As the Republican house of card begins tumbling down, the likely "October Surprise" is an attack on Iranian soil by the United States or Israel. Granted, this is speculation, but speculation based on a number of salient truths.
1) A foreign policy incident, as bad as American foreign policy has been managed by the Bush Administration, is still the best argument for a John McCain Presidency.
2) There are only about 60 days left until the November 4th Presidential election and John McCain still has not unified his party behind him.
3) The neo-conservative agenda was once delayed for eight years by Bill Clinton's Presidency, and Obama threatens another eight year pause in those plans.
4) The Bush Administration has no qualms about starting a war without provocation.
5) The Bush Administration sees itself as beyond accountability or responsibility.
6) Iran has been played up as a national security threat for almost eight years now (remember the Axis of Evil).
7) Few will shed a tear for Iran. In fact many Americans too ignorant to know better will think its a good idea.
8) An attack on Iran places Sen. Obama in a difficult position of having to support the attack even if he disagrees with it.
9) Provides the administration with almost complete control of the subsequent news cycles leading up to the election.
10) FOX NEWS gets to run anti-muslim/pro-America specials and call all democrats traitors. Reigniting the "I'm-more-patriotic-than-you-debate" for Sen. McCain.
Counting back from November 4th, the attack would have to take place before early voting begins, or at least before early voting crests. But the attack must begin after the Republican Convention. So sometime between the second week in September and the second week in October.
If I were Karl Rove this attack on Iran would take place shortly before the first debate which is scheduled for September 26 at the University of Mississippi. That first debate is themed upon domestic policy an area where McCain has proven to be at a gross disadvantage. Doing so will force a discussion on foreign affairs by allowing McCain to refer to Iran and divert the conversation away from domestic issues.
Which means that said attack would best be scheduled for the beginning of that week probably on monday September 22 or there abouts.
Anyone who doubts the machiavellian capacity of the Bush administration to carry this out has not been around for the past eight years.
** Cartoon by Mike Keefe of the Denver Post