Thank you @whiteflame for your well-rounded arguments and thank you for the viewer’s time to read the debate. In this round, I will focus myself with rebuttals and some additional information, though not in the form of any source related material, only ideas that can be supported with previous reasoning. I will then crystallize my side of the debate and prove how @whiteflame’s justifications and alternatives do not meet the benchmark required for the debate, through crucial dropped points and disregarded material. For all purposes, I will not make a section concerning burdens as @whiteflame has agreed to all arisen points concerning the burden and any contentions can be left to the voters. However, I would like to take a minute concerning the nature of a third round rebuttal, as I believe that there are some misconceptions on Con’s part concerning the nature of a full-on rebuttal that I believe needs to be addressed before moving forward in this argument. (Post Creation > All of the arguments should be down the line in order, so if you need to reference something, it should be equal to your point of discussion on the same matter.)
The Nature of a Rebuttal:
Con brings up several mentions of where I am ‘unable’ to respond to the points as it is a third round argument, and one will be listed as such, “ Much as Pro can add onto points he’s already made (so long as they don't fundamentally change), almost all these points would require new responses in the final round, which he is not allowed to provide,” to name one of these instances. However, this misses the point of a clear cut rebuttal. In the eyes of IRL debates, a good rebuttal will not bring up any additional sources, but will take appropriating lengths to bring up previous quotes and sources from this debate, and while I can not bring up completely new points, I can bring up new ideas as long as they are connected to previously mentioned points. For instance, I can not simply bring up a new point involving the nature say of Europe during the time of World War Two, yet I can bring up a string of values held by the Japanese that are connected to points involving materialism and idealism, just to give an example. If any person has contention with this, Con fails to disregard what I have stated when I mentioned in Round Two,
“On a note of finality, I reserve the right to add on to my arguments in the third round without repercussion in voting as constructive add-ons can be presented in the third round rebuttal. “ Thus, if any point is considered new, look for instances where I will specifically connect it back with a previously mentioned statement, and if not, then you can mention it, but for current standings, I may bring up such points.
The Alternatives Provision > This Is Overstated
Con uses this section to persuade viewers that the provisions stated in the alternatives are crucial to the sake of this debate, but in truth, this is relatively overstated. I mentioned in Round Two that “ Overall, the alternatives represent what Japan’s best interests could have been that would have lessened the ‘impact’ of the actions taken, and as such, hypotheticals are only to propose solutions and not to prove net harm or benefit, so while important, it is not required, though I will do my part to address the alternatives and propose my own to improve my case of the atomic bomb’s net beneficiary.” This point has very clear rationale behind it, namely that the case for alternatives is NOT to prove net harm or benefit, so in this particular instance, Con can use alternatives to show an instance where the action would be beneficial and not ‘harmful’ in his instance, though his reasons for the bomb’s net harm can not be stated through the alternatives, though they can be mitigated by such. As a hypothetical, this is not crucial for proving or disproving the ‘net benefit’ as it is a hypothetical situation. Therefore, while crucial when presenting an alternate system that encapsulates the nature of points presented, it should not be regarded as supreme in this matter. Con tries to support his claims by stating, “ We must know what a world without the bombs dropping looks like to provide a comparison of net benefits.” However, the purpose of the debate is not to compare hypotheticals to discuss benefits, so even if they are rooted in historical accuracy and can be brought up, they encapsulate points already brought up concerning the ‘harms’ of the atomic bombs, so the reason I disprove the alternatives is meant to be a restatement of the issues I find in Con’s arguments. For instance, the reason I disproved Con’s alternatives was because I previously argued that unconditional surrender would have been the only means to solve the issue with Japan, and that the atomic bombs forced unconditional surrender. In conclusion, Con is overstating the purpose of the alternatives, so while necessary for the purposes of the debate, this should not be the focal point for voting purposes in this debate. The focal vote points cast in this debate should be centered around the strength of our arguments, not the possibility of a hypothetical alternate history, as that would have been already mentioned by Con in his discussions concerning the USSR’s proximity and military threat to Japan.
The Misconceptions about Materialism vs. Idealism
Con is abruptly quick to disregard my points concerning the idea of materialism vs. idealism, and doing so tries to undercut the entirety of my second round falsely. The issue of materialism vs. idealism is present throughout the entire debate and disregarding it only hurts Con’s position. Con tries to argue that the bombings were a materialistic purpose designed to end the war, similar to the geographical positions of the USSR and the US. However, this is simply not the case. The purpose behind the contention is that there are multiple explanations for identical actions. One could argue that Japan would choose to surrender because the people wanted to embrace the ideals of communism that the Russians would have possibly imposed, rather than to end the war and return to an unchanged society. This would be an idealistic way of thinking, namely that the goal of the Russians was to reshape Japan to meet their standards and quotas. However, Con chooses to argue from a materialistic point of view, namely that Japan would have surrendered because of Russia’s geographical location and amount of men amassed near the Northern Border of Japan. Personally, Con and I would agree with the materialistic point of view, but also because this is the event that occured in real time. However, the US chose a different route, opting not to invade Japan in order to reshape the Japanese government regardless to create a more democratic society under General MacArthur. Although the USSR and the US were developing tensions of their own (more later), the two countries were attacking for different purposes, as Con seems to forget. The USSR was using material force to get material gain, mainly the end of the war and the elimination of Japan as a threat to their European and Asian dominance. However, the US used a material mean to an idealistic end, so when the US dropped the bomb to force unconditional surrender, they later promoted democratic welfare programs under General MacArthur, which stabilized and rebuilt the Japanese economy to pre-war levels by 1955. Thus, the reason this argument remains valid is because the atomic bombs were quintessential to pursue idealistic outcomes, whereas Con’s land invasion would have simply led to materialistic gains based off of the USSR’s positioning. Furthermore, the USSR did not sign on to the Potsdam Declaration, as conceded by Con, so it is overly clear that the Soviets wanted little to do with the Japanese Empire and were willing to leave the matter up to the US and European backed nations. Thus, by promoting the ideals of democracy, peace, and altering Japanese social teachings to meet the idealism of America and the world, the atomic bombs functioned as a means to an end, pursuing a purpose of a beneficial outcome, and yielded net benefit in the aid provided to Japan post-war. This should be seen as a clear cut counter to Con’s “ they only got to the point of surrendering because of the atomic bombs (more on that shortly), but so long as they surrender and allow the access that ensures these changes occurred, there is no reason to believe they cannot be achieved by other means.”
However, this is further supported in the arguments concerning conditional and unconditional surrender. Con completely drops the arguments about the failure of conditional surrendering, and uses the terms in Round Two as if they were interchangeable, in that any surrender on the part of the Japanese would be beneficial. I will discuss this in greater detail in the argument’s future, yet while the issue of materialism vs. idealism is relevant, it ties into the core of the argument that I made in Round Two condemning and exposing the flaws behind conditional surrender. In Round Two, Con made this statement, “The condition that Japanese leadership all agreed upon was that the Japanese Emperor remain in office, though they did seek to pursue their own disarmament, dealing with war criminals, and have no occupation of their nation whatsoever after the war.” For each one of the three additional terms, I gave a thorough rebuttal, and my lack of indication for keeping the emperor in office was because in America’s eyes, keeping the emperor in charge of a changed society would have been easier and more efficient than trying to replace a ruler altogether, thus by keeping the bare requirement, that would have been the only valid term for conditional surrender. Any other term brought up by the Japanese was thoroughly rebutted on account of idealism vs. materialism, because the act of allowing disarmament, prosecuting criminals, and military occupation would have given autonomy to Japan to perform the actions, and under a society viewed as corrupted from America and Europe, (Con completely drops my war crimes quotation), the world did not want Japan to retain their idealistic beliefs, as prosecuting criminals would call into question honor and bravery instead of people murdered, disarmament would entail security and power, as Japan would not have disarmed their firepower to the fullest extent, and a lack of military occupation would allow for Japan to make changes without the oversight of other nations. Con tries to elude that the nations of the world would oversee Japan’s changes, but think how much Japan could hide from the eyes of America without some form of military involvement.
As I have mentioned, the atomic bombs play into all of this, sending a beacon of America’s ideals (it’s a metaphor) for future changes in Japan. As I have previously stated, the bomb’s novelty, while perhaps causing less death than a firebombing raid, had unseen nuclear capabilities which raised fear in many individuals of Japan. I will discuss the issue of fear further, as Con hides my main thesis with quotations, but the purpose of materialism vs. idealism is to show how Russia and the US were entering and fighting Japan for different reasons, a land invasion from Russia would only end the war as Russia did not sign onto the Potsdam Treaty, though the atomic bombs paved the way for America’s values concerning economic growth for Japan. Con blatantly argues that if the point was to end the war, would it matter who achieved the outcome? The plain answer is in fact yes, because if the Soviets won the war, the Soviets would actually have a greater impact on the changes in Japan over the signed Potsdam Treaty. While I can not provide a source, I can use already debated material, and namely that Japan didn’t predict a US attack for several months, as conceded by Con, so when Soviet invasion came AFTER the bombings, the intentions were clear that the Soviets were poised to end the war and wanted to make changes under the guise of freedom. The atomic bomb’s novelty and impact factor were enough to scare the Japanese people into surrender, and if the Potsdam Treaty was signed one day after the Nagasaki bombing, then it should have been a clear indication that the atomic bombs were the representation of such. If anything, the Soviets did tactically hinder the Japanese, but considering that Con noted that they weren’t predicting a US attack, they had opportunity to put the bulk of their forces near Russia and not in other mass places to defend their country, save for defense of major cities and strongholds.
In conclusion, there are two ways of seeing history, as ideas or as economic goods (material). These are two frequent ways of thinking, so Con can not call them ‘ridiculous’, because they encapsulate everything that makes up the world, human thought and human goods. The question is, in what situations does reasoning behind human goods yield net benefit, and when does reasoning behind human thought yield net benefit. I have adequately shown that human thought triumphs, and the atomic bomb was what forced such, namely Japan’s unconditional surrender. It is true that my argument is not purely idealistic and involves material, but couldn’t then I also say that the Soviets fought Japan because the Soviets disagreed about matters with Japan and wanted to end World War Two to secure ideals of peace and the prevention of future World Wars. Things that are materialistically argued can have idealistic points, so long as the reasoning behind the action is materialistic. In the same way, an idealistic argument can have material means, so long as the reason behind the action is idealistic. Con seems to drop this as he moves forward in his argument, so by restating and reaffirming it now, it will now be used again interspersed in the argument as I disprove the nature of the USSR’s proximity in the war.
Conditional vs. Unconditional Surrender > Addressing the Contentions
Con tries to dismiss my arguments concerning conditional surrender with “ Grant him all the arguments on the need to occupy Japan and dealing with war criminals because no part of this counter-plan relies on these two being necessary. In fact, no part of this counter-plan relies on disarmament, either, though I have more to say on that one. My first counter-plan relies on quotes detailing the willingness of the Japanese leadership to pursue peace though far lesser means; namely, keeping the Emperor as a figurehead for the country and the Shinto religion.” However, despite that the counter-plan would have only involved the emperor of Japan to retain power, it does not adequately state the steps that would ensue to bring change in Japan. As the viewers can see, Con is only concerned with life totals to save people and not with the future benefit of Japan, (but more later). As I have briefly conceded, keeping the emperor in power would not be beyond my position to accept, but the other terms that Japan set on the table I have duly rebutted and that the rest of the world denied at the Potsdam Conference. In real time, by allowing the empower to keep power, he functioned over a changed society where there was troop involvement, disarmament processes, and American court of laws for criminal prosecution. By dismissing all of these only in favor or keeping the emperor in power, Con may save lives, but at the expense of Japan’s future, which would have only led back into a war situation, and led to net harmfulness. Con notes in Round Two that the surrender was “Ironic because the surrender was conditional” but by forcing UNconditional surrender, the very fact that the emperor was allowed to retain power was a choice made by the world and not what was requested by Japan.
On the note of unconditional surrender, Con states that “Pro is also quick to dismiss my second counter-plan based on a single point: that unconditional surrender would be a hard sell.” However, my opponent seems to forget that this was one of his arguments, “Unconditional surrender… the letter was a harder sell.” I was only affirming what you had already agreed to, because while Japan perhaps wanted to surrender, they had terms on the table concerning their way of life, or idealistic beliefs, that the US and the world rejected on the basis that setting up restructured governments would prevent future world wars. For the Japanese, unconditional surrender would be putting themselves at the mercy of the world, which would have seemed like a direct contradiction to Bushido beliefs concerning their honor code, but it happened anyway, so the fact that unconditional surrender would have been a hard, even impossible sell has already been agreed to by me and conceded by Con. My opponent tries to cover this up by stating, “The Supreme Council began discussing surrender before the second bomb was dropped, three days after the Hiroshima bombing. That seems awfully slow for a country that fears having another atomic bomb dropped on them at any moment.” Con forgets to look at a key portion of my argument, namely that “Therefore, the reality of an atomic bomb forced Japan from conditional to unconditional based on the fear of the possibility of destruction. Japan in 1945 did not know how many nuclear bombs America had, but did not want to engage in the face of technological disadvantage.” Technological disadvantage was a major factor in the war, and can further be applied to the land invasion. With the Soviets in the war, their technology was adequate for dealing with Germany, but Germany and Italy had already been providing to Japan, so the winners of the land invasion would have been a result of strategic planning and not advanced firepower. However, the atomic bombs were unseen and unfathomed at the time. I used the quote from Germany because some people were in development of a bomb of such capabilities, but did not have Einstein to kick things off. Thus, when the US dropped the bomb, it put Japan at a massive technological disadvantage, and as stated, this freaked out people in Japan and in the world, so in the face of technological disadvantage, Japan unconditionally surrendered. Thus, I would accept the counterplan of unconditional surrender, but it had already occured at the end of the war as a result of the bombings, whereas nothing in Con’s counterplan shows a need for unconditional surrender. Think about it, the threat of a land invasion and a lack of bombs would entail that Japan could concentrate their forces to the North and have due opportunity to combat the Soviets until more nations took action. In fact, without the US in the conflict, Japan would’ve had time to grow and economically develop to deal with Russia, so as stated, there is enough vagueness in the plan for unconditional surrender where the term unconditional is not applied thoroughly.
20-20 Hindsight > Just to get it out of the Way
At the start of this debate, I mentioned that “Both Con and I have agreed that we (minus the justifications) will be judging the issue in hindsight, and not in current day, so as to best see the harms/benefits and argue from a historical and not a modern point of view.” Con accuses me of an instance where I went out of key to state that Japan did not need a military on the basis that Japan has not been in future conflicts since, further detailing modern day wars from Korea to ISIS. I will concede, I went out of place, but only to an extent, as anything involving Vietnam, Korea and events leading to 1989 are fair game, considering that Con tries to show inherent risk with the bombs in that it kick-started the Cold War. For reference, the Cold War started in the 1950’s and ended in 1989, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to mention wars that Japan didn’t have to fight up until that point, or else we were both off key in instances. Either way, I apologize for the references past 1989 and I will further provide an argument against the issue of self-defence along similar lines.
The next portion of Con’s argument details several rebuttals to my stance, so because I have already discussed the peace of Japan and conditional vs. unconditional surrender, I feel that my main point is already across and I will then focus myself with rebutting key arguments from the rebuttal list.
Issue 1: “Pro concedes that Japan did seek a peace agreement, which undercuts his argument that the only way to achieve peace was to use nuclear weapons. When Pro’s solvency argument has been that these nuclear weapons were essential for peace, that concession matters quite a bit.”
Okay, so Con argues here that Japan was already seeking a peace agreement before the bombings, which in his eyes undercuts the needs for the bombs. Let me reiterate that Japan was seeking a conditional surrender, which the US wouldn’t allow for good reasons, and that the atomic bombs kick-started the signing of a peace treaty ‘more rapidly’ as a result of technological disadvantage. Thus, while I concede that Japan was seeking a peace agreement, no part of it detailed how far into the treaty was Japan willing to go or the process at which Japan was at. Rather, I stated that any peace agreement that was already in planning was hurried and agreed to faster as a result of the atomic bombs, thus nulligating this concession to a point.
Issue 2: “First, Pro doesn’t provide any evidence stating that the leadership of Japan was “do or die” when it came to any of the conditions. I listed conditions that some of the leadership were seeking, but I noted (and Pro seems to forget) that the only condition they all agreed was necessary was keeping the Emperor in his seat as a figurehead leader of the country. “
This has already been stated, but for reiteration, even if the only condition was keeping the emperor in power, it was a gift from the world to Japan. Keep in mind, unconditional surrender effectively put Japan at the mercy of the world as a result of the Potsdam Declaration, so the very basis that the emperor was allowed into power was a result of a choice made by the world and not as Con tries to put it, a necessity for the Japanese way of life. It makes logical sense, in order to prevent future conflict, either the leaders die, as with Mussolini and Hitler, or they remain in power, but over a changed economical and social society. Japan had strong Bushido codes, so allowing the leader to stay in power was a logical decision regarding the possibility of Japan attacking the world to start another World War.
Issue 3: “ Other countries, particularly the US, China and the USSR, would have strongly checked any future efforts to attack other countries. Japan wouldn’t have been able to keep up a strong military presence without the resources they were bringing in from Manchuria, so it would have been dependent on maintaining good relations with other countries to get the resources it needs, which those countries could easily deny if Japan became the slightest bit threatening.
In the eyes of Pro, my issue is not that Japan would kickstart another empire, my issue is that Japan would grow to such an extent where they would be able to properly declare war and hold an appropriating conflict. Even if the US and China could oversee the actions of Japan, Japan would still retain autonomy and the issue is relates to the fact that Japan could have freedom to hide or misconstrue agendas in the face of the world without repercussion. To give an example, if I steal a cookie from the jar, my Mom might notice that the cookies are running out faster, but without an explanation why, I can continue my actions undeterred to a certain point where if I continue, I would be caught. Then, restart the process and continue. How does this work? Say I keep stealing cookies but then notice that there are ten cookies left. If I’m smart about it, I will not steal so that Mom doesn’t catch me, (you can easily count ten minus two and find out), then wait until Mom makes a new batch and continue. Even if Japan were to provide a report to the world, they could hide certain illegal actions within their work and escape without repercussion until the report is approved and restarted. Thus, the argument fails on autonomy and hidden factors, namely that Japan wouldn’t start another empire, but gain in power through illegal actions and would have the capabilities to hide it from the rest of the world.
On the Note of Hindsight and Self-Defense:
Con correctly shows my error in hindsight, which I corrected, and then goes on to make a solid point concerning the nature of self-defense, and in this matter, I wish to alter a proposal within the confines of a rebuttal which would follow my previous points and rescind any of Con’s points. Con states that, “The Japanese have a right to self-defense as a country, and particularly if they were going to be restructured and have their war criminals tried in international courts, there is no reason to deny them the capacity to build and utilize a sizable and capable military.” Here I have to agree, putting Japan at the mercy of the world in long term would not lead to a net beneficial situation, though Japan did maintain a military of minimal capacity after the war’s end. Thus, I propose that in an alternate system where net benefits could have been improved, I would state that Japan would not have the capability to pursue disarmament based on their war crimes and societal issues, rather, the US would set a maximum military capacity solely for purposes regarding self defense that couldn’t be contested by the Japanese government. Otherwise, my points about war and a Japanese military still hold until after the year 1989.
Part 2: The Effect of the Bombs
Issue 1: “Considering that taking the action of dropping two nuclear weapons on a country was a big step (this was the first and only usage of a nuclear weapon in combat and the bombs represented a tremendous financial and military investment), I’d say it’s entirely reasonable to argue that they both could and should have taken a different action that would have required far less in terms of investment and lasting negative response.”
This argument doesn’t hold on the basis that Con is advocating against the bomb’s use in the face of controversy and Materialistic (yes) costs from the US. Con seems to forget that technological advantage is necessary to win a war, just as much as good planning. Look at any example of early conflicts between the British and the French, where one side won because it had pikes, horses, guns, or archery whereas the other side lacked such material. Just because it took investment does not mean that it makes it invalid for usage. I could argue that we shouldn’t have constructed the ISS on the basis that it was based on long term investments and has led to some negative responses from world nations threatening to pull men out of the ISS. However, does this make the beginning clause bad? No, the ISS has led to many discoveries about Earth’s atmosphere in ways deemed unimaginable. Thus, the investment by the US wasn’t in and of itself bad if the atomic bombs yielded some benefit, which I have proven that it has.
Issue 2: “Pro doesn’t challenge my argument that dropping these bombs jump-started the nuclear arms race, so he accepts that dropping the bombs was a massive risk, and one that led to much of the direst moments in the Cold War. If the US was willing to accept that risk, then we can assume that the US could have made other, far less risky decisions, like accepting a conditional surrender.”
To begin, this argument has to be listed as invalid due to the nature of the hindsight mode that we are using for this debate, meaning that Con will have to prove other than the Cold War’s risk that the US could have made less risky decisions. However, on this note, while some people could have predicted the Cold War, many presidents including Dwight D. Eisenhower could not, considering that we were far ahead of the rest of the world in this matter. In reality, the presence of nuclear weaponry in Britain and France is because during the Cold War and the presence of an Iron Curtain, we may have leaked information to our Allies about the nature of construction, so that in the event of a nuclear strike, then the two nations could be adequately prepared to retaliate. The US accepted the risk of the atomic bombs, but considering that the risk led to future economic prosperity for Japan and the world as a result, it is safe to assume that the risk produced net benefits exceeding the harm caused. In fact, in the cities that were bombed, the population rose to pre-bombing levels by 1955, a clear indication of the help the US provided to Japan as a result of the bombs.
Issue 3: “On that front, I've shown that much of the military leadership under Truman was advocating for him to accept a conditional surrender. He chose not to, but it was hardly out of the realm of probability. Simply accepting a separate set of terms where the Emperor kept his seat could have been enough.”
Okay, so in the second contention, Con states that conditional surrender could’ve been accepted by world leaders just by letting the emperor retain power, though I have duly shown that the other conditions would have been rendered invalid. Retaining the emperor to power ensured that the US and the world would not have to babysit Japan for the next 20 years, rather to make changes and establish a military presence so that proposed changes would turn to fruition, and then leave under the guidance of the current emperor. In this way, the hidden argument would not work, because any changes Japan’s emperor could’ve made would have been obvious to any officials in the US, USSR, and Europe. In fact, if Japan were to attempt something of that nature, it would be stealing the jar of cookies instead of an individual one, and would be immediately detectable. None of Con’s counter-plans provide for this clause, and Con fails to state Truman’s rationale for denying conditional surrender, so the decision of a president in this case must precede any ranked military official.
On the Basis of a Land Invasion:
Con accuses me of a misunderstanding concerning the nature of a land invasion, but his counter-plans would deny the presence of a land invasion. Con states that “I have argued, at great length, that the threat of an invasion by the USSR, which was extremely likely if Japan did not surrender to the US, was sufficient to ensure that Japan did surrender.” To clear up the misunderstanding, I am arguing that the threat of a land invasion would not be sufficient to force unconditional surrender, and a counter-plan involving unconditional surrender would require support for and of a land invasion, not the threat of one. Remember that Con quoted that Japanese officials weren’t expecting a US attack for months, so Japan could have easily dealt with Russia if it was only Russia. The presence of the US atomic bombs signaled the entry of the US into the mainland conflict, which forced unconditional surrender. In this way, the threat of an invasion is underplayed by the reality of the bomb. Additionally, the attacks from the Soviets came two to three days AFTER the atomic bombs, so if the Japanese were meeting for surrender, it was on account of the bombs. In short, Con’s counter-plan would have to advocate for a land invasion to carry out the clause for unconditional surrender, and since Con does not condone a land surrender, the unconditional surrender clause has to be rendered invalid to the debate.
Why Did the Nuclear Bombs cause the End of the War
Con uses the next section in an attempt to show that there were conventional methods of warfare that would have had similar capabilities to the nuclear bomb. However, Con fails to mention the purposes behind conventional warfare and the just war theory that he completely drops as an argument. To begin, I used Round Two to address this point via the method of novelty, to a point where I feel I have overstated its purpose. Therefore, I turn to the purpose of a bombing raid. Con mentions and brings up several statistic detailing the firepower held in bombing raids, yet fails to mention that most of these raids would occur by night, in that the US did not want any defense systems to shoot down the bombs. However, in doing so, visibility was significantly decreased and the purpose of the bombings was to hit a military center, not to utterly destroy a city. According to the just war theory, one nation can not harm innocent civilians, so to follow the code, the US attacked Japanese military bases in order to weaken the military. Any harm caused to the civilians was either a result of the bomb’s inaccuracy or the fact that there were so many over an even space. Nonetheless, the difference between the firebombing and Hiroshima was that the bomb was targeted at a civilian center and any military officials in the city could not have shot down the bomb. Additionally, the attack occurred in broad daylight, and the reaction was instantaneous. The bomb was dropped at a certain location, for the matter of Hiroshima, it was dropped in a bridge near the city’s port. Yet this is circumventing the point. If the goal of the just war theory is to prevent civilian death, which Con completely drops, then why is it justified and beneficial to drop the bombs? As I have presented throughout Rounds 1 and 2, civilians actively participated in the war, kids aged 15 through 18 would embark on kamikaze missions against the Allies near Iwo Jima and other islands. In truth, every civilian could be considered a member of war because they were told and armed in the event of an invasion, the Japanese government commanded it. This is also where the clause of honorable suicide comes into play for women and children who didn’t want to see their children killed or abused, as noted in Round 2. Thus, by dropping the bomb, we were killing innocent people, but they were members of war in many instances, even the children. However, Con absolutely disregards my just war clause, so I can only assume that he is okay with the bombings, though there could have been ‘more beneficial’ ways to end the war without losing life. To restate my thesis for the just war clause, “Here is a concession early on and that is seen throughout history, winners never have to be accused of war crimes because they (Allies) are the victors of the conflit. Nevertheless, it stands to be reasoned that the Japanese killed citizens of other nations and of their own throughout the Second World War, so it must be assumed that (a) the just war theory only applies to the losers or (b) the just war theory applies to everyone but is frequently broken without repercussion. I think Con will more likely agree with definition B in this instance, so the major question I have for Con is, “If the atomic bomb violated the just war theory by killing citizens, how is this distinguishable from war crimes that the Japanese and Axis powers undertook?” Keep in mind that Con will have to reject this point, but as he completely dropped this point, it would be bad form to state that it didn’t exist, though he may try to disprove it later in his arguments. In Round Two, I examined the war crimes of the Japanese as a blanket for justifying America’s actions, but I have now extended it further to classify the civilians as war personnel, so Con has a significant amount of work to disprove this thesis.
In conclusion to this section, my opponent states, “Pro can argue all he wants that this is more conventional, but it's still clearly more destructive, and much as Pro argues that the remaining 4 cities were still meaningful targets, he ignores the fact that this severely limits the effectiveness of nuclear weapons. Other weapons could hit a larger variety of targets and inflict more damage.” Here, Con seems to advocate more damage and destruction using conventional warfare, but this was not the purpose of the bombs or any conventional warfare! The atomic bombs were dropped to force the unconditional surrender necessary to rebuild the Japanese economy and were not designed to outright kill citizens. In fact, Hiroshima was more of a show of force, since half of the population had evacuated due to the frequent bombings on the city. In other words, the four cities were meaningful targets if the Japanese still refused surrender, but the bombs weren’t designed to outright kill, they were designed to outright end the war with Japan, any death that occured would’ve been one step to achieving a greater good. Con then states that Japan did not warrant the bombs significant to unconditional surrender, but considering that they immediately convened a meeting within three days to discuss surrender and quotes from the Japanese were appalled at the bomb’s capabilities, unconditional surrender was the first clause on the table.
More Issues > More Rebuttals:
Issue 1 > To Answer Some Questions: I use the metaphor that the bomb was a representation of ideals, and Con proposes some solid questions that need answering listed as such, “ This seems like an extension on the idealism argument, which doesn’t provide any meaningful support to this point. What does it mean that the bomb is a representation of ideals? Why is this bomb a representation of ideals, while all other bombs are not? This argument is absolutely non-functional without answers to these questions.”
Answer to the First Question: When I stated that the bomb was a representation of ideals, I meant it as a metaphor, namely that by dropping the atomic bombs, Japan was forced into unconditional surrender, which allowed America and the world to impose their idealisms to change Japanese culture, most notably in the nature of Bushido, honorable suicide, and dignity until death clauses. Without the bomb, America would have been hindered by Russia’s wants out of Japan at the end of the war, and despite Russia not signing the Potsdam Declaration, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Russia would want compensation from Japan for the loss of life it would’ve taken to defeat Japan.
Answer to the Second Question: The bomb is a representation of ideals for the events that came after the dropping. Namely, the surrender of Japan authorized its use for the term of “a bomb of ideals’ because the novelty of the bomb and its capabilities were enough to change Japan after its surrender because of them.
“In that regard, it represents the same things all bombs represent: destruction. If that’s an ideal, then all bombs embody it.” Nice one, appreciate the humor! (Just for a joke, irrelevant to the debate, we shouldn’t curse ever, if you saw what happened to Japan after the a-bomb, think about the destruction that would ensue with an f-bomb.)
The Basis of Novelty and the Unprecedented:
In my Round Two arguments, I made statements concerning the novelty of the bomb, which Con has taken lengths to disprove, and the first major plank is, “He argues that the world had never seen an atomic bomb before. His only support for this is a quote by Heisenberg about German physicists being unable to manufacture atomic bombs, which has nothing to do with Japan and its perception of nuclear technology. Remember, I’ve already shown (and Pro has conceded) that nuclear weapons were far from the most damaging experiences that Japan suffered from the US, particularly as compared with the firebombing of Tokyo. Their novelty alone is in no way linked to Japan’s decision to unconditionally surrender.” To reiterate, the rationale behind the German physicists is because as I will concede, nations weren’t terribly far off of constructing or harnessing the nuclear capabilities of such a bomb. Heck, the Russians had already developed a plausible shall for containing a bomb of nuclear proportions. However, only the US had Albert Einstein, so our bombs were past the prototype state and fully functional and capable, whereas the rest of the world was not so. In truth, the world had not seen an atomic bomb, so while they knew perhaps of its capabilities, they could not have predicted what would come of a location when a bomb of its magnitude was dropped. I will continue my assent on that the nuclear weapons were the most damaging experiences that Japan suffered from the US, so shouldn’t that be a basis for the unconditional surrender? If not the novelty, the technological disadvantage the Japanese had in relation to the bomb only heightened after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Con further mentions, “t it took the Japanese leadership three days to meet and discuss surrender, despite the staggering novelty of the bombing of Hiroshima. And that’s not particularly hard to believe because “Japan had a nuclear weapons program.” To begin, time has to be taken out of context, because Con does not provide the location of the ranked officials or their position at the time of bombing. Heck, some of them could’ve been close to fighting the Soviets in Northern Japan. Second, although it interests me that Japan had a nuclear weapons program, they had never been subjected or been the subject of a nuclear bomb, so the appallment at the nuclear bomb was well-founded on the basis of novelty and destructive capabilities alone. If I recall, one senior Japanese commander quoted from Round 2, “The city of Hiroshima has been leveled by one bomb.” indicating surprise or shock. Finally, Con makes a datacal error, but I did not fully explain it. Con states, “ Even Pro’s argument that the Japanese sent out pamphlets means that they were at least somewhat prepared for a nuclear attack, even if that preparation fell short, and showing concern for the effect of those bombs on their people doesn’t equate to a willingness to surrender.” I will clarify for my opponent, the pamphlets were sent out the day after the Hiroshima Strike to major Japanese cities on August the 7th, so they were not sent out pre-bombing as whiteflame suggests, but post bombing, so this is simply a matter of clarifications. In conclusion, the failure of response to the novelty of the bombing prompted a similar strike which then forced the unconditional surrender of the Japanese, and the novelty of the bomb lowered morale in Japanese citizens. This awoke the Japanese government to try to take steps to protect its citizens with pamphlets with instructions for similar nuclear cases, and kick-started the meeting that would be later used to negotiate the surrender of the Japanese Empire.
