. Do you think the US should be exporting and enforcing liberal morals (gay marriage) on other countries?
    A3: No.

    4. Where do you draw the line between domestic policy and foreign policy?
    A4: I believe in the sovereignty of a nation. A country's foreign policy should not infringe on the right of a country's domestic policy, unless that domestic policy denies the basic human right of it's citizens.

     
     


    Socratic Questions...

    1. Do you believe the United States is setting an example for other countries to follow when it comes out that they are guilty of torturing prisoners?
    2. Should our "world leader" be more than a strong military presence?
    3. How do you define the role of our "world leader"?
    4. Throughout history, we've seen many "world leaders". Do you believe that the United States has been the strong in the role? If so, why?



    posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 04:46 AM
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    Rebuttal Section

    My opponent states

    As I read it, it is a debate on whether or not the United States has failed in it's role as "world leader". If they were to step aside, obviously a replacement would be necessary. However, our debate is based on whether or not they have failed in this role, not who should replace them. Whether there is a formidable replacement or not, it carries no weight on how good of a job they've done thus far. With that said, I do see some countries that are worth consideration and could step into the role.


    I’m afraid I entirely disagree. The debate is about whether or not the USA has lost its ability to be the world leader, and whether or not another country can step up and fill that gap. Without consideration of the second section (understandable, as it destroys my opponent’s entire position), the entire debate would be moot. If no replacement is possible, then how can the leader be removed?

    My opponent states

    This is precisely my point. While my opponent stands for a strong leader and supports such fear tactics, the outcome of lives lost will be the same. During the Holocaust, millions of lives were lost because there was a leader at the helm who people feared and nobody questioned. I would ask for more from our "world leader". I do not want to see fear. With trust and respect we enforce accountability and operate under a true democracy. The United States has had their time and they have failed.


    I’m afraid you are conflating two separate analytical factors. We can imagine leadership on a X-Y axis graph, where X is strong/ weak and Y is “morally good”/”morally bad”. Hitler was strong, but he was also evil. As was Stalin.
    Churchill was strong and good.
    Chamberlain was weak and moderate.
    Etc etc.

    The world needs a strong leader, who is also good. A strong leader must wield and command both fear and respect. A leader who isn’t feared cannot be taken seriously. That was my contention re: leadership.

    My opponent states

    If the United States is not willing to stand up for the rights of its own people, how can we ever expect them to stand up for the rights of others? The point of what I had to say in my opening post was that same-sex marriage is banned in the United States. Health care is not something that everyone is offered, as it is a business where money not well-being is the primary goal. So in a country where they look at man or woman and say, "No, you're different. You're not allowed to get married!".. I oppose this individual as the leader of a diverse planet of ethnicity and cultures.

    My opponent fails to take into account that all those things are morally subjective points of view. Those examples he gave- universal healthcare, gay marriage etc are highly subjective viewpoints reflecting my opponent’s own beliefs and positions.
    How can he expect a world leader to thrust those points upon other countries, who may have different morals and belief systems?

    A world leader must not export a certain dogmatic brand of liberal ideology. A world leader must simply exist for one reason- to protect basic natural rights: i.e the right to exist (intervention in genocide, conflict); liberty (intervention against slavery and human trafficking); estate and property rights (intervention against wholesale state theft).

    In all these spheres the USA has been a fantastic world leader for the past 60 years.
    Have any world wars occurred since the USA has been world leader?
    Hasn’t the USA intervened against natural rights violations in Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo and Iraq?
    Hasn’t the USA been funding anti-slavery drives and initiatives, and sponsoring Interpol?

    If you watch an episode of “The Apprentice”, you will realize that the USA is often bashed because it is the world leader, and bashing the leader is the simplest solution for the unthinking. If we consider the record of the USA, it has been the president of global prosperity and peace in historical terms.

    On the international stage, gay marriage rights are wholely irrelevant. That is an issue for each country to decide, and the position of the world leader should not be taken as a model position.

    My opponent states


    A2: I believe the world leader to be the example of what other countries should strive to become.


    This is a great ideological position, and in theory of course I would agree to it. However in the real world, the leader must take pragmatic action. Like I said, the US providing universal healthcare to its citizens will not solve the problem of genocide in Darfur, nor will legalizing gay marriage cease Somalian piracy.

