Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Somalia, Georgia, Economic, Obama

R 191153Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2678
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 001562


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: Somalia, Georgia, Economic, Obama

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Somalia) Hijacked Supertanker
3. (Georgia) Geneva Talks
4. (Economic) Finance Crisis
5. (U.S.) Obama Administration


1. Lead Stories Summary

Editorials focused on the outcome of the PISA study on students'
performance and on the hijacked oil tanker. Papers this morning
primarily dealt with the PISA study and subsidies for Germany's car
industry. ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early
evening newscast Tagesschau opened with reports on student
performance in the various Ldnder.

2. (Somalia) Hijacked Supertanker

Sueddeutsche Zeitung opines: "Even though the pirates are hijacking
vessels almost on a daily basis, hardly anyone talks about the
unrest in Somalia itself, about its clans, and the millions of
expelled people. Instead the world is hoping for a simple solution
that avoids the African mainland: The UN Security Council approved
the hunt for pirates in Somali waters, and the West is celebrating
the fact that NATO and the EU are sending a few ships to the Somali
coast. But the piracy off the Somali coast is more than the
activities of a few criminal sailors. The criminals can do whatever
they want because Somali has been a failed state for more than 20
years. But failed states never keep their chaos to themselves. In
the case of Afghanistan, the world learned this only on 9/11. These
attacks will ebb only when Somalia is again a state that deserves
its name."

Frankfurter Allgemeine noted: "We should not expect too much from
patrols with warships as the EU is now planning, as long as a failed
states offers pirates and their booty a safe haven." Regional daily
Ostsee-Zeitung of Rostock opined: "The EU considers it self-evident
that export champion Germany should take part in the mission [off
Somalia's coast]. But no way! The Germans are still rummaging
through their code of law, for the German navy is banned from
arresting gangsters. It is up to the federal police to do this, but
the police do not want to leave Germany But even if they do go, the
warships are not equipped with prosecutors, defense attorneys and
interpreters - all of which are necessary since German law is valid
on German ships. Poor Germany!"

In the opinion of Die Welt, "the powerful U.S. Navy idly watched how
the 'Sirius Star,' a supertanker with crude oil worth 100 million
dollar aboard, was taken hostage. The Europeans have thus far
ignored this danger with respect to investment, training, and
technology. But for the Americans, more is at stake than cargo
rates and cruises. At issue is the freedom of the seas. For this
goal, the United States, the superpower on the seven seas, has done
battle with enemies much more powerful than this handful of
scoundrels. [What we have seen thus far is not enough]. We expect
more."

die tageszeitung judged: "If European and U.S. naval forces want to
escort merchant ships to their destination, the question will
quickly come up who is being protected. Many ships between the
continents are on their way under flags of convenience. Their labor
conditions undermine every social standard. Never before has the
connection between military policy and globalization been so clear
as today in the debate over Somalia's pirates. It should be taken
into consideration. "

Allgemeine Zeitung of Mainz judged: "The current policy of
de-escalation will in, the long run, result in the fact that the
pirates, encouraged by their success, fully control ship traffic and
impose a tariff on it. This would then affect the entire oil exports
from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Europe and the United States. And if
these pirates then allied with terrorists, an economic disaster
would turn into a political disaster. Those who do not want to
accept such a development will have to massively use force, not only
on the sea but also on land, i.e. in Somalia itself."

3. (Georgia) Geneva Talks

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, "the Geneva talks will enter
their second round today, but no one is paying attention. This is
no wonder because the chances are almost zero that something will
quickly move in the talks about the impact of the Georgian war. All
indications are that the government in Tbilisi was the one that
first used artillery and rockets to destroy parts of Tskhinvali.
But President Saakashvili and his government are in a bad situation
for other reasons. The chances for an early accession to NATO are
dwindling. The United States is likely to reduce its massive
support for the Caucasian Republic. But all this does not change
the fact that a number of problems must still be resolved. Russia
should not be relieved of responsibility for the consequences of the
war."

4. (Economic) Finance Crisis

According to Handelsblatt: "the car industry resembles a sand box
these days. It is always others who are to blame. German carmaker
Opel is pointing its finger at its parent company General Motors,
the CEOs from Detroit feel unfairly treated and refer in an outraged
way to the global financial crisis, the mother of all crises. And
if the financial crisis had a chance to complain, it would make the
bad banks responsible for its miserable situation. But it is high
time to get rid of the numerous myths about the car industry. Many
arguments that have been spread by company CEOs and repeated in
political talks shows are simply wrong. If the U.S. government is
willing to pay subsidies to the U.S. car industry, then it should at
least put the chronic destroyer of capital under tight oversight as
it did with the airline industry a few years ago. Otherwise,
society must continue to listen to the fairy tale from Detroit that
the latest market downturn is responsible for the car industry's
misery."

According to Financial Times Deutschland, "the financial and
economic crisis first challenged political dogmas in the United
States, which were considered unshakable in the past, and now these
principle as also being questioned in Europe. Many things that were
unthinkable in the past are not only being considered now but are
actually being put forward suddenly as proposals. For instance, the
idea of issuing a euro bond to finance a European economic stimulus
program. It would be most effective if it were coordinated on the
European level. This crisis has eaten so deep into the intertwined
European economy that no individual member state is able to resolve
it. It is worthwhile thinking about financing such a project with a
euro bond, even if this requires an amendment to European
treaties."

5. (U.S.) Obama Administration

Under the headline: "Delicate Deals," Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported
that "there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama's first
choice for the job as secretary of state. By appointing his former
rival, he would demonstrate self-confidence and could document the
final reconciliation with the Democratic Party. But it is Obama's
precondition that Bill Clinton reduces his activities as
professional speaker and political advisor across the globe and
reveal the money sources of his charitable trust abroad." In the
view of Die Welt, "the conflict of interests between global traveler
Bill Clinton and secretary of state Hillary Clinton would be
obvious. The Republicans in the Senate will take advantage of it
with great relish once they talk about her appointment." Berliner
Zeitung wrote: "Hillary Clinton's husband is the weak point of her
candidacy for the job of secretary of state."

The headline in Tagesspiegel is: "Obama Wants Leading Role in
Climate Policy" and wrote: "President-elect Barack Obama wants to
make the United States a top country in the fight against the
looming climate disaster. In a video message to the conference of
governors in Los Angeles, Obama promised a "vigorous' U.S.
engagement in future talks on climate protection."

Handelsblatt noted: "Barack Obama was a senator for only four years,
but even though it was a short term, he realized one thing: In
order to really move something, one needs close allies in congress.
The first personnel decision since his election two weeks ago is
reflecting this experience."


TIMKEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: