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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq: Saddam's Condemnation, Us Midterm

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #1174 3111142
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071142Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6028
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7088
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7569
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2610

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 001174

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: SADDAM'S CONDEMNATION, US MIDTERM
ELECTIONS; SAO PAULO


Subject: Media reaction: Iraq: Saddam's condemnation, US midterm
elections; Sao Paulo

1. "Bush, A Lame Duck"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo
editorialized (11/7): "Americans will vote today in the midterm
elections, which represent a kind of referendum on the current
administration. Polls have suggested that the Republicans will be
defeated.... The causes for President Bush's popular disapproval can
be condensed in three words: Iraq, Katrina and Guantanamo.... The
good economic situation and the fact that the authorities have
prevented terrorist attacks in the US since September 11, 2001, were
not sufficient to avoid an erosion of the Republican Party's
image.... Even if Bush's party does not succeed in reverting the
Democratic Party's advantage, the axis of the US domestic and
foreign policies will tend to be maintained. Like the Republicans,
the Democrats do not have an alternative to get out of the Iraqi
quagmire.... The most remarkable effect of today's elections is
expected to be Bush's transformation into a lame duck."

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2. "Saddam's Condemnation"

An editorial in center-right Estado de S. Paulo (11/7) opined:
"There can't be any doubt about the moral pertinence of the verdict
of Baghdad's High Court condemning to death former dictator Saddam
Hussein.... There is no sense in questioning the court's decision
based on humanitarian reasoning, the same way that it would be
aberrant to deplore the execution of Nazi leaders determined by the
Nuremberg Court. Everything else in the episode of the invasion of
Iraq is a political disaster.... The fact is that there is not a
good way out for this other crisis, which is exclusively caused by
the US. In the very unlikely hypothesis that the death sentence is
commuted, at least the most fanatic followers of the former dictator
will be seduced by the fantasy that sooner or later Saddam will
return to reestablish a Sunni hegemony in an Iraq free from
occupation.... Shiites and Kurds want Saddam executed for the same
reason the Sunnis want him alive: to foster their political
intents."

3. "Bush Used Saddam's Condemnation In Political Rallies"

Foreign policy writer Raul Juste Lores commented in liberal, largest
national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo (11/7): "President
George W. Bush has used former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's
condemnation in the final stage of the electoral campaign.... The
verdict was announced 48 hours before the elections, a fact that
raised suspicions over the Iraqi court. Critics have suggested that
the judges collaborated with the sponsors of the new order in Iraq
by providing good news for the Republicans on the eve of the
elections."
McMullen

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