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Autumn Equinox 2013 Cosmic Weather Forecast

By Curtis Lang with Jane Sherry on Sep 11, 2013

Grand Cardinal Cross Activates Global Crisis Points

Welcome to Satya Center’s Autumn Equinox, Virgo Solar Festival, Pisces Full Moon 2013 Cosmic Weather Forecast, brought to you by your Editors, Curtis Lang with Jane Sherry.

Full Moon Over Claverack, Neew York, photo by Jane SherryThe Full Moon occurs Thursday, September 19, at 7:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time, or 4:13 AM West Coast time at 26° 41’ of Pisces, opposed by the Sun at 26° 41’ of Virgo, just after Venus, the North Node, and Saturn align in the sign of Scorpio.

The Grand Cardinal Cross Dominates Stellar Energy Signature, Reflects World Events

The Grand Cardinal Cross once again dominates the Cosmic Weather Forecast as a new season approaches. September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox, which takes place this year at 1:44 PM PDT, or 4:44 PM EDT. The Equinox, celebrated around the world as a time symbolic of equal day and equal night, is one of the four cross-quarter days of the year. Read all about the origins and spiritual power of the Autumnal Equinox in our article on this global spiritual Festival.

On September 29, Christian mystics celebrate the Feast of Michaelmas. It's fall! Archangel Michael comes armed with subtle fire and a sword of iron, to redirect Universal Life Force Energy on planet Earth upward, toward higher chakras and higher realms, lending support to all spiritual practices, and offering the promise of accelerated spiritual growth in the season to come.  

Join us in performing the powerful Archangel Michael meditation we practice every year! This powerful meditation provides spiritual protection from unwanted and detrimental energies around you, and helps to release energy imbalances you may have incurred when dealing with people close to you in life, by removing the energetic hooks and cords that bind us to negative relationships.

In mid-late September and early October, in the wake of the autumnal equinox and the Harvest Moon, the Sun presents itself against the starry backdrop of the constellation Libra, often represented by a woman wielding the sword of free will and discrimination, and holding the Divine Scales of Balance.

Initiates around the world celebrate the feasts of Michaelmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Navratri, sacred to the Christian, Jewish and Hindu religions. Read our article about the Libra Festivals for more detailed information.

Tarot Trump VIII, Balance, Sign of LibraMany seasonal festivals fall during the month when the Sun is in Libra, and these festivals work to create and restore an individual and collective sense of balance during a difficult transitional period of the year, when days shorten, and in the northern hemisphere temperature falls, crops wither, and the extroverted summer energy of plants in the fields begins to turn inward in anticipation of the yearly death of winter.

Mother Earth comes to the end of the cycle of spring and summer exhalation that extends the breath of life across the surface of our blue-green planet, and she begins the long inhalation characteristic of fall and winter. The planet’s surface becomes barren, but the interior of the Earth, more receptive now to the light streaming from cosmic sources, is quickening with new life.

At this time of year, the spiritual component in human nature surfaces after a long summer slumber when activities in the physical world captured the energy and attention of the entire community.

This week Jane and I are taking frequent breaks during our work day to monitor the ongoing Mt. Diablo fire, which broke out Sunday, covered the skies here in the East San Francisco Bay with brown smoke, and has now incinerated more than 3500 acres.

As we watch our favorite nearby parklands and ranchlands go up in smoke, we are also monitoring an inter-related set of global crises in the news.

First, the war in Syria. Will America attack?

Second, the Fukushima crisis. Will the Japanese be able to stabilize the site of the world’s most dangerous nuclear accident at a time of spiking radiation leakage?

Third, the upcoming budget battles in Congress that could shut down the government, or lead to further unnecessary cuts in vital government services. Will America lose the confidence of global investors?

I must apologize to those of you who would prefer to separate spiritual commentary in the Cosmic Weather Forecast from global news events.

I can’t help myself from fitting global news events into our Forecasts. Full disclosure. I am a former Editor and investigative journalist at several national magazines and websites, including The Village Voice, The Nation, Mother Jones, WORTH Magazine and Ameritrade. I covered finance, investing, politics, and national security issues. I covered the 1992 presidential elections, investigated S&L and bank frauds for over a decade, and was a national security analyst as well as an analyst of Federal Reserve policies for The Financial Markets Center.

I hope to combine insights from astrology, the study of financial market cycles, and geo-strategic analysis to provide you with a Big Picture of major trends and inflection points during this decade of unprecedented global change. I hope you find it helpful!

The Grand Cardinal Cross Activates Global Crisis Points

The Grand Cardinal CrossThe civilization-altering Grand Cardinal Cross in the sky that re-formed last month created an increasing sense of tension in the collective consciousness that is set to continue this month, intensifying a sense of frustration, urgency, and barely repressed aggression around the world.

Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn form an aggressive T-square formation in Cardinal signs, and from time to time during the coming month, Venus, Moon, Mercury and the Sun will all enter into the sign of Libra, filling out the Grand Cardinal Cross repeatedly, and insuring a month that will see leading players on the global stage acting out a bewildering set of conflicting narratives, agendas and strategies that threaten to trigger various types of crises in the Middle East, in financial markets, and in political power centers in Washington and other major world capitals.

These epochal outer planet formations contribute to an atmosphere of fear, anger, and soaring ambition to resolve pressing problems through rash and often irrational application of extreme measures.

This is hardly surprising.

Astrologers who study the movements of the outer planets are fairly unified in associating the Grand Cardinal Cross formation with a civilization-wide transformation of social, economic, and political systems. We have published many articles on the Grand Cardinal Cross. See here, here, here and here.

We are in the evening time of the age of mass industrialization and consumption. We now approach the culmination of a long spiritual cycle that has been focused on the development of the individual sense of self, and so it is no surprise that we live in an age of self-consciousness, self-centered behavior and rampant individualism.

Here at the end of the Age of Cheap Hydrocarbon Energy we are confronted with an interlocking array of systemic failures within our highly complex global civilization: environmental crises; peak cheap oil; military tensions among countries competing for scarce resources in a time of unprecedented population growth; seemingly unending economic crisis; and political malaise. 

Existing social movements, which tend to be focused on one aspect of the set of interlocking crises, are unable to create the kinds of broad coalitions that are required to successfully address any one of these crises, much less all of them at once. It will take humanity another decade to develop a comprehensive overview of the total situation and develop new alternatives to today’s unsustainable lifestyles, politics, economic system, and energy technologies.

By April 2014, the Grand Cross will be formed by Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars, afflicting the US Sun-Saturn square. This Grand Cross influences the American natal chart during a long period, from 2008-2019.

The last time Pluto moved through this area of the heavens was in the period leading up to the American Revolution.

“By December 2015, Saturn in Sagittarius will be moving opposite the US Uranus in Gemini, and square transiting Neptune, as the Grand Cross pattern formed by transiting Uranus and Pluto continues to hold the US Sun-Saturn square in its grip,” says renowned author and astrologer Robert Gover, who predicted the 2008 financial meltdown in his book Time and Money: Astrology and the Planets. 

“This indicates a prolonging of economic troubles and the distinct possibility of a second revolution and/or civil war,” says Gover. “Since the influence of the US ‘corporatized’ government now spans the Earth – and because news travels so much faster now – a second revolution would most likely be worldwide as well as national.”

“Big combines of corporations and their network of associated wealthy investors and lobbyists now control the US Congress and many other branches of our government, and the governments of other nations around the world,” Gover continues. “The neo-feudal world they are building is anti-democratic. No semblance of democracy is possible in a world under their control. The purest form of capitalism is slavery. Since mankind is simultaneously moving with considerable momentum toward more and better democracy, the clash will be between these forces. The neo-feudalists may win every battle – they control the guys with the guns – but their world is unsustainable, economically as well as ecologically.”

This is the ongoing drama of the Grand Cardinal Cross.

We are in the transition time between two ages: the Piscean and the Aquarian, the age of faith and the age of spiritual science, the age of the heroic individual and the age of the communitarian individual.

We are in transition from the Industrial Age of Cheap Hydro-Carbons to the Solar Age of Global Warming and Renewable, Sustainable Energy.

The transition will reshape the entire surface of planet Earth, create entirely different yearly seasonal cycles from pole to pole, trigger mass migrations resulting in hundreds of millions of environmental refugees, and require entirely new ways of living if humanity is to survive and thrive in the New Age we are approaching.

Humanity is being tested on an individual and on a collective basis. 

Peace Demonstration

On an individual basis we are being asked to participate in an epochal shift of consciousness, from belief in a fixed individual self, which stands opposed to society and the natural environment, and which seeks its own best interests without too much concern for society or the environment, to belief in a fluid, permeable self, which changes according to social context and the rhythms of the natural environment, and which sees its own best interests as co-incidental with the best interests of society and the natural environment.

On a collective basis we are being asked to extend our limited sense of compassion and identity, which historically includes our family, our neighbors, our community, our nation, our economic class, our religion, our sex and our race, to include all of humanity. This is because we are learning that our lifestyles, our politics, and our economic life all have a dramatic impact on peoples in other countries, other climates, other races and religions around the world. We have obligations to the human family that extend beyond the limited circle of people with whom we feel we have common substantial beliefs, blood relations, economic interests and political ideologies.

We are asked to choose between the war of all against all and the unification of the human family on our home planet, Earth.

At this twilight time between the ages, some nations, driven by ego and greed, will choose the path of the war of all against all, the path of resource wars among nations.

Some individuals, seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of others, will pursue personal power and seek to dominate their fellows, to the detriment of their own spiritual development, and to the detriment of their own less successful brothers and sisters around the world.

Others will choose the path of community, the path of voluntary simplicity, mutual nourishment and environmental stewardship.

Even now, in many parts of the world, old souls are gathering in this magical twilight time, preparing to share their wealth, preparing to nourish one another with the accumulated treasures of their talents, preparing to forge the social structures that will become models for post-industrial, post-cheap oil communities.

This path of sharing freely and connecting deeply with one another will open our awareness to the true nature of our interdependence with others and with our environment. This path of mutual service will thus nourish our bodies, minds and souls.

The Grand Cardinal Cross and the Transition from the American Republic to the American Empire

Are we now witnessing the 21st century transition of the American Republic to the American Empire? Is our Republic a government of, by and for the people? Or are we in danger of becoming a government of, by and for trans-national corporations and global financial barons?

Current events and the ongoing Cosmic Energy Signature of the Grand Cardinal Cross formation suggest that it could be so – unless we, the people, assert our rights as citizens and demand a return to democratic values.

The most visible drama corresponding to the Cardinal T-Square/Cross formation the last 30 days has been the emergence of Nobel Peace Prize Winning US President Barack Obama as a reluctant but determined War President, actively whipping the world towards a war in Syria that will certainly spill over into the neighboring countries of the Middle East and could drag Iran, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and even Russia into a widening conflict.

President Barack Obama with Superman

The Uranus-Pluto-Jupiter T-square is a Cosmic Stellar Formation that indicates the potential for war and other disasters, and this difficult Formation will re-occur January 25-Febuary 3, 2014, and again in April 2014. 

This indicates that despite President Obama’s decision September 10 to postpone the use military force against Syria this fall and pursue a possible diplomatic solution in the United Nations, the current Syrian crisis is just the run-up to a much more intense and dangerous phase of the ongoing Middle East conflicts in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria that astrologers predict could reach a boiling point sometime in early spring of 2014.

Over the past 7 years since the original Uranus-Pluto Cardinal Square that corresponded with the global financial meltdown, the recurring outer planet squares, T-squares and Grand Cross formations have involved a series of financial, environmental and geo-political crises, including the Fukushima disaster in Japan, mass murders in the US, extreme weather events around the world, Egyptian upheaval, the Libyan war, and much much more. 

We can expect that the autumn, winter and spring seasons to come will bring us a series of crises in these same areas, which will highlight humanity’s triple geo-political, economic, and environmental crises, sparked by the slow-motion collapse of the High Industrial Age of Cheap Hydro-Carbons. 

The energy signature of the Grand Cardinal Cross indicates conflict between the Plutonian/Saturnian elements of society – the 1% plutocrats who control the lion’s share of wealth and power -- and the Uranian elements – the disenfranchised 99%, the majority of people who are rebelling against the harsh control of the plutocrats.

This conflict is playing out in all three crisis areas. The Grand Cardinal Cross energy signature impels us to act in a time of escalating crisis, but there are social conflicts between the 1% and the 99% that prevent new solutions from being implemented. The 1% profit too much from the status quo to allow needed change to take place, and so the 99% rebel, but the power of the 1% is so strong, their willingness to use force to protect their interests so ingrained into the status quo, that a tense stand-off results, and the intertwined global crises continue to magnify risks in the geo-strategic, environmental and financial-economic arenas of human civilization.

Tensions rise until crises erupt that demand immediate change, and then the conflict between the Uranian elements and the Plutocrats becomes an open revolt. We are nowhere near that time, which is probably a decade away, so in the meantime, increased stress, impatience, and feelings of futility among the 99% can be expected.

This is our new normal.

We can expect more major environmental problems like the BP oil spill and the Fukushima disaster, increasingly extreme weather events, periodic financial panics and geo-political crises that lead to military confrontations and various flavors and sizes of war around the world during the Grand Cardinal Cross years.

On the geo-political front, the NSA spying scandal and President Obama’s now-delayed push for war in Syria make it clear that the United States, which assumed the mantle of global policeman after World War II, is now finding it difficult to fulfill this historical role, which underpins America’s power as global hegemon, or leading country.

