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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S., Afghanistan, Eu, U.S.; Berlin

VZCZCXRO9794
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1280/01 2871236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141236Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5474
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 1629
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0336
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0854
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2370
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1379
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0562
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 05 BERLIN 001280

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 US AF EU US
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S., AFGHANISTAN, EU, U.S.; Berlin

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.-Russia) Secretary Clinton in Moscow
3. (Afghanistan) Secret Increase in U.S. Forces
4. (EU) Ratification of Lisbon Treaty
5. (U.S.) Climate Protection

1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's early evening newscast Heute led with a story on the
coalition talks in Berlin and ARD-TV's early evening newscast
Tagesschau opened with a story on the financial problems of the
northern German bank HSH Nordbank. Newspapers and editorials
focused
on the sluggish coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and FDP and the

demotion of federal banker Sarrazin.

2. (U.S.-Russia) Secretary Clinton in Moscow

All media (10/14) reported on Secretary Clinton's visit to Moscow,
focusing on the topics of Iran, disarmament and missile defense.
Sddeutsche's front page report, "U.S. and Russia cooperate in
missile
defense," highlighted that "Secretary Clinton offered to cooperate
closely with Russia on missile defense." Frankfurter Allgemeine
headlined "Lavrov insists on getting Washington's plans straight,"
noting that "Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed skepticism
over
the American offer to cooperate in missile defense." Under the
headline "Harmony in Moscow," Frankfurter Rundschau wrote that the
"U.S. and Russia got closer in their negotiations on nuclear
disarmament and also want to cooperate closely in the nuclear
dispute
with Iran." Die Welt headlined "U.S. and Russia do not want
sanctions
against Iran for the time being," and Berliner Zeitung headlined
"Russia protects Iran from sanctions." Under the headline "A little

bit of peace," Tagesspiegel noted that "the U.S. and Russia have
expressed unity in the nuclear dispute over Iran.

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/14) editorialized: "A secretary and a
minister who have nothing to say spoke together in Moscow. Hillary

Clinton only plays a minor role in a government whose President has

defined foreign policy and delegated diplomatic operations to a host

of envoys and special ambassadors. And Lavrov, who is serving two
leaders, is extremely busy with trying to reconcile their sometimes

diverging views. The results of the Moscow talks reflect this:
there
is nothing apart from an exchange of friendly words.... Their
bosses
will discuss the real problems."

Under the headline "In absolute harmony," Sddeutsche (10/14)
opined:
"No sooner has the relationship between the U.S. and Russia
improved,
then a new problem is emerging. Secretary Clinton's latest problem
is
holding even slightly differing views from Lavrov. A short
reference
to Georgia was the only publically expressed disagreement. Both
leaders celebrated absolute harmony when they appeared together....

BERLIN 00001280 002 OF 005

However, it was particularly America that reached out to Moscow.
The
U.S. renouncement of the missile defense shield woke up Russian
military strategists because they fear that the world might expect
something in return, such as a tougher approach towards Iran.
Clinton
has assuaged this fear by stating that she believes new sanctions
would come too early. In the post-START agreement, it is Barack
Obama's turn anyway. The U.S. President with the diplomatic burden
of
a Nobel Peace Prize cannot afford to get lost in little disputes
over
hundreds of nuclear warheads and carrier rockets. He cannot afford

for the talks to fail. Russia's position is more comfortable
because
the giant country under financial straits is interested in reducing

the level of arms.... There is no doubt that Russia is enjoying its

newly won power. Moscow appreciates being heard international
questions. Being on an equal playing field with Washington suggests

to Moscow that it is once again a superpower, a message that is
being
communicated well to the people through the media. However, Russia

cannot claim the successes concerning the foreign political issues
of
Iran, missile defense and START. These are the result of a change
of
direction in the White House. Moscow's interests should go beyond
the
craving for more prestige. The strategists in the Kremlin know that

real power is more than a few old nuclear bombs and the veto right
on
the UN Security Council. If Russia does not manage to become a
stable
and strong economic power in the long run, its influence will remain

limited."

3. (Afghanistan) Secret Increase in U.S. Forces

"Is Obama Secretly Increasing Forces in Afghanistan?" headlined
Tagesspiegel. Meanwhile Die Welt (10/14) wrote: "Obama Secretly
Increases Forces," and reported: "Obviously, President Obama is
sending considerably more forces to Afghanistan than was previously

known. The Washington Post reported that Obama authorized the
sending
of an additional 13,000 forces in addition to the announced increase

of 21,000 soldiers. Since taking office, Obama has now sent 34,000

additional forces to Afghanistan." Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/14)
carried a report, headlined: "Discreet Reinforcements," and noted:
"President Obama has ordered the deployment of far more soldiers in

Afghanistan then the general public had previously assumed. In
March,
Obama increased combat forces in the war against the Taliban and
al-
Qaida by 21,000 forces but did not explicitly mention that this
would
also mean the sending of an additional 13,000 support forces."


