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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S., Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan,

VZCZCXRO4206
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1300/01 2930602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200602Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5517
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 1647
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0356
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0872
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2388
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1397
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0580
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 001300

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 IR SU AF PK
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S., IRAN, SUDAN, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN,
ENVIRONMENT;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.) Clinton Interview
3. (Iran) Bombings
4. (Sudan) New U.S. Strategy
5. (Afghanistan) Future Strategy
6. (Pakistan) Government Offensive
7. (Environment) Copenhagen Climate Talks


1. Lead Stories Summary

Headlines in the print media focused on coalition talks in Berlin.

Die Welt opened with an interview the Russian Newsweek conducted
with
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, FAZ centered on Czech President

Klaus's intention to sign the Lisbon Treaty, and FT Deutschland on
monetary problems between the EU and China, while die tageszeitung
dealt with the offensive of the Pakistani armed forces against the
Taliban. Editorials centered on the coalition talks, the upcoming
signing of the sales contract for Opel, and a debate over the
vaccination against the H1N1 flu virus. ZDF-TV's early evening
newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening newscast Tagesschau also
opened with reports on the coalition talks.

2. (U.S.) Clinton Interview

Die Welt (10/19) carried a front-page interview which the
editor-in-
chief of Russia's edition of Newsweek, Michael Fishman conducted
with
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Moscow last
week. The daily added that the interview will also be published in

Russia today. The paper carried a front-page picture with the
secretary smiling and a caption saying: "No looking back, Secretary

Clinton is not only trying to improve relations with the Russian
government, but she also wants to support Russian human rights
groups
which are trying to improve life [in Russia]." The headline of the

interview is a remark by the Secretary saying: "I do not want to
Seek
Someone who is to Blame." The sub-title summarizes the interview,
writing: "Welt interview: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on

Russia, Missiles, and the Treatment of Iran." Die Welt wrote in an

article on its front page: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
is
trying to develop a joint missile defense system with Russia in the

fight against extremism and terrorism. Clinton said in the
interview
with Die Welt: 'We think that a joint missile defense system for our

states would be reasonable. We see each other confronted with the
same dangers, namely an Iran in possession of nuclear weapons or
such
weapons in the hands of a terrorist network.' That is why it is
time
to cooperate in our own interest. 'We are on a path in the right
direction since President Obama has changed his plans for a missile

defense shield in Europe,' Clinton added." The full text of the
interview appeared on page five.

BERLIN 00001300 002 OF 007

3. (Iran) Bombings

All papers carried extensive coverage of the bombing that killed
several commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. Sueddeutsche
(10/19)
headlined: "Attack on Revolutionary Guards in Iran," and added that

"the most serious attack on the Revolutionary Guards over the past
few
years emphasizes the increasing instability in the region."
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/19 reported under the headline: "Iranian

Generals Killed in Attack" that "the great majority of Sunni
Baluchis,
primarily found in the Province of Sistan Baluchistan, opposes the
Shiite rulers. The Iranian news agency ISNA reported that the Sunni

Dchundullah underground group assumed responsibility for the attack.

Iran's state TV only spoke of a local Sunni rebel group, while
revolutionary guards claimed 'foreign elements' with relations to
the
Untied States were responsible for the attack." Die Welt (10/19)
headlined: "High-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards killed in
Bombing," and wrote: "Iran's Parliamentary President Larijani said:

'We are of the opinion that the most recent terror attacks refer
back
to the United States.' He added that President Obama announced a
policy of an 'extended hand,' but with this action he has 'burnt his

hand. Washington rejected the accusations. U.S. spokesman Ian Kelly

said: 'We condemn this terrorist attack and regret the death of
innocent people. Reports of an U.S. involvement are totally wrong,
he
said.

In an editorial, Frankfurter Rundschau (10/19) wrote: "The bombing
is
shaking a central pillar of the Iranian power structure on which the

regime under Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad is
increasingly dependent. But the bombing also reveals other
conflicts
that are smoldering under the surface, conflicts that have been
ignored since the controversial presidential elections. The Sunni
minority feels suppressed by the Shiite headquarters and is calling

for greater self-determination, even though this demand is going
hand
in hand with the continued activity of the drug, human trafficking
and
ransom industries."

According to Financial Times Deutschland (10/19), "the Revolutionary

Guards seemed to be inconvincible in the summer, but yesterday's
attack shows that they are not invulnerable and that they do not
always have everything under control. Even though the attacker did

not come from the opposition ranks the regime cannot like the
pillars
of their power being hit. The political system in Iran is not a
house
of cards. It has been set up in such a way that it can also govern


BERLIN 00001300 003 OF 007


against the majority. The question is for how long the
powers-that-be
are able to stand this course. That is why they are using all means

available to return to the state of control before the mass protests

on June 12. But the unrest in the country is so great that a new
outbreak of protests is likely."

