Cablegate: Vietnamese Media Critical On Iraq

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




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Vietnamese media critical on Iraq

REF: A. Hanoi 0261 B. State 33974

1. (U) Senior GVN and Communist Party leaders have
maintained a public silence in response to Secretary
Powell's UNSC presentation. Answering written questions
from foreign journalists on February 6, the MFA spokeswoman
said that "now it is important to prevent wars" and
reiterated Vietnam's wish "to see the Iraq issue be resolved
peacefully." She also expressed Vietnam's view that the UN
inspection team "needs more time to thoroughly and carefully
study all available information." Major media outlets
carried her remarks on February 7.

2. (U) TV and major newspaper coverage relied heavily on
international media reports focusing on critical reaction to
the Secretary's presentation and highlighting the views of
Russian, French, and German Foreign Ministers. Television
news on February 6 showed large public protests in Bangkok
and Baghdad. Newspaper reports on February 7 included
headlines such as "General public skeptical about report
presented by U.S. Secretary of State," "U.S. unable to
convince the world," "U.S. evidence against Iraq not
convincing," and "Powell war plea finds few takers." A
signed commentary by the international editor of the
"People's Army" daily (Quan Doi Nhan Dan) claimed that the
Secretary's presentation was to "create pretexts for waging

a war against Iraq" and that UN inspectors had acknowledge
"positive cooperation from Iraq." The commentary concluded
that "we vehemently condemn the abuse of fighting terrorism
to interfere or wage a war against an independent and
sovereign state."

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