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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Climate, Un,

VZCZCXRO1202
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1354/01 3001312
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271312Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5583
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 1669
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0380
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0898
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2409
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1424
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0601
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 001354

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 IZ IR AF UN GM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAQ, IRAN, AFGHANISTAN, CLIMATE, UN,
GERMANY

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iraq) New Violence
3. (Iran) Nuclear Program
4. (Afghanistan) Future Strategy
5. (Environment) Climate Change
6. (UN) Karadzic Trial
7. (Germany) Murder Trial Against Man Who Stabbed Muslim Woman
8. (Germany) New Coalition Agreement

1. Lead Stories Summary

Primetime newscast and most newspapers opened with stories on the
new
coalition government, highlighting that the CDU and CSU congresses
overwhelmingly supported the coalition agreement with the FDP.
Frankfurter Allgemeine led with a story on the political changeover
in
Baden-Wrttemberg. Editorials focused on the new coalition
government.

2. (Iraq) New Violence

Under the headline "Bagdad Blues," Sddeutsche (10/27) commented on

the increasing violence in Iraq underscoring that "Prime Minister
Maliki is also to blame for the chaos..., not the Syrian state
leader....
Maliki's soldiers have once more demonstrated that they cannot do
their jobs.... With new violence spreading through the country,
there
will hardly be enough U.S. soldiers ready to stand by the Iraqis.
The
withdrawal of large units has been prepared over months and cannot
be
reversed in days. Anyways, Washington needs fresh troops for
Afghanistan. The withdrawal from Iraq will soon be an irreversible

process, regardless of the situation in the country. The leaders of

rebel groups from al Qaida to the Sunni Baathists realize this.
Many
of them are standing back, knowing that the U.S. army will not stay
in
the country forever and that the battle for power can then be fought

by the Iraqis themselves. Because Baghdad has disappointed the
Sunni
militia groups by not accepting them into the army, many of them may

return to underground militias. The situation in Iraq has been
euphemized in recent months.... The Iraqi prime minister and the
U.S.
President must ask themselves why they are risking the security
achieved by the U.S. army in 2007: Maliki by promising security
without being able to guarantee it and Obama by forcing himself into

such a strict timetable that he loses any political and military
latitude."

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/27) and Tagesspiegel (10/27)
editorialized:
"The earth is shaking in Baghdad.... Three central government
institutions have been ruined in the last two months, more than 250

people have died and thousands have been injured. Given this
inferno

BERLIN 00001354 002 OF 007


of death and destruction, doubts are rightly increasing in the
United
States, European capitals and NATO. The devastating suicide attacks

could break the back of the young post-Saddam republic before it has

learned to walk on its own. The assassinators and their
masterminds
want to bomb Iraq, which is rich in oil, back into a time of ethnic

and religious civil war, plunge the country into chaos and decline,

and demonstrate that the Shiite government under Maliki is incapable

of protecting the people. The murderous events could simultaneously

thwart the White House's withdrawal plans. There is much at stake
for
U.S. President Obama, not just for Maliki. The western superpower,

which invaded Iraq six years ago as the lead nation of the coalition

of the willing, cannot simply leave a nation in 2010 that is
plunging
into bloodshed and civil war."

Under the headline "Misery and Chaos in Iraq," Berliner Zeitung
(10/27) remarked: "The counterterrorism campaign has shifted in
recent months from Iraq to Afghanistan. Americans believed that
this
was the success of their surge strategy... and because this strategy
was
successful, it was to be repeated in Afghanistan. However, there
were
devastating attacks in Bagdad over the weekend. They did not just
kill 150 people but also shocked Washington, because stability in
Iraq
turned out to be an illusion. Which strategy would be right to
rescue
the stabilization project in Afghanistan? ... The situation might
have
improved for the Iraqi government elite and the U.S. occupiers, who

today suffer fewer and fewer casualties. However, ordinary Iraqis
barely have any electricity and clean water. Unemployment is about
50
percent. The healthcare and education system is rotten. Criminals

kidnap dozens of children every day. In addition, there is an
escalating level of corruption.... Social misery and chaos, the
ongoing
foreign occupation and selfish politicians are the reasons why the
situation is instable and everything will remain as it is-in Iraq
and
Afghanistan."

3. (Iran) Nuclear Program

Mass-tabloid Bild (10/27) headlined "Erdogan praises the madman of
Tehran" and added: "Diplomatic ice age between Israel and Turkey.
In
an interview with the British newspaper Guardian, Turkish PM Erdogan

stood by Israel's enemy Iran and described the Holocaust denier
Ahmadinejad as a 'friend.'... Erdogan also defended the Iranian
nuclear
program although Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe Israel off the
map."

BERLIN 00001354 003 OF 007

4. (Afghanistan) Future Strategy

Under the headline "Obama takes his time on Afghanistan," Berliner
Zeitung (10/27) reported: "Obama keeps the NATO commander in
Afghanistan, General McChrystal waiting for the increase in troops
he
requested weeks ago." The paper quoted Obama as saying: "I will
never
rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way. I won't
risk
your lives unless it is absolutely necessary." The paper noted:
"There are increasing doubts among Democrats whether the conflict
can
be resolved in this way," adding: "The U.S. troops in Afghanistan
had
a black day yesterday: eleven U.S. soldiers and three
counternarcotics
agents died in helicopter crashes."

5. (Environment) Climate Change

Only a few papers dealt with the upcoming UN climate summit in
Copenhagen. Handelsblatt (10/27) reported on the problems new
German
environment Minister Norbert RQttgen is faced with under the
headline:
"At the Beginning of his Term, RQttgen must climb a Summit," while
Frankfurter Rundschau (10/27) dealt with reports that President
Obama
might not attend the Copenhagen summit. The daily reported under
the
headline: "The Hesitant Climate Protector," and wrote under the
sub-
title: "The U.S. President Does not have Great Hopes of a Trip to
Denmark," and added that "Barack Obama does not have good memories
of
Copenhagen. His last trip to the Danish capital...turned into a
total
embarrassment. Obama has good reason to think twice about another
trip to Copenhagen. Obama was criticized for winning the Nobel
Peace
Prize and for being a big mouth, not able to match his words with
deeds. His speech at the UN summit could intensify this impression

and continue to weaken his position at home. Despite Obama's
election
campaign promise that the United States would assume a leading role
in
the fight for climate protection, his bill on the reduction of
carbon
dioxide emissions is still far from being ratified by Congress. The

arguments are demonstrating the deep ideological trenches that tear

apart the Untied States and that make Obama's work so tough."

Tagesspiegel (10/27) carried an editorial, saying: "The President
has
certainly more pleasant things to do than coming empty-handed,
leaving
empty-handed, and being pilloried in between because the United
States
does not want to make its hoped-for contribution. He will
furthermore
have to withstand the Republican volleys of abuse as to why he flew
to
Copenhagen instead of taking care of his country. But there is one

BERLIN 00001354 004 OF 007

argument that speaks against his absence: "Those who want to lead
the
world must show up."

6. (UN) Karadzic Trial

In a lengthy editorial, Sddeutsche (10/27) remarked: "This probably

last large-scale trial for war crimes in the Balkans is once more
about the complex historical dimension of the war and its suspect.

The goal of the trial is to prove that Karadzic was the mastermind
of
the bloodshed and that he agreed with others to ethnic cleansing and

implemented the plan. The atrocities and the complexity of the wars

in Bosnia are once more to be documented to prevent the
falsification
of history and myth-making so common in the Balkans. This trial is

asking for a lot of patience from the victims, who have been waiting

for this trial for a long time. They will have to accept Karadzic's

dodging to thwart the timetable - as seen right at the opening of
the
trial. This rogue will not confess or show remorse..... Victims
will
find consolation only in the fact that Karadzic's name will be
cursed
in history."

7. (Germany) Murder Trial Against Man Who Stabbed Muslim Woman

Many papers carry reports on the opening of a trial of a
Russian-born
German who stabbed a Muslim woman in a courtroom in Dresden.
Tagesspiegel (10/27) headlined: "Prosecutor: Murder of Egyptian
Woman
out of 'Pure Hatred.'" Sueddeutsche (10/27) headlined: "Pure
Hatred,"
and reported that "never before has the regional court in Dresden
seen
such tough security measures as during this trial. There are tough
controls and even the lawyers of the accused must accept to be
frisked. Whether the presiding judge likes to it or not, this case
is
a special political affair. The Egyptian ambassador to Germany is
attending the opening of the trial but also the head of the Central

Council of Muslims in Germany, Ayub KQhler.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/270 judged: "We can only be surprised by
the
political sensation which this trial and this crime have caused.
The
chancellor has apologized and even the Egyptian ambassador is
observing the trial. But we would do well to remember that
previously
an asylum seeker from Ghana burned in a police cell in Dessau and no

ambassador attended the trial and the responsible police director
did
not even apologize. Why are we only now beginning to ponder the
public
reaction to xenophobic crimes in this country? The regional Court

BERLIN 00001354 005 OF 007

in Dresden is trying a man of whom we do not know anything. He
alone
will stand trial, not the Federal Republic of Germany."

Under the headline: "Law Instead of Revenge," Die Welt (10/27)
argued
on its front- page: "The killing of Marwa el-Sherbini was assessed
as
evidence of racism and hostility towards Islam in Germany. That is

why the opening of the trial has met with the corresponding
reactions...but the court was well-advised to point out that it
cannot
and will not meet all expectations. In the courtroom in Dresden,
the
issue is not a political trial but criminal proceedings. It is
necessary to clearly separate these two spheres. It is not a matter

for the judges to determine whether there is a growing Islamophobia
in
the western world. They have to put together the pieces of the
crime
and sentence the perpetrator. The yardstick for the verdict should

not be based on calls from politicians and Muslim lobbyists from
Egypt, Iran or Germany for tougher sentences. And the yardstick
should by no means be based on the calls for revenge from preachers
of
hatred; the yardstick is German law and thus far it has mastered all

challenges."