    My opponent states

    1. Which other country is capable of taking over as world leader?
    A1: This is hardly a basic answer but I believe there to be only a few logical candidates that would even be capable. But even these candidates have areas of improvement before being fully considered. The People's Republic of China seems to be what most people look to. While it is not a lone country, I do believe the European Union could pose to become a formidable leader.


    Really? You propose to replace a democratic, constitutionally bound country with a communist dictatorship. A world under China would be a perfect example of frying pan to fire. I won’t even bother to list the human rights violations that China has participated in- it’s quite evident that they are in no way morally superior to the USA.


    Socratic section

    Q1 : Do you believe the United States is setting an example for other countries to follow when it comes out that they are guilty of torturing prisoners?

    A1 : No. Other countries are quite capable in indulging in torture themselves, and have done so far before the US ever did. There is also considerable doubt over whether the US’ “enhanced interrogation techniques” (such as waterboarding) even constitute torture.

    Q2 : Should our "world leader" be more than a strong military presence?

    A2 : Yes. The art of foreign policy is rooted upon diplomacy. The first resort is always diplomacy, and the US has always stuck to that position. Militarism is merely the expansion of diplomacy by other means. The world leader should not however, be a moral police. Each country must decide upon their own culture, morals and beliefs.

    Q3 : How do you define the role of our "world leader"?

    A3 : I define the role of “world leader” as the single country that holds the most sway in creating a condition of stability. Prime current examples where world leadership is required are the situations in Darfur, Zimbabwe and Somalian piracy.

    Q4 : Throughout history, we've seen many "world leaders". Do you believe that the United States has been the strong in the role? If so, why?

    A4 : Absolutely. Let’s briefly review the prior world leaders before the USA.
    The Prussian and Ottoman empires in the 17/18th C. Were they good world leaders? Their campaigns of warfare suggest otherwise.
    The British in the 19th/20th C. Were they good leaders? Colonialism says otherwise.
    The Americans in the late 20th C. Were they good leaders? Relatively good… defeated the twin menaces of communism and fascism, while creating a booming world economy and engaging in scientific progress.

    The US may have its faults (namely VietNam and Iraq), but these are far outweighed by its positive contribution to the world. People forget the good acts the USA does (such as charitable contributions, disaster relief etc) because they have become complacent and come to expect it.

    Socratic questions

    1. How can we reconcile differences in moral opinions between different countries?
    2. Do you honestly think China would make a more moral leader than the USA?
    3. Do you think the USA has been a good leader, in historical terms?
    4. Do you think that the USA was right or wrong to intervene in Iraq to protect the human rights of Iraqis?
    5. Who decides the remit of the world leader? Who decides the “job description” of world leader?

    Soulslayer’s first : Poleconomy

    The USA has presided over the biggest increase in wealth the world has ever seen. Take a look at this graph to see how the past 50 years compare to the previous 1950 years!
    upload.wikimedia.org...

    The USA has been the catalyst for this dynamic increase in the world’s GDP. The US has been the engine of growth for the world, via its capitalist free market policies. The US has been a thought leader in economics, via Krugman, Amartya Sen, Stiglitz et al.

    The USA is the biggest economy in the world, and serves as a massive consumer market.
    en.wikipedia.org...(PPP)
    Who does China rely on selling products to? The USA.
    Who does India rely on selling BPO/ KPO services to? The USA.
    en.wikipedia.org...

    Now let’s take a look at how charitable the USA is. It’s the undisputed world leader in terms of charity.
    en.wikipedia.org...

    Politically, we know that the USA is the undisputed world leader. The UN security council is largely influenced by the policies of the USA, and the US continues to wield this power.

    Which other country even comes close to being economically or politically as influential as the USA?

    China? Nope, just look how people ran away from China and towards the USA once the economic crisis started. Just look at how people ran to the dollar when they wanted a safe haven. Crises show who is still in power. When man is hopeless and in a dangerous situation, he begins to pray. Even an otherwise irreligious man begins to pray… The situation with world politics is somewhat similar. We all like to bash the leader and nip at his heels, but when we need something done- a tyrant deposed, pirates cowed or an economy repaired, we all return on bended knee.

    Thank you sir, back to you.



    posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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    I'm going to use my extension.



    posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 05:28 AM
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    Second Rebuttal

    It appears my opponent and I have a fundamental disagreement on the scope of our debate topic. Our topic reads, "The United States Has Run It's Course. It Is Time For Another Country To Step Up And Be The World Leader". 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 candidates. We would simply debate the successes and shortfalls of his administration and whether or not he has ran his course. As is the case with our topic before us, the topic is whether or not America has ran it's course as the leader of our planet. The merit of other countries being in a position to step in as leader is certainly an in-depth debate that could easily leave two debaters going back and forth with much to offer. So as stated, it is my belief that the topic is to deal with the shortfalls of America as leader.

