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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.




E.0. 12958: N/A

SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution, Terrorism,
Elections, Political Parties and Sovereignty, were the major
editorial themes of the daily newspapers on September 29,


A. "Let History Record" (Al-Ittihad, 9/29)
B. "Letter of Exception" (Al-Dawa, 9/29)
C. "1.8 Billion Bullets" (Al-Fourat, 9/29)
D. "The Referendum is a Historical Necessity" (Al-Dustoor,
E. "We Need to Renovate Iraq's House of Destruction"
(Baghdad, 9/29)
F. "Linkages" (Al-Adala, 9/29)
G. "Iraq's Future is the Responsibility of the U.S." (Al-
Muatamar, 9/29)


A. "Let History Record"
(Al-Ittihad, affiliated with the PUK, published this page-
five editorial by Umran Al-Ubaidi)

"What will history record tomorrow and how should we
categorize the killing of a group of school teachers? How
will media outlets that sympathize with Zarqawi justify this
criminal act? Can they find any justification for such a
crime that convinces others that this was an act of

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"We condemn this criminal operation and we also feel pity
for the blood shed by Iraqis. At the same time, we are
surprised to see some media outlets playing with and
distorting facts in Iraq. It seems that those media outlets
represent terrorists and I am sure they would describe the
perpetrators of such crimes as `militants' rather than
`terrorists' while at the same time describing the innocent
people who were killed by those crimes as merely `victims'
rather than `martyrs.'

"Those media outlets would also consider it an insult to
describe the `resistance' as `terrorists'. In fact, the
terrorists who killed teachers did not even give their
supporters a rationale to describe them as the `resistance'
by committing such a crime. But, we want to know how those,
who defend the `resistance,' can justify such crimes.
History will record all of our deeds and stances; history
will chronicle how those positions were taken against the
Iraqi people. For this reason, the Iraqi people must not
forget those stances, to tell the coming generations so they
may distinguish between friend and foe. Sometimes, attitudes
are harsher than deeds."

B. "Letter of Exception"
(Al-Dawa, affiliated with Al-Dawa Islamic party, published
this page-seven editorial by Hadi Jallo Marai)

"When Al-Zarqawi issued an extremist statement against the
Shiites in Iraq, he did so precisely against the parties and
leaders that have adopted political solutions [rather than
violence] to deal with the American military intervention,
he divided Shiites according to their platforms and targeted
some while excluding others-a clear attempt aimed to divide
the Shiites. He exempted those who have taken a noble
position against the American presence and occupation.[i.e.

"Following the statement by Al-Zarqawi, Shiite powers
rejected his call for infighting; some militant Sunni groups
did the same while other factions (Sunni and Shiite)
announced unanticipated positions against the constitution.
They promised their rejection toward the constitution as if
they were bestowing deference to Al-Zarqawi to exempt them
from his war against them.

"Iraqis require special courage to handle their
responsibilities toward their country, whether they reject
or approve the constitution. They need a clear vision in
dealing with the events in their country in order to achieve
the desired harmony to ensure the country's march forward."
C. "1.8 Billion Bullets"
(Al-Fourat, independent, anti coalition, published this back-
page editorial by Dawoud Al-Farhan)
"At last Blair has admitted that the vigorous Iraqi
resistance is more than he anticipated and if we add his
statement to the many from American military officers about
the expanding resistance and its adaptability, then we can
analyze the wider war by the occupation forces and the Iraqi
government against the insurgent cities in the north and
west of Iraq: Tal Afar, Al-Qaim, Hadetha, and Fallujah.
According to General Rick [Lynch] the U.S. Commander in
Iraq, his forces have killed and captured 1,634 individuals
in recent operations.
"Other U.S. officials estimate that at least 20,000
individuals have been killed by U.S. forces. In spite of
that, the resistance and the insurgency is still continuing
although some Iraqi officials have estimated the resistance
to be about 5,000 strong; and they claimed that most of them
are [foreign] Arab infiltrators or Saddam supporters. At the
same time Blair made his statement, the [British]
`Independent' newspaper noted that U.S. occupation forces
are consuming 1.8 billion bullets per year in military

"What is more significant is that the newspaper mentioned
that those bullets are being imported, by the U.S., from
Israel to kill Iraqis because American ammunition factories
are not capable of meeting the demand. Therefore, we
congratulate the Arab and Islamic world and the Iraqi
government because what Camp David could not achieve (the
normalization between the Arabs and Israel) Israeli bullets
are achieving on Iraqi and Palestinian land in order to
enhance the principles of democracy, freedom, federalism,
and human rights.

