Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraqi Government, December 15th
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 005156
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 surrounding
parliamentary elections, the formation of the next
government, and specifically the Kurdish initiative to
establish a national unity government.
In its front-page editorial entitled "Maram's Teenagers,"
Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Bayyna discusses the recently-formed
political bloc called "Maram," whose members oppose the
election results that have been announced thus far. In its
third-page editorial entitled "Kurdistan's Meetings
Represent the First Step toward Harmony among Iraqis," PUK-
affiliated Al-Ittihad focuses on the Kurdish initiative to
push key political leaders toward an agreement concerning
the formation of the next government. SCIRI-affiliated Al-
Adala discusses the political process and its developments
in the past year in its third-page editorial entitled "Main
principles"; the editorial highlights the three electoral
processes that were held in 2005, considering them three
victories against terrorists and extremists. END SUMMARY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. "Iraq before Positions" (Al-Fourat, 12/29)
B. "Political Crisis and Harmful Agendas" (Dar As-Salam,
C. "If Maram Said So" (Al-Bayyan, 12/29)
A. "Iraq before Positions"
(Al-Fourat, independent, anti-coalition, published a front-
page editorial by editor in chief Shakir Al-Jibouri about
the current political crisis. The editorial reads in part)
"It is very good for Iraq to see the leaders of political
parties using dialogue to end the current political crisis.
However, it is better for Iraq to see those politicians
forget their disagreements and their personal interests for
the sake of reinforcing national unity. Some may say that
Iraq is about to reach an intersection that leads to
nowhere, but we say that this country will stay united and
politicians should encourage this unity."
B. "Political Crises and Harmful Agendas"
(Dar As-Salam, affiliated with the Iraqi Islamic Party,
published a front-page unattributed editorial about the
current political crisis. The editorial reads in part)
"Some political groups want to present their special and
controversial agendas despite the fact that the country has
just exited a political crisis that arose from the fraud in
the last election. Those agendas can deepen the political
and sectarian division in the country. The current period is
not suitable for discussing the issue of forming federal
territories. We announce to the Iraqi people that we reject
any agreement among political groups that may target the
unity of the country. Today, Iraq needs unity. Presenting
sectarian and sensitive issues will not be useful for any
part-even for those who imagine they will gain profit from
the current political crisis."
C. "If Maram Said So"
(Al-Bayyan, affiliated with the Islamic Ad-Dawa Party,
published a fifth-page editorial by Salim Rasoul about the
Maram Movement, which was formed after the election to
oppose the election's results. The editorial reads in part)
"Maram is a movement composed of those who reject the
elections for a variety of reasons. Those groups that formed
Maram lost the election and for this reason they accused the
IECI of being biased in favor of a specific list in an
attempt to justify their loss. But if we hold elections
again, will Maram accept the result of the elections? The
democratic game needs an opposition that monitors the
government in a positive way. Maram has two options: either
participate in forming a national unity government or
organize an opposition in the parliament."