Search Results for: Nicolas J S Davies

Trump must choose between a global ceasefire and America’s long-lost wars

As President Trump has complained, the U.S. does not win wars anymore. In fact, since 1945, the only 4 wars it has won were over the small neocolonial outposts of Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Kosovo. Americans across the political spectrum refer to the wars the U.S. has launched since 2001 as “endless” or “unwinnable” wars. We know by now that there is no elusive victory around the corner that will redeem the criminal futility of the U.S.’s opportunistic decision to use military force more aggressively and illegally after the end of the Cold War and the horrific crimes of September 11. But all wars have to end one day, so how will these wars end? Continue reading

Will America’s corruption end on a ventilator or in a mushroom cloud?

Little by little, Americans are understanding just how badly our government has let us down by its belated and disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and how thousands more people are dying as a result. But there are two other crises we face that our government is totally unprepared for and incapable of dealing with: the climate crisis and the danger of nuclear war. Continue reading

UN ceasefire defines war as a non-essential activity

At least 70 countries have signed on to the March 23 call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a worldwide ceasefire during the Covid-19 pandemic. Like non-essential business and spectator sports, war is a luxury that the Secretary General says we must manage without for a while. After U.S. leaders have told Americans for years that war is a necessary evil or even a solution to many of our problems, Mr. Guterres is reminding us that war is really the most non-essential evil and an indulgence that the world cannot afford—especially during a pandemic. Continue reading

Could COVID-19 reshape global leadership?

As U.S. COVID-19 cases double every few days and the death toll mounts, the U.S. seems to be caught in a “worst of both worlds” predicament: daily life and much of the U.S. economy is shut down, but no real progress has been achieved in its efforts to contain or eradicate the virus. Continue reading

Why is the U.S. so exceptionally vulnerable to COVID-19?

The United States has become the new center of the global coronavirus pandemic, with over 80,000 cases, more than China or Italy. More than a thousand Americans have already died, but this is surely only the very beginning of this deadly collision between the U.S.’s exceptionally inadequate public healthcare system and a real pandemic. Continue reading

12 ways the U.S. invasion of Iraq lives on in infamy

While the world is consumed with the terrifying coronavirus pandemic, today, March 19, the Trump administration will be marking the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by ramping up the conflict there. After an Iran-aligned militia allegedly struck a U.S. base near Baghdad on March 11, the U.S. military carried out retaliatory strikes against five of the militia’s weapons factories and announced it is sending two more aircraft carriers to the region, as well as new Patriot missile systems and hundreds more troops to operate them. This contradicts the January vote of the Iraqi Parliament that called for U.S. troops to leave the country. It also goes against the sentiment of most Americans, who think the Iraq war was not worth fighting, and against the campaign promise of Donald Trump to end the endless wars. Continue reading

The U.S. is recycling its big lie about Iraq to target Iran

Sixteen years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, most Americans understand that it was an illegal war based on lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” But our government is now threatening to drag us into a war on Iran with a nearly identical “big lie” about a non-existent nuclear weapons program, based on politicized intelligence from the same CIA teams that wove a web of lies to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Continue reading

10 ways Trump’s actions against Iran hurt Americans and the region

The U.S. assassination of General Qassem Soleimani has not yet plunged us into a full-scale war with Iran thanks to the Iranian government’s measured response, which demonstrated its capabilities without actually harming U.S. troops or escalating the conflict. But the danger of a full-blown war still exists, and Donald Trump’s actions are already wreaking havoc. Continue reading

A new year and a new Trump foreign policy blunder in Iraq

It’s a new year, and the U.S. has found a new enemy—an Iraqi militia called Kata’ib Hezbollah. How tragically predictable was that? So who or what is Kata’ib Hezbollah? Why are U.S. forces attacking it? And where will this lead? Continue reading

Iraqis rise up against 16 years of ‘Made in the USA’ corruption

As Americans sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, Iraqis were mourning 40 protesters killed by police and soldiers on Thursday in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriyah. Nearly 400 protesters have been killed since hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets at the beginning of October. Human rights groups have described the crisis in Iraq as a “bloodbath,” Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi has announced he will resign, and Sweden has opened an investigation against Iraqi Defense Minister Najah Al-Shammari, who is a Swedish citizen, for crimes against humanity. Continue reading

Why aren’t Americans rising up like the people of Chile and Lebanon?

