How to Spot a Peace Candidate

By David Swanson

I think you could spot a peace candidate in a crowd of warmongers pretty easily if you asked each candidate these questions.

Do you oppose wars of aggression?

Do you oppose an aggressive US war on Iran?

Did you oppose the 2003 US war on Iraq?

Did you oppose the 2001 US war on Afghanistan?

Did you oppose the 1999 US war on Yugoslavia?

Did you oppose the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon?

Have you ever spoken in support of, or voted to authorize, or voted to fund any portion of any of these wars? If so, please detail and please explain your motivations. Even if you voted to fund a portion of one of these wars but spoke against the war, please explain your vote.

Have you ever voted against authorization or funding of any portion of any of these wars? If so, please detail and please explain your motivations.

Do you support the power of Congress to declare wars?

Do you support the power of Congress to end wars?

Should a president ever attempt to launch a war without a Congressional declaration of war?

Should a president ever launch a war that is neither in strict self-defense nor authorized by the United Nations Security Council?

If Congress chooses to end a war, is it appropriate for Congress to enforce such a decision by ceasing to fund a war?

Should a president ever intentionally mislead the Congress or the public about grounds for a war?

In what ways should a president who misleads Congress and the public about the grounds for war be held accountable?

Do you support the maintenance of U.S. military bases in Iraq?

How many U.S. military bases are currently maintained in foreign countries? How many should be?

Do you support a military draft?

Do you support the use of mercenaries?

Which of the following actions do you consider acceptable during a war?
Making first use of nuclear weapons.
Using depleted uranium weapons.
Using white phosphorus as a weapon.
Using napalm weapons.
Using cluster bombs.
Targeting civilians.
Targeting journalists.
Targeting hospitals and ambulances.
Detaining prisoners with no legal process.
Torturing.
Spying in violation of the law and the Bill of Rights.
Claiming the right to violate laws.
Leaking classified information.
Punishing whistleblowers.

Which of the following treaties will you commit to fully upholding?
The Kyoto Treaty on Global Climate Change
The Biodiversity Treaty
The Forest Protection Treaty
The Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The Landmine Ban Treaty
The Biological Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention
The International Criminal Court
The United Nations Charter

Have you accepted any contributions from any companies that produce weapons or tools of war? Will you commit to not accepting any such contributions?

If a president commits war crimes, should he or she be held accountable in international court?

If a president commits high crimes and misdemeanors, should he or she be impeached and removed from office?

What percentage of federal discretionary spending should be directed to wars and the military?

What changes would you make in the budget of the Department of Defense?

What diplomatic efforts would you make to reduce the likelihood of wars?

What aid and development efforts would you make to reduce the likelihood of wars?

What climate and energy policies would you follow to reduce the likelihood of wars?

Do you support the creation of a Department of Peace?