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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 02 BAGHDAD 005133

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, TRANSPARENCY; BAGHDAD

SUMMARY: The major themes in today's editorials were the
political discussions and conflicts regarding parliamentary
elections and the Kurdish initiative to contain the
political crisis.

Quasi-independent As-Sabah published a front-page editorial
entitled "Continuity," in which the author discusses Jalal
Al-Talabani's initiative to unify the disparate Iraqi
political groups. The Kurdish Al-Ittihad focuses on the same
theme in an editorial about the Kurdish initiative to
harmonize political disagreements among Iraqi factions.
Independent As-Sabah Al-Jadeed discusses the establishment
of the forthcoming government and how the Iraqi people look
forward to witnessing its achievements in its front-page
editorial, "This Morning." Independent Al-Mashriq criticizes
the conflict among the disparate political groups and
contends that parliamentary seats are the keys to wealth and
dominance in "Share the Cake Fairly." END SUMMARY.

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

A. "Politicians and Short-Sightedness" (Ad-Dustoor, 12/27)
B. "Why Aggravation?" (Al-Fourat, 12/27)
C. "People Defend Their Votes" (Al-Bayyan, 12/27)
D. "A Mistake That Can Be Contained" (Dar As-Salam, 12/27)
E. "Because Iraq Is Worthy" (Al-I'ttisam, 12/27)

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

A. "Politicians and Short-Sightedness"
(Ad-Dustoor, independent, published a front-page editorial
by editor in chief Bassam Al-Sheikh about Iraqi politicians.
The editorial reads in part)

"During their speeches or statements, Iraqi politicians
think they are guardians of specific sects or groups. They
think that they are authorized to speak on behalf of the
people. I believe this represents the short-sightedness from
which most of those politicians suffer. Iraq and Iraqis deal
with a special kind of politician who devastated the
country. Today, those politicians discriminate against
people and favor others without having any national
principles. They only speak about national principles in
their bombastic slogans. Those politicians who call for
power-sharing will fail in the end. The Iraqi people will be
able to distinguish between those politicians, and then they
will know how to restore their wounded country from the
hands of occupiers and their followers."

B. "Why Aggravation?"
(Al-Fourat, independent, anti-coalition, published a front-
page editorial by editor in chief Shakir Al-Jibouri about
the political discussions among Iraqi factions. The
editorial reads in part)

"Iraqis held their breath yesterday after some rest from the
bombs that rocked Baghdad. We don't know why these bombings
occurred when they did, and we don't know who benefits from
this violence, as the Iraqi people are still the only
victims. Current political discussions seek to achieve a
unified understanding to save the country from the current
crisis. For this reason, we deny and reject the principle of
aggravation. All parts must consider the unity of the
country and end extremism and violence. Our people do not
need lessons in patriotism and sacrifice, but they want a
positive environment to develop fraternity. Our problems and
crises will be solved by our unity."

C. "People Defend Their Votes"
(Al-Bayyan, affiliated with the Islamic Ad-Dawa Party
published a front-page unattributed editorial about the
demonstrations in Iraqi cities after the announcement of
preliminary election results. The editorial reads in part)

"The demonstrations that began in Baghdad and other
provinces after the announcement of preliminary election
results show that the people have political awareness. The
people confirmed during their rallies that they refuse to
redo the election, as this would belittle the people's
willpower and choice. This also would reduce the UIA's large
success in the election. Moreover, these demonstrations have
called for reelecting Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari as prime minister
in the forthcoming period. It indicates that Al-Ja'fari has
widespread popularity from the people because his government
has achieved many accomplishments in spite of its young age.
Finally, these demonstrations represent a democratic
phenomenon that shows Iraqi people have the right to defend
their determination."

D. "A Mistake That Can Be Contained"
(Dar As-Salam, affiliated with Iraqi Islamic Party,
published a front-page unattributed editorial about the
political conflicts that arose after the announcement of
preliminary election results. The editorial reads in part)

"Iraq today is experiencing a sensitive political stage.
Iraq is about to reach the most dangerous political
interchange since its occupation in April 2003. Day after
day, we believe that the American occupation of Iraq has
made mistakes, starting from the Governing Council to the
last parliamentary election. However, it is important for
all influential political groups in Iraq to know how to get
over the current political crisis. Those who think that they
have wide popularity among Iraqis must understand that it is
important to adopt honest methods in any political practice.
In every crisis, the IIP suggests suitable solutions for
crises. This time, the party thinks this crisis can be
solved by re-holding the elections, since this election was
proven to be rigged. Finally, we say that this crisis can be
contained by adopting the wisdom and sense to establish a
united country."

E. "Because Iraq Is Worthy"
(Al-I'ttisam, affiliated with General Conference for Ahl Al-
Iraq, led by Adnan Al-Dulaimi, published a front-page
unattributed editorial about the political process. The
editorial reads in part)

"The patriotic and honest powers that oppose the occupation
have participated in the political process in spite of all
difficulties, threats, and conspiracies. The honest powers
in the Iraqi Harmony List knew that Iraq's political
environment was not healthy. Additionally, the participation
of those who have been marginalized from the political
process will not be easy because there are many groups that
try to control the political process.Those groups do not
want to give in to the real builders of the state and those
who have clean hands, histories, and consciences. This group
of people will be able to mend what was destroyed in the
country and they will put out the flames of the occupation
and its followers. Today, we face an enormous national
battle to fix the problems, remove the chaos, and build our
civilization. Because Iraq is worthy, we have to win this
battle."

KHALILZAD

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