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Hi all,

Here's another propaganda item which seems to test the waters.

Quite useful to study such stuff for exploring trends - existing ones as
well as those to be engineered.








July 10, 2003 -- PRESIDENT Bush consistently has done the right thing by
ignoring the nay- sayers before, during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Yet he's in danger of making the same mistake his father did at the end of
Desert Storm - doing only half the job.
Just as the failure to press on to Baghdad in 1991 left Iraq and the entire
region with cancerous problems, today's failure to recognize the artificial,
unjust nature of the Iraqi state promises enduring discontent.

Will American troops need to return to Iraq a third time, in another decade?

Speaking of Iraq as a single, integrated country is a form of lying. Its
borders were drawn by grasping European diplomats almost a century ago, with
no regard for the wishes - or rivalries - of the local populations.

Today, the Iraq we're trying to herd back together consists of three
distinct nations caged under a single, bloodstained flag. Our problems are
with only one of those nations, the Sunni Arab minority west and north of

Favored by the British, the Sunni Arabs took power at Iraq's formation and
maintained it through massacre, torture and imprisonment. Saddam Hussein was
the ultimate expression of Sunni Arab tyranny over Iraq's Kurds and

By holding Iraq together with U.S. troops, we merely encourage the Sunni
Arabs - who remain hostile to our presence, whose extremists attack our
soldiers and who still intend to recapture control of the entire country.

We are punishing our friends, rewarding our enemies and alienating the
neutral. President Bush needs to perform radical surgery on Iraq now, while
the world remains in a funk over our success. We still have a window through
which we can thrust major reforms. But the window is closing. Defending the
status quo is deadly folly.

The break-up of Iraq should proceed in two stages.

First, we should provisionally divide the country into a federation of three
states, giving the Sunni Arabs one last chance to embrace reform.

* One state would encompass the Shi'ite region in the south, encompassing
all of the southern oil fields.

* The second would be an expanded Kurdistan, including historically Kurdish
Kirkuk and Mosul, as well as Iraq's northern oil fields.

* The third would be a rump Sunni Arab state sandwiched between the other

* Baghdad would become an autonomous district.

Stop worrying about Shi'ite extremism. If we mean what we say about
democracy, the Shi'ites should be free to choose whomever they want as their
leaders - even fundamentalists. Although the odds of theocratic rule
emerging or enduring in southern Iraq are lower than the media imply, the
Shi'ites, who long have been oppressed and persecuted, should be free to
determine their own future.

Democracy means letting people make their own mistakes. We've made a few
ourselves. The only thing upon which we should insist is strict supervision
to ensure an honest vote.

We must, however, make it clear to Iran that meddling will not be tolerated.

As this column consistently points out, the Kurds deserve freedom and a
state of their own. After the Jews and Armenians, they have been the most
persecuted ethnic group of the last hundred years, always denied an
independent homeland, shot, gassed, driven from their homes - and even
victimized for the use of their native dialects. The world's willingness to
look away from the long tragedy of the Kurdish people is inexcusable.

And consider how strategically helpful a Kurdish state, reliant on U.S.
military guarantees, might be. If the Kurdish people agreed to host our
forces, we could abandon our bases in Turkey, the use of which has been
restricted almost to worthlessness. New airbases amid a welcoming population
would be quite a change in the region. Even the Saudis and the Gulf Arabs
would be on notice.

And what about Turkey? Our "long-time ally"?

I have no personal grudge against Turkey. On the contrary, I've visited the
country many times and even took my wife there on our honeymoon. Istanbul
remains one of my favorite cities. I've argued for years that Turkey was a
vital ally.

But times change. Turkish treachery on the eve of our recent war cannot be

Startled by the swiftness of our victory, the Turks immediately assured us
that it was all a minor misunderstanding, that Turkey wished to remain the
best of friends. Yet Turkey is again becoming the "sick man of Europe,"
plagued by ineradicable corruption, growing Islamic radicalism and a
self-destructive military.

The result of our renewed friendship? Last week, U.S. forces had to break up
a secret Turkish military operation in northern Iraq, arresting a dozen of
Ankara's special operations troops. The Turkish mission? To assassinate the
senior Kurdish leader in Kirkuk. His crime? Cooperating with the Americans.

The Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Ozkok, threw a public tantrum, insisting
that we had created a grave crisis by busting his assassins. Sorry, pal. You
created the crisis. And you just blew any chance you and your government had
of rebuilding bridges to Washington that will bear any real weight.

The Turkish military's scheme to undercut our occupation underscores the
need for the Bush administration to stop thinking small when it comes to
nation-building. Instead of just changing the oil in the old jalopy, it's
time for a fleet of new cars. An independent Kurdistan should roll off the
assembly line first.

The second stage of the division of Iraq would kick in if the Sunni Arabs
still refuse to cooperate: We would declare the interim Iraqi Federation
dissolved, creating three fully independent states in its place, with the
Kurdish and Shi'ite states meeting along the Iranian border to guarantee the
Kurds a corridor to the sea for their oil, gas and trade.

Then leave the Sunni Arabs to rot.

Oh, and there just might be a third step down the road, too. We should not
miss any opportunity to support the longing for freedom of the tens of
millions of Kurds held hostage behind European-imposed borders in Turkey,
Syria and Iran. For Americans serious about human rights and freedom,
Greater Kurdistan must be a long-range goal.

Military operations alone cannot change the Middle East. The European legacy
of phony borders must be demolished, starting in Iraq. Don't betray our
troops again by leaving the job unfinished to please our enemies.

Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of "Beyond Terror:
Strategy in a Changing World."




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July 12, 2003 -- Full marks to Ralph Peters ("Break up Iraq now!" Opinion,
July 10) for his honesty, courage and objectivity - and boldly upholding
true American values. His recognition of Kurdistan's strategic geopolitical
importance and the Kurds' time-honored loyalty to friends is no less
It would be sad if President Bush's place in history were to be tarnished by
his neglect of the Kurds due to irrational reverence for the errors of the
past and his undeserved loyalty to tyrannical and phony "friends" like the
Turkish generals.

Eziz Bawermend
Sydney, Australia


Trying to hold together coalitions of feuding people who hate each other is
not a recipe for success.

Democratic values must be fostered before they can trump religious and
ethnic allegiances.

Turkey should be justly rewarded for its treachery. What it feared most - an
independent Kurdistan - is what it deserves.

John Erickson
Henderson, Nev.


Finally, someone has said what I've been waiting to hear since the fall of
Baghdad. The problems of the Middle East are in no small part the result of
the breakup of the colonial empires of Europe after World War I and can only
be resolved by recognizing the mistakes made at that time.

President Bush has an historic opportunity and, I hope, the resolve to act.

Jeffery Kempf
Auburn, Alaska


Ralph Peters' column about the breakup of Iraq is scary. The same argument
could be made for America.

We could partition Texas, New Mexico and California for the Hispanic
population. The freed slaves could take over the Deep South. Indian
reservations could be a new independent nation.

America does have the same problems as Turkey and Iraq. We always seem to be
able to work them out.

David Bebb
Palm Springs, Calif.

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