|Second Afghan War|
Six British soldiers were killed in Kandahar province this week. The oldest was 33, the same age as Jesus when he died, and the youngest was 19.
The Afghan War has been going on for 10 years and 153 days. World War Two lasted just under six years in comparison.
British military adventurism in Afghanistan has a long history. Back in 1842, at the end of its first attempt at subduing Afghanistan, the British Army suffered one of the most disastrous military defeats of the Victorian era. More than 16,000 members of the British Kabul contingent were massacred, retreating through the bitter midwinter snows of the Khyber Pass. Most of them were in fact Indian soldiers and camp followers. One lone officer rode through to safety in Jalalabad, Dr William Brydon.
Fifty Europeans were captured and held prisoner, including the redoubtable Lady Fiorentina Sale, who subsequently wrote up her experiences in a best-selling book, A Journal of Disasters in Afghanistan 1841-42, which was rushed to print in 1843. She pointed the finger of blame for the fiasco at Lord Elphinstone and the British military leaders of the expedition, whose multiple errors of judgement and arrogance had indeed proved fatal.
The first issue of The Illustrated London News featured the story with graphic pictures of the heroic last stand of Her Majesty’s 44th Foot at Gandamak – all slaughtered. Battle had come to the boudoir. This was no longer a story told simply in words, but there were the images – even the semi-literate could see, as well as hear about what was going on in the far reaches of Queen Victoria’s vast and swelling empire. And because of advances in print technology and distribution, every middle-class household could have a copy of The Illustrated London News for every member of the family to pore over. War reporting would never be the same again.
That Afghan conflict led to a rematch 40 years later, the Second Afghan War – one Uranus half-Return later (in Virgo). That did not end so badly for Britain.
• First Anglo-Afghan War – 1839-42 – Uranus moves from Aquarius to Pisces. Uranus in Pisces brings news to the masses – in the form of illustrated magazines. When Uranus comes to Pisces in our times we have the explosion of youtube etcetera as a means of reportage.
• Second Anglo-Afghan War – 1878 – 1882 – Uranus half-return to Virgo
• Third Anglo-Afghan War – 1919 – Uranus at 1° Pisces.
The Third Afghan War lasted a mere three months and ended with a treaty that was reasonably satisfactory to both sides.
In 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom was launched with Uranus poised to move from Aquarius to Pisces again. Since Uranus has an 80-year cycle, you can see how interesting this becomes.
In the UK 1801 chart that section of the Zodiac (mid-Aquarius to Pisces) is located in the 5th house of children and pleasure. How peculiar. Are these wars an amusing diversion? Not for the people who die in them.
But look what else is there. This war has recrudesced every time Uranus, the planet of shock (and awe perhaps), has passed between the UK Venus, planet of peace and Pluto, the dark warrior, opposing the UK natal Saturn in Leo, where it is in detriment. Saturn can be fixed, selfish and arrogant in Leo.
This war has lasted much longer than any of the previous ones, but then Neptune the planet of fog, confusion and misunderstanding has been traipsing through that same sector of the Zodiac too. It’s going to conjunct the UK Pluto in April, and then drift back and forth until next January. Afghanistan has become a quagmire. The purpose of this war is lost in a Neptunian fog.
Please God, we’re nearly at the end.