- Internet newsletter and self-styled “resource” for anti-war activists
Established in 2006, the Peace Majority Report (PMR) was a self-described “nonpartisan” anti-war Internet newsletter that “reach[ed] across the political and cultural spectrum—embracing conservatives and progressives, as well as others of all persuasions”—to oppose U.S. war efforts and build a “peace community in America.” On its website, PMR posted information from, for, and about anti-war organizations nationwide. It also posted numerous “action” alerts in which these groups condemned the Iraq War, voiced opposition to U.S. military recruiting and spending, called for American nuclear disarmament, and expressed support for Palestinian militants in their war against Israel. Notwithstanding its professed commitment to “non-violence,” one PMR post was a Progressive Democrats of America statement that condemned the “Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006,” a congressional bill calling for the Palestinian government to denounce and combat terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement. Also in 2006, PMR published lists of events organized by anti-war organizations, as well as links to news stories and commentary critical of the U.S. war effort. In addition, it sold books advocating nonviolence and attacking American foreign policy.
In 2006 as well, PMR compiled a “scorecard” that ranked House and Senate legislators according to their votes on matters of “war and peace,” and specifically on such issues as: support and funding for the Iraq War; the U.S. embargo of Cuba; the United Nations; the Patriot Act; the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; U.S. development of nuclear weapons; and military recruitment in American universities. As a consequence of PMR’s leftist political orientation, conservative Republican Congressman Tom DeLay received a score of just 4%, and moderate Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman scored 24%. By contrast, leftists Ted Kennedy, John Conyers, and Dennis Kucinich scored 81%, 90%, and 99%, respectively.
In 2006-07, PMR listed its top priorities as follows: “(1) ending the U.S. war in Iraq; (2) stopping the U.S. plans to build new nuclear weapons; and (3) helping the U.S. become the world leader in international peace and security treaties.” PMR also advocated the establishment of a so-called “Congressional Peace Caucus,” a legislative and deliberative body for elected “representatives who are committed to peace.” In keeping with that goal, PMR’s website featured a pre-written letter that readers could sign and send to lawmakers, urging them to support the idea of such a Caucus. “I want you to know as one of my representatives that I support the PeaceMajority.org campaign to establish a new nonpartisan Congressional Peace Caucus, patterned after the other successful caucuses in Congress,” stated the letter, which concluded: “It is time we start including a commitment to peace over war as the cornerstone of our national security.”
After the Bush Administration’s “troop surge” of 2007 succeeded in essentially winning the Iraq War for the United States, PMR became largely inactive. Today PMR’s website contains of little more than brief descriptions of various anti-war organizations, and links to the website of the National Priorities Project (a group that advocates cuts in U.S. military expenditures coupled with increased spending on social welfare programs).
During PMR’s more active period, it was a member group of the United for Peace and Justice and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions. Its editor was Bill Scheurer, and its editorial advisory board was composed of such notables as Medea Benjamin, Kathy Kelly, Michael Lerner, Kevin Martin, Dave Robinson, and Susan Shaer.