Nicolas J S Davies

A collection of published articles and letters to policymakers regarding the crisis in United States foreign policy by Nicolas J S Davies.

Location: North Miami, Florida, United States

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Letter to Blair Calling for Ceasefire

The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair M.P.
10, Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

Saturday, April 5th, 2003

Dear Mr. Blair,

As the carnage continues in Iraq, the calls for an immediate ceasefire are coming from all over the world. Please respond to this effort to stop the killing and restore the United Nations to its proper place as the arbiter of this crisis.

Before the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld said, “We don’t need to kill thousands of Iraqis to remove Saddam Hussein – at least that’s our belief”. He “believed” that smart weapons could remove the regime without killing many civilians, and that the Iraqi people would welcome our troops as liberators. Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons estimates the accuracy of the precision weapons being used in Iraq at 75-80%, which it cites as a big improvement over Kosovo, but that still leaves 20-25% that are missing their targets and hitting other buildings, streets, markets and even other countries. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have asked the United States to stop firing cruise missiles through their airspace.

If there has been a hallmark to the Bush administration’s neo-imperialist foreign policy, it is the inability to see anyone else’s point of view about anything, including yours by all appearances. It is therefore no surprise that Mr. Rumsfeld’s “beliefs” regarding the point of view of the Iraqi people were completely wrong. Even thousands of Iraqis who were living in safety and freedom from Saddam Hussein in Jordan and Syria have willingly returned to Iraq to defend their country. But neo-imperialism is an ideology rather than a rational policy. When real human beings don’t behave the way an ideology says they should, the ideological “believers” have an answer for that: “The end justifies the means”, and the people are expendable. So, without further debate in Britain or the United States, we are now in the midst of the bloody war that Mr. Rumsfeld did not “believe” we would have to fight.

The invasion was supposed to be the easy part. Military occupation is another story. General Maude liberated Mesopotamia from the Turks during the Great War, but by the time Britain left in 1920, we had suffered as many casualties as the U.S. did in Vietnam, and had introduced Iraq to poison gas, the beginning of a long relationship. Mr. Rumsfeld tried to silence the U.S. Army Chief of Staff when he told Congress that an occupation force of 300,000 would be needed for at least three years (or was it five?), but he has not told us how he “believes” the Iraqis will behave. The Palestinian West Bank would be a good place to start looking for some answers to that question.

So how did we get into this mess? Colin Powell wrote in his memoirs that he was deeply offended as a military man when Madeleine Albright asked him, in 1992, “What’s the good of having this wonderful military if we’re not going to use it?” but he now seems to be working for an administration that has precisely that attitude. There is a saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every job looks like a nail”. This is precisely the danger of the “military industrial complex” that President Eisenhower warned the United States against in his farewell speech. Every job is not a nail, and the United States must stop spending all its resources on bigger and better hammers, and start working on diplomacy, foreign aid, education, intercultural exchanges, economic development, multilateral treaties and institutions, and all the tools that the Bush administration has disdained, disregarded and underfunded. I think that you agree with this, and I do not understand why you are supporting President Bush’s neo-imperialist policies.

I’m sorry that I do not share whatever is left of your idealistic optimism that this will all work out somehow. I’m afraid this has all been a tragic mistake, but I believe that we do still have a choice, to stop now! It is not a choice the Bush administration will make without a great deal of pressure, but you have a powerful voice as their only real ally and a partnership between Britain, the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the international community can achieve it if you all come together and unite around a policy to stop the war and put the U.N. back in the driver’s seat.

“At the very moment (in history) that the United States has perfected the science of killing, it has become an impractical instrument of political domination”
- Richard Barnet, Institute for Policy Studies, 1972

Yours sincerely


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