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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Lebanon - Israeli Attack On Cana -

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Lucia A Keegan 08/02/2006 03:06:18 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS PARIS 05163

SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: PAO
INFO: AMB ARS DCM POL

DISSEMINATION: PAOX
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: PRS: LPLATT
DRAFTED: PR: FTHOMAS
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCFRI996
OO RUEHC RUEAIIA RUEATRS RHEFDIA RUEKJCS RHEHAAA
RUCPDOC RUEHRL RUEHRO RUEHMO RUEHNO RUEHVEN RHMFIUU
DE RUEHFR #5163/01 2121046
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9939
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//ASD/ISA//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
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RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 7867
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5514
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3564
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3109
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 005163

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.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR

SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - Lebanon - Israeli Attack on Cana -
Iraq
PARIS - Monday, July 31 2006

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(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

Lebanon - Israeli Attack on Cana -
Iraq

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

Lebanon and the NATO mission in Afghanistan are the top
international stories.

Right-of-center Le Figaro headlines "Cana Marks a Turning Point" in
the conflict, and notes that "children made up the majority" of the
victims. A front page report also announces Secretary Rice's
decision to cancel her visit to Beirut, as well as FM Douste-Blazy's
own visit to the Lebanese capital today. In an interview the French
FM says "France is ready to take part in a multinational force..."
FM Douste-Blazy is calling for a cease fire and a political
agreement. Asked about the lack of support from the U.S. and Great
Britain for a cease fire he says: "the solution to the conflict does
not reside in a purely military solution. There must be a political
solution."

Most headlines focus the horror of the Cana attack: "Cana: The
Horror and the Indignation" (Catholic La Croix) "Cana: One Carnage
Too Many." (Left-of-center Liberation) Liberation's editorial,
titled "Impasse," contends that "the Israelis have managed to
destroy everything in Lebanon except Hezbollah..." (See Part C)

Le Parisien interviews Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of
International and Strategic Relations: "the raid on Cana marks a
psychological turning point at which the international community
will pressure Israel for a cease-fire... The international
community, and France especially, risks the perception of complicity
in civilian deaths if it does not push for a cease-fire."

Meanwhile Le Journal du Dimanche's editorial is entitled "And Iraq?"
and reports on the latest "bad news" from Baghdad: "six thousand
dead in two months and systematic use of torture by the Americans...
The Israeli-Lebanese conflict cannot hide the truth about Iraq: the
patent and spectacular failure of the U.S. there." (See Part C)

"A Risky Mission for NATO in Southern Afghanistan" claims Le Figaro,
about NATO's takeover from the American forces in Afghanistan. Le
Figaro notes that "NATO now controls close to two thirds of
Afghanistan." Quoting a member of the Alliance who says "we are here
for years..." the report indicates that the NATO mission, "desired
by the U.S. and imposed on the EU remains the riskiest for the
Alliance since the end of the war." The report adds: "Despite its
good intentions, the Alliance, which hoped that the Taliban would
make a difference between its forces and the Americans, is being
targeted like a force of occupation."

Le Parisien reports Defense Minister Alliot-Marie's visit with
French troops in Afghanistan, and calls the state of affairs there
"a deteriorated situation." According to the article, the reaction
to the Mohammad caricatures and the May 29 riots showed "the
situation is fragile, even in Kabul." Despite this, soldiers depend
on the "French style" of patrolling on foot, observing local
customs, and giving token gifts to children to avoid being perceived
as occupiers

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

Lebanon - Israeli Attack on Cana

"Impasse"
Gerard Dupuy in left-of-center Liberation (07/31): "The Israelis
have managed to destroy everything in Lebanon except Hezbollah...
They have ignored the calls for 'restraint' sent out by everyone,
including their American allies... Having followed their strategy,
they are now at an impasse. The Israeli 'borderline' strikes have
also reached a turning point. The sort of tolerance which Israel has
enjoyed from the international community is reaching an end...
However autistic the Israelis might be, there comes a time when they
must take stock of international opinion, at least that of
Washington. And here the wind seems to have shifted... The border
between collateral damage and a war crime is never pre-defined. And
while the Israelis are not targeting civilians the way Hezbollah is
doing, it is also true that they are killing more civilians than
Hezbollah... After the attack on the UN peacekeepers, President Bush
felt he had to ask his Secretary of State to return to diplomacy.
But as she returns to Washington, with Cana's casualties in the
background, indispensable interlocutors such as the Lebanese PM are
turning their backs on the U.S. President... Israel's main goal, to
weaken Hezbollah before embarking on a diplomatic solution, has
failed. And whatever the diplomatic solution may be, Hezbollah is in
a position to greatly influence that solution."

"A Lost Battle"
Frangois Ernenwein in Catholic La Croix (07/31): "Israel has a right
to self defense... but the high civilian casualties necessitate a
change of methods... Even the Americans, who have become experts in
mired issues, notably in Iraq, are showing their impatience with
Israel and warming up to the notion of a cease-fire... When
'collateral damage' becomes the center of the debate, the battle
begins to be lost and with it, as often, the cause it pretends to be
serving."

"Paris and Washington Disagree on How to End Fighting"
Renaud Girard in right-of-center Le Figaro (07/31): "While the
attack on Cana seemed to have shaken Secretary Rice, it has
strengthened France's position... Rice is expected back in
Washington today to work on a U.S. draft resolution which will be
much different from the French one, which sets a ceasefire as a
preamble... Israel's blunder has unintentionally reinforced, in the
eyes of international opinion, the French position."

Iraq

"And Iraq?"
Jacques Esperandieu in right-of-center Le Journal du Dimanche
(07/31): "Six thousand dead in two months and systematic use of
torture by the Americans... This is the bad news from Baghdad. The
Israeli-Lebanese conflict cannot hide the truth about Iraq: the
patent and spectacular failure of the U.S. there. Past optimism
seems to have been forgotten... It is just as well, because what has
been developing is a real civil war... This is a terrible reversal
for an army which came, at the outset, to 'establish peace and
democracy.' As a consequence, the need continues be to inject
dollars and troops into Iraq, despite a recalcitrant Congress, and
the need for the Americans to take over once more Baghdad's security
which was imprudently handed over to the Iraqi forces... And now
that the Iraqi PM has also condemned the Israeli actions in Lebanon,
the White House's cup has indeed run over..." STAPLETON

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