Cablegate: Fifth Anniversary of 9/11; Latin American Issues;
DE RUEHBU #2073/01 2551712
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121712Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5876
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002073
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11; LATIN AMERICAN ISSUES;
US-URUGUYAN FTA; NORTH KOREA; BOLIVIA; 09/12/06
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's most important international story is US President George W.
Bush's speech on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Other international
stories include Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez's attempt to
gather support from his Mercosur counterparts for his negotiations
to reach an FTA with the US; North Korea's armament race; and
Bolivia's proposal to broaden US preferential rates for Bolivian
2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- "'Struggle for civilization'"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" front-pages (09/12)
"US President George W. Bush, on the fifth anniversary of the
September 11 attacks, said yesterday the war against terror 'is a
struggle for civilization' that will require a determined effort by
a unified country.
"'We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free
nations,' Bush said in remarks prepared for a prime-time address
from the Oval Office...
"'Our nation has endured trials, and we face a difficult road
ahead,' the president said.
"Before his address, Bush visited New York City, Shanksville,
Pennsylvania, and the Defense Department to pay respect to the
victims of the attack and show resolve in the struggle against
"Al-Jazzeera aired a new videotape yesterday in which Al Qaeda
leader Osama bin Laden's top deputy warned that Persian Gulf
countries and Israel would be the terror group's next targets.
"'America did not ask for this war (on terror), and every American
wishes it were over,' the president said. 'And so do I. But the war
is not over - and it will not be over until either we or the
extremists emerge victorious.'"
Paula Lugones, international columnist of leading "Clarin," writes
(09/12) "He visited fire brigades, kissed children and shed some
tears. However, George W. Bush used his entire political arsenal for
the upcoming November legislative elections.
"He used his speech to take his 'warrior' version to its maximum
expression - he seeks to be seen as indispensable in leading the
fight against 'evil.' In a simple speech..., he spoke of a lifestyle
that is being jeopardized and a clash of civilizations...
"In a few weeks, there will be legislative elections, in which
keeping a majority is crucial for a president that is being harassed
by lies about war. It is not a minor issue - if Bill Clinton's lies
about an intern brought him to the verge of impeachment, what could
happen to Bush with a Congress against him?"
- "That revealing dialogue in Pakistan"
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst for leading "Clarin,"
opines (09/12) "During the first week of October 2001, a US
lieutenant colonel described what he thought would be a fast victory
over the primitive Taliban, which was not a match for the
best-trained Western military 'muscle.'
"When asked what the US would do with Osama bin Laden when he was
caught, the military said 'Honestly, I do not believe we can find
him or that we can exhibit his body if we kill him. Where could we
try him without generating charges and scandal?
"Five years later, US intelligence sources told 'The Washington
Post' that the special forces used to hunt Bin Laden... have no idea
where he is...
"Presumably, Bin Laden is still hidden in one of the most
impregnable terrains of the world, on the border between Pakistan
and Afghanistan... Bin Laden's prolonged freedom smells like defeat
for Bush and his staff. Similarly, the fact that the Taliban
resistance has grown stronger while NATO troop casualties in
Afghanistan have surpassed those in Iraq defies 'Western military
- "Refound or confound?"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal, English-language
"Buenos Aires Herald," writes (09/12) "Refoundation is the fashion
in Latin America these days - or at any rate both Bolivia's
constituent assembly and the runner-up from Mexico's elections last
July are promising to refound their countries.
"... What might save Mexico from a terminal crisis is the weakness
of both sides. Calderon is a weak minority president with just over
a third of the vote but Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is even weaker
with less than a third himself...
"Moreover, the economy is on PAN's side, as in the case of most
sitting Latin American governments - especially in an oil producer
"The deadlock in Bolivia equally remains as rigid as ever... A key
question is how much further than a strike are these restive
departments prepared to go in their autonomy drive - all the way to
secession? And in that case, would the Evo Morales administration
resort to military action to restore order?"
- "Tabare asks Kirchner to let him negotiate an FTA with the US"
Nelson Fernandez, on special assignment in Montevideo for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (09/12) "Since the countdown
started for the formal launching of negotiations for an FTA between
the US and the Uruguayan government, Uruguayan President Tabare
Vazquez has been rapidly meeting with his Mercosur partners to
gather support for the negotiations.
"... Vazquez asked Mercosur to implement the measures to meet four
goals - in the free trade area, improve the 'free circulation' of
goods within the bloc; in the 'customs union,' remove demands
'related to the common foreign tariff' and prioritize 'macroeconomic
coordination;' on foreign exchange, assess its levels with a view to
reducing tariffs; and regarding 'foreign negotiations,' provide a
'flexible' position for Mercosur countries to allow external
"Vazquez wants to reach a deal 'before the end of the year' in order
to obtain the US Congress' fast track authority in July."
- "Bolivia could finance its exports to the US"
Business-financial, center-right "InfoBae" (09/12) reports "Bolivian
President Alvaro Garcia Linera arrived yesterday in Washington to
broaden preferential rates for Andean countries in return for the
country's anti-drug efforts...
"Nonetheless, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced a 'bridge
loan' aimed at facilitating the access of Bolivian exports to US
markets vis-`-vis the possibility that the US does not agree to
broaden preferential rates.
"Morales said that the government will use a temporary 12-million
dollar loan to finance the payment of tariffs for the entry of
Bolivian products to US markets, just in case preferential rates are
- "Sanctions on North Korea"
An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (09/12) "The North
Korean dictatorial regime has challenged the international community
during recent years. Firstly, by violating its commitments set forth
by the Non Proliferation Treaty, and then, by abandoning this treaty
and speeding up its WMD programs...
"Up until some months ago, North Korea managed to eliminate the
barriers placed by the international community to prevent its
trafficking of arms. However, during recent months things have
changed and some nations have decided to cooperate in interrupting
North Korea's flow of proliferation.
"China and South Korea are preventing North Korean financial
transactions through their respective financial networks... Vietnam
and Mongolia have contributed their valuable help for this purpose.
"However, North Korea has refused to resume negotiations with its
interlocutors until financial restrictions are lifted.
"For the moment, Russia is the only country that still seems to let
North Korea use its banking system. Curiously enough, it is one of
the five nations that has negotiated to obtain North Korea's
interruption of its dangerous WMD programs. Russia's attitude is not
in tune with a consistent behavior.
"Meanwhile, Venezuela is determined to get closer to North Korea and
there is talk about an upcoming trip of Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez to Pyongyang...
"Therefore, North Korea is also likely to cooperate militarily with
Venezuela, all of which raises concern in the region."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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