Cablegate: Media Reaction; Northern Rock Case; Struggle Against Drugs;
DE RUEHBU #1868/01 2611719
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181719Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9273
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001868
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; NORTHERN ROCK CASE; STRUGGLE AGAINST DRUGS;
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Leading international stories today include the political and
economic implications of the Northern Rock case; a USG report on
drug trafficking; and the threat posed by corruption to democracy
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Signs of a gloomy future for world economics"
Oscar Ral Cardoso, international analyst of leading "Clarn,"
comments (09/18) "... The Bank of England's rescue operation for
Northern Rock, which was aimed at stemming the liquidity crisis,
revealed a problem whose nexus was the US real estate loan market.
Until the moment nervous holders of savings accounts started forming
lines at Northern Rock branches in England, the belief had existed
that the problem belonged to the US and not to Europe. This fiction
of insularity is something globalization does not accept, as has
"... Not even a powerful and hegemonic economy as that of the US can
only be analyzed within its own borders. Other powerful forces in
different parts of the world can affect it and if one does not take
these into account, any analysis will prove wrong.
"There are all kinds of signs. It is apparent that the 'bubble' game
Americans have played during recent years with their real estate
sector was possible because of the State's inability or
unwillingness to regulate it, thereby allowing all kinds of alchemy
with mortgage credits. This is another simple truth that many do not
want to accept.
"US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., warned yesterday from
Paris that new financial controls should not be fostered. He said:
'We should not overreact to current problems,' although he had to
admit that those difficulties 'will be with us for a long time.'
"Something that has changed is that now USG officials and economists
do not insist that there is no financial crisis at all and that, at
most, there could be a soft landing for the real estate sector. The
naove speech has been left behind."
- "US criticism of the anti-drug struggle"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacisn," writes (09/18) "After a few weeks of
relative calm, the US yesterday opened another potential front of
public confrontation with Hugo Chvez by including Venezuela (for
three years in a row) in the group of countries that has 'clearly
failed' in the fighting drugs.
"The list is part of the yearly report the Bush administration must
send to Congress on challenges and accomplishments in the fight
against drugs all over the world. Nevertheless, Venezuela was
explicitly mentioned among the nations with the least progress along
with other countries like Afghanistan and Burma.
"... The Bush administration states that Caracas refused to sign a
'letter of understanding' to improve anti-drug cooperation, while
Bolivia 'is on its way' to eradicating 5,600 hectares of coca this
year, although it needs 'to improve' its achievements in the fight
"Christy McCampbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said: 'The US strongly
encourages Bolivia to prioritize the reduction or removal of
excessive coca crops.'
"The USG official also asked Bolivia... to reinforce its drug
control strategy, pass 'modern' legislation against money laundering
and terrorist financing, as well as improve its assets confiscation
"McCampbell termed the controversial Plan Colombia an 'absolute
success,' with which 'the US cooperation has much to do...'
"Ecuador was also criticized due to the 'drastic increase' in the
amount of cocaine found on 'Ecuadoran ships' heading for the US, the
principal world consumer of illegal drugs. In contrast, the report
praises Mexico's anti-drug efforts, with which the US is negotiating
a cooperation program."
- "The more corruption, the more lack of security"
Leading "Clarn" carries an op-ed piece by Juan Gabriel Tokatlian,
professor of International Relations at Universidad San Andrs, who
opines (09/18) "During the Cold War there was a tacit relationship
between corruption and security... There was a usual assumption that
corruption was functional because through it one could guarantee the
power of some deeply anti-Communist actors...
"The tolerance of the West in general and of the US in particular
towards authoritarian regimes in 'peripheral' countries, as well as
some development of multilateral commitments to fighting corruption
proved how East-West logic influenced all social, economic,
political and military issues of the time. If the US motto was then
'better dead than red', the global motto could be summarized as
'better some corruption than any change at all.'
"The post-Cold War opened a window of opportunity for a substantial
re-assessment of corruption... However, concrete progress in the
North as well as in the South has been meager.
"In this regard, it would be positive to reopen a debate on
corruption by expressly linking it to the security issue, not
traditional state security, the effects of which were so deplorable
for ordinary people, but to human security.
"This implies an approach to security focused on individuals, on the
protection of their rights and liberties, and on a more dignified
life for regular people, and on reducing the vulnerabilities of
"... The time has come to seriously rethink the corruption issue in
Argentina. For this purpose, it is important to deeply change... the
approach to the issue, which could contribute to its politicization
in the best sense...
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