July 21, 2002

This year's October Surprise

Is Blair really ready to sacrifice his political career to follow Bush into a war on Iraq? Or is there another 'provocation' waiting in the wings?

Bush will take Tony Blair down with him in his desperate attempt to wage a "massive assault" against Iraq. The Guardian of London reports that "Whitehall sources confirmed that Tony Blair had decided Britain must back any US assault and had ordered defence planners to begin the preparations for a new war in the Gulf."

Blair is apparently going ahead with his plan to follow Bush though he is unsure of any way to legally justify the war to his countrymen. That could be a political problem for him in Britain where war hysteria is not quite as surefire a way to induce sheeplike obedience from politicians and citizens as it seems to be in the U.S. Blair could be determining his own political demise by following Bush's desperate attempt to get the flags waving again and divert attention from his corporate crimes and those of of his best friends, and his colossal incompetence to manage the affairs of government.

Whitehall sources are quoted as saying, "President Bush has already made up his mind. This is going to happen. It is a given. What we are waiting for is to be told the details of how and when and where." Britain is ready to commit 20,000-30,000 troops for Bush's war. Are the British ready for this kind of commitment? Will British mothers and fathers happily send their sons off to fight a war because George Bush has "made up his mind"? About what? What is this war about? Is it just something Bush has to work out with his father, who was so sensitive about "the wimp factor" that he thought he had beat with the Gulf War, but which was brought up again when he didn't "finish the job"?

Of course it's a play for global domination based on control of energy sources. But will the Brits buy it when Blair tries to sell it to them?

In the U.S., Bush is confident he can rally people behind him and sweep his right wing cronies into office with a war. There is so much bad news now about his presidency it will require something really huge to divert attention. Besides, war is all the Bushes really know about. Junior is a one-trick pony, and he's about to go into his act again.

A year ago the administration was planning to go to war against the Taliban. All it needed was a provocation. All it had to do to get that was to relax its defense systems until the inevitable attack came on September 11.

A year ago Bush's mismanagement of the economy was pushing him into a corner. His tax cut had essentially given the treasury to his rich corporate buddies and the resulting fiscal disaster was rapidly descending on the country. The destruction of Social Security that his secretary of the treasury Paul O'Neill had called for was already assured by the removal of its financial support. His so-called approval ratings were dropping steadily and fell below 50% by September. Things were looking abysmal for the administration. The Democratic party was sharpening its talons and closing in for the kill when Bush returned from his month-long vacation in August. Then came September 11.

This year is a mid-term election year, with control of Congress at stake. The domestic situation has further degenerated. The economy is in free fall. Corporate crime is exploding through the walls like a massive termite infestation. Working Americans, who have been abused and cheated for decades, are now losing whatever support allowed them to look away from the problem in the past. The administration is desperate for a distraction, something that will create so much noise and hysteria that no one will be able to think about the disasters its policies are bringing upon the nation.

This year the administration is planning another action, this one much more massive than last summer's plans against the Taliban. This time it will be against the Bush family's old nemesis in Iraq, and another justification would come in real handy. That means American citizens should brace themselves. There is every reason to expect another earthshaking, soul-rattling event to take place at any time, probably in September or October.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. This is an exercise in thinking the unthinkable. I hope I am wrong, but all the signs point to it.

Brace yourself. Something's coming. Something big.

-- By David Cogswell

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