In case you missed it, 2020 is an election year in the US. On the 10th of June 2020 a Republican caucus in the US released its version of what could otherwise be known as the new PNAC plan for the US in the next decades ahead. Most readers will be familiar with the PNAC (Plan for the New American Century), most famous for its denizens in the Bush II “W” administration, a few of whom have made cameo appearances in the Trump administration, and one of whom just released a book. When you think of the PNAC, think John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliot Abrams and the like, and the policies they represent, and you will be close to the mark in what this new plan inks out. It is called, “The RSC National Security Strategy: Strengthening America and Countering Global Threats”. It all sounds innocuous enough, right?
The plan was rolled out, as stated on June the 10th this year. The transits to the US chart (below, bigger) are quite interesting, and will go to a larger indication toward the end of this post.
There is no need to go through too much analysis of the chart, as the types of policies outlined in the document have been around for years. But the timing is interesting. The main feature in the rollout chart is the activation of the natal US Mars/Neptune square from a transiting Mars/Neptune opposition from the US 3rd house, bringing up all the rhetoric and idealism of American exceptionalism, symbolized in the natal Mars/Neptune square, along with the professed need for heightened national security by the transiting Mars and Neptune. It was put forward to stir a national debate. More than that, it will be used to increase the defense budget.
In addition, the transiting Sun was on the US Mars (militancy), and in the 7th house (adversaries). That, along with the preceding, outlined a powerful t-square in the US chart. At the same time, transiting Saturn was trine the US Midheaven, though retrograde, giving weight and authority to the document, and transiting Pluto was opposite the US Mercury, giving the document an added air of authority. That also shows an attempt at shifting the narrative away from problems at home, as was outlined in the 2nd Floyd post. As well, it also subverts the discourse that is needed about the increasing militarization of the US police forces. We’ll see why as we go along.
Just who is this Republican Study Committee (RSC)? A quick look at the signatories to the document will give some clues. It is the largest party caucus in the present Congress, is deeply ‘conservative’ and is ideologically focused. ‘Conservative’ is in quotes because there is neither a right nor a left in Congress, only neoliberals of varying stripes. What might the basic ideology of the RSC be, then, you might ask? We have the following:
Although the primary functions of the RSC vary from year to year, it has always pushed for significant cuts in non-defense spending, spearheaded efforts to pass free trade agreements, advocated socially conservative legislation, and supported the right to keep and bear arms. It has proposed an alternative budget every year since 1995. In 2007, in conjunction with the unveiling of its “Taxpayer Bill of Rights”, it presented an alternative budget resolution that claimed would balance the budget within five years without increasing income taxes.
As to that ‘taxpayer bill of rights’, we have from the same source:
- Taxpayers have a right to have a federal government that does not grow beyond their ability to pay for it.
- Taxpayers have a right to receive back each dollar that they entrust to the government for their retirement.
- Taxpayers have a right to expect the government to balance the budget without having their taxes raised.
- Taxpayers have a right to a simple, fair tax code that they can understand.
When we cut through the ideological double-speak, we have a group that advocates for increased defense spending, cuts to social programs, cuts to regulatory bodies, the latter two which they claim would balance the budget within five years and which are inclusive under their term, ‘non-defense spending’. Those cuts would also include Social Security and Medicare. It also adamantly defends the 2nd Amendment (some readers will find that comforting, some not), and the ‘free trade’ agreements are actually about enforcing American ‘anti-corruption’ laws overseas, to be discussed in the coming Cancer letter on the main site. Watch that space for detail.
As to the taxpayer bill of rights, we can probably agree with all of those points. They can also be achieved by cutting defense spending and closing most of our 800+ military bases, auditing the Pentagon and three-letter government bodies, and bringing back graduated corporate and wealth taxes, as well as closing tax loopholes. The latter two groups, corporate and wealthy, are not currently taxpayers to any significant degree, anyway. That would go a ways toward restoring ‘government for the people by the people’. Basically, the RSC amounts to a Libertarian neoliberal think tank. Think ‘Reaganomics’ on speed.
A little history is in order, and goes back to before the Reagan years, when the ‘religious right’ came to be allied with the Republican Party. This was a reaction to the Johnson years and the social reforms he signed into law as a result of the Civil Rights Movement, causing disaffected Democrats from the South to abandon the party. The ‘alliance’ was more or less firmly set in place with the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, Roe vs. Wade.
