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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.

181810Z Oct 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 004298

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,
REFERENDUM; BAGHDAD

SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution and Referendum were
the major editorial themes of the daily newspapers on
October 18, 2005. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "The Referendum Experience" (Al-Dustoor, 10/18)
B. "The Referendum" (Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed, 10/18)
C. "National Unity Conference... National Dialogue
Conference" (Baghdad, 10/18)
D. "The Right Step to Establish Democracy: Resorting to
Ballot Boxes" (Al-Ittihad, 10/18)
E. "The Constitution Prevails" (Al-Dawa, 10/18)
F. "Predictions and Unique Truths" (Al-Adala, 10/18)

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

A. "The Referendum Experience"
(Al-Dustoor, no bias, independent, published this front-page
editorial by Bassim Al-Sheikh)

"The referendum process represents a victory for democracy
whether the result is positive or negative. We will feel
satisfied not because of the results, but because we can
deal with the situation in a tolerant manner, like civilized
people. The draft constitution may fail, but what is more
important is that everyone now has the motivation to seek
representation in the next parliament, which means that
important groups are aware that the channels of dialogue and
participation in the political process are more effective
than all the world's weapons.

"It is a new beginning for those who have opposing opinions
towards the changes in Iraq-they are trying to reconstitute
their ideology in a different way; they need to move away
from negative opinions and develop effective and positive
ideologies."

B. "The Referendum"
(Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed, independent, pro-coalition, published
this front-page editorial by Ismael Zair)

"The situation is the same no matter what the results of the
referendum are because the most important thing is that
millions of Iraqis went to the ballot boxes to express their
opinions freely and without fear. Whatever the result, it
will never change this fact. No one can take away this honor
from Iraqis; they are honorable people because of their
courage and their commitment to constitutional rights.

"There are some facts that have resulted from this
referendum day; one of them is the rebuke of Iraq's enemies
who have attempted to raise the specter of civil war. No one
has the right to interfere with a great people like the
Iraqis, because no one understands or really knows the
interests of our people better than us. "

C. "National Unity Conference... National Dialogue
Conference"
(Baghdad, affiliated with the Iraqi National Accord led by
Iyad Allawi, published this second--page editorial by
Hussain Omran)

"Under the auspices of the Iraqi National Accord, hundreds
of local, Arab and international participants met yesterday
to discuss the truth and to reinforce national unity and the
rights and duties of citizens.

"Delegations from throughout Iraq responded to Mr. Iyad
Allawi's call for the conference to discuss: the vital needs
of the Iraqi people, the deterioration of security and life
in Iraq, and the impotence of citizen rights that must be
respected by the government.

"They all came to ensure their support for national unity in
Iraq and to back the call of the National Accord. They will
talk about their goals and objectives, which focus on our
bright-unified Iraq, and with national unity we will rebuild
our Iraqi economy, and fulfill Iraqi's dreams of freedom and
democracy. National unity is one of the Accord's main aims.
Let us unite our efforts for the benefit of our great Iraq."
D. "The Right Step to Establish Democracy: Resorting to
Ballot Boxes"
(Al-Ittihad, pro-coalition, affiliated with the PUK led by
Jalal Talabani, published this page-three editorial by Abdul
Hadi Mehdi)

"Regardless of results emerging from the constitutional
referendum, those supporting the `Yes' or `No' vote will
accept the results determined by ballot boxes and Iraqis
will again prove to the world that despite all critical
circumstances, they all contributed to define their
country's future, and reflected this through their
participation in the referendum.
The wide range of Iraqi participation in this process has
confirmed the unity of Iraqis under the severest
circumstances; engaging through a peaceful struggle that
guarantees an opportunity for each citizen to participate in
the democratic process.

"So regardless of the final result, the language of ballot
boxes has prevailed over that of weapons, threats, and
intimidation. These are the rights steps to be taken on the
path towards a democracy that was nowhere to found on the
Iraqi scene for many decades, and it is a message sent out
to those opposing participation in the new Iraq, making
clear that this is the only acceptable way for Iraqis and
reinforcing that the era of oppression is over and that it
will not return.

"Within less than a year Iraqis were able to record two
epics, the first was the January 30 elections where Iraqis
took part despite security threats and difficulties--the
will of Iraqis to rebuild their country formed the basis on
which the success of the elections was built.

"The other epic came on referendum day on Oct. 15, 2005 when
Iraqis participated in another patriotic battle where no
incidents affected the process or its outcome. The two `Yes'
and `No' teams will accept the results because it represents
the outcome of a democratic process Iraqis are trying to
maintain. This courageous and responsible stance
demonstrated by Iraqis has gained them the respect the
world's nations, and established an example to follow."

E. "The Constitution Prevails"
(Al-Dawa, affiliated with Al-Dawa party led by Al-Anzi,
published this page-two editorial by Jasim Al-Sayid)

"Regardless of the obstacles enemies have placed along the
path to democracy (especially those with permanent seats on
despicable Arab satellite news channels who glorify
everything that brings harm to the Iraqi people) and in
spite of the artillery professionals targeting us,
regardless of all this. Iraqis have freely had their say
rejecting slavery and the division of their country
(formerly oppressed by tyrants) and rebuking those whose
hands are stained with Iraqi blood. We have endorsed the
constitution, rule of law, human and women's rights, and
everything new that will serve Iraq.

"Iraqis set out on the glorious dawn of Oct. 15, 2005, to
mark a day remembered in this country by coming generations,
to approve the constitution written with pride and defiance
of those seeking endless power who were unable to stop the
people from marching towards ballot boxes despite threats
and explosions, and despite the daily scenes of blood and
violence claiming lives of women, children, and the elderly
from a variety of different religious and sectarian
backgrounds.

"People marched towards the one common goal of making the
democratic process a success; even those voting `no' have
exercised their right to express their opinion. The main
thing is that Iraqis have agreed to participate in the
political process, renounce all forms of violent struggle,
and instead resort to logic, negotiation, and persuasion.
The will of the people has prevailed and foiled the attempts
of those involved in disgraceful bargains. There remains
only one step to be taken within the next two months; Iraqis
will embark on new elections at the end of the year to
conclude a new stage in Iraq that will set an example for
the region and the whole world."

F. "Predictions and Unique Truths"
(Al-Adala, affiliated with SCIRI led by Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim,
published this page-three column by Dr. Ali Khalif)

"All media outlets are talking about voting percentages
among Iraqi provinces for the referendum on the draft
constitution. Nothing is sure until the IECI announces
results of the referendum--initially through preliminary
results followed by final results. Several media outlets
claim that they represent the Iraqi media but I suspect they
represent Ba'ath party institutions and are trying to
broadcast poisoned news about the referendum results.
If Iraqis in western provinces voted `yes' to the
constitution it's the truth because they are tired of
terrorism and terrorists using their land to conduct
operations-if that's the case it will be the unique truth
that Iraqis want a better future and a secure Iraq.

"There are those who swore that majority in western Iraq
would vote `no' to the constitution and others who confirmed
that a big surprise was coming from Al-Anbar and Mosul. The
TAL states that two-thirds of Iraqi provinces can reject the
constitution therefore UIA (United Iraqi Alliance) members
protested the article and declared their reservations to the
anti-democratic article.

"The fact is, Iraqis voted `yes' to the constitution, even
those who live in western areas in Iraq--they all said yes
to the constitution. Iraqis are looking forward and working
hard to achieve their goals, they are determined to make the
political process succeed and defeat terrorism in Iraq. The
unique truth we are censoring here is that terrorism was
defeated and Iraq will soon become more secure."

KHALILZAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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