Iraq: January 21, 2003

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US intelligence forces are trying to locate and track Saddam Hussein and his key aides. The US no admitted that it longer refrains from killing the leaders of hostile nations.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations are trying to entice Saddam and other senior Iraqi officials to go into exile and allow a new Iraqi government. The US said it would arrange exemption from war crimes prosecution if Saddam and his inner circle took this route. Saudi Arabia, and the other Arab states, don't want the US throwing Saddam out and establishing a democratic government in Iraq. If this succeeded, it would encourage Arabs throughout the region to call for democracy. The only functioning democracy in the region is Israel. Egypt's democracy is a one party affair tightly controlled by a "president for life" and stifling bureaucracy. Iran's democracy is controlled by a religious council that has veto power over everything. 

Britain announced it is sending a quarter of it's armed forces, some 30,000 troops, to the Persian Gulf.

The US is negotiating with Turkey on how many American troops could enter Turkey and attack Iraq from the north. Most Turks are against an Iraq invasion, remembering the loss of over $100 billion in trade with Iraq as a result of the last war and the embargo. The Turkish leadership, however, knows that the only way to improve the Iraqi economy, and trade with Iraq, is to get rid of Saddam and his thugs. Moreover, with American troops in northern Iraq, Turkey is less likely to have troubles with Iraqi and Turkish Kurds trying to seize northern Iraqi oil fields and establishing a Kurdish nation.

Arms inspections continue in Iraq, with the Iraqis trying to delay the process with endless nitpicking over the terms of their cooperation.

 

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