March 2002

Newsmakers Archive:

January & early February, 2002 Marjan, King of Kabul and Yassar Arafat
January & early February, 2002 Ken Lay & Enron
Late February, 2002, 2-27-02 Full Moon & GAO Sues Cheney
March 1, 2002, Danielle Van Dam
March 2-3, 2002, Escalating Violence in Israel/Palestine
March 3, 2002, Monica Lewinsky's HBO Special

Starcats' News wire Hit back button on browser to return to Starcats

March 21, 2002 Update

Starcats: "Hamid Karzai's . . . Interim Government is under great strain. . . . As predicted, tribal factionalism precludes a grasping of the concept "E Pluribus Unum." Personal power grabs by Mujahadeen War Lords overshadows the desire for the common good. Karzai should be very careful." Afghanistan Interim Government, December 21, 2001.

"Conditions will continue to deteriorate in Afghanistan as War Lords redouble their efforts to secure personal power." Operation Anaconda, March 5, 2002

For the Sins of the Taliban

Washington Post, March 21, 2002

By Peter Bouckaert and Saman Zia-Zarifi
Wednesday, March 20, 2002; Page A33
KABUL -- Achter Mohammed was expecting quite a different kind of welcome when he returned home to Afghanistan from 15 months of exile in Iran. But what mattered to the Uzbek warlords in power in his hometown was that he was an ethnic Pashtun, and probably had brought back some money from work in Iran.
Three Uzbek commanders took Achter Mohammed straight from the bus to their military base and began beating him with heavy wooden sticks, repeatedly leaving him unconscious. They stole everything he had worked so hard for in Iran, including his presents for his family. When they finally released him, he returned home to find everything there gone, too.

Fourteen-year-old Fatima had begged the Hazara soldiers not to rape her, saying she was young and a virgin. One of the soldiers threatened her with his gun, ordering her to undress or be killed. Two different soldiers raped her, and then three others raped her mother. The mother asked why the soldiers were doing these things. She was told "You are Talibs and you are Pashtun." Before leaving, the soldiers beat Fatima's crippled father unconscious, and carried off all of the family's possessions. "There is nothing left for us; marriage and honor are gone," Fatima's mother told us.

For ethnic Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan, it is payback time. They are paying for the sins of the Taliban, simply because most of the Taliban leadership were also ethnic Pashtuns. In the past month, Human Rights Watch has visited dozens of Pashtun communities in northern Afghanistan, personally documenting the devastation. We visited village after village that had been stripped bare by ethnic militias who had sometimes even taken the window frames. We found case after case of beatings, looting, murders, extortion and sexual violence against Pashtun communities.

In one village 37 men had been killed in front of their families because they did not have enough money to buy their own lives. Many of the villages were like ghost towns, abandoned by hundreds of Pashtun families after weeks or months of attacks. And the violence has not stopped. Our sudden arrival scared off two armed Uzbek men who had come to extort money from the Pashtun elders in one village in Faryab province. In Samangan province, 200 miles away, a village elder had been forced to give up his flock of sheep to a local commander the morning of our visit.

Parts of Afghanistan today are beginning to look a bit like they did in the 1992-96 period when warlords carved up the country and brutally abused the civilian population. That era gave rise to the Taliban. Some of those same warlords are back in power in northern Afghanistan, and their forces are responsible for most of the abuses against Pashtun civilians in the north. Our research implicated all three major factions -- the ethnic Uzbek Junbish party, the ethnic Tajik Jamiat party, and the ethnic Hazara Hizb-i-Wahdat party -- in the offenses against Pashtun civilians.

America helped put these abusive warlords back in power: They provided the Afghan troops the United States needed to get rid of the Taliban and al Qaeda. Now America and its allies need to act fast to ensure that these same warlords do not destroy what has been accomplished so far.

Afghans are sick and tired of the warlords who abuse them and control their lives, but they can't challenge the warlords' monopoly on power without some outside help. In one abandoned village we found just one old man, but he spoke for many when he told us, "If the foreigners don't help us, we won't be alive."

Let us not forget that America walked away from Afghanistan once, leaving the country in the hands of the warlords, and that on Sept. 11 an unfathomable price was paid for that mistake. We owe it not only to the people of Afghanistan but to ourselves to see the job through this time.