The American people do not support the current American profile -- a global techno-police state and a belligerent Empire at war around the world. In addition, the US government is facing new limits to its Imperial power in the Middle East and elsewhere.

On the financial front, the United States Congress faces a turbulent fall season in which two crucial votes will be required to prevent government cut-backs, shutdowns and default.

Congress must pass a new budget by September 30, while the debt limit, to allow the US to continue borrowing to fund government spending, will need to be raised by around mid-October.

The last time we had a debt ceiling and budget crisis, in 2011, global markets swooned, US credit ratings were downgraded, and the Republicans coerced Obama and the Democrats into the sequester, which has hobbled the economic recovery.

“The most important element of a better balanced economy is investment, both public and private,” explains Robin Harding in an article in The Financial Times of London. “That means finding a way to stop the macroeconomic insanity of sequestration cuts to investment in scientific research, education and infrastructure. Not only do they leach short-term demand for the economy, they also actively reduce the very things that America needs more of, in return for minimal reduction to the budget deficit.

“More than four years after the recession officially ended, 11.5 million Americans are unemployed, many of them for years,” explains economist Robert Reich.  “Nearly 4 million have given up looking for work altogether. If they were actively looking, today’s unemployment rate would be 9.5 percent instead of 7.3 percent.”

“The share of the population working or seeking a job is the lowest in thirty-five years,” Reich continues. “The unemployment rate among high-school dropouts is 11 percent;  for blacks, 12.6 percent. More than one in five American children face hunger, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

“And the median wage keeps dropping, adjusted for inflation. Incomes for all but the top 1 percent are below where they were at the start of the economic recovery in 2009,” Reich concludes.

With economic recovery still limited to Wall Street stock exchanges and average Americans still hurting, Congressional Republicans plan to play a high-stakes game of chicken with their Democratic counterparts and President Obama, threatening to close down the government if their demands are not met.

Tea Party Republicans would like to use the budget and debt ceiling votes to force the Obama administration to kill its biggest piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, which will restructure America’s health care system.

Republican leaders know that this is likely a self-defeating strategy, and are planning to demand fresh austerity measures in return for a vote to allow the government to remain open.

Yet austerity has not helped Britain or Europe to recover from the 2008 financial meltdown. And America’s deficits are shrinking rapidly, indicating no need for further painful austerity measures.

“Deficit hawks in both parties don’t want you to know this but the federal deficit as a proportion of the total economy is shrinking fast: It’s on track to be only 4 percent by the end of September, when the fiscal year ends,” Robert Reich explains. “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts it will be only 3.4 percent in the fiscal year starting October 1.”

“To put this into perspective, consider that the average ratio of the deficit to the GDP over the past 30 years has been 3.3 percent. So the deficit is barely a problem at all,” Reich argues. 

So at the Congressional level, it appears that America’s political parties are unable to govern without periodic self-made crises which threaten the credibility of America’s implicit guarantees to the world that our political and financial system will provide a politically stable investor-friendly environment.

This guarantee of American stability is what makes the American dollar the currency of choice for international trade and it is what makes the US Treasury note the safe haven for global investors concerned about political upheaval around the world.

The games our politicians are playing with the budget and debt ceiling votes are more typical of Third World countries with severe financial problems and shaky political systems than they are of a global leader whose actions underwrite the entire global financial system.

Every time another round of these bruising political battles occurs, American soft power diminishes, American political credibility withers away, and the confidence global investors have in American leadership declines.

It is only a matter of time before there are serious consequences, for America and for the global financial system.

This is all part of the Grand Cardinal Cross energy signature, which is creating conditions that will force America to re-assess its role as global leader, or hegemon, over the next decade.

The NSA Spying Scandal

National Security Agency Logo By Electronic Frontier Foundation designer Hugh D'AndradeThe NSA spying scandal, brought to light courtesy of whistleblower Edward Snowden, provides immense detail on America’s transition from a democratic country into the world’s first global surveillance state, with a demonstrated power to secretly spy on telephones and Internet communications everywhere on Earth.

As this ominous transition is publicly revealed, America’s credibility as global hegemon and beacon of freedom and democracy erodes, and American soft power, the power that accrues to a cultural and financial leader of the world, diminishes.

As the world watches horrified, leaked documents reveal that President Barack Obama, a constitutional lawyer, has presided over the most dramatic expansion of secret spying that the world has ever seen, unexpectedly surpassing his bellicose predecessor, George W. Bush.

The NSA intercepts 250 million electronic communications sent by Americans on the Internet every year, according to a recent article in The Washington Post.

The global scope of the NSA dragnet boggles the mind.

“In an effort to undermine cryptographic systems worldwide, the National Security Agency has manipulated global encryption standards, utilized supercomputers to crack encrypted communications, and has persuaded — sometimes coerced — Internet service providers to give it access to protected data,” according to a recent interview conducted by Democracy Now! with computer security guru Bruce Schneier, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

"I have resisted saying this up to now, and I am saddened to say it, but the U.S. has proved to be an unethical steward of the internet,” explains Schneier. “The U.K. is no better. The NSA’s actions are legitimizing the internet abuses by China, Russia, Iran and others."

Far from being the staunch pillar of a Free Internet, America has become the most feared and effective spymaster prying into the world’s phones and computer networks. This is a strange role for the country that sees itself as the global guarantor of humanity’s political freedom, and which has fought wars around the world for the last one hundred years to make the world safe for democracy and free speech.

Americans now live in a supposedly democratic country which functions as a de facto surveillance state with global spycraft and 21st century technology that surpasses the wildest dreams of the Nazis and the Communist dictatorships. In this bizarre situation, who will protect the world from the protectors of democracy?

In the wake of the NSA spying scandal former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was quite blunt about the scope and import of this ominous transformation. “America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said Tuesday [July 16, 2013]  at a meeting of the ‘Atlantic Bridge’ in Atlanta, as reported in Germany’s Der Spiegel. Carter also told the assembly that the moral authority of of the U.S. has declined sharply due to excessive restriction of civil rights.

The revelations of global NSA spying also threaten the stability of America’s financial system, the credibility of its top tech companies, and the rights of shareholders who invest in those companies.

“The company whose shares you own may be lying to you — while Uncle Sam looks the other way,” Patrick Robinson reports in Money News.

“Let’s step through this. I think you will see the problem,” Robinson begins.

“Fact 1: U.S. financial markets are the envy of the world because we have fair disclosure requirements, accounting standards and impartial courts. This is the foundation of shareholder value. The company may lose money, but they at least told you the truth.”

“Fact 2: We now know multiple public companies, including Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB) and other, gave their user information to NSA. Forget the privacy implications for a minute. Assume for the sake of argument that everything complies with U.S. law. Even if true, the businesses may still be at risk.”

“Fact 3: All these companies operate globally. They get revenue from China, Japan, Russia, Germany, France and everywhere else. Did those governments consent to have their citizens monitored by the NSA? I think we can safely say no.”

