There has been much speculation both about the possibility of a Georgite "October Surprise" this year and if there is one, what it might be. Iran? Pakistan? A(nother) false flag attack on U.S. soil? Any of these could be used as an excuse to launch a military strike against another country (with what weaponry one is not sure, given the state of the U.S. armed forces, but that is another matter).
In going about figuring out what it might be, it is important to review the "Bush Doctrine." It was much in the news a couple of weeks ago. At that time, Charlie Gibson of ABC News inadvertently determined that Sarah Palin didn't have a clue, not only about its original meaning, but also about the various variants that have appeared over time. The doctrine has in fact had numerous variants, not just the original one that the U.S. can attack any other country at any time on the slightest suspicion that at some (indeterminate) time in the future that country might become a threat to the United States.
A variety of right-wing Republican commentators, such as Charles Krauthammer, tried to blunt the discussion by referring to just one of its several manifestations, the "spreading democracy" dictum. But in any discussion of the Doctrine and how it might be used in support of some October Surprise during this election season, before engaging in that discussion, it is useful to go to the horse's mouth to determine just what it really is. And so, let us turn to the estimable Dana Perino, the current White House Press Secretary.
As quoted by The Washington Post's Michael Abramowitz in an article that I saw in the Portland Oregonian (Sept. 13, 2008), according to Perino, the Bush Doctrine "is commonly used to describe key elements of the president's overall strategy for dealing with threats from terrorists. [It has three elements (so there, Charlie).] The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who harbor terrorists. . . . We will confront grave threats before they materialize and will fight the terrorists abroad so we don't have to face them at home. . . . We will counter the hateful ideology of the terrorist by promoting the hopeful alternative of human freedom." She added that the president "is comfortable with the way I just described it."
Neither she nor the president seem to be aware of the provisions of the UN Charter, specifically, the Preamble and Chapters VI and VII, and more specifically Article 51, which prohibit such actions as these, but what the hey. The Georgites have violated a wide variety of the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. So why should be they concerned with just another violation of its Article VI, which makes treaty obligations of the United States (of which the UN Charter is one) part of the "supreme law of the land."
What does this have to do with a possible Georgite "October Surprise?" Well, Sen. McCain has made much in his campaign of his devotion to "Strict Constructionism," at least when it comes to nominating Supreme Court justices. Now let's say that when he says "strict constructionist," the so-called "maverick" applies the term beyond meaning "they are so anti-choice that to them 'yes' always means 'no,' there are no choices to be allowed about anything," if the "anything" is not what they are devoted to.
Let's say that McCain really is a Constitutionalist. The Bush Doctrine, then, creates serious problems for him, at least insofar as any unprovoked, on some suspicion-only, military action against a foreign power, is concerned. And so, what to do, when an October Surprise is needed? Bush has already undertaken major changes in policy in order to support McCain, such as establishing a calendar (of sorts) for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and supporting, in a dictatorial way no doubt, a massive government intervention in the so-called "free market." Well, the Bush Doctrine is still useful for them, just as long as one ignores the word "abroad" in it. And the Georgites ignore so much in a variety of seemingly clear statements, such as the Constitution, that would seem to be OK.
The major terrorist attack on the U.S. prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing. What really went on was never really even slightly investigated. The Clinton Administration generally ignored it, except to pick up, try, and convict two persons seen on the scene. Sen. Arlen "Talks Loudly and Carries a Very Soft Stick" Specter held a "hearing" on the matter. Over a two-day period, it turned into nothing more or less than a series of complaints from the leaders of the various far right-wing organizations who were summoned to appear about how they were being discriminated against in the public square. Since the arrested perpetrators had known ties to various of these groups, one might have wanted to probe rather further, but no one did that.
And so, comes the possible October Surprise under the Bush Doctrine. Unearthed by the Georgites, there are rumors of a vast right-wing conspiracy in the United States (different from the one aimed at the Clintons from day one of their Presidency, by the way) planning a terrorist attack on a major Federal facility, such as the Oklahoma Federal Building. It would take place just before the election, in an attempt to tilt the playing field towards McCain, in the eyes of the perpetrators, that is, according to the "terrorism is good for us" doctrine of McCain advisor Charles Black (http://www.buzzflash.com/
The UN Charter prohibits only international "preventive war." This would be an intra-national preventive war. And so, McCain, the "strict constructionist," would be happy. No violation of Article VI. "Cells" would be discovered all over the country, Congress would be taken into "protective custody," the election would be postponed for the safety of everyone, round-ups of "suspected terrorists" would be undertaken. Those round-ups would include, with no particular logic (but no one has ever accused the Georgites and its allies in the Privatized Ministry of Propaganda otherwise known as the Republican Scream Machine of being logical) persons defined by the Georgites as "liberals." Why? Well, Rush Limbaugh, for example, tells us every day that "liberals" are the cause of every single one of the nation's problems, and such a vast conspiracy would be a problem, wouldn't it? The liberals thus would have to be dealt with, regardless of any proof that "they" were anyway involved. In a national emergency, rounding them up would just seem to be a good idea.
As for the armed forces that would carry this operation out, presumably the U.S. military, in the chain of command under the Joint Chiefs, would refuse to participate in such an operation on U.S. soil. But the Georgites have plenty of other options: Blackwater and its clones, and the Special Ops military command that Cheney has established outside of the Joint Chiefs chain of command reporting directly to him (in violation of a specific U.S. law, but who cares about another law violation by the Georgites, see "Preparing the Battlefield" by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, July 7-14, 2008). And so there they would go.
What an October Surprise that would be.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY), a weekly Contributing Author for the Web zine TPJmagazine.us; a Special Contributing Editor for Cyrano's Journal Online; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century.