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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Gwot: London Bombings, Israel,

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 DHAKA 003942

SIPDIS

FOR I/FW, B/G, IIP/G/NEA-SA, B/VOA/N (BANGLA SERVICE) STATE
FOR SA/PAB, SA/PPD (LSCENSNY, SSTRYKER), SA/RA, INR/R/MR,
AND PASS TO USAID FOR ANE/ASIA/SA/B (WJOHNSON)

CINCPAC FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR, J51 (MAJ TURNER), J45
(MAJ NICHOLLS)

USARPAC FOR APOP-IM (MAJ HEDRICK)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OIIP OPRC KPAO PREL ETRD PTER ASEC BG OCII
SUBJECT: Media Reaction: GWOT: London Bombings, Israel,
Hiroshima Day; Dhaka

Summary: Criticizing anti-terrorism measures proposed by the
British government, newspapers say that laws that erode
fundamental rights are more a threat to democracy than
terrorists.

On the departure of Netanyahu from the Sharon government,
"New Age" predicts a murkier situation in the Middle East.

On the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Day, conservative "Ittefaq"
wonders whether a nuclear weapons-free world will ever be
established.
------------------------
1. GWOT: London Bombings
------------------------

"Is Tony Blair on the right track to combat terrorism in
Britain?"
An editorial page article in English language newspaper
"Daily Star" by former ambassador Harun ur Rashid opines
(8/10):

Political observers believe the basic fault lies in the mind-
set of Blair and his advisers -- which the Iraqi war has
nothing to do with the London bombings. Whenever the
premise is incorrect, the conclusion will also be incorrect,
that is what common sense logic tells every one of us.
Blair proposed on the next day, August 5, sweeping anti-
terrorism plans including new powers to expel foreign
nationals who "glorify jihad," to shut down mosques breeding
fanaticism, and to blacklist extremist clerics, web sites,
and bookshops. He even threatened to amend the provisions of
the British Human Rights Act that are in conformity with the
European Human Rights Convention.
Observers believe that his measures are likely to infuriate
many Muslims overseas, particularly in the Middle East
region. Furthermore, they argue that it would be a green
signal to authoritarian rulers in the Middle East to silence
their critics on the pretext of combating "terrorists."
Human Rights groups and various Muslim organizations blasted
the raft of new powers to combat terrorism in Britain. The
Islamic Forum Europe warned that the measures could
jeopardize national unity in Britain. Some Muslim
organizations have supported them, because of the fear that
they would be branded as extremist organizations if they
don't.
Terrorism laws that erode fundamental rights are more a
threat to democracy than terrorists. It is a hollow victory
if laws crush liberty. Terrorism threatens the lives of the
British people, but they do not threaten the values that
they hold dear. One fundamental fact is to remember that
terrorists don't have the means to destroy Britain as a
nation.
The rule of law must prevail in a country known as "mother
of democracy." The rule of law means power can be exercised
only within bounds. Its corollary is freedom. As long as an
individual is peaceful and obey laws, that individual is
free to do as he or she pleases, and those with power cannot
stop that individual without lawful reason.
If Britain now degrades the institutions that they have
cherished since the Magna Carta of 1215, the very
institutions that terrorists want to destroy, it will herald
a victory for terrorists. By adopting these extreme
measures, the British people will forsake what they always
sought for, what they have taken pride in, and what has in
large part defined their cultural and political identity for
centuries.
---------------------
"Bush-Blair axis: Exploiting human tragedies to curb civil
rights"
An editorial page article English language newspaper "New
Age" by Executive Editor Nurul Kabir
The Bush administration has already abolished the civil
rights in question in the name of patriotism! The arbitrary
arrests of people, without court orders, are now regular
phenomena in the United States. Besides, journalists who ask
biting questions are considered `unpatriotic' these days.
The situation in the UK is not much better. The Blair
administration is also out to use the July 7 bombings as an
`opportunity' to gag the comparatively vibrant English media
on the one hand, and expunge many civil rights that the
Britons had earned through decades of democratic movements.
Who could imagine, even in the near past, that the British
police would demand the authority for extra-judicial
killing, by way of demanding the authority to `shoot-to-
kill'. But Blair confirmed to the press, on July 24, that
his police had really been demanding such authority. What is
important is to realize that they want this undemocratic
authority `in order to protect policy', the policies of the
Blair administration - the kind of policies that cannot be
protected without being undemocratic.

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Blair has also announced on August 5 a `heavy agenda' that
includes enactment of a `new anti-terrorism law' to take
care of those `condoning or glorifying terrorism', and
application of laws to strip citizenship of the `naturalized
citizens engaged in extremism', etc. Nobody knows whether
people like Livingstone or journalist like Fisk would come
under the purview of those laws because of their objective
interpretations of the violent reaction of the frustrated
Arabs to the West's policy of violence in the Gulf region.

Besides, Blair has reportedly decided to deport some 500
Muslims, representing diverse countries and cultures, from
the United Kingdom! The whole world knows about the
Christian fundamentalist bias of `crusader' Bush, now it is
the turn to know Blair's bias for religious fundamentalism
as well.

Clearly, the political establishments, headed by Bush and
Blair, not only have turned the whole world into a
battleground, but are also out to destroy many a finer
democratic right that the peoples of the US and the UK hade
earned through decades of painful political struggles and
has been serving as an inspiration for many struggling
nations across the world.

The democracy loving people of the world have, therefore,
been left with no option but to make concerted efforts to
stop the advances of the US and UK policies of the day, home
and abroad. The sooner the better.
---------
2. Israel
---------
"Mischievous Netanyahu"
Independent English language newspaper "New Age" editorially
comments (8/10):
Binyamin Netanyahu has regularly had a capacity for making
mischief. He has shown yet once more just how good he is at
such games. In resigning from the position of finance
minister in Ariel Sharon's cabinet, Netanyahu has tried
telling Israelis that by withdrawing from Gaza the prime
minister is actually undermining the national cause of all
Israelis.
In the era of openness, men like Netanyahu are an
anachronism. Even so, the truth is that there are hard-core
Israelis who still regard him as a heroic defender of their
rights. If Netanyahu could scream his way into the public
consciousness enough to cause the assassination of Prime
Minister Rabin, he might now well have the capacity of
making things quite fraught for the current Israeli leader.
And if he can do that, there is certainly no knowing where
things might lead. Given that there are arch conservatives
like Netanyahu spread all around, George W. Bush for
instance, it is quite possible that conditions in places
like the Middle East could turn murkier than they are
already. Note the pressure on Iran and Syria, whose leaders
have been meeting in Tehran.
------------
3. Hiroshima
------------
"No More Hiroshima-Nagasaki"
Conservative Bangla language newspaper "Ittefaq" editorially
comments (8/10):
Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are very tragic.
Fortunately, nuclear bombs or weapons were not used any
other places after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But production
and stockpiling of these dangerous weapons continue. 60
years after Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings and 15 years after
the end of the Cold War, there are 20 to 30 thousand nuclear
weapons in the world. At present, nine countries in the
world possess nuclear weapons. In one sense, Japan can be
said a nuclear nation because it has plutonium and
technology to produce bombs within a few weeks. Iran is
also trying to acquire power. Nuclear proliferation is now
an acute problem in the world. As long as these weapons
remain, there will be the risk of using them. The people of
the world are in panic and memories of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki increase their fear manifold. They naturally
demand the destruction of all nuclear weapons and a nuclear
weapons-free world. Will ever their legitimate desire be
fulfilled?
Chammas

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