'Double Trouble (DT)' (afirmatori) vs 'L.E.D' (negatori)
A1 (Ehab Haddad)
Definition of Democracy throughout history:
Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or indirectly through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, religious, cultural, ethnic and racial equality, justice, liberty and fraternity.
Democracy is a human right, and makes the quality of life for people under democratic states better in many different aspects.
People generally live better lives under democratic governments. Compared to inhabitants of non-democracies, citizens of democracies enjoy greater individual liberty, political stability, freedom from governmental violence, enhanced quality of life, and a much lower risk of suffering a famine (all of which will be better explained in the example mentioned below).
As human beings, it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak and help them when necessary, no matter what means they need to use. Means justify actions. If western countries had the ability to improve the well being and life of the citizens of other countries of the world, the only right thing to do would be to stop at nothing to help them. This principle applies to everything else in the world, the rich help the poor, the teachers educate students and mothers protect their children, so what should stop it from being applied to democracy? Especially when that means radical improvements in the quality of life for many different people.
Democracy Leads to Liberty:
Spreading democracy enhances the lives of those who live in democracies by promoting individual liberty, including freedom of expression (whether through belonging to political parties or just by expressing opinions in newspapers), freedom of conscience, and freedom to own private property.
Liberal Democracies are less Likely to Use Violence Against Their Own People.
Since the citizens of liberal democracies already approve of their government they are less likely to protest against it and by that the consequences of these actions are fairly diminished.
Also worth mentioning is that the spread of democracy leads to relative absence of civil violence in democracies: Democratic political systems constrain the power of governments, reducing their ability to commit mass murders of their own populations.
Democratic polities allow opposition to be expressed openly and have regular processes for the peaceful transfer of power.
Saddam Hussein, the fifth president of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2013. Notorious for his age of tyranny, during his period as ruler and president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein is known to be the murderer of thousands of his own citizens and Iraqi civilians for unworthy reasons other than his reason to be feared by all.
This is all clear throughout his history of ruling Iraq, for example, one of the incidents was the Reprisal against Dujail.
On July 8, 1982, Saddam Hussein was visiting the town of Dujail when a group of militants (having had enough of his tyranny) shot at his motorcade. In reprisal for this assassination attempt, the entire town was punished. More than 140 fighting-age men were apprehended and never heard from again. Approximately 1,500 other townspeople, including children, were rounded up and taken to prison, where many were tortured. After a year or more in prison, many were exiled to a southern desert camp. The town itself was destroyed; houses were bulldozed and orchards were demolished.
Examples such as these are many (The Shiite Uprising and the Anfal campaign, etc), and the Iraqis lived in constant fear from Saddam and feared the consequences of rebelling against him even more.
On 20 March 2003, the USA along with many different western democracies finally invaded Iraq after several alleged claims. The USA entered Iraq starting with airplane bombings and then with the use of its military force and army and was finally able to capture Saddam Hussein and imprison him giving power to the Iraqi people to finally take back part of the revenge they so desperately deserved after all these years of living in fear and tyranny, and the USA gave Saddam Hussein back to the Iraqi people to undergo a fair trial done by the Iraqis, and at the end was executed by those who feared him most, and thus Justice was served.
If the USA had never intervened, the massacres in Iraq would never have ended, the Iraqi people would still be living in fear under the ruling of a tyrant and Justice would have never had its way.
This is why it is a duty and a responsibility of western democracies to spread democracy across the world even when this involves using force.
N1 (Paul Chichernea)
This is speaker number one from the negative team and we would like to start our counter-argumentation by accepting the definition of democracy given by the affirmative team and continue by adding some more.
Moral duty = a belief that is prescribed by a set of values
Using force = the involvement of a western democracies in a non-democratic country in order to impose democracy as a form of government
1. True democracy -> Affirmative argument1
As the affirmative team has stated, people do generally live better under healthy democratic governments. For a country to be a „healthy” democracy, people need to want it. Because if the people don’t really want it or they don’t really know that democracy means the results could be catastrophic. It would be similar to giving a 8 year old a license to drive, he could manage it, but most probably he will crash and hurt himself. More specific, the international opinion over Arab Spring interventions is that the USA needed another source of oil, otherwise they would have helped the people achieve democracy through other means than using force. In conclusion, if the people really want democracy they should take the first steps, and be left alone to manufacture their own regime rather than be given on a plate an “idea regime”.
