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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BAGHDAD2627
2006-07-22 19:30:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

HEAD OF SCIRI OUTLINES FOUR-STEP PLAN TO ADDRESS

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  MOPS  PTER  IZ 
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VZCZCXRO8488
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2627/01 2031930
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221930Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5864
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHWSR/WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002627 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS PTER IZ
SUBJECT: HEAD OF SCIRI OUTLINES FOUR-STEP PLAN TO ADDRESS
THE ESCALATING VIOLENCE, ASKS FOR USG HELP


Classified By: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002627

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS PTER IZ
SUBJECT: HEAD OF SCIRI OUTLINES FOUR-STEP PLAN TO ADDRESS
THE ESCALATING VIOLENCE, ASKS FOR USG HELP


Classified By: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) SUMMARY: Supreme Council for the Revolution in Iraq
(SCIRI) leader Abdel Aziz Al Hakim met with the Ambassador on
July 20. Al Hakim highlighted growing concerns among the
Shia that the USG was taking a political "observer role" in
the wake of escalating violence, especially with regard to
attacks on Shia. Al Hakim outlined his thoughts on the way
forward, a four-point plan that included activating the GOI,
especially the security apparatuses; the formation of
"neighborhood watch" committees; emphasizing the role of the
National Policy Council; and tackling the rebuilding of the
Askariya mosque in the Samarra province. Al Hakim requested
USG support for the plan, especially in "paving the way" with
the Sunni community. The Ambassador assured Al Hakim of USG
support for the success of the Iraqi government and the Shia
as its majority community, and cited the potential of the
Askariya mosque rebuilding plan to promote national unity and
reconciliation. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) Al Hakim expressed his frustration with perceived
Sunni "bad will" in the political process. He stated that
while SISTANI issued fatwas and made public statements
against the killing of Sunnis and the taking of Sunni
mosques, major Sunni politicians were making statements in
the media blaming the recent escalation in violence on the
Shia. Al Hakim added the Sunni public posture with regard to
attacks against the Shia were more often than not general.
He said that he told VP Tariq al Hashimi in a recent meeting
that the major Sunni political figures should play a
leadership role in curbing the violence by condemning
terrorist anti-Shia violence. The situation on the ground
was worsening, Al Hakim added, pointing to the example of
recent attacks in the Taji region. He stated that the
younger generation of Shia, disappointed by the failure of

the government to provide security, were increasingly taking
matters into their own hands in defending themselves.
Despite this, Al Hakim complained that the US appeared to be
taking an "observer role." He said that the Shia community,
from Baghdad to Najaf and from religious scholars to the
people on the ground, were raising questions about the
direction of U.S. policy in Iraq at this stage.


3. (C) Al Hakim described a four-pronged approach to
addressing the violence. First, the GOI must activate its
security apparatuses and develop its intelligence services,
focusing on Baghdad security and especially the role of the
police. Second, he recommended the formation of
representative "neighborhood watch" committees to review each
incident of violence in the area as it occurs. His third
point focused on political engagement, noting that he had
already engaged Sunni leadership directly and was hopeful
that the National Policy Council would be a useful political
forum for reaching agreement and consensus. Finally, Al
Hakim emphasized that the rebuilding of the Askaria mosque in
Samarra was of great symbolic importance. Frustration over
the non-resolution of this issue was mobilizing popular
support Al Hakim observed, with thousands volunteering to
travel to Samaraa to work on the shrine rebuilding project.


4. (C) The Ambassador expressed his support for Al Hakim's
ideas. He reassured Hakim of President Bush's support for
the success of the Iraqi government, an objective which has
not changed since liberation. The fact that Sunni
participation in the Iraqi government had not caused a marked
improvement in the security situation, as both the USG and
the Shia coalition had expected, was a matter of concern.
The USG was questioning why innocent Shia and Sunni were
dying in Iraq every day. The Ambassador agreed that both the
Shia and Sunni political leadership had an important role to
play in publicly condemning terror and death squads. He told
Al Hakim that while the USG was conscious of how patient the
Shia had been until now, it was important that they continue
to work toward assuring their Sunni counterparts that their
place in the new Iraqi government was secure.


5. (C) With regard to the Al-Askariya rebuilding project,
Hakim noted that the financial resources and architectural
expertise were lined up to begin work. He requested USG
assistance in securing the roads to Samarra and convincing
the Sunni who live in the area surrounding the mosque to
promote an environment conducive to reconstruction. The
Ambassador encouraged Hakim to develop the Samarra plan,
noting that the USG supported an inclusive approach to
rebuilding the shrine that would make the project, and its
final product, a symbol of national reconciliation. Hakim
said that he would think about how this could be done and
would get back in touch with the Ambassador.


6. (U) REO HILLA, REO BASRA, REO MOSUL, and REO KIRKUK,

BAGHDAD 00002627 002 OF 002


minimize considered.
KHALILZAD