Tagesspiegel (10/19) judged under the headline: "The bombing Also
Casts Light onto Iran's Opium Problem," and argued: "Almost half of

the opium from Afghanistan destined for France, Italy, Germany, and

France is being transferred by Iranian drug couriers across southern

Iran to the North. Iran's province of Sistan Beluchistan at the
border to Pakistan and Afghanistan is considered the most dangerous
in
the country. Tehran is now having the same experience as all other

transit countries: a considerable part of the cargo gets stuck on
the
way to the North to the detriment of the health of its own young
people. But Europe is looking away. For years, Iran has not
received
any support to counter the activities of these drug gangs."

4. (Sudan) New U.S. Strategy

Under the headline: "Less Pressure, Greater Stimulus," Sueddeutsche

Zeitung (10/19) noted: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will
announce a new U.S. strategy towards Iran this Monday. In the
future,
Washington will try to intensify cooperation with the regime in
Khartoum in order to improve the situation in the crisis province of

Darfur. President Obama's special envoy Scott Gration said that the

United States wants to use a mixture of 'stimuli and pressure' to
stop
the persecution of the people in Darfur."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/19) editorialized under the headline:
"More
Carrot Than Stick," and wrote: "Basheer's promotion to a U.S. anti-
terror ally is not an appropriate step to enthuse Obama's left-wing

supporters, because he used the Darfur example to criticize George
W.
Bush of a lack of self-assertion. This policy is also grist to the

mill of the right wing. They are afraid that the President, with
his
multiple 'extended hands' to Russia, Iran, Burma, and North Korea,
will also become entangled in Sudan, and that, in the end, the
United
States will be chained. But Obama continues to make his first moves

and knows only one thing: his predecessor's methods were not very
successful."

Under the headline: "Waltz with Basheer," Tagesspiegel (10/19)
editorialized: "In the election campaign, President Obama
represented
a tough policy against Sudanese President Basheer, but now the U.S.


BERLIN 00001300 004 OF 007


government has presented a Sudan policy that gives up the plan to
completely ostracize the dictator. There are several reasons for
this: the peace treaty that was concluded between the North and the

South is about to fail. U.S. Sudan envoy Scott Gration is convinced

that there will be no solution without Basheer. In view of the
complex realities in the country, the Obama administration has bid
farewell to a policy that was based on human rights. This is bitter

but also wise. The international arrest warrant against Basheer has

only made the dictator stronger. It is difficult but necessary to
find the right distance, for otherwise, there will soon be a new war

in Sudan."

5. (Afghanistan) Future Strategy

Under the headline; "Obama Supporters Losing Patience," Financial
Times Deutschland (10/19) reported: "Following a tough conservative

campaign against his healthcare reform, President Obama has to
counter
mounting criticism from his own camp. Primarily the increase in
U.S.
forces in Afghanistan is making Democrats angry. But in return, for

many of his controversial political plans, he is finding unusual
supporters: Republican lawmakers. Some have indicated that they
would
back his planned increase of troops in Afghanistan to up to 40,000
forces. With this shift, conservative lawmakers could turn into the

strongest allies of the Democratic president in questions of
national
security. At the same time, the gap would widen that has developed

between Obama, the party's rank and file and leading Democrats."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/19) opined in a front-page editorial: "It

is time for the international community to cut the knot and make up

its mind on an increase of forces in Afghanistan. It is true that
the
coming winter will result in a reduction of combat activities but
the
Afghan population will draw its own conclusions from the ongoing
insecurity [in the West] and on its future engagement in their
country. This is also one way to lose the hearts and minds of the
people. The situation is being aggravated because of a second
dilemma: the presidential elections have not clarified the political

situation. On the contrary, forming a unity government in this
situation does not sound like such a bad option. It would, in fact,
be
the lesser evil, although it would not correspond to the
Constitution
and would be unlikely to prevent the rivals [Karzai and Abdullah]
from
paralyzing each other, to stem corruption and to keep the central
government from losing the rest of its credibility."

Under the headline: "Karzai Prevents Afghanistan's Reconstruction,"

Die Welt (10/19) opined: "It is time to strike a different tone
towards the Afghan president. President Obama's refusal to tell

BERLIN 00001300 005 OF 007


Karzai what to do before a resolution to the Afghan election crisis

has been found, is a move in the right direction, even though the
West
cannot afford to let the matter go unresolved. But with this step,

Washington is making clear that Karzai, too, has to meet conditions

before the West intensifies its engagement. In the meantime, people

at the NATO headquarters in Kabul are discussing whether local
structures can be better build from the bottom up and whether NATO
should seek its own governors and police leaders who are more
competent and less corrupt. But in his own interest, Karzai should

understand one thing soon: life will also go on without him."

