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Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003


"In the Middle East, impending "regime change" in Iraq is just the first step in a wholesale reordering of the entire region, according to neoconservatives -- who've begun almost gleefully referring to themselves as a "cabal." Like dominoes, the regimes in the region -- first Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon and the PLO, and finally Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia -- are slated to capitulate, collapse or face U.S. military action. To those states, says cabal ringleader Richard Perle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and chairman of the Defense Policy Board, an influential Pentagon advisory committee, "We could deliver a short message, a two-word message: 'You're next.'" In the aftermath, several of those states, including Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, may end up as dismantled, unstable shards in the form of mini-states that resemble Yugoslavia's piecemeal wreckage. And despite the Wilsonian rhetoric from the president and his advisers about bringing democracy to the Middle East, at bottom it's clear that their version of democracy might have to be imposed by force of arms."