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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq, Terror, Egyptian Ambassador;

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 002889

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, TERROR, EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR;
BAGHDAD

1. SUMMARY: The major themes in the daily newspapers on
July 10 were Talabani's and Al-Jafari's condolences to the
Egyptian President for the assassination of the Ambassador
in Baghdad, Al-Jafari's expected visit to Tehran, the
constitutional committee's preparations for drafting the
constitution, and the developments of the security
situation. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "After the killing of the Egyptian ambassador, the
'resistance' leaves the occupiers alone while killing those
who opposed the occupation" (Al-Adala, 7/10)
B. "Voices of the moon" (Asharq Al-Awsat, 7/10)

----------------------
SELECTED COMMENTARIES
----------------------
A. "After the killing of the Egyptian ambassador, the
'resistance' leaves the occupiers alone while killing those
who opposed the occupation" (Al-Adala, 7/10)

Al-Adala (affiliated with SCIRI, pro-coalition) published a
last-page editorial by Muhammad Al-Abdullah about the
killing of the Egyptian ambassador in Iraq:

"The abduction of the Egyptian ambassador, Ihab Al-Sherif,
lasted for less than a week before the terrorists decided
to murder him. In addition, the terrorists attempted to
kill the ambassadors of Bahrain and Pakistan. Before these
operations occurred, these same terrorists killed thousands
of innocent Iraqis. We have stated previously that the
operations of Al-Qaeda, Al-Zarqawi, and Saddam's loyalists
represent the most ruthless degree of terror. Despite these
groups' claims, these are not 'resistance' operations
because these groups do not have an overall strategy for
resisting the occupation. Their only apparent objective is
to resist the changes that are occurring in the new Iraq.

The men responsible for these terrible crimes are not
merely thieves or gangsters. They are terrorists who have
increased the severity of their crimes after discovering
that the Arab regimes preferred to keep silent rather than
openly condemning these crimes. These terrorists regarded
the Arab regimes' silence as tacit encouragement to
continue conducting their terrorist operations that kill
innocent Iraqis. In fact, these terrorist groups have had
both direct and indirect relationships with these Arab
regimes. However, once these regimes decided to normalize
their relationships with Iraq by sending ambassadors or
envoys to Baghdad, the terrorist groups realized that Iraq
had achieved success. As a result, these terrorist groups
will become isolated as they lose the logistical support
they were receiving from these Arab regimes. The terrorist
groups will be unable to accept this fact because their
strategy of provoking sectarian strife will fail.

In response to Egypt sending its ambassador to Iraq, the
terrorists killed him. The actions of the terrorists have
become unpredictable. They released the Australian
hostage, whose country's troops were occupying Iraq, while
killing the Egyptian Ambassador, whose country was opposed
to the occupation. Therefore, it is clear that the
terrorists' objective is not aimed at resisting the
occupation. Rather, their strategy is to resist all Iraqis
who are building a new country. The terrorists regarded the
presence of an Egyptian ambassador as evidence that Egypt
approves of and supports the new Iraqi project. For this
reason, the terrorists killed the Egyptian ambassador in
order to convey a message of war to Egypt, Bahrain,
Pakistan and other countries considering sending
ambassadors to Iraq.

Although the terrorists have killed thousands of Iraqis,
the Iraqi people are insistent upon making this project
succeed. The Iraqi people will crush Al-Zarqawi, Saddam
loyalists, and anyone else who wants to damage Iraq. Egypt,
Bahrain, and other countries must be courageous and make
the right decision in continuing to restore their
relationships with Iraq. In the wake of the killing of the
Egyptian ambassador, do the Arabs finally realize that what
is happening in Iraq is not resistance but terror? These
terrorist operations in Iraq are targeting the new
democratic project, not the occupation. Can the Arabs see
this now or do they need more evidence?"

B. "Voices of the moon" (Asharq Al-Awsat, 7/10)
Asharq Al-Awsat (independent, non-biased, London-based)
published a last-page editorial by Sameer Attalla about the
killing of the Egyptian ambassador in Iraq:
"Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi's followers assassinated the Egyptian
ambassador in Iraq while their brothers were assassinating
bus riders in London. For this reason, the kidnapped
diplomat died lonely and without much outrage expressed by
the public. One day after the Egyptian ambassador's
assassination, he was shown blindfolded in a photo but had
not yet been decapitated. Unfortunately, the pan-Arab media
outlets decapitated what was left of the story. These
networks stated that Al-Zarqawi was not responsible for the
crime because Egypt sent an ambassador to Iraq and restored
its relationship with a government that was not recognized
by Al-Zarqawi. The pan-Arab outlets further stated that the
U.S. asked Egypt to send its ambassador to Baghdad.

Providing justification for why this crime was committed is
worse than committing the crime itself. We understand that
there are no formal international statutes or laws that
forbid killers from blowing up buses and trains. There are,
however, regulations that protect the lives of diplomats.
Indeed, it seems as though Al-Zarqawi is the figure who
will decide the future of a country with a population of
over 70 million. He will decide which countries Egypt can
have relationships with and which countries it should
boycott diplomatically.

These pan-Arab media outlets and their hero Al-Zarqawi do
not understand that diplomatic relationships can be also
formed with countries, not just with the governing regimes.
Such relationships are organized by common interests and
customs, not by butchers and decapitated heads shown on
television. These media outlets must realize that
provocation is dangerous because those who provoke such
operations might have sons or daughters that climb aboard a
bus or join the diplomatic corps. Ambassadors should not be
killed because of their government's policies. This deed is
worse than the law of the jungle itself. Although we are
moving quickly towards the Dark Age, it is too premature
for Al-Zarqawi to organize the Arab world's diplomatic
representation. It is better for pan-Arab journalists to
occupy themselves with praising Al-Zarqawi while allowing
Egypt, Bahrain, and other countries to manage their own
diplomatic affairs."

SATTERFIELD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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