Iraq was always a divided country, artificially created by the French and British, with a Shia majority and Sunni and Kurd minorities. And sometimes countries like this have nasty dictators because that is the only way there will be any stability. Afghanistan is also a case in point.
So when the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, there was always going to be a problem of sectarian strife which, it turned out, the aggressors had no plan to deal with. And the consequences of this are what we are seeing now, the Americans having left, as the country splits apart. The Sunnis have a real grievance, in that the Shia government is excluding them from any say in the country. A lot of them are also jihadists intent on Sharia Law, a fundamentalist strand that was fanned by the 2003 invasion.
All this is, in a way, common knowledge and common sense. But not to Tony Blair, who leaped to the defence of the 2003 invasion when Iraqi cities began falling to the Sunnis. The reason this is happening, he said, is because the West has not been sufficiently assertive in combatting the jihadists in Syria: they have gained strength and are now spilling over into Iraq.
He kind of has a point about Syria, except the West began by supporting the rebellion against the dictator Assad (the West regularly changes its mind about dictators), but then found the situation to be more complex when the Islamists got involved. And the West had lost most of the political capital that enables intervention precisely through its botched invasion of Iraq. Furthermore, under Saddam Hussein, any invaders would have had short shrift: there was stability of a kind.
But it’s not really worth arguing with Tony Blair. As I said, it is common sense. Moreover, I’m not very interested in politics, except inasmuch as it shines a light on human nature and character. And in the case of Mr Blair, we seem to have someone who has lost touch with reality. He has his political actions to defend, and like any politician he wants to defend them, but history is so clearly proving him wrong about Iraq that the only decent thing to do seems to be to shut up, if you can’t bring yourself to admit you were wrong. You don’t see George Bush defending the invasion, that old hate-figure who seems to be showing more integrity than Blair.
Bush and Blair both have 12th House Suns, not a placement you traditionally look for in a leader, due to its private, hidden nature. For the UK, it was part of a political era, because straight after Blair we had Brown, another 12th House Sun. And I think those Suns proved problematic, and I’ll return to that.
But they don’t make you nuts. Why is Tony Blair 'unhinged' (as Boris Johnson called him), but not Bush or Brown? I look particularly to his 10th House Moon in Aquarius, a very public element to his chart that neither Bush nor Brown have. This is why the latter two have been happy to slope off quietly since leaving office – indeed, they both seem to have wanted to. But with 10th House Moon, there is a need to have a public impact and to protect your legacy, which is exactly what Blair has done.
He has not had the quiet time needed to reflect on his actions. And also with 10th House Moon, his sense of himself in a very personal way is dependent on how the world sees him, so there is the defensiveness, backed up by Mars on the Ascendant.
And I think it is the sign of the Moon, Aquarius, which brings in the ‘nutty’ element. Aquarius can be a wonderful sign, full of progressive ideas and good feeling for humanity. I’m not saying President Obama is a perfect example, but he has Aquarius Rising, and his long overdue healthcare bill for the US shows what Aquarius can do.
But it is also a fixed sign, which can find it hard to adapt to changing realities. And it gets stuck in its head with ideas about the world which are outside the conventional wisdom, and that is both Aquarius’ strength and weakness. Because being outside conventional reality can mean you are nuts just as much as it can mean you are a progressive genius. Or both.
|Anders Breivik: Sun-Mars in Aquarius square to Uranus|
Aquarian Anders Breivik, who murdered over 70 people in Norway on fantastical political grounds, is a good example.
Uranus rules Aquarius, and you can see the same kind of syndrome when Uranus makes strong challenging aspects. Julian Assange has Sun in square to Uranus, and Mars in Aquarius. While the value of his Wikileaks project will probably always be a matter for debate, if you read up on the political ideology that fuels him, there is extreme paranoia about authority and childish naivety about the ‘cure’, couched in very intellectual language. (Assange also has Moon in Scorpio, and as a child spent time in a secretive cult, so you can see a motive there!)
So Aquarians/ Uranians, partly due to their lack of feeling (Blair has no personal water in his chart), can get stuck in their heads with wild self-serving ideas about reality. Those ideas are often political/ideological, because the Aquarian’s nature is to be involved with the collective. And being a fixed sign, they can keep it up for the rest of their lives.
It doesn’t of course mean you have to be nuts if you are Aquarian, most of us aren’t, but I think there is always that tendency to look out for: ideas that do not connect to the human realities around you. Aquarius is the water bearer, which gives them strong feelings (water) that they can also be cut off from (they are in an urn rather than in you).
And Blair’s ideas about Iraq, with which he seems almost obsessed, so clearly do not connect to the realities around him.
Analysing further, Blair’s Moon is in a (wide) t-square with the Sun and Pluto. That is not an easy chart to have. There is conflict at the heart of it in the square between the Sun and the Moon. The Sun, his identity, is private and reflective, and it is easily overrun by the dynamic Moon at the top of the chart, with its need to make a mark on the world and be in the public eye. Maybe that is why the man has got religion: it keeps his Sun happy, but again the Moon distorts it and persuades him that his political actions are God’s Will working through him.
And then Pluto in a challenging aspect to both Sun and Moon. Pluto in his most basic form is the pursuit of power, and that is very evident with Blair, even though he cannot see it himself. He happened to get on personally with George Bush, but the real attraction was power. That is also why he is close friends with Rupert Murdoch. If he was more conscious, this chart, through Pluto, would place a great propensity for honesty and personal transformation at the centre of his life. As it is, his life seems to be more about ‘external’ power for its own sake. Pluto can have a life or death quality, suggesting that it is more than his life is worth to admit error over Iraq.