    With my opponent's second reply, while I admit he does a good job in doing so, he continues to misrepresent my words. As I've echo'd more than once now, I'm not proposing that the US government force any agenda or policy onto another sovereign nation. My opponent asked this question in Socratic form, I answered directly and he has chosen to continue on as if I did not answer the question. 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. We look down upon the Iranians for their hangings of homosexuals, which is an atrocious act. While the US government does not hang them, they still do not view them as anyone else. They have still been prejudged and informed that they can not be offered the same rights and privileges as another man or woman who happens to prefer the opposite sex. And a government that prejudges citizens in such a manner is not one that I would support as leader. A big burly military force to lead us all to believe in this mythological safety may be enough for some, but those who take the time to look realize that waving a big stick in the air will only do so much. We're looking for a world leader, not a world bully.



    Q2 : Should our "world leader" be more than a strong military presence?

    A2 : Yes. The art of foreign policy is rooted upon diplomacy. The first resort is always diplomacy, and the US has always stuck to that position. Militarism is merely the expansion of diplomacy by other means. The world leader should not however, be a moral police. Each country must decide upon their own culture, morals and beliefs.


    The first resort is always diplomacy. Such a great statement. Unfortunately, America our leader, is hardly much of an example when it comes to diplomacy. And it's not just across the ocean or with suspected terrorists. As a Canadian citizen, the treatment of our country and our people of the US government is not something we smile about. The US government in all of their glory view the Canadian people as, at best, their little brother and treat us as so. Bending and manipulating rules to their own benefit, when courts intervene on issues the US ignores the decisions and continues to do as they please. After 9/11 the Canadian government stepped in to assist in providing a safe haven for countless citizens and when the US government issued a release to thank everyone, it came as no surprise that Canada was left out. 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.

    I'll now move onto my opponent's Socratic questions.

    1. How can we reconcile differences in moral opinions between different countries?
    A1: I believe if the basic human rights of all citizens are maintained at all times, individual countries are permitted to operate within their own borders as they wish. However, if the basic human right of a citizen has been violated, they shall be subject to an investigation and possible consequences. If their is a fundamental disagreement with regards to morals, I believe it is the position of specific organizations to intervene, educate and maintain the rights of all.

    2. Do you honestly think China would make a more moral leader than the USA?
    A2: Until they were afforded the chance to fulfill the role and allow their actions to dictate their own moral compass, I would not be comfortable in passing judgment. However, as it is my pet peave when debaters duck questions in the Socratic form, I will offer the honest answer of No I currently don't believe the moral compass of China exceeds that of the United States.

    3. Do you think the USA has been a good leader, in historical terms?
    A3: To be absolutely honest, I really don't. And my beliefs here stem further than this debate. I really don't. I acknowledge the successes of the US as a world leader, but their successes are primarily arms related. Their failures are arms related but also much, much more. World War II is a shining beacon in the promotion of the US as a world leader. While they were terribly late in attending the show, once they did they saved our society from the brink. But their unwillingness to engage in the first place is yet another example of their lack of morals. "Not their problem!" As a military force, the US is one of the elite. As a world leader, the US government has a long way to go.

    4. Do you think that the USA was right or wrong to intervene in Iraq to protect the human rights of Iraqis?
    A4: To "protect the human rights of Iraqis"? Please. The blatant ulterior motifs in this invasion is enough to gag someone. From oil to finishing Daddy's business, the US government starts using the fear tactics of WMD's in order to invade. Once Hussein was overthrown, anarchy was permitted to commence as the US did not even attempt to police the streets. Why? Because they didn't care. They weren't their to protect the citizens. Remember the Mission Accomplished banner? Bush's intentions were very transparent. In the aftermath and to restrict any further embarrassment, the rights of the citizens began to show as a blip on the radar. The US government was wrong to invade Iraq in many, many ways.

    5. Who decides the remit of the world leader? Who decides the “job description” of world leader?
    5A: United Nations seems to make sense as it is an organization already in place. Or a "board of Governors" type of committee could be assembled if we were truly looking to formalize the role which our current position and history dictates that it is not a formal role.

