Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Afghanistan, Mideast, Georgia, Eu,

VZCZCXRO7975
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1225/01 2731324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301324Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5345
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 1581
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0282
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0805
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2322
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1331
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0514
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 06 BERLIN 001225

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 IR AF XF GG EU GM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, MIDEAST, GEORGIA, EU,
CHINA, GERMANY;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iran) P5+1 Talks
3. (Afghanistan) Rasmussen-Obama Meeting
4. (Mideast) Goldstone Report, Hamas-Fatah Relations
5. (Georgia) Final Report on Georgian War
6. (EU) Irish Referendum
7. (China) 60th Anniversary
8. (Germany) Foreign Policy, Aftermath of Elections

1. Lead Stories Summary

The print media gave broad coverage to the future of the SPD and the

subsequent changes at the party's leadership. This is also the
topic
of today's editorials in the press. ZDF-TV's early evening newscast

heute and ARD-TV's early evening newscast Tagesschau opened with
reports on the election of SPD chancellor candidate Steinmeier as
the
head of the new SPD Bundestag group.

2. (Iran) P5+1 Talks

Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/30) editorializes: "A few days prior to
the
Geneva talks, the Iranian missile tests are not exactly a confidence

building measure. They are a demonstration and a provocation, which

could have an effect that was not intended by the Tehran leadership

because every test is one reason more to build a missile defense
shield. Also, Russia is now increasingly worried that the Iranian
military capacities are increasing."

3. (Afghanistan) Rasmussen-Obama Meeting

Primetime ARD-TV's Tagesschau (9/29) notes in a report on President

Obama meeting with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen that "NATO has
obviously not yet agreed on a future strategy on Afghanistan.
Rasmussen assured Obama in Washington that the alliance will do the

job until it is done. However, he recently described demands by the

U.S. army to send more soldiers as premature." The newscast quotes

Obama as saying: "This is not an American battle. This is a NATO
mission as well. And we are working actively and diligently to
consult with NATO at every step of the way."

Berliner Zeitung (9/30) headlines on its front page "Rasmussen
stands
behind Obama's Afghanistan course," highlighting that "President
Obama
emphasized that NATO allies share the responsibility for the
military
mission in Afghanistan."

In a lengthy analytical article inside the paper, Berliner Zeitung
(9/30) notes under the headline "wishful thinking determines the war

in Afghanistan" that "the fact that the Taliban are successful shows

that something is not right about the strategy... The Taliban
benefit

BERLIN 00001225 002 OF 006


from the mistakes of the international community: the bombardment of

civilians, the unbalanced distribution of development aid, the
shortcomings in the setting up of the administration, justice, the
state apparatus, police and army. In addition, they benefit from
the
false impression that is communicated about them. They possess
modern
means of communication and an effective propaganda apparatus; they
pursue a strategy and adjust to the situation; they are powerful,
well-informed and cleverly exploit ethnic tensions.... Also, the
idea
to buy the loyalty of Afghan leaders is based on wishful thinking,
not
on facts. This approach, which was tried out in Iraq, assumes
that
there are differences between Taliban commanders...,that there is a
rift
between the Taliban and foreign al Qaida fighters, that there are
differences of opinion regarding schools for girl, the bombing of
bridges, or the power in certain districts. However, in these
cases,
Taliban fighters are arguing with regional warlords who are
defending
their own interests and might align with others for a purpose. They

are sometimes, for reasons of simplicity, also described as
Taliban....
Simplicity might help to explain the conflict to citizens in western

countries. However, it does not help Afghans."

4. (Mideast) Goldstone Report, Hamas-Fatah Relations

Berliner Zeitung (9/30) opined under the headline: "Israel Must Face

up to the Criticism of the Gaza War" and judged: "To attack someone
is
the best defense. According to this slogan, Israel's government
tried
to discredit the Goldstone report on the Gaza War...but Israel is
ignoring the fact that an internationally renowned judge chaired the

investigation: Richard Goldstone, who as prosecutor, brought the
perpetrators of genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia to trial. He is not a

