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Peace and the Global O.


December 15, 2006

The Christmas and the New Year come upon us and we feel peaceful, at ease.  We think of family and friends and fireplaces and new beginnings and new paradigms and new presents and things that you could buy but it’s so much nicer when someone else does, and as you load your eggnog heavy with brandy (ten days shy of January 1st) and stir it in the swirl forms at the neck of the spoon and you realize denial will never work.   


Tip the cup and the rum warms your throat as you look out the window and mull over the fact that other than the occasional wire story that blips on the edge of your consciousness, like the yellow light that you just sped through, invisible in the major media and scarce in the alt-media…


…an American armada known as the “Ike Strike Group,” with cruisers and destroyers and the Eisenhower, a nuclear aircraft carrier, stands at the ready in the Persian Gulf off Iran’s west coast, able to rain hell on Iran within 24 hours of Calamity George’s order.  {Rumor has it that American and Israeli Special Forces have already worked into the Iranian interior.}


Iran has begun to enrich uranium, a potential gateway from initial developments of peaceful nuclear energy to fearsome nuclear armaments.  Western powers want to force Iran’s hand with economic sanctions, but Russia and China are blocking sanctions in the UN.  At the same time, as he (threateningly) waves his blooded and blunted sword aloft, George W. Bush refuses to talk to Iran unless they agree to stop enrichment.  Iran’s leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, refuses to kneel in fear, claiming the centrifuges are for peaceful purposes, while playing on anti-US nationalism born of the 1953 CIA coup that replaced a democratically-elected leader (who wanted to nationalize oil) with 26 years of the brutal Shah of Iran.  Adding fuel to the fire, Ahmadinejad struts and swaggers on the world stage, holding conferences questioning the Holocaust and throwing off comments about his desire to wipe Israel off the map, which only increases the likelihood that Israel will do the dirty work with U.S. financial and logistical support, as Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is (hot) to flex his muscles after his dissatisfying invasion of southern Lebanon.


To destroy Iranian nuclear sites, the U.S. is considering using ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons, known as ‘bunker busters’ for their ability to sheer through rock, where the Iranians have hidden their sites.    The use of nukes has been strongly opposed by many top military brass, including the Joint Chief of Staff, some of whom have leaked confidential information to veteran reporter Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker to raise public awareness before it’s too late.  As one four-star general told Seymour Hersh:  “The system is starting to sense the end of the road and they don’t want to be condemned by history.  They want to be able to say ‘we stood up.’” 


If the first use of nuclear weapons in 60 years doesn’t trigger that little voice in your head, there’s always a simple, reliable cost-benefits analysis.  Against whatever benefit can be gained by killing a nascent Iranian nuclear program (that the CIA determines is nowhere near to producing a nuclear bomb), assuming the U.S. or Israel is successful finding the installations, is the potential to inflame the long-dissed and long-pissed Muslim world even more than we’ve done over the past six years, which would render the (nuclear) non-proliferation treaty instantly obsolescent while causing widespread environmental damage in Iran and triggering vastly accelerated death and destruction across the Middle East, from the Israeli cities getting bombed by Hezbollah to  a steep increase in brutal attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq to Pakistan, where Pervez Musharraf’s control of nuclear weapons teeters on the brink.  Iran’s contributions to the world oil supply would be seriously disrupted, which could greatly weaken world markets, while the over one million refugees in Iraq would be joined by untold numbers in Iran.  Whatever legitimacy the U.S. ever thought it had as a beacon of democratic values would slip even further down Calamity George’s slippery slope, while the shot in the arm provided to suicide recruitment could very well play in a city near you.     


You stop pacing and (drain) the rest of the nog.  Looking into the bottom of an empy cup, you ask yourself:  now that he’s getting his ass kicked, would Bush really do something this reckless to distract the public?  You kick yourself for asking the question, or maybe you don’t.  Game, set and match?    




Donna_and_Paul_postable_889645518.jpgPaul and Donna have a plan. 


Three years ago, not long after Saddam’s statue tumbled on the half-hour at CNN, Donna Sheehan (no relation to Cindy) led a group of women from the group Baring Witness in a war protest in which they laid out naked on a San Francisco beach and spelled ‘make love, not war.’  An accompanying article in the S.F. Chronicle presented the protesters as fun but out of touch, with comments like ‘Despite the waning conflict in Iraq” and “while the war in Iraq is winding down” that may land the writer on the dunce of the decade honor roll. 


In the time since, these nude actions came to number 75 and spread to 26 countries around the world, as it became ever more obvious just how right the war critics were and are to oppose future colonial power moves.


As novel as these actions were, Donna and her partner, Paul Reffell, have topped themselves with their new event, whose organizing prowess is reflected in coverage on CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, and 26,000 hits a day at their web site.


The First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace is a call to peaceniks (and anyone else with a modicum of sanity) around the world to have an orgasm on December 22nd, the end of the winter Solstice and the longest day of the year in Iran.  Participants are to focus on world peace during and after climax.   


Paul and Donna, students of evolutionary psychology, see war as a ‘distinctly male phenomenon,’ a case of ‘my missile is bigger than your missile,’ wherein men throw their weight around to impress potential mates.  Through the Orgasm for Peace they hope to drain much of this aggression December 22nd by transforming the earth’s energy field.  As Paul describes it:  “It sounds naïve.  But most people believe in the power of positive thinking, or prayer, or meditation.  And when you walk into a room full of people, you can sense the ‘vibe’ of the place, which is the result of how people are thinking, feeling and interacting.  Who knows what could happen on a global scale?”


The Global Consciousness Project out of Princeton, which has measured consciousness variation after large events like 9/11, will measure the, er, results of the Global O. by collecting data from a global network of random event generators in five minute increments.  As the event planners say:  “We hope the effect will be at least a lightening of the global mood.  We wish that the effect could be so great as to cause the energy field to become so positive that people will begin to think and act less negatively.” 




Not everyone is convinced.  Even Paul and Donna don’t want to assume victory over the warmongers just yet.  Asked whether recent developments indicated a shift toward anti-war sentiment in the U.S., Paul said:  “I don’t see anti-war sentiment growing, I see anti-spending-our-money-on-them-instead-of-us sentiment growing.  The American majority will not be anti-war as long as there is the perception that war is an honorable solution, that men who are trained to kill to order are heroes and that every war we fight is for the betterment of humanity.”


But no matter what you think, unless you really see an attack on Iran as a good idea, you can’t blame ‘em for trying.  Is there a better way to spend the Friday before Christmas?


One thing we can count on:  around September 22nd there will be a small boom in (sign) births, the sign that brought us peacemakers like John Coltrane (list…),


A reminder that no matter what happens this time around, perhaps some day a new generation can get this shit right.


©Dan Benbow, 2006     



















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