"Why do the U.S., British, and Iraqi governments always
speak about the mass graves perpetrated by the former regime
while they are now committing far worse in their military
operations against the [insurgent] cities that reject what
occurs behind the walls of the Green Zone?. The detention of
thousands without investigations or trials, killing
everywhere, and mass graves, while their slogans proclaim
`democracy and the constitution'... The final question is:
if they needed 1.8 billion bullets to kill 20,000 Iraqis
then how many bullets are needed to kill all Iraqis?"

D. "The Referendum is a Historical Necessity"
(Al-Dustoor, no bias, independent, published this page-five
column by Najim Al Rubay'ee)

"October 15 will be regarded as a period of historic change
in the lives of the Iraqi people and a specific
transformation in the Middle East where decisions will be
left to the Iraqi people to determine their own future. Iraq
has reached, at the insistence of its people, a point of
greater transparency and openness when it comes to
consulting its people as a source for legislation. In spite
of differences among parties and peoples, the final result
is that the constitution is awaiting the peoples'
ratification and without pressure from evil forces--this
standard is a respectable one.

"The success of the referendum will leave many impressions
and will highlight the role of people making democratic
decisions that will consolidate Iraqi wishes and insistence
for drafting a new history for their lives; distant from
terrorism, the factions responsible for it, and the
politicians claiming loyalty to Arab issues supported by
some sick Arab media institutions.

"The draft constitution is not a divine document that cannot
be modified; it's actually possible to legally change any
item through proper mechanisms. The Iraqi people have
reached an agreement on approximately 154 articles (out of
158 articles), after some quiet and tense negotiations, but
the significant thing is that the success of the accord
exceeded all expectations, and thus resulted in some regimes
rejecting the constitution and trying to incite suspicion of

"This has been motivated by fear from outside countries who
are concerned that their people may start to demand similar
democratic experiences. The accord in the constitution among
religious, secular, liberal, nationalistic, and even
Ba'athist parties makes us to proud because we reached
consensus through negotiation. This should be the only way
to solve problems-through negotiations we can evaluate the
orientation of politicians and ensure that dictatorships
will not be repeated. Politicians should respect the need
for negotiating and stick to it.

"The various stages of negotiations included obstacles and
missteps but reaching the stage of the referendum will make
us proud, especially with the participation of all Iraqi
sects-it represents an attempt to achieve a peaceful life in
spite of events. Widespread participation in the referendum
and a conclusion of the transitional stage of government is
a national demand, which all Iraqis should insist on by
voting for the constitution. A government based on the
constitution will prevent the distortion of laws or the
legislation of laws lacking legal legitimacy in addition to
ensuring all parties, organizations, and government entities
are accountable to the law-a constitutional government means
that there is no power greater than people power.

"Ending the transitional stage and convening elections,
certified by the TNA, will bring about social awareness and
lessen the effects of sectarianism which has destroyed
unity-without this awareness, bad things are bound to

E. "We Need to Renovate Iraq's House of Destruction"
(Baghdad, affiliated with the Iraqi National Accord led by
Iyad Allawi, published this back-page editorial by Abdul
Karim Al-Khazraji)

"We thank God that the majority of influential political
party leaders and Iraqi government officials are doctors.
This means that decisions are made through wisdom and the
abilities of sound judgment. On the other hand, I think we
have been subjected to brainwashing by the media which have
misrepresented many things and attempted to convince us that
we were living in a strong and united country that could not
be divided. Actually, we were astonished to see that we are
in fact a divided nation where people kill, loot,
marginalize, and rob each other.

"In a new Iraq, we can find some groups which make use of
media outlets and the government's power in a way that is
similar to Saddam's former policy of immorally attacking
political opponents. The recent campaign concerning
accusations of corruption has targeted Dr. Iyad Allawi's
former government. This campaign tried to accuse ministers,
during Bremer's and Allawi's government, of corruption. But,
those accusations are unfounded because Dr. Barham Saleh
spoke frankly about administrative corruption and said that
it is wrong to arbitrarily accuse others.

"In addition, Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi strongly opposed making
use of administrative corruption as a political issue. These
accusations have known political goals, which are to
eliminate political opponents before the referendum and the
coming election. In the end, we are not angels and
perfection is an exclusively divine attribute. Therefore, we
had better renovate our damaged Iraqi house, which can only
be done by Iraqis. Strangers, who do not know what is inside
this house will exploit its weak structural points and bring
the house down."

F. "Linkages"
(Al-Adala, affiliated with SCIRI led by Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim,
published this front-page editorial by Dr. Ali Khalif)

"In the coming days, Iraqis will be heading to polling
centers full of hope and faith for a better life and future.
They hope their constitution will promote legitimate rights
and demands. For this reason, we have to carefully examine
and study all of the dangers surrounding this constitution.

"Iraq's enemies are trying to hinder the constitutional
process and prevent Iraqi people from obtaining their
rights. Most of those, who oppose the constitutional
process, do not have any reasonable viewpoints and they have
not submitted any sensible or positive solutions. When the
Governing Council was formed, many voices called for
rejecting it. Similarly, when the transitional government
was established and assumed power, many voices objected to
it. When the elections were held and an elected government
was formed, those voices cast doubt on it and maligned it.
The problem is that those same voices have reappeared during
the present constitutional process and started to contest
the constitution. Why do those voices oppose everything in
the Iraqi political process? Why have they entered the
constitutional process and why have they held long meetings
with the Americans if they think that the political process
is controlled by the occupiers?

"Why do they insist on dissolving the National Assembly
whenever they disagree with others? It seems that they
reject the constitution because they oppose the fact that
the oppressed [Shi'a], the majority of Iraqis, will attain
power in Iraq. This is the truth and it must be said
frankly. Recently, some criminal Ba'athist elements have
issued a statement in which they demanded, under weak
pretexts and pompous slogans, that the Iraqi people reject
the constitution. They have claimed that they want to
preserve Iraq's unity and independence. That's why we
emphasize that participation in the referendum is not merely
an act of inserting a ballot into the box. But, in fact, it
is aimed to protect achievements and respect the honorable
blood of Iraqis who have shed it for the sake of this

G. "Iraq's Future is the Responsibility of the U.S."
(Al-Muatamar, affiliated with the Iraqi National Congress
led by Ahmad Al-Chalabi, published this page-fifteen
editorial by Ahmad Al-Jar Allah)

"Disagreement in any alliance ultimately strengthens each
segment and is different from submissiveness which leads to
weakness and failure. We are allied with the U.S. but this
alliance does not mean that the U.S. solely makes decisions
nor does it mean that we are submissive to the Americans.
Saudi Arabia accused the U.S. of deepening sectarian
divisions in Iraq and enabling Iran to exert its control, an
accusation intended to correct American foreign policy in

"The U.S. must admit that its policy has caused divisions
within Iraqi sects. It addresses Sunnis as if they were a
group isolated from the Shiites. If the U.S. continues this
policy, it will further enable Iran to interfere in the
south of Iraq, which is dominated by the Shiite majority. In
addition, Turkey will intervene in the north of Iraq because
it fears the establishment of a Kurdish entity. The Saudi
Minister of Foreign Affairs said that they have done their
best since the liberation of Kuwait to keep Iran out of
Iraq. He added that the U.S. has essentially given Iraq to
Iran without any justification.

"The U.S. must be more responsible, especially after the
downfall of the dictator. This transitional period has
become increasingly difficult and Iranian interference in
the south of Iraq is evident. At the same time, there is
clear Syrian intervention in central Iraq. This combined
Syrian and Iranian infiltration is turning the whole region
upside down and threatening stability and security in the
Middle East. In addition, there is Al-Qaeda interference.
But, this intervention cannot be compared with the Iranian
and Syrian intrusion. Indeed, such interventions by
neighboring countries in Iraq may provide cover for
terrorists who conduct their criminal operations in Iraq.
Without a doubt, neither the Shiites nor the Sunnis accept
Iranian or Syrian interference in Iraq.

"America has liberated Iraq and the entire world has
supported this--we all know that it will withdraw from Iraq
after it accomplishes all of its political goals. However,
the U.S. must work hard to achieve the goal of freedom that
is aimed at establishing a free and democratic Iraq. In
order to achieve this enormous goal, the U.S. must be able
to put an end to some Shiite and Sunni groups that
facilitate Iranian and Syrian intervention in Iraq. We know
that there are mutual interests between Saudi Arabia and
Iran but there are higher interests at stake and for this
reason, the Saudi Foreign Minister spoke frankly about
Iran's role in Iraq. The responsibility the U.S. has in Iraq
requires it to stop the sectarian massacres and preserve
Iraq's unity."


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