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Cablegate: Media Reaction; the Armenian Genocide; Imf-Argentina;

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2070/01 2921835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191835Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9516
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002070

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; IMF-ARGENTINA;
UPCOMING ARGENTINE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS; 10/19/07


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's major international opinion pieces are related to the
Armenian genocide; the status of IMF-Argentine ties; and doubts
about governance in a future government of Argentine First
Lady/Senator and Presidential Candidate Cristina Kirchner.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "The Armenian issue"

Daily-of-record "La Nacisn" (10/19) carries an op-ed piece by Juan
Gabriel Tokatlin, professor of International Relations at San
Andrs University, who opines "In early October, US President Bush
announced he was against the House Foreign Relations Committee
passing a draft resolution in acknowledgment that Turkey's
premeditated and systematic murder of over 1,500,000 Armenians
between 1915 and 1923 was genocide. Just a few days later, the
resolution was endorsed by the Committee for 27-21 votes... Whether
the resolution will finally be grappled with and approved by Capitol
Hill still remains to be seen.

"Even though the non-binding legislative step is reported to have no
impact on foreign policy, it would be mistaken to suppose that it
lacks important symbolic value. There will always be 'reasons of
State' to explain a position such as that of the US President. In
this case, it is the importance of Ankara-Washington military ties
ever since the Cold War and Turkey's geo-political value vis-`-vis
the current war in Iraq. However, the fact that something can be
explained does not imply that it is justifiable...

"We should not accept either the argument used by several
Republicans or the White House that the issue should be focused on
by historians and not subject to a statement from any legislative
body...
In 2005, the main authorities of the International Association of
Genocide Scholars... stated in a letter addressed to Turkish PM
Recep T. Erdogan that historic evidence confirms the genocide
committed against Armenians.

"President Bush has lost a new opportunity for his statements to be
validated with facts... His action proves that today the US
Executive Branch has gradually abandoned the defense of human rights
and subdued peoples. Instead of defending memory, it opts to join
those who deny it...

"Of course, the US goes beyond its current president. The impulse of
its civil society, cosmopolitan sectors, progressive movements and
committed political leaders hope that, in spite of President Bush,
some day Washington acknowledges the Armenian genocide. This will be
a step against barbarism."

- "In search of a new stage in Argentina's ties to the IMF"

Marcelo Bonelli, economic columnist for leading "Clarn," comments
(10/19) "Last night,(Argentine) Economy Minister Miguel Peirano
traveled to Washington in a low profile-visit although he has made a
political decision - he will return every IMF criticism of the
Argentine economic situation in a tough and conclusive way. He has
already implemented this strategy by criticizing the recessive
proposal included in an IMF report that suggests 'cooling down the
economy.'

"... Peirano and Martin Redrado's strategy in Washington has three
pillars. First, the toughness with outgoing IMF authorities is aimed
at making a division between outgoing authorities and incoming IMF
(Managing Director) Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The purpose is blaming
Rato and his staff for all the evils the IMF has represented for the
Argentine economy during recent years. Second, (Peirano) will
attempt to open a new stage starting with new IMF authorities.
Third, under these circumstances, he would reportedly ask for a wink
from Strauss-Kahn in favor of Argentine Paris Club debt
negotiations.

"The Paris Club matters. If Cristina Kirchner wins the presidential
elections, she knows that in the event she agrees on that debt, she
would immediately convey positive signs to businessmen who need
international funding as well as a wink of rapprochement with
industrialized countries.

"The US will send a secret delegation to Buenos Aires in November.
Washington's envoy will want to know what the next government will
do and also he will want to clearly explain the White House's
posture in terms of putting the bilateral relationship on a sound
track...

"... While the Argentine Government relies on Strauss-Kahn, doubts

still prevail that he could disregard the past of confrontations and
make more flexible the G7's tough posture towards Argentina. No one
can overlook that the IMF new managing director is finally a
representative of industrialized nations and receives orders from
their governments.

"... In other words, Strauss-Kahn will hardly honor his promise to
help Argentina if there is no prior G7 support...

"In the Argentine Government's view, the current IMF offensive goes
beyond a Washington internal dispute. The President insists that it
is due to more profound reasons.

"Kirchner confessed that there is a clear attempt to internationally
condition a future government of Cristina Kirchner... The strategy
is reportedly aimed at deepening the implementation of 'cooling
down' measures from the government."

- "First doubts over Cristina Kirchner's governance"

Alejandro Bercovich, on special assignment in Washington DC for
business-financial "El Cronista," writes (10/19) "A US political
think tank related to the Democratic Party (the Woodrow Wilson
Center) organized a debate in Washington about Argentina's upcoming
presidential elections.

"What captured the attention... were the questions made by
attendants, mostly analysts focusing on the Southern Cone and
related to the US Department of State. First, they wondered why
Kirchner declined to stand for re-election himself and how the
country will receive a female president...

"Nonetheless, the thorniest questions were related to the governance
guaranteed by Cristina Fernndez in a year with a reinforced
distributive struggle, record business profits and an average real
salary slightly over its 2001 level. Political analyst Graciela
Rmer attempted to dismiss doubts and she opined that only the PJ is
in a position to keep the distributive struggle in check. However,
she also warned that the PJ could well go from being a supporter to
an eventual cradle of destabilization after the first half of a
future term in office of Cristina."

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

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