“Politicians in Europe are especially outraged,” notes Robinson. “Citizens are angry with the United States and losing faith in American brand names. Foreign companies are already using their non-American status as a competitive advantage. Some plan to redesign networks specifically to bypass U.S. companies.”

“By yielding to the NSA, U.S. companies likely broke laws elsewhere. They could face penalties and lose significant revenue. Right or wrong, their decisions could well have damaged the business,” Robinson points out.

“Securities lawyers call this ‘materially adverse information’ and companies are required to disclose it. But they are not. Only chief executives and a handful of technical people know when companies cooperate with the NSA. If the CEO can’t even tell his own board members he has placed the company at risk, you can bet it won’t be in the annual report,” Robinson contends.

“The government also gives some executives immunity documents, according to Bloomberg [News]. Immunity is unnecessary unless someone thinks they are breaking the law. So apparently, the regulators who ostensibly protect the public are actively helping the violators,” Robinson continues.

“This is a new and different investment landscape,” Robinson cautions investors. “Public companies are hiding important facts that place their investors at risk. If you somehow find out, you will have no recourse because regulators gave the offender a get out of jail free card. The regulatory structure that theoretically protects you knowingly facilitates deception that may hurt you, and then silences any witnesses.”

“This strikes to the very heart of the U.S. financial system,” argues Robinson. “Our markets have lost any legitimate claim to full and fair disclosure. Every prospectus, quarterly report and news release now includes an unwritten NSA asterisk. Whenever a CEO speaks, we must assume his fingers are crossed.”

“Every individual investor or money manager now has a new risk factor to consider,” Robinson concludes. “Every disclosure by every company is in doubt. The rule of law that gave us the most-trusted markets in the world may be just an illusion.”

“The NSA disclosures may reduce U.S. technology sales overseas by as much as $180 billion, or 25 percent of information technology services, by 2016, according to Forrester Research Inc., a research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts,”  as reported on September 10 in an article by Allan Holmes for Bloomberg News.

“’The National Security Agency will kill the U.S. technology industry singlehandedly,’ Rob Enderle, a technology analyst in San Jose, California, said in an interview [with Holmes]. ‘These companies may be just dealing with the difficulty in meeting our numbers through the end of the decade.’”

The NSA scandal is one more giant step along a road to nowhere that will eventually make it impossible for the US government to credibly uphold the rule of law in global financial markets and America’s traditional role of neutral third-party provider of the global Internet.

Other countries will likely begin to develop their own national walled gardens on the Internet, their own home-grown competitors to Apple, Facebook and Google, and their own Internet espionage capabilities.

America will no longer be able to offer a credible open-Internet alternative to these proliferating alternative Internets, which will certainly include surveillance capabilities installed by other governments, which will use them for censorship, and to track and punish dissenters of all varieties.

The end result will be the Balkanization of the Internet, the proliferation of Draconian surveillance technology around the world, and a competition among nations to see who can be the most effective surveillance state. This is a disaster for American leadership, for American democracy, and for democracy around the world.

The Syrian Civil War

In the American news media, we have been subjected to two weeks worth of breathless reporting on Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons against rebels in the Syrian civil war.

President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Syrian war hawks in both the Republican and Democratic parties have urged swift action to punish Syria, but on September 10, President Obama decided to seek a diplomatic solution promoted by the Russians as opposed to an immediate military strike, although Obama did leave military options on the table.

“Two weeks of zig-zag foreign policy by President Barack Obama — marching to war one moment, clinging desperately to diplomacy the next — culminated Tuesday night, appropriately enough, in a zig-zag address to the nation that did little to clarify what will come next in the Syria crisis but shined a glaring hot light on the debate in the president’s own mind,” according to Politico, one of the most popular and powerful political blogs in America.

John Kerry photo courtesy of WikimediaThe Russian diplomatic initiative surfaced immediately following an off-hand remark by Syrian hawk and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been tirelessly promoting military strikes against the Assad regime.

Kerry said that military strikes could be avoided if “... [Assad] could turn over any single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over. All of it. And without delay and allow the full and total accounting for that. But he isn't about to do it and it can't be done obviously.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov immediately offered a two-step proposal to Damascus. First, Syria would turn its chemical weapons over to United Nations control.  Second, Syria would agree to their destruction, as well as joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem agreed quickly. 

Of course in all such agreements the devil is in the details, which will be hammered out in a long series of talks at the United Nations and elsewhere.

“Monday’s unfolding events recall nothing so much as the machinations of the Bush administration at the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003 after Saddam Hussein, contrary to US expectations, allowed UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq and acquiesced to an ever-more onerous inspection regime in a bid to forestall a US invasion,” argues Bill Van Auken, in an article on CounterCurrents.org.

“In the end, the Bush administration brushed all of it aside—including inspectors’ statements that they were receiving ample cooperation and finding no evidence of weapons of mass destruction—and invaded anyway to pursue aims that had nothing to do with WMD or terrorism,” Van Auken continues.

The Russian-Syrian offer of chemical disarmament and the US response have certainly postponed any imminent US military strike against Syria. In the coming weeks we will see if the major players in this drama, including Syria, Russia, America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia operate with good will, or if one or more of them work to secretly scuttle the lengthy, arduous process of negotiation, verification and compliance with any peace agreement that includes Syrian chemical disarmament.

So the threat of war has not been removed, just postponed.

"Let's see if we can come up with language that avoids a strike but accomplishes our key goals to make sure that these chemical weapons are not used," President Obama said in an interview with ABC News.

In the meantime, Obama said he would continue to push Congress for authorization to use military force, and would continue working to put together a Coalition of the Willing who would support American intervention in Syria. "I don't think we would have gotten to this point unless we had maintained a credible possibility for a military strike and I don't think now is the time for us to let up on that," Obama added.

President Obama’s speech raised more questions about Syria than it answered.

What are President Obama’s key reasons for pursuing military action against Syria then agreeing to seek a diplomatic solution? Is his goal as simple as seeking to destroy chemical weapons or are there other items in an unspoken American agenda? Does that broader agenda require military action against Syria?

“If [President Obama’s] speech was intended to sum up the case for war against Syria, it seemed mostly to provide the sharpest summation of Obama's central paradox,” suggests David A. Graham in an article in The Atlantic. “Though the president seems personally upset by the chemical-weapons attacks, he knows Americans are weary of war . . . so he has to play it safe. That means he does things like promise American boots won't be on the ground, and insists Assad can't touch America.”

“But those arguments undermine the case for war, too,” Graham argues. “If Assad can't hurt Americans, why is it a national-security concern? If American attacks will be so limited, will they even really make much difference, either to stop the slaughter or as a future deterrent? And if it's so important to prevent gas attacks that brazenly violate international law, why is Obama so willing to conduct a punitive strike that seems to most experts to violate international law?”

