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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 004424

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 EUROPE: BLAIR - CHIRAC CONFRONTATION
PARIS - THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. IRAQ - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
2. EUROPE: BLAIR - CHIRAC CONFRONTATION

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

DOMESTIC SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STORIES DOMINATE FRONT PAGES,
WHILE A NUMBER OF EDITORIALS ARE DEVOTED TO THE CONTINUING
CONFRONTATION BETWEEN BLAIR AND CHIRAC AS PM BLAIR GETS READY
TO ADDRESS THE EU PARLIAMENT PRIOR TO TAKING OVER THE EU
PRESIDENCY. (SEE PART C) POPULAR RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE PARISIEN
INTERVIEWS BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE SIR JOHN HOLMES:
"BECAUSE OF PAST HISTORY, THE MEDIA TENDS TO EMPHASIZE OUR
DISAGREEMENTS. BUT IN REALITY WE WANT TO COOPERATE WITH
FRANCE. WHEN WE OPPOSE EACH OTHER WE BOTH LOSE. THE COMMON
AGRICULTURAL POLICY WAS A MAJOR STAKE FORTY OR FIFTY YEARS
AGO. TODAY WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND
EDUCATION. WE MUST AVOID AN IDEOLOGICAL CONFRONTATION BETWEEN
THOSE WHO SUPPOSEDLY FAVOR LIBERALISM AND THOSE WHO ARE FOR
THE ALL-SOCIAL. IT IS BEST TO ADAPT TO GLOBALIZATION RATHER
THAN TRYING TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM IT."

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TODAY'S MAJOR INTERNATIONAL NEWS STORY IS THE INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON IRAQ. WHILE REPORTS ARE FOR THE MOST PART
CONGRATULATORY, SEEING THE CONFERENCE AS A POLITICAL SUCCESS,
LE MONDE'S EDITORIAL CALLS ON EUROPE TO HELP IRAQ, "A COUNTRY
IN CHAOS AND RUINS." LE MONDE ALSO CARRIES A FRONT PAGE OP-ED
PENNED BY IRAQ'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER TITLED: "HELPING THE
IRAQIS, CONCRETELY!" IN REGIONAL L'ALSACE THE EDITORIAL ALSO
CALLS FOR HELP FOR THE IRAQIS, "BECAUSE A VICTORY FOR THE
TERRORISTS IN IRAQ WOULD NOT ONLY BE A FAILURE FOR AMERICA BUT
THE WORST POSSIBLE SIGN OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE PROPONENTS OF
A `CLASH BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS.'" (SEE PART C)

THE ECONOMIC PRESS CONFIRMS THAT THE JAPANESE HAVE OFFICIALLY
GIVEN UP ON THE ITER PROJECT IN EXCHANGE FOR COMMERCIAL
OFFSETS, AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED IN THE JAPANESE PRESS.

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

IRAQ - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

"A MASS FOR BAGHDAD"
ANDRE SCHLECHT IN REGIONAL L'ALSACE (06/23): "BAGHDAD DESERVES
A BIG MASS. AFTER THE CONFRONTATION OVER THE `ILLEGAL' WAR
AGAINST IRAQ, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS COME TOGETHER
FOR ITS RECONSTRUCTION. THE DISSENSION WITH WASHINGTON AND THE
CONTROVERSY ABOUT `OLD EUROPE' AND `NEW EUROPE' HAVE BEEN
ERASED. SO MUCH SO THAT SYMBOLISM IS THE ONLY CONCRETE RESULT
OF THE CONFERENCE. EVERYONE WILL BE MEETING AGAIN IN JORDAN TO
CONCRETIZE ITS COMMITMENTS. THE IRAQIS DESERVE THESE EFFORTS.
THE LONG LINES OF VOTERS LAST JANUARY PROVED TO WHAT EXTENT
THEY ARE ATTACHED TO DEMOCRACY AND HOPE. AMERICA'S STRATEGY
SEEMS THEREFORE TO BE PAYING OFF, A STRATEGY DEFINED BY THE
PENTAGON AS COMPRISING FOUR PHASES: LIBERATION, OCCUPATION,
PARTNERSHIP AND AFFIRMATION OF IRAQI SOVEREIGNTY. WE ARE AT
THE BEGINNING OF THE THIRD PHASE, A CRUCIAL PHASE DURING WHICH
IRAQ NEEDS TO BE CONSOLIDATED FROM WITHIN. THERE IS MUCH TO BE
DONE. BUT A FEW HARD GRAINS OF SAND HAVE COME BETWEEN THE
AMERICAN SCENARIO AND REALITY ON THE GROUND. THE `PANDORA'S
BOX' THAT ACCORDING TO CHIRAC WAS OPENED WITH A WAR WAGED
WITHOUT THE UN'S GO-AHEAD, IS STILL WIDE OPEN. DAILY ATTACKS
AND BOMBINGS ARE IMPEDIMENTS TO HELPING IRAQ. FURTHERMORE, THE
IRAQIS' ABILITY TO RECONCILE THEIR VARIOUS ETHNIC FAMILIES IN
ORDER TO GOVERN THE COUNTRY IN HARMONY HAS YET TO BE PROVEN.
NEVERTHELESS THERE IS A STAKE THAT JUSTIFIES A UNITED
COMMITMENT WITH BAGHDAD. COLLAPSE OF THE YOUNG DEMOCRACY AND
VICTORY FOR THE TERRORISTS WOULD NOT ONLY BE A FAILURE FOR
AMERICA BUT THE WORST POSSIBLE SIGN OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE
PROPONENTS OF A `CLASH BETWEEN CIVILIZATIONS.'"

