Cablegate: Media Reaction: Middle East; Iraq

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. "Shared vision can spare us from descent into
Columnist Catherine Ford observed in the right-of-
center Calgary Herald (8/22): "...Moderation shouldn't
be the dirtiest word in the lexicon of the Middle East,
but it might as well be. As soon as the voice of
reasonable compromise raises its head and suggests both
Palestinians and Israelis are wrong in their separate
ways, accusations of bias start. To be against the
actions of the Israeli government is not to be an anti-
Semite. It should never have to be necessary to point
this out, but unlike all of the previous attempts to
broker peace, extremists of both sides have hijacked
the public debate. Israelis don't all support the
actions of their government - and never have - any more
than Canadians do. Or Americans. But nobody else has
apologists with the ear of powerful people like the
Jewish diaspora. And in no other case is political
criticism seen as racism.... That the Jewish
settlements on the West Bank are illegal is a fact,
acknowledged around the world. That the Israeli
government must dismantle them is obvious. But the
extremists in Israel and their supporters have
prevented their government from taking this drastic
action and a democratic government that depends on
coalitions to survive can't take the chance of losing
in a non-confidence vote. There is precedence for
choosing peace over accommodation, no matter how one
wants to define the word.... We Westerners - Jewish,
Arab or otherwise - can rail against the useless
bloodshed and the suicide bombers, against the
intransigence of the Jewish settlers and the chilling
message of Israel's wall around the West Bank. But
little we do will have any effect. We can, though,
insist on the message of moderation and compromise not
falling off the table.... No one can control the
extremist factions allied against each other, but the
countries they represent can call upon whatever values
they share. Our sole job is to remind both sides in any
conflict of that truth."

2. "Americans are stuck in Iraq for a long time"
Columnist Jeffrey Simpson commented in the leading
Globe and Mail (8/22): "...The Americans, having
conquered Iraq on largely false premises, are now
stuck there for a very long time, yet the longer they
remain, the more likely resentment at their presence
will grow. They have appointed a Governing Council, but
cannot yet give it any power, since the first
responsibility of any government is to ensure order,
and this only the Americans can do. Order without
popular consent means military rule, which is what
Iraqis now have. Except that the order comes from a
foreign power, or powers, and that kind of order, by
definition, is proconsular government that, if
extended, means imperial rule. A long time ago, former
U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower advised president
Lyndon Johnson that the Americans had to win the 'minds
and hearts' of the Vietnamese to win that
war. The Americans never did, although they deluded
themselves that they could, because Americans have this
enduring conviction that their self-ascribed purity of
motive, the one now being embraced by the
neo-conservatives and liberal internationalists alike,
will be welcomed by those they intend to 'help.'"


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