Is It Time For an “October Surprise?

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 an election. 

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.

mso-bidi-font-family:ArialMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>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. 

EN-US”>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…

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:ArialMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>On the other hand, these naval maneuvers may be designed to provoke an attack so that the US/UK can justify “retaliatory” actions.

EN-US”>Meanwhile, the Telegraph also reports, “the main naval exercise comes as President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, today to discuss the Iranian crisis.

EN-US”>Many within the Obama administration believe that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities before the US presidential elections, an act which would signal the failure of one of Washington’s key foreign policy objectives.

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:ArialMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>The problem with exercises on this scale is that they are prone to errors, collisions or predictable incidents that could trigger an actual war. The people engineering this may be hoping for just such a confrontation knowing that Western military power is superior.

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:ArialMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>At the same time, the rift between Israel and Washington could be calculated to keep all sides guessing.

ArialMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Writes Stephen Lendman on OpEd News: “ 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said he doesn't believe in "red line policies."

Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Lendman faults Netanyahu, writing, “He's arrogant, offensive, duplicitous, thuggish, and dangerous. He's an embarrassment to legitimate governance. It's hard imagining why any Israelis put up with him. If ever a bum deserved to be thrown out it's Netanyahu.

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>But what if all of this is for show, a way Israel can appease its hard-line right wing, pacify Republicans and allow Obama to appear reasonable with his core supporters before both countries map out a joint strategy?

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Israel is too dependent on US military support to risk turning a long-term ally/cash cow into an enemy.

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>In a sense, both need each other. Obama may need a conflict to win over independents. He has already has his “liberal” base, people who are terrified of Republicans and right-wing extremism. Now he is really after so-called independents and even Republicans who support hard-line military policies like the showy liquidation of bin Laden and the ongoing drone wars. Obama may talk left but he walks right.

"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Fear of Iran keeps Netanyahu in power.  An “Iranian menace” is useful to Obama too. Don’t underestimate the games politicians play.

Verdana;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs at NewsDissector.net. His latest books are Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street and Blogothon (Cosimo Books.) He hosts a show on Progressive Radio Network.com. Parts of this Article first appeared on PressTV. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org.

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