The War and Peace Foundation (WPF) was established as an anti-nuclear advocacy group in 1982. Its chief objective was to ensure world peace by stripping the United States of its military arsenal.
During the years since its inception, WPF has radically broadened its agenda. In addition to the complete nuclear disarmament of the world and especially the United States, it also aims to rally public opinion against a national missile defense system, shutter all military manufacturers, and end warfare forever by giving greater power to the United Nations. In the late 1990s, however, WPF President Selma Brackman, who co-founded the organization with her husband Arthur Brackman, endorsed an appeal by a number of leftist activists and non-governmental organizations to condemn the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions against Iraq. “There is no crueler violation of fundamental human rights than this sanctions policy,” stated the appeal.
In a February 2003 speech, Brackman charged that the imminent U.S. military campaign in Iraq amounted to a reprise of the use of the atomic bomb in World War II. “With Truman as with Bush today,” said Brackman, “they both invoke God when their crime is so heinous as to abjure their annihilation of such large segments of foreign populations with personal impunity.” Brackman also claimed that the Iraq War was an imperialist plot hatched by President Bush: “Bush won’t tell America the truth about why we are going to war, what is at stake; it is not an axis of evil but oil, money, personal via corporate gain at the expense of people’s lives.” Brackman characterized as “Saddam‘s misfortune” the fact that the Iraqi dictator happened “to sit on the second biggest oil field in the world.”
Similar views were expressed by the members of the War and Peace Foundation’s Board of Directors, which includes, among others, International Action Center founder Ramsey Clark; Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting founder Jeff Cohen; law professor and Nation Editor Richard Falk, who hailed the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran as a “liberation”; anti-nuclear activist David Krieger; anti-nuclear Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Joseph Rotblat; and historian Howard Zinn.
In addition to its anti-military crusades, WPF professes its commitment to help “foster a free and responsible media.” In an April 2003 brief titled “The Media Demockracy,” Douglas Mattern, Editor of the Foundation’s bi-monthly publication War & Peace Digest and a member of WPF’s Directorial Board, insisted that the American media was subverting the democratic process by willfully tilting its coverage of the Iraq War to shed a favorable light on the U.S. military. “The coverage, including the ’embedded journalists,’ is mostly to act as cheerleaders for the Pentagon and the President’s war policy,” Mattern raged.
WPF is a member organization of the Abolition 2000 anti-war coalition.