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Cablegate: Daily Iraqi Website Monitoring - August 24, 2005

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




E.0. 12958: N/A

SUMMARY: Discussions on the Constitution was the major
editorial theme of the daily websites on August 24, 2005.


A. "Free Opinion for Iraq Will be for Iraqis Without
Dispute" (Sotal Iraq, 8/24)
B. "Constitutional Difference and Involved Parties" (Al-
Rafidayn, 8/24)
C. "Important Date, More Important Clearness" (Iraq 4 all
news, 8/24)
D. "What Constitution and For Which Iraq?!" (Elaph, 8/24)


A. "Free Opinion for Iraq Will be for Iraqis Without
(Editorial by Wedad Fakher, .php?id=14585)

"At last the National Assembly received a copy of draft
constitution right before the deadline, and foiled the
attempt of those who want the political situation to return
back to square one. Their goal is exacerbate the challenges
created by the constitutional vacuum and further spread fear
and anxiety. They hoped that the NA would be forced to
dissolve, allowing the evil powers freedom to move and kill
the democratic experience . . . So many people, including
Salih Al Matlag, think that their era of dominance still
exists. They believe that their threats of violence will
make Iraqis hesitate in taking a strong and determined
course of action . . . Al Matlag should be ashamed to call
his fellow Sunnis "Absentees" of the political process.
Nobody forced them to be absent during this process, rather
they chose shamelessly to boycott the elections, turning
their backs on the Iraqi people, and now find themselves
outside of the political game. He should know that when he
criticizes the two sides that insisted on submitting the
draft constitution, he is criticizing representatives of the
Iraqi people, Kurds and Arabs who are engaging in the
process according to democratic principles . . . At last we
want to tell them whoever claims he loves Iraq, he should
work to build it. On the other hand, whoever wants power and
wealth should search for a substitute home."

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B. "Constitutional Difference and Involved Parties"
(Editorial Mohammed Issa, Al-Rafidayn (

"In the last minutes before the national assembly session,
right before Hachim Al-Hasani opened the session, it was
clear to Iraqis that no agreement was reached over the
constitution. If we go back to the three debated issues
mentioned by Mr. Al-Hasani after the session we find they
are federalism, the proper formation of respective regions,
and the Ba'ath party. Some Sunnis, but not all of they
oppose Federalism. Regional formation mechanisms are
opposed by some Sunnis since relates to the issue of
federalism. The third point is the prohibition of the
"Saddam Ba'ath," mentioned in item 9 of the draft
constitution. Sunnis, who demand it to be omitted, despite
its non-general nature, also oppose it. The United Alliance
and Kurdish parties see the language as a concession, since
it focuses only on the Saddam led Ba'ath. Previously they
had supported the prohibition of any Ba'ath related visions
. . . What is the reason behind insistence over omitting
this phrase since it only mentions Saddam's Ba'ath, the
party that led to Iraq's catastrophe? Could it be to re-
open the way for the return of Saddamist Ba'ath members to
the political life? The answer is yes, but this position
does not represent the main Sunni population. Even if the
phrase was taken out of the draft constitution, it cannot be
removed from the memory of all Iraqis."

C. "Important Date, More Important Clearness"
(Editorial by Rai al-Bayan, Iraq 4 all news

"The process of developing the Iraqi constitution seems to
be coming to an end, according to indicators coming from
Baghdad. Legal considerations and US pressure have
seemingly imposed more rapid bargaining and deeper
concessions among the factions, opening the way for broader
acceptance among Iraqis . . . Any understanding among Iraqi
parties is welcomed in today's Iraq, especially if it
assists in completing an important document such as the
constitution. However, it might lead to a hasty
constitution, leaving ambiguous debated issues such as
federalism and the role of religion, only to save face for
the involved parties . . . Many issues have been unclear in
the constitution regarding representation abroad, a unified
currency, as well as the structure of the armed forces and
disposition of natural resources. If would be preferred to
build a constitution based on conscientious decision-making
and clarity of purpose."

D. "What Constitution and For Which Iraq?!"
(Editorial by Aziz Al-Haj, Elaph (
"They have finally done it. They have formed a religious
state. The sections in the Constitution that state, "People
are the source of legislation", shouldn't fool us. The
decisive factor here is what is mentioned in the "Principles
" of the draft. It states that Islam is the main source for
legislation and laws cannot conflict with its standards . .
. The temporary constitution mentioned that Islam is" a
source of legislation" meaning it represents only one of the
source, while today's draft classifies it as a main sources.
This makes all other sources secondary in importance . . .
Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is dancing with joy since this
mutated constitutional birth took place under his
sponsorship while Bush and Rice express optimism for Iraq's
future . . . The main losers in this process turn out to be
Iraq's democracy, Iraqi women, and other religions . . .
While other loser happens to be Washington even though they
don't know it yet. The history books will place a question
mark over the effects of its liberation war on democracy in
this region . . . If this draft were to be ratified, we will
send out our condolences to the democratic experiment in


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