FW: Toronto Sun - Post Iraq War Scenarios

cuito61 at onebox.com cuito61 at onebox.com
Sun Dec 29 20:53:58 MST 2002


December 8, 2002
Toronto Sun

Bush's Mideast plan: Conquer and divide

 By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor

NEW YORK -- Arms inspections are a "hoax," said Tariq Aziz, Iraq's
deputy prime minister, in a forthright and chilling interview with ABC
News last week. "War is inevitable." Aziz is the smartest, most credible
member of President Saddam Hussein's otherwise sinister regime - my view
after covering Iraq since 1976. What the U.S. wants is not "regime
change" in Iraq but rather "region change," charged Aziz. He tersely
summed up the Bush administration's reasons for war against Iraq: "Oil
and Israel." Aziz's undiplomatic language underlines growing fears
across the Mideast that U.S. President George Bush intends to use a
manufactured war against Iraq to redraw the political map of the region,
put it under permanent U.S. military control, and seize its vast oil
resources.
These are not idle alarms. Senior administration officials openly speak
of invading Iran, Syria, Libya and Lebanon. Influential neo-conservative
think-tanks in Washington have deployed a small army of "experts" on TV,
urging the U.S. to remove governments deemed unfriendly to the U.S. and
Israel. Washington's most powerful lobbies - for oil and Israel - are
urging the U.S. to seize Mideast oil and crush any regional states that
might one day challenge Israel's nuclear monopoly or regional dominance.
The radical transformation of the Mideast being considered by the Bush
administration is potentially the biggest political change since the
notorious 1916 Sykes-Picot Treaty in which victorious Britain and France
carved up the Ottoman-ruled region. Possible scenarios under review at
the highest levels:
 *      Iraq is to be placed under U.S. military rule. Iraq's
leadership, notably Saddam Hussein and Aziz, will face U.S. drumhead
courts martial and firing squads. Iraq will be broken up into three
semi-autonomous regions: Kurdish north; Sunni centre; Shia south. Iraq's
oil will be exploited by U.S. and British firms. Iraq will become a
major customer for U.S. arms. Turkey may get a slice of northern Iraq
around the Kirkuk and Mosul oil fields. U.S. forces will repress any
attempts by Kurds to set up an independent state. A military
dictatorship or kingdom will eventually be created. The swift, ruthless
crushing of Iraq is expected to terrify Arab states, Palestinians and
Iran into obeying U.S. political dictates.
 *     Independent-minded Syria will be ordered to cease support for
Lebanon's Hezbollah, and allow Israel to dominate Jordan and Lebanon, or
face invasion and "regime change." The U.S. will anyway undermine the
ruling Ba'ath regime and young leader, Bashir Assad, replacing him with
a French-based exile regime. France will get renewed influence in Syria
as a consolation prize for losing out in Iraq to the Americans and
Brits. Historical note: in 1949, the U.S. staged its first coup in
Syria, using Gen. Husni Zai'im to overthrow a civilian government. Iran
a principal foe
 *      Iran will be severely pressured to dismantle its nuclear and
missile programs or face attack by U.S. forces. Israel's rightist Likud
party, which guides much of the Bush administration's Mideast thinking,
sees Iran, not demolished Iraq, as its principal foe and threat, and is
pressing Washington to attack Iran once Iraq is finished off. At
minimum, the U.S. will encourage an uprising against Iran's Islamic
regime, replacing it with either a royalist government or one drawn from
U.S.-based Iranian exiles.
 *  Saudi Arabia will be allowed to keep the royal family in power, but
compelled to become more responsive to U.S. demands and to clamp down on
its increasingly anti-American population. If this fails, the CIA is
reportedly cultivating senior Saudi air force officers who could
overthrow the royal family and bring in a compliant military regime like
that of Gen. Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Or, partition Saudi Arabia,
making the oil-rich eastern portion an American protectorate.
 *       The most important Arab nation, Egypt - with 40% of all Arabs -
will remain a bastion of U.S. influence. The U.S. controls 50% of
Egypt's food supply, 85% of its arms and spare parts, and keeps the
military regime of Gen. Hosni Mubarak in power. Once leader of the Arab
world, Egypt is keeping a very low profile in the Iraq crisis, meekly
co-operating with American war plans.
 *      Jordan is a U.S.-Israeli protectorate and its royal family, the
Hashemites, are being considered as possible figurehead rulers of
U.S.-occupied "liberated" Iraq; more remotely, for Saudi Arabia and/or
Syria.
 *        The Gulf Emirates and Oman, former British protectorates and
now American protectorates, are already, in effect, tiny colonies.
 *        In Libya, madcap Col. Moammar Khadafy remains on Washington's
black list and is marked for extinction once bigger game is bagged. The
U.S. wants Libya's high-quality oil. Britain may reassert its former
influence here.
 *     Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, short of revolution, will remain
loyal western satraps under highly repressive, French-backed royalist
and military regimes.
 *     Yemen's former British imperial base at Aden and former French
base at Djibouti will become important permanent U.S. bases.
 *    The White House hopes Palestinians will be cowed by Iraq's
destruction, and forced to accept U.S.-Israeli plans to become a
self-governing, but isolated, native reservation surrounded by Israeli
forces. The lines drawn in the Mideast by old European imperial powers
are now to be redrawn by the world's newest imperial power, the United
States. But as veteran soldiers know, even the best strategic plans
become worthless once real fighting begins.



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