As part of its just-published EAction report on Obama and Iraq, the pacifist progressive activism group Peace Action has unveiled a list of actions it believes the new US administration needs to take to further the cause of peace. What do you think?
Peace Planks for the Obama Administration
After eight years of George Bush there’s a lot of work to do to set the country straight. We can expect the progressive chorus will not all be singing in full harmony. Every group believes they’re singing lead. For Peace Action, and our supporters, peace issues are primary. Our economy, our security and the quality of democracy are caught up on the web of the military-industrial-political complex.
Peace Action will be raising our voice, early and often, in favor of a peace economy and real security through international cooperation and human rights.
This is our agenda for the Obama Administration to reinvigorate US leadership toward a more peaceful and just world.
End Bush’s Global War Of Terror: No Soldier Left Behind
Withdraw all troops and private contractors within one year without leaving a vulnerable and provocative residual force.
Work with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria, to insure Iraqi independence and self-determination as the US occupation comes to an end.
Lead donor efforts to assist in an Iraqi-led reconstruction of Iraq with special attention to the over 5 million Iraqis displaced by the war.
Lead a similar effort to bring the warring parties in Afghanistan (including the Taliban) and Afghanistan’s neighbors to a diplomatic table.
Comply with the Afghan government and stop US-led air raids on Afghani towns.
Confirm the US promise to help rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure by investing in water systems, roads and schools.
Secure Our Freedom From Mass Destruction
Through the Nuclear Posture Review declare the abolition of nuclear weapons a policy goal of the United States; and, announce a “No First Use” policy proclaiming the US will not be the first party to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.
Begin negotiations with Russia to extend the START Treaty and remove US and Russia’s nuclear forces from ‘hair trigger’ alert status.
Submit the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the US Senate for ratification.
Cancel the Complex Transformation program designed to produce new nuclear weapons
Increase funding for Nunn-Lugar and other nuclear non-proliferation initiatives.
International Cooperation And Human Rights
Begin direct negotiations with Iran for peaceful resolution of US security concerns, especially Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Close the Guantanamo Bay military facility
End the practice of extraordinary rendition
Increase visa distribution to and from countries of interest like Iran and North Korea.
Increase support for citizen diplomacy through civil service programs like the Peace Corps.
Create A Peace Economy
Begin a review of major weapons systems and other military spending programs with the objective of bringing about reductions in military spending without cuts in salaries and benefits to military personnel and dependents and care for veterans.
Reinvest that money into programs that fund human needs: Programs for healthcare, eco-friendly energy, housing and education.