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Essay/Term paper: Lincoln - douglas debate

Essay, term paper, research paper:  High School Essays

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Affirmative Case Introduction- "We must use every tool of

diplomacy and law we have available, while maintaining

both the capacity and the resolve to defend freedom. We

must have the vision to explore new avenues when familiar

ones seem closed. And we must go forward with a will as

great as our goal – to build a practical peace that will

endure through the remaining years of this century and far

into the next." Because I believe so strongly in the words of

U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, when she

spoke at the Stimson Center Event, June 10, 1998, that I

ask you to affirm today"s resolution, "Resolved: The use of

economic sanctions to achieve U.S. Foreign Policy goals is

moral." Before I go on, I feel it necessary to define some

key phrases in this resolution: ? Economic sanctions- the

deliberate, government inspired withdrawal, or threat of

withdrawal, of customary trade or financial relations.

"Customary" does not mean "contractual"; it simply means

levels of trade and financial activity that would probably

have occurred in the absence of sanctions. ? To achieve- to

fulfill ? U.S. Foreign Policy goals- to encompass changes

expressly sought by the sender state in the political

behavior of the target state. ? Moral- capable of right and

wrong action or of being governed by a sense of right;

subject to the law of duty. I ask you to affirm this resolution

in order to achieve my all-important value premise of

societal welfare. To make my position clear, I will define

societal welfare as the United States government"s duty to

act in the nation"s best interest. This also refers to what the

majority of the citizens want. To achieve societal welfare, I

shall utilize the criterion of national security. I will define

national security as the government"s obligation to protect

its citizens. It is in this way that the United States

government must proceed to achieve its greatest goal of

societal welfare by exercising the security of our nation.

Now on to the core of the affirmative case: My first

contention in this debate is that sanctions aim to modify

behavior, not punish. Sanctions do not exist to ostracize or

punish, but rather they encourage a change of policy that

leads to compliance with standards of international law.

One of our goals is to change or destabilize the target"s

government, which means to change its policies that involve

human rights, terrorism, and nuclear nonproliferation.

Others are to disrupt a relatively minor military adventure

and to change the policies of the target in a major way,

such as, to surrender a territory. Our goals are NOT to go

to war or mobilize armed forces. These tools are clearly

intended to change the target"s behavior, but NOT through

economic means. As written by Kimberly Ann Elliot of the

Washington Institute for International Economics:

Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, second edition, and

1998: Sanctions also serve important domestic political

purposes in addition to sometimes changing the behavior of

foreign states. The desire to be seen acting forcefully, but

not to precipitate bloodshed, can easily overshadow

specific foreign policy goals. Indeed, domestic political

goals increasingly appear to be the motivating force behind

the imposition of many recent sanctions. Nevertheless, in

judging the success of sanctions, we confine our

examination to changes in the policies, capabilities, or

government of the target country…For instance, the

success rate (of sanctions) involving destabilization

succeeded in 52 percent of the cases. We establish societal

welfare by means of economic sanctions because they are

aimed at only modifying the behavior of the target country,

not punishing them. My second contention is that affirming

this resolution best protects societal welfare. Sub-point A:

It is not only, what our nation needs; it is also what our

nation wants. It is in the nation"s best interest to put

economic sanctions on offending countries, rather than

using a strategy of isolation or going into war. Through

isolation, we would be implying to citizens of other

countries that we do not want to involve ourselves, even

when the citizens are suffering because of their adulterated

government… War is also not the best solution, because

there is a possibility of the extermination of 6 billion

people… The negative must weigh the consequences and

realize that economic sanctions are a more peaceful

strategy than war… It is still our intent to do well with

sanctions, even if our goals are not achieved. As one of the

greatest philosophers Immanuel Kant once stated: "Nothing

can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it,

which can be called good without qualification, except a

Good Will." Sub-point B: America does not support the

foreign policy of stopping trade on food and medicine. This

is because it would deprive American companies and

farmers of the chance to sell their goods and harm innocent

civilians abroad who are deprived of needed food and

medicine. President Clinton explains at a Press Conference

on Wednesday April 28, 1999 at Capitol Hill: "Food

should not be used as a tool of foreign policy, except under

the most compelling circumstances." It is in the nation"s

best interest to use economic sanctions, rather than going

into war or using a strategy of isolation. My third and final

contention in this debate is that the criterion of national

security selects societal welfare as the superior value.

When it comes to national security, it is justified to use

economic sanctions. The Strategic Plan expresses the

fundamental national interests of the United States in terms

of long-range goals to create a more secure, prosperous,

and democratic world for the American people. In order

for the United States to fulfill its foreign policy goals with

lasting effect, it must have the support of the American

people. The only way of this is for the U.S. government to

protect its civilians. As stated by Harold Brown of the

School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins

University: "A national government has no more

fundamental responsibility than to safeguard the nation"s

security." Having a secured nation achieves societal welfare

because America will then support their government.

Conclusion- As stated by Howard Brembeck of the Fourth

Freedom Forum, "Once we accept the fact that economic

power, not military power, is our strongest weapon, we

can settle international disputes without war." Economic

sanctions on offending countries are the only peaceful

solution and the best alternative in order to keep a secured

environment for America"s people. The action with the

greatest effects is to vote affirmative. On this basis, I ask

you to accept today"s resolution. Negative Case

Introduction- "Nothing can possibly be conceived in the

world or out of it that can be called good without

qualification except a good will." Because I believe so

strongly in the words of one of the greatest philosophers

Immanuel Kant, that I ask you to negate today"s resolution:

"The use of economic sanctions to achieve U.S. Foreign

Policy goals is moral." I ask you to negate this resolution in

order to achieve the all-important value premise of

humanitarianism. Humanitarianism is to achieve the welfare

of all human beings, which is to reduce suffering and reform

laws about punishment. To achieve humanitarianism, I shall

utilize the criterion of the categorical imperative, which I will

address later in detail. It is in this way that the United States

government must proceed to achieve its greatest goal of

humanitarianism, by exercising the categorical imperative.

Now on to the core of the negative case: My first

contention in this debate is that sanctions are overly harsh,

therefore ineffective. Economic sanctions harm the

innocent, the poor, and the oppressed. For instance, the

sanctions against Iraq are harming the general population,

but not making Saddam Hussein miss a single meal!

Sanctions have hit the Iraqis harder than any military

bombardment, and at least a bombardment inevitably ends.

In 1996, an estimated 4,500 children were dying EVERY

month of hunger and disease because of conditions

imposed by the sanctions (UNICEF). The World Food

Program announced that 180,000 children under five in

Iraq were malnourished. The United States" goal of the

Iraqis overthrowing their government is not realistic, since

the citizens are sick and dying and can NOT create a

strong fighting force. As stated by UN Secretary- General

Kofi Annan: "The hardship imposed on the civilian

population is greatly disproportionate to the likely impact of

the sanctions on the behavior of the protagonists." Because

economic sanctions are too harsh, they are ineffectual,

therefore not humane. My second contention is that

negating this resolution best protects the value of

humanitarianism. Sanctions impose hardship by affecting

ordinary people far more than leaders. That is, the suffering

must be borne by those who are not directly at fault. The

only effective way to end human rights atrocities in the

target country is with humanitarian peacekeeping forces.

We must end the suffering of innocent civilians in the

targeted countries. As stated by Ambassador Nihal

Rodrigo of Sri Lanka: "Decisions must take better account

of the sanctions" impact on ordinary people and must seek

to avoid the "suffering of the innocent."" The welfare of all

people is achieved only through humanitarianism. My final

contention is that the categorical imperative selects

humanitarianism as the superior value in this debate. The

categorical imperative is a philosophy by Immanuel Kant.

Economic sanctions are a means to an end, but Kant

explains that there should be just an end, an unconditional

good in itself. Kant states: "Act in such a way that you

always treat humanity whether in your own person or in the

person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at

the same time as an end." The acts of atrocity towards

other rational beings would not be acts of genuine moral

worth since they regard other rational beings as a means of

furthering the welfare of the human race rather than as ends

in themselves. The US must not allow innocent civilians to

suffer through MEANS of economic sanctions in order to

achieve the END of their foreign policy goal. For the

reasons I have mentioned, the superior value of

humanitarianism and the achievement of the criterion of the

categorical imperative, I ask you to negate this resolution.

Now I will move on to the affirmative"s case…  

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