BERLIN 00001280 003 OF 005


In an editorial, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/14) judged: "As far as
military matters are concerned, Washington's decision to send more
forces to Afghanistan is o.k. 13,000 additional soldiers will be
sent
to Afghanistan to support the 21,000 combat soldiers whose mission
the
president already announced in March. At that time, Obama approved

the sending of an additional 34,000 soldiers which then corresponded

to a doubling of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But he did not
make
a big thing about it and at the time there was only talk of about
21,000 forces. The question now is how serious is the president
about
the loudly announced transparency in the White House? But if the
public is even now discussing the full extent of the U.S. engagement

in Afghanistan, then this has nothing to do with the new demands
of
Obama's supreme commander in the country. The debate is drawing
attention to the extent that the U.S. engagement would have if
General
McChrystal got all the forces he wanted. Then up to 130,000 U.S.
soldiers would be in Afghanistan, almost the same number as in Iraq.

But following all the years at war, this would hardly be conveyable
to
the American people."

4. (EU) Ratification of Lisbon Treaty

Under the headline: "EU Threatening Czech Republic with Loss of
Commissioner Position in Brussels," Tagesspiegel (10/14) wrote: "In

the tug-of-war over the ratification of the EU reform treaty, the
European Union has now threatened the Czech Republic with
consequences. On Tuesday, European Commission President Barroso
warned the Prague government that it may lose its commissioner
position if President Klaus continues to refuse to ratify the
treaty.
Following a meeting with Barroso, however,Czech Prime Minister
Fischer backed his president's demands to safeguard the
controversial
Benes decrees in an addendum to the treaty." In a report
headlined:
"Exception for Czech Republic," Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/14) wrote
that "In the power struggle with his own government, Czech President

Klaus has asserted his view on his own government. Prime Minister
Fischer backed Klaus's demand for an additional protocol to the
Lisbon
Treaty in order to safeguard the continued existence of the
controversial Benes decrees."

In an editorial under the headline "Like in a Circus," Die Welt
(10/14) dealt with the problems Czech President Vaclav Klaus has
with
signing the ratification document of the Lisbon Treaty, and
editorializes: "Czech President Vaclav Klaus is leading the
political
class in Europe by the nose around the circus ring. At the upcoming

EU summit, everything will focus on Klaus and his abstruse
amendments
to the EU Treaty. Currently, the EU is dancing to Klaus's tunes.
This
may not be a shining moment for the EU's history but it is a wise
move

BERLIN 00001280 004 OF 005


because Klaus is slowly running out of arguments. If the EU meets
his
demands and the Czech Constitutional Court rules that the Lisbon
Treaty is constitutional, Klaus will be placed under immense
pressure.
Then he will sign. He is a gambler but he is not someone who
commits
political suicide. The EU will then have a new treaty, but what
then?
The European Parliament will have greater powers, the votes will be

redistributed and the EU will get a diplomatic service, but these
are
achievements for the European elite. The ordinary citizens have
different concerns. They want to know where the EU's external
borders
are; they want to know what the EU will bring for the individual
citizen; and they want to know how far integration will go. It is
time to give answers to these questions."
5. (U.S.) Climate Protection

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/14) carried a report under the headline:
"Climate Protection Postponed," by its Washington correspondent
Reymer
Klver who wrote: "The announcement did not come as a surprise: when

the world meets in Copenhagen to solve the problem of global climate

protection, the U.S. delegation will come empty-handed. By then,
the
United States is not likely to have any climate protection bill that

would indicate that the United States really wants to reduce its
carbon dioxide emissions. But Barack Obama's highest climate
protection official, Carol Browner, said: 'This will not happen.'
At
the beginning of this year, however, we heard different things from

Washington. Then the newly elected president called climate
protection one of his priorities...and the Democratic leadership in

Congress asserted confidently that it could adopt a climate
protection
bill before the Copenhagen conference.... But America's climate
protectors are not only dissatisfied with a lame Congress, but the
government and President Obama are also under increasing fire.
Pressure is coming from all sides...and even industry is criticizing
the
hesitant man in the White House, who is not determined enough to
push
forward climate protection. But there is by no means a standstill
in
U.S. climate protection policy. President Obama is pursuing a
double
strategy, i.e. he is leaving it to Congress to develop a bill on
climate protection, while he has ordered the Environmental
Protection
Agency to develop procedures that help reduce carbon dioxide
emissions
in the case that Congress is unable to reach an agreement. That is

why EPA head Lisa Jackson, in one of her first great initiatives,
declared carbon dioxide an environmental poison. As far as
administrative law is concerned, this is a precondition for the EPA
to
set ceilings for carbon dioxide emissions. But this approach has
one
great advantage: following a change of government, such an approach


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can be immediately rescinded. For Copenhagen, too, the legislative

snail's pace does not mean the end of all efforts. It is clear that

there will be no agreement la Kyoto...but Congress is discussing
the
idea of setting up an international climate register in which each
state commits itself to achieving certain climate protection goals.

This would not be binding but it would produce internal pressure,
even
in the United States."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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