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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Mideast, Iran, Nuclear Weapons, Zimbabwe,

R 241235Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1516
INFO WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
FRG COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY ROME
USMISSION USNATO
USMISSION USOSCE
HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS BERLIN 000829


STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/AGS, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO GM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: MIDEAST, IRAN, NUCLEAR WEAPONS, ZIMBABWE,
OIL, US-GERMANY, FRANCE

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Palestinian Conference in Berlin
3. EU Sanctions against Iran
4. U.S. Nuclear Weapons
5. Zimbabwe
6. Oil Price
7. Berlin Airlift Anniversary
8. French President Sarkozy in Israel


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening
newscast Tagesschau opened with stories on calls by the German
opposition for the withdrawal of U.S. nuclear weapons from Germany.
Newspapers led with stories on inflation and the failure by the
national and regional governments to agree on how to deal with
budget deficits. Editorials focused on diverse topics.

2. Palestinian Conference in Berlin

Several regional papers carry editorials on the meeting. Wetzlarer
Neue Zeitung comments: "The West must have a great interest in a
stable West Bank. The better people are off and the more secure
they are, the smaller is the risk that they will join the radical
Islamists and run into the arms of Iran.... If court and police
structures are successfully set up in the West Bank, an essential
basis for a two-state solution is set and long-term peace in the
permanent crisis region of the Middle East is more likely." Der
Neue Tag opines: "Establishing police and justice in the West Bank
is a measure that can help the Palestinians to build a state. But
this is not enough to create confidence among the people. Setting
up democratic control, transparency and the rule of law would be
more important."

3. EU Sanctions against Iran

Handelsblatt comments: "Mankind is supposed to be able to learn and
make civilian progress. Those who watch the naive approach to
politically-motivated sanctions that aim at the financial sector
might have their doubts..... The best example for the political
ineffectiveness of sanctions is the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Even
after decades it has not removed the Castro regime.... New
sanctions against Iran will also not have any effects. Concerning
trade partners, the country has enough alternatives in Asia. The
most annoying thing about sanctions is that in some cases they
produce a monster that tougher sanctions are then supposed to tame."
Frankfurter Allgemeine remarks: "Recent sanctions left their mark
on Iran, but they did not lead to a change of mind. It is likely
that this will not be different now. If we want to continue on this
path, sanctions must become much tougher." Die Welt states: "No
talks with mullahs ever led to the desired results."

4. U.S. Nuclear Weapons

FT Deutschland comments: "If you are not popular among the German
electorate, these words might work magic: nuclear weapons base,
American, lack of security, demand withdrawal.... If you take a
closer look at the outrage most parties now express it is rather
embarrassing for those who said it because this is about a useless
leftover from the Cold War that German politicians have not cared
about for years. And it is about a lack of security Germans are
responsible for. To turn this into a debate over German peace
policy and nuclear deterrence is absurd..... It would be reasonable
for the Germans and Americans dispose of the useless bombs. This
would increase the security of the country." Tagesspiegel assumes:
"One result of climate change is that the political silly season is
starting earlier every year. There cannot be a different
explanation for why the opposition, the SPD and the regional
government in Mainz is united in its calls for the United States to
withdraw its remaining nuclear weapons from Germany.... If nuclear
weapons indeed fail U.S. security requirements, then this must be
changed. But U.S. nuclear bombs are certainly more secure in
Germany than post-Soviet bombs in the mafia-plagued parts of
Siberia."

5. Zimbabwe

Under the headline "The Nightmare Goes On," Frankfurter Allgemeine
comments: "With the announcement not to participate in the runoff
election against Mugabe, the Zimbabwean opposition leader Tsvangirai
has not served his country well.... An election fraud would have
made it easier for the neighboring states to isolate Mugabe." FT
Deutschland headlines: "It's The Neighbors Turn," and adds:
"Negotiations will be necessary to reach a peaceful deal between the
opposition and Mugabe's gangs. However, Mugabe's time is up. It
would be a historical move if the neighbors announced this."


6. Oil Price

Frankfurter Allgemeine comments: "The oil price is going wild. The
conference in Jeddah did not relax the situation. Producers did not
make commitments to produce more, also because only Saudi Arabia has
more capacities.... Both sides are helpless and blame each
other.... The common ground found in Jeddah was that the markets
are not transparent enough and there is a lack of reliable data.
Nobody really knows how much is being produced and how great the
demand is." Tagesspiegel remarks in a front-page editorial: "Oil
will dry up one day. Nobody knows when, but probably quicker than
previously assumed. That is one reason why this fuel of our
industrialized and motorized civilization has become so expensive.
Finally! Energy has been too cheap for too long. Given the
consequences of the consumption of energy, energy was dirt cheap."

7. Berlin Airlift Anniversary

Handelsblatt comments on its front-page: "The image of the good
American friend is being invoked again in these years, unfortunately
only in retrospect. We are nostalgically commemorating that 60
years ago Candy Bomber planes flew over Tempelhof. With the
airlift, the U.S. thwarted Stalin's malicious plan to seize the free
part of Berlin from the West. [Former President] George Bush
senior's upcoming visit to Berlin for the opening of the U.S.
Embassy at the Brandenburg Gate is also dedicated to a good phase of
U.S.-German relations. The father of today's president
energetically engaged in favor of German reunification after the
fall of the wall in 1989 against the initial resistance of many
European leaders. This confidence in Germany has earned him the
kind of acknowledgement and friendship his son can only dream
of..... The transatlantic view must focus in the future on those
powers that are staking out their claims without regard to old
powers in Europe and their relationship with America. Especially
concerning energy policy, we currently watch helplessly as Russia
and Arab oil countries begin to play off industrial countries
against China and India.... It will be difficult to do something
against the dictatorships' race for vital resources."

8. French President Sarkozy in Israel

S|ddeutsche comments: "All Sarkozy does at the moment is to prepare
for his Mediterranean conference. If the planned union is to be
more than a paper tiger, this will not be possible without Israel,
according to the President. But this is precisely the reason why
several Arab countries will not attend the opening on July 13."


TIMKEN

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