Volume No. 55
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN THE UNITED STATES
Dear Kababayans and our Filipino-American friends:
This is clearly an appeal to influence your vote in the coming November 2008 presidential elections in the United States. We have no qualms about it. But it is foremost the lives of your sons and daughters, and your money second, at stake. Rarely do we or the Yonip.com website take a stand on U.S. elections – for that is not usually our business. But today, as we face the consequences of an overstretched U.S. empire, when even in our Philippine homeland, U.S. troops trample on our shores in the guise of “military training exercises”, we all have a vital stake in the coming U.S. presidential elections.
During the past six years, the Republican Bush administration–of which the Mc Cain – Palin ticket are an extension–has clearly endangered the lives of all American citizens living in the U.S. or abroad by its aggressive and warmongering policies. This has resulted in the vast ocean of enmity that the U.S. forces globally have created. These U.S. military forces, ostensibly sent to wage “a war on terror” have killed, wounded and maimed innocent civilians who have now become an infinite recruiting ground for enemies of the United States. This anger and hatred now runs deep among the people not only of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America, but even from its traditional European/NATO allies.
Are you willing to still send many more of your sons and daughters to fight, occupy, invade and die in countries like Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11 in the first place? Will you continue to send your sons and daughters as canon fodder in foreign soil and to die for the sake of the big oil companies and weapons industries which have occupied foreign oil fields? Not a few sons and daughters of Filipino-Americans who have enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces and were sent to the frontlines of Iraq, have been brought home to be buried in our homeland.
We ask, what was it all for, except to increase the profits for the U.S. oil companies and weapons industries of Uncle Sam?
America’s global legacy to the world should not be in the traditional empire building with the force of arms as the Romans did for their empire. The superpower-country that you have now made your home can better lead and earn the goodwill of the people of the world if it shows by its deeds that it can work for peace with justice, and share its non-military technology to protect and restore our planet’s damaged environment . Surely, this is a better way to render justice to the victims of 9/11 and those who have died in Iraq and elsewhere, so that their deaths shall not be in vain. Their deaths will not be in vain if you, as part of the American people with libertarian values , will vote for those who will admit that the U.S. made a grave mistake in Iraq. Or, are you willing to pay the costly price to claim what is not rightfully yours –the rich oilfields of Iraq–but what is rightfully the Iraqi people’s?
Vote for those who will put a stop to the needless deaths of 4,000 young American soldiers and the 30,000 maimed or wounded in action in Iraq.
Vote for those who will put a stop to the more than $648 BILLION that Bush has spent since 2003 in useless spending for Iraq war operations. This deficit spending has contributed no doubt in no small way to the worst financial crisis that the United States is experiencing today. This is several times more than the U.S. Army’s annual budget of $140 Billion. No doubt, this unscrupulous spending has taken away resources that should have gone for welfare and other basic social services such as those for health, education and decent housing not only of the Filipino Community in the United States, but the American people in general.
Those of us who have lived and worked in the United States have come to live and admire the spirit and steadfastness of the American people who value their civil liberties and freedom. It is this same spirit which fired the spirit of the American revolutionaries against the British. It is the same spirit that held Filipino freedom fighters in facing the better-armed U.S. military forces that invaded our shores during the Philippine-American War of 1899. It is the same spirit which perhaps today, fires the spirit of all Iraqi people -who had nothing to do with 9/11- in the face of brazen foreign invasion and occupation of their homeland.
When you vote with a conscience, you vote against a senseless war and foreign invasion waged by a war-mongering, sabre rattling Republican administration.
Your vote for humanity is, no doubt, a vote for peace, justice and goodwill.
Roland G. Simbulan
University of the Philippines
2008 U.P. Centennial Professorial Chair Awardee
October 4, 2008
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)