From last week’s New York Times: “Staff Sergeant David Safstrom, now on his third deployment in Iraq, is no longer a believer in the mission. The pivotal moment came, he says, this February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi army. I thought “What are we doing here? Why are we still here? We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn round at night and try to kill us.” His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta company, renowned for its aggressiveness.
In Sergeant Safstrom’s view, the American presence is futile. “If we stayed here for 5, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy. It would go straight into a civil war. That’s how it feels, like we’re putting a Band-Aid on this country until we leave here.”
The article includes other soldiers and officers reflecting this viewpoint (and one 22 year old who doesn’t). If even the soldiers have stopped believing in the mission – and they are trained to believe in their missions – then it seems to me it can only be a matter of time before the war is over. The question is (and has been for a long time) not Can the US win, but How long before it will be politically possible to withdraw? And even then, you can’t set a date. As the Labour politician Roy Hattersley said on Question Time the other day, you have to withdraw by stealth. So I’m kind of understanding of the Democrat’s decision not to insist on attaching a withdrawal date to continued funding of the war. I think they do want the US out, but they’re having to play a long game, the moment will come when they can act.
And I think, for astrological reasons, that the process will begin in earnest later this year.
Iraq War: 20 March 2003, 5.33am, Baghdad, Iraq.
I always like to stick to simple, ‘big’ astrology where I can, because that tends to work really well. And the simple, big astrology around the Iraq War is that its Sun is at 29 Pisces, and Pluto will be exactly squaring that Sun by transit next year. End of war. It’s that simple. I don’t mean that it will actually be over by the end of 2008, but that there will have been an irrevocable shift in the leadership and aims of the war (Sun) that will, in its own time, bring it to a close.
Though some events in a major Pluto may come out of the blue, the underlying directional shift (with hindsight!) doesn't, it’s the fruition of what has come before, and in the case of the Iraq War this directional shift can only mean that, one way or another, the US will be on its way out of Iraq.
For all his faults, one thing George Bush’s critics cannot accuse him of is consulting an astrologer. He chose a terrible time to start a war. If he’d only waited 3 weeks, he could have had a New Moon in Aries trine to Pluto. But then he wouldn’t have been George Bush. As it was, we see Sun in Pisces in a t-square with Saturn and Pluto on the MC-IC axis. Aries is good at having war aims, Pisces is the opposite. US aims were delusory and the planning for the aftermath was not there. All Pisces stuff which disempowered (square to Pluto) the US war effort. With natal Sun square to natal Pluto (just), the coming exact square by transit will be a fulfilment of the flaws we saw at the beginning.
Because the tr.Pluto square to the War Sun is going on all next year, so will the turnabout in policy be going on all year. It does not seem to be the case, astrologically, that Bush will be able to hang on pretty much as he is until there is a new President to change the policy. Bush and his government will be forced to be part of the process, which will be extremely difficult and painful for him, but I think it has the potential to restore faith in the governing process, which isn’t just the President. For people will be able to see their leader being forced to experience the consequences of misrule, instead of escaping at the election and then blaming the next incumbent for losing the war.
We have seen the beginnings of the Iraq War Pluto-Sun transit this year, as political acknowledgement of the true state of the war has come in (helped by Saturn-Neptune) and we have seen the first stage in a lengthy battle between the President and Congress. In early Sept, Pluto will turn Direct, ready to make its first pass square to the War Sun on 31 Dec 2007. It will clearly never be the President’s preferred choice to reverse the Iraq policy, so events will probably be forced upon him, beginning in earnest this autumn.
I think that inevitably it will begin with a huge denial process by the President. I think that psychologically he is quite frail, and this is concealed by an enormous amount of rigidity (and swagger). I don’t think he is capable of changing direction over Iraq. Astrologically, the direction seems almost certain to change. So what will happen to him? That the pressure is already getting to him is suggested by a quote that Lynn at astrodynamics gives: "Friends of his from Texas were shocked recently to find him nearly wild-eyed, thumping himself on the chest three times while he repeated “I am the president!” He also made it clear he was setting Iraq up so his successor could not get out of “our country’s destiny.” "
He could end up like the guy at the end of Dr Strangelove, waving his cowboy hat and whoopeeing as he rides an atom bomb to his own destruction; or like General Gordon, holed up in Khartoum, defending it to the death, in defiance of his government’s wishes. However it goes, we may see something politically unprecedented in the USA if George Bush can't budge. Because you can't ignore Pluto!