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The a current New Yorker magazine raises the possibility that the essential missing component for a US "regime change" offensive against Iraq could be in the works. The New Yorker magazine claims Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi has delivered the Bush administration a war plan using Iranian help in an offensive against Iraq "which calls not only for bombing but for the deployment of thousands of American Special Forces troops." The article claims Chalabi has won permission to open an office for his group, the Iraqi National Congress, in the Iranian capital Tehran. The grand schemes of Mr. Chalabi are nothing new. On the other hand the implications of Iranian cooperation with the US scheme are immense. In the past month the Iraqis have raised the possibility of an ambitious US plan that goes far beyond a renewed escalation of bombing. They have raised the prospect that Bush II may try to remove the current government in Iraq. This scenario posits an attack that would fracture Iraq into foreign occupied regions in the North and south and leave a truncated regime around Baghdad. The Turkish military would occupy (as peacekeepers of coarse) northern Kurdish Iraq. This outright Turkish occupation would calm Ankara's fears of a Kurdish republic in northern Iraq arising in the absence of a strong central government. The Turks are well prepared for this venture. Ten years of ethnic war against the Kurds within Turkey proves their competence at pacifying Kurds. They have gained extensive experience in large-scale invasions into northern Iraq. (Under US and British air patrols called 'no-fly-zone' patrols.) In recent years pro-US Iraqi Kurdish leaders have militarily cooperated with Turkey in northern Iraq. Turkish troops are being widely promoted by Washington as "Islamic" foreign occupation troops with UN credentials for Afghanistan, the "green helmets." Last week the US has sent high level delegations to both Turkey and Northern (Kurdish) Iraq to discuss the possibilities of US attacks on Iraq. Publicly these officials denied US plans to target Iraq as the next theatre in the "War on Terrorism." The boldest or most reckless part of the plan is with the Shia dominated south. For this sticky question outright US military occupation is proposed. This occupation would serve to dampen any political aspirations of the Shia within the region and thus calming the nervous Kuwaitis and other Gulf rulers. But can Iran, no matter how accommodating its leadership to the US, reconcile itself to an extensive US military presence on its border? I find this hard to believe. Although the Iran/Contra affair proved the most unlikely partners are capable of some covert cooperation, open cooperation with Washington is a political liability for the current government in Iran. Memories of the 1979 revolution and the US attacks on Iran during the First Gulf War remain. A large scale US attack on Iraq could provoke the opposite reaction within the region. There would be considerable sentiment amongst the former bitter enemies of the 1980s to ally against further US intervention in the Gulf. Bob Allen Campaign to End the Sanctions Philadelphia, PA. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.