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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia-U.S.,

VZCZCXRO8655
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1274/01 2861502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131502Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5462
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 1622
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0329
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0846
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2363
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1372
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0555
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 07 BERLIN 001274

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 PK AF RS XF US AM EU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, RUSSIA-U.S.,
MIDEAST,
U.S., TURKEY-ARMENIA, EU

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Pakistan) Bomb Attack
3. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy
4. (Russia-U.S.) Clinton Visit
5. (Mideast) Aftermath of Goldstone Report
6. (U.S.) Nobel Peace Prize for Obama
7. (Turkey-Armenia) Rapprochement
8. (EU) Future of Lisbon Treaty


1. Lead Stories Summary

There is only one lead story in the print and electronic media: the

plan of Brandenburg's SPD leader Platzeck to form a coalition
government with the Left Party. Editorials focused on the same
issue
and on the state of the coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and the

FDP in Berlin.

2. (Pakistan) Bomb Attack

Many papers (10/13) carried wire service reports on the Taliban
attacks on the Pakistani armed forces headquarters in Rawalpindi.
"New Wave of Violence in Pakistan - Taliban creating Endurance Test

for Nuclear State," headlined Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reporting that
"following a period of relative calm, the Taliban and its allies are

covering the country with a new wave of violence. The United States

has secretly helped Pakistan develop security measures which prevent

unauthorized people from blowing up nuclear warheads. Nevertheless,

rumors are spreading that the U.S. has developed emergency plans to

take over control of Pakistani nuclear warheads in the case that
Islamists were to take control of the country."

Handelsblatt (10/13) judged under the headline, "Wake-Up Call For
the
Armed Forces," that: "Since last year, there has been a civilian
government in Pakistan, but the real center of power continues to be

the headquarters of the armed forces. An attack on this
high-security
headquarters is therefore the greatest possible challenge to the
Pakistani state. The Taliban's hostage-taking in the military
headquarters is a signal in two respects. It destroys the illusion

that Islamic extremism in Pakistan is on the retreat since the death

of notorious Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. And it makes clear
that
the government and the armed forces will lose the fight for
Afghanistan sooner or later if they continue their usual halfhearted

approach against the Islamic threat. [Following the weekend
attack],
the army must realize that controlling South Waziristan is not only
a
question of doing the disliked United States a favor, but also a
question of survival. And now that the Taliban have attacked the
heart of the armed forces, the chances are better than ever that the


BERLIN 00001274 002 OF 007


situation will change."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/13) editorialized: "The Pakistani armed
forces celebrated their spring offensive as a success, but this was

premature. The attack on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi is

politically and morally the most serious one: this army is even
unable
to defend its own security. Of course, the question must be raised
as
to what extent the army has been undermined. Even if the governments

in London and Washington express their confidence that the Pakistani

government is still in full control of its nuclear arsenal, we would

not bet on it. There is no doubt that Pakistan is faced with a
murderous danger - a danger to which we have closed our eyes for
much
too long."

"Pakistan under Taliban Fire," headlined Die Welt (10/12) and
opined:
"[Following the attack on the military headquarter,] the countries
of
the world are raising the question of how safe the red button, which

ignites the Pakistani nuclear weapons, is. Could the attack happen

without the knowledge of informants from the powerful military
intelligence service, which has cultivated close relations with the

Taliban and sees Afghanistan as a strategic hinterland against
India?
Following this attack, the message to the Pakistani is: Who can
protect you if the armed forces are even unable to protect
themselves.
The international community must interpret the attack as what it is:
a
warning."

3. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy

Under the headline: "New U.S. Strategy Fails in Afghanistan -
Project
for Farmers Cannot Be Begun - Helpers Stranded in Kabul,'
Frankfurter
Rundschau (10/13) reported: "The U.S. is exerting increasing
pressure
on the Afghan leadership. According to Secretary Clinton,
Washington
is expecting much more from President Karzai than before. Clinton
said in London: 'If the vote results in his re-election, then there

must be a new relationship between him and the people.' Due to the

investigation of election fraud, there has been no official result
of
the August 20 presidential elections. Efforts for reconstruction
are
increasingly lagging behind the U.S. proposed schedule. The New
York
Times reported that U.S. efforts threaten to fail in the fight
against
corruption, the establishment of government and legal structures and


BERLIN 00001274 003 OF 007


the training of an able police force."

4. (Russia-U.S.) Clinton Visit

All major broadcast media (10/12) carried factual reports on
Secretary
Clinton's arrival in Moscow to hold talks with her Russian
counterpart, Lavrov, and Russian President Medevev on a new
disarmament accord and Iran. "The talks are also about whether
Russia
will support new sanctions on Iran if it does not comply in the
dispute over its nuclear program. Other topics will be the
situation
in Afghanistan, Georgia and arms control," Deutschlandfunk radio
noted
this morning. Under the headline "Clinton calls on conflicting
parties in Northern Ireland," Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that
"Clinton tried to restart the autonomy process in Northern Ireland
through personal calls. She said that the U.S. government wants to

continue to promote and support the northern Irish path to peace...

However, the parties in Belfast must walk the remaining steps
alone."

5. (Mideast) Aftermath of Goldstone Report

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) commented: "It is easy to guess that

Palestinian President Abbas only supported the idea of freezing the

Goldstone report because Israel has promised him something. What
could that be? Despite intensive efforts by Mideast Envoy Mitchell,

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been inflexible-he does not
even
want to stop the further building of settlements in the West
Bank....
Palestinians now accuse their President of unnecessarily giving way
to
Israel. Their annoyance is understandable; many of them already see

Abbas as too weak. Israel is critical of the UN, and it is partly
right, but making Abbas their accomplice will only further
strengthen
the radicals among the Palestinians."

6. (U.S.) Nobel Peace Prize for Obama

All papers (10/10) carried reports on President Obama being awarded

the Nobel Peace Prize. Der Spiegel carried a front-page picture of

the President's face and the caption: "Mission: Global Peace - The
Impossible mission of Barack Obama." Frankfurter Rundschau showed
the
President with a laurel wreath around his head, saying: "Advance
Payment for Obama. The U.S. president gets the Nobel Peace Prize,
not
for his achievements but for his visions. The award is an
expression
of the high expectations, people have for Obama. Obama himself,
however, doubts that he deserves the prize." Die Welt opened with
the
president's remarks and headlined: "'I have not deserved it.' Nobel

Peace Prize: U.S. President Barack Obama is Demonstrating Modesty -

BERLIN 00001274 004 OF 007

Critics Consider the Honor to be Premature." Many other papers
carried the same headline: "Nobel Peace Prize for Barack Obama."

Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio of Hamburg (10/9) broadcast the
following
commentary: "The speaker and visionary Barack Obama indeed deserves

the Nobel Peace Prize - but he deserved it six years ago when he, as

the only Democrat, clearly raised his voice against George Bush's
Iraq
War. But now Obama will not be awarded as a speaker at the
Democratic
Party Congress, not as a peace-loving election campaigner and not as
a
visionary but as president of the United States. And as U.S.
president he cannot present any peace successes. On the contrary.
Obama's increase in forces in Afghanistan is provoking an increase
in
victims.... The Afghanistan war is his war at least that is what
Obama
says over and over again, as if he wanted to prove that not only his

predecessor but he, too, knows how to wage the right war.
Unfortunately, he is fighting the right war in the wrong way."

Sdwestrundfunk of Stuttgart (10/9) aired the following commentary:

"There is no doubt that Barack Obama has many good and correct ideas

and he is working hard to implement his vision of a better world.
But
the Nobel Peace Prize now? Obama has only just begun to work on his

ambitious plans. And time will tell whether he will succeed. Thus

far, measurable successes are scarce. It addition, it would have a

pale aftertaste if the Nobel Peace Prize goes to a man who as
supreme
commander is responsible for two wars, who has presented the highest

defense budget ever, and whose Defense Department has now reported
that it is using all available means to make the most destructive
conventional bomb operational. Much will now depend on how the U.S.

President deals with this award, how he himself defines his role as

Nobel Peace laureate. Obama has won the Nobel peace prize; now he
must earn it."

DeutschlandRadio Kultur (10/9) commented: "If the Nobel Committee
has
really taken the prize seriously, then it has at least mixed up the

most necessary criteria for assessing political achievements. Words

have replaced deeds, and hopes have replaced successes.... Nothing
can
currently be more detrimental to Barack Obama, who has been
confronted
with sober realities in domestic and foreign policies over the past

few weeks. The premature Nobel Peace Prize is now threatening to
suffocate this great carrier of hope under excessive expectations."


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Under the headline: "The Prize As a Burden," Sueddeutsche (10/10)
argued: "The Nobel Prize Committee has imposed a heavy burden on the

President. It has even deprived him somewhat of his political
clout,
for this award is upsetting the world. What will happen to the
presidential office and the prize if Obama has to wage a war? Obama

cannot want to shoulder this prize on his own. This prize is a trust

bonus and only the coming three years will tell whether it was
justified. The Committee does not say anything else but that it
wants
to thank Obama for giving up the policy of his predecessor George W.