     
     


    I can not attempt to go head to head with my opponent on the specifics of the United States of America. It is a powerful nation with great influence over much of the world. It is and has done many great things. But it is also guilty of much that they should not be proud of and they have abused the role that they have maintained for many years.

    Our current leader is a bully. A bully that, for many years, at a leader at the helm that felt he was above the law and could do as he seen fit. While that man is no longer in place, the people and system that enabled him are and will forever be in place. This indicates a flawed system on behalf of our leader that enables corruption.

    As this debate makes the turn at the half-mile and begins to conclude, I'll offer a further illustration of some key points that I've loosely touched on thus far and also look to some other directions we can go with this position. A direction or directions that I view as far superior to our current position.

    Thank you.



    posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 07:28 AM
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    Rebuttal Section

    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 candidates.


    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 countries?

    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:
    en.wikipedia.org...

    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 mistake?

    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…

    Socratic questions

    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.

    World Leadership

    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.

    Natural Rights

    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 anything 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 rights.

    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

    China : I shan’t bother with excessive verbiage. I’ll only ask you to consider the following.

    Tianamen Square
    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

    Russia

    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.



    posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 06:57 PM
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    I find myself pushed into the corner with my back against the wall. It would be foolish of myself to attempt to engage my opponent on some of what it entails to be a "world leader". In many areas, the United States leads the way. My opponent has clearly illustrated space as one key example of our world leader taking charge and leading by example. These are facts that I acknowledge are not going to be disputed. However, it still does raise concerns.

    The United States government has managed to accumulate a national debt in excess of $11 Trillion dollars. Clearly it is pointless to spend much time going back and forth on whether or not the nation is fiscally responsible. So while it formulates a pretty list to say that the United States has done this, that and the other thing, it is also worth mentioning in the same breath that the United States has extended itself too far. In attempting to accomplish everything, they wind up accomplishing very little. While millions are unemployed, homeless and hungry, the United States is still burning billions in futile war efforts and a space program that has failed to turn in results in decades. While tomorrow is something we do need to consider, it should not be at the expense of today. And that is the situation we find ourselves in with the United States of America as our "leader".

    To clearly illustrate my point of the United States being an international bully, with no regard for accountability or international law, I direct our attention to the illegal invasion of Iraq without the approval from the United Nations.



    The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights and achieving world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries and to provide a platform for dialogue. 1


    The United Nations deemed the invasion illegal as it did not constitute either of the exceptions that it would permit a country to take arms against another. The United States and the Bush Administration, with Colin Powell out front leading the charge, lobbied the United Nations to support the invasion, to no avail. The transparency of this move was seen by all and deemed illegal. Not swayed by the UN's decision, the United States pushed forward anyways.

    Any action warrants an equal reaction. If I punch a wall, ultimately the wall punches back. In this instance, the United States showed no concern for the UN's decision and chose to impose their will on another nation. This action warrants a reaction, which has yet to be uncovered. This reaction to such an egregious violation of international law should be the removal of this body as our perceived leader. International laws were broken with absolute intentions and these decisions must be met with accountability. Whether or not the country is a leading military force or leading the charge in space, consequences must be met for such behavior. It is not as if their military or space program is going to be weakened with such a move. It is just the logical consequence of international law imposing a degree of accountability and having the United States check their ego at the door and fall into position. This country needs to be reminded that they are not the end all, be all in determining what is right and wrong. It seems to this writer that they believe they are. The stench of this arrogance is all consuming and met with absolute disdain around the world.

    Yet because they have a big bad army, their actions go unchecked.

    If we lived under a law of morality, the United States would not be our leader. Fortunately for the US, we live under laws written and manipulated by man. And for that reason, they remain in power.

    In an ideal world, this international bully would not be in charge and would merely be a part of the team. Granted, a key component of the team but their ego would be held in check and they would wait their turn.

    We point the fingers at other nations and call them terrorists for imposing their will onto other nations without the approval of the governing body of international law. Yet the United States is guilty of the same. Only these actions are defended and justified through a biased media and propaganda. The same tactics used by other countries where dictators had to be removed.

    Socratic questions.

    1. Do you think that there were human rights violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein?
    A1. Yes.
    2. Do you think that these violations, if they existed, have ceased post-2003?
    A2. No.
    3. Do you believe that a world leader must intervene militarily to cease human rights violations?
    A3. If international law has deemed it a just intervention, then yes. But if the international body determines that it is not, then that decision must be respected. A failure to follow this decision should be met with consequences, as previously mentioned.

