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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 03 BAGHDAD 003984

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,
SOVEREIGNTY, FOREIGN RELATIONS; BAGHDAD

SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution, Iraqi Sovereignty,
and Foreign Relations were the major editorial themes of the
daily newspapers on September 26, 2005. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "Let Us Say Yes to Our New Constitution" (Al-Taakhi,
9/26)
B. "Voting Yes During the Referendum Represents Freedom and
Iraqi Willpower"
(Al-Ittihad, 9/26)
C. "A Late Saudi Awakening" (As-Siyada, 9/26)
D. "The Constitution Will Defeat Terrorism" (Al-Adala, 9/26)

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

A. "Let Us Say Yes to Our New Constitution"
(Al-Taakhi, affiliated with the KDP led by Masoud Al-
Barazani, published this page-five column by Hussein Al-
Jaff)

"The new constitution is neither a typical document nor the
best one in the world. In fact, it is a man-made item.
However, it is the best constitution that was ever drafted
in Iraq, by far--we know that it has not satisfied all
Iraqis or the aspirations of every political party. But, at
least, it has satiated many Iraqi demands and ambitions. In
addition, we understand that constitutions can be changed
according to conditions and needs. The constitution is a law
for life that regulates the rights and duties of citizens.

"Most of the constitution's articles are similar to each
other because many of them call for justice, equality,
freedom and welfare for citizens. Without a doubt, there is
a big plot attempting to thwart the new Iraqi constitution,
which is the most important accomplishment for Iraqis since
the downfall of the dictator. I believe that there are
internal and external Arab and regional powers in our
neighborhood that are scheming against us. These groups are
supported and funded by Saddam's wife and daughter, who
stole the Iraqi people's assets; they've allied themselves
together to disrupt the constitutional process and reject
the constitution.

"But, they won't succeed because honest Iraqis, who've
suffered and struggled for the last 83 years, would never
let that happen. According to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, Hoshiyar Zebari, two-thirds of the votes that are
required to reject the constitution will only be achieved in
Al-Anbar province. Hence, the progress of the constitution
will move forward amid an exercise in democracy and freedom.
This constitution will put an end to all crises facing the
Iraqi people. I am sure that the people of Kurdistan, our
people in the south of Iraq, and informed citizens in the
western areas of Iraq will definitely say `Yes' to the
constitution. This sincere and affirmative word will become
a covenant of honor that unites all Iraqis under the banner
of the new Iraq."

B. "Voting Yes During the Referendum Represents Freedom and
Iraqi Willpower"
(Al-Ittihad, affiliated with the PUK led by Talabani,
published this back-page editorial by Jamal Al-Hamundi)

"Since the establishment of the Iraqi state in 1921 none of
the Iraq regimes, in either the royal or republican eras,
considered democracy as a way to govern the country. Tribal
dictatorship has exhausted the Iraqi people and led to a
series of internal and external wars.The Iraqi opposition
was unable to topple the dictator Saddam Hussein's regime
due to numerous factors. However, the WTC bombings in
September 2001 put the U.S., which is the bearer of freedom
and democracy in the world, at the forefront of an enormous
challenge against terrorism and for this reason, the U.S.
had to wage war on terror.

"The deposed Iraqi regime, along with some countries in the
Middle East, was responsible for fostering terrorists and
encouraging terrorism; those countries have been an obstacle
in the fostering of democracy in the Middle East. In spite
of all this terrorism, a National Assembly and a
transitional Iraqi government were established with Jalal
Talabani elected as the first Kurdish president of Iraq.
Moreover, the new constitution was drafted through harmony
amongst all Iraqis.
"This constitution will be put to Iraqis to vote on and to
begin pursuing the right path toward establishing democracy
in the new federal Iraq. In the federal territory of
Kurdistan, political parties and movements that represent
Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Yazidis, gathered
on September 22nd to prepare for ensuring a successful
referendum throughout Kurdistan. This success will be
achieved by saying yes to the Iraqi new constitution. Our
Shiite and Sunni brothers in Iraq will also say yes to the
constitution."

C. "A Late Saudi Awakening"
(As-Siyada, affiliated with Iraqi Republican Gathering led
by Sa'ad Assem Al-Janabi, published this back-page editorial
by Abdul Karim Mahmud)

"The Saudi Foreign Minister's criticism of U.S. policy in
Iraq confirms the ugliness and hypocrisy of the crime that
was committed by our Arab brothers against Iraq. Saudis,
like many others in the Arab world are witnessing Iranian
interference in Iraq and we know that the knives that have
slaughtered Iraqis in the past are being used again to
slaughter Arabs one by one. Saud Al-Faisal felt obliged to
make such statements when he found that the U.S. failed to
heed its friend's advice.

"Did the Saudis believe that the goal of the occupation of
Iraq was to rid Iraq of the alleged weapons of mass
destruction and establish democracy in Iraq? Actually, the
Saudis are the first ones who let the Americans use their
land to invade Iraq resulting in the American death machine
killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Those
statements by the Saudi foreign minister were far too late.
However, they represent a loud warning against the danger of
the disgraceful Iranian infiltration of Iraq--the Iranians
interfere in Iraq's issues under the watch of the Americans.

"Saud Al-Faisal's statement confirmed this [Iranian
infiltration] when he said that the Iranians operate in
areas that are under American control and that they fund
people and appoint officials. He added that they have also
infiltrated police units and equip militias with weapons.
For this reason, Saudi Arabia and all Arabs must apologize
to the Iraqi people for every crime they committed against
us. They must take a unanimous stance that leads to the end
of the American occupation and terminates Iranian
interference in Iraqi affairs. This Iranian intervention
hinders the achievement of national unity and it is also the
main instigator of sectarian sedition that will fracture
Iraq's national unity and lead neighboring countries into
wars and conflicts that may consume everything."

D. "The Constitution Will Defeat Terrorism"
(Al-Adala, affiliated with SCIRI led by Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim,
published this page-three column by Dr. Ali Khalif)

"After the recent decline of sharp statements condemning the
constitution, before the majority of Iraqis even read it and
before its distribution through pamphlets, the majority of
people have realized that the new Iraqi constitution
represents a real birth. They also understand that a vote
against it will take Iraq backward and this will give
terrorists the chance to perpetrate more killings. Terrorism
has failed to abort the constitutional and political process
and we must increase security procedures in order to create
a more secure environment to enable our people to vote in
the upcoming referendum.

"We know that the most complicated stage in post-war Iraq
has been the constitutional process due to the demands and
different perspectives that were at play--viewpoints that
nearly demolished the whole process. Some of the
[opposition] parties participated in constitutional
discussions despite their preconceived stances against the
draft document. As a result, we have to work hard in order
to make the constitutional process successful, to be
faithful to the martyrs, our principles, and to all of the
Iraqis who have struggled for the sake of freedom and
justice.

"Some small groups are demanding that the Iraqi people
reject the constitution. Actually, they have the right to
express their opinions in our democratic society and we
respect that but we want assurances that the Iraqi people
know the right path and have recognized their interests. Our
people have gotten fed up with the voices that allegedly
represent the Iraqi people's interest and at the same time
have failed to take a real stance against terrorist attacks
and killings. I am sure that in a few days the ballot boxes
will be filled with the word `Yes' because this word will
carry the Iraqi people forward."

KHALILZAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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