The Republican/Evangelical alliance was as well a reaction to the alarm that many evangelical Christians had to the rising liberal reforms they saw taking place in the US. For Republicans, it was a marriage of political convenience, which they saw as a great opportunity to advance conservative causes. Concurrent with this was the abandonment of the gold standard under Nixon, his opening to China, which many Republicans opposed, and the steady rise of neoliberal economics in the ensuing years. This ultimately led to the formation of the PNAC.
The PNAC crowd was formed in 1997 in the euphoria of the post-Soviet era, the so-called ‘end of history’ years, when the US was the sole superpower and Russia was on its knees. Those were the heady Yeltsin years, during the Clinton administration, with the neocons in the Republican leadership feeling they needed a more focused foreign policy to counter that of Clinton’s. The PNAC was disbanded a scant nine years later in 2006 during the Bush years, having successfully helped lobby the government into two of America’s endless wars. One of the founding members of the PNAC was VP at the time. Mission accomplished. It then morphed into the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).
The FPI had as one of its stated purposes the promotion of the state of Israel, which led to the idea of advocating bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran (apparently diplomacy doesn’t work with Iranians), promoted American intervention and arming terrorists in Syria, including a no-fly zone, and said that the Russian intervention in Crimea showed a ‘lack of American leadership’ (never mind the American intervention in the Ukraine in 2014). The FPI helped to place the Israel lobby front and center in any debate on foreign policy, especially regarding the Middle East. The FPI was disbanded in 2017, after Trump assumed office. Again, mission accomplished, when it came to Israel. And now we have this RSC caucus.
The RSC has as its membership almost 180 Republican members of Congress. That’s about 100 less than the total number of Republicans in Congress. So, this National Security Strategy document is speaking for the majority of Republicans in Congress, if not almost all of them. In fact, the document can be seen as a campaign strategy for Republicans in the upcoming election, where a third of Senate seats and all of the House seats are up for grabs.
Recently, the campaign arm of the Republican Party released a 57 page memo urging Republicans to attack China in campaigns instead of defending Trump. It is interesting in two respects: Firstly, the focus on China, and secondly, that it pointedly states that candidates should not direct support to Trump if he is attacked about his handling of the COVID-19 or other crises.
Mention was made above of the ideology of this group, but there is more to it. Being that this is a campaign year the following appears in the introduction to this 120 page tome, with an:
…approach seeks to advance American global interests above all else and restore confidence in America’s purpose. It recognizes the United States is the best force for good in the world and that our strength creates more freedom, prosperity, and potential for people everywhere. The idea of “American Exceptionalism” shines bright again. As a result, America is standing up to Communist China for the first time in decades, Russia has been exposed as a national security threat, Iran’s sweetheart nuclear deal has been replaced with a maximum pressure campaign, and we have decimated traditional ISIS strongholds…importantly, President Trump has stood by our most important ally in Israel, even taking the long overdue, extraordinary step of moving our embassy to Jerusalem…
Jingoism flies again. Then comes the partisan twist:
Congressional Democrats have fought this commonsense “America First” strategy at every turn…We, the members of the Republican Study Committee’s National Security & Foreign Affairs Task Force, are committed to building upon President Trump’s efforts to keep our country safe and to advancing policies in Congress that will strengthen American leadership…The crisis our country is currently enduring makes it vitally important that American leadership on the global stage remains robust. The ideas we present here would ensure that remains the case for generations to come.
We’ll examine the bolded bits in the cited text presently. The RSC was formed in 1973 to keep a watch on the Republican leadership at the time, which the founders of the group thought to be too moderate. It was dissolved by Newt Gingrich in 1995 after the Republicans gained control of the House for the first time in 40 years, then resurrected soon after by one Dan “organized quackery’s best friend in Congress” Burton (R, Indiana, 5th district), along with Sam Johnson (TX), John Doolittle (CA) and Ernest Istook (OK), as the Conservative Action Team.
This group, along with the PNAC crowd, pushed for the endless wars the Beltway has gotten us into, and which has cost the American taxpayer over five trillion dollars since 2001. That money would help a little with things like schools, health care, student debt and infrastructure, just to name a few odd items. The same policies have also cost the lives of millions of innocents in foreign lands and generated not a little bit of hatred toward Washington abroad. That includes the costs due to sanctions and the loss of infrastructure, which the US typically does not rebuild. The Democrats don’t get a pass on that, either. Most of the policies for war have had bipartisan support. But we are talking about specific Republican policy here.
