Letter to President Bush from Environmental Orgazination Against War in Iraq
February 26, 2003
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: War in Iraq
Dear President Bush:
The undersigned national environmental organizations wish to request a meeting with you concerning the possible war with Iraq. We would like to discuss the public health and environmental ramifications of such a war. Some of the undersigned organizations have special expertise on this subject. One has recently carried out public health inspections in Iraq and issued authoritative studies on the humanitarian, medical, and environmental situation in Iraq. Others sent scientific missions to the Persian Gulf in 1991 following the Gulf War and have special expertise on the environmental consequences of that war.
We are particularly concerned that some of the catastrophic pollution unleashed on the people of the Middle East and the ecosystems supporting them might be repeated should there be a war with Iraq. The Gulf War of 1991 resulted in the largest oil spills ever on the land, on the sea, and in the air. The massive air pollution from over 600 burning oil wells spread oily air pollution as far away as India.
Evidence from the first Gulf War indicates that a far higher percentage of veterans had government-doctor certified health problems (28%) than in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
There are many health and environmental impacts that must clearly be examined. A war could result in the devastation of non-combatants and the land and water resources on which they depend on for survival. We would like to discuss these crucial matters with you.
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Dr. Robert K. Musil
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Rainforest Action Network
John A. Knox
Earth Island Institute