President Obama has said he does not want to pursue regime change in Syria, although commentators point out that the actual authorization to use military force against Syria that the White House proposed to Congress allows for some very long-term large-scale targeting of military facilities and has the potential to allow for dramatic escalation of the conflict under certain conditions.

“President Obama’s plan to have Congress approve his ill-considered war on behalf of Al Qaeda in Syria will shock everyone, when it happens, with its sheer intensity,” predicts Middle East policy analyst Robert Dreyfuss, in a recent article in The Nation. “Those expecting a limited strike against a handful of Syrian military installations, including those involved in delivering chemical weapons, are in for a rude awakening. Instead, what the president will order will be a lot closer to President George W. Bush’s shock and awe bombardment of Baghdad before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“In trying to market his war plans to Congress and the American public, Obama has repeatedly stated that he’s seeking authority for a limited war, and some officials have suggested – especially at the beginning of Obama’s war push – that the strike, as the belligerent Secretary of State John Kerry calls it, might involve only a couple of dozen cruise missiles. Don’t believe that for a second,” Dreyfuss warns.

“Even the drafts of resolutions being circulated in Congress suggest that Obama will get the authority to wage war against Syria for up to 60 days, with the possibility of an extension. That’s war, folks, not a strike,” Dreyfuss argues.

“No longer is the Obama administration arguing that it intends merely to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of sarin gas. Instead, the talk in Washington more and more is about the need to degrade Syria’s core military apparatus. In Pentagon lingo, degrade means destroy.”

As the September 7, 2013 Los Angeles Times report, by veteran reporter David S. Cloud, puts it:

“The Pentagon is preparing for a longer bombardment of Syria than it originally had planned, with a heavy barrage of missile strikes followed soon after by more attacks on targets that the opening salvos missed or failed to destroy, officials said. …”

“Two U.S. officers said the White House asked for an expanded target list in recent days to include many more than the 50 or so targets on the initial list,” Cloud explains. “As a result, Pentagon planners are weighing whether to use Air Force bombers, in addition to five warships now on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from hundreds of miles offshore, well out of range of Syrian air defenses.”

As of this writing the American rush to war in Syria has been stalled by a combination of factors including opposition by members of Congress and large majorities of the American people, England’s historically important refusal to join in a coalition to attack Syria, and the dramatic offer by the Russians to help broker a deal to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

The current President is portrayed in the American news media as a reluctant Caesar, despite pursuing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and expanding the US military presence in Africa and South Asia.

This supposed reluctance to use military force in support of American goals is being cited as the reason President Obama has not yet attacked Syria.

President Obama has courteously conferred with Congress and with major countries around the world to enlist them as willing allies in his upcoming war on Syria, but says that even if Congress refuses their support, as England has done for the first time in history when a US President asked for help in a war effort, President Obama can and will initiate military action against Syria unilaterally and without the consent of Congress or the American people, the United Nations, or anyone else.

Lack of support from the international community, Congress and the American people has not yet stopped President Obama from continuing to plan for a military strike on Syria, as we have seen. President Obama has been pursuing a tortuous path in the Syrian crisis. One day he has increasingly come to sound more like George W. Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war and the next he appears more like the Obama of a few years ago who won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This is not surprising because the President Obama has certain obligations to uphold the status quo, the international order that supports the American Empire.

That international order relies upon America’s close alliance with both Israel and Saudi Arabia, and both those Middle East powers have long sought a military overthrow of the Syrian regime, in order to isolate their primary Middle East enemy, Iran. 

In addition, as we will see shortly, large and powerful segments of the American elite political classes have long supported the overthrow of both Syrian and Iranian governments, and these Middle East hawks, who engineered the Long War Against Terrorism we are currently pursuing, have immense power in both the Republican and Democratic parties. 

All Presidents are required to advance the over-arching long-term bi-partisan policy goals that are an unstated given in the public “debate” – a debate that never really provides the historical background to understand what those goals actually are in practice.

So what are these bi-partisan war hawk policy goals in Syria and the Middle East?

In the case of Syria, a bi-partisan decision was made many years ago to depose the rulers of that country, and the current debate about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war could be just a convenient pretext to initiate long planned-for American, Israeli, French and British military operations.

 “I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria,” says Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, as reported in an article on ExplosiveReports.com.

“. . . This was in Britain not in America,” Dumas stated. “Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister of Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I am French, that does not interest me.” 

“This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance”.

“Consequently”, Dumas went on to say, “everything that moves in the region…- and I have this from a former Israeli Prime Minister who told me ´we will try to get on with our neighbors but those who don´t agree with us will be destroyed.’ It is a type of politics, a view of history, why not after all. But one should know about it.”

The origins of America’s bi-partisan policy to depose the Syrian government can be traced through public documents all the way back to the early 1990s, and the administration of President George H.W. Bush, according to Four Star General Wesley Clark. General Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000.

General Clark’s 2007 autobiography discusses the origins of the high-level American decision to use all means necessary to bring about regime change in a number of countries, including Syria.

“Clark’s book . . . describes a telling encounter . . . with neoconservative eminence Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense under Rumsfeld . . .,” according to an article by Joe Conason in Salon. “In May 1991, according to Clark, he dropped in for a conversation with Wolfowitz, then the third-ranking civilian in the Pentagon, to congratulate him on the success of the Gulf War.”

General Wesley Clark, photo courtesy Wikimedia“’We screwed up and left Saddam Hussein in power,” he quotes Wolfowitz lamenting. “The president [then George H.W. Bush] believes he’ll be overthrown by his own people, but I rather doubt it. But we did learn one thing that’s very important. With the end of the Cold War, we can now use our military with impunity. The Soviets won’t come in to block us. And we’ve got five, maybe 10, years to clean up these old Soviet surrogate regimes like Iraq and Syria before the next superpower emerges to challenge us … We could have a little more time, but no one really knows.”

In a subsequent 2012 video interview on WhoWhatWhy.com, General Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the vast oil and gas resources in the Middle East.

“Clark explicitly lays out the central role of oil in American military strategy, and advocates for increased use of clean energy alternatives,” says WhoWhatWhy.com “He also says that the only way to change policy on energy and the military is for a mass public movement to stand up to the oil industry, the richest and most powerful in history. He says young people have the most to gain, and will have to take the lead.”

Here’s what you won’t hear on TV news about why Syria is so strategically important -- including fossil fuel politics – and why the conflict in Syria is so complex and dangerous to world peace.

Syria is considered to be Iran’s major ally in the Middle East, and occupies a position of geo-strategic importance in the region. Syria shares borders with Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and Lebanon, and also has substantial direct access to the Mediterranean. Syria is a close ally of Russia, another of America’s perennial enemies, and is constructing a pipeline that would empower America’s and Israel’s enemies in the Middle East.

