Statement of Purpose
The Campaign for Peace and Democracy is dedicated to advancing 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, the Campaign 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. Along with the European Nuclear Disarmament Movement, the Campaign was recognized internationally for its leadership in building grassroots solidarity across the Cold War divide, and for its refusal to "choose sides" in the East-West conflict. CPD rejected the self-destructive notion that "The enemy of my enemy must be my friend."
The Campaign has always maintained that without global economic justice there can be no lasting peace, and has opposed the ruinous and unfair international economic policies of the United States. After the fall of Communism, the Campaign spoke out against the application of these policies to the former East-bloc countries — the imposition of "shock therapy" that fostered widespread economic misery.
Today, millions of Americans have a growing sense of unease about U.S. foreign policy, a sense that instead of bringing real peace or security it only serves to strengthen authoritarianism, political fundamentalism and terrorism. In its 2002 statement "We Oppose Both Saddam Hussein and the U.S. War on Iraq: A call for a new, democratic U.S. foreign policy," CPD outlined an alternative foreign policy for the United States. The following set of principles, adapted from that statement, could form the basis for a radically new and positive relationship between the U.S. and the rest of the world.
- Renunciation of military intervention to extend and consolidate U.S. imperial power, including intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, and dismantling this country's massive global network of military bases.
- Taking a clear stand against corrupt and authoritarian governments, whether they are U.S. allies, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf states, or states like North Korea, Iran, and Syria, to which the U.S. is hostile.
- Opposing all forms of terrorism worldwide — not just by anti-U.S. forces like Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but also by forces with which the U.S. is now aligned, such as the Colombian paramilitaries and the Israeli Army, and by the U.S. itself in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere.
- Supporting the right of self-determination for all peoples, including the Kurds, Tibetans, Chechens, Palestinians and Israeli Jews, and the right to equal citizenship for all.
- Supporting freedom of speech, press, religion, artistic expression, and association including the right of workers to form trade unions — in every nation.
- Supporting equal rights for women, lesbians and gays, and all sexual, racial and ethnic minorities everywhere.
- Taking unilateral steps toward renouncing weapons of mass destruction, above all nuclear weapons, and vigorously promoting international disarmament.
- Defending the environment from both governmental and corporate depredation and taking drastic, emergency steps to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Abandoning economic policies 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, and for women, control over their bodies and reproduction.
A U.S. government that carried out a foreign policy based on these principles and implemented them at home — would be in a position to honestly and consistently foster democracy around the world. It could encourage democratic forces (not unrepresentative cliques, but genuinely popular parties and movements). Some of these forces exist today, others have yet to arise, but all would be strengthened if the U.S. were to abandon its current imperial foreign policy.
Only such a foreign policy could begin to reverse the mistrust and outright hatred felt by so much of the world's population toward the U.S. At the same time, it would weaken the power of dictatorships and the appeal of terrorism and reactionary religious fundamentalism.
The goal of U.S. foreign policy today is the promotion of a U.S. global imperium. Ordinary people everywhere, including in the United States itself, need to know that there is another America, made up of those who both recognize the urgent need for global democracy and reject our government's militaristic and imperial foreign policy. We declare our intention to strengthen this Other America. That means working to rein in the war-makers and to build the most powerful antiwar movement possible, and at the same time to forge links of solidarity and concrete support for democratic forces throughout the world. We invite you to join us.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CPD INITIATIVES, 2002 to PRESENT:
- Feb 2011: CPD organizes delegation of 12 peace and human rights activists to U.S. and Iranian Missions to the U.N. to present statement "End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran: Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran" with list of over 1150 signers.
- Feb 2011: CPD statement Egypt After Mubarak
- Jan 2011: CPD statement We Support the Democratic Revolution in Tunisia
- Dec 2010: Statement of support for Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and Bradley Manning
- Oct 2010: CPD sign-on statement, "End the War Threats and Sanctions Program Against Iran: Support the Struggle for Democracy Inside Iran."
- Aug 2010: After the disastrous floods in Pakistan in August 2010, CPD circulated an appeal by the Sindh Labour Relief Committee, including 14 Pakistani unions and progressive organizations, for financial aid to the flood victims. The Campaign also posted a statement on the floods' political context by the Labour Party Pakistan and the National Trade Union Federation.
- Jan 2010: CPD participated in a protest at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA, against drone attacks.
- Oct 2009: "We Call for the United States to End Its Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan!" (CPD Sign-On Statement)
- Mar 2009: Open letter to Czech Chamber of Deputies urging a "no" vote on the proposed U.S. radar station.
- Feb 2009: Open Letter to Iranian Authorities Protesting Threats to Shirin Ebadi, women's rights and human rights defender.
- Jan 2009: "No More Blank Check to Israel": CPD Sign-on Declaration on the Gaza crisis.
- Nov 2008: Open letter to Czech officials supporting the Czech peace movement on the anniversary of November 1989 movement for democracy in Czechoslovakia
- Jul 2008: CPD speaker at conference at the Czech Parliament against U.S. military radar base.
- Jul 2008: "We Protest the U.S. Radar in the Czech Republic" open letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, published in Prague.
- Apr 2008: Co-sponsored public forum in NYC with leaders of Czech anti-radar movement and Chagos Refugees Group for the people of Diego Garcia.
- Mar 2008: Open Letter to Polish Prime Minister opposing U.S. military base in Poland.
- Feb 2008: Picket of Czech President to protest U.S. radar.
- Feb 2008: CPD article "Pushing Missile Defense in Europe" in Foreign Policy in Focus.
- Jan 2008: CPD letter in the NY Times opposing U.S. radar in the Czech Republic.
- Dec 2007: Open letter to Iranian President Ahmadinejad "Release Iranian Students From Prison Now!," published in Iran.
- Nov 2007: Statement "Solidarity With Opponents of Proposed U.S. Military Base in the Czech Republic" delivered to Czech Ambassador to the U.N. Published in The NY Review of Books and Britské Listy in the Czech Republic.
- May 2006: Statement "Iran: Neither U.S. Aggression Nor Theocratic Repression."
- Jun 2003: Protest U.S. Actions Against Cuba in response to escalating threats from the Bush administration.
- Mar 2003: Statement Protesting Repression in Cuba in response to the Castro regime's arrest of scores of oppositionists
- Dec 2002: Statement: "We Oppose Both Saddam Hussein and the U.S. War on Iraq," published in the NY Times, Nation, Progressive and elsewhere.