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Table of Contents
Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics, 17 Edition
Table of Contents
Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics, 17 Edition
Issue 1. Should the United States Seek to Remain the "Indispendible" Country?
YES: Hillary Rodham Clinton, from "Remarks on American Leadership", Original Work (2013)
NO: Ted Galen Carpenter, from "Delusions of Indispensability", The National Interest (2013)
Hillary Clinton, during remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations just before leaving her post as U.S. Secretary of State, tells her audience that United States remains the world’s most important power and that it is important that the United States continue to play the role of the globe’s indispensable state. Without too specifically delving into political science theory, she takes the view that an international system (state of affairs) without a central power to order and police those affairs to at least some degree is likely to become chaotic and conflictive. Ted Galen Carpenter, a respected and well-published scholar who is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank, argues that the United States does not have the resources or the national will to try to play the indispensable country. He maintains that those like Clinton who advocate that role put the United States at risk of overextending itself and suffering financial costs, policy failures, and other unpleasant outcomes.
Issue 2. Is Russia Being Demonized for Pursuing Its National Interests?
YES: Vladimir Putin, from "Address by President Vladimir Putin at the Conference of Russian Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives", Original Work (2014)
NO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization, from "Russia's Accusations: Setting the Record Straight", Original Work (2014)
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, tells a gathering of Russia’s diplomats that their country’s response to events in the Ukraine represents a legitimate reaction to threats to ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and to Russia national security interests. He lays the blame on Ukrainian nationalism and on a NATO-led effort to bring threatening forces ever closer to Russia’s borders. A report issued by NATO asserts that it is Russia’s aggression against Ukraine that has led to a crisis. NATO further argues that to divert attention away from its actions, Russia has leveled a series of false accusations against NATO.
Issue 3. Is China Being the Aggressor in the Issue of the Disputed Island in the Pacific Ocean?
YES: Chuck Hagel, from "The United States' Contribution to Regional Stability", The International Institute for Strategic Studies (2014)
NO: Wang Guanzhong, from "Major Power Perspectives on Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific", The International Institute for Strategic Studies (2014)
Chuck Hagel, the U.S. secretary of defense, tells delegates gathered in Singapore in 2014 at the Shangri La Dialogue that China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions in aggressively asserting its claims to significant areas in the South China Sea and the East China Sea and to many of the islands in them, the resources in and under those areas, and even to maritime and aviation transit through and over them. The Shangri La Dialogue is a series of conferences that has been held annually since 2002 and is sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a private research and advocacy organization headquartered in London. The conference brings together representatives of the defense ministries of countries located in or bordering on the Pacific Ocean and also several European countries including France, Germany, and Great Britain to discuss security in the Pacific region. Wang Guanzhong, a lieutenant general and deputy chief in staff of People’s Liberation Army, China, responds to Secretary of Defense Hagel’s speech and a similar, if less blunt, speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan by condemning them for containing unwarranted accusations against China and thereby provoking and challenging China. General Wang asserts that China is ready to cooperate with other countries in the greater Pacific region to promote regional and global peace and development.
Issue 4. Are the Palestinians Blocking the Path to Peace in the Middle East?
YES: Benjamin Netanyahu, from "Address to 66th Session of the General Assembly of United Nations at Its Headquarters in New York City", Speech or Remarks (2011)
NO: Mahmoud Abbas, from "Address to 66th Session of the General Assembly of United Nations at Its Headquarters in New York City", Speech or Remarks (2011)
Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, tells the UN General Assembly that on behalf of the people of Israel, “I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace,” and claims this has always been Israel’s position but that the Palestinians have not reciprocated. Mahmoud Abbas, president the Palestinian National Authority, tells the UN General Assembly that the Palestinian people want to “achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations,” but that, “The Israeli government refuses to commit to . . . negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions.”
Issue 5. Is Chaos in the Middle East Largely the Fault of U.S. Policy?
YES: Elliott Abrams, from "The Man Who Broke the Middle East", The Politico (2014)
NO: Jeffrey Goldberg, from "No, President Obama Did Not Break the Middle East", The Atlantic (2014)
Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former top foreign policy official under President Ronald Reagan and President George W. Bush, tells readers that President Barack Obama’s policy throughout the Middle East has been a story of failure and danger. He argues that the Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace and that Obama’s policies have actively or passively occasioned the regions become tumultuous and dangerous. Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic specializing in the Middle East, writes that Elliott Abrams errs both by overstating the degree to which the Middle East was stable at the beginning of the Obama presidency and by laying too much blame on Obama’s policies for the current chaotic state of the region.
Issue 6. Is Economic Globalization Good for Both Rich and Poor?
