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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction, October 30, 2008

VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0762 3041543
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301543Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5509
INFO RUCNNAF/NORTH AF NEA AND SOUTH ASIAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000762

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/PPD, NEA/ELA, INR/NESA, IIP, PA, ECA; BEIRUT FOR
SISSON, GRANT, LENZEN

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KPAO SY
SUBJECT: DAMASCUS MEDIA REACTION, OCTOBER 30, 2008

------------
News Summary
------------

1. The media storm surrounding the October 26 attack in Abu Kamal
and subsequent Syrian accusations against the United States and
Syrian actions against U.S. Embassy operations in Damascus continued
unabated. Print media were dominated by reports of a large protest
march in the town of Abu Kamal on October 29. A large (estimated
10-15,000 persons) October 30 demonstration in downtown Damascus
received a blitz of images and interviews on Syrian TV and all local
and regional media outlets. One television talk show featured the
Venezuelan Ambassador to Syria, who condemned the attack and the
United States and expressed his solidarity with Syria.

2. Government paper Al-Thawrah dedicated a full page to
condemnations of the Abu Kamal attack and of the United States.
Authors included governments, individuals, and organizations,
including Iran, a Belgian politician, the Conference of Arab
Renaissance, a Czech political party, the Greek Communist Party, the
Syrian Community Petersburg, the PLO, Lebanese Civil Society, the
Arab Lawyers Union, the Arab Doctors Union, the Arab Democratic
Union, the Ba'ath Party in Yemen, and American Congressman Dennis
Kucinich.

3. All papers on October 30 featured banner headlines on the Syrian
government's demand for the U.S. Embassy to close both the American
Cultural Center and the Damascus Community School (known locally as
the American School).

4. Key Headlines

-- "Huge Protest March in Abu Kamal ... Condemnation of the
Aggression Continues ... Characterized as 'Uncivilized' and 'State
Terrorism'" (Al-Thawra, SARG-owned daily)

-- "American Congressman Kucinich: 'Not Acceptable and Not
Reasonable'" (Al-Thawra)

-- "Tehran: 'American Aggression is a New Gamble to Rattle World
Peace'" (Al-Ba'ath, SARG-owned daily)

-- "Yemeni Politician (Barkani) to Al-Ba'ath: 'The Arabs are Being
Targeted and Everyone is Betting on Syria'" (Al-Ba'ath)

-- "Foreign Ministry Informs the American Charge d'Affaires of the
Cabinet's Decision to Close the Cultural Center and the American
School" (Tishreen, SARG-owned daily)

--------------
Key Editorials
--------------
5. "When the American Administration Directs Terrorism" (Tishreen)
"The excessive joy which appeared on Presidential candidate John
McCain's [face] following the aggression his administration launched
shows that it was planned and studied and that the decision was
taken at the highest levels...This means that Bush...wanted to
distract attention from some of the internal crises of his
Republican Party and demonstrate that his administration is still
capable of taking decisions that concern the war on Iraq and
therefore to lie again to the Americans and tell them that he has
achieved a military victory...We have to point out that the
inhabitants of the farm and the workers in the building that was
targeted, eight of whom were martyred, were all unarmed, and the
American soldiers who carried out the aggression knew that... What
is more dangerous than (Bush's lies) is that Bush and his team have
become an administration of terrorist operations and war
crimes...."

6. "American Policy - From Stupidity to Madness" (Al-Ba'ath)

"The project of hegemony which the current American Administration
has adopted expresses the philosophy of the controlling classes, and
it now reflects a way of compensating for the economic weakness
through which American is passing... In a new adventure, Washington
carried out a new aggression by striking a civilian place in Syria,
in which there were children, women, elderly men, and workers, with
the excuse that it was a center of terrorism. The hypocrisy of this
administration is not surprising... because it destroyed an entire
country, destroyed its civilization, and killed its children under
the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction."

CONNELLY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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