According to regional daily Trierischer Volksfreund (10/19),
"President Obama plans to define his new Afghanistan strategy in the

coming weeks. He would be well-advised to include the most recent
provocative attitude of Afghanistan's President Karzai into
consideration when deciding this important political question.
There
can be no doubt that there were massive manipulations by his
supporters in the election and that these manipulations were covered

up by high ranking officials. That is why it is time that Obama,
but
also the rest of the world, make clear to Karzai the following: our

military concept and the question of civilian engagement will orient

clearly to the credibility and the reliability of the Afghan
President."

6. (Pakistan) Government Offensive

In its offensive against the Taliban, the Pakistani government wants

to put an end to attacks from opponents on the army headquarters,"
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/19) argued, and added: "But one of the
effects of this offensive will be that, among the hundreds of
thousands of people, who will now flee from Southern Waziristan,
there
will be many 'insurgents' and terrorists who will flee to rugged
mountainous regions and to Afghanistan. Next spring it will become

clear whether the Af/Pak complex can be controlled militarily and
politically."

In an editorial under the headline: "Fateful Offensive," die
tageszeitung (10/19) judged: "This offensive makes clear that the
survival of Pakistan as a halfway secular and democratic state is at

stake. It is totally open whether the fight against the Taliban can

even be won. Even the smaller offensive in the SWAT Valley early
this
year was not a sound success and the opponent in South Waziristan is

much more powerful. That is why there are only two possible
scenarios: either the armed forces really win the upper hand against

the Taliban, making them stronger than any time before, or they will

get involved in a guerilla war in which they must conclude dubious
deals with the opponents - which would result in a worrying

BERLIN 00001300 006 OF 007


radicalization of Pakistan. The only possibility of the
international
community to counter such a development is to help the Zadari
government quickly and unbureaucratically achieve a civilian
success."

7. (Environment) Copenhagen Climate Talks

According to Handelsblatt(10/19), the EU is not making any progress
in
its preparatory talks for the Copenhagen Climate summit (December 7
-
18, 2009). The daily reported under the headline; "EU at Odds With

Itself on Climate Costs," and wrote: "the European Union is not
making
progress in its preparations for the climate protection conference
in
Copenhagen. The 27 EU members are at odds with each other not only

about the costs for the fight against global warming but also about

targets for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. This is the
content of the draft resolutions for the European Council of finance

ministers (Ecofin) and the European Council of environment
ministers.
Both councils will meet tomorrow and the day after tomorrow in
Luxembourg. But Brussels' diplomats doubt that the meetings will
lead
to an agreement. But time is pressing because the EU leaders, during

their summit at the end of this month, want to approve a joint
position. An agreement is all the more important because the
British
and Americans are already spreading optimism that there will be a
global agreement in Copenhagen. U.S. envoy Todd Stern, said: 'I
think
an agreement is possible.'"

Under the headline: "U.S. Considers Climate Deal To Be Possible,"
Financial Times Deutschland (10/19) reported: "Irrespective of the
brief time, the United States and Great Britain think than an
agreement at the Copenhagen Climate Summit is still possible.
Officials from both states said that other nations such as Japan,
Indonesia, India, and China have already reached agreements on
targets. U.S. chief envoy Todd Stern said in London: 'I think an
agreement is possible.' During the meeting in London, pressure on
the
United States is mounting for it to approve concrete steps to
protect
the climate. It is the last meeting in a series of meetings
initiated
by the United States. These meetings should also find answers to
questions such as how to finance improved energy efficiency and
adaptation cost as a consequence of climate damages."

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/19) carried an editorial on the decision
of
the Maldives government to carry out a Cabinet meeting under water.

The daily judged: "President Mohammed Nasheed is a clever man. With

his spectacular underwater Cabinet meeting he made it into almost
all
papers in the world. This is good. Shortly before the important
Copenhagen Climate summit, it makes clear that the issue in
Copenhagen

BERLIN 00001300 007 OF 007


is not solely abstract temperature curves, carbon dioxide figures
and
billions of euros, but that the issue is people."

Regional daily Sdkurier of Konstanz (10/19) judged: "Mohammed
Nasheed
had quite a few ideas of attracting attention of the global public
to
the misery of his island state. Now the President of the Maldives
submerged with his full Cabinet. In this paradise-like world of
islands it is more obvious than anywhere else how dramatic the
impact
of climate change is. The underwater Cabinet approved an ardent
appeal to the Copenhagen climate conference. But in the petty
bickering of Copenhagen, the appeal will go unheard. And a
depressed
President Nasheed will again have to explain to his citizens that
those who have the say in Copenhagen do not (yet) know what it means

to be up to one's neck in water."

Die tageszeitung (10/19) opined that "this dive into the Indian
Ocean
is sending the signal to Copenhagen that there is no room for
national
egotism in the climate debate. At the conference, humanly thinking

states must stand for an engaged climate protocol and if this is not

implementable, a unilateral move of the good-willing is necessary."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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