Dear Mr. President:
I, as an aware student of the University of the Philippines Manila, am appealing for the cease of your country’s war declaration against the Iraq. This is so for the effects that we know very well, are not good in terms of the economy, health and the environment of the attacked country.
War has become increasingly advanced that’s why its impacts on the environment have become more severe and longer lasting as well. But we know very well that war could affect not only the military targets but also the innocent civilians. One way of affecting these innocent people are through the environment, since humans are dependent on the environment. Environmental destruction also means an indirect mass destruction.
Bombings could annihilate the flora and fauna including the soil and its lower layers, which would require more than a thousand years to regenerate. The flames between the waging weapons could generate tons of gaseous pollutants that such as the carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, being released into the atmosphere could cause the black greasy rain and black snow, as what had happened in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Kashmir. It could also add up to the global warming and faster depletion of the ozone layer because of the harmful chemicals being carried into the atmosphere.
Military toxic waste is a massive threat to the environment. In the atmosphere, depleted uranium, as what’s being usually deployed through bombings, is present as small uranium dust particles and aerosols affecting human through the environment. External exposure from these wastes could be in the form of radiation, particularly gamma rays, emitted from some radio nuclides in the uranium-238 series and uranium-235 series. On the other hand, in the lithosphere which is the land part of the environment, these contaminants settled in the soil. Plants, which are the primary sources of food, can be polluted by uptaking water from the soil contaminated by these pollutants through its roots system. Consequently, ingesting these infected plants would extend its effect to the animals as well as the human populations. These contaminants can be brought in the hydrosphere, which is the water part of the environment, through water runoffs. These, in turn, destroys the mangroves, coral reefs and sea grasses, which are the primary habitats of aquatic organisms such as fishes and shells. These organisms are also sources of food to other animals and humans alike
Either somatic such as induction of cancer, which is also known that some of the cancers appear shortly appear after the exposure from the radiation, and heredity effects, that causes health problems to the offspring of the exposed parents, are just some of the numerous dangerous results of the war.
Radiations could not be stopped from spreading through the neighboring areas, thus affecting the places near the Iraq but are not the target of your troop. This is very unfair on the part of the citizens of these affected areas.
These are just some of the possibilities that could possibly occur in the planned war against Iraq. May it be chemical, nuclear or biological attacks, the result would be just the same – destruction of the environment, which is extended to the innocent civilians, may it be the soldiers of both parties, the people of the attacked area and its neighboring places outside the target area due to its massive effects. The victims are essentially the innocent people.
I hope things would be done in a diplomatic way in resolving the problems to avoid facing another problem.
I appreciate for your time in reading this letter of mine. I’m not expecting that this letter could change the plan of your country, but I hope it could somehow enlighten your heart for the children and to avoid hatred relationship for a peaceful and healthy world for the future generations.
Maritess G. Neypes
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