What No One in the Media Has Asked the Candidates About War

If you can get presidential candidates in the Democratic or Republican parties to answer any of these, please let me know.

1. President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, according to the National Priorities Project, devotes 54% of discretionary spending (or $622.6 billion) to militarism. This figure does not include care for veterans or debt payments on past military spending. Is the percentage of discretionary spending now devoted to militarism, as compared to what you would propose for 2018,
_______too high,
_______too low,
_______just right.
Approximately what level would you propose? ______________________.

2. The United States budgets approximately $25 billion per year for non-military foreign aid, which is less per capita or in relation to the nation’s economy than many other countries. Is the percentage of discretionary spending now devoted to non-military foreign aid, as compared to what you would propose for 2018,
_______too high,
_______too low,
_______just right.
Approximately what level would you propose? ______________________.

3. Does the Kellogg-Briand Pact forbid war? _____________________.

4. Does the United Nations Charter forbid war that is neither actually defensive nor authorized by the United Nations Security Council? _________________.

5. Does the U.S. Constitution require a Congressional declaration of war? __________________.

6. Do the anti-torture and war crimes statutes in the U.S. code ban torture? _________________.

7. Does the U.S. Constitution forbid imprisoning people without charge or trial? ________________.

8. The United States is the leading weapons supplier, through sales and gifts, to the Middle East, as to the world. In what ways would you reduce this arms trade?_______________________ _________________ ______________________ _________________________ _________________________ ___________________ _________________ _________________ ____________________.

9. Does the U.S. president have the legal authority to kill people with missiles from drones or manned airplanes or by any other means? Where does that legal authority originate? _____________ ____________ __________ ___________________ _________________ ______________ ___________________ __________________.

10. The United States military has troops in at least 175 countries. Some 800 bases house hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in some 70 foreign nations, not including numerous “trainers” and participants in “non-permanent” exercises that last indefinitely, at a cost over $100 billion a year. Is this,
_____ too many,
_____ too few,
_____ just right.
What level would be appropriate? ___________ ________________ ________________ _______________ ____________.

11. Would you end U.S. war making in
_____ Afghanistan
_____ Iraq
_____ Syria
_____ Libya
_____ Somalia
_____ Pakistan
_____ Yemen

12. Does the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty require the United States to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control? ________.

13. Would you sign and encourage ratification of,
________ the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
________ the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
________ the Convention on Cluster Munitions
________ the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
________ the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
________ the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
________ the proposed treaty on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space

14. Should the U.S. government continue to subsidize
______ fossil fuels
______ nuclear energy

15. How, and how much, would you propose to invest in bringing renewable, green, non-nuclear energy to the United States and the world? ______________ _______________ _____________ ________________ _____________ ________________ ____________ ______________ ___________________ _________________.

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  • MrLiberty

    The answer to #15 is ZERO. Government needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers. Any government “investment” will be plagued by everything that is wrong with government itself. Only a TRULY free market in energy – free of government subsidies, “free” government security in the middle east provided by our military, free of government protectionism, free of government subsidies for nuclear waste storage, free of special tax breaks, free of bans on Hemp cultivation for biomass energy production, and all the other ways the government interferes in the ability of the market and consumers to make educated choices about energy, its REAL costs, and the REAL costs of the pollution, environmental destruction it causes, etc. As for the rest of it, shut down the overseas empire and bring ALL the troops home to actually defend America for a change and begin the war crimes tribunals against everyone from this and at least the past 8 administrations that is still alive.

    • diogenes

      When 90% of wealth is in the hands of 5% of Americans, the only choices open to “consumers” are peanut butter or mac & cheese, and not always those. The pretense of
      “consumer choice” and all the rest ignores fundamental economic realities. Why, I wonder.

  • diogenes

    The answer to the question in the title is the same as the answer to these three questions:

    1) Who owns the media?
    2) Who owns the armaments industry?
    3) Who owns “our” government?

    “Debt payments on previous wars” is another way of describing welfare for investors.

  • colinjames71

    I suppose if someone is physically attempting to harm the president, then yes, he can legally defend himself. If he can, sure, call in a drone strike, like maybe he’s hunkered down in the Oval Office guarded only by the sheer will and cunning of a disgraced secret service agent craving redemption and the admiration of his estranged daughter in the face of overwhelming odds on all accounts. Spoiler alert, that’s pretty much the plot of all five or six movies featuring an attack on the White House. Hey, could happen.

    Beyond that, no.

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