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Cablegate: Damascus Media Reaction, October 31, 2008

VZCZCXYZ0017
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDM #0765 3051413
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311413Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5515
INFO RUCNNAF/NORTH AF NEA AND SOUTH ASIAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000765

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 31, 2008

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

1. Only government-owned daily al-Thawrah was published on Friday
October 31. al-Thawrah gave pride of place to strident coverage of
the alleged U.S. raid in Abu al-Kamal. The top half of its front
page reported on the protest march organized by the Syrian
government on October 30 in downtown Damascus and a condolence visit
by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, on behalf of President
Assad, to families of the victims in AlbuKamal. The article was
accompanied by a huge photograph of the demonstration. Pages 2-3
were fully devoted to coverage of the demonstration and messages
received from regional and international groups and leaders
condemning the attack.

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Key Headlines:
--------------
--"Damascus rejects - in a popular march...and the world continues
to condemn the American aggression; With President Assad's
authorization, condolences to the families of the victims" (front
page)

--"A crime against humanity whose perpetrators must be held
accountable" (p. 2)

--"[The attack] reflects the bankruptcy of the American
Administration and its political defeat: Arab and international
condemnation continues" (p. 3)

---------
Editorial
---------
"Perpetual Fumbling:" (op-ed by columnist Mustafa al-Miqdad)

"The Bush Administration once again has confirmed the loss of its
[moral] compass in its political, military, intelligence, and
strategic calculations. It chose to launch the aggressive attack on
civilians working near the border under the pretext of anticipating
a confrontation with 'terrorists'... .

"The current Bush Administration is in a perpetual crisis which is
still providing reasons for it to continue to pursue a policy of
murder and criminality under the pretext of combating the
'terrorism' hidden in the Islamic world, according to its
superstitious beliefs.

"The occupation and the Bush Administration, threatened by the loss
of the Republican seat in the White House, are practicing a war of
psychology and distortion against the American people a few days
before the presidential elections in an attempt to implant its idea
of pursuing terrorism in all corners of the world and of carrying
out preemptive strikes...

"The Syrian response came with clear indications and I believe that
more responses are still in the Syrian basket. There is no doubt
that it is able to uncover the falsehood of the American allegations
and the [U.S.] Administration's fumbling, as a great power, in
taking an effective international role."

CONNELLY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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