     
     


    1. As the invasion was deemed illegal, should the United States not face consequences for their actions?
    2. Is the United States, our leader, not culpable in the countless innocent lives that were lost in this illegal invasion?

     
     


    If we were to compile a list of specific facts to support our positions, my opponent would have a much longer list. There are more tangible facts to support his position than mine. So to the reader who skims this debate, it may appear that my backside is rather sore. But while the facts that I present are not as plentiful, it is my assertion that I present quality over quantity. The facts opposing the USA as the world leader are not as prevalent as those supporting, but those that do speak against are quite profound and worth your consideration.

    The egregious violations of international law that we've witnessed in recent history and worth reconsidering their current role. On top of that, their approach to fiscal responsibility is downright laughable. If I'm hiring for a leader, I think two key points that I'm going to look for are morality and fiscal responsibility. Two areas that our leader drastically fails in. These days people are turned away from employment opportunities when their credit history is examined and shown to be poor. Yet the worst bodies of all when it comes to handling money is permitted to remain atop the international food chain?

    What sense does this make?

    I see very little.

    Back to my opponent.



    posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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    Rebuttal Section

    My opponent concedes that the USA is a capable world leader is most respects, but at the same time he attempts to guide your attention towards the sole black marks upon record. Does this seem like a fair means by which to judge a leader’s achievements? I’ll leave that down to you, the reader.

    My opponent states

    While millions are unemployed, homeless and hungry, the United States is still burning billions in futile war efforts and a space program that has failed to turn in results in decades. While tomorrow is something we do need to consider, it should not be at the expense of today.


    In order to give jobs to the unemployed, the Obama administration created a deficit funded stimulus plan. My opponent previously criticised the deficit level (standing at $11trn)… does he criticize the stimulus plan that shall deliver more jobs?

    As for America’s leadership on the world stage… well, yet again the facts show a completely different picture.

    More than half of the world's food assistance comes from America. The United States' humanitarian food aid totaled more than $1.7 billion in FY 2007, and our emergency food aid reached about 23 million people in 30 countries.

    Source

    The big, bad, bully picture that my opponent is trying to smear the US with is totally unfounded. We all know that bullies beat other children up for their lunch money, right?
    What “bully” actually attempts to feed his “victim”?


    North Korea refuses US food aid

    Source
    The unsaid truth is that the US is a compassionate country. The most charitable country in the world, according to the statistics.

    How can my opponent expect fiscal conservatism if the US is to carry the burden of feeding the third world? Nobody else seems to care… If the US’ budget deficit is to be cut, millions more would go hungry.
    From an economic point of view, the deficit is unimportant because dollar hegemony balances it out. The US can afford to run a deficit, because people will always accept US debt.

    My opponent then goes on to condemn the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. This was despite his statement that

    1. Do you think that there were human rights violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein?
    A1.Yes

    From this, we can infer that my opponent’s disapproval of US action in Iraq was not because of a moral failing, or a morally dubious decision.
    He disapproves of the war merely because it did not get the token bureaucratic rubber stamp from the UN. We know that Saddam was gassing the Kurds, and destroying the habitat of the Marsh Arabs… could we really afford to sit and wait for the rubber stamp, thereby risking another assault upon humanity? Could we even have been certain that the UN would have given the green light?
    The UN security council is made up of five countries:
    China, France, Russia, UK, USA
    These countries all hold the power of veto. Does my opponent honestly believe that certain countries within the list above would care about military intervention on humanitarian grounds? China and Russia both consider themselves as rivals to the USA, and they always attempt to prevent the spread of US influence (and democracy). Passing a UN resolution on Iraq would have been immensely difficult, and while the power games, realpolitik and horsetrading occurred, Saddam would have been given time to arm himself and possibly commit even more crimes against humanity.
    International law and the UN are nothing but token, bureaucratic rubber stamping institutions. Everyone knows that the power and influence lies with the USA, and therefore the responsibility also lies with the USA.
    In hindsight we know clearly that the invasion of Iraq could have been handled differently. Mistakes were made, such as the lie about WMDs; but the outcome is still the same: fewer human rights violations in Iraq.
    I salute the USA for standing up and taking action where they thought it was warranted. Had Saddam possessed WMDs, and had the US taken a more namby-pamby approach to the issue, we wouldn’t be having this debate right now.
    That is one of the obligations of a leader- they must make difficult moral choices. The US is spot on most of the time… is it fair to tar an entire service by isolated incidents of failure?
    My opponent states

    If we lived under a law of morality, the United States would not be our leader.

