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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Israel/Lebanon, Syria/Lebanon,


DE RUEHDM #3969/01 2261242
O 141242Z AUG 06





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Israel/Lebanon, Syria/Lebanon,
Syria/Germany, Iraq (8/14)

1. Summary: Syrian papers reported that President Asad received a
telephone call from UN SecGen Kofi Annan. Their talks dealt with
the situation in Lebanon following the UNSC resolution and with
implementation of the ceasefire.
Papers also quoted an official Syrian source as saying that Syria
supports the Lebanese national consensus and reservations
expressed by Lebanese officials about UN Resolution 1701. The
source said Syria urges the international community to help
Lebanon rebuild what the Israeli military has destroyed, to
enhance UNIFIL's role and to support a comprehensive peace based
on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 388. The official
confirmed that the "April Understanding" is the framework that
will control the fight in the interval between the cessation of
aggressive acts and Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon, which
gives the resistance the right to continue fighting occupation

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Papers also reported a joint Syrian-Lebanese media dialogue held
at the Ministry of Information during which Information Minister
Bilal underscored the correctness of the Lebanese resistance's
course and praised its steadfastness. He pointed out that the
resistance has foiled all the enemy schemes and humiliated its
allegedly undefeated military machine. Former Lebanese Minister
Weam Wahab said that "the Syrian role, which has long succeeded
in maintaining Lebanese unity and building its institutions, is
today even more important for preservation of the Arabism of the
region and for foiling the US-backed Israeli attempts to destroy
resistance." Wahab added: "The whole region faces a new era after
the resistance emerged victorious in the battle against Zionist
aggression and its war machine." He referred to the Syrian
rejection of bargaining against the resistance, saying, "Syria
has chosen adherence to its national and pan-Arab stances as well
as the aspirations of its people, who have rejected surrender to
hegemonic superpowers." Charles Ayyob, Editor-in-chief of
Lebanese daily Al-Dyyar, maintained that "the importance of
victory lies in the fact that it came at a critical stage of Arab
history, when solidarity was at its lowest and Israel and the US
thought they could impose their conditions on Arabs and the whole
region. Syria will remain the basic guarantor of Lebanese unity
through its positive role, which supports Lebanese reconciliation
and rejects participation in any suspicious project that could
target national unity in Lebanon." He called on the Arab media
to exert greater efforts to convey the real voice that echoes
victory and confronts Zionist propaganda.

Papers also reported that Information Minister Bilal received
Volkhard Windfuhr, head of the Cairo Office of the German
Magazine DER SPIEGEL and chairman of the Cairo-based Foreign
Correspondents Association. Talk focused on the Israeli war
against Lebanon. During the meeting, the minister underlined the
importance of the international media, in general, and, in
particular, its role in revealing the truth about the crimes
committed by Israel against civilians and the infrastructure of
Lebanon and Palestine. For his part, Windfuhr condemned the
continuous Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people,
pointing out that Israel is carrying on a losing battle in
Lebanon and Palestine. "The results of war will negatively impact
Israel," he added. "Israel has not learned the lessons of its
first experience in Lebanon, or of the experiences of other
colonial countries that were forced out of the Arab lands by Arab
resistance," the journalist said.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

"President Asad receives a phone call from UN SecGen Annan on the
situation in Lebanon following the UNSC resolution" (Government-
owned Tishreen, 8/14)

"A Syrian official source expresses sorrow over the UNSC
disregard for Lebanon's demands and its failure to hold Israel
responsible for the aggression; Syria supports the national
Lebanese consensus and Lebanese reservations about UNSC
Resolution No. 1701" (Government-owned Tishree, 8/14)

"Israeli madness on the eve of carrying out the UNSC resolution:
Tons of bombs fall on Beirut suburb, Tyre and southern villages.
Tel Aviv admits: No army in the world is able to disarm
Hizbollah" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/14)
"Austrian figures call for prosecuting Israel for war crimes in
Lebanon" (Government-owned Tishreen, 8/14)

"'The New Yorker': Bush and Cheney are involved in the war
against Lebanon" (Government-owned Al-Ba'th, 8/14)

"A joint Syrian-Lebanese media dialogue held at the Information
Ministry to discuss dimensions of the resistance victory"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/14)

"Information Minister Bilal receives Volkhard Windfuhr, head of
the Cairo Office of German Magazine DER SPIEGEL and chairman of
the Cairo-based Foreign Correspondents Association. Bilal: The
media has an important role in uncovering Israeli crimes"
(Government-owned Tishreen, 8/14)

"Over 100 Iraqis killed or injured in explosions in Baghdad and
over 195 Iraqis killed or injured in terrorist explosion south of
Baghdad" (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 8/14)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:


"So as Not to Steal the Resistance's Victory"


Abd-al-Fattah al-Awad, Chief Editor of government-owned Al-
Thawrah, wrote (8/14): "There are attempts at the United Nations
and in world capitals to steal the victory of the resistance....
No one can steal the fruits of this victory.... This victory
buried the new Middle East plan, the birth pangs of which were
announced by Condoleezza Rice at the beginning of the aggression
on Lebanon....

"The resistance victory also irrevocably abolished the notion of
'the invincible army' and constituted an American defeat to be
added to the resounding US defeat in Iraq.

"There must be an international investigation into Israel's
crimes in Lebanon.... The international community must force
Israel to implement all UN resolutions.... The Syrian vision,
which supported the line of resistance in Palestine and Lebanon,
produced effective fruits.... It proved to be a sound


"The Accounts Do not Tally"


Ali Nasrallah, an editorialist in government-owned Al-Thawra,
maintained (8/14): "Israel and the United States miscalculated
and thus failed to achieve their objectives in Lebanon.... Arabs
need to learn the lesson, reconsider their positions, and
correct their mistakes. Now that Lebanon has foiled the Israeli-
American plan, Arabs need to reassess their position, the
sources of their power, and the size of their capabilities,
which can do a great deal to protect their rights and interests.
What foiled the plan and dream of Rice and Olmert was Lebanon in
its valiant resistance, the steadfastness of its people, and the
solidarity of the Arab and Islamic peoples with it."

"A new resisting Middle East rejecting hegemony, aggression, and
occupation is being born now...."


"Be Ashamed, Mr. President"

Abd-al-Hamid Sallum, an op-ed writer in government-owned Al-
Ba'th, said (8/14): "President Bush should be ashamed of himself
for calling Muslims fascists....

"After all this treacherous aggression and the positions that the
United States has been adopting to prolong the aggression and the
killings, destruction, and displacement associated with it, and
after the statements we heard from this rancorous American
president, do we still need more analyses, theorizing, and debate
to realize that the aggression on Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq
shows hidden hatred targeting the entire [Arab] nation in all its
groups and colors without exception...?"


"Additional US Forces To Iraq... Why?"


Muhammad Hasan Salha, a commentator in government-owned Al-
Thawra, wrote (8/14): "Bush said that containing the situation
in Iraq, in light of the qualitative and quantitative
development of the national resistance, warrants the dispatch of
more US forces to Iraq to face what he called terrorism and its
growing strength, and to contain its operations and its ability
to attract Iraqi public opinion and mobilize it to join the
resistance against the occupation represented by the United
States and against the occupation's command represented by the
US forces....

"Why did President Bush declare at this time in particular that
Iraq needs more US forces to confront the alleged terrorism
inside Iraq? And why has he declared that additional forces
will be sent to Iraq, and has perhaps already begun to dispatch
such forces...?

"Is it true that the additional Marines will serve the US
democracy in Iraq? There is no doubt that US occupation forces
are taking painful blows in Iraq, and their size, equipment, and
technology are totally unable to undermine the will and actions
of the resistance in Iraq. Increasing [the size of US forces]
and conducting visits will not subjugate the will of the
resistance, for it defies all weapons. The resistance is not a
body that can be torn apart by a missile fired from an aircraft,
nor is it a wall that can be destroyed by a tank shell. It is a
spirit that moves to create life. It is against death, because
it is something that comes out of death and means life.

"If the will and actions of the resistance in Iraq defy US and
all other weapons, what is the purpose of sending additional US
forces and US weapons to Iraq? Simply, they are there to
support Israel's aggression against Lebanon and to expand the
aggression toward Syria, or at least send a message of military
threat to Syria to stop supporting the legitimate Arab
resistance against the US-Israeli plan in the region....

"By dispatching more US soldiers to the region, the United
States will have announced in a more provocative manner its bias
toward Israel in its aggression against Lebanon to ensure the
implementation of Resolution 1559 at a later stage....

"Hence, the dispatch of additional US forces to the region,
about three military divisions, is not to work in Iraq, but
rather to threaten Lebanon and Syria and to threaten Iran, which
stands firmly in favor of just Arab and Muslim causes....

"The US is employing all its capabilities to achieve its goals
and attain its objectives by using all available means and by
using the United Nations and the Security Council as tools of
diplomatic pressure that pave the way for launching aggressive
military operations in the region.

"Within a few days only, Israel will launch an enormous
aggressive operation, one that will be commensurate with the
size of the forces that are being mobilized for this purpose, in
addition to the US forces that will be dispatched to Iraq.
Moreover, such an operation will initially be commensurate with
the size of the US objective, namely, eliminating Hizbollah and
the Islamic resistance and establishing the new Middle East that
the United States wants to establish and that is going through a
difficult birth. We say to the United States and Israel that
because this birth is against the laws of nature it will be a


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