This is only the speculation of many people who pay attention to these things (meaning not most Americans), but were I a gambling man myself, my money would be on August. Yes, that's just next month!

My own reasons for believing war is probably imminent include:

--There's the advantage of relative surprise (the official leaks and the majority outside opinion says it'll happen next year).

--With the Shrub on another vacation for a month, neither we and our allies nor the "evil ones" would expect a move in August, although getting him out of the way probably looks like a good thing to his advisors these days, and he certainly can't contribute anything intelligent to the planning or execution.

--Congress is in recess, and therefore also out of the way, for whatever small additional advantage that may add these days.

--Congress has already accepted the idea of war and even the Democratic leadership believes the Executive would not have to seek its approval for war on Irag.

--At this point most Democrats would be so relieved to have the country distracted from their own crimes and embarassments relating to campaign finance and corporate crime that they would be willing to forego Congressional victory in 2002 if a good war could get them off the hook.

--Above all an early war looks likely because it must appear to the White House as the perfect solution to the declining authority of the administration and the accelerating criticism of its competence. With this one big move the problems of Dubya's own growing financial scandals as well as the crimes of big business generally, the tanking of the stock market and the wipeout of Americans' life savings, the continuing, perhaps deepening recession, fading interest in the "War on Terrorism" and the growing attention being given to its failures and finally the potentially extraordinary relief real war could bring to the Republican Party, since at the moment it looks like it may be a big loser in the mid-term elections. Is the destruction of what's left of the environmental movement in there somewhere?

...for an administration that has deliberately made its alleged effectiveness and resolution in the war on international terror its central appeal, the desire to have good news from Iraq, or at least progress on any anti-terror front, by November is obvious.

You probably didn't hear it from me first, but you have heard it now. Are we bothered by the thought? Do we think anything can be done about it? Maybe not in time. Yet,
Perhaps, if the American people realize the crass political motivation for an Iraqi war started just before the fall elections, they will react very differently at the election booth, carefully examining their ballots to make sure the chads are not hanging, that they’ve selected the candidate they intended to vote for-- the democrat or green party candidates who will, when the republican majority in the congress is overthrown, restrain, or perhaps cage or even jail the rapacious Bush onslaught against America.

One final observation. I know I'll be attacked for even hinting at the analogy, but should this unprovoked war come about, in August or later, will we ever again be able to talk about our outrage over Pearl Harbor? Think about that one.

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Published on July 21, 2002 11:22 AM.

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