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IRAQ: The future of

From Greece, Harry Papasotiriou writes: "One particularly thorny issue concerning a post-Saddam Iraqi democracy is related to the fact, that over 60% of the population is Shiite Arab, while the rest is divided between Suni Arab and Suni Kurd (and some lesser groups). What if the Shiite majority attempts to take over and establish an Iranian-type regime? Moreover, Iraqi turmoil could well affect the substantial Shiite minorities in Kuweit and Saudi Arabia (in the latter case located in the Saudi kingdom's oil-rich eastern provinces). To secure the stability of the region, Bush would need to keep large forces in Iraq and democratize very gradually - beginning with local elections. But a prolonged American military presence is likely to anger the so called "Arab street" and fuel anti-Americanism in the region. This is not to suggest that the whole project is wrong, only to point out the substantial risks involved".

Ronald Hilton - 3/18/03