Viewing cable 03ABUDHABI1624
Title: IRAQI EXPATS URGE COALITION TO STAY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUDHABI16242003-04-05 13:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
null
Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:37:23 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           April 05, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1624 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     PGOV, PREL, KPAO                                       

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  IRAQI EXPATS URGE COALITION TO STAY THE COURSE; OFFER  
          SUGGESTIONS ON TACTICS                                 

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 01624

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: POL 
    INFO:   ECON PAO RSO AMB DCM P/M 
Laser1:
    INFO:   PAO 

DISSEMINATION: POL
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: DCM:RAALBRIGHT
DRAFTED: POL:STWILLIAMS
CLEARED: ECON:TEWILLIAMS

VZCZCADI018
OO RUEHC RUCNRAQ RHEHNSC RUEAIIA RHEFDIA RUEKJCS
RUEKJCS RUCJACC
DE RUEHAD #1624/01 0951321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051321Z APR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9251
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J2/UNMA// PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/NESA// PRIORITY
RUCJACC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2// PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001624 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR IRAQ PD TASKFORCE 
 
STATE ALSO FOR NEA/NGA AND NEA/ARP 
 
CENTCOM FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 4/5/13 
TAGS: KPAO PGOV PREL IZ TC
SUBJECT:  IRAQI EXPATS URGE COALITION TO STAY 
THE COURSE; OFFER SUGGESTIONS ON 
TACTICS 
 
 
¶1. (U) Classified by DCM Richard Albright, for 
Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D). 
 
¶2. (SBU) We recently met with two well-placed 
Iraqi expats who expressed gratitude for 
coalition efforts to rid Iraq of WMD and change 
the regime.  Describing President Bush as a 
"savior," they advised us not to pay too much 
attention to the toxic tone of the Arab 
"street."  They thanked the U.S. for the 
sacrifices made by the service members who have 
died as a result of the conflict and predicted 
that the liberated Iraqi people would construct 
a memorial to the fallen American and British 
soldiers.  Our Iraqi interlocutors provided some 
potentially useful advice on how to better 
manage the information war and offered 
suggestions that might assist the tactical 
effort.  They described the next two weeks as 
critically important to the success of the 
campaign.  As they put it, we are in 
mathematical terms at "the point of inflection" 
(i.e., when a convex shape turns concave or vice 
versa). 
 
¶3. (C) Polchief and senior PAO FSN visited over 
the local weekend with two members of the large 
Iraqi expat community in the UAE.  Dr. Ala'a Al- 
Tamimi was a senior official in the Iraqi 
Ministry of Industry until he fled the country 
in August 1991; after spending several years in 
Jordan, he transferred to the UAE where he works 
for the Abu Dhabi Department of Planning.  Al- 
Tamimi told us he designed and oversaw the 
construction of one of Saddam's bunkers on the 
Tigris.  Dr. Niazi Sadiq has lived in the UAE 
for thirty years and hails from Baghdad.  Their 
suggestions, detailed below, were offered in a 
spirit of friendship; our interlocutors are 
eager to see the conflict end and, along with 
many Iraqis living in exile, they want to return 
to rebuild their homeland. They put forward the 
following suggestions: 
 
-- TEAR DOWN POSTERS OF SADDAM.  As much as 
possible, we should remove visuals of Saddam in 
liberated areas.  Rumors abound that Saddam has cut 
some kind of deal with the U.S. to remain in power 
and the fact that these posters have not been torn 
down feeds the conspiracy theories. 
 
-- LEAFLET, LEAFLET, LEAFLET!  Drop leaflets on a 
daily basis over Baghdad updating the population on 
the course of the campaign.  Use photographs of 
Iraqis desecrating Saddam's image (ideally, one like 
the recent photo of an Iraqi taking a shoe to a 
picture of Saddam's face).  It is more important 
that Iraqis see other Iraqis taking on regime 
symbols than to see gun-toting American/British 
soldiers.  The leaflets, in Arabic, should provide 
updates on what cities have been taken and where 
coalition forces are in the country.  They should 
reassure Iraqis that "this time," the U.S. is here 
to finish the job.  We should also use leaflets to 
address the Fedayeen, urging them to return to their 
families and abandon the dying regime.  We should 
never underestimate how information-deprived Iraqis 
are; they have received a steady diet of regime- 
orchestrated propaganda behind what one of our 
interlocutors described as the "Cement Curtain" that 
has been Iraq for the last 35 years. 
 
-- USE THE FREE IRAQI FIGHTERS AS YOUR VOICE.  When 
entering towns and villages, use the integrated FIF 
fighters to communicate our message.  It's better 
for Iraqis to hear this message from someone who 
speaks their dialect.  Also, whatever radio 
broadcasts are beamed in should have announcers with 
Iraqi accents, rather than the Lebanese-accented 
announcers at Radio Sawa. 
 
-- DON'T HESITATE TO BOMB THE "CIVILIAN SHELTERS". 
Al-Tamimi noted that there are 22 "civilian 
shelters" in Baghdad.  Under each one is a regime 
command and control center; he believes this is 
where Saddam and his henchmen are hiding.  Most 
Baghdadis, following the 1991 bombing of the Amariya 
shelter, know to stay away from these sites.  The 
coalition should declare the shelters 
military/regime sites and announce, two-three days 
in advance, that they will be targeted.  Leaflets 
should be dropped on Baghdad warning people to avoid 
these shelters. 
 
-- DESCRIBING SHI'A HOLY SITES.  The regime will 
manipulate religious symbols, terminology and 
iconography to its benefit, particularly in an 
effort to stir up Iraq's large but mostly uneducated 
Shi'a population.  Coalition spokespersons must use 
extreme care when describing Shi'a holy places.  For 
instance, never say the "Ali Mosque" (in Nasiriya). 
This extremely important religious site should 
always be referred to as "the Imam Ali Shrine."  Ali 
must always be referred to as "Imam Ali". (Note: 
Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of the prophet 
Muhammad; he is revered by the Shi'a sect of Islam. 
End Note.) 
 
-- REGIME WILL TARGET MOSQUES. Just as the regime 
appears to have targeted with a missile attack a 
marketplace in a heavily-populated Shi'a 
neighborhood in Baghdad, our interlocutors expect 
that Saddam's forces will target a Shi'a holy site 
in Baghdad in order to blame the strike on the 
coalition.  A prime target would be the Imam Khadhim 
Shrine in Baghdad; if this religious site were to be 
damaged, the Shi'a would explode.  Al-Tamimi (a 
Sunni) compared the importance of this site for 
Shi'as with the Ka'aba in Mecca to Muslims as a 
whole. 
 
-- TURN THE LIGHTS OFF IN BAGHDAD.  Paralyze/cut the 
power grid in Baghdad.  The regime has placed 
Fedayeen Saddam and special Republican Guard units 
in every neighborhood to terrorize the population. 
With the power out, the units will be cut off from 
their commanders and will begin to feel 
isolated/afraid.  The neighborhood residents may 
then feel empowered to go after these young men. 
 
-- KEEP SAHHAF OFF THE AIR.  We need to permanently 
shut down Iraq TV/radio.  The regime uses Sahhaf's 
press conferences to send messages, using agreed 
upon codes, to commanders in the field and to 
intimidate the population.  Until these media organs 
are switched off, the Iraqi people will hesitate to 
rise up. 
 
WAHBA