Is It Time For an "October Surprise?
By Danny Schechter
New York New York: The term "October Surprise" is one that always triggers speculation in political circles.
It refers to some covert initiative that a candidate takes in the month before the election to try to win it.
Even as President Obama seems to lead in the polls, and the lead is slipping, the political race faces a number of unknowns, including whether and how Israel may intervene more actively to force its political agenda on our political agenda.
According to Consortium News, this has happened before in an earlier US election.
" A pressing foreign policy question of the U.S. presidential race is whether Israel might exploit this politically delicate time to bomb Iran's nuclear sites and force President Obama to join the attack or face defeat at the polls, a predicament with similarities to one President Carter faced in 1980, writes Robert Parry.
According to Parry, who worked for the Associated Press at the time:
"There is doubt in some quarters that Israel's Likud government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would time an attack on Iran in the weeks before a U.S. election with the goal of dooming the incumbent Democratic president, Barack Obama, or forcing his hand to commit American military might in support of Israel.
But there was a precedent 32 years ago when another Likud government had grown alienated from the Democratic president and found itself in a position where it could help drive him from office by covertly assisting his Republican rivals in another crisis involving Iran."
Some supporters of Obama think this scenario might even prove helpful to the President, howver much he may personally detest Israel's Bibi Netanyahu.
Should the US appear to be threatened or at risk, he might win support because he is, after all, the Comander in Chief. Some tough appearing moves involving US military forces might be to his advantage. The truth is he has been unsucessful in "fixing" the economy, that is, if a President even has that power.
The naval armada now steaming towards The Strait of Hormuz and Iran may be a maneuver to be seen in this framework.
London's Telegraph reports: "Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.
Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world's petroleum traded by sea"
In preparation for any pre-emptive or retaliatory action by Iran, warships from more than 25 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will today begin an annual 12-day exercise."