October 15, 2002
His Eminence, U.S. President George W. Bush:
Greetings of Peace! The whole world has just commemorated the 1st year anniversary of the September 11 bombings, and together with the cradle of humanity, as a student at the University of the Philippines Manila, I direly condemned this terrorist act. Also, I intensely oppose the exploitative act of your administration in making use of the memory of Ground zero in the preparation of launching a war of aggression against Iraq.
It is often said that "from the ashes of destruction grow the roses of success", in modern war this is not the case. For centuries, war has evolved not only human conflict but also environmental destruction in the forms of both "collateral damage" and deliberate destruction of environments. As war has increasingly technologically advanced so its impacts on the environment have become more severe and longer lasting. Being a powerful and an opulent nation, completely armed with military ammunitions and hi-tech facilities, U.S. has an immense edge over Iraq, which poses an intensifying threat on the lives of the Iraqis. Still further peril of jeopardizing the country's milieu was at a high risk.
The environmental reverberations of your government's preparation for war include: indirect impact made through the diversion of resources from ecological protection to military spending, and through the pollution caused by arms production; and direct impacts through weapons testing and military training. Obviously, from the preparation it has manifested several hazards on the environment, and worse could be expected from the actual war and its consequences. During a military training for an instance, military bases, especially airfields, requires large areas of land-much of it are ecologically valuable-and often lead to the destruction of any fauna perceived as hindering such activity (such as birds congregating on runaways). In other words, the construction of military bases tends to destroy these environments irritiably, taking as an example the Clark-Subic American bases in the Philippines. With the abusive excretion of toxic wastes, the contamination of our water resources has seriously affected the lives of the residents within the adulterated area. Military toxic waste poses an enormous threat to public health and the environment. Despite the continuous outcry of the Filipinos in calling the attention of U.S. government, the administration has remained quiescent about the issue. With this kind of reprisal from U.S. administration, we would defy any action, which would entail environmental and human sacrifices.
In the aftereffects of modern war, people are faced with having to restore their natural resources as well as communities and lives. However, the concentrated destructive bound unleashed by modern weapons means that in a relatively short period of time all the resources that a community relied could be destroyed. War has been an impending doom on humankind, pursuing peace among mankind should be taken into account, thus, making unnecessary for your government to wage war against Iraq.
Rea L. Geraldino
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