|03KUWAIT2062||2003-05-14 14:17:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Kuwait|
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 KUWAIT 002062
1. SUMMARY: The May 13 terrorist bombings in Riyadh are
interpreted as attacks against the Saudi government, rather
than American interests. Commentary on the future of the
Middle East generated earlier in the week by President
Bush's May 9 address at South Carolina University continues.
One writer suggests a GCC-Iraq-Iran economic bloc for
greater negotiating leverage before the establishment of the
free-trade zone proposed by the President.
Two prominent commentators taking opposing views on whether
Baathists should be allowed to participate in a future Iraqi
government. Another believes that without the capture of
Saddam, the liberation of Iraq will not be complete. A
conservative writer targets the America Israel Public
Affairs Committee in an article titled "AIPAC Governs
In the news, the Council of Ministers approved a law to
allow women to stand for Kuwait City Municipal Council
seats, pending National Assembly approval. END SUMMARY.
2. News Stories: The lead story this week has been the
approval by the Council of Ministers of a new law granting
women the right to run for and be elected to seats on the
Kuwait City Municipal Council, as Al-Qabas reports on May
12. On May 13, all newspapers report that Acting Prime
Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad said the new law is not
expected to be ratified by the National Assembly in the
Al-Rai Al-Aam reports on May 11 that Kuwaiti security
arrested one of a group of Kuwaiti man who allegedly
attempted to enter Iraq before the war in order to fight
alongside Ansar al-Islam.
Al-Qabas reports on May 11 that conservative Islamist Salafi
and Kuwait University Shari'a and Islamic Affairs Professor
Dr. Abdul Razzak Al-Shayji branded as "agents for the United
States" a group of Kuwaiti women who traveled to the US for
a USG-funded women's program.
The campaign budgets of candidates running for National
Assembly seats in the scheduled July elections ranges from
KD 20,000-KD 3 million (approximately USD 60,000-9 million),
according to Al-Qabas.
3. "The Use Of `Baathies'"
Shiite MP Abdel-Mohsen Yousef Jamal wrote in independent Al-
Qabas (5/12): "[The American civil administration in Iraq]
has appointed a member of the Baath party as an
Undersecretary for the Ministry of Health despite the
rejection by Iraqi doctors of this appointment. [This
appointment] will lead Iraqis to not obey the orders of such
`Baathies' because they will feel that the Americans are not
serious in achieving a real change in Iraq."
4. "Saddam Hussein Is Not The Baath Party"
Liberal Abdellatif Al-Duaij wrote in independent Al-Qabas
(5/14): "[T]he Baath party is not responsible for what
happened in Iraq, but rather Saddam himself. The Baath party
was not a Nazi party, and never meant to be a terrorist
party. The party played a major role in the liberation of
Arabs in the region. Leaders of the Baath party must be
given the chance to contribute to Iraq's future because of
the continuation of this party is essential in Iraq's
democracy. Therefore, the American administration should
give some responsibilities to party members."
4. "Democracy Is Our Problem"
Liberal Kuwait University Political Science Professor, Dr.
Shamlan Al-Essa wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (5/12):
"Allied countries and the US are attempting to create a new
democratic model in Iraq for other Arab countries to adopt.
but what about democracy in the Gulf countries? Each Gulf
country believes in democracy in its own way. Kuwait, for
example, has not granted women their political rights [and]
discriminates against some citizens. We expect that the
democratic changes in Iraq will influence the Gulf States
and the Arab world to achieve a real democracy in the
5. "Where Is Saddam Hussein?"
Liberal Secretary General of the Kuwait Journalist's
Association, Faisal Al-Qanai wrote in independent Al-
Seyassah (5/13): "Unless Saddam and his regime are
apprehended, the situation will remain unstable in Iraq.
Thousands of Iraqis still fear the possibility of Saddam's
reappearance in the future. The liberation of Iraq will not
end until Saddam is found and dragged through the streets of
6. "The Future Of The Gulf"
Dr. Naief Al-Hajraf wrote in independent Al-Anba (5/14):
"President Bush's suggestion to establish a free trade zone
in the Middle East in his recent speech at the University of
South Carolina must be welcomed cautiously despite the
importance of this idea. The GCC, Iran and Iraq must work
closely to create a stronger position to negotiate with the
US when it reveals more about its idea. It is time now for
the cannons to stop, and to get the factories running."
7. "Who Is The Target Of The Explosions In Riyadh?"
Dr. Ayed Al-Manna wrote in independent Al-Watan (5/14): "If
the terrorists of Saudi Arabia believe that raising slogans
against the Americans will gain them sympathy, then they are
hallucinating. [T]he goals of terrorism in Saudi Arabia are
to impose an extremist ideology instead of adopting the
sensible Islamic teachings, and to force the Saudi
leadership to abandon its reform policies."
8. "Flame on the Hem of the Saudi Robe"
Editor-in-Chief of independent Al-Seyassah, Ahmad Al-
Jarallah wrote (5/14): "Are these [terrorist attacks] meant
to expel Americans from the Arabian Peninsula? We do not
believe so, because Americans have already left [Saudi
Arabia]. Indeed, such acts of terror are meant to topple the
ruling power and nothing else."
9. "AIPAC Governs America"
Conservative Dr. Sami Khalifa wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-
Aam (5/14): "[The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC)] is behind the unusual relationship between
President Bush and Sharon, and is the main planner behind
the Road Map and the appointment of Abu Mazen as the
Palestinian Prime Minister. AIPAC is also behind the
escalation against Syria and Iran in order to contain the
power of the Palestinians and the Lebanese."