No October surprise — Bush and crew are already scaring us
Oh, you’ll be scared this month, but you won’t have to wait until Halloween.
On the other hand, you probably won’t be shocked. No “October surprise” this year — unless it has to do with the Plamegate probe, which is nearing some sort of conclusion.
That scandal eerily has some elements in common with the October 1980 hostages caper by Bill Casey and other GOP operatives on the eve of the Reagan–Carter vote — White House officials, the CIA, forbidden and foreign intrigue. See the Washington Post‘s analysis this morning of the roles played by tricksters Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in Plamegate.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Plamegate somehow intersected with Wampumgate, in which bogeymen Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff have already been unmasked.
And there’s no surprise about what’s happened — or what will happen — to New Orleans. Shock, disgust, dismay, anger, grief? Yes. Surprise? No. All tricks, no treats — we knew the Bush regime was capable of doing a heck of a job. Besides, Louisiana features the only race that George W. Bush and his handlers are willing to ignore.
And if you’re talking about Iraq, that waking nightmare where Americans are continuing to kill and be killed, there’s no surprise. Or is there?
How the hell could it get any worse? Yet, the ICG, a sober, establishment-oriented group of analysts with not only Democrats but Reaganites on its international board, says it has.
Any day now, you’re probably expecting an announcement that a state of civil war now exists in Iraq. Lots of people, including me, have been calling it that for a while, anyway. There’s no need for a formal announcement. So it’s no surprise that the ICG bluntly says in its monthly CrisisWatch:
As we hurtle toward Halloween, here’s the rest of the forecast by the ICG, which has proven to have a well-functioning crystal ball:
Surely, there’s a chance for conflict resolution in Iraq, as well.
What about Somalia? We’re fighting terror there, too, according to our current chief cowboy in the Horn of Africa, Major General Timothy Gormley, who explained his mission at a September 21 Pentagon briefing:
No wonder Somalia isn’t considered a “conflict resolution opportunity.”
So, Nepal is it. No surprise that it’s the only one of the three countries where we’re not officially “hunting down the enemy.”
For those of you who, through no choice of your own, know more about Natalee than Nepal, the latest word from the International Commission of Jurists, just back from Katmandu, is pretty grim. As reported today in the Qatar daily Peninsula:
Howen said if the royalist government and Maoist insurgents, who have been fighting to overthrow [the] monarchy, really want peace, they should both declare “indefinite ceasefire” and commit themselves to a human rights code of conduct which could be monitored by the UN office for human rights established in Nepal this year.
The global body expressed concern at the continuing “culture of impunity” in Nepal that bred unlawful killings and torture by both the state and the communist guerrillas.
Murder and torture actually being bred in a country renowned among Westerners for the dreamy haze induced by its extraordinarily mellow black hash? Now that is a surprise.