The RSC document lists five main areas of focus:
- A new strategy for countering America’s top threat: China
- Rolling back aggression through a strategy of deterrence; Russia
- Advancing American interest in the Middle East: Confronting Iran and jihadi terrorists
- Maintaining an international order based on American values
- A result-oriented approach to foreign and international diplomacy
The most striking thing to emerge is the #1 threat, which is now China. It used to be Russia. Why? China is not a military threat to the US except in China’s littoral waters and on its borders. In other words, its military is defensive. Only Russia could literally destroy the US with its nuclear arsenal. There must be another reason why China is seen to be such a threat.
An interesting transition took place in 2013 that goes a ways toward explaining US belligerence toward China. In that year, China attained parity in economy with the US based on purchasing power parity (PPP). That was at just over $16,700. In addition, Xi Jinping announced plans for his Belt and Road Initiative. Those two things together caught the attention of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex (MIC), because they had no control over it. The factor that has cemented it all in place is the fact that China does not behave ‘like a normal country’.
A ‘normal country’ in the context of Beltway-think is one that plays by American rules – it is capitalistic, it follows American foreign policy directives, it allows privatization of it industries and infrastructure (hopefully favoring American or European interests, the latter being the same thing as American interests), its currency is pegged to the US dollar, and it would more likely than not have a US military base within its borders. The countries that don’t, at least by choice? – Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Vietnam and a few others. The countries that are not ‘normal’ are usually sanctioned or even militarily threatened, their governments overthrown and/or destroyed. The one exception to sanctions so far is China, but that is about to change.
Going back to the penultimate paragraph and China’s economy, the opening statement from the first bullet point in the RSC document (Countering China), above, is as follows:
“The PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] rapid economic development and increased engagement with the world did not lead to convergence with the citizen-centric, [?] free and open order as the United States had hoped. The CCP has chosen instead to exploit the free and open rules based order and attempt to reshape the international system in its favor. Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology [?]. The CCP’s expanding use of economic, political, and military power to compel acquiescence [?] from nation states harms vital American interests and undermines the sovereignty and dignity of countries [?] and individuals around the world.”
– The White House, U.S. Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China
Readers may or may not agree with the statement of intent. The inserted question marks and italicised points go toward what the document is really all about. As for the italicised bits, the free and open order as the US had hoped was for an order shaped in its own image, one where it exerts dominant control. China would have been a manufacturing base, nothing more. The rules based order is based in the US rules, not international consensus, except where that gives the US relative freedom to act. China does seek to transform the world order, away from American/Western hegemony toward a multipolar order. And those vital American interests relate to energy supply, supply chains, control of foreign lands and of financial transactions and the general fealty of subordinate states, otherwise known as allies or friendly states.
The question marks in the statement of intent, preceding, point to psychological projection on the part of the Beltway. Every point made about China, indicated by the question marks, are the very things in which the US has engaged. There are many people and nations worldwide who would agree. All of the preceding points to developments in the immediate future for the US, as in the next couple of years. This is shown in the directions and transits to the US chart. A little more explanation will point to why what will follow is shown.
The sorts of policies outlined by successive administrations since the turn of the 20th century have all required greater defense spending. The American public is told it is under threat. But in the past decades there has been no viable aggressive military threat to the United States. In fact, since 1812, there never has been. The Soviet Union is no more. China is not threatening the US with military action, except if attacked first. It is the same with Iran and North Korea. There is no foreign army massing on America’s borders threatening ‘our American way of life’.
All along since the fall of the Soviet Union, US foreign policy has followed a two-pronged approach to its supposed enemies. The ultimate aim of such an approach is to keep Russia and China split, from cooperating. The Democrats have focused upon Russia, whereas the Republicans have focused upon China and Iran. They are made out to be threats, but threats to what? – US national security. ‘National security’ refers to the Beltway’s ability to keep Pax Americana alive, or not. That security is quickly eroding, but it is not because of any outside threat. It is due precisely to the types of policies such documents outline. A perceived threat is necessary to justify the existence of the MIC.
America, the ‘exceptional’, the ‘best force for good in the world’ is unnecessarily spending itself into failure, into collapse. ‘American leadership’ is an illusion, whereas most of the world now sees the US as the biggest threat to world peace. It is spending the empire into oblivion. The collapse is visible to anyone who has eyes to see. The growing frequency and intensity of riots in the US give testimony to its failure to lead. What the RSC is calling ‘commonsense “America First” strategy’ is not being rejected and opposed by the Democrats, it is being rejected and increasingly defied by the nations under the most intensive sanctions.
