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Beyond the Definite Article: Stop War
Published on Thursday March 2, 2005 by
Beyond the Definite Article
by Meg O'Shaughnessy

As we approach this awesome anniversary, marking the collision of presupposition and preemption, I listen keenly to the progressive dialogue re-emerging in the wake of our stunned mourning, and hear renewed urgency in the tone of activists "Stop the War!"

I am struck by the implication in that definite article - the.

Iraq. Today, even Bush Cabinet hawks are looking for a way out, a face saving scheme to salvage the shreds of their investment, to staunch the flow of life's blood in uniform, to back-step from, by now all too uncertain footing, to quell the chorus of dissidence, silence the growing number of detractors, the increasing throng of those as yet unconvinced regarding justifiable necessity, all demanding truth and belated accountability.

While offstage, the architects of war labor over a plan for strategic retreat, new incursions are on the drawing board in the Persian Gulf. The undertones in most recent overtures abroad awaken in many a sense of alarm, as Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice, protesting too much in their fashion, challenge our credulity concerning their intentions in regard to Iran. Rich in oil, geopolitically pivotal, potential platform for yet another grab for resource under the mantle of security, any crisis with Iran will be linked to our obsession to fuel the American lifestyle. How much oil is squandered in the struggle to secure it - the diminishing cache of that which has propelled our civilization into its self-destructive stance?

More than short sightedness, the dark blindness in the trajectory of our foreign policy jeopardizes any remaining stability in the Middle East and threatens to rob us, America, of a critical opportunity to resolutely address the sustainable energy futures that alone can halt this rush to the nightmare that lies in waiting beyond the event, the phenomenon, known as peak oil.

Will we, citizens of these United States and of these many nations, in time acknowledge and embrace our shared circumstance as a single species engaged in endangering our own survival? Sanity and the expectation of succession lie only in our taking the full measure of the climate crisis condition which militarism fully exacerbates. The only redemptive attitude is one that honestly assesses the hour, the moment.

As geologic seconds tick loudly, it is solely by apprehending and embracing, with humility and wisdom, the truth of the obvious, that we as individuals and as a human collective derive our lives from one singular and precious planet, that we can begin to pull out of this mad nose dive.

May we awaken from our denial and delusion to speak with one voice to Mr. Bush, and his willing team. Now. Out of Iraq, take pen to Kyoto, rejoin the world community at this turning point and shoulder the role of leadership in a world that cries for reason and justice and aches for human heart.

Drop the article. Stop War.

Meg O'Shaughnessy is a part-time, self-employed independent radio producer, with deep roots in rural western Colorado, now living in San Francisco. Her email address is


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