16 October 2002
OPEN LETTER to
His Excellency GEORGE W. BUSH
United States of America
Dear Sir President:
Greetings of peace!
I am Flordeliza M. Flordeliz, a junior college student of the University of the Philippines, Manila. I would like to express my deepest concern over your administration’s recent actions and decisions regarding your plans to wage war in Iraq.
I personally think that a new resolution governing inspection of military weapons and instruments is not necessary and should not be a prerequisite for the deployment of UN weapons inspector advance team in Iraq. Doing so will only prove how much the United States wanted to ensure its hold in the United Nations’ decision, as if we are still oblivious to it. More so, it will clearly imply your administration’s already obvious plans of applying to Iraq the special strictest conditions for weapons inspection, which had never been formulated and applied to any other country before.
I raise my concern over your administration’s wanting to strip Iraq of its “chemical warfare agents, biological and nuclear weapons” and other “weapons of mass destruction” when, I believe, that they are only compelled to accumulate and ‘produce” such as an act of legitimate and necessary defense to their territorial integrity and sovereignty. I believe that they wouldn’t build up their arms, if no country, especially ones like yours, is not using force, or threatening to use force on them. After all, every country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected and upheld, according to UN resolutions. The United States, even as a superpower, does not have the birthright to trample upon international laws.
I voice my concern over your administration’s UNILATERAL action aimed at overthrowing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein through the broad use of force, as granted to you by your Congress. It is with my deepest troubles to think that the United Nations’ chief mission is “to enforce, through the Security Council, the absolute prohibition on unilateral use of force”, and if the UN okays your action, then it is one of the most contradicting role in the history of international law. In addition, the use of force is only resorted when a country is under attack, so why are you resorting to force when you are not under Iraqi attack? If there is anyone who could use force, it is the UN, through the Security Council using “enforcement measures”, and not your country. However, peaceful means, until they are exhausted, should frontline the measures for achieving peace. I agree with Russia’s stand on US using its energies in enforcing peace, and not war.
It is not only Iraq that I am considering with regards to your actions, but my very own country, the Philippines, especially. Waging war in Iraq will spell major problems in our own economy. Since Iraq is one of our major sources for oil import, a full-blown war will result to a dramatic increase in the price of our petroleum products. Prices of other basic commodities will soon follow and these are really headaches to majority of our consumers. The already low standard of living will continuously lower, and the economy will suffer. Turmoil in the country’s fiscal standing is not at all impossible, and is actually happening nowadays. One of the major automatic effects of the war is the displacement of thousands of Filipino workers in the Middle East. Although our President assured and readied contingency measures to protect the OFWs in the affected region, as well as ensure the adequate supply of oil, we can’t help but really worry. It’s not only our economy that is in actual danger but thousands of lives of our fellow Filipinos working in the Middle East. The absorption of their employment here is quite hard to imagine and will only result to further increase in unemployment and underemployment.
It is in this light that I would like to reiterate my support on the call of several of our lawmakers and the Church to withdraw the Philippine support to US on taking military action on Iraq. I further urge your administration to seriously consider peaceful options of tackling problems, instead of resorting to the use of force.
Flordeliza M. Flordeliz
University of the Philippines, Manila
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002