The Green Party
Peace and Non-Violence
The Green Party advocates a fundamental change in the way we socialize our citizens, structure our institutions, and relate to the planet and its people. Peace is not just the absence of violence; it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will and respect.
Even though the cold war ended over a decade ago, our level of armament still grossly exceeds any reasonable estimate of what we need for national defense. These weapons' destructive capacity, if they were used, would guarantee an unimaginably horrific toll in human life and environmental damage that would affect many generations to come. To date, we have conducted 1,054 nuclear weapons tests. This is more than the other six known nuclear- capable nations combined.
The Green Party advocates progress towards disarmament by the following means:
- We must stop the research, development, testing and deployment of offensive weapons - especially nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. We must halt the international exchange of nuclear technologies and materials.
- Immediately ban international arms sales, and enact a unilateral reduction in our current armaments stockpiles.
- Set up a multi-level international peace-keeping force consisting of citizen groups as well as the U.N.
- Put our efforts into preventing conflicts and promoting stability by joining the rest of the world in signing, ratifying and enforcing the various international agreements that address these issues.
- Achieve nuclear abolition by enforcing the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. Article VI of this treaty mandates the elimination of nuclear weapons through a treaty on "general and complete disarmament... under international control." Ensure U.S. compliance.
Violence in Society
We oppose violence in all its forms: assaults against individuals, families, nations, wildlife and the environment. American society has an historical legacy of violence that results in a widespread acceptance of violent methods. This is reflected in high violent crime rates, the highest handgun murder rate in the world, a propensity for military solutions and a patriarchal desire to dominate through threats and outright force.
The Green Party proposes these actions to counter patterns of violence:
- Abolish the death penalty.
- Register all legal firearms, especially hand guns and other concealable weapons.
- Strengthen the ban on sales of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
- Teach nonviolence and peaceful conflict resolution at all school levels. Abolish corporal punishment in schools since to use it is to teach violence. Provide training in nonviolent parenting skills.
- Provide adequate funding to remedy the conditions that spawn violent crime. Such funding is economically more effective than the cost of trials and prisons.
- Develop police training and procedures that stress handling situations through mediation and negotiation, while minimizing the necessity for armed confrontations.
The Green Party supports democracy and self-determination worldwide and promotes the U.S. ending its practice of economic and political colonialism. U.S. foreign policy should emphasize promoting other nations' self-sufficiency and self-determination, rather than ensuring security for overseas American business interests and the retention of military bases.
The continuing establishment of bases and stationing of service personnel overseas heightens global tensions and tends to make the U.S. military a global police force. Together with economic leveraging, such military presence assures that self-serving U.S. businesses will encounter little resistance.
The Greens believe in policies consistent with participatory democracy and global responsibility:
- Insist that U.S. corporations maintain foreign business practices that don't jeopardize workers, damage their environment or interfere with their government.
- Negotiate a General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) that promotes the economic development and self-sufficiency of recipient countries, rather than profitability for the G-8 countries.
- Support and endorse United Nations conventions. Putting aside "new world order" rhetoric, we believe that the U.N. should finally be utilized for its intended purpose: it should act as an objective, multilateral body to maintain world order. The U.S. could help attain this objective by paying its U.N. dues on time.
Close all foreign military bases as soon as possible and clean up any toxic
wastes left behind. Fair and responsible business practices would eliminate
the need for such bases.
Military foreign aid should be discontinued.
- All foreign aid should be based on the improvement of democracy and general living standards and/or to reduce overall suffering in the recipient country.
Use of resources to meet basic human needs has long been sacrificed to pay for a huge military budget. This level of military spending is the result of a bloated defense budget based on unrealistic assessments of foreign military threats, inefficient and wasteful procurement practices, self-serving competition between different branches of the military and duplication of military functions. Local economies have become so dependent on military spending that "pork-barrel" legislation has become an accepted practice.
The fiscal year 2002 national budget (proposed before Sept. 11) requested about $1.9 trillion total. About one third of that is discretionary spending (non-discretionary spending is mostly entitlement programs mandated by law). Military spending accounts for about half of all discretionary spending in the budget proposal. This means that the combined budget for all other programs in all other agencies and departments just equals what the military is getting. This spending proposal includes $8 Billion for the Ballistic Missile Defense system, while providing no line item detail explaining on what this huge amount would be spent.
To fund the war in Afghanistan and the "war on terrorism," the Bush Administration has requested a $48 Billion increase over the fiscal year 2002 budget request. This level of spending is roughly equal to the combined defense budgets of the next 15 largest militarized countries. For example, it is 41-times larger than Russia's defense budget. This war money comes at the expense of funding for social programs and international assistance. The proposed budget is more than 50-times larger than what we spend on international food and assistance, and 47-times larger than the EPA budget.
The Green Party advocates a major shift in the allocation of resources:
- Reduce military spending to 25% of Cold War levels.
- Stop funding the Ballistic Missile Defense system.
- Distribute the resulting "peace dividend," in part, to state and local governments to handle the multitude of neglected problems in social welfare, the environment and the economy.
Prepared by the Johnson County Green Party, February 2003, based on the platform of the California Green Party, www.cagreens.org. More information on the Green Party may be found at www.gpus.org. Please also visit the Johnson County Green Party site at www.johnsoncountygreenparty.org and join us at our meetings!