    Of course this is a beautiful sentiment, and we can expand it further to say that in a moral world absolutely no leader would be necessary. But ask yourself, do we live in a moral world? Do we live in a world that is fair and free? No… we live in a dark world, full of moral ambiguities and greys. In such a world, we need a strong and determined leader: The USA.

    My opponent states

    We point the fingers at other nations and call them terrorists for imposing their will onto other nations without the approval of the governing body of international law. Yet the United States is guilty of the same. Only these actions are defended and justified through a biased media and propaganda.


    The US has never called an entire country “terrorists”. The US calls people terrorists when they kill civilians for no reason other than to inspire terror. Nobody is called a terrorist merely for flouting “international law”. Is the USA a terrorist? Not in my opinion. While civilians may have been killed as a result wars, these must be seen in context- they were killed by collateral damage, and possibly by the terrorists’ action (using civilians as human shields). The USA does not ever set out to kill civilians in cold blood.

    Socratic Section

    Q1: As the invasion was deemed illegal, should the United States not face consequences for their actions?
    A1: Yes, the US must own up to their actions. However, the USA shouldn’t be penalized merely for flouting bureaucratic rules. International law is a risible codex of laws that only work by mutual consent. The US did the right thing to flout the rules when human lives were at stake.

    Q2 : Is the United States, our leader, not culpable in the countless innocent lives that were lost in this illegal invasion?
    A2 : In part, yes. Though as I’ve explained these were collateral killings that were not intentional. Civilians have been caught in the middle of war for eons, and they will continue to do so until all warfare ceases. The US did it’s best to minimize collateral damage- did the other side do the same, or did they cower behind women and children?

    Questions to my honourable opponent
    1. Is war only justified if it is legal?
    2. Should military intervention against genocide be conditional upon unanimous global support?
    3. Do you think the USA should cut down on food aid in order to bring down it’s deficit?
    4. Do you think that the USA should cut down on its military in order to bring down its deficit?
    5. If yes to the question above, then do you think that the diminished strength of the US military would allow it to play a constructive role in military peacekeeping/ intervention in the world?

    Soulslayer’s Third : America the Compassionate
    Throughout this debate, I have encouraged you to examine the record of the USA as world leader by considering the sum total of its actions. One way to truly see if the USA has been a good/bad leader is to question whether the world would be a better place without it.
    Much has been made of the USA’s warmongering stance, and it’s perceived bullying attitude. While I refute those on the whole, it is clear that militarism is not a universally condoned path, and as such could be said to be morally ambiguous.
    So how else can we examine the USA? Well, a leader always leads from the front while considering the wellbeing of his subordinates.

    Let’s take a broader look at America the Compassionate.
    Source for all facts below
    AIDS: The USA runs a program called PEPFAR, a life-saving scheme that helps more than 1.4million people each year. The program provides Anti Retroviral drugs for 2.5million people; it provides the means to protect another 12 million against HIV; and provides care for 5 million AIDS orphans.
    The scheme supported over 33 million counseling and testing sessions, and care for 6.6 million individuals.
    The scheme prevented the passing of HIV from mother to child in over 10 million pregnancies.
    Combined, the US has spent $6 billion on this initiative alone. Do these actions seem like those of a warmongering, hateful, bullying country?

    Malaria: The President’s Malaria Initiative is a $1.2bn scheme that combats malaria in Africa. 10 million people a year are saved by the scheme, and this is estimated to have rised to 30 million per annum in 2008.
    Aren’t these compassionate acts to be valued? Without the USA as world leader, could we guarantee that these initiatives would take place? Not in my opinion… China and Russia don’t even emerge on the scale of charitable donation, while the US leads the way.

    Education: The US, along with its allies, have helped to train more than 600,000 teachers and distribute tens of millions of books in the third world. The US is scheduled to spend a combined $1.025bn in the pursuit of third world education. This is in addition to the painstaking work of creating schools, training teachers and encouraging female student enrolment in Afghanistan- another country where US intervention improved the quality of life for people.
    There are many, many examples of the kind of behaviour that leads me to say that the USA is a good (and irreplaceable) world leader.