'self-hating Jew' but a self-confessed Zionist. During the hearing
in
Geneva, even the U.S. representative appealed to the Israeli and
Palestinian sides to discuss the report self-critically.
Jerusalem's
calculation that those who fight in Afghanistan and in Iraq will not

play the role of moralizer, could, nevertheless, come true. But in

the end, Israel and the West would be faced with the damage."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/30) deals with the announcement of Hamas
leader Meschal that reconciliation document will be signed in
October
and judged: "Obviously the radical Islamists [of Hamas] have
realized
that they maneuvered themselves into a dead end street with their
coup
two years ago. The break with their compatriots of Fatah has
resulted
in a division of the Palestinian society and to a severing of ties
to

BERLIN 00001225 003 OF 006


the rest of the world. These surprisingly soft tones from Hamas
promise an exciting fall. In October, Israel and the Palestinians
will officially resume their peace talks. Hamas cannot make a
better
present than peace between brothers to U.S. President Obama after
his
failed New York Middle East summit."

5. (Georgia) Final Report on Georgian War

Frankfurter Allgemeine (9/30) opines in a front-page editorial on
the
publication of the EU report on the war in Georgia: "The report
commissioned by the EU on the five-day war in the Caucasus now made

official what has hardly been doubted recently, that it was
Saakashvili who crossed the line in 2008.... With that, he caused
much
misery for Georgians and Ossetians and probably lost the two
renegade
provinces forever.... However, Saakashvili's guilt does not mean
that
Moscow has not made mistakes or that Russian policy was any better.

The Kremlin had been torpedoing all efforts of the international
community for years to resolve the tensions in the southern
Caucasus.
Instead of using its influence to resolve the conflict between
Georgia
and the renegade provinces, it strengthened separatists, who were
directly led by Moscow. The escalation in 2008 began with the
Russian
provocation in Abkhazia in spring 2008."

6. (EU) Irish Referendum

"New Complaint Against EU Treaty" is the headline in Die Welt and
Tagesspiegel (9/30). The papers reported that "a few days before
the
Irish referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, the Czech Republic is
threatening to further delay the ratification process. The member
of
the Czech Senate, Jiri Oberfalzer, who is well known as a critic of

the EU, filed a constitutional complaint together with 16 other
senators against the Lisbon Treaty."

In a lengthy report, Berliner Zeitung (9/30) noted: "It is a myth
that
the Irish, with their 'no' in 2008, wanted to show Europe a cold
shoulder, that they wanted to snub a partner who financed their good

life. On the streets in Dublin you will hardly find an Irishman who

has the kind of ambivalent relationship with Europe and the EU that,

for instance, a considerable number of the British have. On the
contrary, the Irish have acknowledged in general to what extent
their
island profited from their link to the continent. The fact that
they
rejected the Lisbon Treaty has little to do with content and much
more
with a deeply rooted dissatisfaction with the changes that can be
observed everywhere in the era of globalization."

Under the headline: "Ireland Again The Country That Can Tip The
scales," Die Welt (9/30) editorialized: "The weeping and gnashing of

BERLIN 00001225 004 OF 006

teeth is again widespread in Ireland. The government in Dublin has

also had to prevent the total collapse of its economy with an
economic
stimulus program. But this does not mean that Ireland is a basket
case, because the regenerative powers of this old European society
have by no means been exhausted. What will guide the Irish soul on
October 2? It won't be the Polish or British or German concerns and

considerations, nor will it be Europhilia or Euro-skepticism, but
only
the unfathomable reasons of each Irish individual who freely uses
his
or her right to self-determination. The result has to be accepted,

for better or worse."

7. (China) 60th Anniversary

"Beijing Cordoned Off on 60th Anniversary," headlined Tagesspiegel
(9/30) and reported: "Shortly before the beginning of festivities
for
the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, authorities

preliminarily arrested 6,500 people...including regime critics and
human
rights activists. Many of them received warnings by state security

agencies to keep quiet during the festivities. In addition, the
authorities released a ban on petitions, for it is a tradition in
China that ordinary people from the whole country come to Beijing to

hand in complaints about corrupt officials, illegal land
expropriations, and other injustices. The Party views as a special

risk those people it regards to be Tibetan and Uighur separatists."


