October 14, 2002
President George W. Bush
The White House
United States of America
Greetings of Peace and Love!
I am Mae Michelle J. Lagasca, a 19 year old student of the University of the Philippines Manila taking up BA Development Studies and I am on my 3rd year level. As a concern student and an environmentalist myself, I would like to state my stand here about the conflict between your country, the United States of America and Iraq. I've been personally hearing news about the conflict of the said country and I became very worried of what might happen to the people and to the environment. As a Filipino, our country have been experiencing lots of conflicts in our own country. Maybe you already know about the terrorists of our country, the Philippines, and the effects of it in our place. So let me share to you my stand on the issue stated.
To be honest Mr. President, I don't really know the exact reason why are these events going to happen between the two respective countries. All I know is that Iraq doesn't want to be inspected because of the continuous production of bomb they've been doing. I know its been an old conflict between your country and Iraq. I agree with your side about Anti-Terrorism and what may be the cause of these bombs to all humanity. But then again Mr. President, If ever you're going to continue the attack to Iraq, have you also think of the effects it may bring to the people and of course the environment?
As a concern environmentalist, I've known different effects of war that it may bring to the environment. War has involved not only human conflict but most of all environmental destruction in the forms of both "collateral damage" and deliberate destruction of the environment. It is very obvious what war might give to our environment. DESTRUCTION. These have been used as a war-winning strategy and as punishment for defeated opponents. A certain country might win, yes we all know that, but how about the bad effects it might leave to the country defeated? How about the people living there and has been very dependent to the environment? It will truly lead to over-all destruction of what they've been depending for their lives. From the military bases, especially airfields down to the by-products of the weapons needed have bad effects to our dear environment. Let's start first with the military bases. We all know that these fields require large areas of land which are mostly ecologically valuable. The use of these lands often lead to the destruction of fauna and other living organisms in the ecosystem. Large sectors of lands are reserved for military exercises, especially tank maneuvers, tactical missile exercises, bombing exercises and artillery practice. All of these activities severely degrade the natural ecosystems and tend to be treated as exceptions to any regulatory measures to protect the environment. Of course, Mr. President, we are not going to forget about the causes of the toxic substance of the weapons used. Military toxic waste poses an enormous threat to public health and the environment. Vast amounts of toxic pollution left from production, storage, and testing of chemicals, biological, nuclear, and conventional weapons contaminate millions of acres awaiting redevelopment. These contamination from the weapons might lead to destruction of the environment and might be a danger to the health of the people which might cause death. These war really causes a lot of stuff to consider Mr. President. It might put the entire world in danger. Not only the environment but the entire humanity as well.
As a Filipino and an environmentalist, my stand about these issue is as much as possible lets not make WAR an answer to the problems and conflicts that had been happening to US and Iraq. I believe I've stated my important reasons why I think WAR is not the answer to any conflicts. I personally believe that everything will be settled with the right and peaceful negotiations. My only concern about these is not for myself but for the betterment of the entire humanity and to our beloved environment. I am not really hoping that you would really pay attention to my letter because of your other important priorities but I still pray that your good government will do pay attention. Let's all save our people and our environment. I believe that we all can do these if we are all united and peaceful.
Thank You very much for the time you spend for this letter. I hope that you might as well consider all of these. again, Thank You very much and More Power to you and your government.
God Bless USA!
Mae Michelle J. Lagasca
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