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Cablegate: Daily Iraqi Website Monitoring - September 8, 2005

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 003695

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: DAILY IRAQI WEBSITE MONITORING - September 8, 2005

SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution was the major
editorial theme of Iraqi, Arabic language websites on
September 8, 2005. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "What Justice?" (Iraq4all News, 9/8)
B. "Has the Iraqi Constitution Achieved Justice for Women?"
(Modern Discussion, 9/8)
C. "Demonstration in Sulaimaniyah: An Early Test of the
Credibility of the Constitution" (Al-Jeeran, 9/8)
D. "The New Iraqi Constitution: The Selling of Kirkuk to the
Kurds" (Iraqi Papers, 9/8)
E. "Farewell Iraqi Unity" (Al-Rayah, 9/8)

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

A. "What Justice?"
(Editorial by Wahab Baderkhan - Iraq 4 all news:
http://iraq4all.org)

"It's been observed that Arab governments have been silent
over the Iraqi draft constitution which is normal since this
is an Iraqi domestic issue. But this doesn't mean these
governments don't hold opinions in this regard, but their
choice to remain silent is due to Iraqi leaders' decisions
to deal with the important issue of the constitution in the
same manner they have dealt with other issues since the
start of occupation.

"Iraqi leaders have sent out messages to Arab leaders (in
diplomatic, and sometimes, non-diplomatic manners) informing
them that they have neglected Iraq and demonstrated that
fact with their support for the previous regime and lack of
sympathy or support for qhe opposition to Saddam (that was
sponsored only by the U.S. which has now a3tmed power). So
the only party with the right to assess the new constitution
is the U.S., but George Bush's administration has shown that
it only needs a constitutional document, any constitutional
document, to defend its policy by illustrating that
everything is going according to schedule, and that
ratifying the draft is a step on the way to "withdrawal from
Iraq" which has become a popular American demand.

"There's no doubt that the Arab League will encounter the
problem created by the Iraqi constitution through asking the
question: Is Iraq an Arab country? And it's normal that no
decision will be made to force Iraq into anything it doesn't
seek, but it's also normal that the `Arab identity' isn't
related to a specific religion or sect.

"There are many who have decided to stick to their opinions
and submit the current draft to a referendum next month, but
the fact is that the Arab identity isn't the only drawback
in this draft. The other problem resident in the document is
the proposal to form a new system, (i.e. federalism and
other divisive mechanisms). The best assessment of the
constitution should be presented by its drafters by drawing
a clear image for what Iraq will look like in the next five
years. Except for Kurdistan, no one can really predict what
Iraq will look like.

"Many items in the constitution have been linked to laws
that are to be issued later, which only means one thing, the
constitution's drafters have stated principles they can only
attempt to enact in the future, which has led to the
omission of personal freedoms and the decreasing likelihood
of achieving justice."

B. "Has the Iraqi Constitution Achieved Justice for Women?"
(Editorial by Catrine Mikhael - Modern Discussion:
http://www.rezgar.com)

"The composition of the National Assembly was based on
ethnic, religious, and political power sharing that was
clearly reflected in the constitutional committee and
resulted in a draft constitution unrepresentative of the
ambitions of large sectors of Iraqis (i.e. women). And since
women represent 60% of the Iraqi population, it's not
possible to build a democracy while neglecting over half the
population. But despite this, I consider voting for the
draft constitution a very important step for us, with
amendments to some items in the `rights' section of the
draft (where certain items are contradictory: stating that
no legislation could oppose Islam and that no legislation
should contradict the principles of democracy). I have no
idea how these two articles can be reconciled.
"When religious principles become the source of national
legislation and the basis of family law, this means granting
social authority to those monopolizing the interpretation of
religion and will result in conflicting visions among
clerics with women and minority groups ending up as the main
losers.

"So here, I state the demands of the Iraqi Women's Movement
that include:

1. Acknowledging the rights of Iraqi women as mothers,
workers, and citizens in the constitution.
2. Constitutional guarantees preventing all forms of
violence and discrimination against women.
3. Constitutional guarantees for no less than 40% of
women's representation in all decision making posts.
4. Constitutional acknowledgment of all international
agreements and treaties as a source of legislation.
5. Maintaining personal status laws and preventing any
replacement by sectarian alternatives."