YES: IMF Staff, from "Globalization: A Brief Overview", International Monetary Fund (2008)
NO: Ravinder Rena, from "Globalization Still Hurting Poor Nations", Africa Economic Analysis (2008)
Staff members of the International Monetary Fund conclude on the basis of experiences across the world that unhindered international economic interchange, the core principle of globalization, seems to underpin greater prosperity. Ravinder Rena, an associate professor of economics at the Eritrea Institute of Technology, contends that globalization creates losers as well as winners and the losers are disproportionately found among the world’s poorer countries.
Issue 7. Will the European Union Collapse?
YES: Guy Millière, from "The Coming Collapse of the European Union", Gatestone Institute Website (2012)
NO: José Manuel Barroso, from "State of the [European] Union Address to the European Parliament", From Address Delivered to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France (2013)
Guy Millière, a senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, a private research and advocacy organization based in New York City, writes that creating the European Union (EU) was an effort to build a society based on abstract principles—a united and peaceful Europe—without considering historical, social, and economic realities, as if its members were infinitely malleable. Millière argues that such efforts have often led to disaster, and that the European Union is no different. José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission for the European Union, tells members of the European Parliament that the global economic recession that began in 2008 and other problems have severely tested the EU in recent years and continue to do so. But he also contends that the members of the EU are tackling our challenges together and will overcome them, and that the EU will not only survive, but become stronger.
Issue 8. Should the Export-Import Bank Be Eliminated?
YES: Veronique De Rugy, from "Examining Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Corporate Necessity or Corporate Welfare?", U.S. House of Representatives (2014)
NO: Fred P. Hochberg, from "Examining Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Corporate Necessity or Corporate Welfare?", U.S. House of Representatives (2014)
Veronique De Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, concludes that a close examination of the Export-Import Bank’s activities and outcomes shows that it does not meet the standards of its own criteria, and the facts do not support these criteria for the continued activities of the Bank. Fred P. Hochberg is chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, proclaims that he is proud of the work the bank’s more than 400 employees do to empower U.S. companies and support American job growth, says the reforms are addressing some of the criticisms of the bank, and argues that the bank deserves to have its charger renewed for five years.
Issue 9. Should the United States Ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?
YES: Ellen Tauscher, from "The Case for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty", U.S. Department of State (2011)
NO: Baker Spring, from "U.S. Should Reject Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty", Heritage Foundation Web Memo (2011)
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher expresses the view that the United States will lose nothing and gains much by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Baker Spring, the F. M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation, asserts that the problems with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that led the U.S. Senate to reject it in 1999 have, if anything, worsened in the intervening years.
Issue 10. Does Using Drones to Attack Terrorists Globally Violate International Law?
YES: Mary Ellen O'Connell, from "Lawful Use of Combat Drones", U.S. House of Representatives (2010)
NO: Michael W. Lewis, from "Examining the Legality of Unmanned Targeting", U.S. House of Representatives (2010)
Mary Ellen O’Connell, a research professor at the Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, and the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of Notre Dame, tells a congressional committee that the United States is failing more often than not to follow the most important single rule governing drones: restricting their use to the battlefield. Michael W. Lewis, a professor of law at Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law, disagrees, contending that there is nothing inherently illegal about using drones to target specific terrorists or groups of terrorists on or away from the battlefield.
Issue 11. Is Closing the Prison for Alleged Terrorists at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba Justified?
YES: Elisa Massimino, from "Testimony During Hearings on \"Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implications\"", U.S. Senate (2013)
NO: Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., from "Testimony During Hearings on \"Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implications\"", U.S. Senate (2013)
Elisa Massimino, president of Human Rights First, a U.S.-based advocacy organizations urging U.S. global leadership on human rights, tells Congress that there are tough questions to resolve regarding closing the U.S. prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, but that it is possible to close the facility with smart and sustained leadership from the president and Congress. Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, a private analysis and advocacy organization, maintains that the United States is at war with terrorism and in that struggle Guantanamo Bay is the optimal location for U.S. detention and interrogation of terrorists and associated unlawful enemy combatants.
Issue 12. Is the UN a Worthwhile Organization?
YES: Susan E. Rice, from "Six Reasons the United Nations is Indispendable", Speech or Remarks (2011)
NO: Bruce S. Thornton, from "The U.N.: So Bad It's Almost Beautiful", Defining Ideas (2012)
Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells an audience that the United States is much better off—much stronger, much safer, and more secure—in a world with the United Nations than the United States would be in a world without the UN. Bruce S. Thornton, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California, writes that the United Nations is fatally flawed by not having consistent, unifying moral and political principles shared by member nations that can justify UN policies or legitimize the use of force to deter and punish aggression.
Issue 13. Is U.S. Refusal to Join the International Criminal Court Justifiable?
