Mr. George Bush
President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President:
Last September 11, the United States of America as well as the rest of the world commemorated the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The said event had again brought back the bitter memories of the death of many love ones. I do realize that the wounds and emotional turmoil among Americans and other involved citizens elsewhere haven’t healed yet. I know that fears and sorrows still lurk in their hearts and I do sympathized with them. Yes, I do sympathized with your people’s grievances for their lost and I do believe that they’re still deeply vulnerable at this point. But with your judgment to take a pre-emptive war status and military actions against the Iraqi government, I don’t see how a war could possibly give a relief from pains, sufferings and anxiety that your people had experienced. While everyone tries to weigh the legality, justification, political implications as well as the cost of your military operation against Iraq, I’m here to appeal to you at the cause of environmental implications that a war could bring about.
I do believe that Iraq is currently in violation of part of one section of the UN Security Council Resolution 687. But I do believe also that the conflict regarding the access for UN inspections and the possible procurement of mass destructive weapons has always been an issue involving the Iraqi government and the United Nations, not an impasse between Iraq and US. Therefore any violations on the part of the UN resolutions would mean that UN Security Council as a whole has the decision about the enforcement of its resolution not by a member or two in the council.
If the United Nations Special Commission inspectors are positively accurate about their information that Iraq is handling weapons of mass destruction (biological and chemical), it is indeed a threat to humanity and most importantly it is a possible threat to the environment globally if they decided to use these weapons. A single most deadly missile could blow away a community or even a city for that matter. But on the other hand, staging a war with Iraq would also means using armaments. And any use of ammunitions is detrimental to our environment. We have seen how armaments had almost completely destroyed the whole city of Hiroshima. My point is that if we explore it deeply, we would arrived to the thought that man is very much part of nature, we are very much living inside nature. We depend on it for almost everything we needed for survival. Therefore in order for man to continually exist, nature should exist as well. Survival of humanity depends on nature itself. With the destruction of our environment comes the end of human civilization, which your administration had expressed to protect. It is very essential therefore to assess and analyze thoroughly the environmental implications of a possible war with Iraq. If we subordinate nature in our decision with regards to foreign policies, it will again result into chaos in our history.
Our government (Philippine government) constantly pursued military offensive in order to eliminate the probable threat from the leftist such as the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines) and recently with the bandits Abu Sayaff. We’ve seen the brutal effects of these actions. People’s lives were taken away particularly the innocent civilians. This seems to be most adverse results of such encounters. But in the eyes of many Filipino especially with the minorities, the worst thing that could happen is surviving but having to part with your land because it was totally inhabitable after the war. Every people’s land is his or her very soul. Parting with it would seem to be parting with your soul, which is considered to be worst than death itself.
I know that as a president of great intellect, you do realized how integral our environment plays in every human aspect. Preserving it will signify that we deeply care for everyone’s sake. Therefore I do call upon you to give the UN inspection team a chance to comprehensively search, further investigate and verify the alleged issue of Iraq’s mass acquisition and production of destructive weapons. What are at stake are not just the lives of thousands of American and Iraqi soldiers, civilians, the international legal framework that had been established after the World War II, but also our environment, which we sometimes constantly forgetting.
Let peace prevail, rather than violence. Let us love as well as protect Mother Nature, if not for us, for the children of the future.
Leona M. Bautista
3rd year BA Development Studies
University of the 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