8. (Germany) Foreign Policy, Aftermath of Elections

Under the headline "Limits of harmony," Handelsblatt (9/30)
editorializes: "It is likely that the government will face
controversy in the upcoming legislative period over foreign policy,

which has been undisputed for most of Germany's post-war history....
In
the last huge demonstrations over foreign policy issues, the
protesters represented exactly the position of the German
government:
resistance to the war in Iraq. In general, there had been an
agreement on Germany's interests as a medium-sized power and the
motor
of the European integration. This consensus will now be tested.
The
reason is not that the FDP pursues a completely different foreign
policy. On the contrary! All experts only foresee slight changes.

The FDP will indeed have difficulties to make its mark obvious.
Current Foreign Minister Steinmeier often quoted his pre-pre-
predecessor Hans-Dietrich Genscher for good reasons. Their views
are
very close. The FDP wants to put more emphasis on human rights and

disarmament, and accused the SPD of not having pursued them
vigorously
enough. The most important reason for harsher controversies will be


BERLIN 00001225 005 OF 006


the topic of Afghanistan. All parties are aware of the fact that a

majority of the people is skeptical about the Bundeswehr mission in

Afghanistan. While in government, the SPD could subdue this part of

the debate by its realpolitik. The Greens were restrained over last

four years because they had given the starting signal for the
mission
during their coalition with the SPD. However, a new era is
beginning.
The harmony of the grand coalition is over. Although the SPD will
not
join the Left Party's course in opposition and call for the
immediate
withdrawal of the troops. It will sharpen its profile by increasing

its call for a gradual withdrawal of the Bundeswehr. This
development
will accelerate if [Foreign Minister] Steinmeier cannot maintain his

position as the leader of the SPD Bundestag caucus.... In addition,
the
FDP has been taking a more critical approach on foreign missions
than
the CDU and SPD. Unlike the German government, the FDP voted
against
the UNIFIL mandate after the war in Lebanon and against the mission
in
Congo... This makes clear that their will be tensions: If the
CDU/CSU-
FDP government takes a more reserved position on military missions
under the pressure of the opposition and the more skeptical FDP, the

honeymoon with Washington will be over soon.... However, if the
government stands united by military missions, it will face
opposition
by three parties that suddenly discover their peace-loving heart."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (9/30) judged: "As in 2005, when after her near

defeat, Markel made the CDU/CSU Bundestag group confirm her as CDU
chairwoman and thus took critics by surprise, she was again the
first
one who reacted: On election eve she said that she did not want to
be
a lobbyist but 'the chancellor of all Germans.' This was a clear
message to economic liberals in the FDP ranks, i.e. there will be no

infringement? of workers rights and there will be no savings orgy
either. Since then, she has set up new pillars on an hourly basis,

and that is why Westerwelle's hormone level is likely to have taken
a
different direction. Existing minimum wage levels will not be
changed. The same is true for healthcare reform; tax cuts will be
possible only to a minor degree, and the phasing out of nuclear
energy
will not be changed either. The latitude for Westerwelle to score
points in the coalition talks has now been considerably reduced.
The
political changes of which FDP spokespersons permanently speak will

not happen with this chancellor. And on Tuesday, Westerwelle no
longer spoke of them either."

Regional daily Rheinische Post of Dsseldorf (9/30) argued; "This

BERLIN 00001225 006 OF 006


pussyfooting election campaign is now over and it is necessary to
get
to work. Angela Merkel only has a small window of opportunity to
set
the course for a successful government. At the latest in the winter

of 2010/2011, the unemployment figures will explode and the
government
must be ready to cope with them. This means that the Federal Labor

Office must be restructured, a better placement service is needed,
and
there will be cuts in benefits. And she must also get the pension,

nursing care, and healthcare systems out of their demographic traps.

A content-free coalition treaty will not help. The fact that Merkel

tabooed a number of issues right from the start does not speak for a

vigorous new beginning."

Stuttgarter Zeitung (9/30) had this to say: "In spite of all the
nice
words we hear about a future coalition, we should not ignore that
both
alliance parties are separated by many things: the question to what

extent we need our current social welfare state, what will be the
balance between civil rights and security claims, do we need the
draft...etc. With respect to lowering taxes and reforming the
social
security system, the CDU/CSU and the FDP have also different
positions. The chancellor clearly knows that her popularity is not

based on her faded reputation as a reform politician but on her
talent
to achieve an accommodation. That is why she has already put the
brakes on Westerwelle's lan."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

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>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

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>>