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Cablegate: Media Reaction; China and Russia's Rearmament; Us-Argentine

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0481/01 0731019
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141019Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7510
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000481

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; CHINA AND RUSSIA'S REARMAMENT; US-ARGENTINE
BILATERAL TIES; TIP; 03/13/07; BUENOS AIRES


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Key international stories today include an alleged Chinese and
Russian rearmament, which could spark US concern; the "conflicting
attitudes of the (Argentine) presidential couple towards the
Bush-Chavez clash;" and the traffic in people in Argentina.

2. OPINION PIECES

- "(China and Russia's) rearmament brings over the ghost of the Cold
War"

Luisa Corradini, Paris-based correspondent for daily-of-record "La
Nacion," comments (03/13) "The world is heading for a new Cold War,
such as the one that kept it on the verge of a nuclear cataclysm
between 1946 and 1989. However, this time, the US will have to
monitor two fronts at the same time - its rivalry with Russia, in
the European scenario, and China's threat on the Pacific (Ocean).

"The two countries, which crave to compete with the US, hinted their
ambitions when announcing their military projects.

"Based on the excuse of a NATO military reinforcement in East
Europe, Moscow acknowledged it is preparing a new military doctrine
to replace that in force since 2000. The Russian military elite
considers the US purpose to install an anti-missile shield in the
Czech Republic and Poland a dangerous intrusion in its area of
influence...

"...The US threat, which was invoked by the Kremlin, seems to
justify launching an arms race with two purposes. On the one hand,
Moscow relies on taking advantage of the current US weakening to
recover the prestige it used to have during the Soviet Union times
and re-establish a bipolar world.

"On the other hand..., Putin wishes to turn Russia's
'military-industrial complex' into the engine of its economy's
'overhauling and diversification.'

"... The risk of this escalation for the US lies on the fact that it
will also have to face China's arms race.

"Last week, Beijing announced that its 2007 military budget could
amount to almost 45 billion dollars, which unveils China's
geopolitical ambitions. The most important concern is related to
China's ability to launch a nuclear attack with long-range
missiles... The second major concern is China's space program...

"This double arms race, which could well trigger a new Cold War on
two fronts, sparks fear in the US and mistrust in Europe. German FM
Angela Merkel suggested that the EU does not want to become the
scenario of a new confrontation it did not seek."

3. EDITORIALS

- Two sides of the same coin"

Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" (03/13)
editorializes "... The ease with which Chavez makes himself at home
in Buenos Aires... is primarily important for the implications as to
where Kirchner is placing (or misplacing) Argentina in the world but
this editorial will chiefly look at the Ferro rally as an example of
how the main two-party system is within the government. Even more
than Kirchner himself, Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido was
the most enthusiastic supporter of the Chavez visit while Cristina
Fernandez de Kirchner and Cabinet Chief Alberto Fernandez urged
caution over a rally so vehemently hostile to the regional visit of
US President George W. Bush. Since Fernandez is promoting Education
Minister Daniel Filmus in the City mayoral race while De Vido backs
incumbent mayor Jorge Telerman, these two aides could be viewed as
the twin poles of power behind the two faces of the presidential
couple.

"In many ways, the conflicting attitudes of that couple towards the
Bush-Chavez clash reflect the differing US realities with the
candidacy of each. If Kirchner wins a second term in October, he
will have a lame duck Bush as US President for much of the time
until he starts becoming a lame duck himself, thus making hostility
to Bush a comfortable option. But any Cristina candidacy would be
premised on the presidential couple alternating in power until 2019,
a period in which the US Democrats whom the first lady courts so
assiduously might well be in office much of the time, thus making
dialogue with Washington the natural strategy."

- Fighting the traffic in people"

An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (03/13) "The traffic in

people is widely extended in Argentina, where it seems to enjoy some
sort of tolerance or complicity from federal agents.

"Ever since Susana Trimarco de Veron's daughter, Marita, was
abducted by members of a prostitution mafia, Mrs. Trimarco has
devoted to investigating several prostitution rings. Even though her
search has been unsuccessful so far, she was able to free other one
hundred women.

"Trimarco has just been awarded a prize for women of courage by the
USG on the International Woman's Day. According to Trimarco,
prostitution rings kidnap one woman per day and young women are
forced into prostitution, tortured and humiliated with death
threats.

"... We hope that the international repercussion of (Trimarco's)
task will contribute to creating awareness about the problem and
increasing public efforts in fighting this infamous crime."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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