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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraqi Government, 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 003570

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: IRAQI GOVERNMENT, CONSTITUTION;
BAGHDAD


SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution was the major
editorial theme of the daily newspapers on August 31, 2005.
END SUMMARY.

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

A. "An Evil Ideology" (Al-Bayyan, 8/31)
B. "The Peoples' Word Will Be the Decisive Judgment"
(Baghdad, 8/31)
C. "Before it's too Late" (As-Sabah, 8/31)
D. "The American Shifts" (Al-Ittihad, 8/31)
E. "Pie in the Sky?" (Az-Zaman, 8/31)

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

A. "An Evil Ideology"
(Al-Bayyan, affiliated with the Islamic Ad-Dawa Party led by
Al-Ja'afari, published this front-page editorial)

"Without a doubt, the democratic and constitutional process
in Iraq aims to establish a political regime that can
represent Iraqis' willpower and guarantee their rights. The
most important principles in the current constitution aim to
provide constitutional and legal assurances that will
prevent the reemergence of a dictatorship in Iraq. The Prime
Minister Al-Ja'afari has stressed that the Ba'ath Party has
no place in the new Iraq. He indicated that the new
political process can include any Ba'athist who has not
committed crimes against the Iraqi people. Ba'athist
ideology is very dangerous and for three-and-a half decades
this party adopted a violent policy that tyrannized the
Iraqi people and committed massacres. At the same time, it
waged wars on its neighbors and those wars led to the
devastation of the country.There are some groups in Iraq
trying to reestablish the Ba'ath Party under new pretexts
and names. They claim that it is not necessary to single out
the Ba'ath Party in the draft constitution because that will
damage attempts at national reconciliation. However, we must
not forget what this party did to our people and thus we
have to insist on and continue eradicating it to save Iraq
from its evil."

B. "The People's Word Will Be the Decisive Judgment"
(Baghdad, affiliated with the Iraqi National Accord led by
Iyad Allawi, published this back-page editorial by Abdul
Karim Al-Khazraji)

"The Iraqi draft constitution was made by humans and it was
written according to different viewpoints. However, these
viewpoints do not necessarily represent the opinions of all
Iraqis. Perhaps those who drafted that constitution
represent their sects or political parties' opinions and
attitudes. We must encourage political dialogue and
conversation in order to make Iraq progress toward a
democratic regime. The current constitution is written by
humans and it can be modified in the future. It is true that
this constitution does not represent the ambitions of all
Iraq's people and there are many criticisms and reservations
about the text. In fact, there is no consensus on this
constitution. However, the Iraqi people will have their
final word on referendum day. They will make their decisions
without pressure or influence."

C. "Before it's too Late"
(As-Sabah, independent, published this front-page editorial
by Jum'a Al-Hilfi)

"The Ba'athist regime dealt with its opponents by fire and
without any mercy even with their families. That regime
didn't accomplish any victories for Iraq, Iraqis, or for the
Arab nation through its suspect wars, but on the contrary it
propagated many disasters. The British-American occupation
in 2003 was a logical result of the Ba'athists foolish
policies. After all that, Ba'ath supporters should have been
grateful to God for not being chased and buried as they did
to others in the past.

Those who raised the tyrant's photo in Ba'quba and Tikrit
cannot be considered brave or ordinary men because they've
stirred up resentment against millions of Iraqis. The PM Al-
Ja'afari was clear two days ago in replying to those people
by reminding them that there will be no return for the
Ba'ath Party. Therefore, let the reasonable people of
Ba'quba and Tikrit advise the ignorant to reconsider their
behavior before it's too late."
D. "The American Shifts"
(Al-Ittihad, pro coalition, affiliated with the PUK led by
Talabani) published this page-five editorial by Faryad
Rawanduzi (Editor-in-Chief and TNA member)

"The U.S. Embassy tried to produce a constitution that
hinges on moderate Islam, in an effort to isolate extremist
Islam which is the enemy of the government and the people of
United States. But it has not succeeded in implementing this
policy in the draft constitution process because it didn't
have a fixed policy vis--vis religious groups.

The U.S. Embassy was against Al-Sadr's group and Sunnis
religious groups, its policy turned against Sunnis (in the
Fallujah battles), then they went back to them (Saleh Al-
Mutlag). Later there were Bush's warnings to the political
Sunni groups while at the same time he advocated for the
Kurds and Sh'ia. So, the Sunnis left the political process
at the last moment when they realized that Zalmay Khalilzad
might change his policy towards them.

The constant shifting that the U.S. Embassy followed with
opponents of the American role in Iraq has weakened the
policy itself. Religious groups believed that continued
opposition toward the Americans would yield benefits and
concessions from the Americans. So, American policy needed
to accept those groups after the fall of Saddam. The United
States needs to abandon this policy and it needs permanent
and real Sunni political friends who believe in democracy,
even if they opposing the U.S. And it doesn't need temporary
friends who don't understand the democracy which Americans
shed their blood for."

E. "Pie in the Sky?"
(Az-Zaman published this back-page editorial by Fateh Abdul
Salam)

"There are so many good articles in the draft constitution
that support human rights. They await the referendum but the
surprising thing is that no one cares about the civil war
that rages daily and violates the religious and human rights
of Iraqis.

The constitution needs goodwill and hard efforts from all
Iraqis to succeed. The constitution needs a balanced and
organized campaign to explain all the facts and fallacies
about the constitution. When the draft constitution was
announced, the American ambassador said the Iraqi
constitution was the most evolved constitution in the
Islamic world that was much less than the truth.
The truth is that there are so many articles in the draft
constitution that are similar to Eden, the paradise that God
promised for the worthy and good. The problem is, will the
Iraqi government be able to commit to the constitution's
articles and work with them? Iraqis want a realistic draft
constitution that deals with the real needs of Iraqis. We do
not want pie in the sky or pipe dreams."

Khalilzad

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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