Frequently Asked Questions for Gathering Pledge Signatures
We have compiled a list of suggested replies to some of the most frequently asked questions about the pledge. If you hear any other questions that you would like us to address, please email them to [email protected]
(1) Why should I sign the VotersForPeace Pledge?
The VotersForPeace Pledge is a unique approach that turns the majority of Americans who believe US troops should come home from Iraq into an electoral force. The VotersForPeace Pledge is a commitment to form an anti-war voting bloc committed to voting for candidates who will not only end the Iraq occupation but will also work to prevent future unnecessary wars of aggression.
By refusing to vote for any candidate who does not call for a speedy end to the occupation of Iraq, we hope that our pledge will force those running for office to reconsider their stance on withdrawal. Likewise, we hope that it will empower peace candidates to run for public office.
If you want to have politicians pay attention to your position you have to insist that you will not vote for them unless they support your position. This is how the NRA and anti-tax organizations become effective. They also gather money to support candidates who adhere strictly to their positions.
VotersForPeace is an educational project of Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics, a 501c3.
(2) What do you mean by "speedy end" to the war?
A "speedy end" to the war means that withdrawal begins immediately and is completed as quickly as logistically possible. Withdrawal should be carried out in a rapid and responsible manner in order to maintain the highest level of safety for U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians.
(3) The VotersForPeace Pledge contains the term "war of aggression". How do
you define a war of aggression?
The "war of aggression" term has extensive legal and historical meaning -- going back to the UN Charter and the Nuremberg principles. A war of aggression is the most serious violation of international law that a country can commit -- attacking another country when you are not threatened.
The United States has embarked on a dangerous foreign policy that calls for the preemptive use of military and covert force. President Bush has repeatedly threatened that the United States will "respond with overwhelming force," including "all options," to the possible use of biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons on any nation, its troops or its allies. But this reckless position goes even further by authorizing preemptive strikes on states and groups that our intelligence officials determine may be close to acquiring weapons of mass destruction. By drastically lowering the threshold for war, the United States has become the
aggressor. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan illustrate the point. Iran may be next.
(4) How does VotersForPeace define 'an anti-war candidate'?
In this election cycle, given the current saber rattling
against Iran, we think Iran
is a litmus test. Candidates should be
asked if they are willing to take US
military action against Iran
off the table. Iran has never invaded another country, and its
development of nuclear power for electricity is not a justification for a US war of
aggression against it. Plus any US attack on Iran would be akin to sparking
WWIII, further destabilizing the region, violating international law,
generating even greater anti-US sentiment.
(5) What should I do if there's no good candidate?
Good question! We have lots of suggestions.
*If there's no good major party candidate, research to see if there is a minor party candidate who is running on a peace platform.
*Write in a peace candidate or become one yourself!
*Send a contribution to a peace candidate in another district/state and send a copy of the cancelled check to the pro-war candidates in your district or state. Organize ten friends to join you - and expect to get a call for a meeting!
*Gather as many VotersForPeace Pledge signatures and encourage
others to do the same. Use the number of signatures
you gather to meet with or birddog candidates to persuade them to take a strong
anti-war stance. In a close race,
candidates are going to take notice. *If you are intent on electioneering and
participating in a "get-out-the-vote" campaign, lend your support to
a candidate in a neighboring Senate or Congressional District. The alternative is voting to allow continued
(6) How do I find out if my candidate qualifies as an "anti-war candidate"?
What source can tell me where the candidates in my state and district stand?
The best way to investigate an incumbent candidate's stance on the war is to examine his/her voting record. You can do an Internet search for your candidate or access the websites of congressional incumbents through these links
It is more difficult to ascertain the positions of non-incumbent candidates. Read through their website and literature. Do they call for a speedy end to the war? What is their position on Iran? If you still haven't found your answer, write to the candidate or call the campaign office. They will almost surely have a position statement ready to read to you.
Due to the federal tax laws, VotersForPeace is not able to provide links to candidates who have signed the pledge, nor are we able to endorse any individual candidate or party.
(7) Isn't it important to regain a Democratic majority in the House or Senate?
We put a value on human life that supersedes party considerations. We are a non-partisan, single-issue voter block committed to peace and democracy.
(8) The war isn't the only issue. How can you ask us to ignore all other
Tens of thousands of innocent people have been killed, Iraq lies in ruins and our nation's treasury has been depleted. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is again rattling sabers and threatens to attack Iran. These are desperate times.
(9) My organization is interested in getting involved but we don't think we
can because we are a c3 organization. Will this project compromise our tax
VotersForPeace Educational Project is a 501(c)3 organization. While we are working to create political change on a single public policy issue, we do not endorse candidates or political parties. It is permissible under federal tax code for you to fully participate by linking to the VotersForPeace Pledge, gathering signatures at your own events and using the Pledge (and the growing numbers of signers) in your own meeting with elected officials.
(10) I (or my organization) would like to help the VotersForPeace project. How can we get involved?
There are many ways for you and your organization to get involved in the VotersForPeace project! Collect signatures. Write a letter to the editor. Email an essay testimonial to all of your friends and families to encourage them to sign. Host a movie screening of "Why We Fight" that doubles as a Congressional letter-writing campaign. Visit our Activist Toolbox for more information about each of these ideas or email us at [email protected] to brainstorm how you can help. Let us know what works, what doesn't, and if you find any other creative ways to contribute to VotersForPeace!