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

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Letter to President and Congress on Iraq

Senator Bob Graham
524, Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

“This (is) a person who (is) trying to say, we don’t want democracy – as a matter of fact, we’ll decide the course of democracy by the use of force. And that is the opposite of democracy.” - President Bush, speaking about Muqtada al-Sadr, 4/5/04

“90 percent of Iraqis share a vision of democracy – not of power enforced at the end of a gun barrel.” – Ambassador Bremer, 4/5/04

Dear Senator Graham,

The above statements, made without deliberate irony by senior U.S. leaders, provide confirmation to the world that they are no longer able to distinguish fact from the strange post-Orwellian fiction of their Iraq policy. One could dismiss such statements as political rhetoric for domestic consumption, but they inadvertently reflect a real and continuing blindness to the serious and fundamental fallacies that underlie U.S. policy in Iraq and elsewhere.

In 1990, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft argued against an invasion and occupation of Iraq because it would lead unavoidably to elections that “our guys would lose”. The present U.S. plan is to gradually transfer power to “our guys”, while systematically eliminating the alternatives, until the Iraqis have no choice but to elect “our guys”. This plan insults the intelligence and sophistication of a proud people and was never realistic. Iraqi leaders like Ayatollah al-Sistani have acted with wisdom and restraint to minimize bloodshed, but have made it clear that Iraq will be independent, one way or the other. Yesterday, a U.S. Special Forces officer at Baghdad airport gave a British reporter a reality check, “Things are very bad and they’re going to get worse, but no-one is saying that – either because they don’t know or because they don’t want you to know”. As we watch the disintegration of our country’s Iraq policy in the coming months, I hope that we can finally learn some of the lessons that history and the rest of the world have been trying to teach us for the past sixty years.

Americans have been led to believe that the failures of U.S. policy towards the Third World have been attributable to a lack of commitment of either money, blood or political will, and that, given sufficient commitment of these commodities, there are no limits to American power. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is myth, not history. In reality, it is in the countries where the United States has actually made its most extensive commitments that it has experienced its greatest failures, from China and Korea in the 1940s to Lebanon (twice) to Cuba to Vietnam to Iran to Palestine. In each case, policy was formulated around myths of democracy and American power in place of accurate analyses of our resources and interests relative to the history, politics and culture of the country in question, even though such analyses were always readily available. The result was that popular movements in all these countries frustrated U.S. ambitions and won military and political victories in spite of huge economic and military imbalances in favor of the United States.

An accurate analysis would tell us that we have relied far too much on military power, and that our successes owe more to our “soft” power and good will, and our leadership in the development of international law, the very strengths that we have so readily squandered since 1989 in our pursuit of corporate “globalization” and military dominance. In response to the current crisis in U.S. foreign policy, I would ask you to support the following proposals: -

1) President Bush must order an immediate ceasefire by U.S. forces in Iraq; they must cease all offensive operations and begin a phased withdrawal from Iraq.

2) President Bush must recommit the U.S. Government to honor all previously signed and ratified international treaties, as required by Article VI of the United States Constitution.

3) President Bush must initiate an international cooperative effort to address the problems and grievances of the Muslim and Arab peoples of the world. The centerpiece of this would be a U.N. mandate for the Palestinian territories, with sufficient peacekeepers to actually keep the peace, and control of land borders with Egypt and Jordan. All U.S. aid to Israel would become conditional on Israel’s full cooperation with the U.N.

4) President Bush must commit our country to peacefully aid other countries that need our help, by honoring the U.N. request that developed countries dedicate 0.7% of their GNP for this purpose.

By these actions, we can make it clear that our country truly desires to live in peace with the rest of the world, and that we recognize the special responsibility that comes with our strength and prosperity. The world will find that our country can be a great friend, as our people have always been to our fellow people of the world.

Yours sincerely


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