Dear Mr. Bush,
This war is wrong and we wont stand for it.
The way is now paved for a military attack on the impoverished Iraqi people. Your proud country, the "mightiest power in the world", will soon attack a reeling, poor country of 22 million people. you recognize that there will be a huge conflagration in the Middle East if you declare war. But do you also give attention to the tragic situation of the ordinary people in Iraq who will be bombed and who will lose any of the infrastructure they have built up since the Gulf War? For us in the Philippines, we can only imagine what devastation will be created, but in the sewer filled streets of Basra, in the soiled, decaying hospitals of Baghdad, in the shanties of Karbala, the Iraqi people know all too well what awaits them.
Theirs has not been an easy life. For 22 years, they have been subject to wars not of their own making. And for 12 long years since 1990, the Iraqi people have been under an incredibly onerous sanctions regime where you have put them, under the formal auspices of the UN. Clean water, medicines, and food are all in short supply. The education system is in ruins, the economy is in shamble, and the children of Iraq have been stripped bare of hope. Still, not being contented with that yet, over the last 12 years, you have Iraq under direct attack. You have bombed it mercilessly, destroying not only military but also civilian infrastructure. Water treatment plants, drug factories, and electrical plants were destroyed.
The Iraqi people have suffered for 22 years. Generations have grown up under war and sanctions. Children suffered the most. The sanctions themselves have directly led to the death of over one million Iraqi children. According to UNICEF, half a million Iraqi children have died by 1995 as a result of the war and the sanctions. Now, Iraqi parents must prepare to lose more.
I refuse to be desecrated and tarnished with the blood of innocent children of Iraq. Everyone here and most people in Iraq pray to see the back of Saddam Hussein, but to do this with force is entirely unethical and will not achieve its vague aims. The Iraqi people will have to bare the brunt again and be torn to pieces. It's not fair for the whole country to suffer for the actions of one individual. Are you deserting your moral responsibility?
You think that after 22 years of conflict, the people are accustomed to suffering. After 22 years of conflict, war is no big deal. Since they suffer anyway and have suffered long, why not go make them suffer more. No, there is no way around it. War will kill Iraqi people. No parent can be accustomed to the suffering and death of her children. And once this war starts, they will sob more for their children with severed limbs, long for their lost mothers, and wait for their dead brothers and sisters to come home.
It must be exciting to change the regime and bring democracy to Iraq and the other Arab states, without much consideration for what exactly, in terms of lived experience, that will mean for the people who actually live there, especially after B-52 strikes tear their land their homes and lands apart relentlessly. I can't imagine that there is a single Arab or Iraqi who will like to see Saddam Hussein removed. But your unilateral engagement in a regime removal is a direct contravention of the UN, and your behavior is anti-democratic.
This is an unjust war, and we here in the Philippines, have a special responsibility to speak out against it as Gloria Arroyo has made us Bush's reliable ally. With this I am also speaking out against our government's support for the US, as the majority of the citizens of this country are. I am not sure how much impact this letter will make on you, but if it puts pressure and a change of attitude, then it will have helped.
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