'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Maybe the October Surprise Will be the Sacking of Fallujah? 

A lot of blogs, most notably Atrios, have been wondering aloud about Karl Rove's final trick, suggesting another secret mission to Baghdad or, of course, the capture of Bin Laden. Neither of these suggestions seems likely to me. Iraq is too dangerous for a Bush visit now, plus they already pulled this stunt once; I'm not sure pulling it again would be worth the risks involved. And, while El Mundo has reported a deal for Bin Laden is being worked out with China, the story doesn't strike me as very credible given that we've seen this little play once before except with the roles played by different actors: last February, instead of the Spanish press, it was Iranian radio, and instead of China, it was Pakistan.

We know for certain, however, that the military is planning for a huge escalation in Iraq to retake towns controlled by insurgents. Everyone assumes this campaign will start after the US elections ... Why? Maybe, the beginning of this campaign will be timed to coincide with election day? What if there was a big thrilling display of American military power underway on November 2nd? -- kicked off of course with an important speech pre-empting primetime TV about the justness of our cause, the nobleness of America, and the courageousness of our boys, etc. If the assault was timed such that the fantasy of war hadn't subsided and been replaced with the reality of war when Americans were voting, it could be a win for Bush. Also, the report of the US attempting to get British troops involved in the new Fallujah campaign supports this idea ... If there was an October surprise military assault, wouldn't it be nice if it was a joint venture with our dearest ally?

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