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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Iraq - International

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 004397

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 - IRAQ - INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS
PARIS - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

IRAQ - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

THE STATE OF FRANCE'S ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC MINISTER THIERRY
BRETON'S DIAGNOSTIC AND PROPOSALS ARE TODAY'S MAJOR FRONT-PAGE
AND EDITORIAL STORIES. EDITORIALISTS AGREE THAT HIS ANALYSIS
IS LUCID BUT THEY FAULT HIS LACK OF PRACTICAL PROPOSALS TO
DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT.

ALTHOUGH FEW OUTLETS REPORT ON THE U.S.-EU CONFERENCE ON IRAQ
IN BRUSSELS, (LA CROIX AND LE FIGARO), LE FIGARO RUNS AN
ENTIRE PAGE ON THE CONFERENCE, LEADING WITH THE STORY,
"WASHINGTON DRUMS UP AID FOR IRAQ." ANOTHER REPORT DESCRIBES
THE "LIMITATIONS" OF U.S. STRATEGY IN IRAQ, WHILE STILL
ANOTHER POINTS TO THE FACT THAT "INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS (ON
IRAQ) HAS BECOME CRUCIAL FOR PRESIDENT BUSH." (SEE PART C) LA
CROIX'S FACTUAL REPORTING EMPHASIZES THAT "THE CONFERENCE IS
NOT A DONORS' CONFERENCE BUT A POLITICAL CONFERENCE."

IN AN OP-ED IN LE MONDE TITLED "EUROPE: TIME FOR TRUTH," FM
DOUSTE-BLAZY WRITES: "IT IS TIME TO DEFINE EUROPE'S PLACE IN
THE WORLD. IRAQ HAS SHOWN BY DEFAULT THAT EUROPE MUST UNITE IN
ORDER TO REAFFIRM A DIPLOMACY AND DEFENSE THAT WILL ALLOW IT
TO HOLD ITS RANK IN THE WORLD AND TO SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE,
LOUD AND AUTONOMOUS. LET US GIVE OURSELVES THE MEANS FOR A
REAL FOREIGN POLICY AS WE DID FOR OUR DEFENSE."

LE FIGARO CARRIES AN OP-ED BY REED BRODY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS
WATCH TITLED: "CLOSE GUANTANAMO. AND OTHER SECRET PRISONS."
"EVEN A COUNTRY AS BENT ON UNILATERALISM AS THE U.S. CANNOT
IGNORE WHAT THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS; AND GUANTANAMO IS
DEFINITELY AN ISSUE THAT UNITES THE REST OF THE WORLD."

LE FIGARO ALSO CARRIES AN OP-ED PENNED BY KOFI ANNAN TITLED:
"THE UN IN IRAQ: LOTS OF WORK AND LITTLE NOISE."

UN REFORMS, INCLUDING THE PLAN TO WIDEN THE UNSC, ARE A MAJOR
STORY IN LE MONDE. ONE REPORT GIVES THE FRENCH POSITION:
"FRENCH LEADERS BELIEVE THAT FOR THE WORLD TO BE EQUITABLY
REPRESENTED, THE UNSC MUST BE `SUBSTANTIALLY' OPEN TO OTHERS,
AND NOT IN THE `VERY LIMITATIVE' MANNER PROPOSED BY THE U.S."
A SEPARATE REPORT IS TITLED "AND STILL NO U.S. AMBASSADOR FOR
THE UN."

SECRETARY RICE'S TRIP TO THE MIDDLE EAST ELICITS SCANT

SIPDIS
REPORTING, WITH LA CROIX THE ONLY OUTLET CARRYING A REPORT
TITLED: "CONDOLEEZZA RICE GIVES A LESSON IN DEMOCRACY TO SAUDI
ARABIA," WHILE THE ABBAS-SHARON SUMMIT IS FACTUALLY COVERED.
FROM HISTORIC, YESTERDAY'S HEADLINE, THE SUMMIT HAS NOW BECOME
"DISAPPOINTING." FRANCE SOIR HEADLINES: "A HISTORIC BUT
DISAPPOINTING MEETING," WHILE LE FIGARO TITLES "A SUMMIT
BEARING NO FRUIT."

