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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Fire in California; Plan Mexico; Vatican

VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2097 2980811
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250811Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9549
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002097

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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; FIRE IN CALIFORNIA; PLAN MEXICO; VATICAN
AND IRAN; 10/24/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Leading international stories today include the fire in California;
implications of Plan Mexico; and a Vatican member supporting Iran's
right to "a peaceful use of nuclear energy."

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Evacuees"

Hinde Pomeraniec, international columnist of leading "Clarn,"
writes (10/24) "Even though they are not enjoying themselves, they
do not feel like second-rate citizens. The football stadium in which
they are staying is not a pestilent oven like the New Orleans
Superdome, where tens of thousands tolerated amazing survival tests
when hurricane Katrina swept their houses in 2005.

"San Diego evacuees watch TV, have good servings of food and are
visited by live music bands.

"US social policies seem to be class-based, and the Western coast
'is worth' much more than the South."

- "The Mexico Plan arrives at Capitol Hill"

Gerardo Albarrn de Alba, left-of-center "Pgina 12's" Mexico-based
correspondent, writes (10/24) "Plan Mexico has a new name: 'The
Merida Initiative,' which is a euphemism for the most ambitious
anti-drug cooperation program apart from Plan Colombia...

"Last Monday, US President George Bush publicly requested funds from
Congress to intervene in Mexico, although he did so during a
ceremony at the White House aimed at reinforcing the military
invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The US will contribute a total amount of 1.4 billion dollars in
'aid' for Mexico for the next three years, and the Caldersn
administration announced it would invest seven billion dollars,
although it made clear that it may still not use those funds because
they need to be authorized by the Mexican Congress.

"Some PRI and PRD lawmakers believe the Plan Mexico poses a threat
to sovereignty. FM Patricia Espinosa clarified that the program will
neither include the intervention of corporations or private
consultants nor that of US troops or agents in Mexico. Additionally,
the Mexican FM said that negotiations are related to
state-of-the-art technology, training and equipment in three areas -
the fight against drugs and terrorism and border management; public
security and administration of justice; and institutional
strengthening and law enforcement.

"Nevertheless, the 'Dallas Morning News' newspaper revealed that the
Plan Mexico could include the participation of US private military
contractors in training Mexican troops in new technologies and
equipment, which was denied by FM Patricia Espinosa. The truth is
that some US corporations started to recruit mercenaries to train
Mexican police officers and military."

- "A cardinal supports Iran's nuclear program"

Julio Algaaraz, leading "Clarn's" Rome-based correspondent, writes
(10/24) "Influential Cardinal Renato Martino, one of the Pope's
'ministers' having most experience on international issues, said
yesterday in Naples that Iran has the right 'to the peaceful use of
nuclear development,' while here in Rome Javier Solana, EU foreign
policy chief, said that they had a 'constructive dialogue' with two
Tehran negotiators...

"For his part, former US secretary of State Colin Powell said during
a seminar in Milan that 'war is not the solution' and that the Iran
crisis should be solved through 'the tools of diplomacy.'

"... The climate was exacerbated when it was made public that
Iranian President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad moved up his return from a
two-day visit to Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, for 'domestic
policy' reasons.

"... Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican Council for
Justice and Peace, caused surprise in Naples by setting a positive
Vatican position on Iran at a key moment by stressing that Tehran
has the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

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

WAYNE

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