US embassy cable - 04BAGHDAD229

USEB 143: SUNNIS WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT SAYS INFORMED SOURCE

Identifier: 04BAGHDAD229
Wikileaks: View 04BAGHDAD229 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2004-07-22 20:14:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MOPS PTER IZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 222014Z JUL 04
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0332
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
CJCS WASHINGTON DC
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000229 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL 07/22/2014 
TAGS:  PREL, MOPS, PTER, IZ 
SUBJECT:  USEB 143:  SUNNIS WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT SAYS 
INFORMED SOURCE 
 
(U)  CLASSIFIED BY POL-MIL COUNSELOR RONALD E. NEUMANN FOR 
REASONS 1.4 (A) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  Sunnis are hostile, divided, leaderless, 
and unable to envision a political solution acceptable to 
others according to a very well-informed Jordanian 
diplomat.  Some would like to enter into an agreement with 
us to resume rule, an approach we find illusionary. End 
summary. 
 
2.  (C) Pol Counselor Ford and Pol-Mil Counselor Neumann 
met July 20 with Jordanian Charge Demi Haddad (strictly 
protect).  Haddad has extensive Sunni contacts built up 
over several years in Iraq.  He reports that more Sunnis 
than ever are coming through his doors.  The picture he 
painted was depressing.  Haddad said that after nearly 100 
years of repressive rule the Sunnis cannot envision a 
situation in which they can protect their interests without 
domination.  The only alternative appears to be permanent 
suppression.  Although outsiders see the potential for an 
alliance with the Kurds to block Shi'ite domination, Haddad 
said there is too much bloodshed between the communities. 
The logic might work in another decade but the Sunnis do 
not believe in it now. 
 
3.  (C) There are multiple Sheikhs and sheikh-ly contenders 
in the Sunni ranks.  There is no agreement on leadership 
among them.  Efforts to consolidate under any one leader 
meet internal opposition.  Without a single strong leader 
to give form to new ideas, the tribesmen fall back into 
hostility and resentment. 
 
4.  (C) Haddad said he finds the Sunnis chasing half-formed 
conceptions.  Several Sheikhs have suggested that the only 
way to impose leadership on Iraq is to return to a 
monarchy.  But they cannot name an acceptable candidate. 
They typify Sharif Ali as the "son of an Egyptian whore." 
They believe the U.S. is hostile to Prince Hassan bin 
Tallal of Jordan and therefore discount him.  A third 
candidate is said to be timid and attracts no support.  Yet 
Sunni Sheiks continue to argue for a monarchy as a 
principle, even though they cannot figure out how it would 
work. 
 
5.  (C) Some of the Sheiks continue to hope they can make a 
"deal" to rule Iraq in return for concessions to U.S. 
interests.  This view is supported by many conversations we 
have had that focus on themes of "give us jobs, pay us" and 
all will be calm.  "You can realize your American interests 
and we'll all be rich." 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6.  (C) Clearly not every Sunni falls into this 
description.  Yet it suggests that for many the continued 
fighting is seen as their only alternative to being ruled. 
Their image of a deal to make them again the rulers of Iraq 
strikes us as fanciful. 
 
7.  (C) The Shia genie is out of the bottle.  The Kurds 
have too many memories of suppression to go down the Sunni 
road.  And the Sunni themselves are far too divided to make 
and keep a bargain.  Probably the best we can hope for is 
that as the IIG gains credibility and strength, Sunni 
elements will decide, incrementally, to cut deals to join a 
process they cannot stop.  Some, like President Ghazi, have 
already made their accommodation. 
 
 
NEGROPONTE 

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