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

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Letter to Congress on Continued Occupation of Iraq

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

Sunday, March 6th, 2005

Dear Kendrick,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you once again to protest the continued occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces, and the continuing decomposition of both Iraq and Haiti following illegal acts of aggression by the United States Government.

This week, we watched as the death toll to U.S. troops in Iraq passed the 1,500 mark, and total U.S. casualties passed 12,700. Regardless of unprecedented and largely successful efforts at “information management” by the U.S. Government, the reality is that the devastating consequences of U.S. policy are not diminishing but continuing unabated. In the face of armed resistance and political pressure to minimize U.S. casualties, our government has resorted to a classic “divide and conquer” policy that pits sectors of the Iraqi population against each other, threatening to tear apart the fabric of a multi-sectarian society in which different religious and secular groups have coexisted and intermarried for hundreds of years. The danger that this policy poses to the future of Iraq is surely self-evident.

I have been reviewing a number of studies that have attempted to count the human cost of the invasion and occupation to the people of Iraq. I hope that you and your staff have read the report by the Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that was published in The Lancet on November 20th 2004. It concluded “Violent deaths were widespread, reported in 15 of 33 clusters, and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children. Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths. Our results need further verification and should lead to changes to reduce non-combatant deaths from air strikes.”

In the body of the report, it is made clear that the researchers made the most conservative assumptions in interpreting their results, and completely excluded the city of Fallujah as an “outlier cluster” with much higher rates of violent death, so that total actual civilian deaths could well be over 200,000. It should be noted that other reports from the Iraqi Health Ministry support the study’s conclusion that U.S. air strikes are the principal cause of death to civilians in Iraq since the invasion.

Another study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine on July 1st 2004, found that 28% of troops in “ground combat units” of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and 14% of similar units in the 3rd Infantry Division reported personally “being responsible for the death of a non-combatant” during their first tours of duty in Iraq. The study was designed to be representative of all “ground combat units”, defined as 40% of active duty troops in theater, and thus indicates that at least 10,000 civilians were killed by U.S. ground fire alone during the invasion and the first few months of occupation. The widespread killing of civilians has led many of our troops to question the nature of this conflict and their role in it, and unprecedented numbers of soldiers and junior officers are requesting (and generally being granted) Conscientious Objector status rather than follow orders to deploy for second tours in an illegal war of aggression. I trust you will support any of these brave and conscientious young men and women who may request your help with their cases.

The continued occupation of Iraq is illegal under international law, immoral under any conceivable moral code, destructive to the interests of Americans and Iraqis alike and corrosive to international peace and good will. International law requires us to submit this crisis without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the U.N. Security Council, so that legitimate representatives of the Iraqi people and the international community can negotiate the full restoration of Iraqi sovereignty and the withdrawal of occupation forces.

Please do not allocate one more penny to fund this “supreme international crime”. Let’s stop the war now.

Yours sincerely


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