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05BAGHDAD3759 2005-09-13 02:25:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Baghdad
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E.0. 12958: N/A

SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution was the major
editorial theme of the daily newspapers on September 12,





A. "On Tal Afar" (Al-Sabah, 9/12)

B. "The Constitution Brings Order to Our Lives" (Al-Ittihad,

C. "The Al-Badran Initiative" (Ad-Dustoor, 9/12)

D. "The Constitution and Iraqi Children" (Al-Mada, 9/12)



A. "On Tal Afar"
(Al-Sabah, independent, published this front-page editorial
by Ismail Zayyer)

"The government has made the right decision by launching a
military campaign in Tal Afar though the decision could have
come earlier--the Iraqi people's interest must come before
all else. Yet, our interest requires that we must strike
terrorists and criminals with an iron hand. This military
campaign signals that the law and the government's authority
are above everything. What is the benefit of the
reconstruction of schools and infrastructure if we pay no
attention to our citizens' sufferings from violence and
criminal acts?

"We must put an end to the killers in this country. We must
convey a clear message to them that says that we will not be
soft on those who destroy and violate our stability and
security. Some of the gunmen think they represent the Iraqi
people when they fight U.S. forces in Iraq. However, we know
that those masked gunmen do not represent any Iraqis. In
order to respond to these gunmen's calls we have to work
hard to eradicate their presence in our country. We do not
want Zarqawi to establish another Taliban in this or any
country. It is possible for us to have disagreements over
the draft constitution and the electoral law as long as
these disagreements correspond with the country's interest.
Indeed, we reject anyone who tries to monopolize a sect's or
group's opinion because this is the essence of the democracy
we want to practice in the new Iraq."

B. "The Constitution Brings Order to Our Lives"
(Al-Ittihad, affiliated with the PUK, published this back-
page editorial by As'ad Jibari)

"The constitution brings order to the life of humans and
when they fail to identify with a system that can bring
structure to their lives they drift away from the circle of
humanity. As Iraqi citizens we didn't feel we belonged to
this society because no one took our interests into
consideration. Today however as we approach referendum day
we find none other than ourselves responsible for drafting
the future for upcoming generations.

"We are in charge of making this constitution relevant to
our daily lives. Therefore, we have to deal truthfully with
the current situation so that we can make the constitution
our main focus; it will be a new beginning in Iraq's history
which was devastated by Saddam's lost wars. This
constitution will pave the way for us to be creative and pro-
active moving our country forward toward prosperity. We call
on our citizens in Kirkuk to think of national unity when
they go to the ballot boxes to decide their future. We hope
that free and fair voting will help us achieve great
accomplishments and bring an end to all types of slavery and
dictatorship. Our voting will grant us a new life in a new

C. "The Al-Badran Initiative"
(Ad-Dustoor, independent, published this front-page
editorial by Bassem Al-Sheikh on the Jordanian PM's visit to

"Although the Jordanian Prime Minister Adnan Al-Badran's
visit to Baghdad was late it is a very important development
in Iraqi-Arab relationships. We can consider this visit a
step forward that will reinforce Iraqi-Jordanian relations
after a period of instability between the two neighboring
countries. The Iraqi-Jordanian relationship encountered
tension due to a worsening of the security situation in
Iraq. This visit focused on breaking the ice that formed as
a result of Jordan's cold shoulder to Iraqi issues (from the
Al-Hillah bombings to the crisis of Arab diplomatic
representation in Baghdad following the assassination of the
Egyptian Ambassador to Iraq).

"Events such as the Aqaba attack and the recent Jordanian
determination to track and arrest Jordanians suspected in
terrorist activities have made a difference. Furthermore,
the Iraqi government has announced the capture of eighteen
terrorists carrying Jordanian passports who were involved in
the bombings of the U.N. headquarters and the assassination
last year of Izz Al-Din Salim, a member of the former Iraqi
Governing Council. This visit and Al-Ja'afari's promise to
visit Jordan soon will improve relations between the two
countries. We can resume activities of the joint committee
for security and the economy and we can restore diplomatic
representation in support of the political and democratic
processes in Iraq. Jordan now is the model for the remainder
of Arab countries which need to be willing to support the
Iraqi nation and help Iraqis conquer their crisis."

D. "The Constitution and Iraqi Children"
(Al-Mada, independent, published this page-nine un-
attributed editorial)

"The former regime's inane policy has caused Iraqi children
to suffer from extremely negative psychological and social
effects. Many Iraqi children have lost their fathers due to
Saddam's wars and this phenomenon has led to those children
becoming financially responsible for their families while
they are still young. Some of these children have become
criminals and thieves leading to an increase in crime in the

"Current daily violence and criminal activity is exacerbated
by the crimes of children. When Iraq was liberated from the
tyrant on April 9, 2003, Iraqi children faced a new kind of
misery, terror. This terrorism has dramatically affected the
psychology of Iraqi children who have experienced many
difficult conditions such as familial, educational, and
general societal violence due to the policies of war and

"In addition, many of them were exposed to kidnapping,
revenge, and rape. Iraqi children have been the only victims
who have consistently paid the price with fear and
intimidation. For this reason, the constitution's drafters
must enact special and highly visible paragraphs in the
document that guarantee the rights of children. Everybody
calls for his or her rights but what about children? Is
there anyone who can speak on their behalf?... Children do
not wage war and are not responsible for its consequences.
The absence of clear and transparent articles concerning
Iraqi children in the constitution will force us to face a
very dangerous educational and social problem. The National
Assembly and the government must reconsider Iraqi children
in their economic, educational, and social planning so that
our children will enjoy a sense of humanity that will allow
them to build the future of this country."