I was going to go out on a limb this week and make a prediction that would have contained all sorts of provisos about not having a crystal ball and all that, but it appears those aren’t even necessary now. History alone dictates how it will go down.
When Richard Nixon restored diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1972, the United States was mired in a bloody proxy war with that nation, and had not had formal diplomatic relations with China for over two decades. Nixon himself, of course, had been on the House Un-American Activities Committee while the Maoists took China, he won his Senate seat by accusing his opponent of being “pink down to her underwear”, and, as vice-President, conducted the kitchen debate with Khrushchev. His anti-communist bona fides were impeccable. Disgusting in every way he pursued his ideology, but nonetheless impeccable. It is commonly held today that because he was such a virulent anti-commie crusader, he was uniquely positioned to break through that wall with minimal backlash.
The United States is today mired (along with – or at the behest of – Saudi Arabia) in a bloody proxy war with Iran, being staged in Iraq, the US has had no formal diplomatic relations with Iran for over two decades, and George W. Bush has proven, in spite of his obviously limited expressive language facility, that he has nothing but contempt for Iran. Iran is the last nation standing in his “axis of evil”. Iraq is in rubble, courtesy of his chaotic war there, North Korea is now off the “State supporter of terrorism” list, and Iran, alone, remains the terrorist state of his administration’s concern.
So about that predition: the “October surprise” this election year will be détente with Iran. After having whipped the electorate into a froth over Iran’s imminent threat - which has driven oil and gasoline prices sky-high and created palpable panic throughout the world, as anyone paying attention can picture Dick Cheney petting a white cat like a Bond villain planning a nuclear annihilation of the world (and somehow expecting his own survival), the ultimate twist will be that there will be no war with Iran.
And why is this no longer an act from out on that limb? Because yesterday the United States, amid all the saber-rattling, opened a diplomatic office in Teheran, described as being not-quite-an embassy. Meanwhile crude oil prices – which investors have been driving ever- higher with every new threat made by Teheran, Jerusalem, or Washington over the past year – have been deflating like a whoopee cushion under the weight of Cheney’s ass.
After Labor Day, Condoleezza Rice will go to Teheran, possibly with John McCain in tow (in spite of his pronouncements of not talking to Teheran), and return with a diplomatic treaty. Gasoline will be in the far more comfortable range of $2.50/gallon – just long enough to convince the gullible American voter that it was all a bad dream, and that Republican stewardship has saved the day (any memory you have of the awfulness of the last seven years is all in your head). It won’t work this time, because the damage done to create this elaborate charade is far more lasting; the price of gas is a small compensation for those who’ve lost their savings or their home.
Dirty tricks, indeed.