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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Lebanon, Syria,

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





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Lebanon, Syria,
Palestinian Territories, Iraq, GCC (12/19)

1. Summary: Syrian papers today reported a lecture delivered
by Dr. Mahdi Dakhlallah, Minister of Information, entitled
"Propaganda Campaign Against Syria," in which he criticized
the anti-Syria media and political campaign, saying that it
seeks to incite disagreement between Syria and Lebanon and
to serve enemies of the Arab nation by destabilizing the
region and seizing its resources.
On Lebanon, papers reported statements by Lebanese MPs and
clergymen calling for a serious national dialogue, warning
against random accusations and criticizing the anti-Syria

As for developments in the Palestinian territories, papers
reported a statement by Javier Solana, European Union
Foreign Policy Chief, that the EU might halt tens of
millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians if
Hamas wins the Palestinian elections and fails to renounce

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

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"Lebanese MPs and officials call for a serious national
dialogue and warn against unleashing random accusations
after each explosion" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"Minister of Information, Dr. Mahdi Dakhlallah: Syria is
being exposed to a misleading media campaign" (Government-
owned Al-Thawra, 12/19)

"Syrian expatriates denounce pressure and accusations
against Syria. A campaign with a million signatures
addresses UN SecGen Annan: No to biased policies"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"German cyclists arrive in Hama as part of a solidarity tour
with Syria" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"Syria receives an invitation from Iran to participate in an
international conference supporting the Palestinian people's
rights" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"The European Union, after the US, rejects Hamas' victory in
the Palestinian legislative elections. The Palestinian
Authority demands respect for the democratic choice of the
Palestinian people" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"Israeli raids target civilians in Gaza. One Palestinian
martyred in northern Gaza" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th,

"Cheney suddenly in Baghdad. Powell holds Cheney, Bush and
Rumsfeld responsible for the decision to go to war against
Iraq" (Government-owned Tishreen, 12/19)

"The Gulf Cooperation Council summit commences its
deliberations in Abu-Dhabi. The GCC discusses means of
ridding the region of WMD" (Government-owned Al-Thawra,

3. Editorial Block Quotes:

"Wagers and Illusions"

Isam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
commented (12/19): "The winds of the UN Security Council did
not blow in the direction desired by those who draw strength
from abroad against their home in Lebanon, or those who are
working hard to punish Syria and perhaps isolate and besiege
it. This Lebanese minority, which theoretically represents a
parliamentary majority achieved through well-known
circumstances, pressures, and lies, has lost its wager and
has failed to win the Lebanese public.

"They wagered on a strong resolution condemning Syria and
opening the doors for full internationalization of the case

to serve enemies of the Arab nation by destabilizing the
region and seizing its resources.
On Lebanon, papers reported statements by Lebanese MPs and
clergymen calling for a serious national dialogue, warning
against random accusations and criticizing the anti-Syria

through the establishment of an international court. They
wanted Lebanon to open all its files to international
investigation commissions, although this implies doubts
about the integrity, objectivity, and professionalism of the
Lebanese judiciary. They did not see this as encroachment
upon Lebanon's sovereignty and national pride.
"Those who read the original draft resolution and compare it
to the resolution that was adopted after amendments can see
to what lengths this team wanted to push things, and into
what trench it wanted to drag Lebanon, and with it the whole
region. Yet this team, which did not hide its
disappointment, still tried to give lessons in patriotism
and ethics to the honorable Lebanese who paid with their
virtuous blood a heavy price to liberate most of south
Lebanon, and who are still offering sacrifices to protect
the homeland and its territory, dignity, and
"The anti-Syria team did not hide its disappointment with
the new Security Council resolution. They had thought that a
resolution condemning Syria was in their pocket, that the
international court would be set up right away, and that the
role of the team investigating the crime of Al-Hariri's
assassination had become so essential that it had full right
to decide and do whatever it liked. But none of this
happened, not because the Security Council adopted a
balanced resolution, but because some parties realized that
what was reported was based only on assumptions, statements,
and probabilities, while justice does not rely on such
things. Will this team wake up from its daydreams and stop
its madness and hallucinating?
Ali Qasim, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
wrote (12/19): "The reading that is presented by some
Lebanese politicians raises unlimited contradictions and
misinterpretations.... Those Lebanese politicians
intentionally misinterpret Syria's positions and statements
so as to harm Damascus.... Only irrational or bankrupt
people can see a warning against dangers as a message in the
wrong direction....
"Lebanese Druze leader Walid Junblatt's statement after
Gebran Tueni's assassination linked the assassination to
President Al-Asad's warning a day earlier in an interview
with Russian television that sanctions on Syria would lead
to further unrest and more extremism in the region....
"This misinterpretation is not only naive, but also entails
lies and fabrications.... Any observer of what Syria warned
against understands very well the objectives and dimensions
of that warning. In no way can any observer interpret it the
way those people interpreted it. The situation that the
region and the rest of the world are experiencing does not
tolerate any other adventure or further explosive factors.
Syria was not the only country that warned against this.
Many others in the world did the same."
"US Democratic Claims"
Maha Sultan, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen,
wrote (12/19): "The US Administration was displeased with
Hamas' victory in the Palestinian municipal elections and
its participation in the forthcoming general elections....
"How can Washington, which talks about democracy day and
night and launches a world war to promote it, reject
Palestinian democracy and call for canceling a major win
that Hamas achieved in democratic elections?
"How can it expect us to accept its position toward Hamas'
victory when it condemns and attacks Iran, for example, for
allegedly interfering in the Iraqi elections?

to serve enemies of the Arab nation by destabilizing the
region and seizing its resources.
On Lebanon, papers reported statements by Lebanese MPs and
clergymen calling for a serious national dialogue, warning
against random accusations and criticizing the anti-Syria

"The US Administration must stop playing the ridiculous game
of democracy and say directly and frankly exactly what it
wants from the region...."
"Rhetoric of War, and Erroneous Policies Continue"
Muhammad Ali Buzah, an editorialist in government-owned Al-
Thawra, wrote (12/19): "In his recent statements to Fox
News, in which he acknowledged that the United States made
mistakes in Iraq and that much of the pre-war intelligence
was wrong, President Bush offered nothing new, nothing that
the American people and the rest of the world did not know,
and presented no vision or approach to correct the
situation, rectify Washington's wrong policies toward Iraq
and the region in general, and end the suffering and the
state of unrest and chaos.
"On the contrary, the US president insisted that the
decision to go to war was correct and that the Iraq strategy
will remain unchanged....
"The result is that neither Iraq nor the region will see any
kind of calm. On the contrary, Iraq and the region appear
headed toward further unrest, chaos, explosion, insecurity,
and instability, especially since the hawks and the
neoconservatives in the United States have taken it upon
themselves to escalate the situation and proceed with the
policy of militarization, fires, killing, and destruction
until the end, and no matter what the results. The goal is
to impose the American-Israeli agenda, restructure the
region, and impose the so-called Greater Middle East Plan."

© Scoop Media

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