NO to War Against Iraq
To President George W. Bush,
Good day to you Mr. President. I am Peter Lloyd Carpio, a student of the University of the Philippines. I am writing this letter to you as part of fulfilling the requirements of Development Studies 127 (DS 127). DS 127 is a course on the state of the Philippine Environment and its relation to the global environment. I am also writing out his letter to convince you not to proceed with the war on Iraq. This letter may not do as much because I read recently that Congress had already passed a resolution that permits the United States to proceed in engaging the country of Iraq as part of finishing the “War on Terror”. But even so, I will still present my arguments that will hopefully enlighten you not pursue this war. Iraq, as we all know is a Middle East country rich with oil. Kuwait was formerly part of Iraq and the desire of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to grab Iraq resulted in the Gulf War in 1991. Iraq lost that war and as part of the agreement after the battle, the United Nations have to conduct inspections on suspected nuclear weapons facilities and laboratories. The United States also imposed a trade embargo on Iraq causing a food shortage in the country. Iraq, which relies mainly on oil exports as their primary economic source, does not have a stable agriculture to provide the country’s demand for food. Saddam Hussein did not permit the UN inspectors to conduct their examination of Iraq’s nuclear facilities and since then tension between the two countries intensified. Another issue that instigated you and your country to battle Iraq was the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. Just after the attack you declared a war against the terrorists; terrorists or enemies opposed to the global hegemony that you are implementing. Look what happened to Afghanistan after the attack you ordered. Many people lost their lives and homes due to the indiscriminate bombing of your fighter planes. You even counted the lost of lives and property as “collateral damage”, damage that may not be acceptable but necessary. This same thing will happen if a war on Iraq would indeed ensue.
Now let us see the possible environmental effects on a war on Iraq. Your country has the largest arsenal of military weapons and you have the power to unleash that military power almost at will. But by unleashing millions of tons of bombs on Iraqi soil do you know that you are also releasing toxic chemicals on our atmosphere. Not only will the Iraqis be affected but the whole global community. Our Ozone layer, which protects us from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun, already has a gaping hole that widens at an alarming rate. A war on Iraq will only further aggravate the situation. If the hole on the Ozone layer continues to widen, many people will be more prone to skin diseases and worse, skin cancer. Another consequence on a war on Iraq will be the harmful effects of nuclear weapons that maybe will be used possibly. The effects of nuclear weapons is already proven to be disastrous to man and the environment. Nuclear particles decay at a long time and its effect on the environment is toxic. Animals and plants will die and it will take a long time before they can regenerate. Iraq, already a desert country, would be worse than a desert after a possible nuclear attack. The few farms that exist in Iraq will die and its limited supply of freshwater would be seriously affected.
Mr. President, as a Filipino, I am concerned with the possible effects of the war on Iraq on my countrymen living and working in Iraq. They may be harmed due to the indiscriminate bombing of your fighter planes. Also with the war already imminent, there might enough time to evacuate my fellow Filipinos to a safer ground. I am also presenting to you the possible impact of the war on Iraq on our economy. As we all know Iraq is an oil- producing country. A war on Iraq may destabilize the oil market and increase the price of petroleum products. Our country relies mainly on Middle East oil exports and will cause the price of oil to skyrocket. The increase of oil prices will also increase the prices of basic commodities in our country. Our people are already suffering from the global recession and a war on Iraq may further destabilize our economy. As Filipinos, we can relate with the Iraqis. We can relate to the Iraqis in a sense that you and the US government are meddling with the internal affairs of independent countries. The US government has continually criticized the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and by attacking Iraq you hope that his rule would end. I think that you have no right in intervening with other countries and let the Iraqis decide with their fate. If they are satisfied with the way Saddam handles the country’s affairs then let them be. Let the people take the initiative if ever they feel that Saddam is not worthy to be their leader. Another problem is by attacking Iraq you dismiss the possibility of conducting peace talks. Both countries have conflicts because both don’t want to give an inch in their issues. You and the US government only want to impose your own policies. You of course, want to preserve the status quo of world affairs that is greatly in your favor. Any country or group that opposes the status quo will be branded as an enemy; enemy of the United States government, the capitalist system, the G-7 countries. Though the manipulation of mass media, you proliferate the notion to the rest of the world that they are their enemies as well.
Now Mr. President, I have presented my side. It is very unlikely that you will consider my arguments but I have done what I think is right. A war against Iraq will have repercussions not only in the Middle East but also to the rest of the world. If the US government would not change its policy on international affairs then terrorist attacks and wars will likely occur. That’s all and thanks for sharing your time in reading this letter.
-Peter Lloyd D. Carpio-
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