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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Iraq; Iran; Us President Bush's Latam Tour;

VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0563 0821032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231032Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7638
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000563

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; IRAQ; IRAN; US PRESIDENT BUSH'S LATAM TOUR;
03/20/07; BUENOS AIRES


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Leading international stories today include US President Bush
pleading for patience and warning US citizens of dire consequences
of a swift troop withdrawal from Iraq; the possibility that
international judicial system could be amended to legalize a Western
military action against Iran; and the impact of US President Bush's
visit to Latin America on Mexico and Mercosur.

2. OPINION PIECES

- "Bush: abandoning Iraq would be devastating"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (03/20) "... Now that the
Democratic opposition was able to set a debate on Capitol Hill over
a possible US troop withdrawal from Iraq in the short run, US
President George W. Bush declared that a swift troop withdrawal
could have 'devastating' consequences on US security.

"... Bush and his team believe that substantial progress has been
made ever since 2003. Among other achievements, Saddam no longer
rules Iraq - he was replaced by democratic leaders. According to
Bush's critics, those achievements have not made up for the
strategic costs caused to the US... To the dismay of France, Germany
and Latin America, some scandals (like those related to Abu Ghraib,
Guantanamo, CIA secret prisons and flights) added themselves."

- "The choice to amend legislation to justify an attack against
Iran"

Oscar Raul Cardoso, leading "Clarin's" international analyst, penned
(03/20) "What could happen in the event the international judicial
system was amended to legalize a Western military action against
Iran? This is a remarkable option that is worth considering because
it would go well beyond what implied the invasion of Iraq...

"In the Iraqi case, the international legal system was simply
ignored (or perhaps dodged) by the US when George W. Bush claimed
the US right to launch military, pre-emptive attacks against any
country harboring terrorist groups. However, his decision was
questioned from scratch and is still questioned by most of the
international community.

"Now, the situation is different. It simply comes down to amending
the basic principles of international law, thereby removing the
current limitations found by Washington to attack Iran...

"The possibility is not new and appears among the topics being
debated by international judicial experts, who amazingly underscore
the need for creating a legal framework so that Israel would
eventually launch the military action.

"... The proposal is based on the fact that 'the UN Chart is not
well equipped' to deal with the 'Iranian nuclear threat' and the
efforts of the international community to convince the Tehran
government to abandon its (nuclear) program have ignored the
so-called 'no return point,' when Iran masters the nuclear oil
cycle."

- "Wailing over the wall"

Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal, English-language
"Buenos Aires Herald," writes (03/20) "... Bush's visit to Mexico
literally ran into a wall - namely the wall against illegal
immigration being constructed along the US-Mexican border, about
which no Mexican can be happy, not even as conservative and
pro-Western a soul as President Felipe Calderon... Little enough
progress was made toward solving this gigantic problem when the two
presidents met in the Yucatan capital of Merida - Bush made vague
promises of immigration reform while Calderon spoke of creating jobs
for Mexicans in Mexico as the only real answer.

"... What did the visit achieve? It was widely seen as too little,
too late in contrast to the open-handedness of Venezuela's Hugo
Chavez... Nevertheless, the visit to part of Mercosur (Brazil and
Uruguay) seems to have driven a wedge into the faltering trade bloc
even if only Uruguayan Economy Minister Danilo Astori was overly
flattered by Bush's attentions."

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

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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