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It was suggested by a reader in the Seattle area that the mistrial was an act of mutiny by the military against the Bush administration. I won’t count that out, but I think there is a more plausible reason: Watada going on the witness stand would provide him with an international forum for expressing his views about the war, which in turn would start a debate. That had to be stopped, so the government cut its losses and got out of the game.Note that, unsurprisingly, a real discussion seems to be something the war’s advocates fear the most. Consider that this week, in our second historical development, Republicans in the Senate threatened to filibuster (that is, talk endlessly about nonsense to block real discussion). Here is how the San Francisco Chronicle reported it:
“Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Iraq war, stymieing efforts by Democrats to send even a weak bipartisan message opposing President Bush’s order of 21,500 more troops into an intensifying civil war in Baghdad and Anbar province.”
Senate Republican leaders pressured their most vocal antiwar critics into a test of party loyalty, using a procedural vote to save the administration a major embarrassment and stall Democratic plans to ratchet up pressure on the White House to begin pulling back from Iraq. The move also saved wavering Republicans from casting a difficult vote revealing their stand on the war.Then there was the trial of Scooter Libby, whose previous testimony was entered into evidence. He testified that he believed that President Bush had personally authorized him to reveal the contents of a classified document to a reporter for the New York Times, Judith Miller.
In the midst of this all, we have the death of Anna Nicole Smith, who may be what we remember longest of all these details.
As the Sun and Neptune made their exact conjunction, that set off the opposition. This came with the death of Smith, which occurred with the Sun-Neptune conjunction exact to six minutes of arc (one-tenth of a degree), summing up her difficult life, and reminding us that no matter how powerful the image of a woman is, she is still just a woman.
Many people are asking why she is such a fascinating and even important subject to so many people. This is not so difficult to understand: We relate to her. One way or another, we see ourselves as her, as connecting with her, as wanting her, as feeling compassion and a connection to her.
Sun-Neptune is the image of one who defined her life by being a fantasy of everyone else, and also an object of collective desire so potent nobody could miss it.
It is clear from her chart that she died of a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. Yet I assure you of one thing: She was lonely. If the coroner wants a cause of death for his form, let him write loneliness. She had just lost the one man who understood her—her son Daniel, who died in September right in her hospital room as she nursed her new baby daughter, now five months old.
This is the thing lost in all of the news reports I have seen: Anna Nicole Smith is the symbol of our nation’s loneliness, and in particular, the loneliness of women. Sun-Neptune illustrates this sense of isolation dramatically, and also the immersion of our solar light in the cosmic sea, the intuitive ocean, the oneness with and separateness from it all.
Ceres, too, is all over this chart: the grief of mothers, particularly the grief of mothers for their children (or, in truth, anyone they love) being abducted into the underworld.
She is the sister of Cindy Sheehan, who echoes our country’s grief at the death of its children in a war that most of us have figured out is and always was unnecessary and disgusting, and will bankrupt our resources for generations. Smith’s life echoes the death and loss of children by any and every means, be it accidental or deliberate, natural or artificial, through whatever process, including growing up.
The feelings of mothers are struggling to re-emerge within our culture as a meaningful thing; mothers are giving themselves permission to feel the struggle of being mothers—indeed, for the fact to be recognized that having a child or children, or feelings about them, is meaningful at all.