The tone of the American presidential campaign has been set. We play on fear, the society that is tearing itself apart, the threat of even more violence. However, there was a different kind of excitement at the White House last week. Are we getting ready to serve us a mythical “October surprise”?
These “October surprises” have become the bane of American political campaigns. They refer to these unexpected events which shake up the electoral struggle a few days, at most a few weeks, before the poll.
In 1972, ten days before the vote, Henry Kissinger, National Security adviser to President Richard Nixon, declared that “peace was within reach” in Vietnam. Democrat George McGovern never got over it.
More recently, within three weeks in October 2016, an Access Hollywood videotape gave us an obscene and vulgar Donald Trump, as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, found himself, once again, entangled in a FBI investigation into his emails.
This year, the “October surprise” could well appear a little earlier and come from around the world. It will change us, sure, Portland and Kenosha.
” THE ART OF THE DEAL ” AT WORK
President Trump doesn’t have a big diplomatic record to offer Americans. He regularly maintains that his encounters with Kim Jong-un saved the world from a war between the United States and North Korea. Perhaps, but experts agree that the North Koreans have not given in on their nuclear capabilities.
During an election campaign four years ago, the businessman proudly promised peace in the Middle East. He had entrusted the file to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who ended up laying a peace plan, coldly received in the region. Except that Kushner didn’t give up.
Last Monday, following the agreement to normalize their diplomatic relations announced in mid-August, the chief son-in-law took his place on board the first plane making the connection between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates. United Arabs. The wealthy Persian Gulf state has become the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to make peace with Israel.
TO DIVERT ATTENTION
The White House intends to make the most of this moment. Mention is made of a regional peace conference, which would take place in one of the Gulf States and which would prepare the ground for the establishment of relations between Israel and several other Arab States: Oman, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. Until then, a very official signing ceremony between Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyane, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, could be held in Washington. For a president who loves big productions, it would certainly offer quite a spectacle.
The question is whether this coup will impact the November election in any way. Will he stand up to the police blunders, the riots, the provocative speeches of Donald Trump and the attempts at soothing responses from Joe Biden? I doubt. That said, for those who have had enough of all the fuss, it will change their minds.
File photo, AFP
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM
- 8.6 million
- 74% Jews
- 21% Arab
- 21,937 km2 (the equivalent of Nova Scotia)
- GDP: US $ 317 billion
- Exports: machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds
United Arab Emirates
File photo, AFP
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayel A-Nahyane, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
- 10 millions
- 12% Emirati citizens
- 88% expatriates, of which more than 2/3 come from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- 83,600 km2 (smaller than the state of Maine)
- US $ 690 billion
- Exports: crude oil and natural gas