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Cablegate: Media Reaction On Iraq, December 15, 2003

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

UNCLAS TEGUCIGALPA 002929

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/PDA (OHILTON), IIP/G/WHA, IIP/T/ES, NEA/NGA, WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP PREL KPAO MOPS PGOV IZ HO
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ, DECEMBER 15, 2003


1. Editorial in Tegucigalpa-based liberal daily "La Tribuna"
on 12/13 entitled "Reward". "The distribution of the
lucrative Iraq reconstruction contracts, as were decided by
Washington, to be allocated only to those countries that
sent soldiers to fight Saddam Hussein has reopened the
wounds caused by the war. Moreover, this decision came at a
time when a U.S. emissary was sent to Europe to obtain a
reduction of the Iraqi debt."

"The decision to give the large booty of 18 billion dollars
in contracts was justified by President Bush by saying that
"the war was mostly financed by the money of the U.S.
contributors and the sacrifice of the coalition soldiers and
for that reason they deserve priority"."

"The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, asked
Washington to reverse its decision about the contracts.
Nevertheless, President Bush has been emphatic, repeating
that, "the costs in dollars reflect the fact that the
American soldiers and other soldiers risked their lives in
Iraq"."

"More than 60 countries will be eligible to compete for the
contracts. and although it was not specifically mentioned by
the Pentagon, we suppose that Honduras is also eligible."

"The old saying "work for what you want" says it well. This
is our opportunity. If we couldn't send any unemployed
Hondurans to work in Iraq, now whoever wants to participate
in the bidding process for Iraqi reconstruction contracts
has to wait in line just as those Hondurans did in the hopes
of going to Iraq for work."

Palmer

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