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

Friday, December 05, 2003

Letter to Congress on Perle's Admission of Illegality

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Friday, December 5th, 2003

Dear Senator Nelson,

According to the enclosed article from the Guardian, Richard Perle told the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London that “international law would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone” and “I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing”. This was the frankest admission yet by any member of the Bush administration that the invasion of Iraq was a deliberate violation of the U.N. Charter.

A recent poll found that 71% of Americans would now support U.N. supervision of a political transition in Iraq, up from 50% in April. The great majority of people in other countries have held this view all along. Even amongst the people of Mr. Rumsfeld’s “New Europe”, pre-war support for “unilateral military action by the U.S. and its allies” was in the very low range of 4% (Macedonia) to 11% (Romania), while support for military action under a U.N. mandate ranged from 13% (Spain) up to 51% (the Netherlands) (Gallup International etc.).

Unfortunately, Mr. Rumsfeld still wants his four military bases in Iraq and a Status of Forces Agreement with a pro-U.S. Iraqi government, and corporate interests are still counting on the forced privatization of Iraqi industry to make this whole operation profitable. The administration cannot count on the U.N. to support such goals, so they are allowing the violence and “decomposition” to continue instead of ceding power.

The administration is responding to the Iraqi resistance by planning a faster transfer of power to Ahmad Chalabi and his colleagues, even though this means forgoing the “democratic” procedures that might (or might not!) have given them legitimacy in the eyes of their countrymen. The new timetable is rather transparently geared to creating an illusion of stability for a crucial few months next fall, after which the four years gained by reelection would allow the administration to take actions that they cannot possibly take now. These would include a draft in the U.S., massive repression in Iraq, and the next phase of the “War on Terror”, aimed at North Korea, Syria, Iran or even Cuba. The “lessons of Iraq” and increasing worldwide terrorism would be integrated into a rationale for further aggression.

Administration officials vigorously reject comparisons with Vietnam, and most of us firmly believe that our country learned the lessons of Vietnam and could never make the same mistakes again. In a recent article at, Gabriel Kolko explored the differences and similarities between these two crises. He noted differences in geography, history and politics between Vietnam and Iraq, but he found that U.S. policies and attitudes towards the two countries were strikingly similar.

In particular, he noted: -

a) The “cynical falsehoods” that were the pretexts for U.S. military action and the “credibility gap” and low troop morale that resulted from them.
b) The presumption that the people of an impoverished third world country could not possibly defeat “unprecedented” U.S. military power.
c) The disdain for the views of anyone who counseled caution based upon the limits of military power or knowledge of these countries and their cultures.
d) The reliance on unpopular leaders and unmotivated local troops to take over when the going gets rough. (In Afghanistan, more than 2,000 of the 6,000 soldiers NATO has trained have already quit.)
e) The inherent conflict between U.S. interests and the independent aspirations of the local people.
f) “Wars are ultimately won politically or not at all”.

Fortunately, the American people have learned the lessons of Vietnam even if our leaders have not. We will not sacrifice thousands of our sons and daughters to their folly, in Iraq or anywhere else on the Axis of Arrogance.

An opinion poll published in today’s Miami Herald asked voters in Florida to choose between “re-electing George W. Bush” and “voting for the eventual Democratic nominee”. 43% chose Bush, 37% chose the Democratic nominee, 14% didn’t know, and 6% chose “some other candidate”. In other words, presented with an explicit choice between a Republican and a Democrat, 6% of Floridians insisted that they would vote for anyone but a Republican or a Democrat, even though there are no other declared candidates in the race. Maybe it is time to introduce the Democratic Party to the radical idea that they could actually represent the American people, not just American corporations.

Yours sincerely


Post a Comment

<< Home