I am not as left-wing and liberal as I used to be. I recognise that there might be a place for military intervention, even by the United States. However like most people I was shocked by the recent news from Afghanistan. A single American soldier, perhaps suffering from a past brain injury, massacred sixteen Afghan civilians, mainly children. The date was Sunday March 11 2012.
Aside from the human tragedy, the incident calls into question the whole NATO mission in Afghanistan. The troops were sent to Afghanistan to bring peace, and to end the influence of terrorist-supporting organisations. When those very troops are committing atrocities, for whatever reason, the war is lost.
There were echoes of the My Lai massacre, that happened during the Vietnam War, on March 16 1968. This massacre was on a much larger scale – American troops, whose officers included Lieutenant William Calley, massacred hundreds.
So the two massacres were almost exactly forty-four years apart, and in both cases the Sun was in Pisces and the Moon was in Libra. In the Afghan incident, the Moon was making a conjunction to Saturn, in Vietnam it was an opposition.
Arguably the two massacres show the Sun in Pisces at its worst. Emotions getting out of control and becoming completely twisted. The people involved were plugged into some wider, destructive current, and morality got swept aside in a tide of hatred.
We can also see the Moon-Saturn influence. The Moon is the public, and the wider population. Saturn is about cutting something off. Both massacres were a sign, and also a cause, of public disenchantment with a war effort. The My Lai massacre came just before the Tet Offensive, which convinced the Americans that the Vietnam War was a lost cause. The recent massacre is likewise a sign that the operation in Afghanistan has failed, and that it’s time to wind it up.
In both cases the easy option for the US military was to blame the individuals involved. Indeed there’s now talk of the soldier responsible for the Afghan massacre getting the death penalty. But of course what’s really to blame is a system and culture that fights impossible wars without adequate psychological screening and support for its servicemen.
Finally, on March 10 1906, 106 years and one day before the Afghan massacre, American troops were fighting a war in the Philippines. They attacked a Muslim village, and killed around six hundred villagers, including women and children. At the time there was an opposition aspect between the Moon and Saturn. History mightn’t repeat, but it certainly rhymes.
Copyright © 2012 Archie Dunlop