We can thank Mondoweiss, a website focusing on American foreign policy in the Middle East from “a progressive Jewish perspective” for the following deep background on the decades-old US strategy for a Long War that would bring about regime change in many countries in that war-torn region, including Syria.

“Much of the strategy currently at play [in Syria] was candidly described in a 2008 US Army-funded RAND reportUnfolding the Future of the Long War,” explains Mondoweiss.

“The [RAND] report noted that ‘the economies of the industrialized states will continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically important resource.’ As most oil will be produced in the Middle East, the US has ‘motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with Middle Eastern states’:

“’The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized… For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources… The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.’”

“In this context, the report . . . focused on protecting access to Gulf oil supplies:

“Exploring different scenarios . . . the report speculated that the US may concentrate ‘on shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan as a way of containing Iranian power and influence in the Middle East and Persian Gulf.’ Noting that this could actually empower al-Qaeda jihadists, the report concluded that doing so might work in western interests by bogging down jihadi activity with internal sectarian rivalry rather than targeting the US.”

“Although the RAND document fell far short of recognising the prospect of an Arab Spring, it illustrates that three years before the 2011 uprisings, US defence officials were alive to the region’s growing instabilities, and concerned by the potential consequences for stability of Gulf oil.”

“These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics,” Mondoweiss continues. “In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was ‘to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.’

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.”

Fast forward a year to summer 2013. The Syrian rebels, spearheaded by Sunni Moslem jihadis, are losing the American-sponsored proxy war against the Assad regime.

Now, suddenly, President Obama is telling the world that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons of mass destruction against its own people, and therefore the US must use military force to punish the Syrian government. The facts on the ground are murky in this regard, since both sides in the Syrian conflict have been accused of using chemical weapons.

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has written a very important article entitled Top Ten Unproven Claims for War Against Syria that asks the key questions that remain unanswered so far.

Reports over the last year indicate that both the Syrian government, under President Bashar Assad, and the rebel forces, which include a sizeable and powerful contingent of jihadis affiliated with Al Qaeda, have probably both used chemical weapons in the increasingly deadly and destructive Syrian civil war, which was sponsored and nurtured by the US and British governments from its beginnings, as we saw in the paragraphs above.

The course of the Syrian civil war has surprised the war hawks in Washington because the Assad regime has not folded and fallen like the regime of Gaddafi in Libya did under Western pressure and a rebel push by jihadis and assorted other groups.

In fact, news reports from a couple of months ago indicated that the Syrian government was regaining ground lost by the rebels. In addition, the Syrian rebels are increasingly seen in Washington and capitals around the world as a collection of groups of primarily bad actors without the training, weapons, cohesiveness or political savvy to topple the Syrian regime without outside help.

So it’s no surprise that President Obama has been occasionally channeling George W. Bush circa 2003 as he makes the case for an attack on Syria.

World leaders do not make geo-strategic decisions based upon simplistic world-views, nor do they start wars because of relatively small violations of international weapons agreements. There are always deeper reasons.

The over-arching goals of the current American Long War, designed to overthrow Middle East regimes not under the direct control of America’s Sunni Moslem allies in countries like Saudi Arabia, also aims to bring former Soviet allies in the region under the control of the Imperial hegemon.

PipelineIn addition the Long War aims to stop all plans involving major international oil and gas pipelines that are not pre-approved in Washington. Finally, the Long War plans to bring outlier regimes such as the oil-rich Middle Eastern allies of the former Soviet Union into the global financial system, where they will be subject to the soft power of America’s financiers and central bankers.

This Long War strategy involves fomenting civil war between the Shia Moslems, who control Iran, and the Sunni Moslems. America takes the side of the Sunnis, our traditional allies in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda is a Sunni or salafist Moslem organization, so this strategy involves supporting Al Qaeda rebels at war with Shia Moslems in countries like Libya and Syria – and potentially Iran.

It goes without saying that starting a full-scale civil war between the Shia and Sunni Moslems would cause the entire Moslem world to erupt in flames. That is one major danger the US is courting with their current Long War strategy.

As you can see, the strategic goals of the United States are vitally involved in the Syrian civil war, and it is likely that President Obama’s decision about whether or not to attack Syria has virtually nothing to do with moral outrage over the alleged use of chemical weapons on a relatively small scale in a civil war in the Middle East.

You have heard a lot in the mainstream news media recently about the horrors of chemical warfare and how no civilized countries use such weapons.

But America engineered the world’s most dramatic wholesale use of chemical weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations in Vietnam during the 1960s, when Agent Orange was used to defoliate the countryside. Some 20 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed from airplanes during that war, resulting in over 500,000 deaths and over 1 million cases of debilitating chronic diseases, which continue to occur in the descendants of the Vietnamese who were sprayed to this day.

Nor were American soldiers spared the horrors of chemical warfare. “While in Vietnam, the veterans were told not to worry, and were persuaded the chemical was harmless,” according to Wikipedia. “After returning home, Vietnam veterans began to suspect their ill health or the instances of their wives having miscarriages or children born with birth defects might be related to Agent Orange and the other toxic herbicides to which they were exposed in Vietnam. Veterans began to file claims in 1977 to the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability payments for health care for conditions they believed were associated with exposure to Agent Orange, or more specifically, dioxin, but their claims were denied unless they could prove the condition began when they were in the service or within one year of their discharge.”

“By April 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs had only compensated 486 victims, although it had received disability claims from 39,419 soldiers who had been exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.”

When it comes to chemical weapons of mass destruction, America has more experience using them in warfare than anyone else in the world. Nor has America been in the forefront of chemical weapons disarmament when it comes to the US arsenal.

In 1997 the US agreed to decommission the 31,000 tonnes of sarinVX,mustard gas and other agents it possessed within 10 years,” says environmental journalist George Monbiot in a September 11, 2013 article on the website Alternet. “In 2007 it requested the maximum extension of the deadline permitted by the Chemical Weapons Convention – five years. Again it failed to keep its promise, and in 2012 it claimed they would be gone by 2021. Russia yesterday urged Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control. Perhaps it should press the US to do the same.”

It is more than a little hypocritical for the chemical weapons king, the global policeman, to use the alleged use of chemical weapons as a pretext for punishing an escalation of a civil war that same global policeman has ignited and fueled for several years.

These are the actions of an Imperial power, not a disinterested global policeman. And America, as an Imperial power with a 50 year strategy for a Long War that will be prosecuted worldwide, has a long-term commitment to overthrowing the Assad regime, which many foreign policy experts see as the prelude to an attack on Iran.

In fact news reports this week on TV and the Internet have made much of the fact that the same weapons of mass destruction red line President Obama has invoked in the Syrian conflict could also be applied to an Iranian regime.

Iran is alleged by the United States to be engaged in a program to build nuclear weapons, despite the protests of both UN weapons inspectors and dissidents in the American foreign policy establishment who say that Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program a decade ago.

The path to Tehran goes directly through Damascus. That much is clear.

