Iraqi Television responds to Senate Soft Partition Plan Call for Biden to be declared Persona non Grata

The USG Open Source Center translates Iraqi television reaction to the US Senate vote in favor of a soft partition of Iraq.

Roundup of Iraqi TV Channels Coverage of US Senate Resolution on Iraq
Iraq — OSC Summary
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Biladi Television [Shiite Da’wa Party (Islamic Call)]

. . . In its 1700 GMT newscast on 27 September, Biladi carries a short factual report on the US Senate’s resolution. The report cites supporters of the resolution as saying that “dividing” Iraq is the only solution to violence in Iraq. The report goes on to say that the US plan stipulates establishing a federal system based on the Iraqi constitution in order “to divide” Iraq into regions based on religion and sect. The report cites the Arab League’s criticism of the resolution, describing it as a “sabotage plot” and accusing the United States of turning Iraq into Al-Qa’ida’s main base.

In its 1000 GMT newscast on 28 September, Biladi carries a report citing Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as stressing that all major Iraqi leaders reject the Senate’s approval of a plan “to partition” Iraq, denying that any Iraqi group or sect is trying “to divide” the country.

In its subsequent newscasts on the same day, Biladi carries a six-minute video report citing reactions of Iraqi figures on the US Senate’s resolution. The report cites Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh as saying that the government rejects the non-binding proposal, Al-Sistani’s representative Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i as saying that the resolution is not in the interest of the Iraqi people, and the spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government as saying that the Kurdish Government stands against the “division” of Iraq, but supports the “division” of power. The report goes on to say that the White House also rejected the Senate’s resolution.

Another video report shows Iraqi deputy Mithal al-Alusi, in a news conference, rejecting the Senate’s resolution and calling for declaring Senator Joseph Biden, who proposed the plan, “a persona non grata” in Iraq. The report runs interviews with two Iraqi citizens who expressed their rejection of the “division” plan.
Another two-minute report carries Friday sermons by Sunni and Shiite imams who rejected the “division” plan.

In its 1000 GMT newscast on 29 September, Biladi carries a report citing Iraqi deputy Usamah al-Nujayfi, who describes the US Senate’s resolution as “a dangerous project” that threatens all Iraqis and the peoples of the region, adding that the “division” plan indicates the failure of the US project.

In its subsequent 1400 and 1700 GMT newscasts, Biladi carries a short report on the resolution, citing Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki describing the US plan as “disastrous,” and calling on the Iraqi parliament to convene to respond to the US Senate. The report cites Al-Sadr trend officials and the Iranian foreign ministry expressing their rejection of the plan.

Within its 1700 GMT newscast on 29 September, Biladi interviews political analyst Amir Hasan al-Fayyad, who describes the “division” plan as “a conspiracy” against the federal system in Iraq.

Cairo Al-Baghdadiyah Television [Sunni anti-US]

Within its 1400 GMT newscast on 26 September and as part of a press review, Al-Baghdadiyah cites an article published by the Saudi newspaper Al-Yawm describing the resolution as “dangerous” and warning against its ramifications.

In its 0400 and 1800 GMT newscast on 27 September, Al-Baghdadiyah carries interviews with Iraqi citizens who voice rejection of the resolution. Within the same report, political analyst Muhammad al-Khuza’i says that the resolution is “not surprising,” adding that it is “a US-Zionist plan to divide Iraq.”

Within its 1400 GMT newscast on 28 September, Al-Baghdadiyah carries a report citing Al-Sistani’s representative Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i as urging Iraqis to disregard any proposal that stipulates “dividing” Iraq on sectarian or ethnic basis, and Iraqi Government’s spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh expressing the government’s rejection of the proposal.

In its 1800 GMT newscast on 28 September, Al-Baghdadiyah cites GCC Secretary General Abd-al-Rahman al-Atiyah denouncing the Senate’s resolution.

Reporting on the US Senate’s resolution on the “division” of Iraq within its 1400 GMT newscast on 29 September, Al-Baghdadiyah cites Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that the resolution is non-binding to the Iraqi Government, and Iraqi deputy Abbas al-Bayyati as saying that the resolution reflects “a misinterpretation” of the Iraqi political situation. The report notes that the Turkomen parties are critical of the resolution and consider it “interference in Iraqi affairs.”
The report runs interviews with Iraqi citizens who express their rejection of the resolution. The anchorman interviews political analyst Ihsan al-Khalidi, who says that the resolution reflects only the opinion of a number of US Senators, adding that the resolution is non-binding to the Iraqi or the US governments.

Baghdad Al-Masar Television [Shiite Da’wa – Iraqi Organization]

The channel opens its 1100 and 1700 GMT newscasts on 28 September with video reports citing Prime Minister Al-Maliki’s rejection of the Senate’s resolution. Al-Maliki says that the resolution reflects “interference in the Iraqi internal affairs” and does not express the aspirations of the Iraqi people. The report also cites Tom Casey, a spokesman for the US Department of State, as saying that the resolution is non-binding, emphasizing that “the political structure of Iraq can only be decided by the Iraqi people.”

