Statement of Purpose
The Campaign for Peace and Democracy works to advance a new, progressive and non-militaristic U.S. foreign policy — one that encourages democracy and social justice by promoting solidarity with activists and progressive movements throughout the world. We stand in opposition to existing U.S. foreign policy, which is based on domination, militarism, fear of popular struggles, enforcement of an inequitable and cruel global economy, and — despite the democratic rhetoric — persistent support for authoritarian regimes.
Founded in 1982, CPD opposed the Cold War by calling for "detente from below." It engaged Western peace activists in the defense of the rights of democratic dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and enlisted East-bloc human rights activists against anti-democratic U.S. policies in countries like Nicaragua and Chile. Today, there is a growing awareness among many Americans that U.S. foreign policy, particularly the so-called war on terror, offers only a prospect of endless militarization and actually serves to strengthen dictatorship, political fundamentalism and terrorism throughout the world. They also sense that a powerfully enhanced national security state of secrecy, surveillance, "kill lists," and indefinite detention poses a mortal threat to democracy at home. Millions realize too that this country's bloated military budget starves essential social programs. We propose a new foreign policy based on the following principles:
- Renunciation of both military intervention and non-military coercion as a means of extending and consolidating U.S. imperial power, as in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the rejection of military threats against countries like Iran and Syria, and the dismantling of Washington's massive global network of military bases.
- Taking a clear stand against authoritarian governments, whether they are U.S. allies, like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, or states like North Korea, Iran, and Syria, to which the United States is hostile.
- Opposing all forms of terrorism worldwide — not just by anti-U.S. forces like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Syrian military, but also by states with which Washington is now aligned, such as Colombia, Yemen, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Israel — and by the U.S. itself.
- Supporting the right of self-determination for all peoples, including the Kurds, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Chechens, and Kashmiris, and the right to equal citizenship and equal rights for all racial, religious and ethnic minorities.
- Opposing the continuing illegal and unjust Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and ending U.S. military, economic and diplomatic support for that occupation.
- Supporting freedom of speech, press, religion, artistic expression, electronic communication, and association including the right to form trade unions everywhere.
- Supporting equal rights for lesbians, gays, and transgendered people around the world.
- Defending the right of women in all countries to complete political, social and economic equality and to control over their bodies and reproduction.
- Taking major unilateral steps toward the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, above all nuclear weapons, and vigorously promoting international disarmament.
- Defending the environment from governmental and corporate depredation and taking radical emergency steps to address climate change.
- Abandoning economic policies, including today's global austerity regimes, that bring mass misery to people in large parts of the world. Initiating a major foreign aid and economic development program directed at popular rather than corporate needs.
- Promoting the ability of all people to flourish with ample food, water, shelter, healthcare and education.
A U.S. government that carried out a foreign and domestic policy based on these principles would be radically different from the one we have now. Only under such a government would this country be in a position to honestly and consistently foster democracy and progressive social transformation around the world. It could do this by encouraging democratic forces aimed at empowering ordinary people, not unrepresentative elites, and by itself providing an example of genuine democracy. Some of these democratic forces exist today, others have yet to arise, but all would be strengthened if the United States were to abandon its current imperial foreign policy.