"EUROPE AND IRAQ"
LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE IN ITS EDITORIAL (06/23): "EUROPE MUST
INVEST ITSELF IN IRAQ BECAUSE THE FUTURE OF THAT COUNTRY,
PLUNGED INTO ALWAYS MORE TERRIBLE CHAOS, DEPENDS ON IT. IT IS
ALSO IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNION. THE INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE THAT OPENED WEDNESDAY. FURNISHES SUCH AN OCCASION.
THE RESULTS ARE IN: TWO YEARS AFTER PRESIDENT BUSH ANNOUNCED
THE END OF `MILITARY OPERATIONS', THE COUNTRY IS PLUNGED IN
CONFLICT AND BAGHDAD ADVERTISES ITS RUINS: DANGER IS
EVERYWHERE. THE CIA DESCRIBES IRAQ AS A TERRORIST LABORATORY
WHERE IRAQI JIHADISTS AND FOREIGN ELEMENTS ARE COMING TO
`EXPERIMENT IN STREET COMBAT.' THE FUNDS SPENT BY THE U.S.
HAVE BEEN LARGELY WASTED. THE HOPES PLACED IN DEMOCRACY ARE
PROVING DISAPPOINTING. FIVE MONTHS AFTER THE GENERAL
ELECTIONS. IRAQI AUTHORITIES ARE COMING TO BRUSSELS TO EXPLAIN
THEIR VISION OF THE FUTURE AND TO ASK THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY TO `RE-ENGAGE IN THE STABILIZATION AND
RECONSTRUCTION' OF THE COUNTRY. EUROPE MUST RESPOND TO THESE
APPEALS, WHATEVER THE OPPOSITIONS OF YESTERDAY TO THE WHITE
HOUSE AND WHATEVER ITS OWN DIVISIONS ON THE SUBJECT. IT CANNOT
DO MUCH TO AVOID THE DISASTER BUT THE LITTLE THAT IT CAN DO,
IT SHOULD DO WITHOUT ANY MORE HESITATIONS OR RANCOR. THE UNION
CAN FIRST OF ALL HELP WITH THE TRAINING OF SECURITY FORCES.
STRONG WITH AN EXPERIENCE ACQUIRED ON ITS OWN GROUND. THE
UNION MUST TEACH IRAQIS HOW TO CONSTITUTE CIVILIAN,
INSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE POWER. GUARDING AGAINST
ILLUSIONS ON WHAT IT CAN ACHIEVE, BECAUSE THE AMERICAN
MILITARY PRESENCE DOMINATES THE FATE OF IRAQ, THE UNION MUST
PROVE THAT IT BRINGS A `SOFT POWER' TO HELP, AS MUCH AS IT
CAN, TO END THE CHAOS."

EUROPE: BLAIR - CHIRAC CONFRONTATION

"POSTURING"
JEAN-MICHEL THENARD IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (06/23):
"THREE WEEKS AFTER ONE OF THE WORST DEFEATS OF HIS ENTIRE
CAREER, PRESIDENT CHIARC IS TRYING TO REBUILD HIS IMAGE AT THE
EXPENSE OF PM BLAIR, WHO IS AN EASY TARGET. BUT NOTHING PROVES
THAT THE FRENCH PUBLIC WILL APPLAUD THE SCENARIO WRITTEN AT
THE ELYSEE PALACE WITH BLAIR'S CLUMSY COLLABORATION. BECAUSE
THE STAGING OF THE CORDIAL `NON-ENTENTE' BETWEEN THE TWO MEN
SMELLS OF TOO MUCH POSTURING WITH DOMESTIC POLITICS AS THE
ULTIMATE END."

"TWO VISIONS OF EUROPE"
JULES CLAUWAERT IN REGIONAL NORD ECLAIRE (06/23): "THERE IS A
CLASH BETWEEN TWO DIFFERENT CONCEPTIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION:
ONE THAT IS PUTTING EVERYTHING IN THE BALANCE IN THE INTEREST
OF A GREAT MARKET, AND ONE THAT DOES NOT GIVE UP ON THE
AMBITION FOR A POLITICAL UNION OF STATES FOUNDED ON COMMON
VALUES AND PLAYING ITS ROLE IN THE WORLD." WOLFF

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