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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Un, Economic, Iran, Afghanistan,

VZCZCXRO3530
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1185/01 2671455
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241455Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5288
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 1559
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0252
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0774
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2299
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1307
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0492
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 09 BERLIN 001185

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 IR HO UK AF XF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.-UN, ECONOMIC, IRAN, AFGHANISTAN,
MIDEAST, U.S.-UK, HONDURAS, GERMANY;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.-UN) President Obama's Speech
3. (Economic) G-20 Summit
4. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict, Ahmadinejad
5. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy
6. (Mideast) Summit Meeting
7. (U.S.-UK) Relations
8. (Honduras) Zelaya in Brazilian Embassy
9. (Germany) Upcoming Elections

1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's and ARD-TV's primetime newscasts opened with stories on the
protests of Opel workers in the Belgian city of Antwerp. Newspapers
led with stories on the G20 summit and Opel. Editorials focused on
the G20 summit, President Obama's speech to the UN, and the future
of carmaker Opel.

2. (U.S.-UN) President Obama's Speech

All media reported on President Obama's speech to the UN General
Assembly, highlighting that "Obama asked the world for help" to
resolve problems together (Frankfurter Rundschau) and quoting him
prominently as saying "America cannot solve all problems alone"
(Spiegel Online).

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) commented: "After eight months in
office, Obama has seen heights some of his predecessors never
enjoyed. However, he has now reached the valley of tears. His
presidency is in trouble. Barack Obama is facing weeks, if not even
months of ordeal. Only after that time we will be able to judge
whether the man as the stature one recently associated with him....
His presidency is passing in quick motion: a clumsy photo
opportunity with the Mideast rivals, a hesitating Obama in climate
negotiations, challenged by the Congress and the military
leadership. Obama is a man of announcements, not of action.
However, this is the beginning of a crisis, not the end.
Apparently, there is great determination behind Obama's much praised
coolness. Somebody who proved so much stamina and finesse in the
election campaign, will cope with the political business. However,
it is past the time of great speeches and noble calls. A UN speech
full of emotions seems to be ridiculous when the roof is on fire at
home. Obama will have to show toughness and courage if he wants to
remain credible."

Under a headline "A world of words," Die Welt (9/24) opined on its
front page: "It is an invaluable advantage that the U.S. has a
President who is blessed with the gift of delivering speeches....
However, we are getting tired recently. The high tone, Obama is
always using, is somehow strenuous.... Slowly, not only Americans
wonder what all these nice words are supposed to mean if the
President does not deliver successes."

Tagesspiegel (9/24) remarked in a front-page commentary: "Barack
Obama has become the victim of the expectations he has raised. His
popularity was long seen as a trump card in America's foreign
policy. It is now becoming a burden. It is suddenly imaginable that
the U.S. and its partners are entering a spiral of disappointment.
The headlines in Europe on Obama's activities at the UN document
disillusionment.... Obama has contributed to this misunderstanding,
and he is continuing to do so. He knows about the impact his
speeches have and uses them the exert pressure to change things.
However, this leads to an overestimation of the influence the U.S.
President has.... The reality shock was overdue. Wrong
expectations are not a good basis for politics. We should neither

BERLIN 00001185 002 OF 009


exaggerate the disappointment."

3. (Economic) G-20 Summit

"The Great Redistribution of Wealth," is the headline in
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24), which opined: "The announcements for
the G-20 summit again sound brilliant. Each participant emphasizes
how much we must learn from the crash...but in reality, nothing has
changed over the past months since the monetary system was about to
crash and mankind looked into an abyss. The shock let up and old
habits have returned. A great redistribution of wealth has taken
place and a small group profited from the development of a financial
bubble, while the costs for the disaster must be shouldered by many
people. But politicians are far away from taking really radical
steps. The reason is that the banks in the U.S. and Britain have
roped in their governments. In view of strong interests, it is no
wonder that good ideas from Europe have little chances to be
approved in Pittsburgh. However, it is striking that one item does
not appear on the agenda in Pittsburgh: the question of the future
look of the global economic system. Obviously, the great
redistribution of wealth should continue as before."

