The ‘October Surprise’ is here!?

Yup, the USA has attacked Syria. From the BBC

“Syria has said American troops carried out a raid inside Syria along the Iraqi border, killing eight people – if the claims are true then this will be the first military incursion by the US into Syrian territory from Iraq.”

As the BBC points out:

“… its timing is curious, coming right at the end of the Bush administration’s period of office and at a moment when many of America’s European allies – like Britain and France – are trying to broaden their ties with Damascus.

“Whatever the local military factors involved in this US operation, it would be unthinkable to imagine that an incursion into Syria would not require a policy decision at a high-level.”

The US military says that it is “investigating”.

If this is actually true, it’s just so damned transparent. People wouldn’t fall for this, would they?

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3 Responses to “The ‘October Surprise’ is here!?”

  1. Paul G. Buchanan Says:

    Not to worry Peter. There have been standing orders for some time that US forces can engage in cross-border raids if they identify a clear hostile target. Field commanders have tactical flexibility under those standing orders, which means that they do not need authorisation from the Pentagon, White House or even the Central Command in order to undertake such a raid. That is as much true for Pakistan as it is for Syria. The rules probably specify that such raids can only occur within 10 kilometers of the border and the targets have to be cross-vetted by at least two different identifying sources (technical and human). My understanding is that this raid happened 7 K into Syria on a well-known AQ smuggling route, so I would imagine that both human assets and technical means were used to verify the targets, then a small team was sent in, with supporting air cover, to “neutralise” the threat. Not much the Syrians could do about that, although the fact that the US forces encountered zero Syrian military resistance gives you some idea of how porous that border region is.

    The nature of the raid is too small to constitute an October surprise, and it will not move US voters anyway. The Syrians will bark but not bite back as it is not in their interest to do so (because if they did then it would allow the Bush administration to retaliate by way of escalation, which could help lift McCain in the last days of the campaign–and even that is not certain because the US public is war weary and deeply cynical about these type of ploys). Had the Syrians suffered military losses it might have been a different story, but they did not.

    As US forces cede control of the central provinces in Iraq they will move to secure border areas. The fact that this was a Spec Ops raid indicates that they will focus on selective interception, search and destroy missions in the border regions. The real chance of escalation is not with the Syrians but along the Iran/Iraq border. Should a clash happen there, then a full October surprise scenario might well unfold….but even then it may not be enough to prevent an Obama win.

  2. Truthseekernz Says:

    Doesn’t look big enough to cause much of a fuss. The Syrians won’t be interested in helping McCain….if only because they might see Obama as a sane person in the White House they have been waiting to talk to since 2000. McCain has been talking tough…..and in a sense maintaining the walls of the propaganda cage that binds the hands of Presidents. At Obama has been seeking to create gaps in the walls of that prison.

  3. StephenR Says:

    What Paul said – the kind of ‘October Surprise’ that involves more US military activity is not the kind of surprise that would work against Obama.

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