In the waning days of World War II as he huddled in his Berlin bunker, Hitler held out hope that the so-called "Wonder Weapons" developed by his scientists would produce a miracle reversal of fortune for the Third Reich. Hitler thought that the jet-powered Messerschmidt ME-262 would suddenly give the Luftwaffe superiority in the air while the V-1 and V-2 rockets could rain terror upon England and the United States long enough for both countries to sue for peace before destroying all of Germany.
At the same time, Hitler's Axis Powers ally Japan was sending out pilots on suicide missions. Low on capable fighter pilots, bombs and ammunition, these new recruits were trained to fly their planes directly into American naval warships and inflict as much damage as possible. They were known as "Kamikaze"--or "divine wind". The name came from typhoons that had sunk an invading Chinese naval fleet and had appeared to come out of nowhere to protect Japan in 1274 and 1281--and the High Command believed these suicide pilots could do the same thing in modern war.
Of course, the Nazi "Wonder Weapons" did not turn the tide of the war in Europe. For starters, they entered the battle much too late--and the Germans had already suffered too much in the way of damages and losses to ever hope to recover. And the Kamikaze did nothing more than cement in President Harry Truman's mind that dropping atomic weapons on Japan was justified to prevent tens of thousands of US military deaths in invading a country full of suicidal zealots.
I thought of both the Wonder Weapons and the Kamikaze this weekend while Donald Trump supporters crowed about the FBI announcement that it was continuing its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server while Secretary of State. Here was the last minute, October Surprise that was going to sink the Clinton campaign just as it appeared it was going to steamroll to a convincing victory!
Well here is how things are actually going to play out over the next week: Every media outlet will find Clinton surrogates, Democrats and liberal leaning think tankers to discredit FBI Director James Comey as a right-winger that released his statement strictly to sabotage the Clinton campaign with little time left before election day. Those same folks will also reiterate the line about how "this happened years ago, she said she was sorry for doing it and she won't do it again" and Mrs Clinton will not have to answer any direct questions about what Huma Abedin would have been hiding on a personal laptop she shared with her husband. Clinton supporters--many of whom have taken advantage of absentee voting periods and already cast their ballots--aren't going to change their minds--while the rest of America will think "I already knew she thought she was above the law, this doesn't change my thinking one bit--I'm still not voting for either one of these losers".
And after Clinton wins next month, the stories of the FBI investigation will be shoved to the back burner--if mentioned at all--as all of the talking heads focus on what long-time Washington insiders will be back in the halls of power as Clinton Administration cabinet members or political consultants. And then--probably on the morning of Christmas Eve Day when no one is paying any attention--the FBI (likely under an "interim director") will issue a report that finds that the incoming President did have more clsssified emails sent to her private server--and shared with those not authorized to see such emails to get their political opinions on the ways to proceed--but that there "still isn't enough evidence" to ask for a grand jury indictment against Clinton. That will be followed by four years of Congressional Republican investigations, a failed impeachment attempt and Clinton's decision not to seek re-election in 2020.
So for those of you thinking that last Friday's statement from the FBI is about to turn the tide of what's already become inevitable--you may want to brush up on your history.