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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Lebanon - Syrian Pullout Eu

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 002800

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; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - LEBANON - SYRIAN PULLOUT EU
ISSUES: CHINESE TEXTILES WAR AGAINST TERROR - MOUSSAOUI TRIAL
PARIS - TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. LEBANON - SYRIAN PULLOUT
2. EU ISSUES: CHINESE TEXTILES
3. WAR AGAINST TERROR - MOUSSAOUI TRIAL

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION AND THE EUROPEAN TEXTILE INDUSTRY'S
PLIGHT IN THE FACE OF CHINESE EXPORTS ARE TODAY'S MAJOR FRONT-
PAGE STORIES. LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION HEADLINES "CHINESE
TEXTILES: WHEN EUROPE FINALLY WAKES UP." AND EDITORIALIST
PATRICK SABATIER CLEARLY FAULTS THE EUROPEANS FOR NOT BEING
PREPARED TO DEAL WITH A SITUATION THEY KNEW WAS COMING. (SEE
PART C)

TWO POLLS ON THE EU CONSTITUTION MAKE TODAY'S FRONT PAGES.
RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO HEADLINES "THE `YES' RISES THANKS TO
THE RIGHT." ACCORDING TO LE FIGARO'S LATEST POLL, THE `NO'
DROPS FROM 55 TO 52 PERCENT, AND THE `YES' GAINS, FROM 45 TO
48 PERCENT. CATHOLIC LA CROIX CARRIES A POLL ON VOTER
INTENTION AMONG CATHOLICS: 53 PERCENT OF PRACTICING CATHOLICS
SAY THEY WILL SUPPORT THE EU CONSTITUTION, BUT AMONG NON-
PRACTICING CATHOLICS THE `NO' LEADS.

SYRIA'S PULLOUT FROM LEBANON IS ANALYZED IN LEFT-OF-CENTER
LIBERATION, WITH AN EDITORIAL COMMENTARY BY GERARD DUPUY WHO
WRITES: "DAMASCUS HAS FINALLY GIVEN IN TO U.S. PRESSURE. NOW
THE LEBANESE ARE FACE TO FACE WITH THEMSELVES AND HAVE NO
LONGER A PRETEXT TO CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING." (SEE PART C)

THERE ARE SEVERAL REPORTS ON MOUSSAOUI'S GUILTY PLEA. IN
POPULAR RIGHT-OF-CENTER FRANCE SOIR MARIE NOSSEREAU TITLES HER
ARTICLE: "IS MOUSSAOUI GOING TO DIE?" HIS MOTHER'S APPEAL IS
NOTED AS WELL AS HIS FRENCH LAWYERS' CALL ON THE FRENCH
FOREIGN MINISTER TO INTERVENE. REGIONAL L'INDEPENDENT DEVOTES
ITS EDITORIAL TO MOUSSAOUI'S PLEA. EDITORIALIST BERNARD REVEL
WONDERS ABOUT MOUSSAOUI'S STATE OF MIND AFTER FOUR YEARS IN
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT. (SEE PART C)

SECRETARY OF STATE RICE'S TRIP TO LATIN AMERICA IS NOTED IN LE

SIPDIS
FIGARO, WHICH TITLES: "BUSH WANTS TO BYPASS CHAVEZ, THE
OBSTACLE." IN HIS REPORT PHILIPPE GELIE COMMENTS: "IN MILITARY
TERMS, THE MANEUVER IS ONE OF ENCIRCLEMENT. SECRETARY RICE'S
LATIN AMERICAN TOUR INCLUDES FOUR NATIONS THAT ENCIRCLE WHAT
IS A MAIN AMERICAN PREOCCUPATION, BUT WHICH IS NOT INCLUDED IN
THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM: CHAVEZ'S VENEZUELA. THE STRATEGY IS ONE
OF `CONTAINMENT AND ISOLATION' OF THE LATIN AMERICAN BLACK
SHEEP."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

