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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq Security, Constitution;

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 003123

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 SECURITY, CONSTITUTION;
BAGHDAD


1. SUMMARY: The major themes in the daily newspapers on
July 28 were drafting the constitution, and the security
situation.

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

A. "For a constitution that ensures rights for all" (Al-
Da'awa, 7/28)
B. "Why Iraq not others" (Al- Ittihad, 7/28)

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

A. "For a constitution that ensures rights for all" (7/28)

Al-Da'awa (affiliated with Islamic Da'awa Party led by
Hassan Al Sie'ed) published a fifth-page editorial by Rasim
Qasim about the need for a constitution that will ensure
rights for all:

Recently I saw a survey that asked questions about the
constitution. There was one item of particular interest.
It asked the rhetorical question, "Who owns the natural
resources of Iraq?" The answer, which was written in the
paper, is of course the people of Iraq. This reminded me of
when I was a child and my teachers would tell me that Iraq
was a sea of black gold. She was talking about the oil and
natural gas reserves that are under the land in Iraq. It
is rumored that Iraq has some of the richest oil reserves
in the world. We all know that Iraq has the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers, which are among the greatest rivers
in the world. We know that Iraq has some of the purest
sulfite, glass and phosphorous. We read about the wonders
of Iraq and it makes us feel better about our current
situation. However, in our current state we cannot reap
the benefits of our nation's bounty. Most people suffer
from anemia and malnutrition and are targeted by
terrorists.

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A long decade ago, before the first war, when Iraqi oil was
flowing freely to countries like the United States and
Japan, we knew that our oil was helping to raise the
standard of living for those people and we envied them
because our oil was doing nothing for us.

While we have never known, and it seems as though we will
never know, the meaning of prosperity, we still want things
to get better. During the liberation we heard a great deal
about the good things that were going to happen for the
Iraqi people. However, after three years we clearly see
that nothing has gotten better; in fact things have gotten
worse.

Iraqis have lived in tinplate houses, without even the most
basic of human comforts, since the 1930s the beginning of
the era of the monarchs. The era of the monarchs turned
into the era of Saddam Hussein, and with him we suffered
even more. Poverty, sickness and violence have been the
primary feature of the Iraqi society for as long as anyone
can remember.

Now we are trying to build a new life in Iraq, but this is
a new experience for us. It is difficult. No matter how
hard we try nothing seems to work.

The newspapers report that the government will be sure to
include the Iraqi people when they distribute our oil
money. They promise that the money will be distributed
fairly and that everyone will finally have their own homes.
They will finally have the same standard of living as
people living in Western countries. They claim that all we
Iraqis need to be willing to do is cash the checks.

It is necessary for the Iraqi government to put the
interests of the people first. The government must be
unselfish and work for our wellbeing. In actuality, this is
the job of every Iraqi, not only the political powers.

We hope that our leaders will serve Iraq and not their own
selfish interests. We need to rebuild our infrastructure,
our economy and our nation. This is the job of the
government. However, we must remember that the government
is made up of Iraqis. We must all work together if we are
to rebuild our beloved country."

B. "Why Iraq not others" (7/28)

Al-Ittihad (affiliated with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
led by Jalal Talabani) published a seven-page editorial by
Salah al Fadhli:

"Why are there so many suicide attacks in Iraq? That is
the question that haunts every Iraqi. Since the fall of
Sadaam Hussein's regime there has been around six hundred
suicide attacks. Most of them have targeted unarmed
civilians or Iraqi National Guard and police. Only about
two hundred of those attacks have targeted American forces.
No Iraqi is safe, not even our children. The latest
outrage against our children was last week when a suicide
bomber killed thirty-three babes at one time.

The misguided people who support this form of terrorism
could answer our question. They might say, "There are so
many suicide attacks in Iraq because Iraq is a Muslim
country occupied by American forces, and resistance is the
duty of every Muslim." Murdering children is our duty, how
can that be?

They might try to justify their action by saying, "Because
resistance is an Islamic duty that should be practiced by
all Muslim countries under occupation, we have the right to
choose how we resist." They say they want to liberate Iraq
by forcing the occupiers to leave. But are they telling us
the truth? Why would anyone leave a country to people who
would kill children, women and the elderly in such a
horrible way?

So let us test the theory that resistance in the form of
suicide attacks is practiced by all Muslims under
occupation. Is Afghanistan not also an occupied Muslim
country? Has Afghanistan not also been occupied by the
United States two years longer than Iraq? If all Muslims
under an occupation have the duty to perform suicide
attacks, why have there only been twelve suicide attacks in
Afghanistan during the whole of their occupation.

This is the first paradox.

The second paradox is that Afghanistan was originally the
base of the ideological movement that is promoting suicide
attacks in Iraq. Would it not be better for these people to
focus on Afghanistan, since it is the birthplace of their
movement? Why all of this insistence on seeking martyrdom
in Iraq? It would be easier for them to kill themselves at
home. It seems that there are as many infidels in
Afghanistan as there are in Iraq.

Is martyrdom in Iraq more rewarded than martyrdom in
Afghanistan? And what about Palestine? What is it about
the Mujahdeen that makes them rush to Iraq to push the
button on the bomb belt?

This double standard in dealing with Iraq is not confined
to the Mujahdeen, but extends to religious figures and the
Arabic media. The people in those groups, who in the past
shed real tears for the starving Iraqi children, now keep
silent when those same children are killed in suicide
attacks. And look what happened in Falluja while those
'wonderful' people kept silent. What terrible crimes these
suicide attacks are. They are not resistance and they are
not noble. They are terrorist attacks that are inflicted
upon Iraq and nowhere else. Why?"


KHALILZAD

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