The Timing of the Meeting and the Potsdam Declaration:
Con uses this section to attempt to define Russia as the primary reason for the calling of the meeting, however, proximity has nothing to do with pressure or the act of war on a nation, as Con fails to detail what was exactly brought up in the meeting, though what history can amass is that Japan surrendered just one day later. Perhaps this was because of Russia, but Pro begs to differ on account of a wartime situation. Yes, the Soviets invaded Japan, but keep in mind, they did this after the bombing, so the bombing should, as I state in Round Two, be held in higher esteem. The Soviets took action on Japan knowing that they would emerge victorious as a result of the bombs. While I can not provide sources, it should be abundantly clear that the bombs were the cause, and the Soviet invasion was the effect. Con can argue that they were amassing on the border, but they just as easily could have been defending themselves against a future attack from the Japanese front. As Con mentions, Japan wanted Russia on their side, but distrust led to conflict, and fueled by the technological advance of the atomic bomb, the meeting would have most likely have dealt with the effect of the bomb on the current wartime situation, namely the arrival of the USSR. However, Con completely drops that Russia joined AFTER the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was dropped, so we have to hold the bombs in higher esteem and not confuse any events with nuance.
The Keys to Con’s Solvency:
The Targeting of Civilians
In this section, Con perhaps makes a vague reference to my just war theory claim in Round Two, but this argument is still lacking. Con states that, “Pro grants that “[i]t would be wrong to compare civilian deaths to military deaths”, yet he continues to do just that, comparing soldiers lost in D-Day to civilians lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” As previously mentioned, we have to consider the civilians in Nagasaki and Hiroshima equivalent to military personnel on the basis that they had authorization from the Japanese government to perform acts of illegal warfare such as the killing of war prisoners and kamikaze. Con also drops my D-Day justifications, which means that my claim justifying D-Day as a valid comparison to a land invasion still holds in the context of the debate. While Con is adamant about Russia’s disinvolvement in his counterplans, this does not change the matter that the counterplan to achieve surrender has to have some action that causes such, and the threat of action is not the follow through of action, thus, “He would have to show that the men that would die is less than the atomic bomb or provides greater net benefit, and in failing to do so, whiteflame fails the burden of the debate, namely that Con would have to “propose a wartime situation without atomic bombs with similar capabilities to the atomic bombs.” The act of surrender has to be caused by something, and when there is no cause for surrender, namely when Con denies the possibility of a Russian invasion, then Japan is no longer under attack and can systematically build up their army during a period of restraint.
In conclusion to the section, Con tries to address part of the just war theory without identifying it, when he states that, “Remember, Pro wants this debate to be chiefly focused on outcomes for the US and Japan. That means that the US owning a pair of major war crimes outweighs any war crimes the Soviets could have committed during an invasion. And, unlike an invasion, the two atomic bombs directly targeted civilians. Doing so is far more dehumanizing than any invasion.” However, I have already addressed it and proved that the civilians were on par with war generals and shared their same corrupted idealistic beliefs. Thus, the atomic bomb committed minimal moral harm, and the destruction sustained was not as dehumanizing as the inaccuracy of a bombing raid in the nighttime. Thus, I have not dropped the point, it had already been addressed, and Con is still left to prove why civilians are not on par with wartime soldiers and why their inhumane actions are somehow justified and net beneficial.
2. What the Soviet Threat Meant to the Japanese
In this section, Con offers a step by step process, so for each one, I will provide a step by step rebuttal and prove how his case leads to an invalid conclusion.
“Pro concedes that the Japanese were actively seeking diplomacy with the USSR, which means Japan had a strong, vested interest in seeking peace with the USSR.”
This is incorrect, seeking diplomacy is not similar to seeking peace. If anything, Japan did not want Russia to enter the war against them, so they were not seeking peace, they were seeking stability and consensual agreement. Peace would entail that they would no longer fight each other, and while Japan would’ve wanted that, they knew Russia would leave open doors for war on the side of the Allies, so Japan was seeking a peace-fire agreement, and not peace itself.
“The USSR was the only major power who wasn’t involved in drafting the Potsdam Declaration. It did not sign onto the document that stated that Japan must surrender unconditionally, which meant that Japan held out some hope that the USSR would allow for a conditional surrender that was more favorable to them.”
Earlier in Round Three, Con concedes that France did not sign on to the Potsdam Declaration, so this is either false or misconstrued. Additionally, achieving conditional surrender with Russia would not have automatically granted surrender to the entirety of the US and European backed nations, as if Japan were to conditionally surrender, the US would be quick to decline and still declare an act of war on the Japanese people.
“Considering just how much military hardware and personnel they used, that kind of time was necessary. So, clearly, the USSR had been planning to attack for quite some time, and were stringing the Japanese diplomats along while they amassed their forces.”
In this case, however, the Japanese had some form of predicting a Soviet attack. Remember, the Japanese did not expect a US invasion for months, so while they could forsee the Soviet’s strategy, they could not have predicted the shock-and-awe of the atomic bombs.
“Contrary to Pro’s argument, attacking from two sides of the same country tends to cause quite a few losses, particularly if that country is a chain of islands, which makes transporting troops a little more difficult. The Soviets were prepared to launch an invasion of Japan from the north (sorry, I said “east” last round), while the US was assaulting Japan from the south.”
In this instance, Con is still left to prove how a greater loss of life was more beneficial. Undoubtedly, attacking two sides of one country is strategically wise and does lead to many losses, but Con fails to detail how this would lead to the war’s end without displacing say 50% of Japan’s residents and further killing the population in major cities along the path to Tokyo.
““Most of Japan’s best troops had been shifted to the southern part of the home islands. Japan’s military had correctly guessed that the likely first target of an American invasion would be the southernmost island of Kyushu. The once proud Kwangtung army in Manchuria, for example, was a shell of its former self because its best units had been shifted away to defend Japan itself.”
At best, Con can show here that a Soviet invasion was tactically to their advantage, but this in now way shows how this causes less life losses or is more net beneficial to the Japanese economy than the atomic bombs. Rather than displacing citizens, we displayed a show of force to Japan, which eliminated the need to waste Russian and American lives any further than what we had already suffered in the Pacific Theatre. By dropping the bombs, America was ending the war sooner and according to American idealism.
““At a single stroke, all of Japan’s options evaporated. The Soviet invasion was strategically decisive — it foreclosed both of Japan’s options [diplomacy with the USSR or fighting an entrenched battle with the Americans on Kyushu] — while the bombing of Hiroshima (which foreclosed neither) was not.”
To sum up this section, Con painstakingly tries to argue that the Soviet invasion would have been more humane, yet this seems to show that the bombings were unjustified, but this is not the purpose of the debate. The purpose of the debate is to expose the net harms and benefits of the bombings, and as I stated at the top of Round One, even if events were somehow unjustified, “They can still be net beneficial.” In short, Con is attacking the wrong aspect of the bombs, even I could agree that the first bombing was not as justified as the second one, but that does not exclude from the basis that the atomic bombs provided net benefit in ending the war, forcing unconditional surrender, which in turn led to the complete restructuring of Japanese idealism and their economy, which already succeeded in its efforts by the year 1955. While the Soviets tactically hindered Japanese operations, it in no way forced surrender, only starved the Japanese of resources and men, whereas the atomic bombs took care of the situation in less than a total span of four days. By a matter of efficiency, the bombs were beneficial in this regard, and if Con wants to expose the net harms of the bombs, he is going to have to do more than indirectly label it as unjustified.
In this debate, I have examined the pitfalls with Con’s alternatives, which he claims to be essential to his portion of the debate, but is vague at its heart. Thus, I shall examine the two counterpoints one final time and conclude this debate for the Affirmative.
I have extensively argued against the notion of a conditional surrender, but to fully address the failures of the alternate system, viewers need to see the actual effects in real time. According to many sources brought up by @whiteflame and I during the course of this debate, the US was extremely adamant about only having unconditional surrender on the table, and although this is a hypothetical, it has to be rooted according to Con “in historical accuracy.” Historically, the US would have never agreed to a conditional surrender regardless (save the rule of the current emperor) of any offers the Japanese put on the table. In order to maintain American idealism, Con tries to show that America could have taken charge in demilitarizing, prosecuting war criminals, and obtaining a military presence, but under a conditional surrender, Japan would have had the autonomy to renegotiate terms with the United States concerning the world’s actions, and at the end of a bloody World War, no nation wanted strings attached with the net benefit of reshaping the world to its modern day form. Undoubtedly, a conditional surrender would have saved more lives, but it was not in the interests of the world to accept such terms, especially since the US and the USSR clearly had an upper hand and were dominating in the appeal of surrender terms, so if the US dropped out the conditional surrender clause, than the entire possibility drops as a result. Con fails to address this regard, and Pro maintains that conditional surrender would have never solved the issue in the slightest.
Instead of addressing the nature of unconditional surrender, as Con seems to assert and I have already agreed to under direct and forseeable terms, I will instead focus on the key to Con’s argument for the justifications behind the unconditional surrender, “It’s been Pro’s assertion throughout this debate that the atomic bombs acted as some direct means to force them to surrender. However, Japan was already out of options.” The option still holds, and the Affirmative case will finally state that the atomic bombs were the nail in the coffin, demolishing the hope that Japan would hold out, even the one nation of Germany destroyed the three nations of Belgium, Britain, and France during the early portions of the World War, so it is not unreasonable to apply the same mindset to Japan. In the actions of dropping the atomic bombs, not only was Japan short on numbers, they had been shown in a show of force that they were at a technological disadvantage. Con states that Japan could have signed on earlier and avoided the actions entirely, but hope is what kept Japan moving, and as noted in Round One, “I am pleased to have the honour of having been chosen as a member of a Special Attack Force that is on its way into battle, but I cannot help crying when I think of you, Mum. When I reflect on the hopes you had for my future ... I feel so sad that I am going to die without doing anything to bring you joy.”
In conclusion, Con’s counter-plans have not solved for anything and do not mitigate the ‘harms’ caused by the atomic bombs, presenting cases that are not rooted in historical accuracy or which would have had the capacity to function without some form of action. Con’s arguments are centered in vagueness, and rely on supposed threats and fake diplomacy on the part of Russia to uphold his points, without actually attacking the harms of the bombs besides the civilians clause, which I have thoroughly rebutted. Meanwhile, I have set up a case showing how Japan could not have prepared for the bombs, leaving the nation at a technological disadvantage, which forced the notion of unconditional surrender, which further pursued the ideas of American idealism, which restructured the Japanese economy in such a way where it was stabilized by 1955. In this way, the atomic bombs are net beneficial due to this brief recap and the basis that neither of Con’s counterplans propose situations that could have yielded the same effects as the atomic bombs, not in deaths, but in the actions that followed, neither which has been adequately discussed by Con.
With this, the Affirmative side rests the case. I would like to thank @whiteflame for this debate and the time he took in formulating his amazing arguments. I hope that the viewers and anyone who is viewing enjoyed and found something meaningful in this debate, and with that, I turn the debate over to Con to wrap up his portion of the debate.
Thanks to @WilliamSchulz for inviting me to debate this topic. I honestly don't get to debate a lot of history, though I love doing it, and this is something that's particularly near and dear to me. I’ll start by adding a bit to the framework.
When we’re talking about benefits, I will note that those benefits are to the international community in general rather than one single country. We cannot reasonably limit this debate to America’s interests, though I will address those as well, since the effect of dropping the bombs go well beyond the US. Pro’s second contention seems predicated on the notion that Japan was benefited by the dropping of the bombs, so I don’t think that he will disagree with this.
We are playing a bit with alternate history in this debate. As Pro stated, we are not going to look back with 20-20 hindsight, but we can employ any information that was available at the time that the bombs were dropped, as well as any resultant effects. My role in this debate is to provide alternatives to this decision, and to compare the benefits and risks against those of dropping these atomic bombs. I am not required to stick to a single advocacy, but merely to show that at least one alternative would have led to a generally more net beneficial outcome.
For that, I need to provide a bit of background.
The point in WWII that we are talking about is past July 16, 1945. That is the date on which the Trinity Test was launched, which was the first test of a nuclear weapon, so it must precede any decision to use the atomic bomb in warfare. If we take a step further, to mid-August of that year, they were in the process of losing Manchuria to the Soviets. What was Japan’s situation at this point? “Japan had no allies; its navy was almost destroyed; its islands were under a naval blockade; and its cities were undergoing concentrated air attacks.”. So, Japan was not in great shape. They’re losing access to the resources they desperately need to continue fighting a war that they are now fighting alone.
Why is all this important? It comes back to the two main assumptions Pro is making:
1. Japan was not suing for peace before the nuclear bombs were dropped.
"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan."
— Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet 
It was the explicit goal of the US to receive an unconditional surrender from Japan, which meant that the telegrams sent by Tokyo (often encrypted, but with a code they knew both the Americans and British could read) seeking anything shy of unconditional surrender were ignored.
“His Majesty the Emperor, mindful of the fact that the present war daily brings greater evil and sacrifice upon the peoples of all the belligerent powers, desires from his heart that it may be quickly terminated. But so long as England and the United States insist upon unconditional surrender, the Japanese Empire has no alternative but to fight on with all its strength for the honor and existence of the Motherland.”
Numerous communications indicated a willingness to conditionally surrender, and some even left the door open for unconditional surrender, though the latter was a harder sell. The condition that Japanese leadership all agreed upon was that the Japanese Emperor remain in office, though they did seek to pursue their own disarmament, dealing with war criminals, and have no occupation of their nation whatsoever after the war. These latter 3 clearly stepped over a line that the US was not willing to allow, but the fact remains that there was a basis for negotiation over what would have been a conditional surrender.
2. The chief reason Japan surrendered was because of these bombs being dropped.
“The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all.”
— Major General Curtis LeMay, XXI Bomber Command, September 1945 
“The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment ... It was a mistake to ever drop it ... [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it.”
— Fleet Admiral William Halsey Jr., 1946 
Pro’s argument hinges on the idea that nuclear explosions were the major deciding force for the Japanese to sue for peace. My arguments above indicate that conditional surrenders had already been offered, and that non-conditional surrenders were coming soon. However, for the moment, let’s assume that those circumstances don’t exist. Pro appears to be arguing that the nuclear weapons were a turning point; that their destructive capabilities led the Japanese to surrender out of fear for what those weapons could do to other cities. This is a crucial link to his solvency: he must show that the Japanese lost their resolve to continue fighting chiefly as a result of the nuclear weapons alone.
