Now if you really believe the US is pursuing the "benign ripple effect" and "democracy" in the Middle East; well you also no doubt believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Clause, and maybe Elijah!
(UK) Times. 18 July 2002.
US would keep troops in Iraq to aid reform.
WASHINGTON -- American troops would occupy Iraq for at least a year
after toppling President Saddam Hussein to ensure the transition to a
democratic regime, under plans being drawn up by the Bush Administration.
A commitment to a peacekeeping presence would underline the way in which
Washington intends to portray its proposed military action in Iraq as
the "first step towards Middle East reform," American officials say.
The force, which could include British and Jordanian troops, is designed
in part to bolster international support by showing that the United
States has a wider mission than simply returning with Saddam's head.
Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, wants to use the end of Saddam's regime
as a platform for wider reforms in the region.
White House officials argue that other Gulf states, notably Jordan,
could use a peaceful Iraq to take their own steps towards more open and
democratic societies. The resulting "benign ripple effect" would help to
ease the path towards a peace agreement between Israelis and
Palestinians [!], according to officials.
The US military has been criticised because of the way some generals
believe that an American mission should end after Saddam has been
deposed. Contrary to that notion, however, the Pentagon is considering
how US troops could help to stabilise Iraq, officals say.
Part of the consideration would be to prevent ethnic rivalries within
Iraq or opportunism by neighbours such as Iran disturbing the country's
oil supplies [N.B.].
Options being assessed include a commitment of American troops for a
year or more.
Military analysts said that a US assault could, and possibly would,
begin before the build-up of forces in the region was complete.
Anthony Cordesman, a former Pentagon official and expert on Iraq at the
Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said that an attack
could begin with crippling airstrikes and limited ground forces in
place, reinforcing with follow-on forces.