The writers are documenting conditions and abuses in Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch.
(c) 2002 The Washington Post Company

March 5, 2002
Operation Anaconda

"U.S., allied and Afghan forces were pounding al Qaeda and Taliban fighters hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province, while the remains of seven U.S. service members killed in the fighting arrived at an air base in Germany. About 2,000 U.S., allied and Afghan fighters are involved in the combat, dubbed Operation Anaconda." CNN

Afghanistan Interim Govt. & Aries Ingress


On January 19, 2002, Mars entered Aries and less than one hour later, reached zero degrees North Declination. This move should not be underestimated, as Mars "North" is the harbinger of escalating violence and presages the coming of war.

The Mars North Declination chart (January 19, 2002, 8:12 PM EST +5:00, Washington, DC, 38N53, 77W02) isn't enough on its face to use as a forecasting tool. Mars "North" needs to be examined alongside numerous other planetary patterns. Eclipses, lunations and ingresses (along with outer planet hits to sensitive angles and midpoints), have to be taken into account. As documented in articles appearing in The War Room, the planetary patterns of 2000 through 2001 were the benchmarks leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks. By December 21, 2001 (the date of the formation of Afghanistan's Interim Government), Mars' transits through Aquarius, Pisces and Aries have upped the ante. President Bush remarked in December, 2001 that 2002 would be a "war year." He wasn't kidding.

"Over the next two weeks the most important developments in Bush's secret life will be shaping up across the geopolitical map. Bush's progressed Mars is now nearly squaring his Twelfth House Sun (exact on March 15), and from this we can see that he's rapidly widening the secret war against international terrorism. Last week American advisers began training military troops in Yemen, Singapore, Colombia, and surprisingly, in the former Soviet nation, Georgia. Adding celestial fuel to Bush's military goals, transiting Saturn squares his Mars (exact on March 17) and transiting Mars squares his Pluto (exact on March 16). Each of these measurements points to a dramatic expansion of the military dynamics over the next two weeks." - Michael Wolfstar, Newscope.

The Aries Ingress set for Kabul, Afghanistan has an alarming 9th house focus:

The Moon at 14 Gemini is the degree for the Ascendant (14 Libra) and Mercury for the WTC First Jetliner Impact. In fact, the Ingress Moon conjoins WTC's Saturn. Ingress Mercury at 14 Pisces squares WTC Saturn and the Aries Ingress Moon. Ingress Saturn (9 Gemini) squares the Interim Government's natal Mars (9 Pisces). Houses 9 (foreign powers) and 6 (military personnel) are under great tension and are at high risk. The revisiting of 14 degrees of the signs may mean credible terrorist alerts, or, God help us, another event on U.S. soil.

Seven U.S. soldiers lost their lives over the weekend of March 1, 2002. The Ingress Moon applies to a square with the Interim Govt.'s natal Moon (18 Pisces) in the 6th house. That, combined with Ingress Saturn in square to Mars shows the potential for human sacrifice.

Ingress Mars at 13 Taurus in the 8th house of loss and death (Interim Govt. chart) will reach the critical and sensitive 14 degree mark one day after the Aries Ingress. At the same time, it will conjoin the Ascendant of Bush's Inauguration chart. Transiting Mars' opposition to Inauguration Mars (16 Scorpio) will set off the natal T-square: Transiting Mars opposite Mars in square to Inauguration Uranus (19 Aquarius). This is a political wildfire burning out of control. It is also the re-igniting of the secretive tactics used by the Bush Administration. (On April 4, 2002, Mars will reach 24 Taurus, conjoining Inauguration first house Saturn. This will be a revisitation of 2000 and 2001's three Saturn-Uranus squares: Right Wing destruction of the Status Quo).

Jupiter (in Cancer), traditional ruler of Pisces, conjoins the Midheaven of the Interim Govt. chart. Now in direct motion, Jupiter applies to a conjunction with the Interim Govt.'s Part of Fortune at 13 Cancer. The POF conjoins the USA's natal Sun (Dubya's Sun) and squares the USA's Saturn at 14 Libra. (Projecting ahead: what will be the fallout between Afghanistan and the Bush Administration in 2003 when transiting Saturn makes it to 13 Cancer?)

Conditions will continue to deteriorate in Afghanistan as War Lords redouble their efforts to secure personal power. Operation Anaconda, according to news reports, is the heaviest fighting experienced since Operation Enduring Freedom commenced on October 7, 2001. Gen. Tommy Frank's freudian slip during March 4's news conference (he extended sympathies to the families who lost their sons in "Vietnam" - not Afghanistan) reveals his fears. It was known last October that during the winter freeze, Al Qaeda forces would regroup and await the spring thaw in order to launch a life and death counteroffensive. We are at the juncture now. As Bush also said on March 4 - we knew that loss of life would be inevitable.