That’s going to be pretty difficult for him to prove. We had already firebombed Tokyo, which killed between 80,000 and 130,000 civilians and displaced over a million, yet Pro asserts that the atomic bombs were significantly different. I’ll admit that it was probably horrific to see the giant mushroom cloud and watching the survivors struggle with radiation poisoning, but in terms of numbers and sheer impact, the Firebombing of Tokyo did far more. They attacked a more crowded city, including factories necessary for producing war materials, and burnt much of it to the ground. Three cities had more square miles destroyed than Hiroshima, it was seventeenth in terms of percentage of the city that was destroyed, and it was second in terms of civilian deaths. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the tipping points in ending the war in the Pacific, why wasn’t this firebombing sufficient?
General Anami remarked on the atomic bombings himself, saying that they were “no more menacing than the fire-bombing that Japan had endured for months.” Japan’s leaders certainly didn’t seem to care. Their Foreign Minister Shidehara Kijuro made quite clear how much he was concerned for his people: “the people would gradually get used to being bombed daily. In time their unity and resolve would grow stronger.” Taking it a step further, he also said “even if hundreds of thousands of noncombatants are killed, injured, or starved, even if millions of buildings are destroyed or burned,” that additional time was needed for diplomacy. And this someone that would have been considered a moderate in their leadership. Attitudes were similar among the Supreme Council. Hell, Pro’s whole argument regarding the Kamikazes and the government’s facilitation of it indicates that they were willing to sacrifice a tremendous amount of lives to see their way to victory.
More importantly, Pro is missing out on another key piece of information from the time. The Japanese were also trying to sue for peace with the Soviets. The Soviet Union declared war on them on August 8, 1945, and when they did, the Japanese knew they had no chance of winning the war. With a Soviet invasion virtually guaranteed on their east coast, not to mention the proximate loss of Manchuria, the Japanese were already backed into a corner.
This is crucial, mainly because we can actually determine based on the timeline of events exactly which factor (the atomic bombs or a potential Soviet attack) led to Japan’s unconditional surrender. Japan was considering two options: a diplomatic end to the war (using the USSR as a mediator), and a militaristic end. The latter would have resulted in a decisive battle between the US and Japan on Japanese soil, one which they may have been able to win. Both options were still on the table after Hiroshima was bombed on August 6th. That bombing did not diminish their military strength in any meaningful way. It wasn’t until August 8th that the Soviets declared war on Japan, and at that point, the USSR couldn’t act as a mediator. Moreover, it was clear that the Soviets would attack a completely different part of Japan than the US, which is a problem when you’ve already got your forces spread thin. It’s an even greater problem when those same Soviet forces were ready to move on Japan within days. Japan’s leadership clearly acknowledged that Soviet entry into the war would put them in a very bad spot. Meanwhile, the US threatened to nuke more cities. That threat was lacking, since only four major cities remained that could be readily hit with atomic bombs.
Essentially, Japan was put into a situation where the only choice it had was fighting against two superpowers on two different sides of the country in a war they knew they couldn’t win, or surrender. They chose the latter, and they chose to surrender to the US because they knew that a Soviet occupation was a worst-case scenario. In fact, it is commonly argued that the reason the bombs were dropped was to achieve this exact goal: bring a rapid end to the war so that Russia could be contained.
All this undercuts Pro’s whole argument. If the USSR is the one responsible for their surrender, then the atomic bombs were, at best, functionally redundant. They did not substantially alter the willingness of the Japanese to surrender.
But all of this just challenges Pro's solvency. How should voters be assessing the arguments we're presenting as a whole? We’re talking net benefits, which basically means we’re talking about lives. Pro is playing a bit of a numbers game, though I think that somewhat undercuts the reality. A death of a soldier in combat should not have the same weight as the loss of a civilian life. Soldiers are trained and prepared to face the possibility of death by entering a battlefield. Civilians are separate from those battles, and should not be subject to the same looming threat of death. Yet both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were populated almost entirely by civilians, and neither were particularly strategic targets for their military.
This is what makes his comparison to D-Day particularly flawed, as he’s talking about a military engagement whereas this debate centers on dropping two bombs on cities full of civilians. The weight of lives lost in D-Day should be significantly less because the target is entirely different. That weight should extend to the people who died after the bombings, particularly as this ignores the long term effects of radiation poisoning that the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were doomed to suffer. This included “vomiting, fever, fatigue, bleeding from the gums, thinning hair, diarrhea and, in the worst cases, death. Those that did survive had an increased risk of cancer, though there has been no evidence of abnormalities in their offspring.”  These numbers are more difficult to estimate, but estimates for cancer alone number in the thousands, and that does not take into account the number of people who were dramatically harmed in a non-lethal manner. Moreover, if any other country had used such a weapon against the US or its allies, we would have characterized it as a war crime. The idea that we should ascribe some nobility to what was, effectively, indiscriminate murder of civilians is absurd and inherently dehumanizing. The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were treated as means to an end, and no matter how good that end may have been, it should never have been built on a foundation of civilian corpses.
All of this is base harm caused by the atomic bombings. Pro must overcome these harms by showing that these two bombs a) were responsible for ending the war, b) that ending the war resulted in a positive impact that outweighed these harms, and c) that that outcome could not have been achieved with fewer losses by other means. I’ve already addressed a) and b), so now I’ll focus on c).
What alternative options did the US have?
Pro keeps on arguing that an invasion of Japan could have been far more deadly. I’ll grant him that. I’m not going to argue for an invasion, so it’s not relevant to this debate.
However, that’s not where the options stop. I’ll provide two counterplans that would both work better than the atomic bombs did. Both counterplans function independently, meaning that Pro will have to address each and show how they are insufficient.
1) Accept a conditional surrender
“…[General Douglas] MacArthur's reaction to the issuance by the Allies of the Potsdam Proclamation to Japan: ". . . the Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face 'prompt and utter destruction'. MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the general's advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary."
If, at the Potsdam Conference, the Americans had agreed with the British and allowed that the emperor be retained in his position post-war, then there would have been a basis for a peace agreement that Japan would have been under a great deal of pressure to accept. It would have looked virtually identical to the Potsdam Declaration, excepting that it would allow the emperor to retain his seat and the figurehead status that it granted him, particularly over the Shinto religion. This issue alone may have been enough to sway them. Removing the related clause for unconditional surrender also would have put them in a much more willing position to accept. As the above quote shows, that’s basically how the Potsdam Declaration was enforced, even if it was written with more of a hardline stance. Better writing could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
2) Accept an unconditional surrender
However, it was never outside of the realm of possibility that we could achieve an unconditional surrender by force without either the atomic bombs or a land invasion.
“…the use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons ... The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”
— Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, 1950 
American military leaders advised President Truman that there were other far more standard means of ensuring that Japan would surrender. They were arguing for a standard bombardment and naval blockade.[17, 18] Japan could not hold out long against this, particularly with the USSR ready to flank them. The US had a substantial aerial advantage, particularly with its aircraft carriers, which meant that even without the help of the Soviets, they were virtually guaranteed to be subdued within a brief period.
“…it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945,…Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” 
With both counterplans, I garner all my opponent’s benefits, except I improve upon them. The life-loss count is dramatically improved in my case, the US doesn’t commit a clear war crime, and we don’t jump-start the nuclear arms race that characterized much of the Cold War. Japan could have ended the war on more peaceable terms with the US and not hold a gigantic amount of enmity for bombing two cities, which would have made the transition period smoother. Whether together or apart, these counterplans offer a far more beneficial outcome than does dropping atomic bombs on these two cities.
With that, I hand it back to @WilliamSchulz.
https://splinternews.com/the-next-time-someone-says-all-lives-matter-show-them-1793849332AmericanFurryBoy said:@ someone234 i know the original intent was what you say but it has turned into something worse.
The problem is that the statement "I should get my fair share" had an implicit "too" at the end: "I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else." But your dad's response treated your statement as though you meant "only I should get my fair share", which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that "everyone should get their fair share," while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.
That's the situation of the "black lives matter" movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.
The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn't work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn't want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That's not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it's generally not considered "news", while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don't treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don't pay as much attention to certain people's deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don't treat all lives as though they matter equally.
Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase "black lives matter" also has an implicit "too" at the end: it's saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying "all lives matter" is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It's a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means "only black lives matter," when that is obviously not the case. And so saying "all lives matter" as a direct response to "black lives matter" is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem."
I’d like to thank my opponent, @WilliamSchulz, for the stellar debate. I really loved doing this.
There is a lot going on in this debate, and to anyone reading through this, I’m sure it seems like a lot to process. To make things simpler, I’m going to spend this round mainly just crystallizing what happened and focusing on the key details. In order to better target the main points, I’ll be using questions for each of my headings, each of which should be key to any voter’s decision. I’ll be engaging in a bit of rebuttal, but I will try to keep that to a minimum.
1. Have we both satisfied our burdens in this debate?
I was honestly hoping I wouldn’t have to harp on this, but it just seems like we keep hitting the same wall. I am the only one who, at the start of this debate, clarified precisely what the burdens would be for each of us in this debate. Con accepted all these clarifications, so those are the actual burdens we bear. They are precisely what we were required to do to succeed in this debate. Not meeting a burden is tantamount to conceding the debate because that would mean that one of us has failed to uphold our side of the resolution.
I’m not going to contest that we both met the first burden. Con does try to argue that this isn’t about simple net benefits in the final round, but each of his points beyond that brings it back to the same framework. We both bear equal burdens to showcase the benefits of our cases and compare them, and we both did that.
It’s the second and third burden (I’ll talk about this under the second question) where things start to get hairy.
In the previous round, I showed that there was one feature that was clearly not present in Con’s counter plan: “a separate organization that should replace the UN”. Con spent a lot of R3 arguing that he had met this burden by arguing that his case would fundamentally alter the UN. On that front, I agree – Con satisfied the part of his burden that required mutual exclusivity. The UN would absolutely never engage in the kinds of changes that Con is proposing. But that’s not the part of this burden that I’m highlighting, and with good reason. Even if he removes huge parts of the UN, it is still the UN in title and role. No matter how integral these pieces are to the UN, altering them (he isn't removing anything, since all of these structures still exist in his counterplan) does not make a separate organization. It’s the same organization, simply with different functionality.
If the topic of this debate was “The UN is, on balance, an institution that should be substantially altered” then Con would certainly be topical. However, that’s not the topic, nor are his efforts to explain himself sufficient to avoid addressing the glaring mistake he made in the construction of his case. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Con’s counterplan does not meet his burden. Instead, he took ground in the debate that was available to me (altering the current structure of the UN) and avoided engaging with his side of the debate. No matter how good his counterplan may sound, based on this alone, voters, you should vote him down.
2. Have we both presented clear cases?
I presented a third burden in the debate, though this was more of a standard of etiquette in any form of debate. I’ll repeat this stated burden.
“it is part of the basic rules of debate that all of our constructive arguments are presented before the final round. I don’t mean to address any of the issues that Con presented in his opening round, but I can’t help but notice that he’s planning on presenting the entirety of his counterplan in the third round. Doing so would mean that I would only get 1 round to attack his case, while he gets 2 full rounds to attack my case. That's not just harmful for me, since it means any rebuttals I'd have for your case would remain unaddressed. I would rather have a solid set of argumentation on both sides for both of our cases, and as such, I would strongly encourage Con to present his counterplan in R2. If he wishes to simply argue over the net benefits of my case, he’s welcome to stick to rebuttals alone in the following round.”
If you read through Con’s second and third round, you might have noticed that many of the details of that case suddenly appeared for the first time in the latter round. You might have also noticed the addition of two new planks to that plan. There are a bunch of these, including (and I’ll bold the new planks):
“the additional permanent members (10-12)” (note that he only said he was adding the G4, not any other permanent members)
the “3/4th majority to pass the resolution if unanimity is not reached”
“making a mandatory amount [of troops] be given from every nation on the council and in the UN”
“have whatever neutral nations remain vote on the veto/proceed handed by the P5 and any additional countries and give the neutral nations power to accept or reject with a 60% vote passing.”
“nations who consistently do not help should be kicked from the UN.”
“If the plan is vetoed, the term must be revised according to the nation’s terms, or a 2/3rds majority can override the veto.”
“affected countries can not veto any decision regarding manpower or the people who enter the country. Rather, they can veto the restructuring of their country and and changes the UN wishes to make in the country. In this sense, the UN can take care of the issue and then hold a delegation for the country’s rebuilding after the strife.”
“My solution is that we have categories, in that based on an accession of all the countries, those facing recession should not be forced to pay any dues, yet still maintain status in the UN, with dues starting when the economy is stabler.”
“The P5 and other nations are given a mandatory resource cap that they must reach in the event of an economic crisis in other nations.”
…Anyone else notice that this substantially alters his counterplan, and that he’s presenting it all in the final round, which is not a constructive round? Unlike Con, I only used constructive rounds to explain my policy changes. He chose to wait until R2 to post his counterplan, and is using his final round not just to fill holes in his plan, but to actively add planks that change his plan substantially. He’s effectively forcing me to do rapid-fire analysis of his case at the last minute.
Voters, you have two ways of looking at all this. You can either decide that Con has violated the basic rules of debate (not to mention those I clearly articulated and that Con accepted at the start of this debate) and choose to award points on that basis, or you can deny Con these additions to his case and accept the glaringly vague aspects of his counterplan.
However, if you’re still considering taking these new pieces of his plan into account, I’ve got a few responses.
Con dropped my argument that conflicts commonly include multiple nations. Since he has only 9 permanent members (the P5 and G4), this will often mean that the affected nations will comprise more seats than the Security Council would currently have (look at the Syria example). In doing so, he’s further diluting the power of the P5 and G4, giving them more reason to spurn the UN. He’s also virtually guaranteeing a veto on nearly every resolution, and since this group will comprise more than 1/3rd of the total number of nations on the Security Council, that veto is almost certainly not going to be overridden. Pro is guaranteeing that the UN will only intervene in instances where one or two countries are affected, and only because they will have next to no voice in the decision.
Con says that P5 nations will effectively be shouldered with the economic crises of other nations, and that they are required to help those nations through those crises. He also wants to require them to commit troops, though it’s unclear on both fronts what the amounts would be. Presumably, those costs would be added to their dues, which Con concedes they often don’t pay in status quo. So, yeah, they’re not likely to agree to adding such massive costs onto their bill. And Con seemed pretty keen on just kicking them out of the UN if they “consistently do not help”…
Yep, sounds like a great idea. That will really solve for the lack of troops and funds required to help member nations. Removing big players who already contribute more than any other nation in the UN because they don’t meet undefined financial and military assistance levels is not just a bad idea for ensuring that the UN has the necessary resources it needs to resolve problems, but it also sets these hugely important players as enemies of the UN that will make intervention in any region more difficult. Con is effectively shoving key players out of the UN, and yet he balks at the prospect of them losing a Security Council seat temporarily over not paying their dues on time.
Based on these responses alone (which I had to make in the final round, since Con only clarified these parts of his plan in this round), voters should already be voting for me. Con’s effort to bring affected nations into the discussion sounds like a nice symbolic gesture, but ends up pushing the Security Council to avoid large conflicts where multiple nations are involved, and to essentially provide a relatively meaningless voice to a couple of nations with smaller issues, since they can still send in the military without worry of a veto. Con’s misguided attempt at beneficence and improved staffing is going to result in an underfunded, understaffed UN that has turned its P5 from leaders into competitors in the global sphere. That is far worse than the worst possible scenario under my plan (more on this under #3).
3. Which of our cases is the most net beneficial?
We’ve got two cases, each of which has their own set of potential benefits and harms. Con’s absolutely correct that simply being net beneficial over a world without the UN isn’t enough (though I think he risks a world where the UN is functionally irrelevant), so let’s just focus on analyzing what each of our cases would really do.
Let’s start with Con’s counterplan. Beyond the additional planks, which I have already addressed, there are two planks to his plan. Some aspects of those planks are still vague, but I’ll present them as clearly as I am able to do so.
Plank 1: The UN Security Council will now be comprised of roughly 20 countries (I'm assuming that non-permanent seats would still be present), including the P5 and G4 nations. Those 9 nations will have permanent seats and veto power, so long as the P5 achieves unanimity in their decision or the G4 has 3 out of the 4 countries in agreement. The Security Council will expand to include nations whose countries are affected by the specific decisions being made, each of which will get partial veto power to strike down any efforts to restructure their country. Should no veto be used, the whole Security Council would vote, and a 2/3s majority is required to proceed with a mission.
Plank 2: The UN will now silo its responses to various world crises into distinct groups, each of which is specialized to take on said task. These groups will include experts in the appropriate field and a minimal peacekeeping force, which is tasked with following the recommendations of said experts.
I’ll start by admitting that these planks are not all bad. Without veto power, he’s certain to yield more missions for the UN, which means there will be more opportunities to intervene successfully than are present even in my case. There’s less of a “UN agenda” in that other countries have input on whether or not a certain intervention should happen, so any policy decision would have to be vetted by a larger number of countries. By sending in siloed “experts,” he does provide a greater probability of strong intellectual leadership where the UN intervenes. Con’s case sounds great, in theory. He’s bringing other nations to the negotiating table more so than I am, he’s ensuring that more missions are run by the UN, and he’s setting up a more specifically tailored response to each problem they face.
However, the devil’s in the details for all these benefits.
As I stated in the previous round, by basically removing veto power, he’s causing two major problems: he’s committing UN troops to more missions than they can handle, and he’s pushing the P5 out of the UN. Con’s case tries to address this in two ways: by mandating the commission of troops (which I’ve already explained would be a disaster for the UN as a whole), and by limiting the number of troops in each engagement. However, all Con is doing is dooming these missions to failure due to lack of manpower. He hasn’t specified what kind of decrease we’re looking at, but if we’re considering how many more missions the UN will be engaged with, that decrease must be significant. These peacekeepers are dealing with civil wars and genocides, massive outbreaks of disease and major human rights violations across whole countries. Even if they have the best brain power on their side, the lack of troops is always going to handicap their efforts. This seems like it’s just Con’s effort to avoid the peacekeepers abusing the local populace, but that’s more likely under his plan than it is under mine. He’s still bringing in untrained and biased troops last minute. Those troops have the same problems as in status quo, even if he’s sending fewer of them. My standing force checks back both problems.
The UN agenda point, combined with the “expert” plank, does have some promise. He’s only brought up a couple of examples of this, pointing out that sending condoms was a mistake and that checking back against human rights abuses pushes against the belief systems of member nations. I’ll admit that the condoms showcase a failure of response (though that recent research appears to have come after this program started) that might be eliminated with the use of vague “experts” deciding these things, but it’s unclear that these same “experts” wouldn’t have the same exact biases. Even if we assume they’re much smarter, Con’s only presented alternative is dumping food on these nations, which I’ve already shown does far more to control these countries than do condoms. As for human rights abuses, Con may care a lot about the rights of local populations to abuse and violently attack LGBT individuals, but I don’t. If the UN comes into conflict with local beliefs to provide basic protections to these oppressed people, then I believe it must. Culture clash is not a reason to allow the plight of these people to go unaddressed.
What Con’s case purports to accomplish and what it would actually do are two very different things. His efforts to bring more countries to the table and proceed with more missions will lead the UN to overpromising and underdelivering. By thinning the forces he sends out, he guarantees that more missions will fail, while allowing the persistent problems of recruitment to continue. By limiting the UN’s ability to respond to human rights violations, he’s allowing massive abuses to continue unchecked.
Lastly, and most importantly, Con shoots himself in the foot by arguing that member nations that don’t contribute to the UN should be removed. Let’s walk through this. A P5 nation (let’s say the US) is upset that it just effectively lost its veto power. It’s no longer nearly as substantial of a power player within the UN is helped create, particularly as it would have to agree with both Russia and China in order to veto anything. As I argued in the previous round, this will lead the US to one of two choices. They may choose to leave the UN, which removes the teeth from Con’s argument. If they already left, they can’t be removed. Con’s only reasoning as to why they would stay is because the UN does good in the world, but he’s argued at multiple points throughout this debate that countries like the US regularly use their veto power to further their interests. If they don’t have a substantial role in the direction the UN takes, why would they care about being a part of it? The US plays a substantial role in “international politics and affair[s]” by itself, it doesn’t need the UN. But let’s assume they do stay. Con dropped my argument that they will create a seat of power for themselves by only directing their resources towards missions they support. The US, which contributes the most to the UN, would have every reason to use this leverage to retain their veto power. This may result in them getting kicked out… but if they’re out, then the UN gets absolutely none of their resources.
So, Con’s case results in one of two outcomes: either all the P5 nations leave, or they use their substantial resources to force other nations to follow their lead. Both situations are worse than their veto power. At least with veto power, they contribute resources to the UN as a whole, meaning that any mission (whether they support it or are just neutral about it) gets those funds. In Con’s world, only the missions they support get substantial resources, or all of them get a severe drop off in resources at the P5 leaves. That means Con either supercharges the harms of veto power, or depletes the UN of essential resources (including finances, military, and yes, experts), ensuring that most if not all of its missions are failures.
My case also has two planks, and luckily, these are short.
Plank 1: The UN shall recruit a standing army, to be trained and led by UN personnel, that can be rapidly and efficiently deployed by the votes of three members of the Security Council.
Plank 2: The UN shall add the G4 countries (Germany, Brazil, India and Japan), plus South Africa, as permanent seats on the Security Council with the same powers as the P5. They may only retain their seats should they pay their dues on time annually, and will be replaced on the Council by another member nation until they have paid.
I’ll concede that my case still allows permanent members of the Security Council to block interventions, though that’s far less likely than what happens in status quo. Even if you buy that the lack of intervention in Rwanda was due to the US vetoing intervention (it wasn’t, and much as Con keeps citing it, source #29 does not support this assertion), that kind of thing is far less likely to happen when three countries must agree in order to veto something. Con did assert this round that Rwanda could provide more accurate information by sitting on the Security Council. However, as Rwanda was already a part of the UN since 1962, and as it was therefore providing said information in the General Assembly, it’s not clear how merely replacing them into the Security Council solves for a lack of actionable knowledge.[http://www.un.org/press/en/2006/org1469.doc.htm] The US wasn’t suddenly going to classify the issue as a genocide rather than a massacre simply because Rwanda was sitting on the Security Council instead of just in the General Assembly.
I will also concede that my case has the potential to put some countries under financial distress. The issue is that it’s unclear which countries would struggle to pay. The US pays the most, and Con concedes that they will continue to be able to pay, so that just leaves the other 9 countries that would be on the permanent Security Council, and the only one of those that is a developing country and therefore may have massive swings in its gross national product is South Africa (note that other developing nations would not be required to pay in order to stay in the UN, this is solely for the Security Council). However, you might notice that I brought up a link in R2 stating precisely how much they pay, and explaining how that price would go down substantially in a recession. Given that the dues decrease, it’s not clear why they would be unable to pay them. Furthermore, even if they can’t afford them, that only means that they transiently lose their seat on the Security Council. For South Africa, that would put it back to where it is right now. They can then wait until their economy recovers and then start paying again.
However, the places where Con’s responses are fewest are where he’s in the most trouble.
My case ensures that the UN will always have a standing peacekeeping force that is well-trained, well-equipped, and under capable leadership. The UN will hire these people long-term (I said this in my first round), meaning they won’t be hired just before they must do some actual peacekeeping. These can be deployed rapidly to war-torn areas, whereas under Con’s counterplan, the UN would continue to function extremely slowly, requiring months to obtain the necessary troops.[https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/military] Voters, please note that Con has presented absolutely no reason why this plank of my plan is either harmful or ineffective, meaning that all of these benefits are conceded.
Meanwhile, Con continues to rely on the contributions of member nations, which have consistently failed because of biases and a lack of training. He simply asserts that smaller teams of peacekeepers will be effective because the “experts” will be leading them, but provides no support for this assertion. Even “experts” will still need manpower, particularly in conflicts. He still encounters the same problem of limited training, and most of the troops are still likely to come from neighboring countries first.
My case ensures that countries from every continent are given a powerful seat on the Security Council. It’s important to recognize that, while no single set of countries represent everyone, powerful countries need to be given some incentive to support the UN. By recognizing those powerhouses and providing an equal seat at the table for South Africa, I retain that incentive while increasing the representation of this body. Moreover, by requiring three votes for any veto, my plan requires these countries to cooperate. It pressures these nations to not function as islands unto themselves, and creates room for the UN to support more missions than it currently does. Regardless of what we do, atrocities will happen in the world. The UN is slow to respond to crises, even slower to act, and it has limited resources with which to address the various ills of the world. Nonetheless, by increasing the number of potential missions that receive attention beyond a single veto, I ensure that fewer atrocities are poorly addressed without overwhelming the resources of the UN or pushing major contributors to take theirs and go home.
Lastly, my case keeps the lights on. Con has conceded that the clear majority of what the agencies at the UN do is hugely beneficial. This is extremely important because it means that any extra funding they receive can only benefit populations worldwide. Only my case provides a meaningful boost to available funds by pushing the major contributors to pay their dues regularly and on time. Con’s case potentially pushes these resources away from the UN, depriving peoples worldwide of medical care, safe access to the essentials of life, basic protections from violence and discrimination, important collaborations between researchers, and so much more.
So, even if you believe that Con has met his burdens in this debate, his case is still massively outweighed by mine. The kinds of changes he's imposing would threaten all of the benefits that the UN provides, whereas my case would mainly enhance them. No case is perfect, and the UN will always be a flawed institution, but both of us recognize that it's still necessary and beneficial. We cannot risk losing what makes it so important.
Thank you to WilliamSchulz for debating this with me, and Happy Passover to all of my fellow Jews out there!
Thank you for your argument! In this final round, I seek to clarify major issues and defend against my position, with rebuttals in tow. I would like to thank @whiteflame as of now for debating me on this issue. The first rebuttal I get into will be out of order, but is the one that needs to be addressed the most.
At the start of the debate, Pro rightly posed burdens, but there is a flaw in an aspect of the terms given. When I agreed, I chose “a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive” to be my central focus (more later), yet I disagree that my goal is to make the UN seem net harmful while Pro’s is net beneficial. Unlike murder, the UN can not be automatically be marked as harmful, so we will start from a utopian view to actual view, as to get a feel of where I will present the rest of my case.
In the utopia view, this is what would be said, “The UN is purely net beneficial because nations under one flag handling world issues will benefit the countries and will set up institutions that will leave the country secure in the future.”
Now descend one scale, “The UN is mostly beneficial because nations under one flag can handle world issues if all countries contribute to the set task that needs to be dealt with.”
Descend another scale, “The UN is beneficial because nations under one flag can handle world issues if all countries contribute to the set task and the peacekeepers obey commands.”
More, “The UN is beneficial when nations under one flag contribute to the set task, the peacekeepers obey commands, and the P5 has given consent beforehand.”
Conclusion: “The UN is only beneficial to countries if enough resources (whatever it needs to be > men, supplies) are collected, if the peacekeepers stay in order, and if the UN votes to help or not to help, whether it can perform an appropriating job.”
In terms of the debate, what am I trying to get across here? The UN can be net beneficial in every issue that the organization deals with, no joke! However, the mentioned complications roadblock the help a country receives, and roadblocks lead to instances like the Rwandan Genocide, (more on that later) where the UN fails to be net beneficial. As stated in Round 2, the UN is conditionally beneficial, as an organization and the ideas surrounding it, it is a sound hub for nations. This is what I was attempting to present in Round Two, when I said that “I am not advocating that we do away completely with the UN, rather that we focus on major structural changes, that does away with the present UN, and forms a modernized UN.” To clarify with the set terms presented, you did not present my other quote about the issue, namely, “The UN is necessary, but only as an ideology, and not in its current applications. In short, the restructure that I will propose will maintain the beneficial aspects of the UN, as noted by my opponent, but will have radical change in ideology and how the organization functions as a whole.” This happened to be my thesis for Round 2, and still follows suit here. The ideas surrounding the UN are necessary and beneficial, but only as ideas for a better institution, as the UN current misuses their current resources and applicabilities in other nations. As such, I propose structural change, so that the parts that make the UN beneficial are kept, but radically altered, this comes in the form of a change in colonialistic beliefs, a complete release of the Security Council (more later), a change between the peacekeepers and people who can perform better, revised seating options, the affected countries vote on the task’s response. Furthermore, the questions that I proposed to you will be used here to the fullest, as the separate branches of the UN that you mention, 15, will have their core ideologies redesigned and their applicabilities changed.
Once more, it would be easy to say that I am simply altering the current UN. Consider this if you will viewers, if the ideas surrounding the retaining of the UN are fundamentally good, but more questionable in the ideas surround the separate branches, then to change the structures completely means completely changing the ideas of the branches, while still keeping the overarching goals of the UN. However, the UN would not want to see the P5 lose power, they would not want to completely drop the peacekeeping force, the would still want a say in political affairs, and they would not want to revise seating. All of these changes involve shaking the UN’s core ideas surrounding the organization. Even if the intention is good, namely, to help nations with struggles with unified world support, the backbone surrounding the process is fatally flawed.
Pro seems to emphasize that my changes are mutually exclusive, but my supposed retaining of the UN is not. There must be a distinction here, namely the cause for change. Change is done for many motives, and change seeks to replace something or improve something (for the purposes of this debate, replace something) with something that the person deems more important or worthwhile to have. For example, if I buy a new door for my house, it must mean that I hold more value in the door that I buy because I believe the door will serve a greater purpose, regardless of whether that is true or not. Therefore, the changes I propose can be labeled as changes to the UN that I don’t see worth retaining, instead replacing them with a completely different style of governing. I will highlight this with Pro’s argument concerning change, because if the motive behind change is replacing one item with another, as the old item wasn’t worth retaining, here is Pro’s argument.
“The UN is worth retaining. Yes, changes should be done, but even without them, the UN is able to function and serve the needs of the world.”
My claim. “The UN is not worth retaining. Changes should be made, but they are mutually exclusive to Pro and the UN without them can not serve the world to their fullest abilities.” Thus in order to do so, we must replace the UN with the changes so that we retain the goals and outlooks of the UN, while radically changing the functionalities of the UN.
The Rwandan Genocide:
According to Pro, the reasons behind why the mission in Rwanda failed was because of a lack of military troops which could have prevented the death of over 800,000 people. This is partially the cause, but it was more so because the UN failed to act when they saw the violence, and because of the cause of failing to act, not enough men were deployed in the region. My plan would have been able to solve this issue, because just as the Security Council Argument, the affected nation, in this instance Rwanda, would also sit at the council, provide information about the genocide, and be able to have a greater vote in the actions taken for/against Rwanda. If the UN lacked information and motive, my plan provides it by allowing the nation to detail the issue and any details surrounding the genocide.
"The independent report, commissioned by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, showed a UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda doomed from the start by an insufficient mandate and later destroyed by the Security Council's refusal to strengthen it once the killings began. And it showed UN officials - Annan and then-Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali among them - unable or unwilling to act on information from the field that a massive slaughter was occurring and that they needed to do something to stop it.” (Round 1, Global Policy Forum)
Was the Eventual UN Response Enough?