Targeting Syria can “draw a new red line that can serve to prevent a nuclear weapons capable Iran,” according to an April 2012 report co-authored by Michael Makovsky, the new CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

On August 29, 2013, the American Israeli Political Action Committee, considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, published an Editorial: Syria Proves Urgency to Stop Iran, saying:

 ”The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime highlights the danger of allowing the world’s most dangerous regimes to possess weapons of mass destruction.”

 ”While Assad has already thrust his country into turmoil and instability, the worst possible outcome for the Middle East would be an Iranian regime equipped with the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

“An effective Western response to Assad’s belligerent use of chemical weapons – and any military action to deter him from using them again – would be jeopardized even further by Syria’s dictator operating under the umbrella of a nuclear Iran.”

 ”We cannot allow Assad to operate with the support of his greatest ally in Tehran backed by a nuclear weapons capability.”

International Atomic Energy AgencyIt’s worth re-iterating here that Iran has no nuclear weapons capability, and Inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency say Iran has had no serious program to develop nuclear weapons since 2003, an entire decade ago.

Inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) addressed the issue of Iran’s nuclear programs in a November 2011 report that generated immense media coverage, with the mainstream media consensus being that Iran was about to break out and achieve a nuclear weapons capability.

The argument made incessantly in the media was that the UN report supported the thesis that post 2003, Iran had ramped up various technologies that would support the further development of nuclear weapons, perhaps many nuclear weapons.

“The first part of the agency’s November 8 report declares—once again—that Iran is not transferring uranium for use in a military project,” explained Peter Hart in a January 2012 article in Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group with a long history of careful fact-checking and accurate analysis.

“Corporate media focused on speculation about research that could be related to a weapons program if it were ongoing—as the IAEA puts it, the agency has ‘become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities’—but this speculation was transformed in media conversation into unquestionable fact,” Hart explains.

“Prior to the report's release, speculation mounted in Israel and Washington that new revelations might prompt military strikes to prevent Iran from acquiring a weapon,” reported Scott Peterson in a November 2011 article in The Christian Science Monitor. “Instead, experts say, much of the information is years old, inconclusive – and perhaps not entirely real.”

“Most of the weapons-related work it details was shut down nearly a decade ago – in 2003 – the IAEA says, and less formal efforts that ‘may’ continue do not bolster arguments that Iran is a nation racing to have the bomb.” Peterson continues.

“Iran ‘doesn't seem to have the same North Korea-like obsession with developing nuclear weapons. That's nowhere to be found in the [IAEA] evidence,’ says Shannon Kile, head of the Nuclear Weapons Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).”

"Yes, Iran is making progress, they've covered the waterfront in terms of the main technical areas that you need to develop a nuclear weapon,” says Mr. Kile. “But there is no evidence they have a dedicated program under way. It's not like they are driving toward nuclear weapons; it's like they're meandering toward capability."

As we have seen however, the Israelis and the Americans and their other allies all are operating from the assumption that Iran is driving toward acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons, and this assumption is the causus belli for many American foreign policy hawks who recommend regime change in Iran – and in Syria.

During the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primary contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Clinton clearly identified herself as an Iran hawk.

“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned Tehran on Tuesday that if she were president, the United States could ‘totally obliterate’ Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel, Reuters news agency reported on April 22, 2008.

During a 2012 visit to Israel, Clinton said that the US will "use all elements of American power" to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon, according to a BBC report. Secretary of State Clinton also warned that the US was developing a new resolution “with consequences” for Syria.

War hawks from the George W. Bush administration, former Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, and Senator John McCain have been calling for the US to pursue a broad war against the Syrian government, a much more muscular military attack than what President Obama has publicly requested.

Clearly there are very powerful forces, including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and a truly bi-partisan consensus among American foreign policy elites and news media -- aligning behind a new, broad American military campaign in the Middle East that would use guerrilla wars run by rebel jihadi proxies, economic sanctions, no-fly zones, drones, cruise missiles, and bombing runs to destabilize, weaken and ultimately overthrow regimes in Damascus and Tehran.

President Obama’s decision to pursue a diplomatic track in the initiative against Syria does not alter the long-term game-plan of those very powerful players. And therein lies the danger.

Syria and Iran are not at all like Iraq or Libya. They have very powerful allies in Russia and China, and they control the Straits of Hormuz, the naval passageway used to funnel oil tankers from the Middle East to the rest of the world. Their major power allies will not be happy to see the control of the oil, gas, pipelines, and key maritime oil delivery channels in Syria and Iran destroyed and/or brought under direct American and Israeli military control.

With so many players involved and the stakes so high, the geo-strategic chess game that is ongoing in the Middle East will take a long time to play out. So what we are seeing this summer is just the beginning of a global geo-strategic chess game that will play out over the next several seasons, and could easily reach a truly major combustion point early next spring as the Grand Cardinal Cross Stellar Formation re-appears.

The major players include Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Hezbollah, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and the United States.

This is the kind of geo-political entanglement that started World War I, when the Archduke of Austria, a third rate European power, was assassinated by a Serbian extremist. This event signaled the beginning of the implosion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as it began to collapse under conflict between various ethnic groups, including Germans, Serbs, Jews, Hungarians, and others.

Not the fall of a global Empire. A little Balkan civil war.

But Italy, France, Germany, the British Empire and Russia were all drawn into the conflict through a set of entangling alliances.

The rest is history. The first use of chemical warfare. The first industrialized war. The end result? Sixteen million civilian and military deaths and 20 million wounded.

The Syrian conflict is vast complex, the players many, and with Neptune very prominent this summer and fall, it will be very difficult to know in advance what the next crisis points will be or when they will occur, but there are likely to be more crisis points corresponding to the ongoing unfoldment of the Grand Cardinal Cross years, and potentially reaching a grand climax sometime in spring of next year.

Don’t be fooled by reports in the news media explaining the Syrian conflict in a few simple sentences – we have entered the twilight zone that is known to military experts as the fog of war – and it is wise to take all statements by all parties involved with more than a grain of salt. Discernment is crucial, and facts on the ground are hard to come by.

Whether or not Syria agrees to turn over its chemical weapons to international inspectors will not really affect the course of the Syrian Civil War. These chemical weapons are not vital to the Syrian government’s war effort and so far the Assad regime has been able to hold the rebels at bay and even roll back rebel advances. So even if the current crisis leads to a diplomatic solution, the potential for yet another flashpoint in the war to trigger US military involvement is quite high.

Because the American people and Congress appear at this time to be overwhelmingly opposed to a war in Syria by large margins, it may be that this is the beginning of a sea-change in American politics. It could be that after 75 years of global warfare the American people would like to focus on setting their own disordered house in order. That re-orientation to a more modest role in the world community of nations would be a welcome relief from America’s current role of hyper-active global policeman.

