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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraqi Government, December 15th

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 004811

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, DECEMBER 15th
ELECTION, NATIONAL RECONCILIATION, TRANSPARENCY,
SOVEREIGNTY, WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. FORCES; BAGHDAD

SUMMARY: The major theme in today's editorials was the
upcoming election.

Analysis: The partisan Shi'a newspapers (Al-Adala & Al-
Bayyan) highlighted the upcoming election and the electoral
lists' preparations. Al-Adala's page-three editorial
entitled, "Real Representation" dealt with how some groups
are accusing the government and the UIA (United Iraqi
Alliance) of negligence in providing essential services to
the public, noting, "the people know their real
representatives because they reflect the candle that will
light the way toward advancement and prosperity." The paper
also continues to dedicate page six to editorials about the
UIA's political platform and today, one about Saddam's
trial.

Independent As-Sabah's front-page editorial entitled,
"Mechanism" addressed the vexing issue of how the next
parliament will amend the constitution.

Al-Taakhi published a page-three editorial entitled, "Why
the Kurdistan List 730" promising the Kurdish refrain that,
"List 730 will ensure no more dictatorial regimes come to
power in Iraq." Al-Ittihad's editorials on pages 3, 4 & 5
were wide-ranging and on the oil crisis, politics,
corruption, the difference between terrorism and resistance
and the electoral process in Iraq.

Baghdad published two editorials on page two: "The Essence
of Being for All Iraqis" which outlined the importance of
voting for Allawi's list, and "Elections.the System of the
Majority and Representation for Political Minorities."
December 1, 2005. END SUMMARY.

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

A. "Mutual Language" (Al-Bayyan, 12/1)
B. "Electoral Sewage" (Az-Zaman, 12/1)
C. "Which Are We Going to Choose: The Horse, Carriage or
Road?" (Al-Mashriq, 12/1)
D. "This Morning" (As-Sabah Al-Jadeed, 12/1)
E. "Candidates and Their Ways of Attracting Voters" (Az-
Zaman, 12/1)

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

A. "Mutual Language"
(Al-Bayyan - affiliated with Ad-Dawa (led by Al-Ja'fari), no
bias, published this page-three editorial by Zainab Al-
Khafaji)

"The competitive environment among electoral lists has
demonstrated many outcomes. We noticed that there are a lot
of political ads and posters that represent electoral
platforms of different lists and most of these ads or
posters speak about the unity of Iraq, reconstruction and
how to stabilize security in the country. It seems that
these issues represent mutual language among all electoral
lists.

"During this stage, political parties have found mutual
language in addition to their electoral platforms to show
that all political groups are harmonized. And this way, they
will be able to attract voters to participate in the
political process no matter what their choices.

"If a specific electoral list wins the election, it must
think about how to establish a government because this
government will implement the winning list's political
platform. In addition, people will have a good chance to
follow up with the general platform of the government.
Today, Iraq needs to take steps to draft the new political
map of the country so that Iraqis can choose the list that
will represent them and achieve their aspirations."

B. "Electoral Sewage"
(Az-Zaman, independent, published a back-page editorial by
Fateh Abdul Salam)

"Any Iraqi politician carrying a national slogan should be
ashamed of himself, especially in front of the people, for
all Iraqi cities without exception are turning into large
flooded areas where sewage pipelines are exposed in
residential neighborhoods forsaken by the ministries of
health, environment, human rights, and others.

"The availability of essential public services for Iraqis,
to provide their children with decent living standards is
the key factor for people's trust in politicians. No healthy
political environment can correlate with open sewage
networks feeding polluted swamps in neighborhoods and main
roads in large cities, not only in small towns or cities
devastated by continuous war.

"Where have the significant funds dedicated to cleaning the
drainage channels in southern Iraq, especially Basrah, by
the former civil administrator Paul Bremer, the wrecker of
Iraq, disappeared? Why are projects carried out by large
ministries still lagging behind those that could be
implemented by any minor local council? The excuse will
always be financial difficulties, but what was the fate of
the billions presented during Bremer's era. There were many
plans on paper which if they had found their way to reality,
the country would have been in a completely different state
approaching the end of the third post-war year, but these
excuses presented by politicians seem so thin and unrelated
to the people's interests in any way whatsoever.

"Addressing the problem of the sewage system is the broadest
slogan through which to demonstrate to Iraqis that some care
is being devoted to public health, future generations, and
the education sector.

