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Cablegate: War in the Middle East; Us-Peruvian Fta;

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1705/01 2131613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011613Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5413
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001705

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST; US-PERUVIAN FTA;
MERCOSUR-VENEZUELA; WTO; 08/01/06


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Local newspapers report on diplomatic negotiations to find a
solution to the war in the Middle East; Peruvian president-elect
Alan Garcia and the US-Peru FTA; ties between Mercosur and
Venezuela; and failed WTO negotiations.

2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES

- "The US will promote a 'lasting solution' at the UN"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (08/01) "The US announced
yesterday that it would submit its own draft resolution on the
situation in Lebanon, which would compete with another one which was
submitted by France last week...

"The French draft resolution asks for an immediate ceasefire, which
is rejected by the US based on lack of guarantees for a 'lasting
solution.'

"According to the Bush administration, a 'lasting solution' would
involve the return of sovereignty to the Lebanese government over
its entire territory and the deployment of a supporting
multinational force as soon as possible. It would also demand Iran
and Syria stop supporting Hezbollah."

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- "Bush asks Iran and Syria to stop supporting terrorism"

Conservative "La Prensa" reports (08/01) "US President George W.
Bush asked Iran and Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah and refused
again to pressure for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East as
long as conditions are not ready for a 'lasting' peace in the
region.

"US President Bush pointed out that 'Iran should put an end to its
financial support and weapons supply for terrorist groups like
Hezbollah, and Syria should stop supporting terror and respect
Lebanon's sovereignty.'

"... Bush believes that this crisis 'was sparked with Hezbollah's
attacks against Israel' and 'is part of a broader struggle between
forces of freedom and terror.'"

- "Bush, again on the defensive"

Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (08/01) "As happened three
years ago, when the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a 'marsh' for
the White House, US President George W. Bush remained on the
defensive both in and outside of the US due to his isolated support
for Israel's offensive against Lebanon. He has been criticized by
Democrats, Republicans, analysts and Europeans in front of the
eloquent silence of the conservative majority.

"Bush insisted yesterday that the UN Security Council should approve
a ceasefire if a lasting peace is to be obtained while he repeats
the dogmatic terms that were typical of his discourse in the weeks
following the September 11 attacks.

"... Senator Chuck Hagel, one of the most prominent Republican
figures on Capitol Hill, said that 'President Bush should call for
an immediate ceasefire.' While he labeled the US-Israeli
relationship as 'special and historic,' he warned that 'it cannot be
so in detriment of the US ties with Arabs and Muslims.'

"According to some other voices, the Bush administration is starting
another diplomatic 'chaotic situation,' which will isolate it even
further from the international community and will leave it in an
increasingly weaker position vis-`-vis other challenges, like the
regimes of Iran and North Korea."

- "An offensive that some view as a confrontation between the Islam
and the West"

Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarin,"
writes (08/01) "Oz Almog is an Israeli academician in sociology who
gave a detailed explanation in Yediot Aronot newspaper on why the
current military operation in Lebanon is only a battle.

"According to Almog, this (battle) will end in some sort of Israeli
victory, but it will only serve to open an impasse that will lead to
the real burst of what he considers the inevitable future war -
Islam versus the 'free world.'

"It is interesting to note that this thought is not new - it is in
the basis of the statements made by (US President) George W. Bush
and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. The latter's role in the crisis

increasingly resembles that of a mere representative of Washington's
interests in the 'war on terror.'

"... One of the interesting arguments of the article 'Islam versus
the world' is that everything that is happening today is similar to
a previous moment in history. According to Almog, 1933 is the year
to be compared - this is when Adolph Hitler took over in Germany.

"... Almog's story is not new - his view can also be tracked in the
chaotic war of civilizations envisioned by Samuel Huntington over a
decade ago. The problem is whether the world is willing to advance
on this delirium."

- "Unjustified anti-Semitism"

Left-of-center "Pagina 12" carries an opinion piece by Sergio
Widder, Latin American representative at Simon Wiesenthal Center,
who opines (08/01) "It is not about war. It is not about the

Palestinian cause, or the struggle against terrorism. It is the most
elementary anti-Semitism. During last Sunday's TV program "Hora
clave" (Key time), there was a debate about the painful situation in
the Middle East, and I had the feeling that I was in the time tunnel
visiting the Middle Ages...

"According to Sheik Mosen Ali, Israelis daily seek 'their ration of
blood and flesh.' It comes down neither to a territorial or
religious dispute but to the fact that Jews need their daily dosage
of blood and flesh.

"On the eve of the war in Iraq, I listened to many analysts saying
that 'Americans go there for oil.' While it is not a friendly view
of the US, it is at least interpreted as a conflict of interests. No
one said that 'Americans need their dosage of blood and flesh.'

"This reminds me of the Middle Ages, when Jews were chased and
massacred because they were accused of practicing a ritual crime...

"... Many views of the conflict in the Middle East are inevitable,
but it is unacceptable that the conflict is used to promote
anti-Semitic hatred."

- "Worthy of a Peru?"

Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald's" executive editor
Michael Soltys writes (08/01) "If film buffs assure us that sequels
are never any good..., what are we to make of Alan Garcia's return
to power in Peru?

"... The new government can look forward to a political honeymoon
despite some fierce criticism...

"... Perhaps the most important question facing Garcia in the rest
of this year is whether the US Congress will ratify the FTA between
the US and Peru... Will Garcia lobby as hard for that ratification
as Toledo? At least Garcia has taken a stern line against drugs."

- "The future of past"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an op-ed piece by Carlos Perez
Llana, professor of International Relations at Siglo 21 and Torcuato
Di Tella universities, who writes (08/01) "... During the '90s
Mercosur turned out to be a paradox - while progress was being made
in trade, this was not the case as far as integration was
concerned...

"... While Brazil was devoted to world diplomacy, there appeared a
competitive leadership in the sub-region, which was led by Chavez...
Brasilia was not aware of the fact that 'containing' the Bolivarian
leader is not feasible because a populist regime that is prone to
destabilizing the regional order through an anti-US discourse may
not favor a regional agenda for integration..."

- "The cost of the WTO's failure"

Leading "Clarin" editorializes (08/01) "The failure of WTO
negotiations made clear the industrialized countries' intransigence
as regards their farm policy and seriously damages international
trade.

"... During negotiations, the US and Europe introduced new topics to
the commercial agenda, such as service liberalization, IPR
acknowledgement, and liberalization of foreign investment regimes
and governmental purchases. But, at the same time, they
systematically refused to make convincing changes in their
questioned farm policies.

"... Commercial liberalization will continue advancing through

bilateral and regional deals. However, the paralyzed multilateral
liberalization will affect the commercial opportunities of many
productive sectors that matter to developing countries, thereby
impairing their growth."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

MATERA

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