C. "Demonstration in Sulaimaniyah: An Early Test of the
Credibility of the Constitution"
(Uncited Editorial - Al-Jeeran: http://www.aljeeran.net)

"A Kurdish citizen was killed and 16 were injured in one of
the most violent demonstrations the government of
Sulaimaniyah has ever faced in Kurdistan which is led by the
PUK party. More than 1,500 people from the Kalar district
took part in the demonstration which witnessed ferocious
confrontations. They were requesting improvement of
essential services, specifically water and electricity when
demonstrators started throwing stones at the mayor's
building and security forces started shooting which led to
the killing of one demonstrator and the injury of 16 others.
Later, demonstrators gathered in front of the hospital where
the injured were transferred and new clashes erupted.

"Mr. Majeed Saleh, a public relations official in the PUK
stated that, "The demonstrators burned the directorate of
education in the city, the fire station, the pediatric
hospital, a building of the Kurdistan Women's Union, and a
radio station.

"Accordingly, security forces detained hundreds of
demonstrators in a scene most observers believe has had a
negative impact and provoked inquiries regarding freedom of
assembly in Kurdistan. What is required from the authorities
in Sulaimaniyah and Kalar is an investigation into the
reasons behind the use of deadly force against
demonstrators.

"One of the demonstrators, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, stated that a group of demonstrators had
requested official permission for the demonstration from the
mayor and security directorate but `the authorities refused
to grant permission.' As a matter of fact he said, it
encouraged demonstrators to practice their democratic rights
under the new Iraq."

D. "The New Iraqi Constitution: The Selling of Kirkuk to the
Kurds"
(Editorial by Sabri Tarbeh - Iraqi Papers:
http://www.iraqipapers.com/9_5_5_sabri.htm)

"The following passage was written in the American
Constitution of Iraq: `The Arab people in Iraq are part of
the Arab nation.' It is well known who is behind this
article and that it's a scheme (on behalf of many parties)
to divide Iraq and transform it into sectarian and
nationalist cantons despite the fact that Iraq is a founding
member of the Arab League; and it is illogical to accept
Iraq's partial [i.e. divided] membership in the Arab League.

"The most dangerous element in the American Constitution of
Iraq is the concession of the agent's authority over Kirkuk
for the interest of the Kurdish/ Zionist partners. These
powers claimed patriotism and said in public that Kirkuk,
which produces 60% of Iraq's oil, is an Iraqi city whose
ownership is considered a red line that shouldn't be
crossed.

"Those under orders from their American masters turned into
sheep and sold Kirkuk to the Kurds when they omitted item
`C' from Article 53 of the TAL which prohibited the joining
of Kirkuk or Baghdad with any federal region. Instead, in
the most despicable constitution, two substitute articles
(136 & 137) gave the Kurds two, one-year opportunities to
manipulate Kirkuk's demography to fabricate and fake a
constitution to allow them to annex Kirkuk with Kurdistan.
When that happens Iraq will lose the majority of its oil
fortune because of a deal among agents to resurrect the
Haifa/ Kirkuk oil project which aims to provide the Zionist
Entity with its oil needs.
"Through that deal the agent of the coalition unveiled his
ugly face. The image is now more transparent after the sale
of Kirkuk. But the victorious Iraqi people won't accept
national treason for a constitution--they will absolutely
reject it."

E. "Farewell Iraqi Unity"
(Uncited Editorial - Al-Rayah:
http://www.raya.com/site/topics/article.asp?c u_no=2&item_no=
95558&version=1&template_id=27&parent_id=23)

"Apart from the total destruction of the infrastructure,
killing of children, the elderly and women, humiliating and
detainingQn, and torturing people of all categories, the
greatest problem Iraq and Arab nations face is Iraq's
division and disintegration into small states, in the name
of federalism, among Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis--especially
following the Iraqi parliament's approval of the draft
constitution which carries the poisons of discord and
division and hasn't maintained Iraq's rights, freedoms or
unity of land, people and identity.

"Bush's intention is clear and what the American occupation
seeks through Iraqi federalism, the division of the country,
will be repeated to tear the Islamic nation apart and dilute
Arab unity.

"What we are witnessing through Iraq's war: the occupation,
humiliation, torture and disintegration of the country is
very painful. We as Arabs and Muslims should intervene
immediately and support Iraq politically, financially, and
morally to help it maintain its Arab nature and unity
otherwise we will bid it farewell forever and bid farewell
to our Arab unity."

SATTERFIELD

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