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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Iraq - Italian Troop

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001780

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; BRUSSELS/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - IRAQ - ITALIAN TROOP
WITHDRAWAL - CIA EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION CHINA - TAIWAN - ARMS
EMBARGO
PARIS - THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

IRAQ - ITALIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL - CIA EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION
CHINA - TAIWAN - ARMS EMBARGO

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

SEVERAL FRONT PAGES AND EDITORIALS ARE DEVOTED TO THIERRY
BRETON, THE NEW FINANCE MINISTER'S FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE. LE
FIGARO OPTS FOR A FRONT PAGE ON THE RISING PRICE OF OIL, AND
THE DIFFICULT EQUATION BRETON MUST RESOLVE, BETWEEN SOCIAL
REFORMS, THE NATIONAL DEFICIT AND UNION DEMANDS.

STANDING APART, LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION DEVOTES ITS FRONT
PAGE AND A FIVE-PAGE REPORT TO THE CONTROVERSIAL CASES OF U.S.
ABUSE OF DETAINEES AND EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION AND HEADLINES:
"CIA, TORTURE WITHOUT BORDERS." THE EDITORIAL ASKS: "MUST
AMERICA FORGET ITS VALUES AND REPUTATION IN THIS MAD RACE
WHERE FEAR HAS LED WASHINGTON TO EXPORT TORTURE WHEN ITS
DESIGN IS TO EXPORT DEMOCRACY?" (SEE PART C)

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ITALY'S ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ IS
SEEN BY LE FIGARO AS "A WEAKENING OF THE COALITION" WHILE
EDITORIALIST BRUNO FRAPPAT IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX WRITES ABOUT
"AN ALLIANCE IN TATTERS." CLAUDE IMBERT IN WEEKLY LE POINT
DEVOTES HIS COLUMN TO THE AFTERMATH OF THE WAR IN IRAQ, AND
THE AMERICAN SUPPORT TO EUROPEAN NEGOTIATIONS WITH TEHRAN.
(SEE PART C)

SECRETARY RICE'S TRIP TO ASIA IS BRIEFLY NOTED IN LE FIGARO IN

SIPDIS
AN ARTICLE PRIMARILY DEVOTED TO CHINA'S ANTI-SECESSION LAW AND
EUROPE'S DESIRE TO LIFT CHINA'S ARMS EMBARGO. (SEE PART C)

THE NOMINATION OF PAUL WOLFOWITZ TO HEAD THE WORLD BANK IS
REPORTED. IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION PASCAL RICHE ENTITLES
HIS REPORT: "A HAWK FOR THE WORLD BANK" AND QUOTES SEVERAL
REACTIONS: "PURE AND SIMPLE PROVOCATION;" "A DIPLOMATIC
DISASTER" "A POLITICAL MISSILE." NOTING CLINTON'S VETO OF A
PREVIOUS EUROPEAN NOMINATION FOR AN IMF CHAIRMAN, WHICH FORCED
EUROPE TO CHANGE ITS NOMINEE, RICHE CONCLUDES: "SEVERAL
EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS SUGGEST THE TIME HAS COME FOR EUROPE'S TURN
TO RETURN THE GESTURE."

KAREN HUGHES IS PROFILED IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX BY GILLES
BIASSETTE: "THIS FORMER JOURNALIST HAS JUST BEEN TASKED WITH
RECONCILING AMERICA WITH THE ARAB-MUSLIM WORLD. SHE PLANS ON
`KILLING PROPAGANDA WITH THE TRUTH.' WHILE HUGHES IS RETURNING
TO HER FORMER TURF, COMMUNICATIONS., HER KNOWLEDGE OF
INTERNATIONAL ISSUES REMAINS VERY LIMITED."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

IRAQ - ITALIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL - CIA EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION

"AN ALLIANCE IN TATTERS"
BRUNO FRAPPAT IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX (03/17): "WHILE IT IS TOO
EARLY TO SAY THAT SOON ONLY AMERICAN SOLDIERS AND IRAQI
SOLDIERS WILL BE LEFT TO `FINISH' THE JOB, THAT PROSPECT IS
GETTING CLOSER. UNTIL RECENTLY, BUSH COULD COUNT ON THE SOLID
SUPPORT OF TWO IMPORTANT EUROPEAN ALLIES: GREAT BRITAIN AND
ITALY. NOW BERLUSCONI IS WAVERING, AND TONY BLAIR LOOKS MORE
AND MORE ISOLATED IN EUROPE. THE ORIGINAL `ALLIANCE' HAD THREE
MISSIONS: TO CHASE SADDAM, TO RID IRAQ OF WMD, AND TO
ESTABLISH DEMOCRACY. THE FIRST GOAL HAS BEEN REACHED, THE
SECOND, OBVIOUSLY, WILL NEVER BE REACHED. AS FOR THE THIRD, IT
IS STILL IN THE MAKING."