In a front-page editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/24) argued:
"Americans and British are working on a large-scale global control.
At the third Global Financial Summit, they want to agree on
strategies to reduce imbalances in the global economy. And surplus
countries such as China, Japan, and Germany must expect pressure to
increase their demand. Behind these moves from Washington and
London stands a mechanistic way of thinking. If demand drops, a few
screws will be turned around at different places to create new
demand elsewhere. But in the 1960s, Germany already succumbed to
the error that it is possible to fine-tune the economy. The result
of this large-scale attempt entered the history books as
stagflation. But now the Anglo-Saxons of all nations have given in
to the magic of a policy of demand. After the large U.S. shopping
mall has entered a crisis, because the sale via credit cards met its
limits, other countries should now put things straight and consume
at all costs to create a new global economic growth. But experience
with globalization has taught us one thing: growth cannot be bought
on credit for a long time."

Schwaebische Zeitung of Leutkirch (9/24) observed: "The third summit
must finally produce results. This meeting is a possibility to
pause and review all regulations and rules to change them and also
to make them stricter. Admittedly, this is an enormous task and
also highly complex. But it is not necessary to re-invent the
wheel. Many things are still functioning and the global monetary
system is still intact, the market economy without alternative. We
must now concentrate on the black sheep of the system. The banks
that exploited gaps in legislation and sold junk must now be shown
their limits and all those dangerous 'financial products' that
damaged other, need to be banned."

Regional daily Saarbruecker Zeitung (9/24) is critical of a
successful G-20 summit and noted: "Yesterday's [EU] proposal is
neither new nor original, and the same is true for the concerns.
Instead, Brussels missed the opportunity to present a convincing
model shared by all sides at the G-20 summit. With this approach,
the EU makes it easy for the United States (and other countries) to
use the disagreement among the Europeans as an instrument to defend
itself against too rigorous a control. Washington's course in
particular demonstrates that the international community was quick
with presenting catchphrases but that it took a lot of time to make
decisions on new approaches to prevent future crises. That is why
we must fear that the much lauded [G-20] conference will turn into a
show, that slogans will be exchanged that only hush up the fact that
all sides involved do not really want the things that they urgently
wanted a while ago."

BERLIN 00001185 003 OF 009

Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung (9/24) had this to say:
"Politicians should not let up but must cut the proliferation in the
financial sectors in various countries. Unfortunately, the prospect
for successful moves in this respect is not very favorable. It is
likely that the 'window of opportunities' has already been closed
again. At Wall Street and in the City, the party has already begun
again. That is why the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh is not under a
good star. The tax on financial transactions suggested by Finance
Minister Steinbrueck is not implementable on the international stage
but Steinbrueck's question is very justified: Who is going to pay
the bill for an immoderate greed, for the exaggerations and the
irresponsibility of the financial sector? Of course, the ordinary
people."

Right-of-center Augsburger Allgemeine (9/24) judged: "In order to
avoid crises such as the current one, we needed a kind of global
financial police force. The strictest bans will be useless if no
one sees to it that these rules are also implemented. But it is
also clear that the banks in particular must do their homework.
They need sufficient capital resources to help themselves instead of
calling for the assistance from the state. If necessary,
politicians should force the banks to build up such reserves."

Regional daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger (9/24) argued: "Angela Merkel
does not hide her conviction that the G-20is a more appropriate
forum to resolve global problems than the G-8.... In the United
States a rethinking has begun, too. Unlike his predecessors, Barack
Obama is working hard to achieve a global alliance for greater
security and an alliance for the fight against climate change."

4. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict, Ahmadinejad

ZDF-TV's Heute (9/23) reported: "Iran's President Ahmadinejad caused
a scandal at the UN General Assembly. In a speech, he attacked
Israel again, calling it as a Zionist regime and describing its
policy on Palestinians as genocide. Several delegations left the
hall, including the German one." The report added that Iran's
nuclear program "was the topic of a meeting between President
Medvedev and President Obama. Medvedev indicated that Russia might
agree on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran."

Handelsblatt (9/24) commented that "the advocates of sanctions on
Iran have found a new tactic-they are intimidating companies through
public statements." The commentary added: "However, if China
remains unimpressed and continues to export goods to Iran, it would
be clear how toothless the West's policy of sanction has become."


5. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy

There is only one paper this morning that reports on the debate in
the United States over the future Afghanistan strategy. Under the
headline: "Biden's Backchat," Sueddeutsche (9/24) reported: "The
U.S. government is questioning the war in Afghanistan and the NATO
mission in a more radical way than has been previously known.
According to the New York Times, it is especially Vice President Joe
Biden who is urging the government to reduce the number of U.S.
soldiers in the countries to 68,000 soldiers in the medium term and
to intensify air raids against alleged al-Qaida bases. This would
be a break with Obama's 'comprehensive, new strategy" to defeat
Taliban fighters...."

