Article Round-Up March 31, 2009:
"Graveyard of Empires. Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President"
By Ray McGovern
The chickens are coming home to roost after eight years of Cheney and Bush, but there is no sign that President Obama is listening to anyone capable of fresh thinking on Afghanistan. Obama has apparently decided to stay in the chicken coop. And that can be called, well, chicken.
Putting A New Coat on a Failed Strategy
By Ron Jacobs
Washington and its NATO cohorts will stay in Afghanistan until the world is safe from Al-Qaeda. Left unsaid by Obama, just like it was unsaid by George Bush, is the reality that foreign troops killing Afghans and Pakistanis has done very little to end the supposed threat from Al-Qaeda.
It's a bird...It's a plane...No, it's Spitzer to the Rescue
By Mike Whitney
If Obama is serious about restoring confidence in the markets, he should replace current SEC chief Mary Schapiro with Eliot Spitzer. That would send a message to the world that the president is through messing around. Schapiro is another Wall Street today who believes the markets can regulate themselves.
Noam Chomsky on the Economy and Democracy: Video & Transcript
Chomsky: Plan is recycled recycled Bush-Paulson. We need nationalization and steps towards democratization.
Obama's Attack on the Middle Class
By Paul Craig Roberts
If the tax rate on a multi-million dollar annual income goes up by 5 percentage points, the cutbacks won't really affect the lifestyle.
The Absurdity of Spending US Tax Dollars on Israel
By PAUL J. BALLES
Paul J. Balles argues that if enough ordinary Americans "feel the pinch and connect the dots between their own financial losses and America's continued unbridled support of Israel's devastating war machine, Israel could be forced to make peace with the Palestinians.
During his second term, Pres. Ronald Reagan, laboring under many difficult transits to the US natal chart in the late 80s-early 90s, declared March 21, 1989 to be "Afghanistan Day" - more than a little imperialistic and insensitive of him, I'd say.
America had done many things to undermine the Soviet Union while their troops occupied Afghanistan including the CIA working with Osama bin Laden and approving of his setting up al Qaeda.
So I took a peek at a chart for March 21, 1989, noon, Washington, DC and saw the trio of Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus (4 - 14 Cap) opposing America's natal planets in Cancer - difficult transits for US authority, aims, relationships, and values.
And since the pair of Saturn-Uranus, (fresh from their Great Conjunction/s of 1988 - Feb 13, June 26, and Oct 18 in the 27 - 30 Sagittarius range) represent, on one level, the Middle East (particularly Israel-Palestine), you may wish to know the midpoint picture formed by the trio marking the idealistically named, 'Afghanistan Day'...with Neptune signifying oil, gas, water, ideals, dreams, drugs including poppies, and the veils of deception (including self-deception)...
Saturn-Uranus = Neptune: a new vision fighting to be understood; feeling lost; the inability to face emotional stress; falsehood or malice caused through weakness; resigning oneself to the inevitable; abandoning resistance; weakening strength; separation; bereavement.
With the Sun in a national chart signifying the nation's leader, we may assume one situation described by these transits was Reagan's weakening health and mind - his sleepiness was harder to hide from the public than FDR's wheel chair had been.
Another midpoint picture from that day involves the pair of Jupiter and Uranus, whose synthesized energies represent optimism, lucky breaks, far-sightedness, organizers and inventors, among other things (Ebertin.)
Jupiter-Uranus = Mercury: gathering of ample knowledge (intell?); a fortunate turn in one's occupation; a person with an abundance of thoughts; planning on success; a series of fortunate breaks. (All midpoint pics from Tyl and Ebertin.)
And so we are reminded that Astrology describes the complexity of life as positive transits occur simultaneously with more negative ones. Planets retrograde (seem to move backward), then turn direct and 'hit' or contact our planets more than once which extends the length of time the transits affect us...more time to get things right, to understand, to work it out better 'this time.'
Now thuggish Pluto is making his weight felt in opposition to America's natal planets in Cancer (the same ones mentioned above in the 3 - 14 degree range) - Pluto in Capricorn, sign of authority and control - and we face difficult times once again with a president whose job it is to deal with it.
Venus, Jupiter, and Sun...luxuries and values, money, ego, the things America holds dear, are under siege. But as with personal charts we may remember the one factor that Astrology brings to the table, the element of Time.
And the wisdom to know that all good things - and bad things - must come to an end.
Evening Update: I return to find that Juan Cole has written on Pres. Obama's apparent Domino Theory for Afghanistan as he uses the same old boogeyman rhetoric favored by his predecessor in the Oval Office.