Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - U.S. - Eu Summit Saddam Trial North

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: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - U.S. - EU Summit Saddam Trial North
PARIS - Tuesday, June 20, 2006


U.S. - EU Summit
Saddam Trial
North Korea


Domestic stories dominate today's front pages and editorials,
including the inauguration of a new museum on primitive art, dubbed
"Chirac's Museum" because of his developed taste for ancient
civilizations. The exception is Le Figaro, which leads with: "Death
Penalty Requested for Saddam." Several other international stories
get wide inside coverage: "Hamas and Fatah Close to an Agreement"
reports Le Figaro, which also notes: "North Korea Triggers Missile
Crisis," a story also developed in Le Monde. (See Part C)

Radio commentator Bernard Guetta devotes his morning report to the
U.S.-EU Summit: "Seen from abroad Europe does exist. So much so that
President Bush holds a summit with it every year, and addresses it
as if it were an alter ego." (See Part C)

An inside report in Liberation is entitled "Human Rights: The UN
Tries to Change its Course." In the report, Luc Hilly writes: "Words
of hope and warnings were mingled in Kofi Annan's opening speech...
Indeed the legacy of the previous Human Rights Commission, which was
but the shadow of itself, is a heavy one. The Commission was taken
hostage by the major powers (U.S. and China) in their game of
rivalry, and by interest groups..."

A small front-page sidebar in Les Echos announces Robert Zoellick's
departure from the State Department to join Goldman Sachs. Inside,
the story recalls that former Goldman Sachs executive Henry Paulson
is now Secretary of the Treasury, which leads reporter Nathalie
Halpern to comment about "the game of musical chairs between Goldman
Sachs and the Bush administration." The article is mainly devoted to
the Goldman Sachs reorganization, but a separate article traces
Secretary Zoellick's career, first as Trade Representative and later

as Assistant Secretary of State: "In this position, Zoellick made
considerable inroads in the relationship between the U.S. and China
and became very committed to the crisis in Darfur." A small item in
Liberation is entitled "Zoellick Drops Bush..." Le Parisien notes
briefly: "According to the press, Zoellick was disappointed for not
having been chosen as Secretary of the Treasury."

Les Echos leads with the Deutsch Borse's latest concessions to
Euronext, "which it wants to charm at all cost" while La Tribune
leads with the government's announcement that it will "postpone the
privatization of GDF (gas utility company) until September."

Le Monde carries a profile of Jerome Guillet, a Frenchman who is the
star writer of the American energy industry sector blog, 'Daily Kos'
"the most popular political blog in the U.S." according to Corine
Lesnes who quotes Guillet: "I have never noticed anti-French
hostility towards me." Guillet has also developed a European website
as an answer to "Anglo-Saxon journalism in which France is truly

La Croix's portrait is devoted to Bill and Melinda Gates,
"Profession, Philanthropists." Laurent D'Ersu describes the areas to
which the 'Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation' is devoted to,
including university scholarships for minority students.

In France Soir, Thomas de Rochechouart devotes his column to
"Boeing's Counter Attack" reporting that "Boeing has denied the
rumors of delay for its Dreamliner. In the war opposing it to
Airbus, everything is game... It is well known that in a war,
communication is almost as important, if not more, than the
soldiers. And Boeing, which knows this, has immediately denied the
allegations of delay... In today's media war which opposes it to its
European rival, the American aircraft manufacturer is in the lead."


U.S. - EU Summit

"The Summit of the Two Coasts"
Bernard Guetta in government-run France Inter radio (06/20): "Seen
from Europe, the Union is almost non existent. But seen from abroad,
it exists. So much so that every year President Bush holds a summit
with the EU and addresses it as if it were an alter ego... While the
balance between the two sides is slightly asymmetrical, there is
between the two leading world powers a sort of equality based on the
realities of a power struggle. Economically speaking, they weigh the
same and are direct competitors in several sectors: aerospace,
agriculture, satellites and services. In international negotiations,
whether they are allies or opponents, they deal directly between one
capital and the other, between Washington and Brussels, because
Europe stands united. Regardless of the individual governments, the
EU stands as one on Iran, the Palestinian territories, climate
change, human rights and the ICC. One might then ask where does the
relationship stand between these two powers? It is much better than
when the Iraq crisis began, when the EU was divided over the
invasion... The Euro-American dtente is due essentially to
America's failure in Iraq and its need for European support on
international issues... The entente is all the more developed
because both parties want to turn the page on Iraq with the least
possible damage. Yet issues of contention remain: they are on
opposite sides at the WTO; the EU wants Guantanamo closed; they
disagree on climate change and on the visas which the U.S. requires
for citizens from new EU members. More serious than this is the
dwindling U.S. image in European opinions, including in the UK,
where positive opinion of the U.S. is down to 56% from 83% in 2000.
The Atlantic does indeed have two coasts."

Saddam Trial

"The Prosecution Asks for the Death Penalty"
Delphine Minoui in right-of-center Le Figaro (06/20): "For the
families of the victims, the verdict is a relief... But for the
Sunni minority in Iraq, the former dictator's presence on TV is a
reminder of Arab nationalism and prompts a certain degree of
nostalgia... Certain Iraqis regret the fact hat the trial is taking
place in the green zone 'on American turf...' and for the press that
wants to cover the trial it is a veritable obstacle course to gain

North Korea

"Washington Suspects Pyongyang of Preparing a Ballistic Missile
Philippe Pons in left-of-center Le Monde (06/20): "North Korea's
show of force is a way to prove that it exists while the Iranian
crisis has mobilized international attention... and to denounce what
it sees as the West and Washington's double standards, particularly
with regard to other nuclear powers such as India... But there are
also domestic reasons for Pyongyang's threatening attitude. The
hardening of relations with Washington has reinforced the position
of the hardliners in North Korea... A successful missile launch
would spark the national pride of a population that feels isolated."

"North Korea Triggers a Missile Crisis"
Jean-Jacques Mevel in right-of-center Le Figaro (o6/20): "The
question is will they or won't they shoot? This time around the
situation appears to have reached a point of no return... And the
difference this time is that Kim Jong Il's regime is not hiding the
fact that it is making preparations for a missile launch... The
imminence of such a launch has elicited several warnings from the
U.S., including a call by the State Department to North Korea's
mission at the UN, a very rare happening... But beyond the suspense
of whether the launch will take place, the mystery lies in Kim Jong
Il's objectives. The little dictator is unpredictable, but knows how
to make noise when he wants to force a discussion, when he is being
assailed where it hurts him most, or when he is being ignored...
Needless to say, the entire operation looks like a prestige
operation to remind the world he exists." STAPLETON

© Scoop Media

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