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As we ordinary folk go about our lives – paying bills, raising children, attending to the mundane and increasingly difficult everyday affairs that dominate our lives – our betters are planning a surprise. You might call it an October Surprise, although it may take place much sooner – rumor has it as early as summer.
The second chapter in the Great Middle Eastern War is being written, and its authors in Washington have in mind an even more dramatic plot-line than we witnessed in chapter one, which was, of course, the invasion of Iraq. In the run-up to that conflict, we were told Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, links to al-Qaeda, and was getting ready to wreak havoc on our allies in the region – and even attack the United States. None of it turned out to be true, as we now know, but, as John McCain says, "we're there now," "we're in it to win it" – and winning it apparently means extending the war to Iran.
In a rerun of the cherry-picked "intelligence"-mongering of the pre-Iraq war years, we are being treated to a propaganda campaign that blames Iran for the failure of the "surge," ignoring the inherent impossibility of subduing an occupied people. Ever since Judy Miller, the New York Times has been the neocons' favorite venue for war propaganda, and now we have a new report from the Old Gray Lady that asserts Hezbollah is training Iraqi militias on the outskirts of Tehran.
We are in the midst of a presidential campaign season, yet not a single major candidate has pointed with alarm to the rather obvious fact that we are on the brink of a major military conflict. Indeed, two of them have welcomed this prospect, while the third – the Democratic front-runner, who owes his status to his antiwar credentials – has addressed the subject only indirectly.
It's like one of those dreams where you scream and no sound comes out, so that none can hear your cries for help. Peace advocates might as well be living ghosts, whose hands pass through solid matter and whose voices merge with the sighing of the wind. We are invisible and unheard: the Silenced Majority.