Note to Anima Mundi, Starcats' Astrology List

March 4, 2002 -- "I noted that today's expanded news headlines re the weekend attacks in Afghanistan/Al Qaeda correspond to today's Scorpio Moon (early am) at 27 degrees. It conjoined the Sun for the USA's secret military group, DELTA FORCE, Nov. 19, 1977, 12:00 pm (no time known) +5:00 EST, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 25N09, 79W00 and opposed the Saturn-Uranus conjunction at 38-29 Taurus (Alcyone, star of great grief) for the chart of the Pentagon: April 29, 1942, 10:30 am, EWT +4:00, Washington, DC, 38N53, 077W02. T-Mars at 2 Taurus will conjoin the Pentagon's natal Sun (8 Taurus) on March 12th. Also, Mars, as it continues through Taurus, will hit natal Saturn and Uranus (Alcyone) April 10, 2002. This corresponds to the spring thaw in Afghanistan when U.S. forces will meet Al Qaeda forces who used the winter freeze to regroup and reconstitute inside Afghanistan's eastern region caves at the foot of the Hindu Kush. We knew this was coming . . . the spring thaw. This is the time frame of the greatest loss of U.S. life.

Also, on Friday, March 1, the Pisces Sun (at 11 degrees of the sign) conjoined the Pentagon's natal South Node -- the fighting began over the weekend, and news of the shadow govt. broke last Friday."

Hamid Karzai

Hamid Karzai's (note, Karzai was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan, not Quetta, Pakistan) Interim Government is under great strain. (See, Starcats' Afghanistan's Interim Government, December 21, 2001.) As predicted, tribal factionalism precludes a grasping of the concept "E Pluribus Unum." Personal power grabs by Mujahadeen War Lords overshadows the desire for the common good. Karzai should be very careful. Transiting Neptune is still in orb of squaring his natal lunar nodes (9 Scorpio/9 Taurus). On March 13, 2002 (the Ides of March) transiting Mars will conjoin his South Node and square transiting Neptune. This is a strong "sacrifice" signature, and since Karzai's own father was assassinated in Kandahar (1999) after leaving a Mosque, Karzai should take great care. Transiting Pluto is conjoined to Karzai's natal Saturn in Sagittarius: a harshness of life conditions that precipitates a crisis in faith. The Aries Ingress Sun will conjoin the Interim Govt.'s 7th cusp (renewed violence/foreign enemies) and square Karzai's Capricorn Sun and the Interim Govt.'s Sun. Karzai's Chiron, at 14 Aquarius, resonates with the sensitive 14 degree benchmark for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA. It conjoins the USA's Constitution Pluto, opposed by Karzai's Uranus at 11 Leo. A free thinker, Karzai is known as a moderate, a feminist, and a champion of human rights. He foresees the first democratic elections in Afghanistan for the year 2004. (Interesting that this corresponds to a Bush's re-election campaign year!)

March 5, 2002 -- Christian Science Monitor

Turf wars, ethnic rifts plague Afghan north and east By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

MASLACH CAMP AND KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - Even as American troops and allied Afghan fighters conduct their heaviest assault so far this year against a determined group of Taliban and Al Qaeda forces, surging ethnic tensions and jockeying warlords are undermining dreams of unity and peace elsewhere in Afghanistan.

The UN-brokered interim government of Hamid Karzai, in Kabul, is struggling to contain growing ethnic violence and turf battles in the north and east.

These are quickly becoming the biggest threats faced by Mr. Karzai, as he grapples to bring peace to a nation that has known nothing but war - and warlord rule - for more than two decades. To do the job, Karzai has made constant requests for a more robust international peacekeeping force - a plea that seems to be gaining ground as Karzai wrestles with the ethnic divisions central to the nation's problems.

The bitter homecoming of Abdurahim Gholam Rabbani, a pharmacist displaced from his home in northwestern Afghanistan, is an example of how divisive fears remain. Mr. Rabbani is a Pashtun, the ethnic group that formed the backbone of the Taliban. The arrival last November of ethnic Uzbek troops of General Abdul Rashid Dostum - a US-backed warlord with a brutal history in the Afghan north - forced 500 Pashtun families to flee to Maslach Camp in western Afghanistan.

The first time the bushy-bearded Rabbani went back to his village, a few weeks after fleeing, he found his pharmacy looted, his house destroyed, and Uzbek soldiers seeking revenge.

"'Are you Pashtun?' they asked me. 'Are you Taliban?' I said no, but they held me for one month," Rabbani recalled last week in the tent he now calls home, in this forlorn, muddy camp filled with other Afghans. The second time Rabbani returned, a couple weeks ago, he was rounded up with a string of other family heads, accused again of backing the Taliban, and forced to buy his way to freedom.

