Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - President Bush to South
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 007532
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 to South
America - Bush Presidency Paris Social Unrest
PARIS - Friday, November 04, 2005
(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:
President Bush to South America - Bush Presidency
Paris Social Unrest
B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:
Without exception today's front pages are exclusively devoted
to the social unrest which has been gripping the Paris suburbs
for almost a week. "Enough" is the banner headline of France
Soir and Le Parisien, while Le Figaro puts the emphasis on the
population's "Anger." Liberation, La Croix and l'Humanite
suggest what changes need to be made. (See Part C)
Le Figaro reports extensively on the relationship between the
Bush Administration and South America. (See Part C) Les Echos
carries an op-ed by New York correspondent David Barroux
titled: "President Bush's Blind Man's Poker." (See Part C)
Liberation devotes a report to "Iraq's Kurds and Their Desire
for Independence." "They never stop thinking about it, but
rarely speak of it. Or if they do, as little as possible.
Iraq's Kurdish leaders know this is a sensitive issue. But
independence remains the goal for 4 million Kurds."
Several outlets (La Croix, Le Figaro) report that the EU will
investigate the allegations that the CIA has established
"detention centers" in Eastern Europe. Poland is reported as
having denied any contact with the Americans in view of
establishing such centers.
Le Figaro reports the capture of the alleged "brains" behind
the Madrid bombings, Mustafa Setmarian Nasar in Pakistan.
"Setmarian was using the Iberian peninsula as a base for
Jihadists among whom are individuals suspected of having taken
part in the attacks in New York."
A two-page spread in Liberation traces the "Fall of An
Ambassador." It is the story of the indictment of former
French Ambassador Serge Boidevaix in connection with the `oil
for food' scandal.
The President of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, was interviewed
by Le Monde during his visit to Paris yesterday. Asked to
comment on the possible membership of Turkey to the EU, the
Cypriot president said: "If Turkey gears itself towards Europe
it is better for us than seeing Turkey turn its back on
Europe. But this hinges on one important condition: Turkey
must fulfill its obligations to Europe and therefore to
(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:
President Bush to South America - Bush Presidency
"Bush in Hostile Territory"
Lamia Oualalou in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/04): "The
American model is no longer a winner in South America. A
decade of a disorganized liberalized economy orchestrated by
the IMF and the World Bank, with the White House blessing, has
left Latin American populations on their knees. Latin America
feels as though it has become the victim of organized looting
by international institutions and its elites. First it was the
Spaniards, now the Americans."
"Latino Versus Yankee"
Thomas de Rochechouart in right-of-center France Soir (11/04):
"Beyond the personal antagonism pitting Bush against Chavez,
what is at stake is much more important: the political future
of the entire Latin American continent. The U.S. has always
exercised a dominant influence over the continent. It is the
Monroe doctrine at work: America belongs to the Americans and
the U.S. guarantees its security. But in the past several
years this hegemony has been questioned. The economic crises
in Argentina and Brazil have tarnished the image of the U.S. .
A new axis of opposition led by Chavez and Castro is rising
and their anti-U.S. stance could well include Bolivia and
Mexico. The U.S. could find itself in a face-off with
Venezuela, Brazil Bolivia and Mexico, its traditional ally. A
new American revolution of a sort."
"Criminal Court Divides the Americas"
Lamia Oualalou in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/04): "Mexico
has once again shattered the myth that it lives in the shadow
of the U.S. By ratifying the article which signs the ICC's
existence, Mexico is enjoying the use of this symbol. It has
also refused to sign an immunity agreement with Washington. A
slap in the face for its American neighbor, despite the
increasing efforts made by the Bush administration to get the
project aborted. through a series of blackmailing threats to
cut aid. The rebellion of several South American countries
will cost them dearly. In the U.S., Congressmen are sounding
the alarm: by cutting aid, especially military aid, the Bush
administration is running the risk of seeing other countries,
like China, step in."
"President Bush's Blind Mind's Poker"
David Barroux in right-of-center Les Echos (11/04): "A year
ago, George Bush was elected President. Today his horizon is
full of dark clouds. Mired in Iraq, with an approval rate at
its lowest, and Congress putting spokes in his wheel, the
President has only one option: a poker play in the form of a
sharp swerve to the right."
Paris Social Unrest
"The Suburbs Thirty Years Later"
Alexis Bezet in right-of-center Le Figaro (11/04): "The
figures speak for themselves. Every couple of years, like
today, our suburbs explode and call attention to themselves.
Soon after, France forgets. Could not our politicians deal
with the root of the problem? It is France's unbridled
immigration policy which has taken us to where we are today.
It is urgent to control the flow of both legal and illegal
immigration. And so we must be firm, adopt a preventive
approach without turning to band-aid solutions. And of course
concentrate on education. Most of all we need courage: our
situation today is the result of thirty years of blindness. It
may take as long to cure the problem."
Patrick Sabatier in left-of-center Liberation (11/04): "We can
but smile at the headlines of the foreign press calling our
suburban violence `our own Intifada.' But we must denounce
those who are quick to call it a civil war. This violence is
the doing of a minority. Two mistakes are to be avoided:
falling into the trap of escalation, violence, repression; the
second is to give into the temptation of abandoning a
territory which our own politicians have undermined by their
"A Presidential Waste"
Francois-Xavier Pietri in centrist La Tribune (11/04): "The
prospect of the presidential election is indeed making people
crazy. It is certainly making the political class totally
inoperative. The battle for power within the government
between Interior Minister Sarkozy and PM Villepin has totally
hidden from view the real problems of our suburbs." STAPLETON