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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - President Bush Speech On Iraq

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 004557

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 - PRESIDENT BUSH SPEECH ON IRAQ
IRAN ITER - A EUROPEAN SUCCESS STORY
PARIS - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. PRESIDENT BUSH SPEECH ON IRAQ
2. IRAN
3. ITER - A EUROPEAN SUCCESS STORY

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

TODAY'S ALMOST UNANIMOUS LEAD STORY REVOLVES AROUND THE
SELECTION OF CADARACH, (FRANCE) AS THE VENUE FOR THE ITER
THERMO-NUCLEAR REACTOR. POPULAR RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE PARISIEN
GIVES THE TONE WITH "ITER: GOOD NEWS, FINALLY!" ECHOING MOST
REPORTS AND COMMENTARIES, SUCH AS LIBERATION'S EDITORIAL WHICH
STARTS: "EUROPE DID NOT DIE ON MAY 29." THE "SYMBOLISM" OF
ITER FOR A UNITED EUROPE MARCHING TOWARDS THE FUTURE IS NOTED
BY SEVERAL COMMENTATORS, WHO NEVERTHELESS POINT TO THE COST OF
THE PROJECT. LE FIGARO TITLES ITS EDITORIAL: "ITER, THE COST
OF A SYMBOL." (SEE PART C) IN ITS BROAD REPORT, LE MONDE
CARRIED THIS COMMENTARY: "IT WAS NECESSARY TO WAIT FOR
PRESIDENT BUSH'S REELECTION AND THE WARMING OF FRANCO-AMERICAN
RELATIONS BEFORE SEEING THE U.S. ADOPT A POSITION OF
NEUTRALITY IN THE COMPETITION BETWEEN FRANCE AND JAPAN. AT
WHICH POINT JAPAN KNEW IT HAD LOST. MAYBE PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S
SUPPORT FOR JAPAN AS A PROSPECTIVE NEW PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE
UNSC WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE."

IN OTHER NEWS, PRESIDENT BUSH'S SPEECH LAST EVENING IS NOT
WIDELY REPORTED BECAUSE OF THE TIME DIFFERENCE. LE FIGARO
TITLES ITS STORY "BUSH DEFENDS AMERICA'S PRESENCE IN IRAQ,"
WHILE RADIO COMMENTATOR BERNARD GUETTA SUGGESTS THAT "BECAUSE
PRESIDENT BUSH IS IN A DIFFICULT POSITION AT HOME AND IN IRAQ,
HE IS CALLING ON AMERICANS TO RALLY BEHIND HIM." (SEE PART C)
LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION AND POPULAR RIGHT-OF-CENTER FRANCE
SOIR REPORT BRIEFLY ON U.S. "TORTURE BOATS" WHICH LIBERATION
CALLS "FLOATING GUANTANAMOS." LIBERATION COMMENTS: "THESE
FLOATING PRISONS ARE IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS, ALLOWING
INTERROGATION OF PRISONERS WITHOUT THE CONSTRAINT OF THE LAW."
LIBERATION BASES ITS STORY ON OFFICIAL STATEMENTS COMING FROM
THE UN. COMMUNIST L'HUMANITE REPORTS ON THE ALLEGED KIDNAPPING
AND TORTURE OF IMAM ABOU AMAR IN ITALY BY THE CIA IN FEBRUARY
2003, "A MONTH BEFORE THE INVASION OF IRAQ."

IRAN'S "REGRESSION" IS THE TOPIC OF LE MONDE'S EDITORIAL (SEE
PART).

A BRIEF ITEM IN ECONOMIC LA TRIBUNE IS TITLED "WHAT IF AIRBUS
WERE TO BECOME AMERICAN?" THE STORY IS BASED ON A RECENT AND
CONFIDENTIAL STUDY SHOWING THE "GROWING HOLD ANGLO-SAXON

SIPDIS
INVESTMENT HAS IN FRANCE'S AEROSPACE SECTOR." ACCORDING TO THE
STUDY, "40 PERCENT OF AN AIRBUS IS ALREADY MANUFACTURED BY
COMPANIES UNDER AMERICAN INFLUENCE." THE ARTICLE ALSO NOTES
THAT "SUB-CONTRACTORS NEED INVESTMENTS, BUT FRENCH INVESTORS
ARE NOT RUSHING TO INVEST."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