In its 1700 GMT newscast on 28 September, Al-Masar carries a video report showing Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari saying that “the majority of Iraqi leaders agree on maintaining the unity, safety, and sovereignty of Iraq.”

In its 1100 GMT newscast on 29 September, Al-Masar carries a report citing Shaykh Abd-al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, representative of Ali al-Sistani, who says that “this suspicious scheme is against the interests of the Iraqis, who live safely in a united Iraq.”

In its 1700 GMT newscast on 29 September, Al-Masar cites an interview conducted by Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat with Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari, in which he says that the resolution does not aim to “divide” Iraq, pointing out that the resolution is different from the federalism stipulated by the Iraqi constitution.

The report says that Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki described the resolution as “disastrous,” and highlights Ali al-Sistani’s and Iraqi citizens’ rejection of the resolution. The report runs interviews with representatives of the Iraqi media and Iraqi citizens who call on all parties to thwart this scheme which aims at “shattering the country and ingraining sectarian strife.”

At 1835 GMT on 29 September, Al-Masar carries live talk show entitled “Talk of the Hour” in which the moderator interviews Iraqi citizens and officials via telephone to comment on the Senate’s non-binding resolution to “divide” Iraq into three entities. Moderator Qays al-Atwani says that “for the first time in Iraq, all political blocs, decision makers, and religious authorities agree on rejecting the resolution that contradicts the will of the Iraqi people.” Al-Atwani calls on the Iraqis to “face the occupation that seeks to divide the Iraqi people and the resolution is enough proof of that.” Al-Atwani then receives phone calls from Iraqi citizens, who criticize the resolution.

Tikrit Salah al-Din Satellite Channel [Sunni businessmen]

In its 1000 GMT newscast on 27 September, Salah al-Din TV carries a one-minute factual report on the Senate’s non-binding resolution, noting the senate’s belief that it will put an end to the ongoing violence in Iraq.

The same report is carried in Salah al-Din newscasts throughout the day.

In its 1000 GMT on 28 September, Salah al-Din carries a report citing a number of Iraqi parliament members, who express their rejection of the plan.

In its 1000 GMT newscast on 29 September, Salah al-Din carries a factual report on the reaction of Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki to the Senate. The report cites Al-Maliki as saying that the US Senate should stand by Iraq and help in reinforcing its unity instead of “dividing” the country.

The same report is carried in Salah al-Din newscasts throughout the day.

Within its 1000 GMT newscast on 30 September, Salah al-Din carries a report saying that the Kurdistan Regional Government welcomed the plan and considered it as the “most suitable solution” to Iraq’s crisis, especially after “the failure of the national reconciliation.” The report cites Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki as saying that the resolution is “disastrous,” and carries reactions by Iraqi clerics and the Arab League, which rejected the Senate’s resolution.

Baghdad Baghdad Television [Sunni fundamentalist Iraqi Islamic Party]

During its 1100 GMT newscast on 27 September, Baghdad TV carries a video report citing Fawzi Akram Tarzi, a Turkomen member of Al-Sadr bloc, who says that the Turkomens reject the “division” of Iraq. Tarzi adds that the “occupation is the source of division, sectarianism, and terrorism.”

. . . The channel opens its 1700 and 2000 GMT newscasts on 29 September with video reports citing the reactions of several Iraqi political and religious authorities toward the Senate’s resolution.

In its 1700 newscast, the anchorman says that the Senate’s resolution “mobilized the Iraqi people against it and united them against the big danger threatening their country.” The report cites the reaction of Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Zebari, and Iraqi parties and blocs denouncing the senate’s resolution. The report notes the Arab League’s and the GCC’s criticism of the resolution, adding that France emphasized its support for Iraq’s unity in response to the plan.
Baghdad TV then interviews via phone Abd-al-Sattar Abd-al-Jabbar, official spokesman for the Iraq Scholars Council, who says that “the occupation of Iraq was not done to liberate Iraq, or for the sake of democracy, or for building a new model, but it was done for the division of Iraq, which was planned by the US Administration.”

. . . This summary highlights select Iraqi media reporting on the US Senate’s resolution on the “partition” of Iraq during the period from 26 to 29 September. It covers reports carried on: — Baghdad Biladi Television in Arabic — affiliated with the Shiite organization the Islamic Da’wah Party. — Cairo Al-Baghdadiyah Satellite Television in Arabic — Private Iraqi television known for its opposition to the US presence in Iraq. — Baghdad Al-Masar Television in Arabic, affiliated with the Shiite organization the Islamic Da’wah Party-Iraq Organization. — Tikrit Salah al-Din Satellite Channel in Arabic — Private Iraqi satellite station, owned by Sunni businessmen. — Baghdad Baghdad Satellite Television in Arabic — television channel believed to be sponsored by the Iraqi Islamic Party. ‘

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