Mideast Fears Violence After Iraqi Elections (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 01/30/05)
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Millions of Iraqis are to vote in national parliamentary elections
Sunday under worried eyes of Arab neighbors, Israel and the United
Other Arab kingdoms fear that successful Iraqi elections may force
them to follow President George Bush´s attempt to democratize the
Mideast. But they also fear that violence during and after the
elections will set off an eruption of internal violence, starting
Shiite Moslem alliances are expected to win, and there are fears that
the Sunni Moslem minority that ruled under Saddam Hussein will not
sit quietly if it loses power.
"If it´s a successful election, then everybody will be scared of it,"
said Ali Shukri, a veteran Jordanian general and advisor to the late
King Hussein. "If everybody tries to take the Iraqi model, there will
be upheaval in the region."
Jordan´s King Abdullah II already has announced plans to establish
elected councils to oversee development in his kingdom. He also is
concerned that a Shiite victory will lead to the emergence of a
strict Islamic government in Iraq, similar to Iranís. The results of
spreading Islamic fanaticism could be devastating for Israel, which
already fears Iran´s nuclear ability.
The immediate fear of election results revolves around the northern
Iraqi city of Kirkuk, an oil-rich area with a large Kurdish
population. Turkey considers the area to be part of its country.
Turkish officials have said hundreds of thousands of Kurds have
returned to the city to vote. A large Kurdish victory could cause
civil war with Turks and a declaration of independence.
A strong Shiite victory would spell trouble for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait
and the United Arab Emirates which also have sizeable Shiite
populations. Saudi Arabia has been rocked by several terrorist
attacks the past two years.
The elections also may determine the future of the United Statesí
armed forces in Iraq. If the government wants the American forces to
pull out, there is the danger of uncontrolled violence, but their
presence also provokes anger. (IsraelNationalNews © 01/30/05)
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