Cablegate: Media Reaction; Russia Nuclear Super-Missile; Robert
DE RUEHBU #1062/01 1501540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301540Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8275
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001062
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; RUSSIA NUCLEAR SUPER-MISSILE; ROBERT
ZOELLICK APPOINTED NEW WB HEAD; CIS ON ARGENTINA; 05/30/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Key international stories today include the test of a Russian
nuclear missile; the appointment of Robert Zoellick as the new head
of the World Bank; and the implications of the USG Consular
Information Sheet on Argentina.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
Claudio Mario Aliscioni, columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(05/30) "The Russian missile test is not only the timely
implementation of a strategy. It should also be understood as
evidence of that other intangible entity called nostalgia. Obviously
enough, Vladimir Putin's decision is intended to set a limit on the
US, which is always willing to remove power from (Russia). However,
it is also a gesture toward Russia's interior, which is still
stirred by nationalistic dreams and the ghost of a huge empire that
no longer exists.
"While Russia owns huge natural resources, its GDP lowered to
position 15 on the global ranking, it has high corruption and its
technology is outdated in many areas... Nostalgia for the past
serves then to cover the holes of the present."
- "Another man of Bush is appointed to lead the World Bank"
Leonardo Mindez, on special assignment in Washington for leading
"Clarin," penned (05/30) "Those who expected that the downfall of
Paul Wolfowitz could lead to a more democratic approach to
appointing the new head of the World Bank must be disappointed. The
White House preferred again to appoint a man from its own entourage
- former USTR and Assistant Secretary of State Robert Zoellick.
"... In 1998, he signed a letter along with Wolfowitz in which a
group of neo-conservative intellectuals asked Clinton to remove
Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
"Shortly afterwards, he acted as a consultant in foreign policy for
Bush junior's election campaign, during which he devised the 'evil'
notion to refer to US enemies... However, in contrast to the
outgoing WB head, Zoellick had no direct influence on the current
USG's military policy.
"Instead, as USTR between 2001 and 2005, he was the main promoter of
China's entry into the WTO and the FTAA, and he negotiated the FTAs
signed with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, El Salvador,
Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and
"... Today, the White House will formally announce its candidate,
trusting that he will be confirmed by the WB Board. Zoellick will be
the one in charge of recovering confidence in a damaged institution,
which Wolfowitz, his old friend, will leave on June 30."
- "Wolfowitz's fatal mistake"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an op-ed piece by contributor
Mario del Carril, who writes (05/30) "In an unprecedented measure,
the most important European countries made Paul Wolfowitz, head of
the WB, resign because he had infringed on the institution's
rules... Therefore, they made him resign to protect the institution
"... Wolfowitz could have saved his position had he immediately
apologized and offered his resignation.
"Knowing the WB and the fact that its member-countries rarely want
to oppose the USG (which bluntly defended Wolfowitz), those gestures
would have created a framework of good will, and his resignation
would not have been accepted.
"... Nonetheless, Wolfowitz did not apologize... His fatal mistake
is that he believed he was involved in a typical Washingtonian
scandal that his critics were Democrats and that Bush would be the
one who would decide. On the contrary, he was involved in a scandal
in 180 capital cities, and many were in charge of making decisions.
In other words, he was in a multinational institution he was not
able to handle and this is why he was 'fired.'"
- "Prevented tourists"
An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (05/30) "Every
year, the US updates its consular report addressed to US citizens
traveling to different countries including Argentina... The latest
US report has not been benevolent to Argentina.
"The Consular Information Sheet is a report called for by the US
"Regardless of the dislike the US consular report must have caused
in Argentine authorities, it only describes the dangers to which the
inhabitants of our country are daily exposed in the main Argentine
cities and which are widely reported by the mass media...
"... While Argentine authorities have said that the report issued by
the US consular office are 'continued characterizations that do not
correspond to reality' and that unleash unjustified alarm, the way
to solve the situations that could jeopardize tourism of any origin,
whether foreign or domestic, is not denying or downplaying them. On
the contrary, solutions will be obtained if one starts by accepting
that problems do effectively exist and that they should be faced
with a steady and serious attitude."
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