Cablegate: Media Reaction; Iraq; Press Freedom in Venezuela And
DE RUEHBU #1798 2531402
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101402Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9193
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001798
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; IRAQ; PRESS FREEDOM IN VENEZUELA AND
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's major international stories are related to a report issued
by a US independent commission of military experts on the situation
in Iraq; as well as to the infringements on and attacks against
press freedom in both Venezuela and Argentina.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "No (guaranteed) security in Iraq for at least 18 months"
Ana Barsn, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarn,"
writes (09/07) "An independent commission of military experts said
yesterday that the Iraqi army could only be in a position to
guarantee territorial security within 12 to 18 months.
"It also concluded that the Iraqi police should also be dissolved to
create a new force because it is 'sectarian and corrupt.' In this
scenario, the head of the committee, retired General Thomas Jones of
the Marines, underlined that setting a date for US troop withdrawal
'would go against our national interests.'
"However, the committee, which was established by Capitol Hill to
assess the situation in Iraq, did not surprise anyone with its
findings. The failure of Bush's strategy is obvious, although what
captured the attention was the Democrats' reaction.
"... After the commission's report was made public, the Lower House
and Senate Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, conveyed
several signs that they would no longer demand to set a date (April
30, 2008) for troop withdrawal in the legislation to be approved by
mid-September on funding operations in Iraq.
"... In this way, US President George W. Bush's successor will
inherit the problem of the occupation of Iraq."
- "More denunciation about censorship and attacks against the
Miguel Wiazki, columnist of leading "Clarn," comments (09/07)
"Venezuelan journalists feel they are attacked, chased and hampered
in attempting to access official sources in their country.
"According to a study performed by IPYS (Instituto de Prensa y
Sociedad) (Institute for the Media and Society), 60 percent of
(Venezuelan) journalists feel they are being censored and admit
"'The main obstacle they find is the 'closure of official sources.'
23 percent of the 192 professionals surveyed said that the
Government systematically avoids talking to the journalists. And
another 20 percent said they are afraid of 'being attacked on the
street by sectors aligned with the government'... Another 7 percent
declared they are afraid of losing their jobs if they work with
- "Official publicity and press freedom"
Daily-of-record "La Nacisn" (09/07) editorializes "The Argentine
Supreme Court of Justice's recent ruling against the Neuqun
Government... is a milestone that the Federal Government should take
"If there is a major feature of the Kirchner administration, it is
the discretionary way in which it has assigned its (press)
publicity. As a matter of fact, the enormous increase in public
expenditure on this item has not been accompanied by more
"It is not surprising that the Federal Government has increased its
publicity expenditure by 388 percent... or that frequent claims have
been made about the unequal distribution of those expenditures based
on a seeming policy of reward and punishment of the mass media
depending on their ties to the Government...
"... Legislators should draft and pass legislation aimed at
correcting the discretionary manner in which authorities distribute
official press publicity funds."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: