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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq: Sectarian Violence; Western

VZCZCXYZ0034
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #1127 2961249
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231249Z OCT 06
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5966
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7025
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7541
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2598

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 001127

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ: SECTARIAN VIOLENCE; WESTERN
HEMISPHERE: VENEZUELA'S UNSC CANDIDACY; SAO PAULO


1. "Reminiscent of Vietnam"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo
(10/21) editorialized: "When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003, some
analysts dared to compare the action to the US's disastrous
intervention in Vietnam. They were immediately called
irresponsible, and their reasoning was discredited. Today,
President George W. Bush himself admits a parallel between the two
wars. For Bush, the recent intensification of Iraqi insurgents'
actions is aimed at opposing the US public opinion to the war, as
the communists successfully did almost 40 years ago. It is not only
an increasing portion of the US population that is questioning the
war, but also the generals.... The new diagnosis has emerged
following a 22% increase in the attacks since the beginning of the
Islamic month of Ramadan three weeks ago.... The sensation that Bush
involved the US in a terrible quagmire when he launched the attack
against Saddam Hussein is spreading. The situation in Iraq has only
worsened ever since. And now the US cannot use the same strategy it
used to withdraw from Vietnam, of proclaiming victory and leaving. A
possible US disengagement in Iraq would lead that nation to
disintegrate, with global and regional geopolitical repercussions,
all of them contrary to US interests."

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2. "Chvez and the UN"

The lead editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (10/23)
commented: "The impasse in the choice of the new Latin American
representative in the UN Security Council has shown that President
Hugo Chvez's influence reached its climax and is now declining....
Guatemala accepts a compromise solution [of giving up the candidacy
in favor of a third nation], But Chvez doesn't. He wants to enjoy a
UN position from which he can inflict the greatest harm possible to
the US. And if it is not possible, he wants the US to humiliate
itself publicly. To withdraw Venezuela's candidacy, he demanded from
President Bush a declaration freeing the nations to vote as they
wish. Obviously, the US ignored such a proposal because it would
disrespect the more than one hundred nations that have voted for
Guatemala.... It is not only the nations of Europe, Africa and Asia
that have refused to support a government that plans to use a
position at the Security Council to systematically oppose
Washington. Latin American and Caribbean nations have also felt
discomfort with Chvez's posture.... The Lula administration's
diplomacy, which has been unusually lenient vis-`-vis Chvez's
authoritarian methods, has kept quiet.... The current GOB's
diplomacy doesn't see that Chavez's radical opposition to Bush
cannot and should not interfere in the permanent and harmonious
relationship Brazil must have with the US.... The Latin American
representative at the Security Council must foster cohesion and
defend the region's common interests and positions. In other words,
it cannot be Chvez's Venezuela."
McMullen

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