When the RSC says that it is ‘vital that American leadership remains robust’, it is essentially a statement to the nations who are ‘not normal’ that they need to enhance and bolster their own defences, as Iran and Russia have done, for instance. We won’t even address Israel here, as they are going down the same road as the US, and are likewise under many of the same delusions of exceptionalism and threat perceptions. A different approach is needed, true, but the focus needs to be at home instead of abroad. The biggest threat to America is in Washington and New York, not overseas. And now we get to the astrological reasons why. Have a look at the directions to the US chart, below (bigger):
Currently the directions to the US Ascendant show a Sun/Jup midpoint, exact in about 4 months, followed by a Mars/Pluto midpoint, exact in about 6 months. This is accompanied by a Jupiter direction to the US Uranus, exact in about 8 months. All of these are in effect now. They show the sudden flare-up in tensions. The Sun/Jup is quite interesting, as it reflects the peaceful protests and the soaring stock market: “Devoting one’s life to good objectives or social aspirations. – Shared successes, a meeting or coming together with others.” Social aspirations are the key there, with the moves to reform the police departments in the US. It also shows the desire of people to resume ‘normal’ lives after the lockdowns, even though the pandemic is still ongoing and the US looks to be undergoing a 2nd wave.
The Mars/Pluto direction shows the desire to face the dangers involved in the protests and the daring to do so. That goes to the pandemic as well. It also shows the riots, which that midpoint structure can point to. And with the Jupiter direction to Uranus as well as Ceres, we have the moves toward social reforms. The protests are a movement whose time has come, should the public show enough resolve to seize the opportunity.
The open wound into which the Floyd murder poured salt is shown by the dual directions of the Sun/Nep and Mars/Sat midpoints to the US Chiron. Those are shown next to Mercury on the chart, as they will progress to Mercury in a few years and change the public discourse considerably. Those dual directions also show the feel of a color revolution (Sun/Nep) with the riots and resulting deaths (Mars/Sat). Race relations in the US are co-ruled by the Sun and Mercury (Virgo intercepted in the 9th house), the 9th house cusp ruled by Leo. The 9th house rules all types of ideologies. The implication there is that it will take a few years yet to really get things moving in that regard.
But none of this really addresses what the effect of the policies rolled out in the RSC document will be. Those are shown in the directions to come into effect shortly. Keep in mind, though, that no matter who winds up in the White House next year, the policies outlined in the document will have some level of bipartisan support. The #1 threat might change, but the rest will still be in effect.
The two main directions to watch are those of Pluto to the US Meridian axis and the Mars/MC midpoint direction to the US Saturn. Those will both be in effect next year. The thing that will set both of those off in a big way is the eclipse that just took place on the 21st of this month, thereafter activated by Mars in April of next year. The other factors that Mars transit and eclipse will activate are shown in the midpoint box in the center of the chart wheel, with Venus at the midpoint.
The Pluto direction to the MC shows one of two things, or possibly both: A nation on a mission, and/or a sudden collapse and ruin. Major mistakes look to be on the cards. That is shown by the Mars/MC direction to Saturn: “Disadvantages through exaggerated zeal, actions resulting in failure, the act of separation, suffering harm or damage.” As well, there is: “The inability to make decisions or to concentrate upon an objective, inhibitions”.
The natal Sun/Saturn square in the US chart points to an arrogant and calculating, even Machiavellian nature, for which the Beltway has been known. The Mars/MC direction will activate that square more intensely. And when Mars crosses the US Sun in mid-May next year, we may see a colossal blunder. If Trump makes it back into office, that is not hard to imagine. But if a hawkish Democrat is in the Oval Office, the outcome may be that much worse.
If the Republicans retake the House in November and retain control of the Senate, and if there is a Republican president (Trump’s future is up in the air), then the policies outlined in the RSC document need to be read very carefully, because they point toward war. A Senate panel has just approved $6 billion earmarked for ‘confronting China’. If not war, then they point to increasing American isolation. Maybe we will see both scenarios, the latter most definitely. The world has had enough of such policy. And neither China, nor Russia nor Iran shows any signs of backing down. 2021 may well mark the rapid end of Pax Americana, the end of empire. And internal problems in the US show every sign of accelerating the process.
Featured pic from RSC site