Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq; Un; North Korea
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000695
STATE FOR WHA/CAN, WHA/PDA
WHITE HOUSE PASS NSC/WEUROPE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR OIIP OPRC CA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ; UN; NORTH KOREA
1. "The truth that Blix can't hide"
The nationalist Ottawa Citizen opined (3/12): "The
United States and Britain are angry with Hans Blix, the
United Nations chief weapons inspector in
Iraq, over the information he deliberately withheld
from his most recent public report to the Security
Council. And they're right to be. By keeping silent
about Iraq's egregious defiance of the UN, Mr. Blix not
only strengthened the hand of countries opposed to
military action against Iraq, he further weakened the
credibility and legitimacy of the Security Council
he is supposed to serve.... Hans Blix may not have been
able to bring himself to say so publicly last week, but
the case against Saddam Hussein has been made. France,
Russia and China should not stand in the way of a new
resolution that would allow that enforcement action to
begin. They should not stand in the way of truth."
2. "Bush losing the moral high ground"
Columnist Richard Gwyn observed in the liberal Toronto
Star (3/12): "...Today, the main concern of large
numbers of people and of many governments is not to
disarm Iraq but to disarm the U.S. That's, of course,
impossible in the term's literal sense. No one can
doubt that the U.S. possesses the military capacity to
successfully invade Iraq almost by itself.
Psychological disarmament, though, is quite another
matter. It won't affect the political and military
leaders; George W. Bush's self-conviction is absolute
and adamant. But it may - just - affect American public
opinion. A lot of people around the world, and an
increasing number of governments, are acting as though
it were possible to influence ordinary Americans and
thereby to influence Bush.... The moral case...is
tilting decisively against Bush. It's the absence of
effective moral counter-arguments that explains why the
international scene has changed so decisively so
quickly. These days Bush is asking the world to trust
him while he has failed to trust others. He's said
almost nothing about moving to achieve an Israeli-
Palestinian peace settlement after Iraq is conquered.
He's promised to pursue democracy
in post-war Iraq but he's not invited the U.N., or
anyone, to help him achieve it. Quite simply, the U.S.
is increasingly alone these days because it is alone.
Once that was a good argument for rallying to the U.S.
side, because without it the U.N. will be largely
impotent and there'll be no-one to police the world's
trouble spots. The counter case is that until the U.S.
disarms - attitudinally, psychologically and
temperamentally - better a world doing its best to
function without it than one trying to keep in step
with the Americans wherever they march. Today that case
is the winning one."
3. "Prelude to war: Lies, deception and insincerity"
Columnist Barbara Yaffe commented in the left-of-center
Vancouver Sun (3/11): "...[A]n Iraq war was never about
disarmament, except for the purposes of passing
resolutions through the United Nations. The war for the
president is about toppling Saddam. And he hasn't yet
achieved that objective.... In this whole sordid
process, possibly the most off-putting spectacle has
been the performance of Mr. Bush. He has put himself
forward as a reasonable individual, an oasis of
determined calm amid chaos. This man, who will give the
order to drop thousands and thousands of bombs on Iraq
keeps repeating: 'I pray for peace. I pray for peace.'"
4. "Kofi's dithering shop"
The conservative National Post commented (3/12):
"...[I]t is the relevance of the United Nations itself,
under Mr. Annan's leadership, that is at
greatest risk of impairment. France is so desperate to
thwart U.S. military plans that it is willing to veto
any war resolution Washington puts before the Security
Council, and thereby vitiate the 17 existing Iraq-
related Security Council resolutions that the United
States is seeking to enforce. Mr. Annan should be
rallying other members of the Security Council around
to the U.S. position. If the Secretary-General fails in
this regard and the United States and Britain liberate
Iraq without explicit UN approval, Mr.
Annan may find that no one particularly cares what he -
or the United Nations - has to say the next time an
international crisis emerges."
5. "Turnabout at the UN"
The centrist Winnipeg Free Press opined (3/8): "...The
new resolution offered by the U.S. and its allies dares
France and the others to claim that peaceful means of
disarming Iraq have succeeded, which is obviously not
the case. It shifts to them the onus of proving that
Iraq's conduct is acceptable. In the interest of
international peace and security, the main thing is
that Iraq's aggression should not be tolerated. If Iraq
is allowed to rearm and if economic sanctions are
lifted, then Iraq will be excused from the consequences
of its aggression against Kuwait. This will tend to
reassure other heavily armed nations that they need
fear no punishment from the UN if they follow Saddam
Hussein's example and invade neighbouring countries. In
the new resolution, the U.S. is making a further effort
to conduct its operations against Iraq under the aegis
of the United Nations. This is both principled and
tactically wise. The U.S. public and the people of
other nations much prefer the U.S. to get UN approval
before it goes to war. President Bush will enjoy much
better support at home and abroad if he acts with UN
approval. The interests of Canada and other middle-
sized countries are best served if the UN continues to
provide a mechanism in which nations can unite their
efforts to oppose aggression. Canada should join in
urging Security Council adoption of this new
6. "Nuclear blackmail"
The centrist Winnipeg Free Press commented (3/12):
"...Mr. Kim needs a new sponsor and he sees the U.S. as
the most likely candidate. Because it will not
willingly subsidize his brutally oppressive and corrupt
regime, his only recourse is nuclear blackmail. He
worked that scam successfully with former president
Bill Clinton; he is having less success with Mr. Bush
and so can be expected to intensify his efforts to get
the attention and the cash he craves. Mr. Bush should
not do as Mr. Clinton did and submit to Mr. Kim's
blackmail - whether the demand is unfettered aid or the
abandonment of South Korea. Mr. Kim wants to deal only
and directly with the U.S. This is not just an American
problem, however; it is a United Nations one, although
few of that organization's members appear to be as
eager for a multilateral approach to North Korea as
they are in demanding one for Iraq."