"The Future of Baghdad"

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Posted by Lilly from D007151.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Monday, December 23, 2002 at 10:28PM :

In Reply to: One Bad Assyrian Mother-in-law! posted by Paul Younan from ? ( on Monday, December 23, 2002 at 10:13PM :

The Future Of Baghdad

BYEGM: Monday, December 23, 2002

STAR- Columnist Murat Celik writes on a possible US military operation against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. A summary of his column is as follows:

The United States, Great Britain, Turkey, France, Australia, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates: these are the nine countries which will contribute to the formation of an international force in Iraq in the postwar period. Under a plan which the US recently presented to Turkey, Saddam’s regime will be overthrown and a new government focused on improving the country’s democracy will be formed. In order to achieve this task, an international military force will sustain peace and security in the region during the first five years of the post-Saddam period.

The military operation against Saddam is at the top of the Bush administration’s agenda. However, the US is also working on a more comprehensive plan to lay out the country’s long-term interests in the region. The US has already started to prepare detailed plans concerning the postwar period.

Washington is currently waiting for Turkey’s final word on the issue. The Turkish government last week permitted US soldiers to carry out advance appraisals at Turkey’s military bases. This was the first sign showing that the Turkish government is planning to permit US planes to use its bases during a military operation in Iraq. In addition, US military officials are to begin site surveys at our bases this week. After these are completed, the officials will determine their needs and begin to make necessary arrangements to address shortcomings at the bases.

The two countries are currently holding heated discussions on the post-Saddam period in Iraq. Turkey doesn’t want to leave northern Iraq after the operation is completed. Our government wants to have control over Mosul and Kirkuk, the two important cities of the region. It also wants to control the exodus of refugees and prevent a rush of Iraqi people to Turkey’s borders. The two countries are still discussing these sensitive issues, and the world is waiting to hear Turkey’s response to Washington’s plan on an international postwar force.


-- Lilly
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