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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Mexico - Aftermath of Elections

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Lucia A Keegan 09/06/2006 02:43:39 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS PARIS 05964

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

DISSEMINATION: PAOX
CHARGE: PROG

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

VZCZCFRI944
OO RUEHC RUEAIIA RUEATRS RHEFDIA RUEKJCS RHEHAAA
RUCPDOC RUEHRL RUEHRO RUEHMO RUEHNO RUEHVEN RHMFIUU
DE RUEHFR #5964/01 2491153
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INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//ASD/ISA//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 005964

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 - Mexico - Aftermath of Elections
Iran - Islam - Greater Middle East
PARIS - Wednesday, September 06, 2006

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(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

Mexico - Aftermath of Elections
Iran - Islam - Greater Middle East

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

Domestic stories - the controversial merger between GDf (France's
gas utility national company) and Suez, and the battles within the
Socialist Party for the Presidential election nomination - lead
today's news. Popular Le Parisien carries an interview of former
Socialist PM Lionel Jospin, who, according to the interviewer,
"entertains the suspense about his possible candidacy. But
everything points to his leading the Socialists in the battle for
the 2007 presidential elections."

Afternoon paper Le Monde stands apart with the headline "Blockade:
Lebanon Asks for UN Intervention." This morning's radio commentaries
reporting on Kofi Annan's intervention said the "blockade could well
be lifted in the next couple of days." Le Figaro in its inside story
announces that "France Will Be Guarding the Lebanese Coasts" to help
speed up the lifting of the blockade. Liberation reports that "Kofi
Annan Has Announced the End of the Blockade" and that "a mediator
will facilitate the exchange of prisoners between Israel and
Hezbollah." TF1 and FR2 noted that Chirac has deployed a fleet to
the Lebanese coasts to prevent Hezbollah from receiving weapons. FR2
said that this is "a crucial mission because enforcing the arms
embargo is one of Israel's conditions for lifting the blockade."

All outlets report that the Turkish Parliament has ratified the
sending of troops to Lebanon. FR2 noted that it is the "the second
Muslim country to join UNIFIL."

An analysis in Le Figaro claims that "with its deployment, (of the
largest UNIFIL troop contingent) Prodi's Italy has imposed itself in
Europe."

London's concerns about its "multiculturalism" are a major story in
Le Figaro. Laure Mandeville analyzes the aftershock of the foiled
terrorist plans against airliners and the implication of native born
British subjects involved in the plot, as well as "the discomfort
felt by British Muslims with regard to London's policy of ethnic
diversity." An op-ed also in Le Figaro is entitled "Islamism: A New
Totalitarianism." In Liberation Semih Vaner, a researcher at Ceri
pens an op-ed on the complicated Middle East, "where the deposing of
Saddam Hussein has opened up an unprecedented era of interaction."
(See Part C)

Le Figaro, Liberation and FR2 quote President Bush's speech
yesterday in which he called Iran's Ahmadinejad a 'tyrant.' FR2
reported that "the pitch of the rhetoric was going up a notch
between the U.S. and Iran." Daniel Vernet in Le Monde analyzes
"Chirac's Diplomacy" and laments that vis-`-vis Iran the P5+1's
"carrot is less and less appetizing and the stick is less and less
credible" for Teheran. (See Part C)

Trial lawyer Pierre-Olivier Sur's op-ed in Le Figaro on the "failed"
French penal system warns against copying the American model, which
he calls an "anti-model." "This is a model of death penalty... a
model where a man can be convicted to over one hundred years of
imprisonment... including business men, as in the Enron case. A
model where rich and poor are treated differently because of plea
bargaining... A model that is a source of shame from Guantanamo to
the phantom prisons of Europe, and which has led to the
non-ratification of the ICC treaty."

