Read the following proposition speech related to the motion
“This house believes that national war memorials should commemorate the casualties on all sides of the conflict”
You are the opposition"..." think about your arguments and possible lines of negations you could give to the opposing team's arguments. Now read the speech of the first proposition and ask a POI you think would be most effective every time we marked the speech. Compare with the Answer Key. Were your POIs similar? "
The national war memorials are serving as a glorification of the horrors of war, shaping the mind of the people living in the country by presenting their leaders and soldiers as heroes, justifying their every move. Yet the millions that died on the other side of the war are presented as barbarians, as the ones that are responsible for every crime and every casualty that happened during the wartime. This is the world we on the side of prop, do not want to live in.
Majority of war memorials commemorate one side of the conflict → the ones in Russia only memorialize soviet troops, only the Russian soldiers in WW2, which we can see with the examples of the Soldier and Sailor Monument, which shows how the leaders and the soldiers were fighting for the “right” cause.
We, on the other hand, support the world where war memorials do not commemorate either side exclusively, but their purpose simply shifts to commemorating the soldiers that fought in the conflict, commemorating their suffering, death and casualties (1) in a broader sense.
This then looks like example the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, a monument dedicated to the services of unknown soldiers and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in war; or like the Monument of Victims of All Wars in the capital of Slovenia, which was put in place to remember the terrible things that happened in all wars and to commemorate all victims.
Our burden in this debate is then to show you why principally and practically the glorification of war, but more specifically one side of the conflict, is bad and should not be justified.
Two things this argument proves: 1) obligation of the state; 2) purpose of war memorials
State is the one that has an obligation (2) to set up the narrative in which the society should function, this is specifically an obligation during the time of the war, because the state is also the one responsible for the war - every country that participated in it, both sides are the ones that sent the soldiers to war and were complicit in the actions.
Furthermore, the war for the state is always just a political game, played with the lives of innocent civilians, making soldiers fight for the things they want to achieve and drag the other side into the same political game alongside them.
We then believe that the state owes it to all victims that died during the war and commemorating them with setting up war memorials that recognise the casualties of both sides of the conflict is the least they can do.
This point alone already establishes how the state has a larger principal obligation to commemorate all casualties than to commemorate exclusively the ones that died under their flag.
Furthermore, why exclusively with commemoration of all sides, we achieve the purpose of war memorials: we believe that the war memorials should not glorify actions of one side or glorify the horrors of the war, and they should not be discriminatory among the victims.
All wars include and perpetuate violence that always necessarily goes against the nature of humans, it goes against what should be normalized. It is then fairly easy to claim that every soldier that was killed while fighting for their nation, every innocent civilian that was raped, every child that was sent in a fight and every mother that died as a result of the town being bombed, should be remembered and has the right to be commemorated.
This is something the side of opp fundamentally has to disagree with, as they claim that only victims of one side must be remembered. They are then saying that violence from the side of their nation is justified, the leaders and soldiers that died should be glorified, yet the other side has to be ignored, because they are the bad guy in the war and because their violence is then the only bad violence (3). We find this immoral as we believe that every victim of the war is a person that deserved to live and deserves to be remembered.
What the state essentially does after war is that it tries to justify its own actions and establish war memorials that literally glorify their side (4), portraying them as the only moral actor, as the one that has done everything right and portraying its leaders and soldiers as the ones that didn’t deserve the suffering and we see that as something that is on a principal level problematic because it glorifies the actions of those said leaders and soldiers.
This argument then tells you that on the principal level, the state is obliged to take that stance because it owes it to the victims of the war to commemorate them and to not glorify their suffering.
Importance: even if all of the practical benefits that we show you play a minimal role this is the essential argument as it proves the obligation of the state to actually take such a stance.
Two things that uniquely happen at the point of which the state actively takes a stance that shows that victims of both sides of the conflict should be commemorated.
We want to be seen by everyone as bad to avoid its glorification and in turn discrimination of certain peoples.