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IRAQ: Post Saddam Hussein

Expatriate groups always hope to take power when the regime responsible for their exile is overthrown, but they are resented by those who remained in the country, and they are often out of touch with the reality of their country. In Afghanistan, the US brought back exiles, but it is following the opposite course in Iraq, as this Reuters (2/24/03) dispatch explains: "US to take full control of post-war Iraq. The Bush administration would assume full control of Iraq with an American civilian heading a post-war government if a US-led invasion topples Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Washington Post reported (2/21/03), citing US officials and other sources. The post-Saddam plan calls for an interim civilian administrator to run the government and direct the reconstruction and distribution of humanitarian aid. An American "of stature," such as a former state governor or ambassador, would be appointed to the post and would take over once the military had established security and destroyed weapons of mass destruction, officials were cited as saying. General Tommy Franks, commander of US forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan, would oversee the military administration of Iraq as long as US troops remained there. Iraqi opposition leaders were told this week the US would not recognize an Iraqi provisional government being discussed by some expatriate groups", RH: One problem is the rivalries among the various exile groups. What will be the title of "the American of stature"? Proconsul?

Ronald Hilton - 2/24/03