To: George W. Bush
United States of America
As of this time, your government had declared war in Iraq and is preparing to do so. Your basis for the said war was that Iraq had continued to pursue its chemical and weapons program disregarding the United Nations resolution on the prohibition of such arms. You and the other presidents before you had made America to be visualized as protectors of the international community and that the American people upholds freedom and liberty.
I call on you as the “protectors of humanity” to STOP WAGING WAR IN IRAQ. War has been proven to be deliberately destructive to the environment. Military activities are among the world’s most environmentally destructive activities. The environmental impacts of war begin with deforestation and disturbance of the land surface, primarily from heavy military equipments such as tanks. It also brings progress to contamination of land, air, and water with the wastes of people and machine. The noise of war – of heavy military equipment, aircraft and on-ground activities – is another form of environmental disturbance, particularly significant to the wildlife. In Iraq, the famous Tigris and Euphrates river flow, fertile valleys and deciduous forest dwell and a range of wildlife roam. Haven’t you considered this rich environment? You would definitely answer no because in war, you do not think about it anymore. Indeed it is out of your concerns for you only think of power to crush your enemies because of your paranoia on the September 11 attacks.
To remind you, this ecosystem has helped Iraqis, from their ancestors to the present generation, to live. Man being a part of this ecosystem cannot survive without it. War cannot ensure the civilians of Iraq that they wouldn’t be vulnerable targets and be collateral damages, so much so as it cannot ensure the existing environment on Iraq to be safe from these attacks. Once this environment is greatly destroyed, the future generation of Iraqis cannot survive because they do not have something to help them survive the famine the war would cause. Hence, you are not only committing grave mistakes to the Iraq government and to its present population but to the future generation as well for you are starting to kill them before they even live. Sure you can say “we can restore that environment” but restoration is a long and painstaking process after the conflict. Additionally, if it is true that Iraq is developing chemical weapons, it can be used in that war and can extend its effects not only to its targets but also to the health of others like what the depleted uranium residue after the Gulf war caused.
You are using international laws as legal basis to demolish Iraq for blocking weapons inspectors but even your government refuses to be inspected by the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. You seek to demolish Iraq because it has violated the law but you look away when allies like Israel do the same. Even Pentagon is accused of conducting chemical weapons program, which is equally destructive to the environment as what you accuse to Iraq, but did nothing about it.
From these standpoints, I ask you to STOP THE WAR IN IRAQ! As protectors of human liberty, protect the net generation of Iraqis and opt for a peaceful way of resolving your conflicts. A peaceful way without bias to your allies or your enemies.
Fr: Floressi Kristine H. Orio
University of the Philippines, Philippines
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