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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Lebanon Cuba

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Lucia A Keegan 08/08/2006 05:21:36 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS PARIS 05360

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

DISSEMINATION: PAOX
CHARGE: PROG

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

VZCZCFRI766
OO RUEHC RUEAIIA RUEATRS RHEFDIA RUEKJCS RHEHAAA
RUCPDOC RUEHRL RUEHRO RUEHMO RUEHNO RUEHVEN RHMFIUU
DE RUEHFR #5360/01 2201134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081134Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0192
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//ASD/ISA//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 6263
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 7884
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5529
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3581
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3123
RHMFIUU/COMSIXTHFLT

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 005360

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 Cuba
PARIS - Tuesday, August 08, 2006

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(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

Lebanon
Cuba

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

The shutting down of America's largest oil field and the new surge
in the cost of oil are today's front page story in Le Figaro which
also prominently features a color photograph of President Bush
during his press conference, with the caption: "President Bush
Against Israeli Troop Withdrawal" (from Lebanon). "Bush Rejects
Immediate Israeli Pull Out" says Le Figaro: "The U.S. President
wants the end of the hostilities and the UN resolution to be adopted
quickly." But, says the report, "a pullout would create a vacuum
propitious to a re-arming of Hezbollah" according to the U.S.
position. Le Figaro announces that Secretary Rice will attend the
debate this evening at the UN on Lebanon: "This would indicate that
the draft resolution is unlikely to be adopted before tomorrow."
Liberation announces on its front page that the Arab League supports
Lebanon's peace plan, which is "a minimum gesture of solidarity
towards Beirut."

Le Figaro reports that FM Douste-Blazy has asked the U.S. to
"postpone the introduction of the resolution so that 'amendments'
can be added, including the withdrawal of Israeli troops." FM Douste
Blazy a guest on FR3 television said that "France will not send its
troops unless there is a complete cease-fire and a political
agreement". He also said that France was a "mediator between Lebanon
and the Arabs country, and Israel and the United States".

La Croix reports that President Bush "is said to understand the
objections" to the U.S.-French plan at the UN but "repeats his
willingness to reach the adoption of a text 'as soon as possible.'"


France Soir leads its reportage of the conflict with a photo of a
distressed Arab Israeli woman and the title "Cries." A sidebar
quotes President Bush from a press conference at Crawford, Texas:
"We are going to cooperate with our partners to find a solution as
soon as possible." France Soir also carries an interview with
Israeli diplomat Avi Primor, who says he is "accustomed" to Israel's
opponents' "exaggerations"; he claims Israel withdrew from Gaza and
southern Lebanon only to be brought into war by Hamas and Hezbollah

The electronic media reports on the Arab League's support for
Lebanon and Fouad Siniora's tears when he evoked the destruction of
his country. For FR2, Bush, "who is an unconditional friend of
Israel, will accept a quick vote for a cease fire, without Israeli
withdrawal from southern Lebanon".

In Le Figaro researcher Fadi Assaf revisits Lebanon's various crises
and comments: "The Hezbollah attack on Israel has given it a new and
firmer position in Lebanon, something which other Lebanese
communities did before Hezbollah... While Hezbollah's timing was
Iranian, the outcome will be a Lebanese, Pan-Arabic and Islamic
affair."

In Liberation a Moroccan anthropology professor is interviewed about
Hezbollah's hold on the Lebanese population: "This is a movement
perceived as one that could 'finally' work effectively within the
Lebanese political system."

Le Figaro reports that a new party, 'the Specter' is going to
'haunt' Tony Blair: "The families of soldiers who died in Iraq are
creating a new political party" hoping to present 70 candidates in
the next election.

Le Figaro Economie leads with the closing of BP's oil field in
Alaska and the rise in oil prices, "which is adding strain to a
market already under pressure because of the new conflict in the
Middle East." La Tribune lead story and editorial are devoted to "a
small leak with tremendous impact" on the oil market.

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

"Siniora Gets Support of Arab League"
Georges Malbrunot in right-of-center Le Figaro (08/08): "The Arab
League is sending an envoy to the UN to discuss modifications of the
Franco-American draft resolution... Arab nations have quieted their
differences in order to give their support to Beirut, after their
initial dilly dallying, adopting the Lebanese stance and objections
to the Franco-American text."

"Minimal Support From Arab League"
Christophe Boltanski in left-of-center Liberation (08/08): "After
having harshly condemned Hezbollah's 'adventurism' Saudi Arabia is
now faced with no other alternative but to show its solidarity with
Lebanon. Solidarity for Lebanon from Gulf nations is first and
foremost of a financial nature, with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
depositing two and a half billion dollars in Lebanon's central bank
in order to help the Lebanese currency. This financial aid is also
their way of counterbalancing the financial support coming from
Islamic humanitarian associations. But on the political side, Arab
nations are being much more discreet."

"A Surreal Geo-strategy in the Middle East"
Philosopher Andre Glucksman in right-of-center Le Figaro (08/08):
"The indignation of some observers elicits my own indignation. For
public opinion around the world, some Muslim deaths weigh more than
others: double standards are at work here. Why do the massacred
civilians in Darfur fail to elicit the same reactions as those
triggered by the Lebanese victims? Why are the thousands of dead
civilians killed in Iraq relegated to the back pages, while the 28
civilians killed in Qana extolled as crimes against humanity? Must
we consider that when Muslims kill other Muslims, it does not count
for either the Muslims or the West? Must we believe that what
Ahmadinejad is saying out loud is what many are thinking? Why are
the West's reactions boosted when Israeli bombs are at stake? If the
images of the Lebanese destruction are so shocking it is because
they are implicitly captioned by a surreal geo-strategy. The
leitmotif of a cataclysm or a solution on the banks of the Jordan is
on everyone's mind... But those who see the Middle East as the pivot
for world order are hypocritical..."

Cuba

"Behind the Scene Talks in Cuba"
Alain Ammar in left-of-center Liberation (08/08): "Behind the
scenes, negotiations are on between Washington and Havana, despite
President Bush's open criticism of the anti-democratic power
transfer... The new players in Cuba want to establish bridges with
their neighbor, as they were doing up until 2004... It is in
Washington's interest to establish the bases for a post Castro era:
the fear of seeing hordes of boatpeople landing on its shores
remains very real." STAPLETON

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