2. Imposing democracy leads to unsatisfied people -> Affirmative argument2
Democracy does lead to liberty, but the issue at stake here is whether an imposed democracy has the same characteristics and impact as a gained one. The people who previously lived under a tyrant would have the impression that they just changed tyrants and not really feel the liberty that supposedly had been given to them. The imposing of the democracy by using force that took place in Iraq took a turn for the worse and created an anti – US occupation forces wave of thought. This proves that the Iraqi people don’t want foreigners intervening in their internal problems, nor does any other country. We must not make the mistake that if a population rebels against the regime they must immediately be helped and coached into what we perceive as being good for them. Teachers show their students what is good for them and give them the necessary tools to achieve their goals; they do not forcefully impose on them their views of life.
3. An imposed democracy is not true democracy -> Affirmative argument3
The third argument of the affirmative team also represents a reality of democracy. Nevertheless, the imposition of democracy by force creates by its definition a spill of blood where many civilians die and also creates a war-torn zone. Since the beginning of the war a total of 120.000 of civilians died because of the war in Iraq. When a foreign country decides to impose democracy in another country, this situation could degenerate into a war that could destroy the country’s infrastructure and also lose many more people compared to the situation where the people would revolt themselves. Also, as I have previously explained this leads to an unjust hate towards the West, which will eventually result in the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. Last, but not least, since both teams agreed that liberal democracies are anti-violence, it would be counter-productive to show otherwise.
4. The new leaders should be wanted -> Affirmative argument4
The fourth argument of the affirmative team is in fact, another advantage of democracy but this will never happen in a country where democracy was imposed. When a revolution takes place it creates leaders, supported by the population, that are able to immediately establish a government to quickly organize the country. When democracy is imposed, the imposer delegates someone to form the government, which is undemocratic method. This can lead to more riots and spill of civilian blood. The transition from the imposed leader to the one supported by the people would be paved in riots and deaths, and this only because the imposed leader isn’t legitimate to lead.
Furthermore, the example of Iraq is a very misfortunate one because, even though the regime of Saddam Hussein was an abdominal one, the Iraqi people didn’t have the chance to fight for their own freedom. Democracy was imposed to them by the USA with the cost of roughly 120.000 deaths of civilian population. Also, 70% percent of the population were unhappy by how the coalition forces had carried their responsibilities in Iraq1. In another pole 53% of the Iraqi population doesn’t feel safe in their own neighborhood2 after nearly 5 years since the beginning of the war. This large amount of time in which the forces couldn’t restore order, shows that the USA failed to impose democracy and create a peaceful area, they only managed to keep Iraq a war torn country.
Because of all the arguments stated above we believe that western democracies should never spread democracy using force but instead, use peace full methods.
1http://www.globalpolicy.org/invasion-and-war/iraqi-public-opinion-and-polls.html Articles -> 2008 ->Iraq Opinion Poll (March 2008) page 12.
2http://www.globalpolicy.org/invasion-and-war/iraqi-public-opinion-and-polls.html Articles -> 2008 ->Iraq Opinion Poll (March 2008) page 15.
A2 (Rana Srouji)
1- People do generally live better under democratic governments.
The opposition team has stated that in order for people to live better with democracy, they should want it first.
We disagree. Some people do not know of a better state to live in than the current miserable one they have, that does not mean they don’t want what they don’t know about. We believe they should be given a chance to learn of what they are missing out on. People who do not live in democracy do not know of the freedom and the better lifestyle that comes with it, this is why it is the duty of western countries to show them what their lives can be like and open up their eyes to the endless possibilities of better lives that come when they know and learn about their right for democracy.
We also disagree with the example the opposition team gave and would rather use the example of giving democracy to people would be like giving the child the right of self expression through choosing what he wants to study which would most probably lead to geniuses being made in different fields of science and talents.
This is why the people should not be left alone to manufacture their own regime of building their own democracy – since they do not know what life under true democracy is in order to know that they want it.
2- Rebuttal for “Imposing democracy leads to unsatisfied people”.
It is true that in some cases, the people may have the feeling that they have only switched tyrants, but at least something has changed, and change is always a good thing. At least at that point, the people lose their fear of the first tyrant, and because of that are now able to think for themselves to go against whomever they want.
What happened in Iraq proves exactly that. After the USA saved the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein, the people finally experienced life without him and the fear he had them all living under, and finally started to think for themselves, and decided to revolutionize their country by not letting anyone else have that much power over them, this is why, at the slightest hint of control the USA imposed on Iraq, the Iraqi people started to express themselves and their unwillingness to have the Americans living on their ground and taking advantage of their raw materials.
The people were finally thinking for themselves, something they would have never done under the ruling of a tyrant.
Also worth mentioning, is that the casualties that resulted from the imposing of democracy by the USA on Iraq, are much less in comparison to the large numbers of killings and massacres that were carried out under the ruling of their previous tyrant Saddam Hussein - most of which were not fully covered by the media.
3- An imposed democracy causes more casualties that in the case of people’s revolutions.
The opposition team states that in cases of imposed democracy the casualties of war are higher than the casualties that would result in the case of the people revolting for their own right for democracy.
This is proven wrong by what has been going on in Syria for the past 3 years. In Syria, the people have been revolting for their own democracy and trying to gain it, but the only results they have been able to reap was the number of casualties rising to more than 100,000 deaths so far, not to mention the large numbers who are now left homeless, injured and living in poverty.
If the USA had taken part in this case, the number of war casualties would have been much less and the Syrian people would be in the process of rebuilding themselves up with the hope for a better future instead of being in their miserable lives of constant fear, pain and sorrow which show no signs of ending anytime soon, leaving the number of casualties in the rise.
No matter how bad the Iraqi situation is now, it is much better than it used to be since they now have hope. Hope that is helping them change the land and country they are most loyal to, to become somewhere they are proud to live in. The USA, through imposing democracy - and even with its downsides (nothing exists without a downside) was able to give the Iraqi people the greatest gift of all – Hope.
In conclusion, when western countries have the chance to help out, they should. When they see something unfair, they should change it.
The cause justifies the means, and doing something is better than standing idle, it will at least lead to change (the only constant in life) and by that lead to survival and life.
N2 (Andreea Dumitrescu)
This is L.E.D. bringing counter-arguments to the opposition.
- Democracy should be spread, not imposed
The affirmative team stated in their rebuttal that the people, even if they don’t know what democracy is about, that shouldn’t miss on it because people generally live better under democratic governments. We would like to start by saying that if the people don’t know what democracy is about they could never appreciate it to its value. We agree with the affirmative team that it is the duty of the western democracies to show the people what they are missing out on, but not by imposing it by force. As we were saying in our previous speech, the transition should be peaceful the people should be educated by western democracies and figure out for themselves what they should do next. We also didn’t say that the people shouldn’t receive the help they need but the imposition of democracy is a stretch. The idea that democracy is good for the people even if they don’t understand it is similar to making a 5 year old listen to long speech about quantum physics. The speech is very important for the evolution of physics but with the wrong person in the auditorium.
- Change of tyrants, no change at all
We all think and know that democracy is in benefit of the people. So the situation is similar. The people in Iraq didn’t like the tyrant Saddam Hussein, and after the US murdered him they don’t like the US occupation force. The similarity of these situations is that the Iraqi people don’t do anything to change this. No demonstrations, no protests, the people in Iraq are frustrated that the occupation forces came and imposed on them while the whole world watches the US how they take advantage of the Iraqi oil. This second argument links with our first one that said the people need to want democracy to avoid the situation in Iraq where the Iraqi people hated Saddam Hussein, don’t like the US occupation forces but don’t do anything to chance this and feel cheated and oppressed by the US forces. Meanwhile the hate towards the western democracies is raising and they are being seen as greedy oil eaters.
In the subject of the Saddam Hussein’s regime causing more casualties that the USA we will disregard this affirmation since the affirmative team didn’t bring any evidence or at least an article from a newspaper that sustained their affirmation. Looking back at their line of argumentation we believe that we won this area of conflict.
- Education is the path towards true democracy
First of all, we disagree with the interpretation given by the affirmative team to our previous argument. We did not state that “the casualties of war are higher than the casualties that would result in the case of the people revolting for their own right for democracy”. On the contrary, we suggested that healthy democracies are those where people desire this regime and could be ready, if needed, to fight for it, considered they acknowledge it as their right and necessity. What we do believe is that the casualties of a tyrannical regime may be lower than the casualties resulting from western democracies imposing their regime by force. And this affirmation has been explained in our previous arguments.
The situation in Syria is an unfortunate one but we have no guarantee that if the NATO would interfere, the number of causalities would be smaller or the situation better. Actually, there are facts and alliances indicating that western interventions in Syria are dangerous and would increase the proportions of the current war. For example, Hezbollah threatened to attack Israel if the West intervenes, and Iran would join Syria and Hezbollah in case of a war with Israel. Also, it is known that Syria possesses one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world, and there is concern that Assad could use these weapons on civilians if he perceives his regime to be in trouble. 
Moreover, we agree that interventions of USA may have rendered a civic and patriotic spirit to the Iraqi society, but this comes only as a result of the community acknowledging the bad of the foreign interventions. And we believe that human losses and destruction made by external forces are not the price to pay by any nation in the name of a said democracy. Instead of using force, western democracies could invest in educating, protecting and supporting the target community, helping it to become more powerful and aware of its rights. In this way, the community would create a proper background for adopting and using the benefits of democracy at its best. As Nelson Mandela stated, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Furthermore, the affirmative team didn’t counter out last argument where we stated that an imposed democracy creates illegitimate leaders which aren’t wanted by the population and they would protest against it.
Because of all the reasons stated above, we believe that we have won every area of conflict. Thank you.
I like the fact that you start by providing a definition of democracy. However, you are wrong when saying that it is opposed to, for instance, monarchy. The UK, Spain or Norway are monarchies. Are they not democracies too? Also, democracy is not a human right, but rather a type of political regime that fosters human rights. In the first part of your reasoning, you mix the argument related to the moral duty of “stronger” states to protect the “weaker” ones and the one referring to various advantages of democracy with respect to human rights and liberties. This makes it a bit hard to follow. You then build a rather weak argument that liberal democracies do not use force against their own people, mainly because the citizens already agree to their governments. However, all this is implied by the respect of human rights in liberal democracies, a point you already made. Of course, democracy is based on humna rights and, implicitely, on the absence of state actions that would violate them. You then try to substantiate your reasoning by bringing Iraq under Saddam Hussein and the US intervention as an example. However, Iraq is probably not the best example. Can you argue that Iraq is now a democracy in which human rights are respected? Also, your example is vulnerable because many argue that the US had their own strategic interests to intervene in Iraq and that it was not “moral duty” that guided the intervention.
Overall, your discourse manages to put forward a case for the affirmative team, but it raises many opportunities for the opposing team to attack it. Regarding the structure of the discourse, you have to integrate your ideas into a coherent text, rather than using single words to mark the important parts, such as “point” or “example”. It is never a good idea to cite Wikipedia, as you did in the beginning of the text. There are tons of books out there dealing with concepts like democracy, monarchy or oligarchy. Also, it is strongly recommended to provide citations to articles, studies, academic journals, books and so on in order to support your claims, otherwise the entire discourse is a long list of personal opinions. The strength of a reasoning comes from the strength of the arguments that build it, not from simple personal opinions.
A1: Content 10, Strategy 6, Style 4 = 20
It is a good thing that you realize that you have to tackle the main points raised by A1. However, you don’t do that properly. When you address argument 1, your reffer to the Arab Spring, which has not been mentioned by A1 (who refferred to Iraq). Also, you mention an “international opinion” regarding the US’ need for oil. On what to you base such a claim? What is the international opinion? Is it written somewhere? There are different sides to a story, let’s not pick only those that we approve, ignore the rest and then claim that everyone thinks the same. Otherwise, you make a good point by saying that the people of a country need to want democracy in order to make a foreign intervention justifiable. I like how you build your counter-arguments for 2, 3 (although here you make many personal observations unsupported by facts) and 4 and another strong point of your discourse is that you speculate the vulnerabilities of A1’s discourse, including the Iraq example. However, in the beginning of your discourse you should build an overarching “case philosophy” that guides the entire reasoning and I don’t see that. You simply tackle the points A1 made. Also, you should try to make your own arguments stand out in the text, separate from the rebuttal. Right now, the reader can only guess your own arguments.
