Starhawk: The Choice Before Us


Richard Moore

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From: "Ted Glick" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Ted Glick" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Starhawk on The Choice Before Us
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 14:54:19 -0500

The Choice Before Us

  Somewhere tonight in Iraq, a small girl lies sleeping
who in a few weeks may be a lump of scorched flesh
buried under concrete.

  On a basketball court somewhere in the United States
a young man lands a jump shot, who in a few weeks may
have no legs, or eyes, or have tumors already brooding
in his brain from exposure to the depleted uranium of
our own weapons.

  A young boy who is healthy and vibrant today will be
racked with cancer.  A mother will hear her children
crying for food and have nothing to give them but
tainted water to quench their thirst. Land that is
today rich and fertile will, a short time from now, be
contaminated with radioactivity that lasts longer than
all the years between ancient Sumer and Babylon and

And young men and women who in the innocence of their
hearts volunteered to serve their country will be led
to perpetrate unspeakable crimes that will haunt their
nights and blight the rest of their lives.  When they
complain of strange ailments, the Veteran's
Administration will admit no connection.  And for years
afterwards, as has happened since the first Gulf War,
they will take their own lives in a steady stream of
suicides. They will not be the sons and daughters of
the men and women who sit in Congress or the White
House.  A disparate number of them will come from
communities in our own land who suffer poverty,
dispossession, discrimination.

  And all of this will be done at the command of men
who have never themselves faced combat or fought a war,
who rob our schools and hospitals to pay for their own
weapons of mass destruction, who promote an
empire-building agenda of their own that will not
provide the security they claim.   For the sheer
injustice of our attack on a country that has not
attacked us will provoke such fear and hatred against
us that all our bombs and missiles and cops and spies
will not be able to keep us safe.

  The media and the politicians tell us this war is
inevitable, that we can't stop it, that our protests
and petitions and pleas make no difference.  They
murmur a constant incantation of our powerlessness,
lulling us into a nightmare sleep.

  But we can still wake up.  We can choose to walk out
of the nightmare, and dream a different dream.

  All it takes is for each one of us who cherishes the
lives of children to refuse to be silent, to say no to
war, to say yes to peace.

  And to ask ourselves, how have we abandoned our
country, our fate, into the hands of callous men who
have no compunction about wasting lives?  What spell
has been cast that fogs our eyes and binds our hands?
 What lies have we believed? What power have we let
slip away?

  Replace the nightmare with this dream: that in the
moment when one world power has amassed the
unchallenged military might to make its bid for global
empire, its own people rise up and say, "No.  That is
not what we want to be.

 We don't want to rule the world over the broken bodies
of children. We don't want blood on our hands. We want
children who are sick to have the best possible care,
in Iraq and in our own country.  We want schools and
jobs and parks and hospitals and food for the hungry.
We want to join hands with the people of the world, and
strengthen the institutions that are slowly and
painfully learning to solve conflicts without
bloodshed, and teaching us to respect our differences.
 We know that peace must be built on justice, and we
want peace."

  Dream that we wake up, stand up, speak out, not in
the thousands but the millions, joining with millions
around the world.  Dream that soldiers refuse their
orders, dockworkers refuse to load ships, secretaries
shut off their computers, workers close their
factories, and even politicians find the courage to
stand for what is right.

And make the dream real.  If you have spoken out
before, now is the time to speak again, to make another
phone call, write another letter, stand in another
vigil.  If you have marched before, march again and
this time bring more of your friends and neighbors.  If
you haven't marched, if you have been immersed in the
demands of your own life, if you feel that your small
voice makes no difference, now is the time to speak
anyway, to interrupt your ordinary pursuits, to become
the one small drop that just might turn the tide.

  If you can get to New York or San Francisco on the
weekend of February 15-16 for the big marches and
rallies, come-because the numbers are vitally

  If you can't, there will be marches and rallies and
vigils to join all across the country.  Find one, or
call one of your own.

  Be public.  Be visible.  Be the loud, uncomfortable
conscience that has disappeared from the halls of

  And believe that truth is stronger than lies, love
trumps fear, and no cabal of power can contain the
multitudes when we awaken and choose life.


The New York March and Rally is on February 15, in
soldarity with marches in capitols all over the world,
and is sponsored by United for Peace and Justice.

The San Francisco March and Rally begins at Justin
Hermann Plaza, at 11 AM, and marches to the Federal
Building.  To join with the Code Pink women's cluster
and the Pagan Cluster, meet us at 10 AM at Montgomery
and Market St.

For details and a list of planned actions around the
country, check

Starhawk is the author of Webs of Power: Notes from the
Global Uprising and eight other books on activism and
earth-based and feminist spirituality.  Her website is

Please feel free to forward and reprint this as widely
as possible.

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