An October Surprise?

By Steve Meehan

In recent presidential elections, the question invariably arises “will there be an October surprise?” to stimulate a candidate’s chances of securing the office of president, especially when it is perceived that the campaign thus far has not been going well. It would usually require something of such newsworthy import and significance in order to provide a boost to otherwise tanking poll numbers and to curry favor with the voting populace come Election Day. Could such a ploy be implemented during the last few weeks of this election cycle?

It is no secret that the Obama campaign has, to this point, not gone as well as they had planned. His promises of “Hope and Change” during the 2008 presidential election campaign never did materialize with the economy still floundering. With another 5 trillion dollars added to the National Debt during his first term of office, along with continued rising gasoline prices and a national unemployment rate hovering around 8%, the president and his team can hardly trumpet their economic achievements. 

His recent lackluster performance in the first presidential debate caused his poll numbers to slip even further, wiping out any bump he may have gleaned after the Democratic National Convention. It may be that the most damaging aspect to his chances of being elected to a second term and one that has been highly criticized by those on the right, are a series of missteps that his administration has undertaken recently in the realm of foreign policy.

The events surrounding the assassination of the US ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, along with three American staffers, and how dismally the administration has been handling the controversy of inaction leading up to the terrorist ambush, combined with a series of incorrect statements in the aftermath of the attack, has been a real eye-opener to the American public.

In the recent UN General Assembly meeting in New York with the opportunity to score political points by looking like a president fully involved in foreign affairs, Obama instead opted not to meet with any world leaders but instead chose to continue on the campaign trail and also took the time to make an appearance on the television show The View. With the growing threat of Iran going nuclear and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel seeking an urgent meeting with the leader of the free world and seeking US assistance in curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Obama could have showed how engaged he is in the Middle East, instead of leaving the impression of being detached from circumstances there. 

During his first year in office, Obama met with European leaders and others, in what was perceived as an ‘apology for being Americans’ tour by those on the right. Couple that notion with the recent foreign political gaffes, he is leaving the impression that he is aloof, distant, not fully involved and that he “leads from behind” in how he conducts foreign policy. Obama may need to do something regarding world affairs to give his reelection chances a shot in the arm.

It was reported recently by the Jerusalem Post that Israel and the USA will conduct a “massive” joint air drill in Israel on October 21st. The US is also sending “military operatives” into Jordan – as announced by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta – this month in case the need arises for the US to go into Syria to secure the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, should Assad’s regime fall. There is presently in the Persian Gulf two US aircraft carrier strike groups – the USS Eisenhower and USS Stennis – as a show of force and to keep the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf open to allow the free flow of transported crude oil through that waterway. Is it possible that there may soon be a US led attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities in light of these recent developments?

There is no doubt that the Israelis have been applying ever-increasing pressure on the US to do something soon regarding Iran and their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It has to also be true that not only is Israel concerned with Iran’s goal of developing nukes, but that neighboring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have to be equally alarmed with that prospect. They have to be exerting an equal amount of pressure on the USA to act, and to act quickly.

If team Obama could successfully pull off going into Iran and destroy or severely cripple the nuclear sites – thereby putting an end to Iran’s chances of acquiring nuclear weapons or at the least, setting back their program for a few years – it would almost certainly ensure his chances of reelection.

The US, with all its firepower and advanced technology, could go into Iran with stealth aircraft to take out the radar facilities; destroy the missile batteries; severely cripple their limited air forces; and using its assortment of bunker-busting bombs, destroy the underground nuclear sites. If they were to plan and execute it properly, the fallout in the immediate region could be limited. However, Iran could get their proxies in Hamas, Hezbollah and perhaps Syria too, to launch an offensive on Israel.

That is where this joint US-Israeli air drill planned for October 21st comes into play. It will be an air defense drill, designed to thwart any incoming missiles into Israel by those aforementioned groups. If the US were to carry out the attack on Iran alone – without the assistance of Israeli aircraft – Israel’s air force would be free to safeguard its own country in the event of a retaliatory attack by those close enemies.

This could be a win-win situation for all concerned nations in the region. A successful outcome could, for all intents and purposes, put an end to the Iranian nuclear threat; it could get the Iranian population to rise up and overthrow the current regime and the mullahs (although Bible prophecy seems to indicate that that will not occur, as Iran seems to be a key player in the Ezekiel 38 war); Israel would be safer in that the nuclear threat is gone for the time being; and the Gulf States and especially Saudi Arabia would be extremely delighted and might reward Obama by ramped up oil production to lower the cost of gasoline prices at the pump, just in time for Election Day.

It is interesting to note, that in that prophecy of Ezekiel 38 – the so-called Gog/Magog war – that one of the on looking nations, as it were, during the invasion of Israel by Russia and the Islamic hordes – including Iran, modern day Persia – are the nations of Sheba and Dedan. Many bible scholars and students of bible prophecy are of the opinion that those ancient tribes settled in the Arabian Peninsula, including the countries of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It begs the question of why would Saudi Arabia side with the ‘young lions of Tarshish’ – which probably includes the USA, perhaps Canada, maybe even Australia – and not go along with the other Arab/Islamic countries who go after Israel; especially in light of the fact, that the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17) by Israel, may be the fuse that ignites the war that leads to this invasion of Israel. Why isn’t Saudi Arabia among the participants of this battle? Is it because the young lions have put down the Iranian threat to the region?

In any case, it may be a long shot that the USA takes any action against Iran in these waning days of the election campaign. However, if team Obama really felt it needed to hit a home run to win over the American people before Election Day, such an October Surprise as the one described with a very successful outcome, would not only be a feather in his cap – it would be a full Indian headdress.

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