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DATE=1/28/99 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT NUMBER=5-42471 TITLE=IRAQ AFTER SADDAM BYLINE= ED WARNER DATELINE= WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRODUCTION: AFTER SADDAM HUSSEIN GOES, WHAT HAPPENS TO IRAQ? WOULD IT BE MUCH THE SAME, OR DEMOCRATIC, OR EVEN BREAK UP? THESE POSSIBILITIES WERE DISCUSSED BY SPEAKERS AT A RECENT MEETING (THURS., JAN. 28) ON CAPITOL HILL. VOA'S ED WARNER REPORTS. TEXT: THE SITUATION IN POST-SADDAM IRAQ WILL BE UNEASY, PERHAPS TUMULTUOUS, ACCORDING TO PARTICIPANTS AT A RECENT MEETING OF THE MIDDLE EAST POLICY COUNCIL, A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION IN WASHINGTON. ELLEN LAIPSON -- A MIDDLE EAST SPECIALIST AT THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY --SAYS DO NOT EXPECT WESTERN-STYLE DEMOCRACY TO EMERGE ANY TIME SOON: // LAIPSON ACT // THERE IS PROBABLY A RESIDUAL LONGING AMONG MANY IRAQIS FOR AN AUTHORITARIAN LEADER WHO WILL BE ABLE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS, WHO WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS AND GET THINGS DONE IN A PERIOD AFTER SADDAM. MANY IRAQIS PROBABLY DO SUPPORT A FORM OF LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE THAT DOES NOT MEET WESTERN STANDARDS OF DEMOCRACY. WHAT THEY MAY WANT IS SIMPLY A LESS CRUEL VERSION OF WHAT THEY CURRENTLY HAVE. // END ACT // ELLEN LAIPSON SAID ISLAMISTS MAY ACQUIRE MORE POWER IN REACTION TO THE SUFFERING CAUSED BY ECONOMIC SANCTIONS. ANOTHER ANALYST -- PATRICK CLAWSON -- SAYS WASHINGTON CAN PROBABLY LIVE WITH A NON-DEMOCRATIC POST SADDAM REGIME AS LONG AS IT SEEKS BETTER RELATIONS WITH ITS NEIGHBORS AND THE UNITED STATES. DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AT THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY, MR. CLAWSON SAID U-S MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO THE IRAQI OPPOSITION SHOULD MAKE IT MORE ACCOMMODATING TO THE UNITED STATES WHEN IT COMES TO POWER: // CLAWSON ACT // THERE ARE GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD WHICH ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC, WHICH ARE UNDER STRONG INFLUENCE OF QUITE TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVE ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PRACTICES THAT ARE INDEED FRIENDLY TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS NEW GOVERNMENT IN IRAQ, BROUGHT TO POWER BY SIGNIFICANT U-S MILITARY SUPPORT FOR AN OPPOSITION, WOULD CHANGE THE SITUATION IN THE REGION SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE BENEFIT OF THE UNITED STATES. // END ACT // MR. CLAWSON SAID A MORE MODERATE IRAQI REGIME WOULD ALLOW THE UNITED STATES TO REDUCE ITS ARMED FORCES IN THE REGION AND WOULD REMOVE A THREAT TO ISRAEL. BUT THAT ENVISIONS A MORE BENIGN GOVERNMENT THAN IS LIKELY TO EMERGE, RESPONDS ANDREW PARASILITI, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AT THE MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE. HE SAID U-S SANCTIONS HAVE CRIPPLED BOTH THE ECONOMY AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY: // PARASILITI ACT // ECONOMIC GROWTH, INCLUDING SOME MEASURE OF DEBT AND REPARATIONS RELIEF, WILL BE ESSENTIAL TO ESTABLISHING STABILITY IN POST-SADDAM IRAQ. IT IS EASY TO ENVISION A DEMAGOGIC OR A NATIONALIST FIGURE RAILING AGAINST THE UNJUST BURDENS IMPOSED BY THE OUTSIDE WORLD FOR THE CRIMES OF THE PREVIOUS REGIME. // END ACT // TO PREVENT SUCH AN OUTCOME, MR. PARASILITI SAID THE WEST SHOULD ANNOUNCE A MASSIVE AID PROGRAM FOR POST-SADDAM IRAQ. BUT EVEN THAT MAY NOT HOLD IRAQ TOGTHER. REND RAHIM FRANCKE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE IRAQ FOUNDATION, AN OPPOSITION GROUP, WARNS THERE ARE TOO MANY COMPETING FACTIONS THAT WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH ONE ANOTHER. THERE ARE ALSO ANXIOUS, PERHAPS PREDATORY NEIGHBORS: // FRANCKE ACT // I AM NOT SO MUCH CONCERNED WHAT IRAQ CAN DO TO OTHERS BUT WHAT OTHERS CAN DO TO IRAQ. MY FEAR IS COMPOUNDED BECAUSE THE REGIONAL COUNTRIES HAVE SUCH CONFLICTING INTERESTS IN IRAQ, HAVE SUCH SUSPICIONS OF EACH OTHER WHEN IT COMES TO IRAQ, THAT ANY MEDDLING BY ONE COUNTRY IS GOING TO INVITE MEDDLING BY OTHERS, AND BECAUSE OF THE WEAKNESS AND FRAGILITY OF THE IRAQI STATE, THE POTENTIAL TO DESTABILIZE IS GOING TO BE IMMENSE. // END ACT // IRAQ FOUNDATION DIRECTOR FRANCKE SAID PRESSURES WITHIN IRAQ FROM THE KURDS IN THE NORTH AND THE SHIA IN THE SOUTH, ALONG WITH INCURSIONS OF NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, COULD LEAD TO THE BREAK-UP OF IRAQ AND INSTABILITY THROUGHOUT THE REGION. FOR NOW, THE SPEAKERS CONCEDED THEY ARE ONLY SPECULATING SINCE SADDAM HUSSEIN REMAINS IN POWER, AND NO ONE CAN SAY HOW LONG THAT WILL LAST. (SIGNED) NEB/EW/WFR 28-Jan-99 7:17 PM EST (0017 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .