Like the power of a mighty river contained by the steel and concrete structure of a man-made dam, the potency of ethnic discord in pre-war Iraq was held at bay by the strongman Saddam Hussein for many years. Once the dam was breeched and then destroyed, this raging river of bitter rivalry and strife was let loose to wreak its destruction on the land.
Throughout history, the strength of the water’s flow has often been harnessed to achieve attainable goals. Carefully guided, the river’s might can irrigate parched fields or be transformed into hydroelectric power. At times, a river might be partially rerouted, but always in accordance with the general direction of the water’s momentum. No one has ever attempted to force a river to flow in the opposite direction. That would be sheer folly.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration’s present policy in Iraq is much like an attempt to force a river to reverse course. Disbanding the militias, trying to prevent the growing partnership between the Shia majority and its natural ally Shiite Iran, and refusing to acknowledge the increasing separation of the three indigenous ethnic groups are all policies doomed to failure. They each push fruitlessly against the momentum of events.
Moreover, the administration’s stubborn refusal to bring together the many neighboring nations peripherally involved in the growing disaster is a recipe for an even greater catastrophe. Up until now, the national discourse on the war has been framed by the Bush administration’s obsessive militarism and little else. Some critics are giving lip service to the idea of “increasing diplomacy,” but there is little fleshing out about what this can mean.
Instead, we seem to be stuck on military issues: a surge in troops or no surge, the withdrawal of troops on a timetable or no withdrawal, redeployment of troops from the center to the periphery or no redeployment. It is all about where to put the troops and for how long. No one is talking about what diplomacy might actually mean. Perhaps this is because true diplomacy is abhorrent to and the antithesis of the central thesis of the Bush Doctrine: shoot first and then see what happens when the smoke clears. Nonetheless, it is important to at least think about what is still possible before George Bush pushes us over the rim of an erupting Middle East volcano with his militant posturing and his aggressive fantasies aimed at Iran.
What many fear, and rightly so, is a regional conflagration in the Middle East that draws in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, and perhaps others. Already, these nations are greatly concerned about unfolding events, and some are indirectly involved. Either we continue to ignore these players, and in the case of Syria and Iran, threaten and provoke them, assuring that the present dangerous trend will only intensify, or we attempt to engage them by supporting a positive rather than destructive manifestation of their vested interests. To begin with, a regional conference should be called with two primary goals. The first is to accomplish a clear agreement among all participants that the goal is to bring stability and stem the violence in the region. The second is to help define what each participant can do to accomplish that goal.
We already know that Saudi money is going in to bolster and help arm the Sunni insurgency. Perhaps, the Saudis can directly influence their Sunni brethren, offering to rebuild and economically strengthen the Sunni area in trade for a moratorium on the violence. We know as well that the Iranians are supporting the Shiite militias with various resources. Perhaps, they can also work towards convincing their religious brethren to refrain from violence, with the aim of channeling the tremendous energies of the Shiite militias into local administrative and constructive pursuits. Perhaps the Turks can be convinced by some deft diplomacy and some well-placed carrots not to invade when Iraq ultimately splits into three parts and an independent Kurdistan lies at the Turkish doorstep.
Any attempt to quell the violence along these channels, however, can only work in tandem, hence the need for a vigorous and productive conversation among nations. Recently, the Saudis and the Iranians have actually begun talking, heroically attempting to fill the diplomatic vacuum left by a recalcitrant American administration. Unfortunately, US participation is also necessary for such diplomacy to work, including an American agreement to pull its soldiers back in concert with the diplomatic impact of any Saudi and Iranian efforts. But for any of this to take place, the American attitude toward Iran must make a radical shift, away from escalating confrontation and towards increasing dialogue and working together on shared goals, the greatest of which right now is keeping the current conflict from spiraling further out of control.
The problem is that the Bush administration is unwilling and probably incapable of working with other nations for the greater goal of peace. They prefer threats, bullying, and, ultimately, violence as the sole way of pursuing their ends. Unless both Bush and Cheney are forcibly removed from office, it seems there is little hope for a sane or constructive conclusion to the Iraq fiasco until the next president takes over in January 2009, and by then it may be too late.
The most that can be hoped for at this point is to contain the present situation and keep George Bush from inflaming it further. To this end, I am suggesting: that Congress pass a binding resolution that prevents the president from attacking Iran or its interests in any way without clear Congressional approval; that Congress fully investigate the administration’s claims about Iran, demanding concrete proof of any claims from multiple sources; and, finally, that Congress very clearly assert that if Bush and his gang unlawfully attack Iran or any other sovereign nation without absolute proof given to Congress of a clear and imminent danger to the US, as well as a supportive resolution from Congress, then both Bush and Cheney will be impeached and convicted of war crimes.
Although this may seem radical to some, I see no other way to restrain what has become an administration that has consistently acted in defiance of American and international law, all precedent, and the will of Congress. Without specifically defined restrictions imposed by Congress that include significant consequences, this administration could easily lead the planet into World War lll.
The best possible outcome of the present dire situation in Iraq would be for the anger and aggression there to one day be channeled into rebuilding the country rather than destroying it. But this will never happen without the neighbors’ support and their guiding influence on their respective allies within the country. And it will never happen with a constant background of threats and militarism from the American government. This only feeds the fires. One can greatly hope that our next president will know better.
As is all too obvious to even those who do not follow astrology, we are entering a very dangerous period due to the increasingly explosive nature of events in the Middle East. At the helm in the US is an overly aggressive president who thrives on confrontation, but whose simplistic vision and narrow understanding preclude many reasonable options.
Although George Bush has been weathering a difficult period for many months that has brought his public standing to an all-time low and brought his Iraq War fiasco into the realm of unprecedented disaster, we can nonetheless expect the POTUS to enter an extremely combative and assertive phase beginning in mid-April 2007, extending with great intensity through July 2007, and with lesser intensity through November 2008. (Bush progressed Mars conjunct Bush Jupiter, transiting Uranus quincunx Bush Jupiter, transiting Uranus square Inaugural Mars, transiting Jupiter conjunct Inaugural Mars)
The prelude to the Commander-in-chief's burst of assertive and militant energy beginning in late April, will be a defiant tone and refusal to accept limitations or restrictions from early March through mid-April. As of about April 17, watch for an increasingly challenging, reckless, and aggressive mood coming out of the White House, with the potential for the first wave of dramatic events especially strong through May 15. (transiting Jupiter opposite Bush Uranus, transiting Uranus quincunx Bush Moon)
There is some potential, after a period of deep disillusionment from mid-March through April, that the Congress will rally by late April and strongly assert itself in opposition to the increasingly belligerent president, again during the time-frame from late April through July 2007. It may well be that a real battle ensues between these two branches of government at this juncture, but it is not impossible to imagine that Bush’s aggressive impulses will be acted out in his foreign policy as well. Such alarming action will only be thwarted if Congress acts forcefully enough and soon enough, taking onto itself all of the intensified aggression exuding from the White House rather than letting it spill over into another dangerous and reckless military escapade. (transiting Saturn opposite Congress Neptune, transiting Uranus conjunct Congress Node)
March through July 2007 is dangerous for yet another reason, and that is the strong Neptune influence in Bush’s chart (transiting Neptune opposite Bush Venus and semisquare Bush Neptune, Bush solar arc Ascendant conjunct Bush Neptune). Taken together, these aspects suggest a very strong tendency for George Bush to engage in wishful thinking, self-delusion, and grandiose expectations.
Unfortunately, the ungrounded influence of the Neptune transit remains in effect through November 2008. Bush’s concept of reality will not conform to the facts but to his own version of the world.
The one hope here is that there is some Saturn energy to act as a restraining influence through 2007 (transiting Saturn conjunct Bush’s Venus and tertiary Saturn conjunct Bush’s Venus).
This can manifest simply as a lack of public support and a struggle with enormous obstacles, or more specifically, it could indicate the Congress working with great steadfastness to restrain Bush’s wilder impulses.
This will be a Herculean task, and only time will tell if they succeed.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Nancy Sommers has been practicing astrology for 35 years.
A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and New York University School of Social Work, Nancy is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Maryland, where she combines her skill in astrology with her training in psychotherapy, imagery, and regression therapy.
Known as Nancy Waterman in the cyber world, Nancy crafted her website, Starlight News, as a response to the dismal first days of the Bush administration.
Her intent was to offer her readers the unique insight and perspective of astrology when applied to the political realities of the day.
You can reach Nancy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.