Think of effective POIs


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.


Firstly, stance

  1. we believe that war is always bad and hence it should never be glorified
  2. every victim of the war, is a victim too much - all casualties are equal bad
  3. the purpose of the war memorial = commemorate those who died or were injured in the war - and it should not be specific to one nation but rather serving as a repayment for all victims of the war.

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.


1st Argument - Why is the state principally obliged to commemorate casualties of all sides?

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.


Second Argument - Changing the public opinion on war and victims of the war

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.

  1. War is portrayed as something exclusively bad because the state shows the millions that suffered and remembers and regrets every one of those casualties although it was responsible for at least a few of them. (5)
  2. It sets a tone for further discussions - a monument has a lot of emotional potential and power and this goes specifically for the people that do not have a strong opinion on the war as it is and those people are crucial because they interact with war through a very narrow list of options as they have not been in war, are not studying IR, … - that list of options includes very problematic things such as the video games that actively glorify war, etc. A monument in the discussion about the war then functions exactly as the music in the movie, because it sets the tone in a way of the emotions to talk about the war, so those people come in contact with a different set of ideas that can influence their mind. (6)
  3. Reshapes the minds of people that have been actively involved in the war - those are the people that need reframing the most, because specifically because they participated on one side exclusively, they have most of the confirmation bias as they were thought to believe that “our side = good guys” and everyone else is bad. Those people need to be told that every victim is just human. (7)



  1. more presents the view on the war that all war is bad, all suffering is something that is problematic. (8)
  2. people feel more sympathetic towards the other side, which then likely means that the conflict won’t be dragged on, but rather put behind. (9)
  3. the change of the stance from the side of the state means that the state is more likely to take action on other areas (10) that are viewed as problematic such as not portraying a bias view in history textbooks which have a much larger influence on all people.



We want to be seen by everyone as bad to avoid its glorification and in turn discrimination of certain peoples.

  1. Doesn't that uniquely remove the context of why the war was fought in?
  2. Why does the state have an obligation to the entire world and not just their own community?
  3. POI 3: We have memorials for workers, leaders - does that also then exclusively say that only our workers and leaders were good?
  4. How do war memorials necessarily glorify the actions and doings of soldiers and not their sacrifice?
  5. Wouldn't this further boost hatred within the community for those who would think they were on the "right" side of the war?
  6. Wouldn't you have a predisposition or belief already about the war, regardless of the memorial?
  7. Notice that memorials still never fully explain the idea of how people were just "human"; by the same logic then wouldn't personalized memorials still present a suffering human?
  8. Personalized memorials do not disable the idea that people suffered.
  9. Flip this against them; it would probably build more negative opinions because they feel like they need to commemorate the victor / the enemy
  10. Notice how this was probably a past government, the stance necessarily probably shifted already you don't need a memorial for that - you need policies, PR, …