Cablegate: Media Reaction: Terrorism; Middle East;

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. "Secrets of Sept. 11"
The leading Globe and Mail (7/31) editorialized:
"...The intelligence and technical flaws, many of which
were already known or the subject of intense
speculation, are detailed in a damning report [the
joint U.S. congressional inquiry into the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001] that numbers close to
900 pages. But perhaps the most explosive section,
which deals specifically with the possible foreign
assistance made available to the 19 suicide hijackers
responsible for the attacks, remains secret by order of
President George W. Bush.... Although complete
transparency is always preferable, there are times when
information is simply too sensitive to be made public.
This may very well be one of those times."

2. "Not all fences make for good neighbours"
Foreign affairs columnist Marcus Gee observed in the
leading Globe and Mail (7/31): "Good fences make good
neighbours, they say. But the security fence that
Israel is building around the West Bank could have the
opposite effect, further poisoning relations between
Israelis and Palestinians and making a peace settlement
even harder to reach. Even Israel's closest ally, the
United States, thinks the fence is a mistake.... Israel
claims that the barrier will keep bombers out and cut
the number of Israeli casualties, but even the best
fence will not be able to keep out determined
terrorists. What it will do is prevent thousands of
Palestinians from working inside Israel
by making permanent the ban on Palestinians crossing
into Israel from the West Bank. The result will be ruin
for the already devastated Palestinian economy....
Construction of the fence continues. Eventually it will
stretch 700 kilometres and cost $1.5-billion (U.S.).
Israel says it is not a political border, just a
security barrier. Perhaps. Perhaps not. What is clear
is that it is becoming a serious barrier to peace."

3. "Failing the fair trade test"
National affairs writer Jim Travers commented in the
liberal Toronto Star (7/31): "After years of
confronting protesters in the streets, the World
Trade Organization is finally face-to-face with the
much more dangerous enemy within. It is now sadly
evident that efforts to infuse international
trade rules with a little equity and a lot of
enlightened self-interest are bumping headlong into
more powerful forces.... Unless the U.S. and Europe
discover new wisdom and generosity in a trade report to
be released in August, the industrialized world will
continue to preach the merits of open borders and
markets, democracy and the rule of law, while denying
developing countries access to lucrative markets and
proving that even principles supporting freedom are
flexible. Those contradictions are loaded with
implications for an international community standing at
the clich of a crossroads.... What's needed now is
evidence that those with wealth are willing to share;
that rights are universal and inviolate; that security
is not the exclusive preserve of the most heavily
armed; that the suffering of one is the suffering of
all and won't be tolerated. It's a lot to ask of
those who have so much and find it so difficult to give
so little."

4. "The obligation to succeed"
Editorialist Michle Boisvert wrote in the centrist La
Presse (7/30): "Did the 146 WTO member countries get
carried away by the enthusiasm present in Doha to the
point of underestimating the amount of work to be
accomplished? In agriculture alone, the sums involved
are gigantic. The total amount of agricultural
subsidies is estimated to be $300 billion, 60 percent
of which are export subsidies. It is the EU countries
followed by the U.S. who are the champions of
agricultural subsidies. In light of the discussions
held in Montreal these two actors do not seem intent on
modifying the existing scenario. WTO members have to
succeed even if it means pushing back the deadlines in
order to establish more realistic calendars.... Major
economic powers could very well do without the WTO, but
it is quite a different story for developing countries.
The WTO is not perfect but it is the only international
forum where small countries can be heard just as loudly
as the trade giants."

5. "The impossible agreement"
Chief editorialist Jean-Robert Sansfaon wrote in the
liberal Le Devoir (7/30): "Poor countries are justly
demanding the end of the mind-boggling subsidies paid
each year to producers by countries like the U.S. and
Europe. But yesterday in Montreal, American farmer
representatives came to shout loud and make clear their
opposition to such a change. For their part, European
farmers and their respective governments also refuse
any reduction to the assistance received under the
Common Agricultural Policy.... There are so many bones
of contention in the present cycle of discussions that
there is little chance the desired consensus will be
reached by the December 2004 deadline.... Because of
what is at stake, it is better to push back the
deadline a few years than to agree to an agreement
which would only benefit some of the most powerful

6. "Weak protests are good news"
The conservative Montreal Gazette opined (7/30): "What
if they gave a world trade conference, and nobody
protested? That's pretty nearly what happened this week
in Montreal. Opponents of the World Trade Organization
talked big, but could stir up only a few hundred
individuals to demonstrate on the streets against a
meeting of trade ministers from certain WTO
countries.... So the good news this week is `the
system' is tackling some of the issues that fall under
the general heading of global social justice. The
additional good news is the public, in Canada at least,
seems to be coming to accept globalization holds more
promise than menace. The bad news is the trade
ministers are moving only very slowly on these matters
so far. We're almost tempted to suggest what's really
needed is a great big street demo - a peaceful one, of
course - in support of more globalization, now."


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