Rumsfeld Awakens from the DreamFrom an astrologer's perspective, his timing was impeccable. On October 16th, with transiting Saturn just having formed its first conjunction with the United States Sun, Donald Rumsfeld wrote in a memo sent to Generals Richard Meyers and Peter Pace, and aides Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith:
Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?
Does the US need to fashion a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists? The US is putting relatively little effort into a long-range plan, but we are putting a great deal of effort into trying to stop terrorists. The cost-benefit ratio is against us! Our cost is billions against the terrorists' costs of millions.
I'm so glad that Secretary Rumsfeld has finally been introduced to our good friend Saturn. As dimensions of human and cosmic consciousness go, Saturn is clearly the best at framing questions such as those Rumsfeld posed in this memo. As I've written previously, Saturn has everything to do with long-term planning, with the development of coherent, sensible policies and methodologies, and with the continual inspection and improvement of all terrestrial structures – be they the structures of individuals, corporations or governments. He can be a relentless taskmaster, a kind of celestial drill sergeant, and a passionate advocate for the kind of old-fashioned, healthy conservatism that the neo-conservatives left behind long ago. But by the end of the ordeal, as seen through an evolutionary lens, anyone or anything that has met its challenges moves forward with a far more secure foundation in place, and a keener appreciation of the actual rules of the game within this realm of space and time.
One of the key requirements of weathering a Saturn challenge is that an individual, corporation or Administration remain relatively humble, and open to the constructive feedback of others. The Bush Administration was presented with an extraordinary amount of healthy, conservative feedback about the impact of its March Madness invasion on this nation's prospects of eventually triumphing in the War on Terror.
For instance, on August 27, 2002, in an essay entitled, Dubya And Iraq: The Issue Is Consciousness, Human Potential Left warned:
What is most troubling about the enemy that emerged on September 11th is that he is not so easily contained by conventional methods – and might actually reap a huge windfall in terms of financial and popular support in the event of an invasion of Iraq that does not enjoy wide support from the nation states of the region, and is not perceived by the Islamic Street as fair and clearly warranted.
The Bush Administration has obviously lost the first phase of the political war on terrorism, as 80% of respondents in a fairly recent [Zogby] poll of Muslims outside of North America and Western Europe refused to believe that there was credible evidence that Osama Bin Laden and al Queda were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A pre-emptive strike against Iraq at this time, particularly during a period where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to burn out of control, and when Bush is even having trouble gathering enthusiastic support among NATO allies, is likely to only further inflame the hearts and minds of politically and economically disenfranchised Muslims around the world, and eventually lead to a far more dangerous turn of events.
On February 25, 2003, in an essay entitled Kosovo and Iraq, I wrote:
Without widespread international support, especially among the states in the region not receiving dramatic increases in U.S. foreign aid, a clear and convincing case having been made as to why Hussein needs to be forcibly removed before that support can be assembled, and an extremely swift yet orderly transition to civilian rule in Iraq, Bush's proposed attack is likely to create a surplus of anti-Americanism in the Islamic world - and with it, more people willing to end their lives while killing United States citizens.
On August 21, 2003, in an essay entitled A Viewer's Guide to a Gathering Storm, I asked this rhetorical question:
Did that approach allow the authentic enemies of human freedom to use the situation as a rallying cry for further collective and religious madness – the killing of more American, British and alliance soldiers and Iraqi civilians – and to an eventual increase in terrorist activities around the world?
By Donald Rumsfeld's own admission, the United States today finds itself in the very same strategic position as General Robert E. Lee did on the opening day of the battle of Gettysburg - utterly blind as to the strength of its opponent, not to mention engaged in a battle that it would have been well-advised to avoid. Like Lee at Gettysburg, Rumsfeld and the neo-conservatives believe that they are invincible. They have completely disregarded the lessons afforded by our defeat in Vietnam, the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan or Ariel Sharon's various attempts to use the sword to triumph in a war of ideas. They have compromised the quality and reputation of American intelligence, by pressuring the CIA to emphasize data more consistent with their martial intentions. The dream, the dream of an ideological empire as advocated by the Project for the New American Century, was that powerful a lure. But with Saturn conjunct the United States Sun (and the President's Sun), after committing substantial military and economic resources to an optional war while already militarily engaged in South Korea, Afghanistan, and the Balkans, they are only now beginning to realize how badly the battle against al Queda and Ansar Al-Islam has gone.
Better late than never, I guess.
Matthew Carnicelli © 2003. All rights reserved.
Originally published October 23, 2003.
For more on Saturn's conjunction of the United States Sun see:
Documenting the Impact of Cosmic Gravity, Part II
Getting to Know You
Documenting the Impact of Cosmic Gravity, Part I
The Reagan Legacy
Laying Naked Neo-Conservative Incompetence
Why John Kerry Matters
The Turning Point
Saturn and the Rush to War
A Viewer's Guide to a Gathering Storm
It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn