The current Republican administration is aggressively demolishing success in American diplomacy achieved in the Obama administration. It has rolled back the diplomatic advances with Cuba and Iran, abandoned the Paris Climate Accords, and violated the Iran nuclear agreement, harming innocent people in many countries and making the world a much more dangerous place for all. The Administration has created chaos in U.S. relations with other countries and demonstrated support for many autocrats and human rights abusers. The Republican budgets demonstrate this
administration’s priorities, drastically cutting appropriations for the State Department and humanitarian aid while making dramatic and unnecessary increases in military spending. These are not Democratic priorities.
California Democrats recognize that all human beings are entitled to freedom, peace, and justice and are committed to a properly staffed and funded foreign service that promotes democracy and human rights around the world. The Republican agenda takes the opposite approach and as a result, cedes America’s leadership on the world stage to nations that are not committed to democratic values. Moreover, the Republicans’ attitude towards international relations places our nation and the world at risk.
Many places in the world remain closed to democracy and have leadership repressive of the most basic civil rights. Terrorism is a plague, but wars are not the solution. Even for the most powerful nation on earth, eradicating terrorismsolely through a strategy of war, brute force, and attempts at regime change is an impossibility. Foreign intelligence combined with effective foreign aid programs better supports our nation’s fight against terrorism and our commitment to democracy and human rights around the world.
We must believe that the American people will support truth over the fear mongering by our political adversaries. We must be truthful with our allies and also with ourselves. We must be firm with those who threaten the American people and our democratic ideals, whether at home or abroad. And, we must take the moral path as we strive to promote
To create a more secure and peaceful world, California Democrats will:
• Take steps to reaffirm the position of the United States as a leader by recognizing the rule of law and the role of multi-lateral treaties, including United Nations treaties in the international community;
• Reaffirm the War Powers Act by working to return the authority to declare war to Congress and specifically including a requirement that any first use of nuclear weapons be preceded by a formal declaration of war by Congress and a specific authorization to use nuclear weapons;
• Demand that the United States rejoin the majority of world nations in the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and fully participate in further United Nations climate talks toward significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions with a net-zero goal to head off global climate catastrophe;
• Call for a fully-funded State Department and affirm its mission of promoting world peace and disarmament through diplomacy;
• Condition our policies and our aid to other governments upon respect for basic human rights;
• Affirm the right of all people to live free from persecution, discrimination, dehumanization, and human rights abuses;
• Resist any movement in the world that curtails basic rights and civil liberties or undermines democratic principles and freedom of expression;
• Proactively seek durable peace in the Middle East, including ending support for the Saudi-United Arab Emirates aggression in Yemen, opposing Turkish repression and aggression against Kurdish civilians in Northern Syria which has undermined years of cooperative security work to stop ISIS and Syrian terrorizing of innocent citizens
and rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (2015 Iran nuclear agreement) and strive to discourage the further proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region, encourage democratic forces in Iran without undermining its government, and strive to restore normal U.S.-Iran relations;
• Continue to work toward a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict directly negotiated by the parties that guarantees equality, security and democracy for all; recognizes Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders; and, provides Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity;
• We support efforts among representatives of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank to de-escalate tensions through good-faith negotiations that recognize Israel’s future as a sovereign, secure, and democratic Jewish state and that can lead to security and independence for Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians and Israelis should be free to govern themselves
each in their own viable states in peace and dignity;
• Continue to support an end to the teaching and use of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in discourse throughout the Middle East and beyond;
• Oppose the use of military drones for “targeted killings” in countries with which the United States is not at war;
• Combat external threats through increased participation in, support for, and cooperation with the United Nations, other international agencies, and regional organizations; greater participation in peacekeeping to help prevent mass atrocities; and, renewed international collaborations to build government structures in states that are failing
or emerging from conflict;
• Oppose regime change strategies as a pretext for war and occupation;
• End support for indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Yemen;
• Cooperate with other nations to eliminate terrorism, increase literacy and child survival rates, combat poverty disease and malnutrition, bolster existing and new democracies and developing nations, and reduce the support and demand for narcotics;
• Restore and reaffirm U.S. support for the United Nations as an essential institution for the pursuit of peace and justice employing diplomacy under international law and for the crucial worldwide efforts to end poverty and prevent climate catastrophe;
• Condemn incendiary rhetoric by anyone that reinforces North Korea’s fear of a U.S. invasion and nuclear attack and undermines diplomatic efforts with North Korea; support direct talks with North and South Korean Leaders toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula;
• Combat external threats through increased participation in, support for, and cooperation with the U.N., other international agencies, and regional organizations; greater participation in peacekeeping to help prevent mass atrocities; and, renewed international collaborations to build government structures in states that are failing or emerging from conflict;
• Ratify and abide by the terms of the key treaties that advance the causes of peace and human rights including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, the Landmine Treaty, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
• Negotiate toward full implementation of both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the U.N. Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons and support the United Nations Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons;
• Support ratification of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, of which the United States is a signatory;
• Support the advancement of programs that will end the cycle of violence to ultimately promote peace, rule of law, and human rights for increased security and prosperity at home;
• Promote establishing national institutions based on organizing principles of violence prevention and non-violent conflict resolution, using and developing a network of “best practice” peace-building policies and programs, among U.N. member states and nonmember nations;
• Follow the Geneva and Hague Conventions. No torture. No extraordinary renditions. No exceptions;
• Repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (“AUMF”) that granted the President the authority – without debate or Congressional approval – to use force in retaliation against those determined to have “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks against the U.S.;
• Commit to the objectives of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, including eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, achievement of universal primary education, and promotion and empowerment of women. Work to enhance the U.N. and regional organizations;
• Work towards achieving global nuclear disarmament. Continue to pursue the Obama Administration’s “interagency discussions and international negotiations regarding the reduction and elimination of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.” Recommit to arms control agreements that the current administration abandons. And
oppose any first use of nuclear weapons and pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
• Reallocate defense expenditures in a manner commensurate with actual threats. Enhance efforts to deprive terrorists of weapons of mass destruction by moving multilaterally to diminish weapons stockpiles, moving back the hands of the Doomsday Clock published by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists as it relates to nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war;
• Tailor our foreign policy to eliminate poverty; start by allocating an additional one percent of our budget to aid and development;
• Promote population-planning worldwide through education and support for family planning organizations without restricting a woman’s autonomy over her body as part of responsible family planning;
• Make the United States a global leader in healthy and democratic economic development, designing policies that prioritize worker rights, preserving the environment, fight the climate crisis and channel the benefit of globalization to ordinary people in all countries.
• Structure fair trade agreements that require countries to adopt and enforce internationally recognized labor standards such as the right to associate and bargain collectively and prohibitions against child labor, forced labor, and discrimination in employment;
• Observe both U.S. and international law and adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and U.N. Convention to the Status of Refugees in granting asylum and support the dignified treatment of refugees everywhere no matter their race, religion, or country of origin; and
• Pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles 13 and 14, the Kashmiri Pandit community has the right of return to their ancestral homeland and to be free of persecution in their return.