"Perhaps the list of Saddam's crimes should include the well
built sewage systems established in the Green Zone alone
which might have left current officials unaware of the
problems facing the rest of the people. Who can step down to
the level of the people and make the sewage system the theme
of his electoral campaign? I don't think such politicians
exist."

C. "Which Are We Going to Choose: The Horse, Carriage or
Road?"
(Al-Mashriq- independent, anti-coalition, Sufi-leaning,
published this page-ten editorial by Shamil Abdul Qadir)

"The Iraqi people have paid a heavy price for the
consequences of Saddam's wars. For the first time in more
than half a century, Iraqis will hold a free election to
establish a new parliament and government. Hence, this
election is a national duty that all Iraqis must participate
in.

"After two years of the occupation of Iraq, it seems that we
have many choices at the current time. These choices are
presented according to ideological, humanitarian,
nationalist, patriotic, Islamic, sectarian and secular
trends and opinions. Today, the choice is open to everyone
to elect the strictest and strongest leadership that
believes in the unity of Iraq. We must choose a leader who
rejects sectarianism and individual interests. We have to
choose honest leaders who are not deceived by regional or
international intelligence services. We are looking for
leaders who respect and fulfill their promises.

"After two years of tears, pain, terrorism, car bombs and
sectarian assassinations, Iraqis know today who the best
leader is for their country. However, Islamists, secularists
and Kurds are the most probable candidates to win the
upcoming election--choosing any one of these lists means
that we choose our road for the new Iraq. But, after the
bloody hurricane that destroyed us for almost three years,
who will we choose? Are we going to choose the horse,
carriage or road?"

D. "This Morning"
(As-Sabah Al-Jadeed - independent, no bias, published this
front-page editorial by Ismail Zayyer)

"Hope and safety are undoubtedly coming to Iraq. Every day
that passes we gain more chances to advance our plan and
quietly think. Those who were enemies of Iraq have become
our friends. Frustrated Iraqis have also begun realizing
that violence is useless. Today, two important developments
have been recorded. The first is the issue of reducing multi-
national and U.S. forces in Iraq. U.S. President Bush has
started to speak publicly about the necessity of reducing
the number of American forces in Iraq.

"For this reason, we want our politicians to be more
responsible and establish a clear plan in order to achieve
the required goal. We do not say that withdrawal means we
should give up our democratic project in Iraq. At the same
time, withdrawal does not mean that the killers will assume
power. In fact, we should not give our enemies any
opportunity to think they will win.

"The second development is that the Jordanian Al-Ikhwan Al-
Muslimeen [Muslim Brotherhood] group announced that it would
support the political process in Iraq. In the past, this
group called for opposing changes in Iraq. As-Sabeel
magazine, which is affiliated with this group, published ads
supporting the Iraqi Islamic Party and called for Iraqis to
vote for it. I think that this is a very important turn for
this group because it will have an influence on the group's
reputation in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and the Gulf States.
Today, we are gaining more successes and this means that our
camp is gaining more strength while the camp of our enemies
is weakening. In addition to these steps, Zarkawi and his
group committed his crime against Amman's hotels and the
tribe of Zarkawi renounced him. All of these acts make us
more hopeful."

E. "Candidates and Their Ways of Attracting Voters"
(Az-Zaman - independent, anti-coalition, published this
front-page editorial by Basim Al-Sheikh)

"Without a doubt, all electoral lists have long-standing
plans to attract voters. These plans vary because each
electoral list has its own program and campaign to publicize
its platforms. Candidates must now understand their limits.
I think that this is the most important factor for real
success that can qualify candidates to get what they want.
Hence, candidates must know trends and affiliations of their
voters so that their electoral campaigns become successful
and effective in the community.

"Most candidates think that it is important to convey their
message to all voters and they do not care about whether or
not it will affect voters. Consequently, this will
negatively affect the whole electoral process. If we exploit
all energies and abilities in the right place, we will have
more positive results. We know that secular or liberal
candidates do not expect to gain significant votes in this
religious environment. At the same time, we do not expect
that tribal candidates can convey an effective message to a
developed academic audience. But, the contrary is right.

"Some candidates may resort to randomly giving information
and conveying messages to voters. They think that such
information will magnetize voters. In fact, the candidates
must be accurate in particular when they want to target
people. If they targeted suitable groups of people, they
would have greater chances to win the election."

KHALILZAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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