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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction: Post-War Maneuvering, Rice's

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #4779/01 2780916
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 050916Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1870
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 6310
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 4126
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2709
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RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
INFO RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 7043

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 004779

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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, Rice's
Visit, Lebanon (10/04-05)


1. Summary: The Syrian press on October 4 and 5 focused on the
October 1973 War between Arabs and Israel. All government-owned
papers earmarked full pages to mark the 33rd anniversary of the
war. They described it as "the first Arab War in the History of
the conflict (between Arabs And Israel)." The Syrian press
recalled that the war was "a painful smack to Israeli arrogance
and aggressiveness." It focused on resistance as "an option to
protect Arab rights."

Papers continued to cover the Secretary of State's visit to the
region. They focused on the meeting in Cairo with eight Foreign
Ministers, where a Rice advisor was quoted as saying that "the US
Administration hopes for a coalition that includes the US, the
European allies, Israel and the moderate Arab states in order to
foil the alliance of rebels in the region."

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Papers also covered a statement by Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary
General that the February 14 Movement has started to implement a
plan made by the US Embassy in Beirut, to focus on the disaster
in Lebanon rather than the victory which was achieved there.

End of summary.

2. Selected Headlines:

October War is the first Arab War in the history of conflict
between Arabs and Israel (Government-owned Tishreen, 10/05/2006)

Our people and nation mark anniversary of liberating October War
(Government-owned al Baath, 10/05/2006)

Liberating October: When will Arabs learn how to benefit from
their victories (Government-owned Tishreen, 10/05/2006)

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister: Syria is a difficult figure in the
peace equation (Government-owned Tishreen, 10/05/2006)

Hezbollah: February 14 Movement works in accordance with the
plan of the US Embassy (Government-owned Tishreen, 10/04/2006)

Our Armed Forces Celebrate the 33rd Anniversary of liberating
October War (Government-owned Tishreen, 10/04)

Before the "Moderates," Rice attacks Syria (Government-owned al-
Thawra, 10/04/2006)

3. Editorial Block Quotes:


--------------------------------------------- ---

"Rice's Colonial Dreams"

--------------------------------------------- ---

Issam Dari, an editorialist in government-owned Tishreen, wrote
(10/04):

"Miss Rice can dream of a new middle east that is free of
resistance, of...'terrorists' or of countries which the US
classifies as enemies."

"However, she cannot turn her dreams into reality. Not because
this is impossible, but because she is unable to delude Arab
public opinion any longer."

"The envoy of the Neo-Conservatives... wants to build walls among
the sons and daughters of one identity...in order to rally one
team against the other, on the one hand, and to create discord
among Arabs, and even among the people in each country if
possible, on the other hand."

"Isn't this the theory of the Old Colonialism? ... Isn't is
shameful for this country [the US] to claim that it wants
freedom, independence and sovereignty of the peoples, while it is
occupying two countries, threatening other independent countries

with ... armed power, and interfering in the internal affairs of
other countries, depending on small groups that have sold their
countries for a handful of dollars.

---------------------

"A short-sighted American View"
---------------------

An editorial in government owned al Baath read (10/04):

"The region is in need of the continuous and active presence of
the US, but it is not the presence which Secretary Rice brings to
the region, with its statements preaching sometimes of a new
middle east, and other times of dividing the region into axes and
camps, which do not exist outside the imagination of the US
policy theorists and some of their petty disciples in the region.

"The American role is needed. There is no other country that can
play this role. This is a fact that is well-known by the peoples
of this region. However, this cannot be taken for granted, as if
it were an inescapable destiny, especially under the auspices of
the current US Administration, when it draws a distorted image of
the region and sides entirely with Israeli aggression,
sacrificing Arab rights and their just causes."

Peace cannot be achieved without dialogue among the concerned
parties: with Syria..., the elected Palestinian government, and
even with Iran...."

Corbin

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