Wednesday, September 12, 2012

October Surprise



It seems the October Surprise came early this year with the attacks on embassies in Egypt and Libya.  The attack on the consulate in Benghazi has proven particularly deadly with 4 confirmed American deaths, including that of Ambassador Christopher Stevens (pictured above), whose fleeing car was struck by a rocket bomb.  No doubt this will test the Obama administration in the following weeks, as similar "surprises" have previous Presidents in the last month of their terms.

Wikipedia dates the October Surprise back to 1972 and Kissinger's statement, "Peace is at hand," in reference to the Vietnam War, but it only served to enhance Nixon's lead in the polls.  President Carter was in the final stages of negotiating a Iran hostage release before the 1980 election, but it seems events conspired against him.  Gary Sick broke a story to the New York Times that the Reagan campaign had negotiated a secret deal with the Iranian government to delay the release, which occurred less than an hour after Reagan's inauguration.

In this case, a movie, Innocence of Muslims, outraged protesters.  It was released earlier this year, with the notorious Terry Jones' backing, but only recently translated into Arabic and made available on Youtube after failing to generate any interest at movie theaters.  It was picked up by an Egyptian television channel over the weekend.  The Israeli-born filmmaker, Sam Bacile, is a notorious anti-Muslim, who now hides from scrutiny.  Apparently, an embassy official at the Egyptian embassy in Cairo apologized for the film, which Mitt Romney was quick to seize upon and make into an issue.  Of course, it doesn't take much to set off Islamic fundamentalists, but this seemed a particularly well-timed incident.

12 comments:

  1. Who knows what back channels the Bush-Cheney republicans may have activated in the moslem world? It sure worked in 1980, didn't it?

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  3. Give this story a little time. It may end up making Romney look like what he is: an asshole.

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    1. Seems Mitt is already having problems,

      http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-under-friendly-fire-response-libyan-embassy-attack-213729383--election.html

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  4. I didn't put much stock in this "Arab Spring," as it seemed to be driven largely by fundamentalist forces. Terry Jones and Sam Bacile probably didn't expect quite this much reaction to their puerile film but they were hoping to stir up a hornets' nest, which they succeeded in doing. Romney would do best to keep his distance.

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  5. Some seem to think this was more of an orchestrated 9-11 attack, rather than a spontaneous response to a stupid film. Regardless, Romney blusters and blows it, while warships are apparently en route to Libya.

    I sure hope Obama can use the same cool he apparently used in Benghazi the last time.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/10/michael-lewis-profile-barack-obama

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  6. They had a former US Ambassador to Israel on CNN the other night and he said the level of terrorist organization and gunrunning is quite high in North Africa, and sadly Benghazi was an easy target.

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  7. I'm sure the Obama admin. will organize some air raids through Libyan channels to root out some of the uglier elements. That should shut up the Republican black guard, which I see is growing,

    http://news.yahoo.com/sen-jon-kyl-us-embassy-response-blaming-rape-031347151--abc-news-politics.html

    Of course, it is a "fine point" but the "apology" (for the movie) Romney, Kyl, DeMint and others refer to was issued before the attack on Benghazi, and was an effort to defuse the tension in Cairo.

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  8. I see the old dog has weighed in on the matter as well,

    http://news.yahoo.com/henry-kissinger-understand-mitt-romneys-severe-reaction-mideast-224641094--abc-news-politics.html

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  9. Romney and other right wingers are trying to make political hay out of these attacks. They blame Obama for creating the political climate that generated the anger and hate. But by doing so they are making asses of themselves once again.

    Today there was a HUGE pro-USA rally:

    http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI


    Lots of placards praising the ambassador and the USA.

    Now let's see the right wingers take back the garbage they said.

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  10. Take back? Naw, they will just heap more cow patties onto the flames.

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  11. Turns out Sam Bacile was an alias,

    http://news.yahoo.com/feds-id-california-mans-role-anti-islam-film-164554115.html

    Seems like the guy went into hiding more because of his shady past than any fear of retaliation, but the actors he hired are understandably worried about their roles in this overdubbed film.

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