6. (Mideast) Summit Meeting

Suedwestrundfunk (9/23) radio commented: "Obama cannot afford a
further Mideast meeting of this kind, which damages the foreign
policy reputation of the U.S. President so considerably. Netanyahu

BERLIN 00001185 004 OF 009


humiliated and made a fool out of the young man in the White
House.... Given Obama's apparent foreign political harmlessness,
Netanyahu was able to show the world that not the U.S. superpower
defines the key issues in the Mideast conflict, but Israel....
Obama has failed in the first and essential power struggle with the
Israeli prime minister. In New York, the Israeli prime minister
deliberately duped the U.S. President and made him appear as a
beginner in foreign politics. This was not smart."

Tageszeitung (9/24) remarked: "The body language of the participants
in the trilateral meeting in New York does not raise hope that peace
will soon be created in the Mideast. Palestinian President Abbas
and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hesitated to shake hands. By
accepting the invitation, both made the impression that they wanted
to do a favor to President Obama.... Neither for Israelis nor the
Palestinians is the two-state solution attractive. However, it is
the only solution that would acceptable to both sides and the only
one that could prevent further bloodshed. Anything else is a
dangerous utopia."

7. (U.S.-UK) Relations

Under the headline: "Deterrence Is a thing of the Past,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) editorialized: "PM Brown's proposal to
cut the number of British nuclear submarines from four to three is
nothing but the desperate attempt to get back the goodwill of the
U.S. government and President Obama. Washington is still annoyed at
the release of Lockerbie assassin al-Meghrabi. Brown can now feel
how angry Washington is because it is very likely that President
Obama will not meet PM Brown at the UN General Assembly.
Admittedly, with his surprise offer, Brown is the first
representative of an official nuclear power who is backing Obama's
disarmament initiative. But the president's enthusiasm and
gratitude is likely to be limited, for Washington knows that Britain
cannot afford its expensive nuclear deterrence anyway. Even the
conservative opposition has announced cuts, but it is honest and
cited budgetary reasons."

8. (Honduras) Zelaya in Brazilian Embassy

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) headlined: "Dangerous Soap Opera," and
judged: "It is really time for Honduras to peacefully end its
dangerous soap opera. This poor country with its greedy elite
cannot afford this power struggle. Since ex-President Zelaya has
sneaked back to the country and has hidden in the Brazilian embassy,
the duel between the elite and Zelaya is now turning into a battle.
Honduras urgently needs international mediators. The putschists
should by no means assert their views. This would be a tragedy for
Latin America's hardly fought democracies. Diplomatic pressure
should now definitely force Micheletti's puppet regime to give in
before the armed forces and demonstrators cause a bloodbath.
Micheletti must enter into talks with Zelaya and restore basic
rights. And Honduras and its helpers should then also urgently
focus on the real problems in the country: poverty, inequality, and
violence."

In the view of Die Welt (9/24), "intelligent crisis management is
now necessary but also the development of a draft with a long-term
perspective for Honduras. But in the case of Honduras, Brazil's
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim had not demonstrated these things.
Now it is coming back to haunt Brazil that it did not use the past
months for a negotiating solution, for one thing is clear: There is
not a more confusing situation in the world than the one in
Honduras. The crisis is still solvable and the key to it November
29, the day of the presidential elections. Thus far, Brazil has not
taken advantage of the situation to talk about a new beginning with
both sides. In Honduras, more is at stake than the future of a
banana republic. At issue is whether Venezuela's President Hugo

BERLIN 00001185 005 OF 009


Chvez gets control over another country. This needs to be
prevented."

9. (Germany) Upcoming Elections

Mass tabloid Bild (9/24) commented: "This was not an enthusiastic
and emotional election campaign that touched our hearts and exited
our minds. But does this mean that the election is boring? Not at
all, it is a fateful election-for the country and the Social
Democrats.... Germany does not left-wing shouters, but a moderate
and reliable left-wing force like the SPD. Voters must make a
decision now whether the Social Democrats should be the junior
partner in another grand coalition. Or should they regain to old
strength by sharpening their profile in opposition to a center-right
government of the CDU/CSU and FDP? One thing seems to be clear: If
the SPD continues to lose its profile in coming years, the left-wing
of the party will rebel against its leadership and unite with the
Left Party. A coalition of the SPD, Left Party and the Greens might
then soon govern this country. This election is also the last exit
to avoid a Germany that is guided by the Communists."