PRESIDENT BUSH SPEECH ON IRAQ

"PRESIDENT BUSH'S APPEAL"
BERNARD GUETTA ON GOVERNMENT-RUN FRANCE INTER RADIO (06/29):
"VIOLENCE IN IRAQ IS NOT WANING. IF FACT IT IS GROWING.
PRESIDENT BUSH IS FACING DIFFICULTIES ON TWO FRONTS, AT HOME
AND IN IRAQ. THIS IS WHY YESTERDAY HE WAS CALLING ON AMERICANS
TO STAND BEHIND HIM. HIS ENTIRE SPEECH WAS BUILT AROUND THE
IDEA THAT THE U.S. WAS WAGING A WAR IN IRAQ IN ANSWER TO THE
DECLARATION OF WAR OF 9/11. BUT WHAT TO DO NOW THAT MANY
AMERICANS, AS THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF NOTED, `ARE WONDERING IF
THE SACRIFICES ARE WORTHWHILE'? HIS ANSWER IS `TO CONTINUE TO
BEAR THE BURDEN.' THE CONSTRAINTS ON THE GROUND LIMIT THE
PRESIDENT'S MARGIN OF MANEUVER, WHILE REALITY POINTS ALSO TO
THE HUGE ERROR OF THE ADVENTURE AS THE TRAP CLOSES IN ON THE
U.S. THE AMERICANS CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO LOSE THIS WAR. IT
WOULD BE A CATASTROPHE FOR THEM AND FOR THE WORLD. BUT CAN
THEY WIN IT WITHOUT INCREASING THEIR MILITARY EFFORT.? AND BY
INCREASING IT, MIGHT THEY NOT MIRE THEMSELVES EVEN MORE? BY
ATTACKING A DICTATOR WHO WAS OUT OF BREATH, THE U.S. EXPECTED
AN EASY VICTORY SERVING ITS PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MILITARY
PRESTIGE. BUT THEY HAVE OPENED A NEW BATTLEGROUND AT THE HEART
OF THE MIDDLE EAST WHERE TERRORISTS ARE FINDING NEW ALLIES AND
RENEWED YOUTH. LAST EVENING GEORGE BUSH WANTED TO BE
REASSURING. IT IS NOT CERTAIN HE SUCCEEDED."

"BUSH DEFENDS AMERICA'S PRESENCE IN IRAQ"
JEAN-LOUIS TURLIN IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/29): "LAST
EVENING PRESIDENT BUSH TOOK A CHANCE. THE VENUE HE CHOSE
RECALLED THE ONE CHOSEN ON MAY 1ST 2003 TO ANNOUNCE THE END OF
THE WAR. BUT THIS TIME THE PRESIDENT DID NOT WAVE THE FLAG:
THE FIGURES OF AMERICAN CASUALTIES SPEAK OF THEMSELVES: 91.5
PERCENT OF U.S. LOSSES HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THE `END OF THE
PRINCIPAL OPERATIONS.' AFTER THE LATEST U.S. POLLS, IT WAS
TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT TO RALLY HIS TROOPS, BOTH LITERALLY AND
FIGURATIVELY. AS WELL AS ASK, WITH HUMILITY, FOR THE PATIENCE
AND SUPPORT OF HIS FELLOW AMERICANS. HAVING BEEN DEPRIVED OF
HIS MAIN ARGUMENT IN THE TOPPLING OF SADDAM HUSSEIN, I.E. WMD,
PRESIDENT BUSH IS USING THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF IRAQ AS HIS WAR
CRY. SINCE THE TRANSFER OF POWER, BUSH HAS REGISTERED SOME
SUCCESSES: THE ELECTION OF A LEGITIMATE IRAQI GOVERNMENT. AND
THE SUPPORT OF EUROPEANS LIKE SCHROEDER. BUT A VICTIM OF HIS
OWN RHETORIC, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS NOW CONFRONTING WHAT
JO BIDEN CALLS A `LACK OF CREDIBILITY.'"

