Don't be too surprised…
By Justin Raimondo
".......No, I'm talking about the deliberate use of American military power to enhance the election chances of a presidential candidate. As I write this, news is breaking of a U.S. attack on the Syrian village of al-Sukkariya, under the pretext of pursuing "al-Qaeda in Iraq" – a "special operation" that is not being acknowledged by the U.S. military. One wonders what other "special operations" our government has in mind for the next eight days. Below is a list of possible scenarios:
* Iraq: The Syrian incursion is an exemplar of the strongest possibility, one that is built into our occupation of Iraq. As we've said from the beginning here at Antiwar.com, the war cannot be contained within the borders of Iraq. It is bound to spill over – providing a convenient pretext to expand and escalate the conflict, and draw in Iran.
Despite all the blustering and threats delivered by Israeli and American government officials, a direct attack on Iranian territory has always been the least likely possible avenue to a war against the mullahs. If and when it comes, the confrontation between Washington/Tel Aviv and Tehran will be sparked by an attack on an Iranian proxy. Hezbollah has proved pretty much impervious, however, and much too strong militarily. That leaves only Syria – the weakest link in Iran's regional alliance. Just this past May, the Syrians signed a mutual defense pact with the Iranian government: any action against Syria will call Tehran's bluff.
* The Caucasus: Several inauspicious (and highly suspicious) incidents have recently occurred in and around the former Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the scene of a recent invasion by Georgian troops. Although repulsed by the Russian military, the Georgians are not taking their defeat lying down. They have reported murdered the head of Abkhazian intelligence, and they continue to sporadically shell Abkhazian and Ossetian positions.
The Russians, for their part, have withdrawn from the combat zone and are taking up positions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia proper, refusing to be drawn into the trap. Whether the Georgians can lure them in, however, is an open question.
In any event, the Caucasus is one region to watch very closely right up until election day, simply because the leverage of reckless "allies," such as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, increases enormously during election season, when they can easily call attention to their own agendas and rally their American amen corner to the cause.
* Al-Qaeda: Another source of a possible game-changer is, of course, Osama bin Laden. While most of the chatter around this subject is concerned with the possibility of a major terrorist attack, an October surprise brought to us by al-Qaeda needn't be quite so dramatic. Bin Laden always seems to pop up around election time with one of his video or audio tapes, mysteriously delivered to al-Jazeera as if by a genie on a magic carpet, and what he says – or doesn't say – could affect the election one way or the other. ......"