1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's and ARD-TV's primetime newscasts opened with stories on the
protests of Opel workers in the Belgian city of Antwerp. Newspapers
led with stories on the G20 summit and Opel. Editorials focused on
the G20 summit, President Obama's speech to the UN, and the future
of carmaker Opel.

2. (U.S.-UN) President Obama's Speech

All media reported on President Obama's speech to the UN General
Assembly, highlighting that "Obama asked the world for help" to
resolve problems together (Frankfurter Rundschau) and quoting him
prominently as saying "America cannot solve all problems alone"
(Spiegel Online).

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) commented: "After eight months in
office, Obama has seen heights some of his predecessors never
enjoyed. However, he has now reached the valley of tears. His
presidency is in trouble. Barack Obama is facing weeks, if not even
months of ordeal. Only after that time we will be able to judge
whether the man has the stature one recently associated with him....
His presidency is passing in quick motion: a clumsy photo
opportunity with the Mideast rivals, a hesitating Obama in climate
negotiations, challenged by the Congress and the military
leadership. Obama is a man of announcements, not of action.
However, this is the beginning of a crisis, not the end.
Apparently, there is great determination behind Obama's much praised
coolness. Somebody who demonstrated so much stamina and finesse in
the election campaign will cope with the political business.
However, it is past the time of great speeches and noble calls. A
UN speech full of emotions seems to be ridiculous when the roof is
on fire at home. Obama will have to show toughness and courage if
he wants to remain credible."

Under a headline "A world of words," Die Welt (9/24) opined on its
front page: "It is an invaluable advantage that the U.S. has a
President who is blessed with the gift of delivering speeches....
However, we are beginning to grow tired. The elevated tone Obama
always uses is somehow strenuous.... Slowly, not only Americans are
wondering what all these nice words are supposed to mean if the
President does not deliver successes."

Tagesspiegel (9/24) remarked in a front-page commentary: "Barack
Obama has become the victim of the expectations he has raised. His
popularity was long seen as a trump card in America's foreign
policy. It is now becoming a burden. It is suddenly imaginable that

BERLIN 00001185 006 OF 009


the U.S. and its partners are entering a spiral of disappointment.
The headlines in Europe on Obama's activities at the UN document
disillusionment.... Obama has contributed to this misunderstanding,
and he is continuing to do so. He knows about the impact his
speeches have and uses them the exert pressure to change things.
However, this leads to an overestimation of the influence the U.S.
President has.... The reality shock was overdue. Wrong
expectations are not a good basis for politics. We also should not
exaggerate the disappointment."

3. (Economic) G-20 Summit

"The Great Redistribution of Wealth," is the headline in
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24), which opined: "The announcements for
the G-20 summit again sound brilliant. Each participant emphasizes
how much we must learn from the crash...but in reality, nothing has
changed over the past months since the monetary system was about to
crash and mankind looked into an abyss. The shock passed and old
habits have returned. A great redistribution of wealth has taken
place and a small group profited from the development of a financial
bubble, while the costs for the disaster must be shouldered by many
people. But politicians are far away from taking really radical
steps. The reason is that the banks in the U.S. and Britain have
reigned in their governments. In light of strong opposing
interests, it is no wonder that good ideas from Europe have little
chance to be approved in Pittsburgh. However, it is striking that
one item does not appear on the agenda in Pittsburgh: the appearance
of the future global economic system. Obviously, the great
redistribution of wealth should continue as before."

In a front-page editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/24) argued:
"Americans and British are working on large-scale global control.
At the third Global Financial Summit, they want to agree on
strategies to reduce imbalances in the global economy. And surplus
countries such as China, Japan, and Germany must expect pressure to
increase domestic demand. Behind these moves from Washington and
London there is a mechanistic way of thinking. If demand drops, a
few screws will be turned around at different places to create new
demand elsewhere. But in the 1960s, Germany already succumbed to
the error that it is possible to fine-tune the economy. The result
of this large-scale attempt entered the history books as
stagflation. But now the Anglo-Saxons of all nations have given in
to the magic of a policy of demand. After the large U.S. shopping
mall has entered a crisis, because the sale via credit cards met its
limits, other countries should now put things straight and consume
at all costs to create a new global economic growth. But experience
with globalization has taught us one thing: growth cannot be bought
on credit for a long time."

