Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Policy On Iraq; Argentine Economic &
DE RUEHBU #1700/01 2402221
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 282221Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9054
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001700
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US POLICY ON IRAQ; ARGENTINE ECONOMIC &
FOREIGN POLICY; 08/27/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories are mainly related to the US policy on
Iraq; and Argentina's upcoming economic and foreign policy. Leading
"Clarn" also carries an interview with Professor James Kenneth
Galbraith, headlined "The world no longer wants to be led by the
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "From Vietnam to Iraq, the costs of imperial autism"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading "Clarn," opines
(08/25) "Some with a light perspective on the war in Iraq have said
that it served the only purpose of capturing the huge oil reserves
of the country...
"However, the idea is a dangerous simplification. Certainly, oil has
not been the least important element although it has only been part
of the plans designed to make the imperial arm reach a crucial area
for the US strategic interests.
"In other words, the war was intended to extend the US border to
those territories, and it naturally included the control of the vast
energy resources with the main purpose of implementing an overall
reform of the Middle East's political structure, which was aimed at
consolidating a new geo-political map.
"... Not long ago, Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and
Bush's entrusted man, stressed that precisely whatever happens in
Iraq is much more important for the US than the implications of the
"He was referring to what will happen after Washington leaves Iraq,
which will not only be determined by the costs it will engender (and
it has already brought a new military defeat for the US) but by the
consolidation of the regional powers strengthened by the absurd war
in the Middle East, particularly Iran (the main player included by
Bush in his extravagant axis of the evil).
"... The current deterioration of the situation in Iraq, where there
is no visible and firm leadership to take power (in contrast to
Vietnam), made the puppet government of Nuri Al Maliki seek the
support from the Iranian Shiite theocracy. Pro-US Afghan President
Hamid Karzai followed suit and he even proposed to mediate between
Washington and Tehran. The two of them shaped the prophecy of where
the actual power will lie when the structure mounted by the US
Pentagon in the region crumbles into pieces.
"... The war in Iraq and the chronic conflict between Israelis and
Palestinians have done nothing but pave the way for ayatollahs. It
is precisely this growth as well as the uncontrolled situation which
makes up a nightmare for the hegemonic power."
- "Two scenarios and several riddles"
Daily-of-record "La Nacisn's" "Economy & Business" supplement
carries an opinion piece by contributor Nestor Scibona, who writes
(08/26) "... Two basic scenarios could be depicted for 2008
Argentine economy in the event Cristina wins the presidency.
"One is change although within the features of the model. This is to
say, a social pact that will put a brake on public expenditure and
state subsidies, reversing expectations of bigger inflation, a
gradual correction of relative price distortions, a focus on mid-
and long-term investment (particularly in infrastructure) and a
more predictable economic policy.
"... The other scenario would be preserving the current scheme...
"With one or the other, there are political decisions to be made by
the Government that could contribute to improving or worsening the
climate, and those decisions are still riddles.
"One of them is the normalization of the National Statistics
Institute (INDEC)... Another pending issue is the restructuring of
the Paris Club debt and a way out for holdouts...
"With the progressive deterioration in the country's fiscal surplus
and the current international financial crisis, the external
financial normalization becomes indispensable, as well as obtaining
long-term loans from the IDB, the World Bank, in order to alleviate
the Treasury in funding energy projects... All this will prove
necessary because next year Argentina will need eight-billion-dollar
funding, which is not within reach of Hugo Chvez's petrodollars."
- "(Argentina's) future foreign policy"
Conservative "La Prensa" carries an opinion piece by Emilio J.
Crdenas, former Argentine Ambassador to the UN, who writes (08/26)
"... (Argentine Senator) Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner does not
have too much experience in foreign policy matters. In spite of
this, this topic seems to be luring to her... so much so that she
dared suggest that 'we should go back to the world,' which obviously
implies the acknowledgement that we 'have distanced ourselves' from
the world... Ignoring foreign policy means to end up isolating
oneself by adopting pathological patterns of behavior along the
lines of Chvez.
"... Hugo Chvez's latest visit to Argentina has had an ugly and
predictable end - a new corruption case, which we can call the
suitcase case. While the Argentine Government seemingly wants
'apologies' from Venezuela, this will hardly happen.
"Instead, we will unluckily continue promoting Venezuela's entry
into Mercosur, which lacks the required cohesion to promote its own
growth while attending the noisy rallies that make up Chvez's
unattractive international 'circus'...
"The Venezuela of Hugo Chvez is our 'strategic ally', which has
replaced Brazil regarding unnecessary regional 'leaderships.' If
this does not change, we will not 'return to the world,' but we'll
go around in a parallel orbit that will not include real
"Additionally, Chvez is a 'strategic ally' of Iran. And if the
proverb 'the friend of my friend is my friend' proves true, this
partnership is very far from being the ideal one to 'return to the
world.' As a matter of fact, it will only serve to distance
ourselves even more from it. Regardless of the praise from
characters like Susan Segal, the truth is that we are remarkably
closer to Chvez than anyone else, which is of no help at all.
"In order to change, first, we should know where we are heading for
and then adopt a pattern of behavior that is not swaying...
"Nothing of all this has happened in foreign policy so far, which
implies that Senator Kirchner appears as 'more of the same'
regardless of some audacious statements she made. The 'change' of
direction we need in foreign policy will hardly occur."
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