Monday, October 02, 2006

Even More October Surprise Speculation

I've been arguing that the White House is likely to pull an October Surprise stunt. Here is some more concrete speculation about the form it could take. My earlier speculative posts on the subject, as well as a statement of the strategic and tactical "rules" for a successful October Surprise, are here and here .

1) The White House lets it "leak" that the Preznit has been having super secret high level crisis meetings with Israeli officials. Select reporters are warned that they aren't allowed to write about these meetings. Even better: the White House brings in senior management of the WaPo and the NYT and begs them not to let the public know about any of this for national security reasons. Ambassadors are seen to be summoned from far away. You get the idea: for a couple of days, the White House acts mysterious and shows all-purpose national security-style "resolve".

2) In a Prime Time address, the Preznit categorically demands that Iran and Syria cut off all arms shipments, financial support and other material assistance to Hezbollah, full stop. He allows that some politicians hate Israel and may try to make a partisan fuss about this, but for his part, he's standing with Freedom and Democracy and Israel against the Evildoers.

3) The White House imposes a one week deadline for Iran and Syria to establish conclusively that they have fully and completely complied with #1. The onus is on them to prove they've dismantled all the supply networks, turned over all the Evildoers to the appropriate Israeli authorities, etc.

4) The Preznit orders half the U.S. fleet to steam full-speed for the Persian Gulf to put in place a naval blockade of Iran and generally look for trouble. He orders every other boat that floats to steam full-speed for the Mediterranean to monitor the Lebanese coast.

Yeah, I think that works ok as an opening gambit.


Anonymous said...

I live in Florida. Wouldn't it be easier to do voter fraud and election theft? It will be interesting to observe very close races where exit polls do not agree with final results.

Eric said...

I don't purport to actually know what I'm talking about on this, but my guess is that outright vote fraud and election theft are pretty difficult to actually pull off, especially where the election isn't very close, i.e. where the side that's doing the stealing is getting hammered in the polls. As you point out in your comment, big spreads between exit poll results and official results attract attention. I gather that the Diebold voting machines are hackable and unreliable, but tampering/vote-rigging on a huge scales strikes me as very difficult to pull off. That said, I do expect the GOP to run an aggressive minority vote suppression exercise where they can, i.e. police cars with sirens flashing to scare black voters, aggressive I.D. checking, manufacturing line-ups and delays at selected polling stations.