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Cablegate: Tfus1 - Pd; Media Reaction Strike Against

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

091418Z Oct 01


UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5678

PAGE 01 HARARE 03004 01 OF 02 091445Z
ACTION INR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 A-00 ACQ-00
CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
DCP-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SS-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 T-00
USIE-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /007W
------------------2BFF12 091445Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9960
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 003004

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S, AF/P, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR
JENDAYI FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL
SUBJECT: TFUS1 - PD; MEDIA REACTION STRIKE AGAINST
TERROR; HARARE


1. EDITORIALS IN THE OCTOBER 9 EDITIONS OF THE
GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED DAILY "THE HERALD" AND THE
INDEPENDENT DAILY "THE DAILY NEWS" FOCUS ON THE
UNITED STATES-LED STRIKES IN AFGHANISTAN. FULL
EDITORIAL TEXTS FOLLOW:

2. UNDER HEADLINE "U. S. GOVERNMENT MUST ACT
CORRECTLY," THE "HERALD" COMMENTS:

"THE U. S. FACES BOTH OPPORTUNITIES AND DREADFUL RISKS
NOW THAT IT HAS STARTED ITS BOMBING CAMPAIGN IN
AFGHANISTAN. UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW ANY STATE IS
ENTITLED TO DEFEND ITSELF AND IS ENTITLED TO RETALIATE
AGAINST THOSE WHO ATTACK IT AND THOSE WHO ACTIVELY
SUPPORT ITS ATTACKERS. THE U. S. WAS BRUTALLY ATTACKED
ON SEPTEMBER 11. THE MAIN ATTACKS IN NEW YORK WERE
CARRIED OUT AGAINST CIVILIAN TARGETS WITH THE
DELIBERATE INTENTION OF KILLING CIVILIANS. SO ASSUMING
THAT THE EVIDENCE AGAINST AL-QUAEDS, LED BY OSAMA BIN
LADEN, IS AS GOOD AS THE AMERICANS CLAIM, THEN THE
ATTACKS ON AL-QUAEDS AND THE TALIBAN RULERS OF
AFGHANISTAN ARE JUSTIFIED. THE TALIBAN HAVE SUPPORTED
AND PROTECTED AL-QUAEDS. BUT THIS RIGHT OF SELF-
DEFENSE IS NOT A BLANK CHECK. THE U. S. WOULD HAVE
BEEN BETTER ADVISED TO HAVE MADE PUBLIC THE EVIDENCE IT
HAS BEEN PRESENTING TO MANY OF ITS ALLIES, BOTH OLD AND
NEW, AS TO THE BLAMEWORTHINESS OF BOT AL-QUAEDS AND THE
TALIBAN. THE EVIDENCE IS SAID TO BE IMPRESSIVE. YET
MOST PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT FOR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03004 01 OF 02 091445Z
THEMSELVES AND MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS. IT IS
UNFORTUNATE THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ALLOWED TO DO SO.
CARPET BOMBING OF AFGHANISTAN, FOR EXAMPLE, WOULD PUT
