Lincoln - Douglas Debate

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