Cablegate: Media Reaction: Middle East; Iraq; North

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. "The liberties taken by Israel's wall"
The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/8): "...U.S.
opposition to the wall - not the right to build it, but
the path it is taking - may have forced Israel to drop
a plan to extend it about 30 kilometres into the West
Bank to include the large Jewish settlement of Ariel.
Nevertheless, the Bush administration is reportedly
considering the imposition of limited economic
sanctions against Israel for other incursions. It need
not come to that. Israel should heed the concerns of
the international community and adjust its plans for
the wall, minimizing the seizure of Palestinian land
and forgoing construction along the Jordan Valley. This
would help build confidence between the two sides just
as further strains are showing between Mr. Sharon and
Mr. Abbas.... Israelis have an absolute right to be
free of terror, but this should not come at the expense
of Palestinian land."

2. "A league of self-deceit"
Under the sub-heading, "Arab states shouldn't criticize
Iraq's fledgling democracy," the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen commented (8/8): "...Rather than
face up to their own responsibilities for what has gone
wrong, too many Arab leaders prefer to fault others -
imperialism, globalization, Americans, Jews
- for the repressiveness, poverty and despair that
characterizes much of the Arab world.... [W]ith Saddam
gone, would the Arab League refuse to recognize
a body that is the most representative Iraq has ever
known? Could it be because Arab leaders fear that a
'successful' Iraqi experiment in democracy will expose
their own illegitimacy? If the United States
transforms Iraq into even a modestly democratic,
constitutionally-ordered society, every Arab leader
will face reformist pressures. It's as if the Arab
League wants post-Saddam Iraq to fail in order to
justify the continuance of their own authoritarian
regimes.... In refusing to welcome Iraq's governing
council, the Arab League has showed that many in the
Arab elite continue to wander in the deserts of denial,
maintaining their power and masking their failings by
refusing to face the geo-political realities of today's
Middle East."

3. "Some reasons for hope on North Korea this time"
The left-of-center Vancouver Sun observed (8/6): "After
insisting for nine months that it would engage only in
bilateral talks with the United States
- with no other country at the same table - North Korea
agreed on the weekend to multilateral talks on the
future of its nuclear weapons program. That's important
because the Americans were just as stubbornly refusing
to engage in the bilateral talks the North Koreans
wanted. We don't know for sure what prompted North
Korea to be the one to blink. Nonetheless, we applaud
this diplomatic breakthrough for several reasons....
[I]t's a relief that North Korea has finally agreed to
sit down with Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and the
U.S. to figure out ways of dismantling its nuclear
program in exchange for economic aid and assurances
that it won't be
attacked. But our optimism is tempered because
Pyongyang isn't known as a government that keeps its
word.... A White House spokesman acknowledges that
there will be opportunities during the multilateral
meetings for North Korea and the U.S. or any other
party to talk directly to each other. Such a flexible
attitude could go a long way towards convincing North
Korea to give up its nuclear dreams. So while the
Chinese and the Russians are twisting Mr. Kim's arm,
Japan, South Korea - already a major donor of aid to
the North - and the U.S. can and should be easing his
discomfort by offering economic assistance. Enticements
alone haven't worked, and neither has the
threat of force. But offering the carrot and wielding
the stick together have a much better chance of


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