A Mubarak for Iraq?

Thus begins Joe Klein's latest Time column:

A few weeks before the war in iraq began three years ago, I checked in with an Israeli friend, an intelligence expert who in 1991 had uncannily laid out for me the course of the first Gulf War on the night before it happened. "It'll be easier than 1991 this time," he said. "A three- or four-week campaign. But I have a question: You're not actually thinking of occupying that country, are you?" I asked if he had an alternative. "You decapitate the government—Saddam, his family and friends, the Special Republican Guard—but leave the rest of the army intact, and then find yourself a nice Mubarak," he said, referring to Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.
He then goes on to describe the options available for the mess in Iraq. But it's interesting that this notion -- advanced just after the war, I remember, by Daniel Pipes -- is making a comeback.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.