STORY #1: September Surprise II
We retire the term “October surprise”; it happened in September 2008 (Lehman Brothers) and it’s happening again this year, with the killing of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens (on September 11) in Libya. Don’t believe me? The Christian Science Monitor seems to feel that way as well. They’re wondering if the prospects of both President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) will be determined by this.
Of course they will! These events have shifted the entire election discussion from jobs to foreign policy. The two have spent more time sniping at each other over their respective responses than they have doing anything meaningful. It has all the characteristics of a surprise. The trouble is that neither one is proving that they can handle it. Now would be a good time for someone else to speak up.
STORY #2: Who shot Innocence?
While U.S. politicians struggle to figure out what they’re supposed to be saying in response to anti-U.S. protests erupting at embassies across the Middle East and North Africa (wow, that was a hell of a run-on sentence), everyone else is wondering this: Who is
John Galt Sam Bacile? (Apologies to Objectivists if you think I’m comparing the two; I just couldn’t resist the joke.) There are too many rumors about his name, age, location, religion and occupation even to list here. Conspiratorial talk, much directed at Coptic Christians, is well-advanced.
A likely theory is that Sam Bacile is an alias for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an L.A.-based Copt, who admitted to being the film’s production manager and has a history of fraud. Theory of why he did it: to turn the U.S. government, or at least average Americans, against the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was once a member. It seems to be working, a bit. But if Nakoula wants more rights for Copts, this couldn’t be worse way to get it. (I don’t discount al-Qaeda’s role here, but both their plans and the film could contribute to general unrest.)
STORY #3: Here’s why
If the above theory is true, either Nakoula has absolutely no knowledge of precedent when it comes to agitprop like his, or his plan all along was to inflame violent protests, pitting Muslim-run countries against the U.S. The Arab Spring spread from Tunisia outward, and the same is true for whatever we’re calling this. The latest protest, as of the time of this writing, is taking place in Yemen. President Abd-Raddu Mansour Hadi seems to agree with me, having blamed “‘mob-like groups’ bent on harming Yemeni-U.S. relations” for the protests. He’s definitely the most perceptive head of state involved.