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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Missile Defense, Iran,

VZCZCXRO5907
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1315/01 2941238
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211238Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5540
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 1657
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0366
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0882
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2398
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1407
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0590
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 04 BERLIN 001315

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 AF IR EZ PL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, MISSILE DEFENSE, IRAN,
CLIMATE; Berlin

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Afghan Runoff Elections
3. VP Biden in Europe, Missile Defense Policy Shift
4. Iranian Nuclear Program
5. Climate Protection

1. Lead Stories

Primetime newscasts and most newspapers opened with the closure of
the
mail-order business Quelle. Some papers focused on the
Constitutional
Court's review of the labor market reform. Frankfurter Allgemeine
opened with the Afghan runoff elections and Sueddeutsche led with a

story on the new government's planned 'shadow budget.' Editorials
focused on Quelle, the labor market reform known as Hartz IV, the
coalition talks, and Afghanistan.

2. Afghan Runoff Elections

Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized: "Karzai has lost face before
his
supporters and legitimacy among the international community since
election fraud could hardly have happened without his knowledge. A

second round of elections, which he will probably win, will not
remove
this stain. It is expected that the logistical efforts to hold the

runoff will be made more difficult by an increase in attacks by the

Taliban. Voters must fear for their lives. If the turnout is lower

than a third of all voters, which was achieved in the first round,
the
results of the runoff will be dubious anyway."

Sueddeutsche remarked: "When have we done enough for Afghanistan?
When can the 67,000 soldiers leave the country? Karzai has given an

important answer to these questions with his agreement to hold
runoff
elections. If the runoff is successful, the next government will
enjoy a great deal of legitimacy. If Karzai appoints reasonable
ministers and does not give in to his clientele, we could hand over

more and more responsibility to his government. After their energy

was absorbed in recent months by supporting the elections, the
American, German, and other governments no longer have any
excuses...
The runoff offers them a last opportunity to keep their promises:
protection against the Taliban and a better life. This is also one

last chance to define achievable and credible goals for the mission:

Afghanistan must be able to protect itself against becoming an
Islamic
caliphate.... The positive power of the runoff can be exploited as
one
last impetus to stabilize the country... This will be the last
chance.
Karzai has tested the limits of our goodwill."

Frankfurter Rundschau opined: "Hamid Karzai gave in to the
complaints
commission and the important visitors from the West. Particularly

BERLIN 00001315 002 OF 004


Zalmay Khalilzad, who pulled the strings before Karzai's first
inauguration, did a lot of pep talk. The neocon, who was in charge
of
everything in the broader Middle East under President Bush, might
have
helped Karzai out of his fix for the time being. However, Karzai
will
continue to carry the stain of having benefited from massive
election
fraud. This is a burden for Afghanistan's future, regardless of how

the runoff will end."

Under the headline "Afghanistan is not yet lost-the path to
democracy," Die Welt commented: "On the path to democracy, elections

are an important step towards peace, if they are credible, and
instability if they are not credible. This is the fate Afghanistan

faces now, as if it has not yet suffered enough. Runoff elections
are
necessary, but are not sufficient to create confidence at home and
abroad.... To what extent is fraud acceptable in consideration of
our
fallen soldiers? The West must ask itself whether the goals of the

mission are still reasonable and achievable. The notion of democracy

present in Petersberg in 2001 has not yet been established and is
not
in sight.... It is becoming clear that a runoff is the West's
wonder
cure but not the way to pacify the country, which has different
traditions.... Afghanistan is not yet lost. The runoff elections
will
again require more security measures... The efforts of Afghans and
the
international community must not be in vain. Afghanistan must not
again turn into Bin Laden's country."

Tagesspiegel editorialized: "Election fraud is not always rewarded
by
power sharing deals, like in Africa. With the decision to hold
runoff
elections between Karzai and Abdullah, the election scandal is
supposed to be cured. However, the runoff will not create more
credibility as it must be prepared in less than three weeks. Many
Afghans were not able to participate in the first round of the
elections because of the security situation. It is an illusion that

election fraud will be avoidable in the runoff. It will probably be

even more professionally done. Fairly acceptable runoff elections
are
important for the West not to lose face. Without Karzai's
agreement,
the debate over a new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and deploying
more
soldiers would have come to a sudden end. Also in Germany and other

NATO countries, it would have been difficult to secure more
development aid and soldiers to monitor election fraudsters."

3. VP Biden in Czech Republic and Poland, Missile Defense Policy
Shift

Under the headline "In a strategic mission," Frankfurter Rundschau
reported that "U.S. Vice President Biden must calm down Poles and

BERLIN 00001315 003 OF 004


Czechs who were recently snubbed. This will not be a pleasant trip

for him. Barack Obama's deputy is supposed to repair the damage the

U.S. President has caused.... The faithful allies were particularly

annoyed about the way they were treated by Washington. Obama
informed
them by telephone at midnight European time about the change of
course. The fact that Obama called them on the day the Russians
invaded Poland was bitterly commented upon in Warsaw."

Sueddeutsche headlined: "Biden is supposed to calm down Eastern
Europeans," and notes that "the U.S. wants to guarantee Poland's and

the Czech Republic's security via a new defense plan." The paper
shows a photo of Biden with the caption saying: "VP Biden wants to
make clear that good relations between America and Russia will not
be
a burden to Eastern Europe."

4. Iranian Nuclear Program

Several German papers carried reports on the negotiations on the
Iranian nuclear program. Frankfurter Allgemeine headlines: "Mottaki

excludes France." Sueddeutsche headlines: "Iran turns sideways in
nuclear talks," adding that "Iran suddenly rejects the agreed supply

of fuel rods from France." FT Deutschland headlines "Iran makes
fools
out of western negotiators," noting that "unimpressed by the nuclear

talks in Vienna, Iran sticks to the enrichment of uranium.... By
reaching out in Geneva, Iran has won more time in the nuclear
dispute
and avoided UN sanctions."

5. Climate Protection

Many German papers carried reports on the state of the climate
talks,
noting that the "Climate summit faces failure" (Berliner Zeitung
headline) and that the issue of "Climate Protection divides the EU"

(Sueddeutsche headline). Sueddeutsche noted: "Six weeks prior to
the
planned closure of the climate protection agreement, the EU is at
odds
over the European contribution to climate protection. After hours
of
debate, Europeans did not manage to achieve a common mandate for the

Copenhagen conference during their finance ministerial in
Luxemburg."
Handelsblatt remarked: "Germany blocks aid for poorer countries."

Under the headline "The climate must wait," Tagesspiegel reported
that
"prior to the world summit in Copenhagen, Europe and the U.S.
continue
to argue over specific goals. Only 46 days to go until the world
climate summit in Copenhagen, but it remains completely unclear what

the post-Kyoto protocol will look like. It is becoming increasingly

clear that Copenhagen will only be one important step in the fight
against climate change."

BERLIN 00001315 004 OF 004

Frankfurter Allgemeine expressed more optimism, noting that
"negotiations make progress," as "negotiators come closer to an
agreement on financial matters seven weeks prior to the global
climate
summit in Copenhagen. At the London forum of the G20 on energy and

climate issues, industrial and larger threshold countries have
agreed
that a considerable amount of public money is required to help
developing countries produce environment-friendly energy."

MURPHY

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