To: George W. Bush, President of the United States; Colin Powell, Secretary of State; Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense; Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, House of Representatives; Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, US Senate
As a concerned citizen, I hereby oppose your decision of launching a war of aggression against the Middle East sovereign nation, Iraq.
Since the September 11 incident, the world have witnessed your relentless and unstoppable targeting of individuals, groups as well as independent nations who you consider a threat in keeping the very foundation of your nation standing. I, together with the rest of the world, believe that you have become a victim and therefore you demand for justice. Any nationalistic country would have done the same if they were on your shoes. However what I and the world oppose is your ways of attaining your so-called justice that you have created your own concept of. I very well know that your homeland has become a target of devilish attacks but that doesn’t mean that you have the right to pin down any nation who you “consider” have terroristic orientation that threatens your nation’s welfare. I am also well aware that your people have been greatly in danger but again that doesn’t give you a go signal to foreshadow other nation’s people who you “believe” poses threat in you. I am also very much knowledgeable that your noble country, America, has been unforgettably terrorized more than a year ago but that doesn’t mean you can terrorize any sovereign nation who goes against your will.
Therefore, I would just like to remind your good government that the September 11 incident does not give you any license to crush down any individual, group, regime or nation for merely just suspecting them of being a threat to international security particularly your safety. Don’t just attack and attack without laying down facts, evidences, and proofs. It is overwhelming that significantly right after that 9-11 incident, people all over the world sympathized with your loss. However, many changes have happened and it’s a different story now. For the past months, you have tracked down every single terrorist in your list including nation-states, engaging and launching wars against them causing global unrest and insecurity. So you can never blame us for no longer seeing you as a victim but already as a monster in disguise.
The succeeding statements presented in this letter are reasons why United States, the country you are serving, should not invade Iraq for any cause.
Terrorism, in any perspective you look at it, is still bad terrorism. “You cannot say terrorism when it occurs in New York is bad terrorism and when it occurs elsewhere is good terrorism.” You have to watch your moves for you might have no difference to the terrorists who attacked you that frightful 11th day of September. I believe that terrorists do not acknowledge international laws, agreements, treatises, and organizations. Neither do they have respect for the sovereignty of every nation in this world. Therefore if you do not consider your noble country having terroristic orientation then why would you launch a war against Iraq knowing that there are existing international laws and agreements prohibiting such an act. Being a member of the UN, you are bound by Federal law to abide by the UN Charter for your membership in the UN constitutes a treaty. Therefore you are subjected to adhere to UN Security Council resolutions. Article 2 of the UN Charter forbids “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State” and demands all UN members to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means.” Therefore, any invasion in Iraq would only mean a violation of the law. You have been a member of the United Nations since day 1 thus you very well know that membership accompanies commitment. Furthermore, US Federal law also prohibits the assassination of foreign leaders like Saddam Hussein. Therefore having these existing laws and precedents, any invasion of Iraq could put you in trial.
You want to wage a war in Iraq but do you have insufficient grounds for doing so? You have not presented any evidence that would support the argument that the Iraqi government supports Al-Qaeda. The “Use of Force” Act that is passed by Congress last September 14, 2001 has been applied only to Afghanistan. It doesn’t give authority to your administration to carry out a war on Iraq. To point out another thing, during these past few months your administration has been vocal of what could happen to Iraq and Saddam Hussein if they would not submit to your commands. However, why would an independent state abide by your will if you, yourself, doesn’t know to follow either. For over a decade, US has been consciously violating Article 54 of the Geneva Convention which prohibits any nation from undermining “objects indispensable to the survival of (another country’s) civilian population” that includes water, facilities, and supplies. I would like to remind you that during the Gulf war your troops have “bombed Iraq’s 8 multi-purpose dams, destroying flood control systems, irrigation, municipal and industrial water storage, and hydroelectric power.” Therefore why would you expect Iraq to abide by all your orders when you, yourself, owe them a lot. You have been very harsh to Iraq since after Gulf War yet Iraq never staged counter-attacks or threatened any of its neighboring nations.
Then you are here again, waging a war against a country whose own survival is at risk. Do you think they still have the time, comfort and resources to update their weaponry when most of their people die due to malnutrition and other diseases. How could you say Iraq is dangerous to the world and that they are ready to use their weapons of mass destruction when your own military has more weapons compared to that of Iraq combined with the rest of the world? Do you think that Iraq is as strong as it was during the Gulf War? How could you consider Iraq a threat knowing that the sanctions you imposed on them caused so much devastation to their people, to their economy, and to the totality of their nation? Therefore, knowing that there are insufficient grounds for going to war with Iraq, then what is your motive of waging war against that nation led by Saddam Hussein?
Carrying on a war against Iraq poses threat to the welfare of not just Iraqis, not just your fellow countrymen, but as well as the rest of the humanity. Let me cite the risks involve of having a war with Iraq can do to the environment. First and foremost, let me tracked down the effects of the Gulf war that up to this date are causing more and more deaths. During the Gulf war, your military forces utilized Depleted Uranium (DU) ammunitions. Therefore, going to war in Iraq does not insure the world that you would no longer use DU ammunitions having chemical toxicity and radiological properties that were considered, through studies conducted, to severely maimed soldiers, deformed babies, and caused deaths to children. Most of the places in Iraq, particularly in the South where the greatest concentration of DU was aimed, were extremely contaminated by these radiological and chemical toxicities that have caused birth deformities, cancer and other physical ailments. In addition to this, the Iraqi population increased its congenital deformities such as hydrocephalus, encephalitis, spinal bifida, deformities in the limbs, and a lot more.
