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

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Letter to Congress Assessing Decomposition of Iraq

The Hon Kendrick Meek
1039 Longworth House Office Building
Washington DC 20515

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004

Dear Kendrick,

Now that the Allawi government has had nominal sovereignty for a month, it is important to assess the true level of disintegration in Iraq. The destruction of a country and an entire society is a difficult thing to document, but I hope that the following facts and reports can help to build a picture. I realize that this is a very different picture from the one that both President Bush and John Kerry have been painting when they discuss Iraq.

1) Hospital morgues report 700 Iraqis killed in the month of July in Baghdad alone. This is the worst month since the invasion.

2) The central government’s authority does not even extend to all of Baghdad, and Fallujah, Ramadi, Baquba, Samara, al-Kut, Mahmoudiya and Hilla are essentially in the hands of the Iraqi Resistance. In Sadr City, which contains a third of the population of Baghdad, it is Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army that patrols the streets and enforces law and order.

3) A British reporter recently traveled the strategic Highway 8 from Baghdad to Najaf, and reported that 70 miles of the highway is a no-man’s land dotted with abandoned police posts and burnt-out U.S. military vehicles.

4) Almost every wealthy family in Baghdad has fled to Jordan or Syria to escape the spiraling crime and violence.

5) About thirty foreign construction companies have pulled out of Iraq since July 1st.

6) Much of Baghdad has only 4 hours of electricity per day.

7) In spite of their current defensive posture, the U.S. occupation forces suffered 458 casualties, 54 killed and 404 wounded, in the month of July, total casualties that exceed either March or April 2003 when they were fighting a declared war.

8) Thousands of Iraqi young women and girls have been kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery in other countries. One “hotel” in Yemen (whose customers include Americans) now employs 180 Iraqis as captive sex-workers.

9) The U.S. Government has deliberately blurred the line between military operations and relief work, so that hundreds of genuine aid workers have been killed as occupiers or collaborators in Iraq and Afghanistan, forcing aid organizations to pull out of both countries or severely curtail their activities. Doctors Without Borders has pulled out of Afghanistan after remaining through previous crises for 24 years.

10) The latest reliable, independent figures on Iraqi oil exports are about 60% of its pre-war total, or about 1.5 million barrels per day. Gal Luft, the director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security dismisses higher figures cited by the Bush administration as “simply not accurate. Iraq’s oil exports are not up to pre-war levels because of incessant pipeline attacks.” Saudi Arabia has increased production to cover the shortfall from Iraq, but global production now has hardly any surplus production capacity at a time of rising demand.

I strongly urge you to start thinking about the steps our country should take to extricate itself from this situation and to manage its aftermath. By next January, when a Kerry administration would be taking office, the notion of gaining international support for the Allawi government and the U.S. presence in Iraq will probably seem laughable. The most likely course of events will include:

a) The gradual demise of the Allawi government;
b) Further reductions in Iraqi oil exports;
c) The intermediate-term political independence of Iraq from U.S. influence;
d) The secession of Kurdistan from Iraq;

Our country can aid this transition and minimize its violence by withdrawing our support from the Allawi government at an early date, and by negotiating the withdrawal of U.S. forces with representatives of the Iraqi Resistance. The United States Government must at all costs be restrained from waging a military campaign to punish the Iraqis for rejecting the occupation of their country, and from vain efforts to sustain the Allawi government at the cost of massive repression and bloodshed.

While an independent Kurdistan could provide a future base for U.S. military operations in the region, this would perpetuate fundamental long-term problems with U.S. policy in this region, gaining a base and an ally at the expense of further regional alienation. Military cooperation with Kurdistan could be helpful during the withdrawal phase but should be reduced to a minimum once that phase is complete.

We must work to repair our diplomatic relations by making it clear to the whole world that the invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake that we will never repeat. We must join with our “quartet” partners in good faith to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We must join with our friends in Europe and elsewhere to develop a rational alternative to worldwide war as a response to terrorism. We must adopt an energy policy that once and for all sets us on the road to energy independence, embracing public transportation, fuel efficiency and alternative energy, and take the lead in developing the next generation of energy sources.

I hope that you will give serious consideration to the present reality in Iraq and its ramifications for future U.S. foreign policy. We are living at a time when you and your colleagues in Washington quite literally hold the future of the world in your hands but can no longer control it as your predecessors have for two generations. It is a time for new thinking, and you could learn a great deal from your European counterparts who have genuinely renounced aggressive war, embraced the rule of international law and committed themselves to working together to solve common problems peacefully.

Yours sincerely


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