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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq; Africa; Libya; Middle

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 002389

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, WHA/PDA
WHITE HOUSE PASS NSC/WEUROPE, NSC/WHA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR OIIP OPRC CA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ; AFRICA; LIBYA; MIDDLE
EAST

IRAQ
1. "Going the distance"
Under the sub-heading, "Acts of sabotage must not
disrupt the rebuilding of Iraq," the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen opined (8/19): "...Unquestionably, the
escalating attacks against coalition soldiers,
embassies and, most recently, utilities - a pipeline
supplying Baghdad with water was blown up and an oil
pipeline set on fire over the weekend - threaten
American plans for a stable Iraq. Yet it is an
exaggeration to think the violence means the U.S.-led
effort is faltering. Mr. Bush anticipated a long and
hard war.... The challenge for the coalition is to
create conditions that will allow Iraqis to feel
secure. Acts of sabotage and random violence are
demoralizing, inducing the kind of uncertainty that
tempts people to support a return to dictatorship, so
desperate are they for stability and order. This is
what the saboteurs and assassins seek to accomplish:
Undermine Iraqis' confidence in the ability of the U.S.
and its partners to bring order and freedom to the
country.... The West needs to contribute more
(police, administrators, engineers and doctors are also
badly needed) to help Iraq's recovery. If not, the
effort to reform Iraq, spark democratization in the
Arab world, and ultimately win the war on terrorism
will be jeopardized."

2. "Mideast carnage tests our resolve"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (8/20): "The
limits of American power were on raw display yesterday
in the smoking rubble of the United Nations
headquarters in Iraq, and in the mangled wreckage of a
bus in Jerusalem. After easily shattering Saddam
Hussein's regime, U.S. President George Bush
is finding it hard to win the peace in Iraq and restore
order. And his drive for Mideast peace is faltering.
The heavy-handed American occupation in Iraq is fast
becoming the tragic shambles the critics predicted....
Whatever the rights or wrongs of American policy in
Iraq, the U.N. is there to restore
civilian rule after Saddam's criminal rule, and to
rebuild.... The terrorists' crimes must reinforce our
resolve to rebuild a democratic Iraq and a peaceful
region. In Iraq, Bush should recognize that American
military rule cannot stretch out indefinitely. He
should begin to extricate the U.S. by seeking a new
Security Council resolution putting the U.N. in charge
of a truly empowered Iraqi interim regime, replacing
the Pentagon's fumbling provisional authority. The
U.S./British occupation must give way to a broader
international peacekeeping and rebuilding effort,
underwritten by U.S. military muscle but drawing on
Turkey, India, France and others.... There is no
accommodating terror. It marches to a perverse logic
all its own. But offering Iraqis a speedier return to
self-rule and normalcy, and offering Palestinians and
Israelis hope, are the surest ways to subvert terror's
murderous appeal."

AFRICA
3. "Idi Amin's end"
The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/20): "It's a
modern image so commonplace that it verges on the
clich: A deposed dictator, driven from his country by
a popular uprising or international diplomacy, relaxes
with his retinue in a palatial mansion in some
accommodating country, shopping in the local market and
occasionally giving interviews. It seems laughable, and
it is. But it is also an outrage.... Death should never
be celebrated, but Ugandans must feel a certain comfort
at the passing of the man who tormented them for eight
long years.... There is no conclusive tally of the
deaths Idi Amin caused, but it is estimated at between
200,000 and 500,000.... At no
time during those 24 years of luxurious exile did
anyone try to interrupt his country-club lifestyle and
hold him to account for his vicious rule or genocidal
tendencies, and that is a slap in the face to the
hundreds of thousands he oppressed."

LIBYA
4. "Libya pays for terror"
The liberal Toronto Star editorialized (8/19): "It has
taken 15 years, but Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's
pariah regime is finally being forced to shell out some
compensation for bombing a Pan Am airliner over
Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people....
Over the years, U.N. sanctions and isolation have cost
Libya a breathtaking $50 billion in lost oil sales and
other costs. That loss will never be recovered. The
U.N. squeezed Libya hard in 1992. Diplomatic ties were
downgraded. An air travel and arms blockade were
imposed. Sales of machinery to Libya's oil industry
were stopped. And Libyan assets were frozen. This
resolve forced Gadhafi to surrender al-Megrahi for
trial. The Security Council deserves credit for keeping
the pressure on. Gadhafi's offer of compensation now
has France pressing for hefty reparations in the
similar 1989 mid-air bombing by Libyans of a French
aircraft with 170 aboard. Payments cannot bring back
the victims. But Gadhafi's regime has at least been
held to account for a hideous crime. And that is some
comfort. It puts others on notice that the world is
resolved to exact a price from those who practise
terror."

MIDDLE EAST
5. "Bombings rattle Bush's Middle East strategy"
Washington correspondent Barry McKenna offered the
following analysis in the leading Globe and Mail
(8/20): "...[Y]esterday's bombings, which killed at
least 40 people and injured more than 100, have raised
troubling new questions about the administration's
Middle East strategy, particularly in Iraq.... So far,
the U.S. people have remained strongly supportive of
U.S. polices. Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly
support the Bush administration's policies in Iraq and
in the war on terrorism, in spite of considerable
skepticism elsewhere in the world. But the danger of
support eroding at home increases if the situation in
the Middle East continues to deteriorate. It's becoming
increasingly clear to many analysts that Mr.
Bush's ambitious Middle East goals won't come easily."

6. "Another reason to build the fence"
Under the sub-heading, "Separating Israel from the West
Bank will help prevent attacks such as yesterday's bus
bombing," the conservative National
Post commented (8/20): "...The real reason Israel is
building the fence is to prevent acts of terrorism -
such as yesterday's brutal suicide-bomb attack on a
Jerusalem bus. Every nation in the world has the right
- and, in fact, duty - to protect its citizens, and
Israel is correctly asserting that right.... Almost all
of the attacks have originated in the West Bank - none
from Gaza, though its residents bristle equally at the
Israeli presence. The reason is simple: Unlike the West
Bank, Gaza is already separated from Israel proper by a
fence. This fact provides grounds for optimism that the
new fence, once complete, may cut terrorism
dramatically. This helps explain why Palestinian
supporters condemn the fence. Many falsely believe that
terrorism - or the threat thereof - will force Israel
to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians, and
perhaps might even lead to the
destruction of Israel entirely. And so they naturally
oppose any security measure that will impede the
violence. It is only because expressing support
for terrorism openly would be outr that fence
opponents instead give us cynical claims about
'apartheid.' All this said, Israel should proceed
cautiously with the fence.... As far as is consistent
with Israel's security needs, Mr. Sharon must also
ensure the security fence does not penetrate unduly
into Palestinian areas in a manner that suggests a land
grab.... Moreover, wherever the fence is ultimately
located, Mr. Sharon must ensure that the Palestinians
whose lands lie in its path are treated fairly - and,
where necessary, compensated financially for their
hardship.... Ultimately, the fence will not bring
peace: That won't come until Palestinians - and Arabs
generally - accept the existence of a Jewish state in
their midst. But the fence will at least reduce the
human toll wrought by Palestinian extremism. In the
meantime, it is not Israel's security measures that
should be the target of condemnation, but the terrorism
that necessitates them."

CELLUCCI

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