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

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Letter to Kofi Annan on Brahimi Mission

The Hon. Kofi Annan
Office of the Secretary General
United Nations Headquarters
New York NY 10017

Thursday, May 20, 2004

“The notion of an honest puppet is a contradiction Washington has failed to resolve anywhere in the world since 1945” – Gabriel Kolko, Confronting the Third World, 1988

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

First of all, I want to commend you on the diplomatic skills and indeed great wisdom that you have shown during an extremely difficult time for the United Nations and the world. When my country invaded Iraq, failing to honor its commitments to peace and collective security under the U.N. Charter, we placed the United Nations and you personally in an extraordinary position, and the whole world owes you a debt of gratitude for preserving the integrity of the U.N. during this difficult period.

I have held onto the hope that my government would eventually realize its mistake and ask the United Nations to resolve this crisis, and that you would be able to help the people of Iraq at that point. I am not sure that we are there yet. I have been encouraged by some of what I have read of Mr. Brahimi’s mission, but I have been disturbed by other reports that my government still wishes to install a modified version of the “Iraqi Governing Council” as a transitional government. The Kurdish news agency al-Taakhi has reported that the three senior positions will go to three pro-American Iraqi exiles from the I.G.C., Ibrahim al-Ja’fari, Iyad Allawi and Adnan Pachachi.

The role of exile groups in Iraq during the occupation has been extremely controversial and divisive. They have little popular support and are seen as puppets, collaborators and profiteers by most Iraqis. Some of them have been linked to a string of political assassinations in Baghdad. Stephen Grey, a journalist from New Zealand, investigated the murder on January 19th of Professor Abdullatif Ali al-Mayah of Baghdad University, a prominent human rights activist who opposed the U.S. occupation (New Statesman, 3/15/04). A senior U.S.-trained police officer working on the case spoke to him on condition of anonymity, and told him, “Dr. Abdullatif was becoming more and more popular because he spoke for people in the street here. He made some politicians quite jealous. You can look no further than the governing council. There are political parties in this city who are systematically killing people. They are politicians that are backed by the Americans and who arrived in Iraq with a list of their enemies. I’ve seen these lists. They are killing people one by one”.

I hope that Mr. Brahimi is insisting on a transitional government comprised of people with popular support in Iraq, not of exiles. This is surely the only way to avoid a further escalation of this crisis. I know that he attended the Iraqi Council for Peace and Security, which brought together many Iraqi political groups, and that he has held meetings all over the country and must by now have a good idea who is who in Iraq. I would also hope that, behind closed doors, you and he would receive assurances from my government that it has relinquished its original goal of a neo-colonial Iraq, with a pro-American government, permanent U.S. military bases, and the sale of public assets to foreign investors, and will now allow the formation of a truly independent Iraqi government. Obviously this government must be allowed to hold free and fair elections in January and to define its own security requirements. Under such conditions, I am sure that the United Nations could play a valuable and constructive role.

Lastly, I must tell you that many Americans share my appreciation of your work and that my country is learning what Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt understood from the beginning, that the United Nations carries many of our hopes for the future of the world, for peace, justice and fairness, and for all the things we can do better together than on our own. I know this has been a difficult time for you. Thank you for carrying the cup that holds so many of our dreams without spilling a single drop.

Yours sincerely

Cc: Secretary of State Colin Powell
Congressman Kendrick Meek
Senator Bob Graham
Senator Bill Nelson

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Fax to Bush on War Crimes

President George W Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC 20501
Fax: (202) 456-2461

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Dear Mr. President,

United States forces in Iraq are currently engaged in aerial bombardment of inhabited urban areas of Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala. You must realize that these operations are in violation of the Hague and Geneva Conventions that govern the responsibilities of an occupying power towards civilians in occupied territory. You must also realize that, as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. forces, you are accountable under international law for these violations.

As an American, I must protest against the continuing violation of international law by my government. The invasion of Iraq was an act of aggressive war that did not meet internationally accepted standards for preventive military action (see the Caroline case, the Nuremberg judgment and the U.N. Charter). The treatment of Iraqi prisoners has consistently violated the Geneva Conventions, and these violations have continued for over a year in spite of persistent warnings by the International Committee of the Red Cross. And now, despite worldwide outrage, U.S. forces persist in the use of battlefield weapons in areas inhabited by large numbers of civilians who are legally under their protection.

During the invasion of Iraq, Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons estimated the accuracy of American “precision guided” weapons at 75-85%, which constituted a notable improvement since the Kosovo campaign of 1998. This makes it clear, however, that about 20% of these weapons will inevitably miss their targets, and that this is well understood by U.S. commanders. There is therefore no possible justification for the use of these weapons in inhabited urban areas by occupation forces.

I trust that you are aware of your responsibilities to the people of Iraq under international law, and that you will therefore order an immediate cessation of these operations.

Yours sincerely

Cc: Congressman Kendrick Meek
Senator Bob Graham
Senator Bill Nelson

Monday, May 10, 2004

Letter to Kerry on Iraq

Senator John F. Kerry
304 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Monday, May 10, 2004

“Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession”
- from the original Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870

Dear Senator Kerry,

The political struggle for Iraq is over, at least for the United States. The Kurds, the Sunni and the Shia have to work out the future of their country, but, to the relief of most of the world, the U.S. forces that invaded Iraq a year ago have unambiguously and irredeemably failed to impose political power. Five hundred prominent Iraqis are currently meeting in Baghdad to lay the groundwork for an independent country, exposing the lie that all those who oppose the U.S. occupation are “thugs” or “terrorists”. Perhaps they can use some help from the U.N., but the continued presence of American forces in Iraq can only inflict more collective punishment on the Iraqi people and increasing isolation on the United States.

I spent Saturday in Liberty City in Miami registering voters and talking to people about the upcoming election, and, as always, I was impressed by the fact that ordinary working-class Americans seem to understand the central issues of our time better than you and your colleagues in Washington. People understand only too well the elite economic interests that drive U.S. foreign policy, and they are angered by the hypocrisy of politicians who throw away the lives of their children to “batter down doors” for those interests as they have done for a hundred years since Woodrow Wilson coined that expression. You can’t fool a 71-year-old African American Korean War veteran with talk of “democracy” and “freedom”. He knows the Iraqis want real freedom, and that’s why they want our troops, our weapons and our “contractors” out of their country!

I can’t put it any plainer than the bumper sticker on my car. It says, “Out of Iraq NOW”! On June 5th, millions of people all over the world will be demonstrating against this brutal war. In Miami, we’ll be at the Torch of Friendship on Biscayne Boulevard. Please come and join us at one of the locations, wherever you’ll be that day. There’s much more than an election at stake, and you don’t have to wait for the rest of us to make up our minds before you do.

Yours sincerely

Cc: Kendrick Meek
Senator Bob Graham
Senator Bill Nelson