Vote with the Facts!

Voter Guide

We feel that there is no more urgent matter than to share these researched facts nationwide in order

to counter "the spin," register voters, and support them all the way to the polls.

© 2004, Vote with the Facts & US Face to Face

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US Foreign & Defense Policies

1)  Is preemptive war legal?

Preemptive war violates Article 51 of the United Nations Charter (a treaty ratified by almost every nation in the world, including the US), which prohibits the use of force by one country against another except in two situations: where necessary for self-defense, or where approved by the UN Security Council.

The prohibition against aggressive war, like that against slavery and torture, is a fundamental international law. In clear violation of this fundamental law, the Bush Administration’s radically new "preemptive strike" doctrine proclaims that the United States may use military force against any state it perceives to be hostile; any state which seeks to acquire biological, chemical or nuclear weapons; or any one that "aids" terrorism.

Source: "Bush’s Illegal War," Elizabeth Haddix,

Preemptive force "is extremely dangerous and flat-out illegal," says Jordan Paust, professor of international law at the University of Houston. "Implying a right to take out a regime that threatens us — that is quite threatening to the international legal order."

Source: "As Attack on Iraq Begins, Question Remains: Is It Legal?" Peter Ford, March 21, 2003,

2) How many international security-related treaties has the Bush administration violated, refused to participate in, or withdrawn from?

At least nine. They include, but are not limited to, the following.


  United Nations Charter — preemptive war; unauthorized invasion of Iraq; use of depleted uranium.

According to an August 2002 report by a UN subcommission, laws which are contravened by the use of depleted uranium shells include: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Charter of the United Nations; the Genocide Convention; the Convention Against Torture; the four Geneva Conventions of 1949; the Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980; and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which expressly forbid employing "poison or poisoned weapons" and "arms, projectiles or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." All these laws are designed to spare civilians from unwarranted suffering in armed conflicts.

  The Geneva and Hague Conventions — treatment of prisoners; use of depleted uranium.

  Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — refusal to engage in verified and irreversible reduction and elimination of nuclear forces; planning for maintenance and modernization of a large nuclear arsenal for the indefinite future (in violation of the obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith).

Refused participation:

  Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty — does not support ratification.

  Verification Protocol on Biological Weapons — refused to support completion of negotiations on an agreement to verify compliance with the existing ban on biological weapons contained in the Biological Weapons Convention.

  Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court — in unprecedented action, notified the UN that the US would not ratify this treaty that was signed by President Clinton.

  Treaty Banning Antipersonnel Mines — has taken no action to move towards US participation in the ban on landmines as projected by the Clinton administration.


  Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty — withdrawal effective June 2002.

Sources: "U.S.: Geneva Conventions Apply to Guantanamo Detainees," Human Rights Watch, New York, Jan. 11, 2002,

"US Forces’ Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is ‘Illegal’," Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald, Scotland, March 30, 2003,

Nicole Deller and John Burroughs, "Jus ad Bellum: Law Regulating Resort to Force," Human Rights, winter 2002,

Rule of Power or Rule of Law? An Assessment of U.S. Policies and Actions Regarding Security-Related Treaties, Nicole Deller, Arjun Makhijani, John Burroughs, eds. (Apex Press, 2003).

"Arms Control Abandoned: The Case of Biological Weapons," Nicole Deller and John Burroughs, World Policy Journal, summer 2003,

 "A Call to Arms Control," Jim Wurst, Washington Times, Nov. 12, 2001,

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy Briefing Paper, "Multilateral Treaties Are Fundamental Tools for Protecting Global Security; United States Faces Choice of Bolstering These Regimes or Allowing Their Erosion,"

3) How much is the US military budget for 2004?

$401.3 billion.

Source: "Bush Signs Defense Authorization Bill," Fred Barbash, Washington Post staff writer, Nov. 24, 2003, 

United States military spending is 6 times the next highest country’s spending.

"For 45 years of the Cold War we were in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Now it appears we’re in an arms race with ourselves." — Admiral Eugene Carroll, Jr., US Navy (Ret.), Vice President Emeritus, Center for Defense Information.

Source: "Last of the Big Time Spenders: U.S. Military Budget Still the World’s Largest, and Growing," Center for Defense Information, March 19, 2003,

4) Open: How do you feel about the fact that we are spending more than all of the next 20 top-spending nations combined and 52% of the yearly discretionary budget goes to military expenses?

Source: See Federal Budget Pie Chart,

5) Do you know how many nuclear weapons the US currently has stockpiled?

8,000 nuclear warheads.

Source: "Nuclear Posture Review Submitted to Congress on 31 December 2001,"

6)  Do you know how many tons of chemical weapons the United states currently has stockpiled?

In 1997, at the signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United States admitted having about 31,000 tons of chemical weapons, including 3.3 million bombs, rockets, artillery shells and cartridges and 315,682 binary munitions, in which chemicals are mixed in flight to produce deadly gas. The US missed a key deadline of the convention in which 45% of existing chemical weapons should be destroyed (we have only destroyed approximately 23%).

Sources: "U.S. Lags in Destroying Chemical Weapons: Likely won’t meet deadline to be rid of chemical stores," Kathleen Kenna, The Toronto Star, Sept. 28, 2003,>

7)  What is the administration’s response to the international treaty called the "Chemical Weapons Convention," which is aimed at reducing and eliminating these chemical weapons?

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which enforces the Chemical Weapons Convention, has sought to examine facilities in the United States with the same rigor with which it examines facilities anywhere else. But, just like Iraq, the US has refused to accept weapons inspectors from countries it regards as hostile to its interests, and has told those who have been allowed in which parts of a site they may and may not inspect. It has also passed special legislation permitting the president to block unannounced inspections, and banning inspectors from removing samples of its chemicals. The United States, which is supposed to be the organization’s biggest donor, has been twisting the arms of weaker nations, refusing to pay its dues unless they support its noncooperation, with the result that the OPCW could go under.

Source: "Chemical Coup D’Etat: The US Wants to Depose the Diplomat Who Could Take Away Its Pretext for War With Iraq," George Monbiot, April 16, 2002, published in Guardian of London,

Also available on

8)  How much military assistance is the Bush Administration asking Congress to give Israel in fiscal year 2005?

$2.2 billion — $60 million more than in 2004. Israel, which has nuclear capability, is already militarily more advanced than all the Arab countries combined and receives more US military aid than than any other country.

Source: New York Times, Nov. 4, 2003.   

9) Open: Arms sales worth $2.86 billion are being pushed to Eqypt and the United Arab Emirates, while the US is providing $2 billion in military aid to Israel.  Is the US supporting peace in the Middle East by increasing military aid and arm sales in the region?   

Source: "US pushes Middle East arms sales," Sept. 6, 2002,

Please share this information face to face with as many others as possible based on as much commitment you can muster in yourself for your country, your fellow Americans and for the world.   For more referenced questions and answers please visit our website at: