President George P. Bush
White House, Washington D. C.
October 15, 2002
Dear Mr. President:
I am a college student of one of the most prestigious schools here in the Philippines. For weeks, I have read, seen, and heard your name on the media regarding your adamant pursuit to wage war against Iraq. I agree on your view against terrorism. Indeed, everyone here on earth has the right to live a terror-free life. However, to use military means against terrorism, I believe is not the solution. Alleviating terrorism through counter-terrorism is not the means for a justifiable and peaceful end. As I witness your ongoing dispute to check and disarm Iraq’s military armaments in order to avoid its possible attack using chemicals and biological warfare, confusion surged in me. Indeed, to know that one of your neighboring countries carries a dangerous death switch is alarming and fearful, not just to your country but to everyone as well. However, I believe that despite all these accusations against Iraq, it is still not a viable reason to wage war. Waging war would only expedite and provoke a bigger negative consequential effect to the whole world. War is never a road to safety but only to ruin. It will definitely impoverish countries, affecting the lives of the innocent regardless of culture and race.
Moreover, I am certain that you are aware that the planned war against Iraq are making the terrorists more furious and motivated to terrorize different countries, especially in Asia, just like what happened recently at Indonesia. With such unfortunate tragedy, it won’t be impossible if the Philippines come next. And this I fear with all my heart. The loss you had last September 11 was also a loss to the world. However, to take pride in campaigning anti-terrorism campaign by counter-terrorizing the “culprits” is not bearing good fruits right now. More lives are threatened, if not lost.
Today, fearing terrorism is a common sentiment of every human being. However, I believe that diplomatic arrangements and peaceful negotiations have a better chance of alleviating the “terrorism” problem. Iraq’s refusal of checking their military armaments should be respected, for the sake of the country’s own patrimony and sovereignty. But, I believe, having mutual negotiations and compromises would eventually lead to an agreement that would both be beneficial and unthreatening to both parties.
Truly, I am against terrorism, and I am against war. Both parties gain nothing from it. And I’m certain that I am not alone who agrees on such truth. And I am hopeful that you will too.
Karla Kim Young
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