President Obama has taken a firm stand against the use of chemical weapons, mirroring the agreed-upon international ban stated in the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1992. He feels that a military strike against those who use chemical weapons is the way to enforce these treaties, and he is deeply concerned that no action against the perpetrators will become a gateway to further abuse.
Other than France, which itself is beginning to retreat, no nation has been willing to join a coalition to prosecute military action against the abomination of the Syrian government killing over 1400 of its own people with sarin gas. President Obama has asked the US Congress to authorize a punishing military strike, despite no support from our international allies and grave doubts among the American people. Americans are largely opposed to getting involved in yet another Middle Eastern quagmire, this one promising to be even more dangerous and complicated than the last two.
In many ways, this is a clash between idealism and realpolitik. On the one hand, it is clearly the right thing to do to stop the use of chemical weapons before they become the new accepted norm in warfare and to punish those who would unleash them. On the other, the consequences of getting involved in the Syrian civil war could very quickly metastasize into a heart-wrenching disaster.
In Obama’s ideal world, there is a vivid line that should not be crossed in the use of these weapons. There is also a clear demarcation between enforcing the chemical weapons ban and getting involved in the Syrian civil war. In the real world, the former line may be too dangerous to enforce; the latter demarcation is not even visible to most of humanity. Already, Russia has promised to continue arming Assad if we intervene militarily, while Iran has threatened to get its terrorist minions to bomb the US Embassy in Baghdad. Once we strike, we will have jumped off a cliff from which there is no return, despite the current fantasy that this is a quick, one-time intervention to punish the crossing of a line. As is often the case, the world is not likely to see things our way.
Probably the most consequential astrological configuration in the current situation is the transit of Neptune square to President Obama’s Moon (3Gemini21). Under Neptune aspects, we tend to see the larger and more idealistic picture and lose track of more pragmatic and limiting concerns. Neptune is the planet of self-delusion, illusion, expectation and, ultimately, disillusionment. What may seem clear and absolutely true under Neptune has a way of crumbling into a much more prosaic reality as its influence diminishes. The present phase of this Neptune transit in Obama’s chart will diminish after September 20, but this troublesome transit will return around November 12 and remain active through the first week of January 2014. The current phase is particularly risky for Obama because it runs parallel with his tertiary Mars conjunction to the natal Sun (12Leo33), exact on November 1, making him more willing to use aggressive force and take a strong stand. Unfortunately, aggression (Mars) combined with magnified idealism and unrealistic expectations (Neptune) can prove to be an especially dangerous mix.
Although I have repeatedly cautioned readers of this blog about the period between September 7 and September 20 due to a series of dramatic planetary transits, one outcome may well be that the president does not get authorization for these strikes. The Saturn transit across his Neptune during this period would seem likely to squash his hopes, expectations and illusions in some manner. I continue to think there may some other crisis that will draw the nation’s attention, including perhaps terrorist actions that are related to the current situation. Particularly interesting, however, is that after September 20, almost all of these indicators simultaneously dissipate. In other words, the intensity of the battle over military strikes and the concerns about how they may play out seem to greatly lessen, if not disappear altogether, after September 20.