Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Missile Defense, G20, Climate, Un, Mideast

VZCZCXRO1028
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1173/01 2650509
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220509Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5264
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1550
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0243
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0765
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2290
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1297
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0483
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001173

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

SIPDIS

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO GM US RS IR IS XF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: Missile Defense, G20, Climate, UN, Mideast
Peace Process, German Elections

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Missile Defense
3. G20
4. Climate Change
5. UN General Assembly
6. Mideast Peace Process
7. German Elections

1. Lead Stories

Primetime newscasts and several newspapers opened with stories on
the FDP's special party congress in Potsdam, saying that the FDP
committed itself to forming a coalition with the CDU/CSU after the
elections on September 27 and ruled out a coalition with the SPD.
Sueddeutsche headlined: "Obama wants to force peace talks." Most
editorials focused on the German elections. A few papers also
carried commentaries on the Mideast peace process and the upcoming
G20 summit.

2. Missile Defense

President Obama's decision to abandon plans for a missile defense
shield in Central Europe was the main foreign policy story in the
weekend media, but no longer dominated the German media today.

Josef Joffe said on today's front-page Tagesspiegel that the Poles
and Czechs are right to be disappointed "because Obama treats the
Russian rival better than his friends. This is no way to run an
alliance. If Obama had only gotten something in return from Russia!
However, Putin and Medvedev are not even considering putting
tougher pressure on Iran in return. They take a gift that is more
valuable than the renunciation of the missile defense shield, which
could not have harmed Russia's offensive potential: a unwritten
right to veto NATO's strategic decisions."

Welt am Sonntag analyzed that "President Obama's recent decisions
are a clear sign for the withdrawal of the West from its global
claims," and concludes: "Obama with his shining rhetoric is the
right man at the right time to make the renunciation of western
positions and the beginning of a new era look like as if a
borderless mutual understanding would overcome the toughest
contradictions of interests and values."

Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine commented: "It is noteworthy that
Israeli Defense Minister Barak made a remarkable U-turn on the same
day, saying that he does not believe that Iran threatens Israel's
existence. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink-could it be that Jerusalem and
Washington are taking first steps towards a containment policy?
Could it be that they are about to adjust to an Iran with missiles
and bombs, not to say to live with it?"

3. G20

While politicians expressed the need to reform the financial system
and express optimism that they will succeed in Pittsburg, media were
skeptical about whether the G20 will be able to reach effective
agreements.

Focus magazine highlighted that "the fight against future excesses
in financial markets is waning. EU leaders shy away from pushing
the U.S. to take radical measures at the G20 summit."

Sueddeutsche commented: "Unfortunately, President Obama, who was
expected with so much hope, does not seem to be willing to tame the
financial markets.... So far the world has heard only words from
him and has not seen any action."

FT Deutschland editorialized on its front page: "It has taken a long

BERLIN 00001173 002 OF 003


time until Europe has drawn conclusions from the financial crisis.
Now, as the European Commission finally comes up with a strategy for
a European oversight, Germany is putting up walls and wants to give
Brussels as little power as possible. This attitude is dangerous.
The EU must take a common approach particularly in the upcoming G20
summit if it wants to push the rest of the world towards a better
regulation of financial markets."

Handelsblatt had this recommendation: "Modern financial businesses
are a curse and a blessing at the same time. Careless approaches
cause serious crises. However, the financial system also offers
great gains and prosperity. Those who want to reverse financial
globalization by financial checks and taxation must expect a loss of
prosperity. However, it is undisputed that financial crises are the
other side of the coin of globalization.... We are not putting a
stop to all air traffic when a plane crashes. Financial watch dogs
should take traffic controllers as a model, call for improved
security measures and improve the oversight of the ongoing
business."

Die Welt also emphasized that "security has its price," and
commented: "If you take the announcements of politicians seriously,
the financial world would have to adjust to completely new
surroundings after the G20 summit at the end of this week in
Pittsburgh. High bonuses and risky financial transactions would
belong to the past.... However, despite the demonstrative
determination Obama, Merkel and Co are showing, this is not what
will happen. The verbal unity of the leaders is deceptive-their
interests are too different. This is even true for the topic of
bonuses, which would be effective as a powerful message to the
public. Anyway, the assumption that restricting bonuses would stop
risky deals is naove because the suspected greed of managers was
fueled by the expectations of investors and shareholders. This made
the incentives possible in the first place."

4. Climate Change

Sueddeutsche commented ironically: "The negotiators have done a
great job: the recent draft for a new climate agreement contains
7,120 brackets marking unresolved issues, questions, exceptions and
exceptions of these exceptions. Three months prior to the essential
conference in Copenhagen, it remains unclear, like the outcome of
the German elections, whether the world will see a new and better
climate agreement... In the long run, reliable climate protection
needs a reliable foundation. The countries must set the first
foundation stone this year. Otherwise the project will fail."

Handelsblatt opined: "The most important condition for a successful
fight against climate protection is that the negotiations in
Copenhagen do not fail. This will depend on U.S. behavior. If it
boycotts a post-Kyoto agreement with internationally binding goals
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would inevitably result in an
erosion of the process. Obama's speech [at the UN] can therefore
not be overestimated."

Berliner Zeitung editorialized: "Obama will remain unclear in
international negotiations because there will be no U.S. climate law
this year. The U.S. Congress could annul any commitment. As a
result, the U.S. might again, like in the Bush years, become the
greatest obstacle for the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in
December."

5. UN General Assembly

In a one-page feature on U.S.-UN relations, FT Deutschland wrote:
"Since the change of power in Washington, the White House is moving
closer to the UN. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Rice is embodying this
changeover. However, the U.S. still continues to negotiate

BERLIN 00001173 003 OF 003


explosive topics outside of the UN."

Sunday's Tagesspiegel commented: "President Obama will take a
timeout from domestic policies for an entire week. As of Monday, he
will spend three days in New York at the United Nations, and on
Thursday he will travel on to G20 summit in Pittsburgh. This
generous usage of the President's most valuable good-his personal
time-illustrates what has changed since George W. Bush. Bush also
said no nation is any longer powerful enough to solve international
problems on its own, but his solo runs in his first presidency ended
only when the failure in Iraq forced him to cooperate. Obama's
Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, told the press at the White House
on Friday the new policy.... Many of her words sounded like slaps
into the face of her predecessor John Bolton.... Under Obama, the
U.S. government has not turned into a real fan of the UN. Rice also
names flaws of the institution, but notes that one could improve
them only by cooperation, not a refusal to engage. Symbolically,
Obama will be the first President to head a meeting of state leaders
on the Security Council-to prevent nuclear weapons from being
proliferated."

6. Mideast Peace Process

Under the headline "Handshake without consequences," Sueddeutsche
commented: "U.S. Special Envoy Mitchell tried to persuade the
Palestinians and Israelis for four days to reach a compromise as if
the future of the Mideast region depended on it. He met Netanyahu
and Abbas four times and was told a categorical no to the idea of a
summit in New York because the differences were too great. Mitchell
therefore returned to Washington empty-handedly. However, there
suddenly was a miracle and a summit will now take place. President
Obama is insisting on it and the unsuccessful envoy Mitchell is
trying to sell the surprising summit as a sign of the intensive U.S.
engagement in the Mideast peace process. This is only about a photo
and a symbolic starting shot. However, a handshake between the
Palestinian president and an Israeli prime minister will get the
Mideast anywhere.... Peace talks should take place outside of the
public eye, not with flashing lights."

7. German Elections

In a whole-page editorial, FT Deutschland is recommending to voters
to elect a coalition between the Chancellor Merkel's CDU/CSU and the
Greens. "The 2009 election campaign is almost over without having
really started. Citizens can cast their votes this Sunday, but it
has remained unclear what kind of political alternatives there
are... If the FT Deutschland could form a coalition, it would be
the CDU/CSU and the Greens: a government under Chancellor Merkel
that is driven by the smaller party to implement ecological
innovations. At the same time, the larger partner makes sure that
financial policies remain sound.... We vote for Chancellor Merkel,
hoping that the 'climate chancellor' will dare something after her
embarrassingly soft election campaign."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>