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Why Iraq's Neighbors Don't Want War
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It isn't because they have warm and fuzzy feelings toward Saddam, or even feel that he poses no threat. Rather, most of them fear a democratic neighbor, and its potential to unhinge their own fragile grips on power, that they are most worried about.

From Tom Friedman's latest op-ed:

Because, unlike Gulf War I, too many nations don't want Gulf War II to happen. Think about it. Egypt got two-thirds of its debts to the West forgiven for participating in Gulf War I. But today Egypt is terrified about a popular backlash against a Gulf War II, and Cairo is refusing to participate. Syria reportedly got paid $1 billion from Saudi Arabia for joining Gulf War I, but the autocratic regime in Damascus has no interest in Gulf War II, because it could be the next target. Turkey got $3 billion for its help in Gulf War I, but it will only get a huge headache from Gulf War II which will choke its critical trade with Iraq and possibly bring a huge influx of Kurdish refugees across the Iraq-Turkey border.

Iran enjoyed watching Saddam get shellacked in Gulf War I, but the last thing the Iranian hard-liners want now is Saddam toppled and a pro-U.S. Iraqi democracy next door.


So there are a mixture of motivations for not wanting a Gulf War II. It's not so much that his neighbors don't feel threatened. It's that they feel even more threatened by his removal.


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