IRAN

"IRAN'S REGRESSION"
LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE IN ITS EDITORIAL (06/29): "THE
ELECTION OF AN ULTRACONSERVATIVE IN IRAN IS BAD NEWS FOR THE
IRANIANS, FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. AND THE ISLAMIC
REPUBLIC. AT LEAST RAFSANDJANI HAD A PROGRAM, SUCH AS
UPHOLDING CIVIL LIBERTIES. PURSUING THE DIALOGUE WITH THE
EUROPEAN AND BEGINNING NORMALIZATION WITH THE U.S. THIS
APPROACH TOWARDS LESSENING TENSIONS WITH THE U.S. COULD HAVE
FACILITATED THE RESOLUTION OF THE NUCLEAR ISSUE. ON THE
CONTRARY, AHMADINEJAD'S ELECTION OPENS THE DOOR TO TENSION ON
THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT. HE HAS ALWAYS DEFINED HIMSELF WITH
RESPECT TO HIS STAUNCH OPPOSITION TO THE U.S. IRAN'S STANCE
REMAINS THE SAME: IT WANTS TO RETAIN THE OPTION TO BUILD THE
BOMB. AHMADINEJAD'S ELECTION IS ONE MORE ELEMENT OF TENSION
AND DEFIANCE IN THE NUCLEAR ISSUE. THIS ELECTION MARKS ALSO
THE RETURN TO A UNIFORMITY OF POWER: THE CONSERVATIVES ARE NOW
REIGNING AT ALL LEVELS OF A REGIME WHICH UNTIL NOW HAD SEVERAL
NERVE CENTERS."

ITER - A EUROPEAN SUCCESS STORY

"ITER, THE PRICE OF A SYMBOL"
PHILIPPE RECLUS IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/29): "A
COUNTRY IN THE THROES OF DOUBT CANNOT IGNORE GOOD NEWS. ITER
IS A VICTORY FOR `THE MADE IN FRANCE' LOGO. AND THIS SUCCESS,
WHILE MAINLY SYMBOLIC, COULD NOT HAVE COME AT A BETTER TIME.
BUT ITER REMAINS A GLOBAL PROJECT EVEN IF IT IS LOCATED IN
FRANCE. ONLY INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CAN ALLOW IT TO
PROGRESS. PARTNERSHIPS ARE THE ANSWER FOR THE FUTURE. NOW WE
WILL NEED TO ASSESS THE RATIO BETWEEN THE COST AND ECONOMIC
RETURNS."

"WORTH THE CANDLE?"
JEAN-MICHEL THENARD IN LEFT-O-CENTER LIBERATION (06/29):
"EUROPE DID NOT DIE ON MAY 29. THE OLD CONTINENT IS PUTTING UP
A FIGHT, LIKE THE OLD PRESIDENT. ITER BECOMES THE SYMBOL OF
FRANCE'S PRESENCE IN RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY. FRANCE NEEDED
THIS TO PROVE IT HAD NOT TURNED ITS BACK ON THE FUTURE. CHIRAC
HAS HIS SYMBOL, AND SO DOES EUROPE. WHEN IT IS POLITICALLY
UNITED, EUROPE CAN TRIUMPH OVER THE U.S. AND ITS ALLIES, EVEN
IF IT NEEDS TO COMPROMISE TO DO SO. BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS:
ARE ALL THESE SYMBOLS WORTH THE CANDLE?"

"GLOBAL RESEARCH"
DOMINIQUE QUINIO IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX (06/29): "CHIRAC PRAISED
FRANCE'S VICTORY AS A `VICTORY FOR THE WORLD.' THE BRITISH
AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE CALLED IT `A GOOD RESULT FOR EUROPE.' TO
THE END, EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY PROVED UNSHAKABLE, ALLOWING
FRANCE TO WIN AGAINST JAPAN, WHICH HAD THE SUPPORT OF THE U.S.
THE NEW GAME OF UNION AND ALLIANCES IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
TODAY, AS PROVEN WITH GALILEO. AND IN SPITE OF THE CRITICISM
HEARD ABOUT ITER. CRITICISM THAT, IN TIME, WILL NEED TO BE
ADDRESSED." WOLFF

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