The waves of protests breaking out in country after country around the world beg the question: Why aren’t Americans rising up in peaceful protest like our neighbors? We live at the very heart of this neoliberal system that is force-feeding the systemic injustice and inequality of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism to the people of the 21st century. So we are subject to many of the same abuses that have fueled mass protest movements in other countries, including high rents, stagnant wages, cradle-to-grave debt, ever-rising economic inequality, privatized healthcare, a shredded social safety net, abysmal public transportation, systemic political corruption and endless war. Continue reading

Neoliberalism’s children rise up to demand justice in Chile and the world

Uprisings against the corrupt, generation-long dominance of neoliberal “center-right” and “center-left” governments that benefit the wealthy and multinational corporations at the expense of working people are sweeping country after country all over the world. Continue reading

Trump’s fake withdrawal from endless war

On Monday, October 7, the U.S. withdrew 50 to 100 troops from positions near Syria’s border with Turkey, and two days later Turkey invaded Rojava, the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of northeast Syria. Trump is now taking credit for a temporary, tenuous ceasefire. In a blizzard of tweets and statements, Donald Trump has portrayed his chaotic tactical relocation of U.S. troops in Syria as a down-payment on his endless promises to withdraw U.S. forces from endless wars in the greater Middle East. Continue reading

Crises in Iraq and Haiti expose the failure of militarized neoliberalism

It should be no surprise that the new governments installed by all these U.S. wars and coups are among the most corrupt regimes on earth.

This season could be called the Autumn of Discontent, as people from the Middle East to Latin America and the Caribbean have been rising up against corrupt neoliberal governments. Two of the countries in crisis, Haiti and Iraq, are on opposite ends of the earth but have something important in common. Not only are they reeling from protests against government corruption and austerity programs, like Ecuador and Algeria, but in both Haiti and Iraq, their corrupt neoliberal governments were imposed on them by the use of U.S. military force. Continue reading

Counting the dead through the fog of war in Afghanistan

During one week in late September, U.S.-led forces killed at least 70 civilians in two incidents in Afghanistan. A U.S. drone strike on September 19 killed at least 30 farmers harvesting pine nuts in Nangarhar province. Then on September 23, at least 40 civilians, including women and children, were reported killed in a combined U.S.-Afghan attack on a village in Taliban-controlled territory in southern Helmand province. Continue reading

Will Americans let Trump start World War III for Saudi Arabia and Israel?

On Saturday, September 14, two oil refineries and other oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia were hit and set ablaze by 18 drones and 7 cruise missiles, dramatically slashing Saudi Arabia’s oil production by half, from about ten million to five million barrels per day. On September 18, the Trump administration, blaming Iran, announced it was imposing more sanctions on Iran and voices close to Donald Trump are calling for military action. But this attack should lead to just the opposite response: urgent calls for an immediate end to the war in Yemen and an end to US economic warfare against Iran. Continue reading

Are Sanders and Warren throwing a lifeline to the military-industrial complex?

Their pro-diplomacy worldview has blind spots. This creates a pretext for continuing U.S. militarism and risks undermining their commitment to peace.

Among the frontrunners in the Democratic Party presidential primary, Senators Warren and Sanders not only have the most progressive domestic agenda, but also the most anti-war, pro-diplomacy foreign policy agenda. The sharpest distinction between them is that Sanders has voted against over 80% of recent record military spending bills in the Senate, while Warren has voted for two thirds of them. Continue reading

U.S. Sanctions: Economic sabotage that is deadly, illegal and ineffective

While the mystery of who is responsible for sabotaging the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman remains unsolved, it is clear that the Trump administration has been sabotaging Iranian oil shipments since May 2, when it announced its intention to “bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue.” The move was aimed at China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, all nations that purchase Iranian oil and now face U.S. threats if they continue to do so. The U.S. military might not have physically blown up tankers carrying Iranian crude, but its actions have the same effect and should be considered acts of economic terrorism. Continue reading

A $350 billion Defense Department would keep us safer than a a $700 billion war machine

The U.S. Congress has begun debate on the FY2020 military budget. The FY2019 budget for the U.S. Department of Defense is $695 billion dollars. President Trump’s budget request for FY 2020 would increase it to $718 billion. Continue reading

