Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Post-War Maneuvering, Un
DE RUEHDM #4679/01 2691518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261518Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1757
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6297
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4119
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2694
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 7306
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 1314
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 4684
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0901
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7036
UNCLAS DAMASCUS 004679
DEPARTMENT FOR PA, NEA/ARN, INR/IC/CD, INR/S:STHIBEAULT AND
JMCCARTER, VOA NEWS CA, NEA/PPD:CBOURGEOIS, DBENZE AND
AFERNANDEZ, IIP/G/NEA-SA RWINCHESTER
WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC
CENTCOM FOR CCPA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PREL KPAO OPRC SY
SUBJECT: Damascus Media Reaction: Post-war maneuvering, UN
Investigation of Hariri assassination, War on terrorism,
Lebanon, Visit of UK delegation (9-24-25)
1. Summary: Syrian papers covered the latest Brammertz Report,
focusing on the idea that Syria has been generally cooperative in
the U.N. commission's investigation. The papers also covered a
meeting between Minister of Foreign Affairs Walid al Mouallem and
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who "expressed his gratification
and satisfaction over the positive outcomes of his latest visit
to Damascus and his meeting with President Bashar al-Assad."
Also covered was a secret US intelligence document which states
that the invasion of Iraq has spawned a new wave of Islamic
radicalism and increased the global threat of terrorism. The
document contradicts the Bush Administration's claims that the
invasion of Iraq and the ouster of Saddam Hussein have made
America safer, not weaker.
The Syrian press also covered a visit to Damascus by a UK
delegation. The delegation, headed by a conservative MP, met with
Vice Premier Abdullah al Dardari, who briefed the guests about
economic reforms that have been achieved by the Syrian government
in the past couple of years.
On Lebanon, the papers covered calls by pro-Syria Lebanese
politicians for "a national government." Al Baath daily focused
on General Aoun's statement describing the parliamentary majority
as "illusory" and the government as "illegal."
End of summary.
2. Selected Headlines:
"The White House accused publishers of publishing only parts of a
classified US intelligence document: Invasion of Iraq has
nourished terrorism" (Government-owned Tishreen, 9/25)
"Aoun: The majority is illusory.. the government is illegal"
(Government-owned Al Baath, 9/25)
Syrian-British talks: Al-Dardari reviews reform measures with a
UK delegation (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 9/25)
Receiving 22 ambassadors at the Vatican, the Pope expresses his
respect for Islam and reiterates the necessity of dialogue to
overcome tensions (Government-owned Al-Thawra, 9/26)
[Iraqi President Jalal] Talibani wants a long-term US presence in
Iraq (Government-owned Al-Baath, 9/26)
3. Editorial Block Quotes:
"The US Foreign Policy Opera"
Khalf al Jarad, Chief Editor of government-owned Tishreen,
commented (9/25): "[Writers and analysts] are mistaken when they
imagine that there is a conflict between opposing camps among the
components of the (US) policy. That is because they see issues
only on the surface, and do not see the essence of the harmonic
operation in distributing missions and roles [among the
"A handful of the US media that control newspapers, magazines,
movie companies and TV networks help form a consensus of public
opinion vis-a-vis issues related to the Middle East"
"The widely-spread negative, simplified concepts about Arabs and
Muslims [created by the US media] have facilitated taking...
decisions in the Arab region, such as the 1958 intervention in
Lebanon, the repeated aggressions against Iraq in the 1990s and
invading and occupying it in 2003. And now these concepts are
paving the way for further attacks and wars against other Arab
and Muslim states, under different pretexts."
Muhammad Khei al Jamali, an editorialist in government-owned Al-
Thawra, wrote (9/25): There are two explanations that elucidate
why the US was taken by surprise on 9/11, despite the fact that
it has developed technology and military equipment, as well as
intelligence personnel all across the world: intelligence
nonfeasance, or intelligence and intentional (Administration)
silence, to allow things to happen.
"Since the first possibility is too weak to be considered, the
more realistic and convincing one is that the US Administration
colluded to allow the incident to occur, to become a pretext for
the new strategy set by the Neo-Conservatives, in order to lay
the foundation for the unipolar system, which converted America
from a democracy to a totalitarian empire that dominates the
entire world with oppressive armed force, under the auspices of
"This only proves that the entire Neo-Conservative Administration
closed its eyes in order to harvest the fruits of the incident:
occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and shaping the world according
to its strategic interests."
Fertilization of Terrorism
Ali al Kassem, an op-ed writer in al Government-owned al-Thawra,
wrote on 9/26: " So far the US Administration has not commented
on the intelligence report which states that the invasion of Iraq
has increased the global threat of terrorism.... This means that
the premeditated plan of the US Administration has not changed
[and will not change] even if new warnings are issued daily,
unless its goals have been accomplished."
"To face all of this, it is imperative now to have an
international position ... to stop the American impetuousness,
whose price is paid by humankind, and to reconsider [its
consequences] which, fertilized by US policy, threatens to spread
even more terror than we have seen so far."