Paula Bradshaw Is the Candidate of the Peace Movement

Paula Bradshaw Is the Candidate of the Peace Movement
Calls for Immediate Cessation of Illegal Wars of Aggression
NATO Bombing of Libya.2

Some victims of NATO’s illegal bombing of Libya, supposedly undertaken to “prevent a bloodbath.”

Your tax dollars at work.

 

Paula Bradshaw, Green Party candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District declared today that she will carry out the broad agenda of the peace movement if elected to Congress, thus distinguishing herself from her opponents and most of the current occupants of Congress.

This includes a commitment to put an end to our government’s ongoing illegal occupation in Afghanistan, its illegal and unconstitutional bombing in Syria, its illegal and unconstitutional drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and other countries, its support for an extremist rightwing government in Ukraine, its constant arming of repressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere, and its dangerous policies of military brinksmanship with Russia and China. It includes supporting a repeal of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that has been misused to justify many of these actions. Doing so would allow our government to save hundreds of billions of dollars and redirect federal spending to meeting the needs of our people here at home – including a Green New Deal to employ millions of Americans rebuilding our infrastructure and building a sustainable energy and transportation system that can mitigate global climate change.

The following is the full text of Paula’s statement:

By the time of this year’s election, the United States will have been in a constant state of war for 15 straight years. During this period, Congress has completely failed to carry out its fundamental duty to uphold our Constitution, follow the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg principles and other international law, promote the safety and security of the people of the United States, and otherwise serve the interests of the people it is supposed to represent.

Article I, section 8 of our Constitution gives Congress the exclusive authority to declare war. The president has no authority to order any branch of the U.S. military to commit acts of aggression against other nations in the absence of a congressional declaration of war. Congress’s 2001 vote approving the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and 2003 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq were themselves unconstitutional – and irresponsible – abdications of congressional authority to the president. But even if one were to broadly interpret these votes as “declarations,” they would still not legitimize the brazenly unconstitutional uses of military force by the Obama administration against Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria – yet Congress did nothing, not even withhold funding for these attacks.

Article VI, paragraph 2 of our Constitution makes treaties to which the United States is a signatory a part of the “Supreme law of the land,” and that includes the United Nations Charter.  Article 2 of the U.N. Charter forbids member states from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of political independence of any other state. Article 51 allows for nations to use self-defense but only if actually attacked and only if the self-defense is aimed against a state responsible for the attack – not non-state actors.

Afghanistan never attacked the United States. It even offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden to the United States if the U.S. had produced some evidence that he was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was, and remains, illegal.
Saddam Hussein never attacked the United States. Therefore, the invasion and occupation of Iraq was illegal.

Pakistan never attacked the United States. Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria never attacked the United States. Therefore, the drone attacks in these nations and the aerial bombardments in Libya and Syria were all illegal.

What have been the consequences of these illegal wars?

●Well over a million people killed; untold millions wounded and/or traumatized; untold thousands radiated by depleted uranium weapons.

● Millions of people forced to flee and take refuge in other countries, enduring more misery or dying in the process, and causing major instability in other countries throughout the Middle East and Europe.

●The fallout from the attacks on Iraq and Libya, along with the U.S. funneling of arms to Al Qaeda-affiliated armed groups in Syria, led directly to the establishment of ISIS and its successful military campaigns. ISIS and other terrorist groups have been able to successfully recruit new adherents willing to sacrifice their own lives to inflict death and destruction in Western nations.

● Thousands of our own troops have sacrificed their lives in wars clearly aimed at controlling sources of oil and other wealth, and tens of thousands more have lost limbs and/or their mental and emotional stability, living lives dependent on inadequate public services, forever marked by the trauma of war.

● We, the American people have paid for all of the above, costing us over $1.7 trillion and growing. This not only constitutes a direct loss of tax revenue; it also cost us dearly in missed opportunities, from funds that could have gone to pay for education, services, repair of our crumbling infrastructure, health care, energy-efficient homes and transportation, renewable energy and other positive forms of job creation.

● Therefore, both the direct effects and the indirect effects of these illegal wars is that we are now less safe and less secure.

On top of all of this, our foreign policy under the last two administrations, with the complicity of Congress, has been marked by support, including massive arms sales, to repressive monarchies and regimes throughout the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, saber-rattling and arrogant shows of force directed at China, and the gradual encirclement of Russia from the expansion of NATO, coupled with sanctions and other acts of hostility, marked most recently by our spending of $5 billion to help install a hostile fascistic regime in Ukraine. And, as if to underscore U.S. determination to dominate the world through the threat or use of force, the Obama administration has now embarked on a plan to spend another $1 trillion on a new generation of nuclear weapons.

All of this needs to stop. These policies are also making the world a more hostile and dangerous place, thereby threatening our security. If elected to Congress, I would vote against all of these policies. I support the agenda of our presidential candidate, Jill Stein, to cut the military budget by at least 50 percent, which would still leave us well ahead of any other nation, bring our troops home, close out the over 700 military bases we have overseas, and focus our Department of Defense on what should be its main mission: protecting the United States from attack, not attacking other nations. Doing so would allow our government to save hundreds of billions of dollars and redirect federal spending to meeting the needs of our people here at home – including a Green New Deal to employ millions of Americans rebuilding our infrastructure and building a sustainable energy and transportation system that can mitigate global climate change.

Clearly, we need more representatives for peace in Congress, and we need more representatives willing to stand up for our Constitution. This will be especially important if either Wall Street war-monger Hillary Clinton or reckless billionaire Donald Trump is elected to office. In either case, the people will really need a Congress with some spine, willing to rein in an executive branch that has become way too powerful. And if either Jill Stein or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson becomes our next president, that president will need the support of Congress to help implement a new foreign policy based on peace, respect for international law, and human rights.