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Cablegate: Media Reaction On Ambassador Hull's Article On

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

161131Z Jul 03

UNCLAS SANAA 001718

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA
AND S/CT
CENTCOM FOR POLAD

NEA/PPD FOR DMACINNES, JDAVIES, JGAFFNEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON AMBASSADOR HULL'S ARTICLE ON
IRAQ


1. SUMMARY: On July 2, an opinion article on Iraq by
Ambassador Edmund Hull, entitled "Toward a Free Iraq:
Security, Economic, Political Efforts on Track" was
widely distributed to the Yemeni press. Out of about 29
newspapers, six independent papers published the article
plus the al-Sahwa.net website. At least four papers
reacted to the article, saying it did not change the
minds of Yemenis about what is happening in Iraq. End
Summary

2. Commenting on the article, "Annas" independent weekly
(of Islamic orientation), published an article July 7
entitled "Forget it Mr. Hull." The paper commented that
"Mr. Hull wrote the article as if he were an Arab
ambassador for quoting President Bush as Arab ambassadors
usually do when they quote their leaders." Annas
indicated that the Yemeni people will not believe what
the Ambassador is saying that all efforts made by the
Americans in Iraq will serve to improve the lives of the
Iraqi people "even if he (the Ambassador) writes a
thousand articles a day." The paper stressed that
Yemenis are not concerned about the future of the people
of Iraq "as much as they are concerned about the US
Ambassador's movements and activities in Yemen which only
God knows where they will lead."

3. Al-Sahwa weekly, mouthpiece of the Yemeni Congregation
for Reform (Islah party), indicated that the U.S. image
in the eighties of last century was that of a country
helping and supporting poor nations. "America's image
now" the paper added "is that of a haughty President; of
a frowning politician; of a soldier armed with fear and
might and ready to strike and kill; and of disreputable
informers - all of which do not convey the message of
justice and truth." The paper indicated that the
"atrocious pictures Yemenis see on TV everyday of what
the Americans are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan are more
truthful than what the U.S. Ambassador is trying to tell
us."

4. The anti-American (putatively independent) weekly "al-
Shumu'" commented that it was not very diplomatic for
Ambassador Hull to portray the "reckless" American
practices in Iraq as something "grand". The paper added
that the article's message was not "very persuasive"
since it clashes with Yemenis' convictions about what is
happening on the ground in Iraq. Al-Shumu' concluded
that the U.S. Administration has lost credibility in the
world for following a "Hollywood-like thinking."

5. "Al-Ihya'a al-Arabi" (mouthpiece of the Socialist
Nationalist Ba'athist party, extremely anti-American)
described the circulation of the US Ambassador's article
in the Yemeni press as "a silly move". It reported that
if "the Ambassador knew how much the Yemeni people hate
the pro-Zionist US administrations, he wouldn't send the
article." The paper criticized the newspapers that
published the article and commended the ones that did
not.

6. COMMENT: This is the first time that we have been able
to place an article on Iraq in so many Yemeni newspapers,
despite our continued and insistent attempts. The
reaction it has produced is not very surprising because
the mood here on Iraq is still anti-coalition. Following
on the heels of this placement, we have devised a plan to
continue to seek a more balanced reporting by the Yemeni
press (see septel).
HULL

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