The Syrian conflict and the NSA scandal highlight the geo-strategic and military component of the global tensions aggravated by the current Cosmic Weather patterns, especially the Grand Cardinal Cross.

These two stories also help us understand the profoundly anti-democratic nature of current American foreign policy and the scope and capabilities of the emerging American surveillance state, which is worthy of a truly totalitarian dictatorship.

However, military conflicts abroad and police-state tactics at home are not the only keys to understanding the current structural transformations underway in America.

On many levels, the key factor is the politics of oil, which is energy politics, and thus environmental politics. It is no accident that most people who don’t believe global climate change is real, seem to live in America, which consumes more energy per capita than any other country in the world.

Control of oil was crucial to the success of the Allied War effort in World War II, and has been a key factor in global politics – and global warfare -- ever since.

The US and the Soviet Union won the Second World War thanks to two factors.

First, thanks to the Allied success in seizing crucial oil supplies in the Middle East and elsewhere, starving the super-mechanized German army of the fuel essential to its war aims.

Second, thanks to the heroism of the Soviet people, who suffered tens of millions of casualties in the war against Hitler.

All major world powers and all political leaders around the world are totally aware that control of the flow of fossil fuels constitutes the underpinning of global power in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Now we are all becoming aware that the best way to stop the unending wars of the last hundred years, which have resulted in 160 million deaths, will be to develop renewable energy sources and transition away from fossil fuels.

To mitigate the inevitable mass suffering that global climate change entails, we must shut down the fossil fuel based global war machines of all countries.

Then we will be able to re-allocate these resources toward the immense effort that will be required to mitigate the effects of global climate change caused by burning cheap fossil fuels, in large part to fuel humanity’s wars around the world.

All of our current political, financial, and environmental crises have their roots in the fossil fuel wars of the twentieth century. According to astrologers, the unfolding of these triple global crises, co-inciding with the activity of the Grand Cardinal Cross, will result in a restructuring of global political and financial systems, a re-orientation of America’s role in the world, and a complete transformation of global lifestyles to conform to the necessities forced upon us by the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels and the beginning of the era of human-created global climate change.

The Grand Cardinal Cross, Fukushima and the Energy Conundrum

These same 20th century fossil fuel wars created nuclear weapons and nuclear power stations all over the world.

Now we are discovering that even peaceful uses of nuclear energy have created planetary disasters that will unfold for the next thousand years.


During the last few weeks, a series of reports have emerged from news sources around the world detailing the ongoing decay of the Fukushima nuclear reactors that suffered a meltdown during the 2011 tsunami and the spiking radioactivity in the waters off the Japanese coast nearby. This article in Z Magazine contains a good overview of the current situation, which is deteriorating rapidly amidst calls from leading nuclear scientists for a multi-national task force to take charge of the botched clean-up operation.

“Even the tiniest mistake during an operation to extract over 1,300 fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could lead to a series of cascading failures with an apocalyptic outcome,” fallout researcher Christina Consolo told Russia Today.

“Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment.”

“In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said.”

“There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking,” Consolo explains.

- The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident. 

- Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won't be until removal is attempted. 

- Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks. 

- The building is sinking. 

- The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed. 

- Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually. 

- TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking. 

- The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident. 

- Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped.”

“What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse,” says Consolo. “This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell.”

It is quite likely that additional developments at Fukushima will become global news during the next six months. We will bring you updates as they occur.

Send Love

Jane and I send you love and light at this time of the turning of the seasons. We ask that you send love at any time and especially at the time of the Full Moon during your prayers or spiritual practices.

Send love to all the world leaders regardless of your political affiliation. Send love to your family and neighbors, all of us need to focus on what is most important.

And if we cannot learn to love those who are different than we are—the other—then we need to learn, and learn it right now! Love is always the antidote to fear. Our misunderstanding or ignorance leads to hate. Let’s temper that with the Universal cure.

Surely that is peace, love and understanding.

We are asking our Guides and Teachers to provide us with the energy, strength, vision and inspiration we need to understand the complex situation facing humanity, and the ability to be of maximum help to our family, friends, neighbors, readers and all humanity during this ongoing global crisis affecting all humanity!

Angelic CPR, by Eric Avery, courtesy of artist from collection of Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry

We are asking our Guides and Teachers to help us join with like-minded people to engage in whatever political activities are necessary to send the message to the United States government that we are tired of endless war, tired of being the world’s policemen, tired of supporting the predatory antics of Wall Street bankers, and tired of being subjected to police state tactics when we exercise our Constitutional rights to free speech and civil disobedience in defense of our liberties and world peace.

As we ponder the message of the Grand Cardinal Cross this Full Moon, remember that although this is a time of unprecedented crisis and change in human affairs, on every level of being, it is important to exercise discernment in all we do and say. There is much to be stressed about in the world around us these days, much to fear, much to provoke anger in human affairs. But the same Grand Cardinal Cross that sparks so much tension, fear, anxiety, anger and impulsive behavior also tends to magnify our fears, anxieties, worries, depression and anger.

So it is vital to be clear about the issues that merit our concern and those that need not engage us fully on an emotional level.

We are asking our Guides and Teachers to help us to establish a firm connection through the antahkarana to Higher Self, Higher Mind and Higher Purpose during this time of year sacred to Archangel Michael, who presides over all Ascension Practices and protects those on the path of Return to Source.

Archangel MichaelJoin us in our meditation this Full Moon and on Equinox. See you in the aethers!

We have two short meditation pieces for your inspiration.

Love and Light,

Curtis and Jane

Meditation Moment: For The Michael Age
"We must eradicate from the Soul
All fear and terror of what comes towards Man
Out of the future
And we must acquire serenity
In all feelings and sensations about the future
We must look forward
With absolute equanimity to everything that may come
And we must think only that whatever comes
Is given to us by a world directive full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age,
Namely to live out of pure trust
Without any security in existence.
Trust in that every present help of the Spiritual World.
Truly, nothing else will do
If our courage is not to fail us.
And we must seek this awakening within Ourselves
Every morning and every evening.
Rudolf Steiner  Nov. 1917 


A Prison Evening

Each star a rung,

night comes down the spiral

staircase of the evening.

The breeze passes by so very close

as if someone just happened to speak of love.

In the courtyard,

the trees are absorbed refugees

embroidering maps of return on the sky.

On the roof,

the moon -- lovingly, generously --

is turning the stars

into a dust of sheen.

From every corner, dark-green shadows, in ripples, come towards me.

At any moment they may break over me,

like the waves of pain each time I remember this separation from my lover.


This thought keeps consoling me:

though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed

in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,

they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,

nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,

no poison or torture make me bitter,

if just one evening in prison

can be so strangely sweet,

if just one moment anywhere on this earth.


-- Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984)


Photo Credits:

Moon Rising Over Claverack, New York, by Jane Sherry

National Security Agency Logo By Electronic Frontier Foundation designer Hugh D'Andrade