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Thursday, 07/10/2008 1:20:57 PM

Thursday, July 10, 2008 1:20:57 PM

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U.S. embassy’s report about Iraq between reality and exaggeration

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Thursday , 10 /07 /2008 Time 4:04:58




BAGHDAD, July 5 (VOI) - Iraqi politicians from differing political blocs and movements have varied perceptions regarding the U.S. report about progress in Iraq.

Their views vary between “realistic, or close to that,” “positive, due to improcvements in the security circumstances,” or “exaggerated and coming as political propaganda.”
Sheikh Jalal al-Deen al-Sagheer, a senior member of the Unified Iraq Coalition (UIC), told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI), “The periodical report prepared by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is a realistic scene of what occurs in Iraq.”
“Anyone monitoring Iraq over the last three years will find big progress taking place, despite the problems that the country has been experiencing,” he said.
“But Iraqis are not interested in international evaluations, compared with the evaluations made by the Iraqis themselves,” he added.
“If the evaluation comes from external sides that does not deal tolerantly with the Iraqi government, then that represents a progress in the Iraqi issue by itself,” he noted.
The Shiite bloc from the UIC is the biggest parliamentary entity with 83 seats out of 275.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post U.S. daily reported that the U.S. embassy in Baghdad issued a report, evaluating progress in Iraq.
The Post mentioned that the report indicated 15 out of the 18 conditions designated by Congress were accomplished in Iraq, in the fields of politics, security, and economy.
Legislature Foad Maasom of the Kurdistan Alliance agrees with Sheikh al-Sagheer that there is “a tangible progress” in the security and political levels Iraq.
“Restoring the Iraqi Accordance Front in the cabinet proves the political success,” he told VOI.
“Within the economic level, we are expecting to approve the complementary budget that will exceed 20 billion U.S. dollar within the coming days, and this will have positive effects on both political and security situations,” he said.
“We recognize how state-owned institutions work to develop services in the country, in addition to many projects that hopefully will be executed soon,” he added.
From his side, Lawmaker Methal al-Alousi, head of Iraqi Umma Party, perceives the evaluation as “close to reality.”
“Arab countries’ intention to open their embassies in Baghdad, and the visits of high ranking regional officials to Iraq prove my point,” he told VOI.
Al-Alousi referred to some of the successes, such as “omitting loans that were given to Iraq under the former regime, increasing oil production, security stability, and the Iraqi forces’ military successes in imposing law at a number of Iraqi cities and provinces.”
Iraqi Umma party holds one parliamentary seat.
But Osama al-Nujaifi, a lawmaker from the Iraqi national list, described the U.S. report as “for electoral purposes.”
He marked the situation in Iraq as “difficult.”
“Talking about progress in Iraq is an electoral propaganda of the U.S. Republican Party to convince the U.S. public that situation in Iraq has reached high levels of stability and success,” he told VOI.
“The security situation is brittle, displaced people have not returned home, and the economic circumstances are very difficult,” he said.
“The Americans think that ‘simple security achievements’ would fulfill their project in Iraq,” he noted.
The Iraqi national slate (secular entity) has 19 parliamentary seats.
Lawmaker Harith al-Obaidi of the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) echoes al-Nujaifi’s tone.
He considers the report “exaggerated,” estimating that it comes due to electoral purposes.
“The political situation did not reach the desired level, as many political forces have not yet joined the cabinet, and others withdrew from it,” he told VOI.
“Concerning the security situation, there are successes, but they have to reach high levels of satisfaction in this regard,” he said.
“The economic side requires a lot of effort and work,” he added.
“Behind this report, there are electoral purposes to support the Republican Party’s presidential nominee,” he asserted.
The IAF (Sunni entity) holds 44 parliamentary seats.
MH/SR