Iraq Press Roundup

By HIBA DAWOOD, UPI Correspondent  |  June 13, 2008 at 11:21 PM
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The independent Azzaman newspaper ran an editorial Friday with the title "A large number of Iraqis are between illusion and reality."

"The division project is being defeated," declared the newspaper, noting the fact that Iraqis, after five years of U.S. military occupation, are able to define the political situation on the ground.

The editorial said the people of Iraq today understand U.S. motives and aims for invading Iraq, especially after the collapse of wise and logical policy, and the way various armed groups dominating the situation ignored values and traditions.

It said those armed groups are the ones established under the "so-called political process" to cover their crimes of killings, kidnappings and ethnic cleansing -- phenomena not seen even when Holaco invaded Baghdad in 1280.

The editorial said the sectarian divisions had poisoned every aspect of life in Iraq, including the government and its institutions.

It said the new government in Iraq mistrusted national leaders who aimed to preserve the old values and traditions in ruling the country, even though many of them had opposed Saddam's regime. It had excluded them from the political process, using the laws the occupier had imposed, such as the De-Baathification law, the dissolution of the Iraqi army and the framing of the current constitution, the newspaper said.

"The occupier's plans began to fail because of the pressure created by the crises people are going through as well as the achievement of the Iraqi national resistance that destroyed the occupier's capabilities," the Azzaman newspaper said.

It added the "sectarian project" had failed for many reasons, such as the immense failure in achieving civil peace and security and defeating terrorism -- even when billions of dollars had been spent to build an army and security forces which ended up creating death squads -- in addition to the absence of a national reconciliation project.

The failure of national reconciliation is apparent when negotiations on the Status of Forces Agreement between Iraq and the United States cause splits in opinion even among negotiators from the same political bloc, the London-based newspaper said.

The editorial added the causes of the failure of national reconciliation were Bush administration policy, the influence of U.S. institutions inside Iraq, and the power competition between Iran and the United States.

It described the political process in Iraq as a battle and said this "political battle" has just begun between the project of political sectarianism and the national reconciliation project whose participants were increasing to include religious movements such as the Shiite Sadr Movement -- an ideological party -- and the Fadhila Party.

It accused Shiites in the government of saying those who oppose them were threatening the Shiite majority, when in fact they were only endangering their own personal interests.

The newspaper added the Iraqi government used the media to convince the simple people of Iraq that bloodshed on the ground in the new Iraq constituted "victories" against the terrorists and would "lead" to improvement in the security situation.

"Iraqis' right is to achieve a national project based on the will of the people and their use of all legal means to resist the occupation, reject sectarian divisions, and hold on to the unity, independence, nationhood and Arabic character of Iraq," the daily said.

For the destruction of Iraq, the editorial blamed Iraqis who came with the occupation forces and supported Paul Bremer in forming an incomplete political process, in advocating for the sectarian division of the country and most seriously in writing the constitution.

The editorial advised the first and most important step to control the situation in today's Iraq is for the political process to be reformed to include the Iraqi resistance and Iraqi national leaders as well as some of the many diverse members of the current parliament.

"A new parliament and a new political process would put the motto of ending the occupation on top of their agenda as a start to end the crisis in Iraq," the newspaper concluded.

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