The contamination brought about by the war caused the children and the next generation Iraqis to have little chance of having longer survival taking away from them every individual’s right to life. Yes, they are alive and living but that life is not the kind of life they deserve. Not only that, the areas contaminated would no longer produce any kind of agricultural crops limiting the food resources of Iraq very limited. Furthermore, the areas that I’m talking about are not just within the territories of Iraq but as well as areas near Iraq that have been affected by the war too. They, too, would suffer agricultural devastation and land contamination posing grave threats to their economies as well as to their people’s health. We know very well that the neighboring countries of Iraq, including Iraq itself, are lands rich with oil. An Iraq invasion would only mean affecting these oil-rich lands and might have caused a large amount of oil put into waste. War with Iraq might have caused tons of liters of oil to spill. Let me remind you that during these times where the demand for oil is very high, wasting oil reserves for a worthless cause is not an intelligent action to undertake. The world has limited oil reserves and wasting any amount of it is not just Iraq’s loss but the whole global arena’s major loss. It would also mean additional hardship for your citizens if attacks on Iraq would push through. There would be oil price hikes in the world that would directly affect your people as well as people all over the world giving them extra burdens to carry.
As you could see, an invasion of Iraq would involve not just Iraq’s and their neighboring countries’ health but also their environment. It is not just them who would be affected. Even you, Americans, have no escape in the turmoil and aftermaths of the war if it would be pushed through. Do you know that even your Gulf war veterans oppose the idea of invading Iraq for the second time? If there would be protesters worth listening to, they would be the most qualified to be heard for the very reason that they were the ones who have experienced that war with Iraq. Therefore, they were the ones most knowledgeable of the risks involved in waging another war with Iraq. It has been determined that the Gulf war battlefield remains to be radioactive and toxic. During the Gulf War solid depleted uranium bullets, ranging from 25mm to 120mm, were fired by US troops to attack the Iraqis. That same battlefield was contaminated with more than 300 tons of radioactive chemicals and toxic materials since the Gulf war. Another war in that area would only increase the risks of US soldiers and the Iraqi population to be contaminated with radioactive and toxic properties and chemicals. If you embarked in that war on Iraq, are your troops fully trained about the hazards and risks of depleted uranium contamination? Would you let your troops engage in a war wherein many scientific evidences show that even low-level chemical exposures are dangerous to ones health? According to a National Sciences Report, low-levels of chemical warfare agents could result to long-term health risks and problems. Do you know that almost 26,000 of your soldiers who fought during the Gulf War were afflicted by “Unknown illnesses”. After their assignment in Iraq, many returned home with physical ailments such as lung and skin problems, cancers, cerebral lesions, and a lot more. Where do you think these illnesses came from besides the war? Nowhere but on war in Iraq alone! So you see, engaging in a war with Iraq being armored and equipped with numerous variety of weapons would definitely affect not just Iraq’s environment but as well as their neighboring countries’ environment. If this happens, it is not the Iraqis and other Middles East settlers whose health, economies, and futures are at risk. Even your own people’s lives, health, and futures too are at stake including the rest of the humanity. Therefore, a US invasion on Iraq is not worth all the consequences that would happen to the rest of humanity.
If you can bear seeing all these negative consequences of the war using DU ammunitions then what is your motive of utilizing such armaments knowing that they pose health hazards even to your own soldiers? Could it be about money matters? Why do you have so much interest in using tons of Depleted Uranium for the war? A Yugoslav colonel had determined the existence of armor-piercing metals that could serve as alternative to depleted uranium. But why still tolerate the use of DU ammunitions in your troops? I’m not accusing you but there have been studies showing that the use of Depleted Uranium will answer the problem of where to dispose your nuclear wastes. The use of DU ammunitions will truly solve the high costs of abiding by the proper disposal of nuclear wastes. Doing such an act would be likened to transforming other countries like Iraq into new dumping grounds. You might have saved billions of dollars but you can’t put a price on every life and every future that would be put into waste. Instead of directing your budget on weaponry and armaments, why not use it for humanitarian purposes? You can help a lot most importantly during these tough times. The help that you would give is much fulfilling than the fulfillment you would gain in ending so many lives for a worthless purpose. Not only that, the planet that you would cause so much devastation is the only planet you can live on. It is irreplaceable and therefore its destruction is humanity’s destruction too. Crashing down Iraq is just like crashing down the very world in which we live on.
Hoping that having presented the reasons why your noble country led by your good administration should not invade Iraq would alarm you that people all over the world, including myself, stands by every action you undergo. I together with all concerned citizens of this world are no patronizers or supporters of terrorism or of Saddam Husseins’ regime. What we oppose is any act of militarism, of aggression, and of violence committed or will be committed regardless of race, religion, and nationality. Don’t you want a world where peace and unity reigns? Don’t lose hope for we’re not far from achieving that kind of scenario if only each and every one of us would just look in ourselves and promote love and peace instead of anger and hatred. Let us strive to be channels of peace and not of war. The people of the world firmly believe that America will soon realize that war is not the answer to all disputes. Don’t let us down. The future of the world and its next generation settlers depend on YOU!
Marvee Anne Felipe
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