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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Indonesia, Economic, Mepp, U.S., Russia,

R 101147Z NOV 08





E.0. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: Indonesia, Economic, MEPP, U.S., Russia,
U.S.-Spain, Congo

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Indonesia) Execution Of Terrorists
3. (Economic) Financial Crisis, Chinese Economic Program
4. (MEPP) Peace Process
5. (U.S.) Aftermath Of U.S. Elections
6. (Russia) Foreign Policy, Accident On Nuclear Submarine
7. (U.S.-Spain) Relations
8. (Africa) Congo

1. Lead Stories Summary

Editorials focused on the events in Hesse and the protest against a
shipment of nuclear waste. The announcement of Hesse's SPD leader
not to run again as frontrunner in the upcoming state parliament
elections is also the main story in today's press. ZDF-TV's early
evening newscast Heute opened with a story on the protests against a
nuclear waste shipment in Lower Saxony and ARD-TV's early evening
newscast Tagesschau opened with a report on the anniversary of the

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2. (Indonesia) Execution Of Terrorists

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung, "the Indonesian government
allowed the attackers to give interviews and to spread their
ideology that was full of hatred. The government in Jakarta was
interested in allowing the attackers to show the face of evil to the
people in order to win the people's support in this fight against
terrorists. And all of a sudden everyone thought that the death
penalty was appropriate. Indonesia's example shows that the 'war on
terror' is the most successful when it is being waged with the means
of democracy and with the support of the people by the state
demonstrating in a resolute and fair way that it has the monopoly to
use force, with public, quick and apolitical trials without torture,
without criticized pretrial detention, and without bending the law.
Maybe Indonesia has demonstrated to the world the best example of
how to deal with terrorists."

Tagesspiegel and Frankfurter Rundschau opined: "The few hundred
sympathizers for the terrorists overshadow the view that almost all
Indonesians reject terror. They think...that the Bali bombers
received their fair punishment. But apart from the highest possible
punishment, we can congratulate Indonesia. A well-equipped
anti-terror unit is hunting terrorists, its tough laws are working,
and the justice authorities take tough actions. Experts agree: the
terror structures in Indonesia have been destroyed to such an extent
that an attack like the one in Bali is no longer possible--and the
people support this tough policy."

3. (Economic) Financial Crisis, Chinese Economic Program

Handelsblatt editorialized: "The absence of the 'President' of the
Euro group, Jean-Paul Juncker, at the financial summit in Washington
is exemplary. It shows to what extent claim and reality in European
politics differ. The EU now wants to show the United States what it
is able to do. Without false modesty we have heard from the
European capitals that the global financial market is an America
patient and it is up to Europe to supply the cure. But if the EU
were really serious, it would first of all overcome its own teething
troubles. It should bundle its forces and transfer power to a
strong negotiating leader. Instead, five European leaders will
represent Europe at the financial summit in Washington, while EU
leader Barroso is allowed to sit at the side table. But the
Europeans will be able to teach others a lesson in a credible way
only if they are able to function well as a team. The global
financial crisis has weakened the U.S. superpower, but the EU must
still prove that it is able to take advantage of it."

In view of Financial Times Deutschland, "the Europeans travel to
Washington with strong self-confidence and even greater
expectations. According to the European will, the meeting in
Washington is to give the impetus for the adoption of rules that
will take into account the lessons from the financial crisis and
make the world fit for the 21st century. This self-confidence is
justified. But despite a convincing European presentation in the
first round, it could now be faced with some setbacks in Washington.
During the G-20 meeting in Sao Paulo, the European representatives
met with resistance with their proposals from the U.S. and the
threshold countries. If the threshold countries implement their
views, this would mean the end of the special position of the
Europeans, Americans, and Japanese. But the EU countries should not
shy away from conflicts with Americans and the threshold countries.
The European concept to demand stricter rules and greater oversight
over financial capitalism is the only convincing answer to the
current situation."

According to Handelsblatt, "China has now given itself the best
recommendation for its participation in the financial summit with
the adoption of its economic stimulus program. China could not have
expressed more obviously that it has a great interest in avoiding a
deep recession of the global economy, and that it wants to have a
considerable say in the restructuring of the global financial
architecture. The Chinese have now made 'advance payments,' and
they are likely to present immediately the bill for their role in
the global economy to the Europeans and Americans. Those who take
over global responsibility also want to have a say in global
decisions. For China, the times are over when it sat at the side
table of the G-8 meetings."

4. (MEPP) Peace Process

Berliner Zeitung observed: "Over the weekend, Hamas cancelled its
participation in the peace talks. We could now say that the
Islamists do not give a damn about the desperate situation of the
people from Gaza. Despite the drastic reduction of missile attacks
on Israel, their situation is deteriorating day by day. During the
talks, Hamas should also approve an extension of President Abbas's
term. The Egyptians, but also the members of the Middle East
quartet, already approved such an extension. It is true that
Secretary Rice buried the Annapolis process over the weekend. But
all participants also agreed on a new summit in Moscow early next
year, but before, there should be elections in the Palestinian
territory. This summit has now been scheduled without showing
consideration for the election and whether a Hamas politician could
be the next Palestinian president."

