That's a terrific post Maryland.
I am not as sure as you are that he wouldn't have been able to get a base of operation with a broad-based coalition or UN backing. I do acknowledge that if he stated his intention of removing Saddam from the get-go that resolution 687 (or whatever it was) would not have passed, and certainly not unamimously.
However, Turkey is important and the political situation in Turkey is quite different now than it was in 1991. Turkey lost a lot of money due to that war and America's encouragement and then subsequent betrayal of the Kurdish uprising sent almost 500,000 Kurds into Turkey, which has helped to foster the current climate of "cecession" talks among Turkish Kurds who seek an independent state of Kurdistan (including some of present-day Turkey!). It is understandable why the Turks are presently reticent to help, because their experience in 1991 was horrible and that affects their present attitudes. Also - Turkey lost money due to the sanctions imposed on Iraq and if the USA, for example, had stated that they would have not shut down the two pipelines running from Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea (via Turkey) perhaps Ankara would have been amenable to allowing us use of their bases. Popular support for the first Gulf War was low in Turkey at the time, even with the UN's backing, but it was not at current levels. Something like 95% of Turks oppose the war now, but only about 65 or 70% opposed the first Gulf War...they are not fans of Saddam's, especially in light of his treatment of their bretheren.
But Turkey lost Saddam as a trading partner for 12 long years due to the sanctions and perhaps would have been amenable to a request for use of their land had we assuaged their financial conerns. We don't know.
What we DO know, however, is that Turkey pleaded to the UN and the USA in 1992-1993 for hundreds of millions in compensation for their losses and we only gave them about 1/3 of what they wanted and even that delivery was delayed and tied up in red tape nonsense...Turkey is STILL pissed about that. The entire experience of the first Gulf War and America's dealings with Turkey have soured them (government and people) towards helping the USA out now. These same "fresh wounds" were not present in 1991.
You could very well be right that they would not have helped us in 1991, but to say that "we now know how that would have turned out" is misleading - you cannot reach back in time and definitively say that.
But, admittedly, it is a long-shot and perhaps H.W. DID try to stike such a deal. Who knows?
It's fun to speculate - you know your stuff. Good show!