    Thanks, and back to my opponent.



    posted on May, 8 2009 @ 03:34 AM
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    Soulslayer's closing statements

    1. The USA is still the strongest nation in the world in terms of its military power, economic power and charitable status. No other country comes close to matching this power, and thus no other country could possibly take over in the near future.

    2. The USA still has the moral standing to be the world leader. Although its recent actions (10-20 years) have been contentious, the entire country cannot be judged by its leader's actions. The USA still has a superior record of protecting human and natural rights, as compared to its closest rivals.

    3. The USA is a good leader, and cares for the welfare of its "subordinate" countries. It's just that these good acts are brushed aside and ignored in favour of blowing up the mistakes that the USA may have made.

    The issue stood before us:

    "The United States Has Run It's Course. It Is Time For Another Country To Step Up And Be The World Leader"

    I believe I have shown you that the USA has not run its course, because it is still the top dog. Additionally I believe I have shown you that no other country is capable of standing up to be the world leader.

    Many thanks to my opponent, Semper, MS, judges and readers.
    ______________________________________________



    posted on May, 27 2009 @ 09:23 AM
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    We have a Winner!!!!


    chissler:

    Opening: Excellent opening! You established your argument with finality, while offering enough of your own opinion to make it clear about what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. (+1)

    Reply 1: Your use of the Socratic Questions is illustrated well here. This good use of SQ continues to help you to steer the conversation into your favor. (+1)

    Reply 2: Interesting approach with regards to attacking the debate topic. You aimed to redefine it in such a way as to set a standard for the rest if the debate to rest upon. Nice job!

    However, you mention that 44soulslayer didn’t answer some SQ’s adequately. Which ones? More specifics would have helped. (0)

    Reply 3: You take an interesting turn with your argument in this post. Instead of illustrating how the US is no longer fit to be the leader, you attempt to show how the US is an international bully. While this can be viewed as a bad trait of a world leader, it still doesn’t take away from the very real fact that the US is in the lead. You freely admit that your opponent has more evidence to suggest that the US has all of the traits to be a quality world leader. I must confess that I’m a trifle confused here. (0)

    Closing: NO closing??? (0)

    Total: 2



    44soulslayer:

    Opening: Strong response! You quickly open and establish a juxtaposed position to your opponent, and begin to make your case. Your rebuttals to the SQ’s were top notch as well! (+1)

    Reply 1: I must admit that your answers to the SQ’s presented to you were some of the best that I have seen thus far. Your argument is starting to take shape now.

    The only problem that I have is with your take on the angle of the topic. You state that you feel as though the topic is about whether the US has “lost it’s ability” to lead us, vs the angle that they have “failed” as a country in the role of world leader. How is one any different from the other? If the US has failed in its place as world leader, haven’t they also “lost their ability to lead”? (0)

    Reply 2: In the following statement:

    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.


    You make a case for the old adage, “The ends justify the means.” This hurts your argument, as it makes the US look like a careless entity, since they wouldn’t care what they have to do to accomplish the tasks at hand; they WILL accomplish it. This is the beginnings of a slippery slope. Did we have valid reasons for going into Iraq? Perhaps, but it doesn’t change the fact that they weren’t used in the buildup to war. (0)


    Reply 3: You make valid points to support the status of the US’ place as world leader. Again though, the only issue is the one that you feel that the US has a blanket ticket to make up reasons to do things, even though there’s no evidence to support the accusations being made. If the humanitarian need was as pronounced as you make it sound, why wasn’t that the reason given for the invasion?

    In any case, you made a convincing addition to your argument. (+1)

    Closing: While there were a few things that I found to be lacking in your argument, you seemed to have a firm grasp of your topic. You executed it well. (+1)

    Total: 3

    44soulslayer WINS!! Congrats 44soulslayer!!



    A heart congratulations to both debaters!

    INTRODUCTIONS.

    Chissler makes a great point about the strength of the US military but points out the fact fear does not equate to respect, or leadership qualities. (+1) He continues by showing how the US, though superior in military is lagging far behind other countries in other important aspects like health care and various social issues. (+1). Chissler returns to the point how weak leaders are feared while strong leaders are respected. This leads one to ponder exactly how strong is the US if its main strength if brute force and fear. (+1).

    44soulslayer (44SS) poses a question that strongly compliments his case- who else would take the place of the US? His point being that even if the US is not ideal, there is not other country prepared to take its place as the position of world leader (+1). He makes a great rebuttal to Chissler's argument regarding social issues in that the opinion of other countries in some cases is far worse or similar to that of the US. (+1) Excellent point how espousing liberal idealogies does not make a country strong and does not solve the issues relating to various current events that require military strength. (+1).

    Billiant opening statements by both debaters.

    Total points for Introductions:
    Chissler: 3
    44SS: 3

    FIRST ROUND.

    Chissler makes a good observation when he states, 'The world leader should be the arbitrator in a conflict not the fuel.' Very true. It is beneficial to be above the fray and not an antagonist. (+1). He then uses SS44's Hitler example against him by showing how feared leaders lead to tragedy, the inability to be questioned, and eventual collapse. (+1). Great job on pointing out the economic turmoil and making the connection how this would not have happened if our leaders had been awake and then discussing how they are not watching out for their own people, nevertheless other people, as a world leader should do. (+1).

    44SS reiterates his point about there being no appropriate replacement. Although it had already been stated, I am still awarding him an additional point for this argument because it is a strong one. (+1). SS disagree with Chissler and points out his opinion on social issues as being just that- his opinion that will differ from country to country and should not be considered a factor. (+1). Great point contrasting the blunders of US action with pointing out the good contributions the US is responsible for, which happen to be so many that the generosity has come to be expected. (+1).

    Total points for round 1:
    Chissler: 3
    44SS: 3

    SECOND ROUND.

    Chissler points out the fact the US has been known to take advantage of its status by doing as it pleases without accountability. This eventual power trip leads to corruption which results in a fall. (+1).

    SS44 makes a rebuttal to the 'bully' perception of the US by pointing out its restraint on various conflicts and how the US is not so quick to jump into conflict as his opponent makes it appear (+1). Nice rebuttal concerning the human rights violations in Iraq and how that is definitive of a good leader, as mentioned previously in this debate. (+1). Fascinating point by showing how the inalienable rights do not include health care, gay marriage, etc. (+1).

    Total points for round 2:
    Chissler: 1
    44SS: 3

    THIRD ROUND.

    Chissler begins his point by showing how the national debt is indicative of a nation stretching itslef too thin and summarizes this point by stating, ' In attempting to accomplish everything, they wind up accomplishing very little.' (+1). He then returns to his 'bully point' by explaining how the US pushed forward with Iraq in spite of UN disapproval. He explains this example was given to show how the US has a lack of accountability and an inflated ego and how in an ideal world the bully would be a part of the team, not the head. (+1) Another great point how the US criticizes other countries for doing what it has done itself. (+1).

    Great rebuttal for SS44 when he asks how many 'bullies' feed their victims and proceeds to provide examples of US donations and aid. (+1). He also shows how the deficit is paritially caused by feeding the third world and how much of the third world would be hungry right now if weren't for the US going into debt to feed them. (+1). Great rebuttal to the Iraq argument in the fact that a lack of a rubber stamp by a watch dog does not mean it was still an uneccesary conflict. (+1). Excellent statistics to show how much the US has contributed to education, AIDS treatment, and disease in less fortunate countries. (+1).

    Total points for round 3:
    Chissler: 3
    44SS: 4

    GENERAL ASSESMENT.

    What a provactive read. This was a pleasure to read and judge. Total point scoring comes out to:
    Chissler: 10
    44SS: 13

    My judgment is in favor of 44SS although both debaters deserve a job well done for their incredible efforts and debate talent.


    44soulslayer wins and will advance!!!

    Semper



    posted on May, 27 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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    I generally believed I would be cringing after reading the results of this one. I've been abused by judges in the past and I was not looking forward to the thoughts from this one. To see the score cards... I thought this was a much more lopsided victory for my opponent. I just did not have the time to commit to it and even when I did manage to make an effort, I was really getting pushed around by a superior debater.

    In each loss I try to learn a thing or two and watching my opponent at work, I can only hope to apply some of those strategies in future debates. In the tournament format, this has been my best showing thus far and I enjoy them more and more each go-round.

    So thank you one and all for your contributions to this forum.

    Best o' luck to my opponent in the finals.



    posted on May, 28 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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    Many thanks to chissler, he really provided an interesting debate. I thought we were both arguing points we believed in, which is always good!

    Glad to see both chissler and the judges picked up on a couple of my mistakes re: Hitler and militarism being indifferent to a leadership position. I'll have to tighten up my act for the next round!





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