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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BAGHDAD2465
2007-07-25 17:44:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

VP HASHIMI DOWN BUT NOT YET OUT

Tags:   IZ  KDEM  MOPS  PGOV  PHUM 
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VZCZCXRO2316
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2465/01 2061744
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251744Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2438
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002465 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2017
TAGS: IZ KDEM MOPS PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: VP HASHIMI DOWN BUT NOT YET OUT

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002465

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2017
TAGS: IZ KDEM MOPS PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: VP HASHIMI DOWN BUT NOT YET OUT

Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) SUMMARY: On July 22, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi
discounted the need for a senior leadership meeting to iron
out political differences on benchmark legislation, saying
the political leaders can resolve all issues within 5-6 days
using their advisors. He tasked the Secretary General of the
Presidency Council to set up an advisor meeting for the next
day. Hashimi said the Shi'a and Kurds are not committed to
the benchmark legislation and were using the summit idea as a
delaying tactic. Hashimi decried his continued exclusion
from real partnership in government, especially on critical
security issues and blamed PM Maliki for the meager success
of the 3 1 process which he called "discouraging." He called
for local policing of neighborhoods in Baghdad and complained
about continued sectarian action by Iraqi Security Forces in
Sunni neighborhoods. He asked for greater urgency in prison
inspections to end human rights abuses in detention
facilities. Lack of government guarantees on protecting
human rights was instrumental in Hashimi's blocking of
legislation to extend the Emergency Powers law which lapsed
months ago. The government is acting without authority in
exercising emergency powers, he concluded. END SUMMARY.

DON'T WASTE TIME ON SUMMITS - JUST DO IT
--------------


2. (C) Commenting on plans to convene a meeting of senior
political leaders in the coming week, Vice President Hashimi
told Ambassador on July 22 that there was no need for another
structure to hammer out political differences on the
benchmark legislation. The 3 1 group (Presidency Council
plus the Prime Minister) can sort this out right away, he
said. All the political groups can name consultants to sit
down to work out political differences and bring them to the
leadership in a few days. He tasked Presidency Council
Secretary General Naseer al-Ani to set up the meeting of

SIPDIS
consultants for July 23.



3. (C) The Shi'a and Kurds don't want these laws, charged
Hashimi. Rather,they just want to waste time so they can say
that everyone was to blame for the delay. The Kurds were
stalling the hydrocarbon law that both the Sunnis and Shi'a
supported. Tawafuq gave its comments on the revenue sharing
and the de-Ba'thification laws and was ready to discuss
differences. Once the political bloc consultants come to an
agreement on these issues, the leaders should agree and sign
and instruct their parliamentary delegations to vote in
favor. All the issues can be solved in 5-6 days, said
Hashimi.

LEADERSHIP PROCESS DISCOURAGING - MALIKI TO BLAME
-------------- --------------


4. (C) Describing that morning's 3 1 meeting with PM Maliki
as discouraging, Hashimi said that Maliki still did not treat
him as a partner. Maliki refused to respond to Hashimi's
written concerns about human rights violations in the
security plan. Maliki was not cooperating, charged Hashimi.
Maliki was not open-minded, and this was intolerable, stated
Hashimi. Hashimi said he had no part of the security
planning process, no part in the operations, and key
information was being withheld from him. "As Vice President,
I should be aware; I should have access to information", he
said. "I want to be treated like Vice President Mahdi and
President Talabani, otherwise I will resign," he concluded.
The security portfolio was the most important, said Hashimi -
"either we are partners in this or we are not."

SUNNI NEIGHBORHOODS STILL UNDER SEIGE - NEED LOCAL POLICING
-------------- --------------


5. (C) VP Hashimi complained bitterly about the actions of
Colonel Ali, commander of the Second Battalion, Fifth
Brigade, in the al-Yarmouk area (Monsour district) of
Baghdad. Col. Ali made two raids on Hashimi's house and
detained his guards, said Hashimi. "I am the Vice President
and still after three months there was no action to resolve
this," he said. On July 21, Col. Ali allegedly terrorized
the neighborhood in Yarmouk where the Iraqi Islamic Party has
its headquarters. According to Hashimi, Col Ali's unit
arrested Sunnis based on their ID cards and tore up housing
contracts of residents telling them they have to move out
within 48 hours. Calls for Coalition assistance went
unheeded. The Iraqi Army cannot continue sectarian actions
under the guise of the Baghdad Security Plan, said Hashimi.


6. (C) The local population must be involved in policing
neighborhoods or the Surge will be wasted, said Hashimi.
Local groups should be given the responsibility and should
shoulder the burden as long as they don't threaten the
security or other areas, he continued. Ambassador Crocker
asked Hashimi what mechanism he would have to discuss this.

BAGHDAD 00002465 002 OF 002


Don't complicate things, said Hashimi. Hashimi suggested to
have the local Shi'a and Sunni leaders work it out
neighborhood by neighborhood -- a tailored solution for each.
Tawafuq aide Ayad Samarrai suggested using Ahmad Chalabi's
Popular Mobilization Committees to work out the specifics.
Samarrai opined that leaders at the local level can work this
out without outside interference -- they can have a joint
agreement on who the local police chief should be.

MUST ADDRESS GOI HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
--------------


7. (C) Hashimi decried continued human rights abuses in
detention facilities and prisons of the Ministry of Interior
and the Ministry of Defense. Ambassador Crocker said the
U.S. was working hard to get the ICRC involved but that much
work remains. Saying that prison inspections would help end
mistreatment, VP Hashimi suggested that inspection teams
include representatives from the Human Rights Ministry, the
Council of Representatives, the U.S. and the Prime Minister's
Office.

EMERGENCY POWERS LAW LAPSED - GOI ACTING WITHOUT AUTHORITY
-------------- --------------


8. (C) Hashimi said that, in light of his concerns about
human rights abuses, he refused to sign the request for
legislation to extend the Emergency Powers Law which lapsed
months ago. The government would not give guarantees that it
would protect human rights. Now that the law has lapsed, the
Government of Iraq is acting without authority in exercising
provisions of the Emergency Powers law, he claimed.

COMMENT
--------------


9. (C) Vice President Hashimi went to great lengths to
demonstrate that Tawafuq was not the cause of delay in
progress on benchmark legislation, seeking to shift the blame
to the Shi'a and Kurds. While Hashimi's confidence that
political differences can be resolved quickly was probably
overstated, his concern about the devastating impact on Sunni
communities in Baghdad of the security surge and the
continued sectarian behavior of Iraqi Security forces was
not. Hashimi and his Tawafuq party have now resorted to
threats of withdrawal from government in their pleas to be
included in government policy decisions, especially on
security matters. While each subsequent threat reduces its
impact on Post and the political blocs, ignoring Hashimi's
legitimate concerns may not be the best approach to take.

CROCKER