Thread: The October Surprise
#1 The October Surprise10-21-2012, 01:43 AM
The October Surprise
October 20, 2012 - 7:16 pm - by Michael Ledeen
The New York Times reports (and the White House denies) that “The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.”
Two of the three assertions in that lead paragraph are demonstrably false. One-on-one negotiations have been going on for years (most recently, according to my friend “Reza Kahlili,” in Doha, where, he was told, Valerie Jarrett and other American officials recently traveled for the latest talks). The only news here is that the talks would no longer be secret. And the notion that only diplomacy can avert “a military strike on Iran” is fanciful. There are at least two other ways: sanctions may compel the regime to stop its nuclear weapons program, or the Iranian people may find a way to overthrow the regime, thereby (perhaps, at least) rendering military action unnecessary.
I rather suspect that you don’t have to do anything to avoid an American military strike on Iran. I can’t imagine an Obama Administration authorizing a military attack. An administration that can barely bring itself to fly air cover in Libya, and can’t bring itself to take any serious action in Syria, strikes me as very unlikely to unleash our armed forces against the mullahs.
As for the claim that Iran has agreed to talks, even that seems problematic, as the Times admits further down in its story: “American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort.” If there is no approval from the supreme leader, there is no agreement at all.
The Times’ journalists–Helene Cooper and Mark Lander–then treat us to an attempt to calculate the political significance of their story, but that is as foggy as the report itself. Maybe it would help Obama claim some sort of breakthrough. On the other hand, maybe it would leave him open to the charge that Iran is using him to stall for time. Who knows? They quote America’s favorite negotiator, Dennis Ross, who is of course all for the talks, and even has a negotiating strategy all ready. And they quote Nicholas Burns, who is also supportive.
This last is a bit curious, since Burns, who was Condoleezza Rice’s top negotiator with the Iranians, actually believed he had negotiated a “grand bargain” with the Iranians in 2006. The Iranians would suspend nuclear enrichment and we would lift sanctions. Except that the Iranians failed to show up for the signing ceremony at the United Nations, and Rice and Burns sat in New York waiting for the Iranian airplane to take off from Tehran. Apparently Mr.Burns didn’t learn the obvious lesson.
At least one element of the Times story is true: the agreement, if there actually is one, is undoubtedly ” a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term.” Indeed, there were talks between Iranian officials and a representative of the Obama campaign, even before the Inauguration. Secret talks between the two countries have been going on for decades, and I do not know of any American president from Jimmy Carter to the present who did not secretly pursue a deal with Tehran. (I participated in such talks in the mid-1980s during the Reagan Administration).
So what is happening? The most likely explanation is that Obama is still desperately seeking his grand bargain, the one that would validate his (and the Nobel Committee’s) claim to be a talented peace maker. That deal is not available, because the Iranians don’t want it. But he wants something to show for his efforts, so he settled for a big nothingburger: an agreement to talk some more.
Even if the story turns out to be true, I don’t think it will help him. “We’re going to talk to the Iranians!” isn’t a very sexy headline.
The one (mildly) interesting feature is why the story was leaked. Did the leaker(s) think it would help the campaign? Or was the leaker trying to stop yet another embarrassing wasted effort?
Give it a few days, maybe we’ll actually learn something interesting. Maybe it’ll even come up in Monday’s debate…
10-21-2012, 01:45 AM
I thought the October Surprise is going to come courtesy of Gloria Allred?The Obama Administration: Deny. Deflect. Blame.
10-21-2012, 11:07 PM
10-22-2012, 12:01 AM
Maybe some people will be gullible enough to believe this BS. Obama must really be stretching, but his loyal lapdogs, the MSM, will trumpet it as a triumph for the Annointed One. Oy!
" To the world you are just one more person, but to a rescued pet, you are the world."
"A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"
10-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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I really think we need to keep track of all these October surprises. Especially since we only have 9 days left in October:
Donald Trump Ready To Drop 'Gigantic' Bombshell About President Obama, Claims It Could Swing The Election
Donald Trump has announced he has a “gigantic” bombshell about Barack Obama – and he’s going to drop it Wednesday!
The billionaire real estate tycoon has said he has something huge on President Obama …so huge it could swing the election.
Trump, a die hard Republican who considered running against Obama himself at one point, is planning to reveal the shocker via Twitter at some point on Wednesday, he said.
Republicans Rejected Man’s Claims That Obama Sold Cocaine In College
A man claiming to be a close pal to President Obama during college made contact with Republican operatives recently, ready to go public with claims that Obama used and sold cocaine in college, RadarOnline.com is reporting exclusively.
The operatives tried to spread the story through the media and the Romney campaign, a source close to the situation told Radar.
“At first he wanted to do a book,” a source close to the situation told RadarOnline.com about the alleged college pal. “But there just wasn’t enough time before the election.
Republicans Try To Stop Gloria Allred As Mitt Romney 'October Surprise' Drama Builds
The Republican party is bracing itself - and preparing to fight back - against Gloria Allred's rumored "October Surprise" on Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
"We're doing too well to risk 'an Allred,' she can be stopped, but it will take action on our behalf," a GOP watchdog group blogged, asking supporters to contact Romney's campaign headquarters and the Republican National Committee.
10-23-2012, 01:59 PM
Who knows what Trump is going to say, or if there's any truth to anything he says about Obama. If it's more birther nonsense, he's really jumping the shark. If it's Larry Sinclair's "Obama's gay" nonsense, he's a fool. Maybe he's making Dennis Rodman endorse Romney as a condition of his appearance in the all-star Celebrity Apprentice?
Same for Gloria Allred. I doubt she has anything major on Romney, although if there is any truth to Obama's charge that Romney invested in a Chinese oil company that traded with Iran, well, that could be the October Surprise. I doubt that Romney plans on spending the next two weeks defending himself on that, especially if there is a clear papertrail. I just can't see the dems trusting her with something like that. That's the kind of thing they would leak to CNN, and let them present it.
10-23-2012, 02:05 PM
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10-23-2012, 03:52 PM
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