IWPR’s Iraqi Press Monitor [27.05.05]
OPINION: Resistance kills innocents
By: Zuhair al-Baghdadi
(Al-Adala, May 26, 2005) There are some who still describe the attacks on innocents as "honourable resistance" and feel proud that they are bringing an end to the foreign presence in Iraq. But the killing of students, workers and labourers is not resistance, it is terrorism. What happened at the Habayebna Testaurant had nothing to do with resistance - dozens of workers and students blown to pieces by a car bomb planted by the "honourable resistance". There were no Americans and no security forces at the restaurant, just poor people went there because of the reasonable prices. The next day, a resistance supporter was shown on TV praising the killing of "occupiers". Those stand behind the killing of innocents are in reality trying to ignite a sectarian conflict that will drown Iraq in a sea of blood. They are henchmen of the former regime, and they will be swept away by the Iraqi security forces.
(Al-Adala is issued daily by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.)
OPINION: No sectarian conflict in Iraq
By Waleed al-Zubaidi
(Azzaman, May 24, 2005) I always assume that Iraq will never witness a sectarian conflict. Some have accused me of extreme optimism, while others look to the Iraqi people to ward off the possibility. Iraqis know full well that there is a conspiracy to trap them into a sectarian war, and they are steadfastly opposing such attempts. The Lebanese found themselves caught up in a conflict of this kind, and they paid dearly for it and are still suffering the consequences. The Iraqis have proved strong; all they need is more coherence planning to derail plans to split their country. They must not be over-optimistic, and they must keep their eyes wide open to keep Iraq united.
(London-based Azzaman is issued daily by Saad al-Bazaz.)
EDITORIAL: The future is democracy
By Mohammed Abdul Jabbar al-Shaboot
(Al-Sabah, May 22) Democracy is a social, cultural and historical need. There are four levels to achieving it: the presence of democratic criteria, democratic organisations, civil society organisations, and a democratic culture. The first level requires that there are people who believe in democracy, equality between men and woman, the right to vote, freedom of expression, and the right of a majority to govern following an election but without breaching violating the rights of the minority. There must be a concord between the rulers and the ruled, based on a common acceptance of the rule of law. That cannot be achieved without strong, democratic political organisations and an independent parliament that holds the government to account. Political parties are the backbone of democracy-building, so they too should be democratic and their heads elected. Civil society organisations are another essential element, making the link between the authorities and the people. Democracy will be fully achieved when we have a democratic culture among the people; and that culture becomes part of a cultural and historical identity that is passed from generation to generation.
(Al-Sabah is a daily independent publicly owned newspaper.)
EDITORIAL: The ghoul of corruption
By Basim al-Sheikh
(Addustour, May 23, 2005) Official corruption is a ghoul that is growing every larger in our governmental departments, living in dark dens, concealing itself under political slogans and feeding on hypocrisy. There are senior politicians who nurture the giant beast; they are no more than mafias whose reach extents to every single detail of the work of offices. We are great need of true men who will work in the interests of the country and who will stand up to the mafias without fear, and we need new mechanisms for dealing with corruption. One of the principal causes of corruption is the closed nature of government offices, which believe no outsider have any inkling of what goes on inside them, and are anything but transparent in dealing with the media or other bodies that can play a watchdog role. It is the job of central government to direct its offices to cooperate with the press and reveal what ever is required of them. If that is not done, all the talk of combating corruption will be meaningless. Once a light is shone on corruption¸ officials will think a thousand times before looting public property.
(Addustour is an independent daily published by former journalist Basim al-Sheikh.)
EDITORIAL: Cavalier gun culture of the police
By Israa Shakir
(Al-Iraq al-Yoom, May 23, 2005) Our main objective is to see our country free of the violence and weapons that are currently its trademark. We have had so many conflicts in succession that we are familiar with all sorts of arms. The police forces fire into the air to tell drivers to drive on, without considering that paying the driver might be a woman or an old man. We know the police carry weapons to protect us as well as themselves, yet we feel terrified whenever we go past a police vehicle. That cannot be part of the government’s counter-terrorism plans. It is already hard to drive as so many roads are either blocked by concrete walls or barbed wire, leading to heavy traffic jams on the open streets, which makes us nervous enough as it is. I think the police need their bullets to defend themselves and us against insurgents rather than shooting randomly into the air.
(Al-Iraq al-Yoom is a weekly newspaper issued by Isra Shakir.)
OPINION: Media practice double standards over Israel
By: Omran al-Obaidi
(Al-Ittihad, May 26, 2005) Whenever an Iraqi official shakes hands with an Israeli figure, the media recruit their agents to denounce it as an earthshaking event that may turn things upside down. Some go further, calling the official concerned a "traitor" who has violated the virtue of public opinion. On the other hand, these events leave politicians unconcerned, treating the matter as a positive development. The media should not deal in double standards: every day we hear of Arab officials who shake hands with Israelis or even visit the country without a major media reaction of the kind we saw when the Iraqi foreign minister shook hands with an Israeli minister. We must oppose double standards within ourselves, and remember that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
(Al-Ittihad is published daily by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.)
Iraqi Press Monitor is published by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, No 250, 27 May 05.
Published under partnership agreement with IWPR. Normal copyrights applied. Visit the IWPR website at:
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