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Cablegate: Daily Iraqi Website Monitoring - September 29, 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 004038

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 29, 2005


SUMMARY: Discussion of Arab neglect for Iraqis, terrorism,
the constitution, and corruption were the major editorial
themes of Iraqi, Arabic language websites on September 29,
2005. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "Iraq and the Arab System" (Sawt Al-Iraq, 9/29)
B. "An Article That Finds No Title" (Iraq of Tomorrow, 9/29)
C. "At Last America Responded to Sunni Demands, the
Ambassador Negotiates with Kurds on Behalf of Sunnis" (Sawt
Al-Iraq, 9/29)
D. "Corruption. How to Fight It?" (Independent Iraqi News
Agency, 9/29)

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

A. "Iraq and the Arab System"
(Editorial by Omar Al-Hasona - Sawt Al-Iraq -
http://www.sotaliraq.com )

"It is undeniable that human civilization emerged from the
East (and specifically from Mesopotamia), and that the
world's three divine religions emerged from the East where
Iraq was the land of many prophets and messengers, and that
two-thirds of today's oil also comes from the East. Iraq is
a part of these facts and has always been a part of this
region that represented the center of the world's attention
in the past and present. It has endured many invasions,
beginning with the Mongolians, Ottomans, British, and at the
beginning of this century the Americans; despite this, Iraq
has remained an Arab land through these critical centuries.

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"Today a fuss is being raised about the Arab identity of
Iraq, leading the Arab League's Secretary General to
criticize the omission of a phrase that includes Iraq as
part of the Arab nation. The first Iraqi constitution of
1925 did not include any mention of the Arab nature of Iraq,
nor did most Arab constitutions. Despite this, Iraq has
always been considered a part of the Arab nation and its
Arab region. But what has this Arab system done for Iraq?

"Didn't the Arab League and all of its members participate
in sanctions against Iraq? Didn't they maintain an even more
severe blockade than that of the Americans, the U.N., and
even the former regime? Didn't Iraqis knock on the doors of
Arab embassies in search of job opportunities, only to be
rejected upon mentioning their Iraqi nationality? And this
is in spite of the hospitality that Iraqis have shown to
other Arabs in previous years. Iraq has always honorably
defended the causes of the Arab nation in the wars of 1948,
1967, and 1973, not to mention providing financial,
political, and diplomatic support.

"Since toppling Saddam's regime, Iraqis have shown they are
capable of enjoying a freedom for which they are envied.
They reflect the entire political spectrum in Iraq and they
exchange words rather than bullets when facing crucial
tests. In the end, no one has the right to weep over the
Arab identity of Iraq because Iraqis are capable of
protecting their own identity-even with a few differences
regarding the draft constitution. But please remember this
fact: light always comes from the East, and Iraq is its
source."

B. "An Article That Finds No Title"
(Editorial by Shemal Adil Seleem - Iraq of Tomorrow -
http://www.iraqoftomorrow.org/viewarticle.php ?id=32977&pg=ar
ticles )

"I read in a Danish newspaper the other day about the arrest
of a Dane of Moroccan origin on charges of inciting and
encouraging terrorism. The judge said the accused would be
sentenced to six years in prison if convicted, according to
Danish law.

"What has inspired me to raise this issue is its connection
to what is happening in my country, Iraq, where explosions,
assassinations, and terrorist attacks take place, and where
death squads, Saddam loyalists, and terrorist groups are
harbored in mosques, conferences, and assemblies under the
pretext of democracy and a pluralistic system. Worse still,
we have seen many elected National Assembly members
supporting terrorism and terrorists, expressing their
passion for previous eras when barbaric action was awarded
with medals of bravery.

"On top of this, we see satellite channels every now and
then showing Saddam loyalists demanding the release of what
they consider to be `the leader of the Arab nation' or `the
father of the two martyrs,' who ruined Iraq during thirty
years of barbarianism and dictatorship! They shout out
slogans for the sadist murderer, infamous for his terrible
crimes.