"They told us they would kill us, if we didn't pay them money," Rabbani says. "These are local commanders, who do not think they will be in power for long. [Interim Prime Minister] Karzai has to look at these small cases, because they can create big problems."

Uzbek and Pashtun rivalries are among many simmering across the north. In a power play that analysts say is in anticipation of a June loya jirga, or grand assembly, during which delegates will divide the spoils of victory in a new Afghanistan government, Dostum's forces are locking horns with those of the ethnic Tajik-dominated troops of Mohamed Atta.

A recent peace deal reached between the two warlords, to disarm and share control of the town of Khulm, did not prevent Dostum units from rolling with tanks into Shulgara, 45 miles southwest of Mazar-e Sharif, on Feb. 20. Deepening the resentment, Mr. Atta's troops have been given a larger percentage of troops in a joint UN-backed police force in the city, which Mr. Dostum ruled for years in the 1990s.

And while that contest simmers, portions of the tribal "Pashtun belt" in the east of the country are in disarray after the collapse of Taliban rule. While Karzai is himself Pashtun, his writ seems even less respected in these areas than in other trouble spots. One recent appointment he made of a governor for Ghazni province sparked a return message from the local council that "we'll take any Hindu in the bazaar" over his candidate.

"Karzai isn't getting it right," says a reliable diplomatic source in Kabul, who asked not to be further identified. "He has delayed, dithered and not made the right choices. It is not good." The result in the east is a "big, ugly mess." In the north, where the three main warlords are meant to "check each other," the source says, "Atta and Dostum sign [peace] pledges, while their lieutenants whack each other."

The warlords are meant to be allies, and part of Karzai's government. But such residual tension is why Karzai is continuing repeated calls for an expansion of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). British-led, but currently limited to keeping the peace in the capital, Kabul, the 5,000-strong, 18-nation force may be the key to providing reassurance to Afghans that war will not return.

Echoing a view that is gaining credence in Washington, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last week called for an expansion of the UN force for the "long haul," beyond its June mandate. Mr. Annan warned that peacekeepers "should never be withdrawn abruptly or prematurely."

"Peacekeepers should leave as soon as they can, once they have helped create the conditions under which a country can maintain stability," Mr. Annan said. "We must be prepared to stay the course ... otherwise all our work will have been in vain." That is the belief of the Pashtun families in Maslach camp, who say they don't trust their ethnic rivals without foreign troops on the ground.

"We hope that if they [peacekeepers] send their troops to every district, the problem will be solved," says another Pashtun elder in the camp, who goes by the one name Abdurahim. Pashtuns who have stayed in villages under Dostum's Uzbek rule have faced widespread abuse.

Looking for all the world like he could, in fact, be a former Taliban leader, with long beard and dark turban, Mr. Abdurahim says his family had nothing to do with the former Islamic zealots who ruled Afghanistan. "We were not in the [Taliban] military, but now there is no law, and we are shaking because of these troops, we are so afraid," Abdurahim says, as Pashtun elders surrounding him in the refugee camp tent nod in agreement, big beards bobbing. "We just hope you can be a big voice, to take our small problems to the peacekeepers." Christian Science Monitor.

Karzai Notes by Wolfstar

"Hamid Karzai was born a constructive Capricorn (December 24, 1957; Quetta, Pakistan; time unknown) with his Sun favorably trine to Pluto and sextile to a religious Jupiter-Neptune conjunction. The exact trine to Pluto facilitates his ability to rejuvenate and rebuild a nation. These three planets enhancing his fatherly Capricorn Sun also show how Karzai inherited leadership skills from his own father who was the chieftain of a powerful Pashtun tribe.

Karzai's Moon and Venus are in egalitarian Aquarius, giving him an easy rapport with people from different ethnic or national backgrounds. He is equally comfortable in a suit and tie as he is in a tunic and turban, and he speaks English fluently. He built a reputation as a diplomat by making deals between Afghanistan's feuding tribes.

Karzai's Mars is in cosmopolitan Sagittarius, and forms a challenging square to Pluto. The Mars-Pluto square is hardened by extreme violence, and resonates with this coming week's transiting Mars-Pluto square. His immediate task under this hostile climate is to convince the Northern Alliance troops stationed in Kabul that they are not the national military. Then, with transiting Chiron conjunct his Sun, he can proceed to personify the role of national healer. Michael Wolfstar, Newscope.

March 5, 2002, Starcats.

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