N1: Content 12, Strategy 8, Style 4 – 24
Overall, I like your discourse, because you deal with most of the pints N1 made and you try to fix the weaker points of A1’s discourse. Yet you begin with a very confusing point about people wanting something they’re not familiar with. This is basically impossible to support with facts and also impossible to disagree with. Also, you make several claims about what people “like”, “want” or “know”. How do you establish that? Are the people a homogeneous body, is there no diversity? These are completely unfounded opinions.
I like how you use the Iraq example, by saying that the Iraqi’s disapproval of some American actions is a sign of democracy. Be careful though about mentioning the numerous massacres under Saddam that were not covered by the media. How can you be sure they took place if you can’t find any information regarding them?
The end of the discourse is not the best example of how you should end it. Rather than summarizing your points and restating your line of thought, you take the discussion to a very abstract level, by referring to “hope”. You also say that the entire Iraqi situation, that you also mention, is irrelevant as long as they have hope. But this is similar to the beginning of yor discourse, it is too abstract and confusing to be able to support it with facts. You basically put aside all the arguments you make and regress to something that is very difficult to operationalize.
A2: Content 12, Strategy 6, Style 4 = 22
I like how you rebuttal in your first paragraph, especially the example with the 5-year old and quantum physics. However, the second paragraph is not as good. You make your point in the beginning, by saying that the situation before and after Saddam’s fall is similar, but the way you support this claim in the rest of the paragraph is very weak. It is confusing and you keep going back to the oil problem, which is a speculation. You claim that this is what the people think, but how did you figure out what the people think? Where is that stated?
Further on, you continue the unsound debate about who kills more – dictators during their rule or foreign states wanting to impose democracy? How can you establish that? It is a pointless exchenge of ideas. You do very well by pointing out the lack of evidence regaring Saddam’s victims mentioned by A2, but you do the same mistake when claiming that a foreign intervention would kill more people. Your overview of the potential disastrous impact in the region in the case of an intervention is Syria is worrying, but then it is hard to prove anything in particular (also, avoid blogs as sources, go to the original source instead)
You mention education at the end, but you don’t explain how investing in education would work in practice. Should the US give money to the Syrian government and tell them “Here are the money, invest in education so that people will learn what democracy is, even if you don’t like it?” and expect the Syrian government to do so? If you don’t thoroughly explain your arguments, then they become pointless.
N2: Content 12, Strategy 8, Style 4 – 24
As a general assessment of this debate, I strongly recommend all debaters to be very careful about how you build you reasonings. You must be very thorough in clearly expressing and explaining your arguments and to bring facts and data to support them. Do not rely on personal opinions, none of us is an authority in the field so that his/her opinions should be taken for granted. Do not generalize based on single examples. Do not make statements that are not covered with facts. Learn how to express an overarching idea in the beginning of your reasonings that clearly tell the reader/listener what your position is. Do not simply say “I will now show you why the other team is wrong”. Read more and be ready to cite articles, reports, studies etc. in support of your claims. Otherwise, they will immediately be discarded. Learn how to build more coherent discourses. It is recommended to use subtitles that break the text into parts that are easier to follow, but don’t use them if they make the text more confusing.
The debate round is structured according to several areas of conflict:
Firstly, whether it is better to have democracy imposed by a foreign power or to be fought for by the people. Overall, I believe the negators do a better job by explaining that a democracy cannot function unless a critical mass of citizens are ready to accept it and this is shown by their own actions against a dictatorship.
Secondly, an area of conflict developped around the idea of “quality” of democracy. The affirmative team claims that an imposed democracy is just as good as any other democracy, whereas the negators state that a democracy based on bloodshed cannot function properly with respect to human rights (the backbone of democracy, as you all agreed). I do not think that any of the teams does a convincing job. The affirmative team manage to argue only that any democracy, even one implemented through violence, is better than a dictatorship, while the negators have a too deterministic view that any democracy imposed through violence can never be a “real” democracy.
Finally, there has been a heated debate on who kills more – dictators or a foreign intevention to impose democracy. This is impossible to determine and you should not have entered such a futile dispute. At most you can provide isolated examples that can go either way, but it is impossible to have a rule on this.
Overall, I believe the negators win this debate.
A1: Content 10, Strategy 5, Style 3 – 18
N1: Content 12, Strategy 8, Style 4 – 24
A2: Content 12, Strategy 6, Style 4 – 22
N2: Content 12, Strategy 8, Style 4 – 24
N1 -> 24 puncte
A2 -> 22 puncte
N2 -> 24 puncte