The editorial in Le Figaro, devoted to the aftermath of the Mexican
elections, is entitled "In Mexico, Democracy in Danger." (See Part
C)

Other international news includes the EU Parliament's request that
Ankara recognize the Armenian genocide. Alexandrine Bouilhet writes
in Le Figaro: "The amendment can still be rejected according to the
more liberal Parliamentarians who are in favor of Turkey's EU
membership. And while the Armenian issue is unanimously supported by
France, in other European countries it is a cause for dissension."

La Croix devotes its lead story to bio-fuels and the question of the
day to the Chikungunya and the chances for its return in the island
of La Reunion. Liberation reports on Minister Francois Baroin's trip
to La Reunion where he is quoted as saying: "Its return is
inevitable." The article concludes: "Hopes for an effective vaccine
rely entirely on American researchers."

Economic news is topped by the OECD's figures for economic growth.
Le Figaro Economie headlines: "Growth for 2006: 2.7% for Europe; 5%
for the World." A separate article indicates that France, "thanks to
restructuring, has moved up from 47th to 35th in the World Bank's
yearly classification of country's facilitating business
enterprise." Singapore is ranked first, the U.S. third.

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

Mexico - Aftermath of Elections

"Mexican Democracy In Danger"
Pierre Rousselin in right-of-center Le Figaro (09/06): "With a very
short margin, Calderon is going to inherit a nation more divided
than ever with protests which may undermine the country's
stability... Obrador speaks of a fraud which has yet to be proven...
and threatens to create a parallel government... For the time being
the outgoing government has avoided falling into the trap set by
Obrador's provocations... The Mayor of the Mexican capital is hoping
to awaken the old demons of political violence as part of his
insurrectional strategy. Mexico, which aspires to be a modern
nation, deserves better than this anti-democratic movement and this
contempt for the right of law... Obrador's anachronistic activism is
emblematic of the Latin American continent's populist trend. The
Mexican crisis challenges the entire continent... Calderon's task,
with only 38% of voter support, is immense."

Iran- Islam - Greater Middle East

"Chirac and Multilaterlism"
Daniel Vernet in left-of-center Le Monde (09/06): "In the
negotiations with Iran, the carrot being offered by the P5+1 is less
and less appetizing for Tehran and the stick less and less credible.
This is no doubt a great disappointment for Chirac, champion of
multipolarity... While Jacques Chirac no longer openly criticizes
George W. Bush's foreign policy, he implicitly targeted the U.S.
President when he deplored a 'world order that tolerates
injustice'... or when he rejected the idea of a two-fold enlargement
of NATO to be discussed at the Riga Summit... But in the Middle
East, neither French-sponsored multilateralism nor American
unilateralism has been successful."

"Islamism: A New Totalitarianism."
Essayist Thierry Wolton in right-of-center Le Figaro (09/06): "There
is a difference between dictatorships, which are imposed on a people
and totalitarian Islamism which is an ideology shared by an entire
nation... The aim for Islamism is to build a Utopia based on the
infallibility of said ideology, in this case the Koran... Islam
becomes state, family, ethics: a system adopted by today's
terrorists to shed blood around the world."
"An Intricate Middle East"
Semih Vaner, a researcher at Ceri in left-of-center Liberation
(09/06): "The deposing of Saddam Hussein has opened up an
unprecedented era of intricate interaction in the Middle East... The
tectonic movements in this region have never been greater. Policy
here is made up not just by the politicians and the diplomats, but
by tribes and ethnic groups... Even if the American administration
were truly concerned about promoting democracy in what it calls the
Greater Middle East, why then include Turkey, one of the most
democratic states of the region, in the GME? This geo-strategic
subdivision corresponds to America's own strategic interests in the
region... But Turkey, despite the umbrella protection of NATO, is
necessarily threatened by its neighbor's nuclear ambitions. Iran is
indeed another major power with feet of clay... Tehran's messianic
message does not mean the regime is not realistic. Its desire to arm
itself is a response to its own desire for regional influence, but
it is also a defensive necessity against the American threat, which
rightly or not, is perceived as real. One cannot be treated as a
'rogue state' and not react." STAPLETON

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