YES: Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves, from "The U.S. Should Not Join the International Criminal Court", The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder (2009)
NO: Jonathan F. Fanton, from "The Challenge of International Justice", Speech or Remarks (2008)
Brett Schaefer, the Jay Kingham fellow in international regulatory affairs at the Heritage Foundation, and Steven Groves, the Bernard and Barbara Lomas fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, contend that although the court’s supporters have a noble purpose, there are a number of reasons to be cautious and concerned about how ratification of the Rome Statute would affect U.S. sovereignty and how ICC action could affect politically precarious situations around the world. Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and is among the world’s largest independent foundations, maintains that creation of the International Court of Justice is an important step toward creating a more just world, and that the fear that many Americans have expressed about the court has not materialized.
Issue 14. Should the United States Ratify the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?
YES: Melanne Verveer, from "Ratify the CEDAW", U.S. Senate (2010)
NO: Steven Groves, from "Reject CEDAW", U.S. Senate (2010)
Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large, Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, tells a congressional committee that the U.S. Senate should ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) because doing so would send a powerful message about the U.S. commitment to equality for women across the globe. Steven Groves, the Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, headquartered in Washington, DC, contends that ratifying CEDAW would neither advance U.S. international interests nor enhance the rights of women in the United States.
Issue 15. Is President Obama's U.S. Global Warming Policy Wise?
YES: Barack H. Obama, from "Remarks by the President at League of Conservation Voters Capital Dinner", Original Work (2014)
NO: James Inhofe, from "A Speech on the Floor of the U.S. Senate", U.S. Congressional Record (2014)
Barack H. Obama, President of the United States, tells the audience at the League of Conservation’s Voters dinner that dealing with the rapidly growing threat of climate change is increasingly because we know more about the threat we did back then and because we know through experience that we can act in ways that protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time. James Inhofe, a Republican U.S. Senator from Oklahoma and chairman of its Committee on Environment and Public Works, tells members of the Senate his opposition to the Obama administration’s global warming policies is based on two factors: (1) the administration is intentionally ignoring the most recent science around global warming, and (2) global warming policies costing between $300 billion and $400 billion a year, along with the rest of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations, are resulting in millions of American job losses.
Issue 16. Should the United States Deport Unauthorized and Unaccompanied Immigrant Children?
YES: Dan Coats, from "A Speech on the Floor of the U.S. Senate", U.S. Congressional Record (2014)
NO: Mark Seitz, from "Testimony During Hearings on \"Crisis on the Texas Border: Surge of Unaccompanied Minors\"", Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan (2014)
Dan Coats, a U.S. Senator from Indiana, argues that allowing the flood of unaccompanied children who have arrived illegally in the United States will only encourage the dangerous practice of sending them to the United States. Mark Seitz, the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, and head of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, tells a committee of Congress that a faithful adherence to the “best interest of the child” standard should govern how all undocumented immigrant children are treated. In most cases Seitz argues the best interest of the child is to remain in the United States to avoid returning them to lives of poverty and, often, violence.
Issue 17. Was It Wise to Free Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl by Also Freeing Alleged Terrorists?
YES: Mark R. Jacobson, from "Testimony During Hearings on \"The Bergdahl Exchange: Implications for U.S. National Security and the Fight Against Terrorism\"", House Committee on Foreign Affairs (2014)
NO: Ted Cruz, from "Guantanamo Bay Detainees: An Address to the U.S. Senate", U.S. Congressional Record (2014)
Mark R. Jacobson, senior advisor to the Truman National Security Project, a private analysis and advocacy organization, supports the swap for Bergdahl on the grounds that to leave any soldier behind is not only unconscionable but would damage a sacred trust with our military personnel. Leading some to question our nation’s commitment to our troops and could result in a tremendous propaganda victory for our enemies. Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, criticizes the swap, arguing that the men and women of our military understand the value of protecting the national security of the United States of America, but are not comforted by negotiations with terrorists to release senior terrorist leaders who can once again begin actively waging war on the United States.
Issue 18. Has Edward Snowden Damaged the U.S. Public Interest?
YES: William H. Harwood, from "Whistleblower or Traitor, Snowden Must Shut Up", Huffington Post (2013)
NO: Emily Bazelon, from "Is Edward Snowden a Traitor? If He Is, So Was Daniel Ellsberg", Slate (2013)
William H. Harwood, an instructor of philosophy, the University of Texas–Pan American, argues that whatever Edward Snowden’s motivations were, his leaking of classified national security information was wrong because it damaged U.S. foreign policy. Emily Bazelon, a senior editor at Slate, an online political journal, writes that while the issue of divulging national security secrets is a difficult one, Americans have a right to know what their government is doing, and Edward Snowden’s leaks did more to advance people’s democratic right to know what their government is doing than to damage U.S. foreign policy.