5. (U.S.) Aftermath Of U.S. Elections

Financial Times Deutschland opined: "Like a rubber doll with which
children tend to play, everyone wants to bend and shape
President-elect Obama according to his own views. This increasing
pressure makes clear one thing: the coming president will soon have
to show his true colors in foreign policy, probably earlier than he
would like. But for everyone who hopes for a turnabout after eight
years of George W. Bush, this moment will certainly result in a
disappointment. Even if he wanted to, Obama could not pursue a
totally different policy towards Iraq, Iran or Russia. Of course,
he could send signals such as the closure of Guantnamo, but those
in Europe who pin their hopes on profound changes must show patience
and should not overburden Obama with expectations. All indications
are that the new president will demonstrate a different style in
foreign policy and will ask the partner countries for greater
cooperation. This is a beginning but more cannot be expected right

6. (Russia) Foreign Policy, Accident On Nuclear Submarine

Sueddeutsche Zeitung judged: "The West can't figure President
Medvedev out. This is bad because a stage is emerging in which
important issues need to be resolved with Russia's support. But,
what does Medvedev want? The dilemma of the Kremlin leader, and the
West should understand this, is that former president Putin still
has a say. Rarely before has the authority of a Russian state
leader been standing on such a shaky ground. Medvedev still does
not have the power base which all his predecessors had before coming
to power. That is why his foreign policy messages are primarily
domestic messages, for the greatest pressure comes from home. His
goals are ambitious, but now of all times, the financial crisis is
hitting the country and restricts the scope of action which the
president really needed. But this also offers a chance for the
West's relations with Russia: for the planned partnership agreement
with the EU, but also for relations with the new U.S. government.
Moscow, but also Brussels and Washington, should keep this in mind.
In the era of globalization, no one is able to help oneself on its
own. This also includes the self-confident new Russia."

Frankfurter Rundschau opined: "Dimitri Medvedev now has a chance to
repair something, his predecessor was incapable of doing. When the
'Kursk' sank in 2000, Vladimir Putin allowed several days to pass
before he made a statement on it and turned to the relatives of the
victims. President Medvedev would now have the chance to deal in a
human way with the tragedy. He must see to it that the state takes
responsibility for accidents in the military, compensates relatives
in an appropriate way, and does is not remain silent about the
reasons for the drama."

In the view of Tagesspiegel, "the chain of accidents of Russian
submarines is pointing to a big structural problem: over the past
decades, Russia has invested much too little in the technical
modernization of its military. Former President Putin tried for
years to revive Russia as a major power, but while, during Soviet
times, the spending on the military made up 20 to 25 percent of the
GDP, Putin only spend less than three percent. Until today, claim
and reality greatly differ. What remains is a major power rhetoric,
and a great deal of unresolved technical problems."

7. (U.S.-Spain) Relations

Under the headline: "Amigos," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung argued:
"Another winner of the U.S. elections is Spain's Prime Minister
Zapatero. He has not outlived 10 U.S. presidents such as Fidel
Castro but he has outlived one: President Bush. The fact that Spain
and the United States, which pull the same strings from Afghanistan
to the Balkans, will soon have friendly relations again is good
news. The number 8 in the global economy deserves a seat among the
big nations. But if Zapatero wants to cooperate with Obama in Latin
America, a greater distance to Castro and his epigones would
certainly be useful."

Berliner Zeitung observed: "Despite a the understandable diplomatic
success for Spain, we must say that the financial summit in
Washington will not focus on 'fondling' the Spanish soul. Spain has
become a relevant global actor because the Banco de Espana has been
an example of how an oversight agency can meet its duties. If the
rest of the world had followed the Spanish example, we would not
have an international financial crisis today and not a financial
summit either. The world can learn from Spain. Spain's diplomats
will take the opportunity to improve the shattered Spanish-U.S.
relations. Barack Obama already promised a meeting with Zapatero.
More good news."

8. (Africa) Congo

Under the headline "Empty Promises In Congo," S|ddeutsche comments:
"Eastern Congo exceeds all negative prejudices there are about
Africa: War, refugees, greed, violence. The euphoria about the
democratic elections two years ago has passed a long time ago....
And the international community? It stood by and watched for too
long. It praised itself for funding and militarily securing the
elections. But nobody really cared about what came afterwards.

Even UN peacekeepers made a bad impression because of illegal gold
trade and rape, not honest service for the people. Eastern Congo
does not need more peacekeepers, but it needs capable ones. Above
all, the international community must expert diplomatic and
financial pressure to stop this war."

Tagesspiegel describes the Congo as the "sick heart" of Africa and
warns that "those who want the military to create peace will fail"
like in Somalia. "The catastrophic Somalia adventure of the United
States fifteen years ago should be a warning to the Europeans and
the United Nations. Those who send soldiers into a conflict must be
sure that they will eventually be successful. Under the current
conditions, this is currently not possible in the Congo, the sick
heart of Africa. In it current condition, the Congo cannot


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