THE U. S. IN THE SAME CAMP AS THOSE WHO FLEW THE PLANES
INTO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER. KILLING CIVILIANS FOR
IGNOBLE MOTIVES OF REVENGE IS TERRORISM. THE INITIAL
ATTACKS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN AGAINST LEGITIMATE TARGETS
AND IT ALSO APPEARS, FROM THE CASUALTY TOLL, THAT THE
BOMBING EXHIBITED A HIGH DEGREE OF PRECISION. IT IS
ESSENTIAL THAT FUTURE ATTACKS FOLLOW THE SAME COURSE.
IT IS ALSO ESSENTIAL THAT THE U. S. RESTRICTS ITS WAR
AIMS. THE U. S. MUST RESISTS THE TEMPTATION TO TRY AND
IMPOSE SOME SORT OF GOVERNMENT ON AFGHANISTAN. THAT
MUST BE LEFT TO THE AFGHAN PEOPLE WITH THE ADVICE AND
HELP OF NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY
THAT ANY FUTURE GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN WILL BE BOTH
NATIONALISTIC AND ISLAMIC. AFTER ALL ALMOST ALL
AFGHANS ARE MUSLIMS AND, AS FOREIGN INVADERS HAVE
DISCOVERED, ARE INTENSELY NATIONALISTIC. IT IS INDEED
HIGHLY LIKELY THAT ANY FUTURE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT WILL BE
ALLIED TO BOTH IRAN AND PAKISTAN, ITS MOST IMPORTANT
NEIGHBORS, AND WILL BE CLOSER TO RUSSIA AND CHINA AMONG
THE GREAT POWERS THAN TO THE U. S. SUCH A GOVERNMENT
IS UNLIKELY TO REGARD THE U. S. AS ITS BEST FRIEND AND
IT WOULD BE UNREASONABLE OF THE AMERICANS TO EXPECT
THIS. ALL THAT THE U. S. CAN EXPECT, AND IS ENTITLED
TO EXPECT, IS A GOVERNMENT THAT ACCEPTS INTERNATIONAL
LAW. THE U. S. IS REGARDED, JUSTIFIABLY, WITH GREAT
SUSPICION IN MUCH OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD. ANY MEDDLING
IN AFGHAN POLITICS WOULD DOOM A RESULTANT GOVERNMENT.
THE ISLAMIC SUSPICION OF THE U. S. HAS THREE STRANDS.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 03004 01 OF 02 091445Z
FIRST, AND MOST IMPORTANT, IS THE U. S. BACKING IN
ALMOST ALL CIRCUMSTANCES OF ISRAEL. THERE HAVE BEEN
INDICATIONS IN THE LAST WEEK THAT THE U. S. DOES
BELIEVE THAT THE PALESTINIANS TOO HAVE RIGHTS, BUT MANY
WILL WANT TO SEE ACTION BEFORE THEY BELIEVE THIS.
SECONDLY, THERE IS THE GENERAL THIRD WORLD IRRITATION
WITH THE U. S.'S ASSUMPTION OF GLOBAL DOMINANCE. THE
U. S. NEEDS TO BE LESS DOMINEERING. AND THIRDLY THERE
IS A DISTASTE OF THE SECULAR CONSUMER CULTURE OF THE U.
S., A GAP THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE BRIDGED BUT WHICH
NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD. SO THE U. S. HAS THE
OPPORTUNITY OF CRIPPLING AL-QUAEDS IN THE WAR ON
TERRORISM AND GIVING THE AFGHAN PEOPLE A CHANCE TO HAVE
A GOVERNMENT THEY DESERVE. IT RUNS THE RISK OF BEING
SEEN AS A BIG ANTI-ISLAMIC BULLY. THE CHOICE IS UP TO
THE U. S. GOVERNMENT AND IT MUST ACT AS CORRECTLY AS IT
HAS STARTED."

