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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Iran, Vp Biden in Europe,

VZCZCXRO7114
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1320/01 2951300
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221300Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5548
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 1661
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0372
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0888
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2402
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1413
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0594
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 001320

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 AF US PL IR GM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, IRAN, VP BIDEN IN EUROPE,
GITMO,
COPENHAGEN;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Iranian Nuclear Program
3. VP Biden in New Europe
4. Guantanamo
5. Climate Protection
6. Afghanistan

1. Lead Stories

Primetime newscasts opened with a story on plans to reform long-term

care insurance. Many newspapers continue to lead with reports on
the
criticism of the new governmentQs plans to create a Qshadow budget.

Sueddeutsche led with a story that the Governor of the Bank of
England, Mervyn King, and President ObamaQs advisors are demanding
radical financial reforms from their governments. Frankfurter
Rundschau led with a story on recent bank profits. Editorials
focused
on the coalition talks.

2. Iranian Nuclear Program

Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized: QFive weeks prior to the end
of
his term, IAEA Director General al Baradei still hopes that Tehran,

Moscow and Paris will accept the pact negotiators in Vienna were not

yet able to agree upon. The head of the UN nuclear inspectors knows

from his own experience that Iranians are masters in gambling for
time. Baradei believes the project to process Iranian nuclear
material abroad for a Tehran research plant has the potential to
help
normalize relations between Iran and the international community
completely. But this will only happen if the contract is finalized

soon. Baradei has given Iran two days.

3. VP Biden in New Europe

Die Welt headlined QU.S. Vice President caresses PolandQs soulQ and

adds: QSuperficial observers might have thought the visit to Poland,

the Czech Republic and Romania was a kind of therapy and
consolation
However, this notion is not true at all. Poland was not interested
in
fighting Iran with a missile defense shield but instead wanted to
see
the American flag east of the river Oder. Poland is closer to this

goal than ever before. Washington announced that it will deploy
U.S.
ground-to-air Patriot missiles to the country in the first half of
next year. This means that U.S. soldiers will be stationed in
Poland
for the first time. After arduous discussions, Poland will have
reached its goal... In retrospect, ObamaQs apparent move to give
into
Russia now appears to be a stroke of a genius.

Under the headline QDisappointed Poles,Q Frankfurter Allgemeine
editorialized: QIn politics, small symbolic gestures can sometimes

BERLIN 00001320 002 OF 004


make costly engagement unnecessary. In the relationship with
Poland,
the U.S. has recently not made such gestures. What is even worse:
the
Obama government was insensitive towards Poland to such an extent
that
the damage can hardly be repaired in the predictable future... The

complete disinterest in the faithful ally became obvious when Obama

cancelled the deployment of a missile defense shield on the 70th
anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland Vice President
Biden
did not have much more to offer during his visit to Warsaw than
goodwill to assuage Eastern European concerns. The vague prospect
of
a mobile missile defense shield will not repair PolandQs damaged
confidence. New Europe is beginning to change its focus.
Particularly Poland is beginning to understand that begging for
special relations with America does not pay off. The sixth largest

EU country can achieve more if it engages in and for Europe.

4. Guantanamo

While most German media positively remarked in factual reports that

QPresident Obama has made a very important step towards keeping his

promise of closing GuantanamoQ (ZDF-TVQs Heute) now that the Senate

has voted to allow prisoners to be tried in the United States,
editorials are more critical.

Sueddeutsche opined: QTime is flying for Barack Obama. After his
inauguration, he promised to close the blot of Guantanamo.
Congress
approval of his plan only applies to 40 out of 221 detainees. For
the rest, no solution is in sight... Some 100 detainees are
believed
to be so dangerous that they cannot be released. However, there is

very little evidence that a court trial would not be appropriate.
In
addition, there is no legal basis that justifies detaining them
permanently. In January, Obama promised to abide by the rule of law

in every individual case. So what should be done with them? There
is
no clear answer. Obama will not be able to keep his promise.
Guantanamo will still exist in January 2010.

Berliner Zeitung editorialized: QPresident Obama has come a step
closer to his goal of closing the infamous military prison. For
most
of the 220 detainees, it is just a question of time until they are
allowed to leave the camp. This is a good day for human rights,
isnQt
it On the other side of the world, in the U.S. prison in Bagram,
everything remains as it was. Like once in Guantanamo, the army
rules
there unlimitedly. However, hardly anyone is interested in Bagram.


5. Climate Protection

Under the headline QObama is important,Q Sueddeutsche commented:

BERLIN 00001320 003 OF 004


QIndustrial countries, which created their prosperity in the past at

the expense of the environment, are resistant to changing their
environmental policies. They are not willing to give financial aid
to
poorer countries so they can prepare themselves for the consequences

of climate change. The situation seems to be hopeless. At best,
the
most important players will do nothing. Europeans are at odds over

financial aid, Japan and Australia are making their promises
dependent
on many conditions, and everybody is waiting for the United States,

where there is a new climate for negotiation, but not a new policy.

Also President Obama has rejected the notion of legally binding
international agreements, which, after implementation, could then be

enforced by the UN. It almost makes sense that the developing
nations demand that rich nations make the first steps before they
contribute to climate protection. If the Americans do not comply in

Copenhagen, no demanding agreement can be expected. The large
industrial countries, particularly within the EU, therefore have to

agree now on the basics of a new treaty. Then, they must remind the

developing countries and the U.S. of their duties. Obama will have
to
sign a binding agreement one day if he does not want to lose
credibility.

Berliner ZeitungQs editorial headlined QClimate diplomacy fails once

moreQ and remarked: QThe negotiations over a global climate
protection
agreement are no longer about the climate because nobody questions
these goals any longer. The international community must radically

reduce greenhouse gases to limit the rise of temperatures to two
degrees Celsius within this century. Translated into numbers this
means that emissions must be cut by up to 40 percent by 2020 and by
at
least 80 percent by 2050. The talks at the UN and within the EU are

already about tough industrial and economic policies. In the
foreground of the discussions is the question of who will bear what

burden. This has to do with jobs and prosperity. Developing
countries do not see why they should pay the costs for the
extravagant
policies of industrial nations. The emerging countries in eastern
Europe and Asia do not want to endanger their catch-up process,
while
countries like Germany refuse to be paymaster for the rest of the
world. Nothing is moving forward because of these contradictory
interests. However, the world cannot go on like this. Everybody
must
make compromises, otherwise there will be no agreement, not in
Copenhagen and not later. This would be devastating.

6. Afghanistan

FT Deutschland headlined that in the preparations for the runoff,
QFear is leading into the second round,Q highlighting that Qnot many

BERLIN 00001320 004 OF 004

people in Afghanistan are excited about the runoff elections that
were
forced on them by the international community. Fear of new attacks

by the Taliban is spreading everywhere.

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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