Schwaebische Zeitung of Leutkirch (9/24) observed: "The third summit
must finally produce results. This meeting is a possibility to
pause and review all regulations and rules to change them and also
to make them stricter. Admittedly, this is an enormous task and
also highly complex. But it is not necessary to re-invent the
wheel. Many things are still functioning and the global monetary
system is still intact, the market economy does not have an
alternative. We must now concentrate on the black sheep of the
system. The banks that exploited gaps in legislation and sold junk
must now be shown their limits and all those dangerous 'financial
products' that damaged others need to be banned."

Regional daily Saarbruecker Zeitung (9/24) is critical of a
successful G-20 summit and noted: "Yesterday's [EU] proposal is
neither new nor original, and the same is true for the concerns.
Instead, Brussels missed the opportunity to present a convincing
model shared by all sides at the G-20 summit. With this approach,
the EU makes it easy for the United States (and other countries) to
use disagreement among the Europeans as an instrument to defend

BERLIN 00001185 007 OF 009


itself against too rigorous a control. Washington's course in
particular demonstrates that the international community was quick
with presenting catchphrases but that it took a lot of time to make
decisions on new approaches to prevent future crises. That is why
we must fear that the much lauded [G-20] conference will turn into a
show, that slogans will be exchanged that only hush up the fact that
all sides involved do not really want the things that they urgently
wanted a while ago."

Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung (9/24) had this to say:
"Politicians should not let up on reining in the financial sectors
in various countries. Unfortunately, the prospect for successful
moves in this respect is not very favorable. It is likely that the
'window of opportunity' has already closed again. At Wall Street
and in the City, the party has already begun again. The tax on
financial transactions suggested by Finance Minister Steinbrueck is
not implementable on the international stage but Steinbrueck's
question is very justified: Who is going to pay the bill for the
immoderate greed, the exaggerations and irresponsibility of the
financial sector? Of course, the ordinary people."

Right-of-center Augsburger Allgemeine (9/24) judged: "In order to
avoid crises such as the current one, we needed a kind of global
financial police force. The strictest bans will be useless if no
one sees to it that these rules are also implemented. But it is
also clear that the banks in particular must do their homework.
They need sufficient capital resources to help themselves instead of
calling for the assistance from the state. If necessary,
politicians should force the banks to build up such reserves."

Regional daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger (9/24) argued: "Angela Merkel
does not hide her conviction that the G-20 is a more appropriate
forum to resolve global problems than the G-8.... In the United
States a rethinking has begun, too. Unlike his predecessors, Barack
Obama is working hard to achieve a global alliance for greater
security and an alliance for the fight against climate change."

4. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict, Ahmadinejad

ZDF-TV's Heute (9/23) reported: "Iran's President Ahmadinejad caused
a scandal at the UN General Assembly. In a speech, he attacked
Israel again, calling it as a Zionist regime and describing its
policy on Palestinians as genocide. Several delegations left the
hall, including the German one." The report added that Iran's
nuclear program "was the topic of a meeting between President
Medvedev and President Obama. Medvedev indicated that Russia might
agree on imposing tougher sanctions on Iran."

Handelsblatt (9/24) commented that "the advocates of sanctions on
Iran have found a new tactic-they are intimidating companies through
public statements." The commentary added: "However, if China
remains unimpressed and continues to export goods to Iran, it would
be clear how toothless the West's policy of sanctions has become."


5. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy

There is only one paper this morning that reports on the debate in
the United States over the future Afghanistan strategy. Under the
headline: "Biden's Backchat," Sueddeutsche (9/24) reported: "The
U.S. government is questioning the war in Afghanistan and the NATO
mission in a more radical way than has been previously known.
According to the New York Times, it is especially Vice President Joe
Biden who is urging the government to reduce the number of U.S.
soldiers in the countries to 68,000 soldiers in the medium term and
to intensify air raids against alleged al-Qaida bases. This would
be a break with Obama's 'comprehensive, new strategy" to defeat
Taliban fighters...."