3. UNDER HEADLINE "AMERICA HAS ACTED RASHLY," THE
"DAILY NEWS" COMMENTS:

"SUNDAY'S U. S. STRIKES AGAINST AFGHANISTAN MAY HAVE
ANSWERED AMERICAN DOMESTIC PRESSURE FOR THE
ADMINISTRATION OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH TO RESPOND

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5681

PAGE 01 HARARE 03004 02 OF 02 091445Z
ACTION INR-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 A-00 ACQ-00
CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EUR-00 UTED-00
VC-00 H-01 TEDE-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
DCP-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SS-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 T-00
USIE-00 IIP-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /007W
------------------2BFF22 091445Z /38
P 091418Z OCT 01
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9961
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 003004

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, AF/S, AF/P, INR/R/MR, NSC FOR
JENDAYI FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL
SUBJECT: TFUS1 - PD; MEDIA REACTION STRIKE AGAINST
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 03004 02 OF 02 091445Z
TERROR; HARARE

TO THE 11 SEPTEMBER 2001 TERRORIST ATTACKS IN NEW YORK
AND WASHINGTON, BUT THE REAL DANGER IS THAT THE U.S.
COULD BE SUCKED INTO A LONG-DRAWN CONFLICT. BUSH HAS
IGNORED WORLD OPINION NOT TO ACT HASTILY. IT WAS
ESSENTIAL TO FURNISH THE REST OF THE WORLD WITH
SPECIFIC EVIDENCE LINKING THE CHIEF SUSPECT IN LAST
MONTH'S ATTACK ON THE U. S., OSAMA BIN LADEN, TO THE
DASTARDLY ACTS. THAT EVIDENCE REMAINS PRIVY TO THE
AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION AND THEIR BRITISH ALLIES. IT
WOULD HAVE BEEN FAR MORE PREFERABLE TO LET THE WHOLE OF
THE WORLD KNOW OF THIS EVIDENCE FOR THEM TO MAKE AN
INFORMED DECISION, WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS GOING TO BE IN
CONCERT WITH THAT OF THE AMERICANS. BUT SUCH AN
ARGUMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN OVERTAKEN BY EVENTS. AMERICA
IS ENTITLED TO PURSUE ITS INTERESTS AND SECURITY, BUT
IN SO DOING IT IS ERODING THE ENORMOUS SYMPATHY AND
SUPPORT IT GARNERED SINCE THE ATTACKS ALMOST A MONTH
AGO. AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE IS SUPPOSED TO BE SO
SOPHISTICATED THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE STRIKING TARGETS
OTHER THAN EXACT LOCATIONS OF BIN LADEN, IF IT IS
ACCEPTED THAT HE BE CONVICTED BEFORE A TRIAL. BUT THAT
THEY SHOULD BE DROPPING BOMBS ALL OVER AFGHANISTAN
RAISES FAR MORE SERIOUS CONCERNS: THE CASUALTIES ARE
GOING TO BE MORE THAN THE ALLEGED PERPETRATORS OF THE
11 SEPTEMBER ATTACKS. AFGHANISTAN IS A NATION OF
DISPLACED PEOPLE. SUNDAY'S BOMBINGS WILL HAVE HASTENED
THE WAVE OF AFGHANS FLEEING THEIR COUNTRY. WHILE THEY
SEEK REFUGE IN NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, THERE IS
POTENTIAL FOR DESTABILIZATION OF THE REGION. THERE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 03004 02 OF 02 091445Z
COULD BE MORE CASUALTIES AMONG LEADERS IN THAT REGION
AS RESENTMENT AGAINST DISPLACEMENT AND AMERICA BUILDS
UP. IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE PSYCHE THAT
DRIVES PEOPLE WHO ARE PREPARED TO SACRIFICE THEIR LIVES
FOR A CAUSE. AMONG THOSE FLEEING AFGHANISTAN INTO
NEIGHBORING STATES ARE PEOPLE COMMITTED TO A CAUSE, ONE
OF THEM BEING TO FIGHT AMERICA. THEY WILL BE DIFFICULT
TO DETECT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AN ARMY, BUT THE EFFECTS
OF THEIR ACTIONS ARE DEADLY. THE FORMER SOVIET UNION
KNOWS THE LESSON TOO WELL. IT MET ITS WATERLOO AGAINST
THE TALIBAN. MANY OF THOSE BACKING THE AMERICAN
STRIKES AGAINST AFGHANISTAN DO SO BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE
THE OUTCOME WILL CONVENIENTLY SOLVE THEIR OWN LONG-
STANDING PROBLEMS, WHOSE ORIGINS ARE SEEN AS EMANATING
FROM AFGHANISTAN OR THAT REGION OF THE WORLD. BY
BOMBING AFGHANISTAN, THE U. S. AND ITS ALLIES ARE
MERELY VICTIMIZING THE ORDINARY AFGHANS WHO HAVE NO
CAPACITY TO ESCAPE OR HIDE FROM THE ATTACKS. THE
QUESTION THEY WILL ASK IS: WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO WITH
BIN LADEN'S AGENDA? INSTEAD OF SYMPATHY MORE HATRED IS
ENGENDERED. THE AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE LEARNT FROM THE
NORTH ATLANTIC ORGANIZATION'S EXPERIENCE IN YUGOSLAVIA.
THE AMERICANS SHOULD HAVE USED THEIR SOPHISTICATED
INTELLIGENCE TO TRACK DOWN BIN LADEN AND BRING HIM TO
JUSTICE WITHOUT RISKING UNNECESSARY CIVILIAN
CASUALTIES. IT IS POSSIBLE THE CHIEF SUSPECT IS
NOWHERE NEAR THE PLACES BEING BOMBED AS HE WOULD HAVE
LONG ANTICIPATED THIS ACTION. THE LIVES AND SECURITY
OF NATIONALS BELONGING TO THE U. S. AND ITS ALLIES
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD ARE NOW IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY. NO
ONE WILL EVER KNOW WHERE AND WHEN THE NEXT ATTACK WILL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HARARE 03004 02 OF 02 091445Z
BE. THE 11 SEPTEMBER ATTACKS DEMONSTRATE THE DILEMMA
THE WORLD FACES IN ANTICIPATING THE ACTION OF THE
TERRORIST ENEMY. BUT THIS MAY BE AN ENEMY FOR WHICH
THERE IS NO DEARTH OF RECRUITS. SO EVEN THE EVENTUAL
CAPTURE OF BIN LADEN WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT GUARANTEES
AGAINST FURTHER ACTS OF TERRORISM. IF BIN LADEN IS THE
MAN BUSH SAYS HE IS, THEN THE U. S. AND ITS ALLIES MAY
HAVE FALLEN FOR THE CHIEF SUSPECT'S PLAN."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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