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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq, Terrorism, U.S. Withdrawal,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002828

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/PPD, NEA/PPA, NEA/AGS, INR/IZ,
INR/P
E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO IZ
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ, TERRORISM, U.S. WITHDRAWAL,
KIRKUK; BAGHDAD

1. SUMMARY: The major themes in the daily newspapers on
July. 5 were preparations for drafting the constitution and
the latest developments of the security situation. END
SUMMARY.

-----------------
TABLE OF CONTENTS
-----------------

A. "Do not leave us to fight terrorism alone" (Al-Bayyna,
7/5)
B. "Normalizing the situation in Kirkuk is an Iraqi affair
and a legal commitment" (Al-Ittihad, 7/27)

----------------------
SELECTED COMMENTARIES
----------------------

A. "Do not leave us to fight terrorism alone" (Al-Bayyna,
7/5)

Al-Bayyna (affiliated with Hezbollah in Iraq) published a
front-page editorial about the recent calls for the foreign
troops to leave Iraq:

"The withdrawal of the multi-national forces from Iraq has
become a point of contention between the government,
political parties, and those calling for the occupiers to
leave Iraq. During his recent tour abroad, Al-Jafari
confirmed that Iraq is facing a fierce terrorist threat
that is targeting its democratic experiment. The Prime
Minister demanded more financial support because it is
opposing terrorism on behalf of the entire world. Al-Jafari
also stated that the Iraqi people are sacrificing all they
have in order to defend humanity. The world must come to
realize this fact and the donor counties must help Iraq
during the current exceptional circumstances.

At the same time, Al-Jafari warned of the possible failure
of Iraq's democratic experiment and claimed that such a
failure would have adverse consequences for the entire
world. He indicated that the danger of terrorism would
threaten all capitals of the world and endanger all
democracies. We must stress that the Iraqi democratic
experiment represents a dramatic transformation in a region
whose nations have suffered from dictatorship, suppression
of freedoms, and the confiscation of opinion and willpower.
These countries are now carefully observing the Iraqi
democratic experiment, which is plagued by both internal
and external terrorism. This experiment is surrounded by
neighboring countries which are supporting, feeding, and
encouraging terrorism in Iraq. These countries are
recruiting killers, mercenaries, and brainwashed
individuals in order to send them to Iraq to make the
democratic experiment fail. The fate of these countries,
however, will be worse than the Iraqi destiny, which is
protected by American tanks and multi-national forces.

If we are looking to evaluate the Iraqi situation as a
whole, we must stress the fact that the destabilization of
the security situation is an international act. The
terrorism is only aimed at making the democratic experiment
fail in Iraq in order to bring Saddam's regime back to
power. Recent calls demanding the departure of multi-
national forces must realize that the Iraqi security forces
must be capable of filling the security vacuum after the
foreign troops' withdrawal. A hasty withdrawal will only
lead to sectarian and civil conflicts, thereby giving the
Baathists, Saddamists, and Salafists an opportunity to
restore power. Such a scenario will lead to the eradication
of the Shiite majority in Iraq. Indeed, making a rash
decision regarding the withdrawal of multi-national forces
will come at a great cost to the Iraqi people. We do not
want a sectarian regime to be established in Iraq. We want
to build a democratic system that is built on equal rights
and responsibilities. Only then will the Iraqi people be
able to protect their experiment and their own lives."

B. "Normalizing the situation in Kirkuk is an Iraqi affair
and a legal commitment" (Al-Ittihad, 7/27)

Al-Ittihad (affiliated with PUK) published a third-page
column by Abdul Hadi Mahdi about the Kirkuk issue:

"Included in Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative
Law (TAL) is a paragraph that establishes the Higher
Commission for Solving Real Estate and Property Claims.
Therefore, Al-Jafari's government must work diligently to
activate this commission and allocate special funding so
that it can accomplish the normalization of the situation
in Kirkuk.

The agreement between the UIA and the Kurdish list stated
that the former regime's policies in Kirkuk must end. These
policies included displacing Kirkuk's original citizens and
replacing them with Arab outsiders. The first paragraph of
this agreement calls for expediting the normalization of
the situation in Kirkuk and other areas that are under
dispute according to the TAL. The agreement also states
that the government must allocate the appropriate amount of
funds to accomplish this process of normalization.
Therefore, the government must now apply the first four
sections of the TAL's Article 58, Paragraph A. These
sections state that the government must activate
normalization procedures within one month after its
establishment.

We believe that these articles and paragraphs are clear.
Without a doubt, Al-Jafari is very familiar with these
articles and paragraphs. As Prime Minister, it must be his
priority to implement what was agreed upon in the TAL. It
is not beneficial for Al-Jafari to surprise everyone by
asking for a postponement in solving the Kirkuk issue. He
must consult with the Presidency Council and National
Assembly before making such unilateral decisions. The Prime
Minister should also call for a meeting to be held between
the UIA and the Kurdish Coalition to discuss this issue.
Al-Jafari's call for postponement has come at a sensitive
and complicated time. The government must demonstrate to
the Iraqi people that it is working to calm the situation,
not to create more tension."

SATTERFIELD

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