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What is a Peace Candidate?

Observations while collating a list of Peace Candidates from the Internet.

For many incumbent Congressional Representatives, the only information on their web sites about the Iraq War appeared in a press release regarding the June 15th, 2006 House Bill (HR 861) supporting current Iraq War policy (ie no commitment to bring home the troops). What was also interesting about many Democratic Candidates, many of whom might have been expected to be Peace Candidates, was their inabilty to qualify in part because they avoided discussing the war at any level on their web sites. It also appeared that some very long lived Congressional Representatives had little interest in maintaing an up to date web site, with 3-4 month old Press Releases listed as "current".

The link we provide for each Peace Candidate may be the only information available on the Internet about their position on the Iraq War. In general, our candidate links represent the best information we could find to support their designation as a Peace Candidate.

Unfortunately, many Congressional Representatives who opposed the Iraq War Resolution when it was debated in the fall of 2002, did not meet both of the criteria we used to define a peace candidate. Most of them did not meet the criterion which required a commitment to support removing the troops in the short term. Most Peace Candidates supported rapid removal of our troops from Iraq, or rapid redeployment, outside of Iraq. The occassional Peace Candidate would define an end point some time in 2007, and one even said within two years. The key point is that Peace Candidates had to take a definite stand about when they would pull out the troops, including an immediate redeployment.

Many challengers had the temerity to recognize the Iraq War as poorly conceived and executed, but were unwilling to define a specified time frame in which to bring home the troops. Common excuses were the need to define specific benchmarks to meet before exiting, and then to exit when those benchmarks were met. The President's oft stated reason for not setting an exit date, that it would play into the hands of our enemies, was rarely proffered as a rationale by a candidate. Continually this administration has assumed that more time is better for improving security, but one cannot over emphasize that this is an assumption, without any empiric evidence to support it (we never left the Middle East after the Gulf War, we left Vietnam with great desperation and we never left Korea, retaining tens of thousands of troops there for half a century).

A final observation was the lack of effort put forward by some purported candidates for office. When a candidate had limited or no presence on the Internet, we would do a google search on their name, party and state. Only once did this actually yield a useful piece of information. We also sent emails to some candidates who had inadequate information available on the internet, to ascertain their views on the Iraq War. Some failed to respond, but we were able to get clarifications about positions from some Peace Candidates. After Labor Day, if a candidate wasn't talking about the Iraq War on their web site, they were not likely to be listed as a Peace Candidate. If information was unavailable about their position on the Iraq War and we were unable to find infomation to support their inclusion as a Peace Candidate, they were not listed on the PeaceIsPatrioic web site. Since the Green Party has a press release about the War in Iraq that meets our two criteria, Green Candidates are Peace Candidates by default. Thus, all Green candidates are listed, and their party affiliation is noted if that is the best evidence to support their listing as a Peace Candidate. If there is a link for a Green candidate, it references support by that candidate for a peace position.

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