War, peace and presidential candidates

Forty-five years after Congress passed the War Powers Act in the wake of the Vietnam War, it has finally used it for the first time, to try to end the U.S.-Saudi war on the people of Yemen and to recover its constitutional authority over questions of war and peace. This hasn’t stopped the war yet, and President Trump has threatened to veto the bill. But its passage in Congress, and the debate it has spawned, could be an important first step on a tortuous path to a less militarized U.S. foreign policy in Yemen and beyond. Continue reading

The conflict of our time: U.S. imperialism vs the rule of law

The world faces many overlapping crises: regional political crises from Kashmir to Venezuela; brutal wars that rage on in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia; and the existential dangers of nuclear weapons, climate change, and mass extinction. Continue reading

Venezuela: The U.S.’s 68th regime change disaster

In his masterpiece, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, William Blum, who died in December 2018, wrote chapter-length accounts of 55 U.S. regime change operations against countries around the world, from China (1945-1960s) to Haiti (1986-1994). Noam Chomsky’s blurb on the back of the latest edition says simply, “Far and away the best book on the topic.” We agree. If you have not read it, please do. It will give you a clearer context for what is happening in Venezuela today, and a better understanding of the world you are living in. Continue reading

The hidden structure of U.S. empire

My father was a doctor in the British Royal Navy, and I grew up traveling by troop-ship between the last outposts of the British Empire—Trincomalee, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Malta, Aden, Singapore—and living in and around naval dockyards in England and Scotland. Continue reading

Yemeni war deaths underestimated by five to one

In April, I made new estimates of the death toll in America’s post-2001 wars in a three-part Intrepid Report series I estimated that these wars have now killed several million people. I explained that widely reported but much lower estimates of the numbers of combatants and civilians killed were likely to be only one fifth to one twentieth of the true numbers of people killed in U.S. war zones. Now one of the NGOs responsible for understating war deaths in Yemen has acknowledged that it was underestimating them by at least five to one, as I suggested in my report. Continue reading

Beyond Bolton: The path to a progressive foreign policy

Across the arc of chaos and instability caused by U.S. wars, interventions and sanctions around the world, the past several weeks have seen new flare-ups of deadly violence and worsening humanitarian crises. Continue reading

The persistent myth of US precision bombing

In my recent report on the death toll in America’s post-9/11 wars, I estimated that about 2.4 million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion and hostile military occupation of their country. But opinion polls in the United States and the United Kingdom have found that a majority of the public in both countries believe that no more than 10,000 Iraqis have been killed. Continue reading

How many millions have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars?

Part 3: Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen

In the first two parts of this report, I have estimated that about 2.4 million people have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, while about 1.2 million have been killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. In the third and final part of this report, I will estimate how many people have been killed as a result of U.S. military and CIA interventions in Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. Continue reading

How many people has the U.S. killed in its post-9/11 wars?

Part 2: Afghanistan and Pakistan

In the first part of this series, I estimated that about 2.4 million Iraqis have been killed as a result of the illegal invasion of their country by the United States and the United Kingdom in 2003. I turn now to Afghan and Pakistani deaths in the ongoing 2001 U.S. intervention in Afghanistan. In part three, I will examine U.S.-caused war deaths in Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. According to Ret. U.S. General Tommy Franks, who led the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan in reaction to 9/11, the U.S. government does not keep track of civilian casualties that it causes. “You know, we don’t do body counts,” Franks once said. Whether that’s true or a count is covered up is difficult to know. Continue reading

How many millions of people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars?

Part One: Iraq

How many people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars? I have been researching and writing about that question since soon after the U.S. launched these wars, which it has tried to justify as a response to terrorist crimes that killed 2,996 people in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Continue reading

A National Defense Strategy of sowing global chaos

Presenting the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States last Friday at the Johns Hopkins University, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a picture of a dangerous world in which U.S. power—and all of the supposed “good” that it does around the world—is on the decline. Continue reading

How America spreads global chaos

As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people. Continue reading

Why North Korea wants nuke deterrence

The Western media have been awash in speculation as to why, about a year ago, North Korea’s “crazy” leadership suddenly launched a crash program to vastly improve its ballistic missile capabilities. That question has now been answered. Continue reading