LEBANON - SYRIAN PULLOUT

"A NEW START"
GERARD DUPUY IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (04/26): "THE ASSAD
DYNASTY HAS BASED ITS INFLUENCE, BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE, ON
THE UNSCRUPULOUS USE OF POWER. BUT THE SYSTEM HAS BROKEN DOWN:
CAUGHT IN AN ECONOMIC SEMI-QUAGMIRE, CONCERNED ABOUT ITS
KURDISH MINORITY'S AWAKENING, DESTABILIZED SINCE SADDAM
HUSSEIN'S FALL AND IRAQ'S OUTLINE FOR DEMOCRACY, DAMASCUS HAS
FINALLY REACTED TO PRESSURE FROM AMERICA, BELATEDLY HELPED BY
FRANCE. THE LEBANESE OPPOSITION IS UNITED IN ITS REJECTION OF
SYRIA, BUT HAS NO UNIFIED PLANS. THE COUNTRY IS IN DIRE NEED
OF NEW INSTITUTIONS IF IT HOPES TO GET A NEW START WITH
LASTING RESULTS. WITH THEIR DEPARTURE, THE SYRIANS ARE LEAVING
BEHIND MANY HIDDEN LANDMINES AND UNCERTAINTIES. BUT NOW THE
LEBANESE ARE FACE TO FACE WITH THEMSELVES AND HAVE NO LONGER A
PRETEXT TO CONTINUE TO DO NOTHING."

EU ISSUES: CHINESE TEXTILES

"THE EUROPEANS' FAULT"
PATRICK SABATIER IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (04/26): "IF
FRANCE'S PROTECTIONIST REACTION TO CHINESE TEXTILE EXPORTS IS
THE GOVERNMENT'S WAY TO SAVE THE EU CONSTITUTION, THE MEASURE
IS BOTH WRONG AND DANGEROUS. BEIJING'S WTO MEMBERSHIP WAS A
STRATEGIC DECISION TAKEN KNOWINGLY BY THE WEST, AS TO THE
IMPACT OF A NEW ECONOMIC AND MILITARY POWER ARRIVING ON THE
SCENE. THE FACT REMAINS THAT CHINA'S DEVELOPMENT IS THE BEST
GUARANTEE FOR PEACE AND LASTING DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA. AND THIS
BENEFITS ALL. WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SELL AIRBUSES TO CHINA IF
WE DO NOT BUY SHIRTS `MADE IN CHINA.' EUROPE'S AND FRANCE'S
MISTAKE IS NOT THAT THEY ARE DOING TOO LITTLE TODAY. IT IS
THAT THEY DID NOT PREPARE ADEQUATELY YESTERDAY FOR TODAY'S
INTRUSION OF THE CHINESE ELEPHANT IN EUROPE'S CLOTHING STORES
TO PROTECT THEIR EMPLOYEES."

WAR AGAINST TERROR - MOUSSAOUI TRIAL

"THE MOUSSAOUI ENIGMA"
BERNARD REVEL IN REGIONAL L'INDEPENDANT (04/26): "THE LAW
CANNOT RESOLVE ENIGMAS. IT NEEDS FACT. BY PLEADING GUILTY
MOUSSAOUI HAS GIVEN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AN UN-HOPED FOR HELPING
HAND. THE FACT THAT A JURY WILL DECIDE ON THE DEATH PENALTY
FOR MOUSSAOUI IN VIRGINIA, ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST CONSERVATIVE
STATES, LEAVES NO DOUBT AS TO THE OUTCOME. MOUSSAOUI'S
ATTITUDE DOES NOT PLEAD IN HIS FAVOR. HE HAS MADE HIS LAWYERS'
TASK IMPOSSIBLE. BUT CAN ONE EXPECT A MAN WHO HAS BEEN IN
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR ALMOST FOUR YEARS TO ACT RATIONALLY?
THIS IS ALSO PART OF THE MOUSSAOUI ENIGMA."

"IS MOUSSAOUI GOING TO DIE?"
MARIE NOSSEREAU IN POPULAR RIGHT-OF-CENTER FRANCE SOIR
(04/26): "MOUSSAOUI HAS JUST HELPED THOSE WHO WANT HIM DEAD.
HE COULD HAVE PLEA-BARGAINED, `BUT THAT IS NOT THE SOLUTION HE
HAS CHOSEN,' SAYS HIS FRENCH LAWYER. HIS MOTHER SAYS SHE NO
LONGER RECOGNIZES HER OWN SON. `HE HAS DECIDED TO GET IT OVER
WITH, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER' SHE SAYS. CAN FRANCE SAVE MOUSSAOUI
FROM THE DEATH PENALTY? YESTERDAY, FM BARNIER THOUGHT IT
USEFUL TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING CLARIFICATION: `THE FRENCH
AUTHORITIES CANNOT INTERVENE IN A JUDICIAL PROCESS, WHETHER IN
FRANCE OR ABROAD.' BUT HIS LAWYER CONTESTS THIS ARGUMENT: `IF
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A TRIAL, I CAN ACCEPT THE ARGUMENT. BUT
WHEN IT IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HIMSELF, A POLITICIAN, WHO
ASKS FOR THE DEATH PENALTY, I EXPECT HIS FRENCH COUNTERPART TO
REACT. FOR THE TIME BEING THERE IS ONLY SILENCE.'" WOLFF

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