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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Czar to Oversee Wars in Iraq And

VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0707/01 1031148
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131148Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7823
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000707

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; US CZAR TO OVERSEE WARS IN IRAQ AND
AFGHANISTAN; IMF/WB SPRING MEETINGS; BIO-FUELS; BANCO DEL SUR;
04/12/07; BUENOS AIRES

1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's most important international stories are related to the
White House's alleged attempt to appoint a "czar" to manage the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan; the IMF-WB Spring Meetings' conclusions
about Argentina's economic performance; IMF Research Department
Director Charles Collyns' statement that the development of
bio-fuels could lead to a rise in food prices; and Argentina's
decision to side with Hugo Chavez in the creation of "Banco del
Sur," a new step toward the country's international isolation.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Bush seeks 'czar' to oversee wars... but no one wants to take the
position"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (04/12) "For more than four
years, the White House has ignored a very specific claim from the
military, former government officials and academics. They wanted him
to appoint a coordinator of military and civil operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan. President George W. Bush ignored them, although in
recent weeks he made a change of command and his staff started
assessing candidates. Now, at least three of them turned down the
offer because in their opinion it is too late or too soon.

"... According to 'The Washington Post' (which was later confirmed
by the White House), the presidential team's purpose is appointing
an overseer of both wars - a 'czar', whose position surpasses all
other areas of government (including the US Department of State and
the US Pentagon), who will make decisions and only report to Bush.

"... However, with a divided political panorama on Iraq and most of
the US public opinion against the war, the thee four-star generals
rejected the offer, for which the (US) military capability is well
far from what it used to be in 2001."

- "According to the IMF, Argentina's growth is high but also is
inflation rate"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
penned (04/12) "The IMF believes Economy Minister Felisa Miceli will
not obtain a one-digit inflation rate, such as the 7 per cent
promised in the budget. According to the World Economic Prospects
report, inflation in Argentina will be 10.3% in 2007 and 12.7% in
20008. It is one of the highest inflation rates and is only
surpassed by the 21% of Venezuela.

"The IMF has insisted that the price controls implemented by the
Government will not be sufficient to put a brake on inflation
increase...

"... Yesterday, in the first day of activities of the IMF/WB Spring
Meetings, analysts pointed out that the IMF wants to convey the
message that interest rates should be increased to lower private
consumption and public expenditure.

"... While Argentina has the highest growth rate in Latin
America..., the IMF believes that the international economic
situation will not be so favorable for economies like that of
Argentina in the next years, at least not as it has been so far. It
predicts that the cooling down of the US economy will hit the
region.

"The IMF also warns about populist policies, which could undermine
the investors' confidence. It insists on economic reforms and an
efficient distribution of the benefits reaped by the country's
growth."

- "In line with Chavez"

Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (04/12) The IMF warned that bio-fuels production will
increase the price of food. In its World Economic Prospects report,
the IMF stated that bio-fuels could be a beneficial energy
supplement on a small scale, but that its promotion on a big scale
could be traumatic.

"In line with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, Charles Collyns, Deputy
Director at the IMF Research Department, underscored that the use of
crops for fuel will raise the price of food, and he predicted
increases in soy, wheat and corn prices."

- "The Southern Bank, a questionable project"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" editorializes (04/12) "The Argentine


Government's support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's project
to create a Southern Bank is certainly questionable...

"Every time the Venezuelan president has publicly put forward a
project, he has done it to reach greater independence from the US
clout...

"... Clearly enough, Argentina should not support such an
initiative, particularly if this means one more step towards
international isolation. Proposals like this one are just attempts
to substitute Inter-American institutions.

"This trend to isolation would be complemented with a risky
dependence on Venezuela, whose government has become the most
accessible source of funding for the Kirchner administration...

"International politics should not be based on circumstantial
ideological affinity or on opportunistic gifts. The case of the
Southern Bank is an opportunity to show a rectification and an
expected resumption of a more cautious and advantageous
international policy, like that of the governments of the region
that do not support this proposal."

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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