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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1743 3520838
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170838Z DEC 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0579
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8802
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0262

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001743

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - NIDA EMMONS
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ

Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused its
December 17 news coverage on the minor personnel rotation in the Ma
Ying-jeou Administration, on the "three links" across the Taiwan
Strait, which was launched formally Monday, and on the continuous
probe into the former First Family's alleged money laundering cases.
In term of editorials and commentaries, a column in the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" discussed the "shoe-tossing" incident in
Iraq and lashed out at U.S. President George W. Bush for having not
only tarnished the presidency but also put his country "in a feeble
state." End summary.

"Why is it that the President at Whom Shoes are Hurled has yet to
Step down?"

Columnist Lin Po-wen wrote in his column in the centrist,
KMT-leaning "China Times" circulation: 400,000 (12/17):

"The fact that an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President
George W. Bush represents the anger and the voice of the hearts of
all people in the world. ...Bush said himself that the U.S. military
has achieved 'a big success' in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he dared
not fly to Baghdad and Kabul openly and decently; instead, he
secretly and sneakily arrived in Baghdad with all communications
banned and then flew to Kabul late at night. Such stealthy acts
were the so-called successful war on terrorism as claimed by Bush!
They were the price that the United States has paid for the
seven-year war (starting from the moment the United States invaded
Afghanistan), which cost the United States US$600 billion and the
lives of more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers! The people in Iraq have
suffered more damage, with hundreds of thousands of people dead and
over four million people destitute and homeless. The so-called
successful reinforcement of troops i.e. the surge touted by Bush
and his adherents was practically a big joke meant to deceive
oneself and others. ...

"Had Bush spent his time wholeheartedly fighting the war on
terrorism in Afghanistan rather than attacking Iraq, the situation
will be totally different today. Now Afghanistan and Pakistan have
become the most dangerous area in the world; in particular,
Pakistan, which is in possession of nuclear weapons, is now a powder
keg that may go off at any time. ... Bush has left behind these two
wars and a financial tsunami to Barack Obama. He has traveled all
over the place and given interviews these past few days, embarking
on a farewell journey and at the same time covering up what he did,
fabricating history by saying that the intelligence he got was
incorrect and no weapons of mass destruction could be found in Iraq.
The truth is that Bush and his neo-conservative followers had long
since planned to attack Iraq; Vice President Dick Cheney said
himself that the United States was determined to wipe out Saddam
Hussein no matter whether he was in possession of nuclear weapons or
not.

"Bush wanted to pretty up his legacy, but the more he does, the
more smudges he puts on himself. He wanted to 'rewrite' history and
twist historical facts, but except for a bunch of mentally deficient
supporters, no one wants to believe in him. ... One can discover
three qualities in Bush: namely, pride, incompetence and corruption.
The American voters elected him to be their president for eight
years, and he has not only tarnished this lofty position but has
also put his country in a feeble state."

YOUNG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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