UKRAINE'S PRESIDENT YUSHENKO IS IN PARIS FOR A ONE-DAY
OFFICIAL VISIT, ELICITING A MOSTLY POSITIVE ARTICLE IN
LIBERATION ABOUT THE LONG-TIME US SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY AND
CIVIL SOCIETY THAT LEAD TO THE ORANGE REVOLUTION. EUROPE'S
RECENT SIMILAR ENGAGEMENT LEADS LIBERATION TO COMMENT: "THE
OLD CONTINENT CAN ALSO HELP DEMOCRATIZATION BUT WITHOUT THE
MESSIANIC VISION OF THE AMERICANS, AND ALSO WITHOUT THEIR
EFFICIENCY."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

IRAQ - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS

"WASHINGTON DRUMS UP AID FOR IRAQ"
ALEXANDRINE BOUILHET IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/22):
"SPONSORED BY THE U.S., THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON IRAQ
HELD IN THE HEART OF `OLD EUROPE' AIMS TO CELEBRATE A NEW-
FOUND UNITY IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. ON THE EUROPEAN
SIDE, THIS PLUNGE INTO THE IRAQI HELL HAS THE MERIT OF
DOWNPLAYING THE PRESENT EUROPEAN CRISIS. FOR A DAY, EUROPE
WILL BE BACK IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA. FOR THE AMERICANS,
THE CO-SPONSORSHIP OF THE CONFERENCE BY THE U.S. AND EUROPE IS
AN EXTRAORDINARY PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN ORCHESTRATED BY
PRESIDENT BUSH WITH MASTERY DURING HIS FORMER TRIP TO
BRUSSELS. SECRETARY RICE WILL BE THE STAR, ALONG WITH KOFI
ANNAN. BUT THE CONFERENCE IS NOT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR IRAQ, BUT
RATHER TO PUT FORWARD THE IRAQI TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT WHILE
ERASING THE IMAGE OF THE U.S., THE OCCUPIER WHO WENT TO WAR
AGAINST IRAQ WITHOUT THE UN'S GO AHEAD. THE FRENCH, WHO LED
THE SIDE OF PEACE, ARE GRASPING THE LINES WHICH THE AMERICANS
ARE THROWING BY WAY OF THE IRAQIS. EUROPE'S PRAGMATIC APPROACH
HAS ALLOWED THE DIALOGUE WITH WASHINGTON, WHICH IS CALLING FOR
A `STRONG EUROPE,' TO RESUME."

"THE LIMITATIONS OF U.S. STRATEGY"
THIERRY OBERLE IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/22): "HAIFA
STREET IN BAGHDAD HAS BEEN FREED OF ITS GUERRILLA SNIPERS. BUT
THIS SPECTACULAR SUCCESS HAS ITS LIMITATIONS. WHILE THE U.S.
HAS BEEN ABLE TO INFLICT HEAVY BLOWS ON THE GUERRILLA
FIGHTERS, ITS STRATEGY TO COUNTER THE INSURRECTION IS FAR FROM
HAVING REACHED ITS OBJECTIVES. ALTHOUGH HIGHLY SYMBOLIC, HAIFA
STREET'S RETURN TO NORMAL CANNOT HIDE THE FACT THAT BOMBS GO
OFF EVERYDAY IN BAGHDAD. IT IS DIFFICULT TO SPEAK ABOUT
PROGRESS WHEN THE NUMBERS OF IRAQIS DYING HAVE BEEN INCREASING
SINCE THE ELECTIONS. THE U.S. REGULARLY ACCUSES SYRIA OF
FACILITATING THE INFILTRATION OF INSURGENTS. TWO YEARS AFTER
IT BEGAN, THE GUERRILLA FIGHT RETAINS ALL OF ITS STRENGTH AS
WELL AS THE SUPPORT AND AID OF THE COUNTRY'S SUNNIS, AND
ACCORDING TO A BOSTON GLOBE STUDY, MORE THAN JUST THE SUNNIS."

"BUSH WANTS TO TAKE THE LEAD AGAIN"
PHILIPPE GELIE IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/22): "THE
PRESENCE OF 80 NATIONS AT THE BEDSIDE OF BAGHDAD OFFERS THE
IMAGE WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH NEEDS AT THIS STAGE OF HIS IRAQI
ADVENTURE. THE PRESIDENT HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO TAKE THE LEAD
AGAIN ON A WAR THAT REFUSES TO BE FORGOTTEN. THE CONFERENCE'S
AGENDA NEEDS AN INTERNATIONAL CONSENSUS WHICH PRESIDENT BUSH
CONSIDERS CRUCIAL AT THIS POINT IN TIME. OVERTAKEN BY DOUBT,
PRESIDENT BUSH CONTINUES TO ASSERT THAT `PROGRESS IS BEING
MADE.' EVEN IF HE ALSO ACKNOWLEDGES `HOW DANGEROUS IT IS IN
IRAQ.' THIS TWO-SIDED MESSAGE IS BY WAY OF CONTRADICTING THOSE
WHO ACCUSE THE WHITE HOUSE OF BEING `DISCONNECTED' FROM
REALITY." WOLFF

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