BERLIN 00001185 008 OF 009

6. (Mideast) Summit Meeting

Suedwestrundfunk (9/23) radio commented: "Obama cannot afford a
further Mideast meeting of this kind, which damages the foreign
policy reputation of the U.S. President so considerably. Netanyahu
humiliated and made a fool out of the young man in the White
House.... Given Obama's apparent foreign political harmlessness,
Netanyahu was able to show the world that not the U.S. superpower
defines the key issues in the Mideast conflict, but Israel....
Obama has failed in the first and essential power struggle with the
Israeli prime minister. In New York, the Israeli prime minister
deliberately duped the U.S. President and made him appear as a
beginner in foreign politics. This was not smart."

Tageszeitung (9/24) remarked: "The body language of the participants
in the trilateral meeting in New York does not raise hope that peace
will soon be created in the Mideast. Palestinian President Abbas
and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hesitated to shake hands. By
accepting the invitation, both made the impression that they wanted
to do a favor to President Obama.... Neither for Israelis nor
Palestinians is the two-state solution attractive. However, it is
the only solution that would acceptable to both sides and the only
one that could prevent further bloodshed. Anything else is a
dangerous utopia."

6. (U.S.-UK) Relations

Under the headline: "Deterrence Is a thing of the Past,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) editorialized: "PM Brown's proposal to
cut the number of British nuclear submarines from four to three is
nothing but the desperate attempt to get back the goodwill of the
U.S. government and President Obama. Washington is still annoyed at
the release of Lockerbie assassin al-Meghrabi. Brown can now feel
how angry Washington is because it is very likely that President
Obama will not meet PM Brown at the UN General Assembly.
Admittedly, with his surprise offer, Brown is the first
representative of an official nuclear power who is backing Obama's
disarmament initiative. But the president's enthusiasm and
gratitude is likely to be limited, for Washington knows that Britain
cannot afford its expensive nuclear deterrence anyway. Even the
conservative opposition has announced cuts, but it is honest and
cited budgetary reasons."

7. (Honduras) Zelaya in Brazilian Embassy

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/24) headlined: "Dangerous Soap Opera," and
judged: "It is really time for Honduras to peacefully end its
dangerous soap opera. This poor country with its greedy elite
cannot afford this kind of power struggle. Since ex-President
Zelaya has sneaked back to the country and has hidden in the
Brazilian embassy, the duel between the elite and Zelaya is now
turning into a battle. Honduras urgently needs international
mediators. The putschists should by no means assert their views.
This would be a tragedy for Latin America's hard-won democracies.
Diplomatic pressure should now definitely force Micheletti's puppet
regime to give in before the armed forces and demonstrators cause a
bloodbath. Micheletti must enter into talks with Zelaya and restore
basic rights. And Honduras and its helpers should then also
urgently focus on the real problems in the country: poverty,
inequality, and violence."

In the view of Die Welt (9/24), "intelligent crisis management is
now necessary but also the development of a draft solution with
long-term perspective for Honduras. But in the case of Honduras,
Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim had not demonstrated these
things. Now it is coming back to haunt Brazil that it did not use
the past months for negotiating a solution. One thing is clear,

BERLIN 00001185 009 OF 009


there is not a more confusing situation in the world than the one in
Honduras. The crisis is still solvable and the key to it is
November 29, the day of the presidential elections. Thus far,
Brazil has not taken advantage of the situation to talk about a new
beginning with both sides. In Honduras, more is at stake than the
future of a banana republic. At issue is whether Venezuela's
President Hugo Chvez gets control over another country. This needs
to be prevented."

8. (Germany) Upcoming Elections

Mass tabloid Bild (9/24) commented: "This was not an enthusiastic
and emotional election campaign that touched our hearts and exited
our minds. But does that mean that the election has been boring?
Not at all, it is a fateful election-for the country and the Social
Democrats.... Germany does not left-wing shouters, but a moderate
and reliable left-wing force like the SPD. Voters must make a
decision now whether the Social Democrats should be the junior
partner in another grand coalition. Or should they regain their old
strength by sharpening their profile in opposition to a center-right
government of the CDU/CSU and FDP? One thing seems to be clear: if
the SPD continues to lose support in coming years, the left-wing of
the party will rebel against its leadership and unite with the Left
Party. A coalition of the SPD, Left Party and the Greens might then
soon govern this country. This election is also the last exit to
avoid a Germany that is guided by the former Communists."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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