Pro states that, “Beyond that, while the response was certainly not sufficient to deal with a great deal of the genocide, the UN did eventually expand UNAMIR’s mandate, declaring “the continuing magnitude of human suffering as constituting a threat to regional peace and security.” That led them “to establish protected zones in south western Rwanda and increase UNAMIR’s force level to 5,500 troops.” This still reduced the number of deaths, and when the genocide was over, they were also responsible for “prosecuting persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory” leading to multiple convictions.” This, according to Pro, makes the UN action net beneficial, but we must consider morality here. A question for the viewers, even if the UN managed to set up a system to persecute people for their actions, does that nulligate that the UN could have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths if they had acted sooner. In this case, this was the least that the UN could do, and realized their mistake. It is important to note that the UN did not act right away, and so this means that the UN was net harmful, perhaps being beneficial to the country politically after the event, but not morally in allowing the death of 800,000 people minimum. Pro admits this when he states, “Their response was certainly insufficient to address the majority of the suffering, but it does not show that the UN was not net beneficial in this instance, just that it could have benefited the people of Rwanda more if it had taken action sooner.”
That is the issue here, we can not assume that the UN will act accordingly. The fact is, sometimes, the UN fails to act, and under its current system, we have major countries like the US, who according to the same source, labeled Rwanda as a massacre and not a genocide to avoid military involvement. The problem is, Pro skews the response by stating that the UN could have benefited more if it acted sooner, but systematically, it wouldn’t have acted sooner anyway. Thus, the UN responce was not enough and needed more involvement from countries, military for the country only comes when the countries agree to do so beforehand, so that points to the UN’s actions as the problem, not the lack of resources.
Quick Rebuttal before talking about Enmity and Training:
Pro states, “The rape issues in Africa start to move into territory of what harms the UN has brought about as a result of its peacekeeping efforts. Pro is correct that this occurs (though I will note that his source, which isn’t posted, for the Mateso quote actually says this was a Congolese soldier, not a UN peacekeeper – again, I’ll provide the link ), though he’s not clear about why this is happening.”
This is true, however, according to your system, soldiers volunteer with the UN which for you increases efficiency in the nation, accordingly, we have to treat the volunteer soldier as if he was a UN peacekeeper, if he is working with the UN to eliminate the issue, he must be treated and related as a peacekeeper working for such.
Pro correctly states that the countries that dedicate soldiers to so because they are concerned with the effects of the war, and also that the UN only contributes a small peacekeeping force. This is actually a concession, because I previously stated that we should relieve peacekeepers of their duties and replace them with trained specialists familiar with the issue at hand in the country. If the UN only provides a small number of peacekeepers, it would be simple to replace the peacekeepers with my plan and then any other soldiers would be used in military related instances.
Pro concedes that “For the second, there’s a dearth of training for these troops in nearly every situation where troops are deployed, mainly because they have to request them from member states. These “contributions often fall short of agreed specifications. Yet, because of the extreme difficulty in getting personnel, the U.N. is reluctant to send personnel back to the contributing nations even if they fall well below agreed specification.” Pro also concedes that the soldiers need training and that the UN could be doing better at this. However, Pro fails to follow with the problem. If the UN has such great difficulty getting troops, why not set a mandatory amount that each country must give upon specification of the issue? If the UN struggles to get troops, how are the nations punished for not contributing to a real issue? The answer, they might drop out or disfavor support for the UN as an institution. Yes, that is the fault of the country, but by the same token, the UN is a collection of nations willing to help other nations of the world. The idea is that the country regardless will not leave the UN because they would lose their voting and say in world affairs, take for instance North Korea as a modern example. Again, we must attack the cause behind the lack of military to the structure of the UN witch is unsound. Under my proposed structure, the country affected has a say in the affairs that occur to their nation, and a revised system of mandatory military donation. Concerning the training, I will accept Pro’s training process, and I will accept the need to draw from local populations, under the conditions that the local soldiers are under the command of a more developed nation, so that the rape instances do not occur under the supervision of higher authority.
To clarify, the instance where I showed nations having preference was whether to sanction Morocco or not for actions committed which would be against UN standards. This was not a confrontation involving military deployment, this was a preference because of actions Morocco had done for the US, which somehow was able to persuade the US to nulligate wrongful actions of the country. That is flawed, and a abuse of the P5 veto power, which is why I advocate stripping the P5 of most, but not all of their power.
The Second Contention Misconceptions:
Whiteflame correctly points out that if a success is achieved, then the UN moves forward and still continues to serve a plethora of purposes. What I was alluding to is that if the backbone of the UN is world representation, then giving the majority of power to five countries is contradictory to the UN’s focal goal. Once more though, we are not considering the net benefit of the UN, certainly, it is an important aspect, but benefits come from the way the UN is currently structured, and the UN is structurally flawed at best, needing changes to better represent the needs of this world, as my plan achieves, by taking power away from the P5.
However, Pro states that ,”Con even goes so far as to point out the P5 as a problem, but both our cases seek to address that, so clearly these major problems can be resolved.” Once more, I urge voters to consider, would the UN make the changes? In whiteflame’s instance, they could, but my changes are not mutually exclusive, and would not be changed by the UN for aforementioned reasons in the Burdens section.
The Security Council:
In his proposal, Pro states that, “It (the Security Council) does not allow single countries with personal interests to veto bills - any vetoes would have to be decided by at least 3 of the countries on the permanent Council – and it better represents the world by including countries from every continent.” That is the issue, I have given you instances in which the council voted out of personal interest, in Rwanda because the US tried to label the event as a massacre, not a genocide, Morocco, where France and the US vetoed sanctions against the country because the country had supported them during the Cold War, and the current rivalries between China and Russia, communism and capitalism. Votes coming from the P5 are going to have personal interests attached, because face it, global competition is important to most nations. Trump recently blocked a trade deal with Qualcomm because he did not want China to take the lead in manufacturing electronic parts. If your policy takes out nations with personal bias, that is great, except you would lose too many nations on that account. Rather, have whatever neutral nations remain vote on the veto/proceed handed by the P5 and any additional countries and give the neutral nations power to accept or reject with a 60% vote passing.
Capabilities for Harm:
Pro states that, “However, solving this problem isn’t necessary to show that the UN is net beneficial. Despite the lack of representation on the Security Council and the issue of veto power, all Con is really talking about is how the UN is flawed because of its inaction. In fact, this seems to be a common theme throughout most of Con’s arguments: the UN should have accomplished more than it has, and because of its inaction/the structure of its bureaucracy, it is allowing terrible things to keep happening. That argument is correct, but it doesn’t show that the UN is doing harm.”
To counter, this exactly shows, if you will, how the UN is harming, because by not benefiting other countries, that increases the risk of harm in that country. UN intervention should not be the only category for harm caused, the second factor should be was UN inaction the cause of increased or continued harm in the nation. If so, then the UN has done harm by showing inaction to the issue, by failing to provide the means necessary to counter the problems. Furthermore, the structure prevents action from occuring because of the corruption of the P5, resources aside.
Pro is correct when he states that, “Lastly, Con’s argument suggests that the UN intervening more is an automatic benefit. I would disagree. The UN has a very limited set of resources available to it, has to draw from a variety of member nations in order to get those resources, and inevitably ends up falling short in its interventions for that reason.” For this reason, the clear solution is making a mandatory amount be given from every nation on the council and in the UN. While UN intervention is not always justified, when it does enter a country, it should have enough men, specialists, and resources to make a change. Con fails to show a plan to get more resources for the UN other than forcing monetary concessions, which I already rebutted, (but more on that later).
To help explain my argument, the UN has an agenda, politically and morally. The UN values contraceptives and birth control, against the notions of the Catholic Church and conservatives as noted in my 4th question I posed to you. The idea is, if we (the UN) support you, then you must do something for us as well. Thus, a policy of the UN and even Secretary Clinton is, “We’ll provide you food for your growing population if you also take these condoms to reduce the birth rates of your country.” Pro incorrectly states that “ Maybe Con views the export of condoms (which have no effect on local markets) as an effort to “liberalize” other countries, but it seems apparent that it was an effort to address the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic in these nations. Clearly, that effort failed, but that doesn’t mean that colonialism is alive and well in the form of insidious condom delivery and promotion *shudder*.” If you check Round One, research shows from two professors and researchers that "According to the latest research, condom promotion is ineffective for anything but lowering the rate of AIDS in concentrated, high-risk groups, like homosexuals in San Francisco or prostitutes in Bangkok. Condoms have never been shown to reduce HIV infection rates and AIDS deaths in general-population epidemics like those in sub-Saharan Africa. Paradoxically, the more condoms AIDS activists send to Africa, the more widespread the disease has become.” Once more, I am not trying to advocate for or against the use of condoms (even though I am against them), my overarching point is that the UN has an agenda that gets in the way with what the affected country might value. If so, then the UN is doing the country a disservice by forcing the products onto people in exchange for food and crops.
Clarifications for Whiteflame:
Pro finds that, “He states that he’s going to “completely do away with the security council”… but he’s not going to do away with the Security Council, as he states within the same paragraph that there would still be permanent members of that Council, that the G4 countries would be added to it, that countries affected by their votes would be included in it (not quite clear what the bounds of that are), and that they would have the power to basically veto resolutions so long as there’s unanimous agreement.”
To clarify here, we must not confuse applications with ideologies. When I say I want to get rid of the Security Council, in applicability, I entail that we strip the P5 of most of their power while adding countries and setting new standards for permanent seating. As an ideology, therefore, this proposed that the Security Council is set up for a different purpose than personal gain for the five countries, but that they also include the affected countries in the voting system and have trust in other permanent nations should recessions occur in the country. To also clarify, I meant the additional permanent members (10-12) and hold a vote that must reach 3/4th majority to pass the resolution if unanimity is not reached.
Pro finds that, “He’s doing away with peacekeepers and replacing them with... “trained specialists”… except not, because he’s also talking about a need to create “a better system for training UN peacekeepers,” which means that he still wants peacekeepers… I’m not very clear on where the divide is. Con seems to want trained specialists in some instances, and trained UN peacekeepers in others, but isn’t specific about which group should go where.”
To clarify here, you previously stated that the UN only contributes a small number of peacekeepers, the rest being volunteers from other nations. Previously, I agreed to your method of training, and if we were to take these soldiers (thus making them peacekeepers), they would only be used in military based situations. Otherwise, the trained specialists would perform better work than soldiers because the specialists have more knowledge about the issue. For instance, if there was cholera in Russia, I wouldn’t send military to help, rather I would send doctors, researchers, and various forms of medical attention, which a military force alone would not be able to achieve all at once. In this way, people with more expertise are given opportunities to act in countries with specific needs, not one force who sometimes succeeds or fails to complete a task. The UN might additionally send peacekeepers, which I would be fine with, but the overall backbone of the team would lie in the specialists. In fact, I would agree that the UN could give manpower, as you state “The UN needs manpower to carry out its missions, not just a good mind or set of minds directing the action, yet he’s making clear that he doesn’t want those forces to be present. This is going to make acting in these countries much more difficult, particularly where the local population is being decimated with diseases like Cholera.” However, you further concede that, “UN troops contributions are unreliable and often come last minute. That leaves little to no time for training, and it forces the UN to accept troops that don’t meet its basic standards.” Thus, if my standards in Rounds 1 and 2 are not met, then the UN must undergo restructuring that will force the current UN to prevent retainment. To clarify, under my new system, the UN must set mandatory standards for all countries and structurally speaking, this must be dictated by the P5 and G4’s to other nations, as this would be a power grantable to the P5 in the absence of most of the power from the Security Council. Pro provides a way to train the peacekeepers, but does not state at what time or place the peacekeepers will be taken, thus my method which includes mandatory obligations will solve the issue of resources, specialized branches, and manpower backup if Pro wishes.
Case Concerning P5 Countries:
Pro begins this segment by stating that because I have done away with most of the veto power, then the countries will opt out of the UN or simply not pay their dues. In this case, I would argue that a country refusing to assist other countries with their own means should be left out of the UN. If the purpose of the UN is for nations to collectively pitch to help other nations when crises arrive, nations who consistently do not help should be kicked from the UN. The reason that they would contribute is because the UN is a major force when dealing with international politics and affair, so P5 countries would stay because of additional responsibilities and duties as mentioned and so that they can have a state in world affairs.
To clear up a misconception, I did not state that all countries would have equal voting power. I stated that the P5’s and the G4’s would still have voting power, but this would be dependent on whether a unanimous vote could be achieved among the P5 and whether a 3/4th vote could be achieved among the G4 nations. When I refer to the affected nations, I mean that if the proposals go through with the General Branch or the Permanent Seats, the affected nations should consent to the actions of the UN and vote on whether the decision is fair or not. Here, a problem arises, in that the UN can simply disregard the nations and perform the action anyway. In the restructured UN, the permanent seats must consult the ambassadors of the nations. If the term is agreed to by a general majority, the plan commences. If the plan is vetoed, the term must be revised according to the nation’s terms, or a 2/3rds majority can override the veto. Now, all of this takes time, so for the purposes of this debate and the UN, affected countries can not veto any decision regarding manpower or the people who enter the country. Rather, they can veto the restructuring of their country and and changes the UN wishes to make in the country. In this sense, the UN can take care of the issue and then hold a delegation for the country’s rebuilding after the strife. More likely than not, the country will accept the help, but disagree with the way the UN rebuilds, which is why the institution is in place. As I state in Round 2, “The country affected does not count for this total, yet must back up the Security Council or force changes to occur that would be damaging to the country as a whole.” Finally, with the mandatory resource cap, all P5 and G4 countries will be making major contribution for all cases that occur in the world.
So, let’s recap before I enter your rebuttals by restating the Powers and Counter-Powers of the permanent seats:
The P5 and any other nations must maintain their status as first-second world nations and have some sort of global influence.
In the event that one of the permanent seat nations incurs fallback or economic disparity, the other permanent nations are required to help rebuild that country.
The P5 and other nations are given a mandatory resource cap that they must reach in the event of an economic crisis in other nations.
Powers of the P5:
Reduced veto power, they must achieve a unanimous vote to pass an issue. If the voting is not unanimous, it goes to the G4 nations. A 75% or higher vote will pass the delegation.
P5 nations must compromise with affected countries in order to help the area. The affected nations can not veto the help they receive, but they can veto the post plan in the rebuilding of their country with a simple majority. If a compromise can not be reached, then a 2/3rds vote will override the veto or the nation dictates its own affairs. Any further actions that break UN regulations outside of the help will result in sanctions, the severity which can be decided by the P5.
The P5 is responsible for handling all resources and men going into the country, and are responsible for the actions that occur in the nation.
The P5 may vote not to enter a country, but if information presented by affected nations invokes urgency, then a lack of action reflects on the P5 as a failure of the UN. If the issue still worsens, mandatory action will be taken in the country.
In conclusion, the P5 maintains power in where and how to delegate response teams in harmed nations, but the affected nations are included in the process to decrease colonialism in the countries.
To conclude, whiteflame mentions money and how funding is important for the UN’s use, showing how the US pays 6 billion voluntarily, so that even during a hit, we would still be able to pay the costs. Whiteflame further questions how other countries wouldn’t be able to meet the funding if the fees are based on the GNP of the country. The answer lies still in the recessions. The US can afford to take a hit and still pay funds, but developing nations, especially ones in debt would be crushed if any sort of further recession came upon their country. In fact, the UN’s job would then be to restructure the economy of the nation, but fewer dues does not mean that it is more easily paid. The number is simply relative to the status of the economy. Nations with fewer dues have them because their economy is either worse off or they do not have a stable currency. Once more, Pro faces the nation leaving the UN based on unpaid dues, and although Pro shows how the dues are minimized, he does not fully state action if the dues remain unpaid, so it is safe to assume that the nation leaves the UN. My solution is that we have categories, in that based on an accession of all the countries, those facing recession should not be forced to pay any dues, yet still maintain status in the UN, with dues starting when the economy is stabler. Pro can argue that the P5 would make an excuse not to pay dues or see the action as unfair, but in an organization where the goal is to help nations, fairness should not get in the way of justice.
Question 1 Response:
Although I disagree with contraceptives on the part of the UN, I can see how the UN responds to such as of current and it seems fair enough to me.
Question 2 Response:
Pro states that, “The programme recognizes that LGBTI people are highly marginalized and face varied forms of stigma and discrimination based on their distinct sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.” However, Pro fails to detail what discriminations are against LGBT people, so are they political or simply representative of the values of society. A society that favors heterosexual marriage is obviously going to look down upon same sex marriages. In fact, until recent years, gay marriage in the United States was not fully legalized until 2012 from the Supreme Court. If it took the US a considerable amount of time, then the “various forms” are simply how society has set up its form of government. If the UN wants to change this, then it is trying to liberalize the nation. Note that I have not directly argued against LGBT members, but I have shown that the UN can not try to interfere with the nation’s belief system.
Question 3 Response:
Pro states that, “Beyond that, as I’ve already stated on my Burdens point, structural changes to the UN are allowed on my side of the debate, mainly because the resolution only requires me to defend the UN as an institution, not all its constituent parts.” I would disagree, the constituent parts of the UN are what make the UN as an institution worth retaining or not. Take the UN like an apple, on the outside, it might appear crisp and ready to eat, but on a bite, you find out that it is moldy on the inside. Without the parts, there is no whole. In this debate, I have attacked the parts, which in turn, is representative of the whole of the UN, so by reshaping the parts, I do not retain the whole of the UN.
Question 4 Response:
Pro mentions that my response wouldn’t be any faster or more effective than what could be achieved by the current UN. However, the current UN had information about Rwanda, and failed to act on it, so it wasn’t a matter of speed, it was a matter of leadership that failed on the basis of UN inaction.
To conclude, the UN is not an institution worth retaining, as the UN would have to radically switch the roles of its members and values to fit the restructured UN. While Pro mentions change, he does not advocate complete replacement, though I have adequately shown that complete replacement would, in fact, help the world in future crises. Thank you for your time reading this debate, thank you to whiteflame for the debate, and I wish all voters a Happy Easter!
On with the rebuttals!
Contention 1: Major wars and genocides
The Rwandan Genocide is an interesting choice, mainly because it’s unclear that Con’s counterplan would have solved for it. Con presents an instance where the UN failed to respond sufficiently to a slaughter that occurred in that nation. However, a veto by one of the P5 members did not prevent intervention, nor was insufficient training a reason for the poor response. The bureaucracy behind the process and a lack of contributed troops was the problem (Con’s own source shows this, I’ll provide it again here ). None of that disappears with his advocacy, and since neither of us is addressing the bureaucratic problem, the standing force I advocate for is the only change in either of our plans that would have improved the response.
Beyond that, while the response was certainly not sufficient to deal with a great deal of the genocide, the UN did eventually expand UNAMIR’s mandate, declaring “the continuing magnitude of human suffering as constituting a threat to regional peace and security.” That led them “to establish protected zones in south western Rwanda and increase UNAMIR’s force level to 5,500 troops.” This still reduced the number of deaths, and when the genocide was over, they were also responsible for “prosecuting persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory” leading to multiple convictions. Their response was certainly insufficient to address the majority of the suffering, but it does not show that the UN was not net beneficial in this instance, just that it could have benefitted the people of Rwanda more if it had taken action sooner. Moreover, as I’ve shown with my examples, there are a plethora of instances where the UN has responded effectively to genocides and civil wars that could have been as bad as Rwanda, so while Rwanda represents a somewhat minor benefit from the UN, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti and Kosovo are all examples of far more substantial benefits from UN peacekeeping efforts. Missions like these are put at risk by changing the power dynamic, and thus the resulting contributions of member states, in the UN.
The rape issues in Africa start to move into territory of what harms the UN has brought about as a result of its peacekeeping efforts. Pro is correct that this occurs (though I will note that his source, which isn’t posted, for the Mateso quote actually says this was a Congolese soldier, not a UN peacekeeper – again, I’ll provide the link ), though he’s not clear about why this is happening. The problem is derived from two key issues: long-standing enmity and training.
For the first of these, most of the countries that dedicate soldiers to the UN do so because local nations are concerned about the effects of the fighting. That’s why the Security Council only contributes a small percentage of the overall peacekeeping force. However, the fact that they are neighboring countries means that long-standing national issues between these nations generate a lot of enmity. Peacekeepers are put in a position of power over the local population and are given the tools to assert it, which often leads to these kinds of abuses.
For the second, there’s a dearth of training for these troops in nearly every situation where troops are deployed, mainly because they have to request them from member states. These “contributions often fall short of agreed specifications. Yet, because of the extreme difficulty in getting personnel, the U.N. is reluctant to send personnel back to the contributing nations even if they fall well below agreed specification.”
I would argue that these cases of abuse are likely to continue so long as they keep drawing from local populations and lack sufficient training. However, I will concede that the UN could be doing better than it is currently. Both of the changes I’ve proposed would go a long way towards solving issues of abuse like this. If the UN has a standing army, that army would be well-trained, under a clear system of command, and subject to the same basic standards of warfare, which means they could be punished summarily without the permission of the soldier’s nation. If showing preference to certain countries is the problem, as my opponent asserts, then I would argue that including more permanent members on the Security Council attacks that head-on. In particular, putting South Africa on the Security Council ensures that African nations will always have a powerful seat at the table, something that is absent in Con’s case. In fact, his counterplan does little to resolve the training problem, and fails to address the need to draw from local populations.
Contention 2: Served its purpose
It's not clear what Con is trying to prove with this. However, given what I have gleaned, I have two responses.
1) There are clearly a broad set of goals that the UN is making an effort to pursue, as I’ve made clear in my case. Are all of those issues solved? Even if we assume that, as Con has argued, they’ve achieved some initial purpose (and it sounds more like Con is arguing that they have become irrelevant in a world with superpowered nations, which my case debunks), they clearly are still seeking to achieve substantive goals. And, as I’ve also argued, the UN is specifically more adept at achieving those goals than any other institution in existence. At best, Con’s argument shows that some of the goals of the UN are outdated, though he concedes that most of the organization in its current form should be maintained, so it must still have a vlid purpose.
2) The whole idea of focusing on a single “purpose” and establishing its having been served as a reason to effectively disband the UN is absurd. As I explained in my burdens assessment, deciding whether the UN should be retained should only consider its total net benefit. If it achieved a central purpose, then that purpose is no longer relevant to its success going forward, nor its current net benefits.
The notion that the UN cannot be modernized is just plain wrong. The quote Con provides just states another person’s opinion on the matter, but he provides no support for the statement. Con even goes so far as to point out the P5 as a problem, but both our cases seek to address that, so clearly these major problems can be resolved.
Contention 3: The Security Council
The second plank of my plan resolves this problem, at least in part. It does not allow single countries with personal interests to veto bills - any vetoes would have to be decided by at least 3 of the countries on the permanent Council – and it better represents the world by including countries from every continent. I’m not under the impression that my policy choice will solve this completely because, as Con states, these are still among the strongest countries in the world and most nations are left out of these decisions. However, the reality is that these countries would not contribute resources to the UN if they did not have some form of power. An effort to include every other country and give them an equal vote on every matter would push these countries away, dramatically reducing available resources (more on this on his counterplan).
However, solving this problem isn’t necessary to show that the UN is net beneficial. Despite the lack of representation on the Security Council and the issue of veto power, all Con is really talking about is how the UN is flawed because of its inaction. In fact, this seems to be a common theme throughout most of Con’s arguments: the UN should have accomplished more than it has, and because of its inaction/the structure of its bureaucracy, it is allowing terrible things to keep happening. That argument is correct, but it doesn’t show that the UN is doing harm. All it shows is that the UN could feasibly be doing more good than it is. So not only are these arguments solely functioning as mitigation (meaning they are not furthering Con’s side of the debate, which is to show that the UN is net harmful and therefore should not be retained), but they’re also non-unique, since a lack of meaningful intervention would persist with Con’s counterplan (more on this on his counterplan).
Lastly, Con’s argument suggests that the UN intervening more is an automatic benefit. I would disagree. The UN has a very limited set of resources available to it, has to draw from a variety of member nations in order to get those resources, and inevitably ends up falling short in its interventions for that reason. Con is simply spreading those resources more thinly.
Contention 4: Colonialism
I honestly don’t get this argument. The title of the contention suggests that Con views the process of sending condoms over to a nation as an effort to acquire some measure of control over those countries. Seems like an awfully strange way to manage that, especially as the UN is only providing the means to reduce birth rates, not forcing people to use them.
But if Con really wants to talk about taking control of a country, he probably shouldn’t have mentioned that the UN should ship food to them, which is what a lot of countries end up doing (the US included). Food aid has been used as a political weapon. It’s fine when all you’re doing is emergency relief, but when it’s a continuous effort, food aid “undercuts local farmers, who cannot compete and are driven out of jobs and into poverty, further slanting the market share of the larger producers such as those from the US and Europe.” That sounds like the perpetuation of colonialism to me. Maybe Con views the export of condoms (which have no effect on local markets) as an effort to “liberalize” other countries, but it seems apparent that it was an effort to address the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic in these nations. Clearly, that effort failed, but that doesn’t mean that colonialism is alive and well in the form of insidious condom delivery and promotion *shudder*. And as I pointed out in my case, it’s clear that the UN has had a substantially positive effect on the incidence of HIV/AIDS worldwide, even if this single effort was a failure.
As for the claim that his counterplan will solve for this, it doesn’t hold up. Experts would logically have proposed that condoms would work in any setting, and if the UN is pushing its views on a country, Con is providing no means to end this. Giving the affected country what Con believes is “leverage” does nothing if the country has no means to veto the decision beyond getting every single permanent Security Council member on board. If a majority of the UN believes something, they can still force those views on other nations.
Finally, the counterplan. A few major responses.
We have a problem with burdens. Please note my second point under the burdens analysis (I’m bolding the relevant pieces):
"My opponent is welcome to present the framework for a separate organization that should replace the UN, though bear in mind that the two must be mutually exclusive (i.e. the UN could not implement changes to make itself functionally equivalent to this other organization). The reason for this is that he would essentially be arguing that the UN as an institution actually should be retained, just in a slightly altered form. That would be an argument for my side of the resolution."
This is important because whatever organization Con wanted to use to juxtapose against the UN, it had to be separate, i.e. the UN itself would have to be done away with as an overarching framework. Now, why did I say this? Because when you’re talking about retaining the UN, you’re talking about the institution itself, not every individual piece. Con was welcome to suggest an entirely different structure that would take essential pieces of the UN and fold them into its purview. He was welcome to even take some of the structural features of the UN and use them as part of this new organization. I wouldn’t have objected to any of these, so long as there was some clear mutual exclusion that separated his organization from the UN.
But despite this ground being available and clearly articulated by me in the first round, Con has failed to uphold his burden. He even goes so far as to state, in no uncertain terms, that he DOES want to retain the UN, just in a slightly altered form:
“I am not advocating that we do away completely with the UN, rather that we focus on major structural changes, that does away with the present UN, and forms a modernized UN.”
That’s a blatant concession that he’s failed to meet his burden with this counterplan. The organization would still be called the United Nations, it would still have all the same structure (with a structural change to the power structure in the Security Council and a more compartmentalized approach to interventions), and it would still serve the same basic purposes as the UN does today. Much as Con’s changes might be a good idea (and I’ll get to that shortly), and they are mutually exclusive, he’s fundamentally failing to meet his burden of presenting a case where the UN is not retained. And since this is the last round in which constructive arguments can be presented, Con has failed to meet the main burden of presenting such a case. So voters can choose to do one of two things: vote Con down on the basis that the hasn’t met that burden, or default his case to simply disbanding the UN as a whole.
Con’s counterplan planks are more than a little lacking in important details and clarity.
He states that he’s going to “completely do away with the security council”… but he’s not going to do away with the Security Council, as he states within the same paragraph that there would still be permanent members of that Council, that the G4 countries would be added to it, that countries affected by their votes would be included in it (not quite clear what the bounds of that are), and that they would have the power to basically veto resolutions so long as there’s unanimous agreement. If they don’t reach unanimity, then the decision goes to “a general majority vote from the branch.” It’s not all that clear what “the branch” is, but I’m guessing he’s either talking about the total Security Council (10 more members) or bringing it to the General Assembly (which is actually an entirely separate branch). I’d assume the former, but that wouldn’t be the kind of majority vote that Con is espousing, since most of the nations of the world wouldn’t be involved.
He’s doing away with peacekeepers and replacing them with... “trained specialists”… except not, because he’s also talking about a need to create “a better system for training UN peacekeepers,” which means that he still wants peacekeepers… I’m not very clear on where the divide is. Con seems to want trained specialists in some instances, and trained UN peacekeepers in others, but isn’t specific about which group should go where. They should go to specific places only if they have “expertise and relevance to the mission,” but he doesn’t show that the UN has the resources to do this or how the UN would decide what expertise is most relevant.
And the problems with the second plank run deeper than just being vague. Con wants to send a single expert or even a small group of experts into a region to resolve problems. How, exactly, are the directions of those experts going to be followed and enforced in the absence of a peacekeeping force? The UN needs manpower to carry out its missions, not just a good mind or set of minds directing the action, yet he’s making clear that he doesn’t want those forces to be present. This is going to make acting in these countries much more difficult, particularly where the local population is being decimated with diseases like Cholera. Con also talks about improving training for UN troops, even specifying training standards, but fails to address the inherent problem, which is that UN troops contributions are unreliable and often come last minute. That leaves little to no time for training, and it forces the UN to accept troops that don’t meet its basic standards. Con’s case doesn’t solve for this, whereas my case provides a standing force that will be trained.
All of this creates two problems. One, since Pro’s case is not apparent in its essential functions, it’s difficult to understand how it would play out. I have specified all the vital details for my case. Voters should prefer a case with a clearly articulated means of action. Two, there are inherent barriers to Con’s solvency, which means that he’s not clearly solving for any of the harms he placed on my case. That means he incurs all the same disadvantages. Where his plan is clear, it is making those issues worse by limiting/removing necessary manpower and by reducing other currently available resources.
3) P5 countries will opt out
Con is effectively removing the vast majority of the power that P5 nations have by removing anything resembling veto power. It’s because of that veto power that P5 nations are willing to pay dues at all: they need to retain substantial control over the actions of the UN to have that buy-in. While my plan does soften that veto power, Con’s does away with it entirely. What’s more, he essentially provides equal power to countries involved in their decisions. I’ll get into more of why this matters later, but to be clear, this doesn’t mean that only one country will be added for each decision they make. If the goal is to, say, intervene in the Syrian conflict, then Syria would need a seat at the table, but so would the surrounding nations who are affected by that conflict because they are also affected by the decision to respond to that conflict. Even if we just assume that countries with over 100,000 refugees would have a say, that’s still 11 more countries that would have an equal voice in the decisions made in that region. Let me put that in context. That means that they would have to get 20 nations on-board in order to stop a general majority, wherever that may take place. Getting that many countries to agree on any proposal is asking a lot, let alone regarding intervention in one of the most divisive regions in the world.