"And here is the point: in democratic countries, the will of
the people is respected as a sacred right; the government
protects its people and holds accountable those who violate
the law. In Iraq, the opposite is true. Prisons are resorts
for criminals taking a break from murder and suppression,
providing them with the opportunity to demand the return of
the former suppressive regime to take control of people's
fate. In the most developed countries, no one has the right
to encourage terrorism, and in some countries, even
demonstrations with Nazi symbols are prohibited.

"The government should be decisive in its enforcement of the
law. It should punish criminals, because democracy and
terrorism are two poles that can never meet."

C. "At Last America Responded to Sunni Demands, the
Ambassador Negotiates with Kurds on Behalf of Sunnis"
(Editorial by Hassan Al Zameli - Sawt Al-Iraq -
http://www.sotaliraq.com/articles-iraq/nieuws .php?id=16334 )

"The most important constitutional demand for Sunnis is the
removal of the words `Saddamist Ba'ath' from the draft
constitution. Today the American Ambassador has demanded
that Kurds change the phrase `[federal] Republic of Iraq.'
This demand does not mean anything to Sunnis; they only want
to appear before the Arab and international media as
patriots. They convinced the Americans not to remove the
insurgent, terrorist ideology from the document; Sunnis
presented tangible justification to the Americans, reminding
them that the Shiites, after two years of rule, established
the Deba'athification Committee.

"We hunted down the Shiite committee and slaughtered it; we
conducted terrible massacres everywhere; if we get the
signal from you we will crush all the Shiite cities as we
did in the 1991 uprising. We struck the holiest Shiite
places, we crushed their Imams' shrines with our military
boots. We committed Abu Ghraib and Radhwaniya and all Iraqi
prison massacres.

"This issue tickled the Americans' feelings, as did pressure
from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Arab League. That is why
Zalmay Khalilzad went to Kurdistan and made agreements-God
only knows what happened. The Shiites, if they want a
permanent constitution will be asked to compromise with
Sunnis. They will be asked to remove the phrase `rooting out
Saddamist Ba'ath' from the constitution which will weaken
the case against Saddam.

"The Shiites should agree to the removal of those words, but
the date of Saddam's trial should be a sacred date, and
should not be manipulated. Shiites should encourage people
to demonstrate in all Shiite provinces, demanding Saddam's
execution; otherwise the political process will be
meaningless in Iraq. People will not allow a political
leadership that offers humiliating concessions. Let the
people decide if a [Sunni] deadlock is reached with the
American. Do not retain token seats of power to perpetuate
personal interest or offer concessions, as donations, at
this most critical stage."

D. "Corruption. How to Fight It?"
(Editorial by Abdul Jabar Al Samara'i - Independent Iraqi
News Agency - http://www.normal.iraq-
ina.com/showarticles.php?id=1418 )

"Corruption in Iraq, especially in the economic realm,
became a phenomenon like a germ afflicting public life. Some
became very rich in nasty ways. The powerful consumed
national wealth; the rich becoming richer and the poor
becoming poorer. The thieves stole public funds and became
merchants with millions of dollars and billions of Dinars.
They controlled economic life without conscience.

"Corruption is not a new phenomenon in national life, but
what is new is the growth of this phenomenon and its
development in a way that influences all community
activities. Dr. Mahdi Al Hafidh, former Minister of
Planning, suggested that widespread corruption resulted from
several factors: weak rule of law; mismanagement; a
willingness to deplete public funds; and an absence of
regulations and systems to guarantee the public interest and
maintain economic performance. The absence of legal
questioning led irresponsible people to corruption and to
the destruction of the Iraqi economy. We have not heard the
Iraqi government questioning the corrupt individuals,
especially those who stole money from the treasury, or those
who failed to provide ration card items, or those who
illegally traded with food, fuel, and medicine.

"All of us here in Iraq agreed to root out corruption and we
agreed on the necessity of fighting it. But who will resist
and fight it? Are there serious measures to fight it? All
cry about the misery of our reality and criticize
corruption, but legal measures have not been taken to fight
corruption and corrupt people. If an honest and transparent
monitoring system is not created, corruption will increase
and destroy what remaining values we have."

KHALILZAD

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