(1) Why should I sign the Voters for Peace Pledge?
The majority of Americans think the occupation of Iraq is
a mistake and want to see our troops return quickly. A July
2008 CNN poll showed 68% of Americans oppose the war,
but their views are not reflected by most of our elected officials
and Congressional candidates. That's why we have to create
a strong anti-war voter bloc. We must convince candidates
and elected officials that we are determined to elect leaders
who reflect our desire to end the occupation and to focus
on non-violent approaches to resolve future conflicts.
(2) What do you mean by "speedy end"
to the war?
A "speedy end" to the war means that withdrawal
is carried out in a rapid and responsible manner in order
to maintain the highest level of safety for U.S. troops and
Iraqi civilians. We want to see US troops leave, AND an end
to the violence in Iraq, and we think that the two are intimately
The CODEPINK cofounders have traveled to the Middle East numerous times, including a 2006 delegation
to the Middle East to meet with Iraqi parliamentarians,
religious leaders and members of non-governmental organizations.
From our meetings, we learned about the effort by Iraqis themselves
to come up with a Reconciliation Plan to stop the violence.
A key element of that plan is a fixed timetable for the withdrawal
of US troops. While George Bush says that fixing a timetable
for withdrawal will embolden the insurgents, Iraqis told us
just the opposite. They said that as in the case of Lebanon,
this conflict can only be solved through negotiations, and
that the insurgents will only negotiate if they know that
the Reconciliation Plan will include the speedy withdrawal
of all foreign troops.
Any candidate who is truly concerned about the well-being
of our soldiers and the Iraqi people must commit to a speedy
withdrawal and support the Iraqi-led efforts at reconciliation.
(3) The Voters for Peace Pledge contains the
term "war of aggression". How do you define a war
of aggression? I'm against this war, but not sure how I will
feel about future conflicts.
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 it is not threatened.
The United States has embarked on a perilous foreign policy
that calls for the preemptive use of military and covert force.
This policy violates international law, sets a dangerous precedent
for other nations, and leads to a state of "perpetual
war" that makes us, and the world, less safe. Our aim
must to be to use our diplomatic might to STOP war,
not to be the aggressor attacking nations that have not attacked
We expect candidates to represent this basic commitment to
respect international law.
(4) 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
Due to the federal tax laws, I Am a Voter For Peace is not able
to provide links to candidates who have signed the pledge,
nor are we able to endorse any individual candidate or party.
So it's up to you to investigate. You can find an incumbent
candidate's stance on the war by examining his/her voting
record. You can do an Internet search for your candidate or
access the websites of Congressional incumbents through these
But many candidates, incumbent and non-incumbent, have been
modifying their positions recently to reflect the massive
voter dissent. Cong. Christopher Shays, R-CT, who recently
moved from supporting Bush's position to calling for a fixed
timetable for withdrawal is a good example.
So read through the candidates' website and literature. Do
they call for a timetable for withdrawal or for a speedy end
to the war? Do they call for no permanent bases in Iraq? Are they standing for diplomacy not war with Iran? If
you still haven't found your answer, call the campaign office.
They should have a position statement ready to read to you,
and if they don't, push them to develop one. Better yet, go
to a candidate forum and ask them in person!
(5) What should I do if there's no good candidate?
First of all, make sure to use the time from now until November
to push the candidates to take a principled stand on this
war. Gather as many Voters for Peace Pledge signatures as
you can and encourage others to do the same. Use the 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.
Then, on Election Day, vote for the candidate who reflects
your principled stand.
(6) Isn't it important to for the Democrats
to maintain a majority in the House and strengthen their Senate, regardless of
the stance of individual candidates on the war?
I Am a Voter For Peace is a non-partisan effort to create a voter
bloc committed to peace. With the US bogged down in the quagmire
in Iraq, and the Bush administration threatening to get us
involved in another conflict in Iran, we think it's critical
to get people elected who are committed to peace.
We also feel it is essential to tap into the peace voter bloc for
the upcoming presidential elections. In 2004, we were faced
with two candidates from the major parties who were both pro-war.
John Kerry has since modified his position, but at the time,
he supported the war in Iraq and mistakenly, took the support
of peace voters for granted. We can influence the campaign positions of presidential candidates while they are on the trail by strongly advocating for peace issues.
(7) The war isn't the only issue. How can you
ask us to ignore all other issues?
So many other issues are intimately related to the war in
Iraq. How can there be more funds for health care or our schools
if we are spending over $1 billion a week in Iraq? How can
we put our energies into combating global warming if we continue
to fight oil wars? How can we stop violence in our communities
or violence again women if we glorify war? Yes, the war in
Iraq is not the only issue, but as long as we are at war,
we cripple our ability to tackle so many other issues that
are near and dear to us.
(8) I signed the Voters for Peace Pledge. How
can I take further action to support this campaign?
Now that you've committed your vote to peace candidates,
you can help by getting other people to sign on. We're looking
for 1,000 people who will collect 100 peace voters each. To
become an official "Peacemaker," visit the Be a
Peacemaker section of this website. You can also make a tax-deductible
donation to the I Am a Voter For Peacecampaign.