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Cablegate: Lebanon: Media Reaction, June 6, 2008

O 061018Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2202
WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
JOINT STAFF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY
ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA PRIORITY

UNCLAS BEIRUT 000855

STATE FOR NEA/ELA - SOMERSET, NEA/PPD, R, INR/R/MR
INR-PARENT
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA
LONDON/POL
PARIS/POL

WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
USCENTCOM FOR CCPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF PREL KMDR OPRC KPAO KISL KPAL LE
SUBJECT: Lebanon: Media Reaction, June 6, 2008

Atmospherics:
-------------

The Lebanese press noted that the Future Movement, led by MP Saad
Hariri, succeeded in making security in Beirut the priority and not
the process of forming a new government; the security section of the
Doha Agreement is taking precedence over the political section. The
press also noted that the opposition accused the majority of
"blowing the issue of security in Beirut out of proportion."

Selected Headlines:
------------------

"Fears Increase of Governmental Vacuum," pro-opposition Al-Akhbar

"Who Curbs Tension and Re-brings to the Surface the Doha Agreement?"
Arab nationalist As-Safir

"Siniora Delivers Draft of Unity Cabinet Lineup to Sleiman"
English-language, Beirut-based The Daily Star

Block Quotes:
-------------

"Suleiman's Program to Save Lebanon: A Lebanon Liberated from Arms
and Hegemony: The Truth About Syria's and Hizballah's Relations with
the 'Respected President', an editorial by Abdel Al-Karim Abou
Al-Nasr in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (6/6):

"...It is true that Suleiman describes his relationship with Syria
and its President...as excellent. Suleiman, however, is not a
pro-Syrian President, and was never among the group of senior Army
officers who have total and blind allegiance to Syria. A prominent
European diplomat disclosed that Suleiman was not really Syria's
choice for a Lebanese President because he never presented any prior
commitments to the Syrian Regime. ...On the contrary, Syrian
officials resented several positions he took since PM Hariri was
assassinated, ...particularly the fact that he did not stop the
March 14 demonstration which exploded in the Syrians' face.
...Suleiman does not only aim at managing the Lebanese crisis, but
also wants to work on ending it. He wants to deal with Hizballah's
weapons..., supervise the operation of correcting relations with
Syria; ...work on the economic situation; and ...participate with
the government and the Parliament in giving governmental
institutions the credibility and consideration they deserve..."

"Election Lies," an editorial by Sateh Noureddine in Arab
nationalist As-Safir (6/6):

"We assume that Obama's speech before AIPAC...has removed a lot of
dreams and illusions about this rising American star... This
Zionist speech, which is one of Obama's strongest speeches, has
surprised many...who thought that Obama will save them from the
worst and most dangerous U.S. Administrations for Arabs and Moslems.
...This yearning for revenge from the Bush Administration and its
possible successor McCain...has stopped Arabs from looking closely
at Obama's identity, his speeches, and his thinking. ...In his
speech before AIPAC...Obama looked like any politician who is in the
middle of a campaign, and who resorts to lies and tricks. The
language he used did not reveal his opportunist character...but
rather disclosed his decision to move to another stage in his battle
-- which is to focus on attracting American Jewish votes. ...This
presidential candidate will work soon according to the beat of the
American political institution, and will forget about what he said
about withdrawal from Iraq, and even what he said about Jerusalem as
a united capital for Israel..."


Sison

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