Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq; North Korea

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

1. "Bush can't afford to go it alone"
Columnist Carol Goar commented in the liberal Toronto
Star (7/25): "On the one hand, there's pride. It would
be humiliating for U.S. President George Bush, who
dismissed the United Nations as ineffectual and
irrelevant just four months ago, to turn to the
international body for help now. On the other hand,
there's politics. The president's approval ratings are
slipping. Iraq has become a dangerous morass. Without
money and troops from other countries, the U.S. stands
little chance of stabilizing - let alone rebuilding -
the hostile country it now occupies. At United Nations
headquarters in New York, diplomats from around the
world wait and weigh the odds. This could be the
organization's best chance to prove that it is still
capable of global problem solving. Or it could be a
historic lost opportunity.... [I]n practical terms,
Washington does have to go back to the U.N. if it wants
help.... Bush has a choice to make. He can continue to
flex his muscles on the world stage, with the support
of a few embattled allies such as Britain's Tony Blair.
Or he can admit he is in trouble. Both options have
their risks.... Still, Bush's best bet, by any rational
analysis, would
be to swallow hard and ask for help. Even a superpower
can't bring peace to a resentful, violence-ridden
country.... It is unlikely that Bush will ever embrace
the notion of multilateral engagement. Most of the
time, the world needs America more than America needs
the world. Nor is it probable thatBush will return to
the United Nations willingly or contritely. The
president of the United States doesn't bend or beg. But
if Bush is smart - or if his chief political
strategist, Karl Rove, is as shrewd as people say
- he will agree to a new U.N. resolution on post-war
Iraq. There are timeswhen pragmatism trumps pride."

2. "Mad moves"
Editorialist Serge Truffaut wrote in the liberal Le
Devoir (7/25): "Kim Jong-il demands...that the U.S.
sign a pact of non-aggression, guarantee the continuity
of the regime, which would mean granting impunity to
the dictator and accept the principle that negotiations
be conducted exclusively between Pyongyang and
Washington. According to the signals sent by the Bush
administration, the pact of non-aggression poses no
problem. The rest however does. Since the renewal of
verbal hostilities between the two countries,
Washington has always favored, and rightly so, regional
talks. President Bush is adamant about South Korea,
Japan, Russia and especially China being present at the
negotiation table.... In order to try to conciliate the
one-on-one Korea wants with the multilateralism
Washington wants, China is proposing to mix bilateral
meetings with multilateral discussions. One wonders if
Chinese diplomacy is not closer to a labyrinth than to
common sense. All that remains for us to do is to
wonder if the fears expressed by the former Defense
Secretary William Perry are founded or not. The latter

said he was certain Korea would have eight nuclear
bombs by the end of the year. If that is the case then
the goose is cooked and has been cooked to the bone by
a mad chef."


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