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2005-08-23 19:27:00
Embassy Baghdad
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E.0. 12958: N/A

SUMMARY: Discussions on the Constitution was one of the major editori
daily web-site editorials on August 22-23, 2005. END SUMMARY.


A. "Citizenship and Sectarianism; The Difference Between The Sunni an
Constitution" (Iraqi Press Website in Arabic, 8/22)

B. "Iraqi Constitution and the Dialogue of the Deaf" (Iraq 4 All New

C. "Concession Over Self-Determination" (Al-Rafidayn Web Site in Ara

D. "Iraq, Uniqueness of the Constitutional Battle . . . The Uniquene
(Soat Al-Iraq (The Voice of Iraq) in Arabic, 8/23)


A. "Citizenship and Sectarianism; The Difference Between The Sunni an
(Iraqi Press Website in Arabic - Editorial by Ali Al-Shlah) htm

"Iraq is ruled by one sect which nobody used to talk about. Now sect
familiar topic of conversation, since the government is comprised of
spectrums! . . . Which group committee members identify with or not,
qualifications, have become main concerns for Iraqis because it is a
international Arab issue. This point was taken to such extremes that
State Rice visited Iraq and demanded that the Prime Minister guarante
Sunnis in drafting the constitution, nobody claimed that this was eth
But it seems that this topic only comes up when the government is fac
necessity of giving non-Sunnis their rights (or not) in the political
problems with Saddam's regime not because he was Sunni but because he
People would have turned against him even if he had been Shi'ite. Why
that every anti-terrorist operation is against Sunnis? . . I wish tha
protesters on the Constitutional Drafting Committee say that they opp
because it excluded an Iraqi legal advisor. But, to oppose it because
didn't have enough Sunnis isn't a good enough reason. The committee i
sectarian because the leaders of the Sunnis convinced their group to
Then those very same leaders demanded a big portion of the cake throu
others with the threat of a boycott, though Sunnis did not elect the
They are not legitimate. The government responded to their blackmail
abroad to the extent that I'm afraid that Sunni extremists will boyco

elections to get more than they could get in a free and fair election
will continue to assume more power and get away with their grandstand
constitution won't differentiate between one Iraqi and another and it
over another. Political leaders should all concentrate on writing a p
and not sectarianism one."

B. "Iraqi Constitution and the Dialogue of the Deaf"
(Iraq 4 All News in Arabic - Editorial By Jihad Al-Khazin)

"It might be true that the constitutional committee had completed 90%
its August 15th deadline, but its also true that the remaining 10% is
disagreement among the three main groups . . . In fact, the deliberat
on how deep the differences are among Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. The
the negotiators to give themselves another week for deliberations des
the United States. They went into the extension with no practical pro
solution for problems that preventing their agreement in the first pl
demand a federal region in the south that would enable them to benefi
resources. The Kurds in the north also want their own federal region
idea of Islam as the main source of legislation . . . The 15 Sunni Co
Committee members have threatened to withdraw from the process if Shi
continue to insist on these concessions . . . The United States has p
give up their points and reach an agreement. Ambassador Zalmay Khalil
disappointment over the postponement after acting as the 72nd member
Maybe he was even the first . . . Federalism is the first step in the
Shiites and Kurds are already talking about the next step, which is a
real possibility that the failure of this process could lead to a civ
could already be on the way, even though no one is talking about it y
from insane terrorism that could not be described as a resistance mov
many lives on daily basis. While the United States, which put Iraq in
is trying to emphasize the positive side of the situation that just d

C. "Concession Over Self-Determination"
(Al-Rafidayn Web Site in Arabic - Editorial by Venus Fa'iq)

"News of Kurdish concessions over the right of self-determination did
shocking impact on my soul . . . Since I did speculate that Kurds wou
nothing . . . I would have liked to ask Kurdish officials the questio
have any rights to give up in the first place, and could they give th
back to their people?. . I don't know what rights Kurds will have aft
after agreeing that Islam should be the main source of legislation--t
are enough to suppress the Kurdish people in a civilized manner right
sight . . . We should point out that the American position changed du
Americans, whom Kurds thought were keen on Kurdish rights and were th
ally ever, have turned their back on Kurds in favor of Shiites, the n
can't think how any attention could be given towards Kurdish demands
Kirkuk, especially after Al-Sistani's fatwa. I believe Kirkuk will be
series of concessions and I hope I'm wrong."

(Soat Al-Iraq, The Voice of Iraq in Arabic - Editorial by Ameer Al-Ta

"Does the national assembly's decision to postpone the discussion of
constitution represent a major setback for Iraq that has just been fr
or is it merely a minor event on the road to democracy? . . . Failure
constitutional deadline would be considered a drawback for only one r
time the Iraqi leadership has failed to fulfill a political obligatio
toppling of the previous regime . . . Despite the prospect of postpon
tactical drawback for Iraqis, it represents a democratic development
recently freed from decades of dictatorship. Constitutional committee
to pressures from different factions including Al-Sistani and the U.S
. . . The vast majority of Iraqis are content with the manner through
made, and they're aware that the era where constitutions were imposed
forever, and that no single group can dictate its will over others, a
they know it's no longer possible to ignore the will of the people .
around the drafting of the constitution have included Iraqis particip
conferences enabling 50,000 to express their opinions; in addition to
many unions, women's groups, and human rights organizations."