And the P5 won’t stand for having such a limited voice in this process. They may choose to retain their seats, but they are far less likely to contribute substantial resources to the UN, which is a big problem if you want to increase the activity of that institution. As I said in the first plank of my plan, the UN is absolutely dependent on member contributions, particularly from the US. France, the UK, China and Russia are all in the top 9 contributors to the UN regular budget. Even if they do contribute, these countries are likely to use their wallets in lieu of veto power, i.e. they will withhold necessary resources for any mission they don’t support. That’s effectively a veto, particularly from the US, except that it’s actually worse. At least with veto power, they may feel obligated to provide resources to the UN because they can direct it away from missions they don’t like. That means those funds can be used for missions the US supports, or missions that it regards neutrally. Con is taking that incentive away, and as such, they will solely direct their resources towards missions they support. That means the UN will have a glut of resources for some missions, and far less for the rest. And without veto power, the UN is likely to commit to a lot more. That means more failed missions.
Before I get to the list of questions, a bit of counter-rebuttal.
In terms of case response, Con only attacks one aspect of my argument, which is the second plank of my plan. To start, he argues that the seats won’t be permanent if they don’t pay their dues. He’s exactly correct: if countries wish to maintain their advantageous position within the UN, they are required to meet their basic obligations to that organizations, which means paying dues. Con even goes so far as to state my reasoning himself: “The key reason the five countries don't pay their dues is because their place is permanent, they don't have to worry about losing their seats, as they are, in fact, permanent.” These seats will be available to them should they pay their dues regularly. If they fail to do so, they’ll lose their seats until they pay.
Now, why all this focus on money? Well, as I’ve said multiple times throughout this rebuttal, the UN has a lot of finite resources. Some of those resources are soldiers and supplies, and funding tends to be pretty tight, but funding is mainly critical for the individual agencies, which tend to function rather poorly without it. A lot of the functions I’ve described in my case require this funding. So, while funding won’t solve everything, it’s still necessary for a lot of the good things that the UN does. Requiring some of the highest paying nations to keep paying year-on-year ensures that those functions continue. While Con’s case exacerbates these problems, mine addresses them.
Con brings up a good point, though: recessions happen, and when they do, money is tight. As a result, we should expect that the UN funding should be one of the first things to go. That would be a fine argument… if the dues represented a substantial portion of US funds in general. “In 2016, the U.S. government contributed more than $10 billion to the United Nations, of which about $6 billion was voluntary and $4 billion was assessed. (This represents roughly twenty percent of the $50 billion the United States spends annually on foreign aid, which, in comparison, is also about what the government allocates annually to the U.S. Coast Guard.)”. Note that 60% of what we paid that year was entirely voluntary – that’s not part of what would be required to maintain their seat. Moreover, the US pays by far the most of any country, over double what Japan (the next country down) paid in the last 3 years. It’s not at all clear why, if the US can afford this easily (even during the 2008 recession), other countries are unable to do the same with their far lower dues.
However, all of this is besides the point. That same article explains that dues are based on an average per capita GNP compared to global average GNP. If a recession happened, the GNP would fall relative to other countries, and the dues of that country would decrease. That’s the reason why South Africa’s dues are significantly lower than those of England – the strength of a country’s economy, currency and all, are accounted for. If a country decides that it doesn’t want to spare the amount for whatever reason, they will lose their seat to another country that will, and be able to retrieve it when they pay up. If you want one of the most powerful seats at the table, you’ve got to contribute.
The last point Con makes here is that giving resources is somehow turning the UN into “a bartering central,” which doesn’t make sense to me. If a country decides to provide weapons, experts in a field to help with operations, more soldiers, or any number of other assistance, then that should be assessed as part of their contribution and deducted from the dues they owe. I don’t see how it’s a negative to cut out the middle man and provide necessary resources instead of just finances. The UN would still proceed with all of its basic functions, and its functionality would improve as a result.
Lastly, as Con requested, I’ll respond to his questions. Answering the above rebuttals would be sufficient for me:
Q1: May I ask you to detail how pregnancy is safer for women. Is it through birth control,or by ethical means? UN peacekeepers are representative of the UN's values, so if they are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, how is this achieved?
If you check out source #22, you’ll see what these efforts look like:
“support to midwifery and anesthesia-training schools… strengthening regulatory mechanisms, developing and strengthening education and accreditation mechanisms… promoting the development and role of midwives associations… equip[ing them] with the necessary textbooks, training models, and mannequins… train[ing] midlevel health care providers… in integrated emergency obstetric care and surgery… Health Mananagement Information System (HMIS) tools… distributed to all health facilities in the country to enhance commodity delivery and tracking… Gaps at health facilities – such as low knowledge or insertion skills among health facility workers – that have resulted in poor uptake of long-term family-planning methods were identified. As a result, UNFPA has offered training to health-facility workers in IUCD insertion. Contraceptive procurement has also been going on for large quantities… developmental education programme[s]… consultative workshops… a year-long campaign to stop early marriage, an HTP that significantly increases a young woman’s risk of death or injury in childbirth.’
I’d argue that all of these methods are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, which I’d say are the same as the UN values.
Q2: If the UN represents the world, in what situation were the LGBT people at the time of "lacking rights." From the statement, it seems as if the UN promotes LGBT rights, when conservatives and the Catholic Church are against the notion altogether. Is the UN trying to force ideals and policies on the nation where this is occurring, or did the nation give consent first?
In source #18, there are separate links that clearly spell out what is done in these countries.
“Being LGBTI in Asia is a regional programme aimed at addressing inequality, violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, and promotes universal access to health and social services. It is a collaboration between governments, civil society, regional institutions and other stakeholders to advance the social inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. The programme recognizes that LGBTI people are highly marginalized and face varied forms of stigma and discrimination based on their distinct sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.”
If you’re put off by the idea that this is somehow an effort to force ideals and policies on these nations, be my guest and argue it. I’d be happy to defend their right to basic liberties and safety. Human rights are being violated in these nations for this subset of people, so addressing that seems entirely reasonable for an organization that seeks to protect those rights worldwide for all peoples.
Q3: The question here is, how do you make a change to the UN without changing its structure? I state that the UN has to make structural changes that reshape the UN from peacekeeping objectives to the role of the Security Council, whereas you value change, but not to a point where it interferes with the internal principles of the UN. Here, you seem to make a structural change, with only two votes to turn down a given action. If you want more people on the Security Council, how is the two factored into the group? Second, two doesn't represent the majority, three does, so where is the rationale behind this?
It doesn’t alter the structure of the UN itself. They have facilities to house these troops and utilize troops from diverse countries commonly. They have specific protocols to train them, and do so, as you’ve pointed out. The only difference between this change and status quo is that they either have the forces readily available or they just must request them for each individual mission. Beyond that, as I’ve already stated on my Burdens point, structural changes to the UN are allowed on my side of the debate, mainly because the resolution only requires me to defend the UN as an institution, not all its constituent parts. As for the two votes… that was a mis-type. Any decision to deploy this force should require three votes, the same that is required to veto a resolution. In effect, three countries on the council must approve, but if three countries are against it, any such effort would be vetoed. Con rightly points out that this doesn’t represent a majority of the Security Council. This is because permanent members would rescind their resources in lieu of veto power.
Q4: However, how would this prevent cases like the Rwanda Genocide? Volunteering shows support to the issue, but does that make them more qualified than my example, in that without a peacekeeping force, the UN rather has highly specialized branches?
I don’t believe it would have prevented the genocide, nor do I believe that Con’s case would. As stated earlier, the lack of response to the genocide wasn’t the result of a veto from the P5, so diminishing that power would not have affected the response. What it does do is make the response to said genocide all the stronger and faster. Con’s proposal doesn’t appear to improve response times or strength. At best, he’s providing better leadership for when the response occurs, though it’s unclear that using more specialized responses with more tailored experts would facilitate any prevention or amelioration of any genocides.
Sounds like a plausible excuse, but no more plausible than the southern regions not getting near as much sun in it's summer than the North pole, as in the flat earth model.Pogue said:The truth can be denied. You do it all the time. So, the truth that is easy-to-digest is the truth that is more truthful. You said the round Earth is easy. So, the Earth is round. The second one is what I do.someone234 said:@Pogue The truth cannot be denied unless a more easy-to-digest truth is given.
Round earth is easy, space is easy and atheism is easy.
Try to stop thinking 'I know nothing and proof comes first' try to think 'I am a genius and will think ahead of the proof and comprehend the proof better when/if it comes such that I can piece together all the possible scenarios and ascertain which is the real one.'This is a red herring fallacy. This is irrelevant to my argument. I can only assume you conceded. This is a disprove of a flat Earth. I will, however, respond to this red herring.Erfisflat said:
A massive ice sheet covers almost all of Antarctica. Although there are many glaciers in the Arctic, Greenland has the only permanent ice sheet, but it's only 1/8 the size of the ice sheet that Antartica has.
As the Arctic Ocean surrounds the North Pole, the ice cover is sea ice that floats on the ocean (only about 10-20 feet / 3-6 meters thick), instead of that massive ice sheet (more than 2 miles / 3 kilometers thick in places).
The Arctic's thin ice cover has water, not land, under it. While the water is anything but warm (its temperature is, naturally, above the freezing point - or else it would be ice), it is much, much warmer than the air above the ice - and some of this heat makes its way through the ice to the air.
The ice cap over the Arctic Ocean is always moving because of the winds above it and the ocean currents beneath it. This movement causes large cracks (called "leads") to open up - even in winter - and this allows ocean heat to escape into the air.
Land loses heat faster than water. The Antarctic has stronger winds than the Arctic. During the summer months, Arctic land, unlike Antarctica, is mostly free of snow and ice cover. This not only contributes to warmer temperatures but allows for much plant growth as well. http://www.athropolis.com/arctic-facts/fact-poles.htm
"Both polar regions of the earth are cold, primarily because they receive far less solar radiation than the tropics and mid-latitudes do. At either pole, the sun never rises more than 23.5 degrees above the horizon and both locations experience six months of continuous darkness. Moreover, most of the sunlight that does shine on the polar regions is reflected by the bright white surface.
What makes the South Pole so much colder than the North Pole is that it sits on top of a very thick ice sheet, which itself sits on a continent. The surface of the ice sheet at the South Pole is more than 9,000 feet in elevation--more than a mile and a half above sea level. Antarctica is by far the highest continent on the earth. In comparison, the North Pole rests in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, where the surface of floating ice rides only a foot or so above the surrounding sea.The Arctic Ocean also acts as an effective heat reservoir, warming the cold atmosphere in the winter and drawing heat from the atmosphere in the summer." https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-is-the-south-pole-col/
Please respond to my argument instead of committing fallacies. I will repost it just for you. Another disproof of the flat Earth is Paleoclimates. Antartica has coal. Coal is only formed in areas with plants. Antartica is too cold for that. So it would have had to have been closer to the Equator where it is hotter. If Antartica is a wall, this would be impossible.
Here, take the links.
https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/14032016/mapping-antarctica-coal-coal2016-388/ https://discoveringantarctica.org.uk/challenges/sustainability/mineral-resources/ ;
http://www.globalclassroom.org/antarct3.html https://www.azomining.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=239 ;
https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica fact file/science/threats_mining_oil.php
Here, take the pages. https://www.google.com/search?q=antarctica+found+with+coal&rlz=1CAACAR_enUS768US768&ei=--q6WvT8Icvr5gK-0I2IAw&start=10&sa=N&biw=1366&bih=646&safe=active&ssui=on ;
Here, take some google scholar links.
ITS establishes cross-cutting peacekeeping training strategies, implements work plans and is at the centre of planning and reporting on the training budget for DPKO and DFS, providing programmatic and substantive review of reports, briefing notes, statements and other documents and communications on and advocacy for peacekeeping training." (10)
While it seems as if the UN does have trained specialists, these are not necessarily the people who are on the mission, rather they delegate the work to future peacekeepers. Instead of preparing a person to deal with every situation, a restructure must include the same diversity, but on a single task, so that peacekeeping is not merely political, but rooted in the field that must be dealt with. In this way, nations would see fewer troops entering their area, but they would be armed with prior knowledge, safety procedures, ethical duties, and most importantly, an idea of what to do. Leadership would be delegated under the same specialists who taught the peacekeepers, and would be responsible for all happenings in the nation.
These are questions I would like to see answered that will be useful for the final round of rebuttals. I encourage whiteflame to ask similar questions upon choosing.
Q1: You state that "The UNFPA is seeking to put an end to obstetric fistulas and female genital mutilation, to make pregnancy safer for women, and to promote their equality and physical safety."
May I ask you to detail how pregnancy is safer for women. Is it through birth control,or by ethical means? UN peacekeepers are representative of the UN's values, so if they are promoting equality and safer pregnancy, how is this achieved?
Q2: You state that "These efforts have yielded substantial decreases in the incidence of HIV, malaria and TB in countries where these efforts would have otherwise been impossible. They’ve also sought to promote rights in a number of nations where LGBT communities lack basic protections."
I will not use this debate to attack LGBT rights, but I will leave my opponent with this question. If the UN represents the world, in what situation were the LGBT people at the time of "lacking rights." From the statement, it seems as if the UN promotes LGBT rights, when conservatives and the Catholic Church are against the notion altogether. Is the UN trying to force ideals and policies on the nation where this is occurring, or did the nation give consent first?
Q3: You state that "While there is a lot of detail in this, let’s just focus on the major hits to simplify. This includes the formation of a standing army composed of approximately 12,000-15,000 members, ranging widely but trained by the UN directly. They would function under a single command structure, being directly loyal to the UN. The deployment can be authorized by the Security Council, requiring two vetoes in order to vote down a given action."
The question here is, how do you make a change to the UN without changing its structure? I state that the UN has to make structural changes that reshape the UN from peacekeeping objectives to the role of the Security Council, whereas you value change, but not to a point where it interferes with the internal principles of the UN. Here, you seem to make a structural change, with only two votes to turn down a given action. If you want more people on the Security Council, how is the two factored into the group? Second, two doesn't represent the majority, three does, so where is the rationale behind this?
Q4: You state that "They will have volunteered to enlist, improving dedication to each cause."
You also state that they have a central leadership and will perform better having fought for a unified cause. However, how would this prevent cases like the Rwanda Genocide? Volunteering shows support to the issue, but does that make them more qualified than my example, in that without a peacekeeping force, the UN rather has highly specialized branches?
In conclusion, I do not advocate a destruction of the UN, or that we shouldn't have a branch with a similar scope that the UN has. Rather, we need structural changes that do away with the old views of the UN, and replace the branch with more modern means.
1. A complete restructure in the Security Council that does away with the five powers and sets more reasonable standards that give all countries a say in world affairs and takes away most of the power the five countries currently hold.
2. Training the individual branches with ethics committees and people specialized in a certain area. This involves doing away with peacekeepers in favor of better trained individuals trained not by the UN, but by knowledgeable individuals. Additionally, there would be increased security measures and a reshaping of what constitutes peacekeeping in the area.
3. Indirectly, I am advocating that the agencies, under the new UN, would work to make their roles acquainted to the task at hand. In this way, the organizations would not inflict the views of the UN on the country, such as condoms to decrease rapid birth rates, but rather propose the solution and giving the country leverage in its own affairs, as noted by my Security council argument. Just because the organization keeps the views of the UN does not mean that the UN is the primary judge of what is ethically and morally right or wrong.
Thus, because the UN will never bring itself to make these changes, reasons aforementioned above, the UN can not function as its current self and should not be retained.
Thank you for reading, and back to whiteflame.
Sources! (There may be more, but this is a basic list.)