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 003759
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, CONSTITUTION, TAL AFAR; BAGHDAD
SUMMARY: Discussion on the Constitution was the major editorial theme of the daily newspapers on September 12,
2005. END SUMMARY.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. "On Tal Afar" (Al-Sabah, 9/12)
B. "The Constitution Brings Order to Our Lives" (Al-Ittihad, 9/12)
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 Iraq."
C. "The Al-Badran Initiative" (Ad-Dustoor, independent, published this front-page editorial by Bassem Al-Sheikh on the Jordanian PM's visit to Iraq)
"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 country.
"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 sanctions.
"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."