Cablegate: Media Reaction; Iraq; China-Taiwan; 07/16/07
DE RUEHBU #1357/01 1972003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 162003Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8649
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001357
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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; IRAQ; CHINA-TAIWAN; 07/16/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories cover the impact of the situation in
Iraq on the Bush administration; and the dispute between China and
Taiwan in Latin America.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Iraq - when the puppeteer abandons its puppet"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (07/14) "... Reportedly, the Bush administration is willing
to revisit the story of Vietnam in its withdrawal (from Iraq) by
leaving the local government it established in Baghdad at the mercy
of its own fate...
"The civil war between Sunnis and Shiites seems endless; the
weakness of the current Iraqi situation is more evident in the death
squads than in the imposition of law and the corruption is as
impossible to cover up as the sun is with one's hand. However, more
important, there is an increasing feeling in Washington that Al
Maliki has placed himself at the center of the problem and that he
may no longer be part of the solution...
"... Bush's political situation is more than complex. With 18
remaining months in power, he is at the lowest point of his approval
rating (29 percent), with the greatest rejection of war (79
percent), and the suspicion that by the time the US Congress meets
again in September, Democrats will lead a bigger offensive against
his administration now that Republicans are starting to believe that
supporting (Bush) is as useless as supporting Maliki...
"Bush has publicly asked for more time for his strategy in Iraq, but
no one can find it... However, there is something else - with
admirable stubborness, Bush has again sounded the alarm of a
Santiago O'Donnell, international columnist of left-of-center
"Pagina 12," opines (07/15) "... With the election campaign already
launched, the Congress 'on fire,' the chaos in Iraq far from being
solved, Bush has no choice but make use of the Iraq Study Group's
conclusions, which were created by the same legislators that harass
"Last year, the Study Group concluded that the time had come to
abandon the idea of rebuilding Iraqi institutions. In exchange for
this, it proposed to withdraw most of the troops and focus on
fighting terrorism with the cooperation of uncomfortable neighbors
like Syria and Iran. It also set deadlines for the beginning of the
(troop) withdrawal. Little by little and grudgingly, Bush started to
honor recommendations or at least to pretend he was honoring them.
He also realized he will not win the war, though in Thursday's
preliminary report to Congress he stated the contrary. With a
popularity rate lower than that of Nixon at the time of Watergate
and with primary elections just around the corner, (Bush's) luck has
already been decided.
"Bush seeks to maintain some modicum of power and avoid the
humiliation imposed by the deadlines and modalities of an
unavoidable withdrawal. Nonetheless, politics often shows no mercy
to losers. Bob Dylan said it a long time ago - you do not need to be
a meteorologist to know what the direction of the wind is."
- "Chinese dispute in Central America"
Gustavo Sierra, international columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(07/15) "The old dispute between China and Taiwan over the latter's
official recognition took its battle to Latin America. Taiwan needs
the support of at least 24 countries to keep its status as an
independent island and one-third of the allies it had is in Central
America. However, Costa Rica's decision to break ties with Taipei
and start a relationship with the Beijing administration threatens
this alliance and could trigger a real domino effect on the rest of
"As usual, the reason for the dispute is money. So far,
Central-Americans support Taiwan's claim in exchange for investment.
However, Beijing's power all over the world and the region is
obvious. Between 1999 and 2005, Chinese imports of Latin American
products increased six times...
"The dispute could well benefit the region. To prevent the
abandonment of other allies, Taiwan announced a 7.2 million dollar
investment in Guatemala."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: