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Who are the Peace Candidates?
The Iraq occupation
will continue to be an issue throughout the presidential campaign. The peace movement has already impacted
the debate and will continue to do through throughout
On the Democratic side the two remaining candidates, Senator Clinton and Obama are both calling for beginning the withdrawal of troops promptly after their inauguration. Obama originally opposed the war but was not in the Senate at the time of the invasion. Clinton supported the resolution for use of force but says she did so to encourage negotiation. Both have voted to provide funding for the occupation.
The remaining Republicans, Senator McCain and former governors Romney and Huckabee supported the military attack on Iraq and are calling for continuation of the occupation. Rep. Ron Paul continues to advocate a complete withdrawal from Iraq.
The leading Green Party nominee, Cynthia McKinney, calls for a complete withdrawal from Iraq as do all Green Party candidates. The Green Party opposes militarism as the primary instrument of U.S. foreign policy. And the leading Libertarian candidates, Steve Kubby, Chrine Smith and George Phillies also favor withdrawal from Iraq. The Libertarian Party opposes U.S. military intervention unless the United States is attacked.
It is important to look beyond the rhetoric of a candidate and look at their record. If the candidate is an incumbent, has he or she voted against the authorization for the use of force in Iraq? Have they voted against funding the war? Have they voted for bills or amendments that call for a rapid and safe withdrawal of all troops? Many of the bills being put forward as ending the war in fact extend the war by withdrawing only some troops, usually combat troops, and even with combat troops leaving very broad exceptions to fight terrorists, al Qaeda, protect U.S. interests, train Iraqi soldiers or protect Iraqi borders. Voting for this type of bill and claiming to be a peace candidate shows no real intent to end the war.
If the candidate in question is not an incumbent, then you need to examine whether they have been involved in any efforts to end the war. And their statements on the war need to be closely examined to ensure that they are serious about ending the occupation and preventing a war with Iran or other countries. Also, do they support expanding the military or recognize that spending half of federal discretionary spending on the war undercuts U.S. security. We suggest you use the candidate questionnaire as a barometer of the candidate’s real willingness to put peace first.
VotersForPeace is joining with other organizations participating in the Grassroots Netroots Alliance (GNA). The GNA is a new nationwide effort to build up a radical netroots and grassroots army of millions of voters and activists. GNA believes that America's life or death, multi-faceted Crisis demands that we move beyond watered down, single-issue campaigns and limited focus campaigning to a comprehensive multi-issue platform that stimulates local alliance building and grassroots action, focused on pressuring the politicians, and supporting candidates and legislation that can move us out of the Crisis.
Voters for Peace is a non-profit educational organization and does not endorse candidates for office. Below are links to each of the candidates websites and links to articles written about their views on Iraq and militarism.