"THE ROAD TO TEHRAN"
CLAUDE IMBERT IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER WEEKLY LE POINT (03/17): "IN
THE COMPLICATED ORIENT, WE MOVE WITH SIMPLISTIC IDEAS. AFTER
THE ANTI-BUSH HYSTERIA PROVOKED BY THE AMERICAN INTERVENTION
IN IRAQ, WE ARE NOW IN THE GRIPS OF UNBRIDLED OPTIMISM. THE
MIDDLE EAST REMAINS EXPLOSIVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO EXPORT ITS
CONVULSIONS. THE ARAB WORLD CONTINUES TO RESENT GLOBALIZATION
EVEN IF SIGNS OF HOPE, AS IN LEBANON, BEGIN TO APPEAR. WHILE
SUCCESS IN IRAQ IS NOT GUARANTEED, IT IS A FACT THAT THERE IS
THE PROMISE OF A DEMOCRATIC AWAKENING STRETCHING FROM DAMASCUS
TO CAIRO. THE IRAQI VOTERS WERE THE FIRST TO GIVE CONFIDENCE
TO AMERICA FOR ITS CHOICES. THEY ALSO DISCONCERTED FRENCH
DIPLOMACY. WASHINGTON'S WAGER WAS THE ADVENT OF AN EVOLUTION
IN ARAB MASSES AND YOUTH. A WAGER THAT IS VERY FAR FROM OUR
`PRO-ARAB' POLICY, MADE UP OF REALISTIC ARRANGEMENTS WITH
DESPOTS. BUT THE IRAQI ELECTIONS, ALTHOUGH ENCOURAGING, MUST
NOT LEAD TO EXCESSIVE EUPHORIA. THE QUESTION THAT HAS THE WEST
IN A QUANDARY IS WHETHER IRAN DESERVES THE SAME FATE. TEHRAN'S
REGIME IS INCREASINGLY BECOMING UNPOPULAR, AND AMERICANS AND
EUROPEANS ALIKE ARE RESIGNED TO ITS FALL FROM WITHIN. NEITHER
WASHINGTON, NOR EUROPE NOR TEL AVIV IS READY TO ACCEPT AN
IRANIAN NUCLEAR BOMB. HENCE THE NEGOTIATIONS, WITH PERFECT
WESTERN COOPERATION: EUROPE FOR THE CARROTS, AMERICA WITH THE
STICK."

"EXPORTING TORTURE"
JEAN-MICHEL THENARD IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (03/17): "THE
U.S. DOES NOT ALLOW ITSELF TO TORTURE, BUT BELIEVES IN ITS
USEFULNESS WHEN DONE IN SECRET TO FIGHT TERRORISM. THIS
HYPOCRISY HAS LED TO A NEW INVENTION: OUT-SOURCING TORTURE.
THIS IS A SIGN OF THE BUSH HYPERPOWER'S WEAKNESS. SINCE 9/11,
IT IS GOVERNED BY THE FEAR OF BEING VULNERABLE. MUST AMERICA
FORGET ITS VALUES AND REPUTATION IN THIS MAD RACE WHERE FEAR
HAS LED WASHINGTON TO EXPORT TORTURE WHEN ITS DESIGN IS TO
EXPORT DEMOCRACY?"

CHINA - TAIWAN - ARMS EMBARGO

"CONTROVERSY OVER AN EMBARGO"
JEAN-JACQUES MEVEL IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (03/17):
"TAIWAN'S PRESIDENT IS TRYING TO PLACE THE DEBATE WHERE IT
WILL HURT CHINA THE MOST WHILE USING WASHINGTON'S ARGUMENTS.
IN HIS WORDS, THE NEW CHINESE LAW UNILATERALLY CHANGES THE
STATUS QUO AND DEPRIVES THE EUROPEANS OF THEIR ARGUMENT TO
LIFT THE ARMS EMBARGO. CHEN SHUI-BIAN IS TAKING PLEASURE IN
TURNING THE TABLES ON CHIRAC, USING THE SAME WORDS THE FRENCH
PRESIDENT HAD USED WHEN VISITING BEIJING. THIS TIME THE
AGGRESSOR IS CHINA, AND CHEN IS TAKING HIS REVENGE BY ASKING
EUROPE TO MAINTAIN THE ARMS EMBARGO. SECRETARY RICE, WHO IS
TOURING THE REGION, HAS SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO REITERATE
THAT CHINA'S LAW SHOULD CONVINCE THOSE WHO MIGHT WANT TO SELL
WEAPONS TO THE NEW EMERGING POWER. ON THE EUROPEAN SIDE, THE
CHINESE ANTI-SECESSION LAW IS CAUSING SOME EMBARRASSMENT. A
NEW TRANSATLANTIC CONTROVERSY COULD DELAY EUROPE'S LIFTING OF
THE EMBARGO. AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IS CLOSE TO ACCUSING PARIS AND
ITS ALLIES OF BEING IRRESPONSIBLE IN THE FAR EAST." LEACH

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