Bush.... The Nobel Committee wasted the opportunity to award the
prize
to someone who really needed it, such as Chinese dissidents, Russian

human rights activists, or Father Fhrer from Leipzig on behalf of
all
the people who took part in the Monday demonstrations in the former

GDR. Barack Obama does not need this prize. The prize needs
Obama."

Stuttgarter Zeitung (10/10) editorialized: "Today, Obama's view that

the countries of the world sit in the same boat and will succeed
together or go down together, has become self-evident. But Barack
Obama stands for much more. We are witnessing the end of a period
which has lasted five centuries. During all these centuries,
Europeans, but also Americans, conquered the rest of the world,
looted
and exploited it. Obama stands for the end of the supremacy of the

white man on earth. Many did not believe the Americans capable of
shedding old skins and electing Obama. They did it. That is why
Oslo
did not only honor Obama, but America."

Tabloid Bild (10/10) asked above the fold, "Does Obama really
deserve
the Nobel Prize" and concluded in a page-two editorial: "Barack
Obama
has been in office nine months. His record so far: much ado about
nothing. The Nobel Committee has shown that it rewards not only
outstanding achievements but also nice plans and daydreams. It
awards
the prize...for nothing at all."

Regional daily Nrnberger Nachrichten (10/10) opined: "Obama must
earn
this prize first and in his remaining years in office he will prove

whether he deserves it. Such was the case with Willy Brandt, we can

expect this honor to help Obama in his efforts to achieve the
foreign
policy goals he has outlined. The Nobel Peace Prize is an
encouragement to continue a policy that stands for cooperation, not

confrontation or ill-fated U.S. unilateral action as we knew from
Bush."

Regional daily Ostsee-Zeitung of Rostock (10/10) judged: "The fact

BERLIN 00001274 006 OF 007


that 48-year-old Barack Obama was awarded this globally prestigious

prize after only nine month in office is a brazen but also
controversial and surprising decision. But if we take a closer
look,
the star in the political skies is about to burn out. Many
Americans
are disappointed that Obama is refusing to legally prosecute members

of the Bush administration, that CIA torturers are getting off
scot-
free, that massive electoral fraud is being tolerated in
Afghanistan,
that the international financial ''is still open , and that climate

protection is turning into a policy of the 'smallest common
denominator.'"

7. (Turkey-Armenia) Rapprochement

Sddeutsche (10/12) editorialized: "It is courageous what the two
governments have planned- we can only hope they have the political
momentum to achieve it. The resistance to rapprochement is great
inside both countries. However, those who are irreconcilable are
wrong. This also includes Armenians who believe that there must not

be rapprochement before Turkey acknowledges the genocide of 1915.
The
opposite is true: Taking up diplomatic relations and opening
borders
will further undermine the genocide taboo in Turkey.... Those who
are
denying past events are beginning to sway. Years of democratization

in Turkey are erasing one taboo after another."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) analyzed: "Armenians at home and
abroad
are accusing Armenian President Sarkisjan of making the
acknowledgement of the genocide part of negotiations and of giving
up
legitimate territorial claims by recognizing the Turkish-Armenian
border. However, the criticism has nothing at all to do with
reality.
It would serve Armenia's interests better to come to terms with
history together [with Turkey]."

8. (EU) Future of Lisbon Treaty

Deutschlandfunk radio (10/11) opined: "The righteous criticism of
the
Lisbon Treaty does not justify Czech President Klaus's blockade....
He
believes he can ignore the will of all European parliamentarians.
This attitude is worse than anything he accuses the European
enterprise of."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) editorialized: "Some European state
leaders still don't know what it means to be a member of the
European
Union. In no club in the world can you enjoy the privileges of
membership without paying your dues. British conservatives as well
as
Czech President Klaus should remember this."

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/12) commented: "The Polish president has
ratified the EU Lisbon Treaty. That's good news. It ended a

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bizarre
theater.... However, nobody knows when and if the treaty will clear
the
last hurdle. This hurdle was set even higher as Czech President
Klaus
not only wants to hear the outcome of a court trial, but also
demands
a footnote to the treaty that guarantees German expellees cannot
reclaim property in the Czech Republic. This desire is completely
unreasonable and impudent. Changing the treaty would make a
completely new ratification process necessary in all EU
countries....
Klaus has obviously got a screw loose. A single man is currently on
a
wild ride with 27 nations and their governments. He ignores
democratic decisions, also those of his own parliament. Prague is
already discussing an impeachment of Klaus. Let's do it. Klaus is
an
imposition - for his country and Europe."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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