Regional daily Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (10/270 editorialized:
"The case of Marwa el-Sherbini cannot be considered a normal case.

The circumstances of the killing of the Egyptian woman are
shocking...but the Marwa trial cannot be considered a normal trial
because parts of the Muslim community are turning it into a
settlement
of old accounts [with the West] because of the West's alleged
suppression of Muslims. But those who are arguing in this way are
not
interested in a trial that is based on the rule of law.... They
want a
show trial for their own interests and they have made their judgment

in a phase of unhallowed anger long ago."

Neue Presse of Hannover (10/27) had this to say: "The responsibility

of all sides involved is great, because the issue is also to restore

confidence in German justice authorities. This confidence has also

suffered because a police officer considered an injured Egyptian to
be
the perpetrator and fired at an innocent man. The basis for the
verdict must remain German criminal law. Irrespective of calls from

politicians and [Muslim] organizations for tougher sentences, the
fact
remains that the trial is widely observed, but not a political
trial."

Regional daily SchwQbische Zeitung of Leutkirch (10/27)
editorialized:
"A fanatic individual perpetrator does not represent German society.

BERLIN 00001354 006 OF 007

His victim is not the victim of an Islam-hostile world. And the
rule
of law will treat this man as it has other murderers. The rule of
law
is a civilizing achievement, and in this respect, the majority of
Islamic countries still have a long way to go."

Regional daily SQchsische Zeitung of Dresden opined; "The verdict,
whatever it will be, cannot be considered evidence in favor or
against
xenophobia in Germany. The verdict will be based on the repulsive
crime and xenophobic motives of the individual who must personally
be
held accountable."

8. (Germany) New Coalition Agreement

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (10/27) had this to say: "We do not
fault the three party leaders Merkel, Westerwelle, and Seehofer for

their delight at the almost unanimous approval by their party
congresses of the coalition agreement. But measured against
previous
German history, the real sensation in the course of the formation
of
this new government is not attracting any attention: Angela Merkel

has achieved something no one else has ever achieved: she is the
first
chancellor to change coalition partners without jeopardizing her
job
but apparently she has even strengthened her position.

In another editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/27) dealt with the

government's future tax policy and argued: "The new coalition
government is reducing the [tax] burden on those people who already

pay the least taxes: low income groups and families. But political

calculations are impeding the things that are actually necessary.
As
international comparisons have demonstrated, the German state treats

parents relatively well, but the situation for singles is totally
different. They are squeezed out like no other group. This is
true
for the average income group and particularly for those who earn
more
than that. This group is being taken hostage for the banking
crisis.
The CDU/CSU and the FDP are making no move to address this problem.

If this coalition is speaking of a reduction of the tax burden for
top
performers, then it is thinking of someone else. For Germans who
are
especially squeezed out by the state, there is a mounting stimulus
to
emigrate or to reduce spending. And this is something no one
wants."

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/27), "the tax system should be

revised and reorganized. But all previous governments have lacked
two
things, and the new government is no exception: courage and money.

BERLIN 00001354 007 OF 007


These are essentials because a reform that deserves its name will
also
result in less revenue for the state. And a simplification of the
tax
system means cutting benefits for many groups, irrespective of
whether
they are employees or employers. But such cuts result in a lot of
trouble. That is why the dream of a simpler tax system will remain

one thing: a dream, no more."

Financial Times Deutschland (10/27) opined: "A coalition agreement
that offers more than a rough direction for the coming four years,
looks different than expected. Instead we get the impression that
the
CDU/CSU and FDP negotiators have merely written down what will allow

the public to view them as positively as possible. Of course, a
coalition agreement cannot be a detailed script for the coming four

years. The weak point of the coalition agreement is something else:

if even the central aspects can be interpreted differently and if
all
projects are put under the proviso that enough money is available,
then both sides could have spared themselves the negotiations."

According to die tageszeitung (10/27), "Never before has a new
government talked a coalition agreement to death before it was even

signed. But never before has any government made such an open
commitment to continue an uninhibited debt policy. Chancellor
Merkel
told the CDU delegates at the party congress that 'savings, savings,

savings' would not open new opportunities. She could also have put
it
differently: debts, debts, debts."

Regional daily Westdeutsche Zeitung of Dsseldorf (10/27) observed:

"In these 130 pages of the coalition agreement, you will not find a

single decision on how to make savings, not a single idea of how to

reduce spending. There is no doubt that it is right to withdraw
money
from an economy that is standing on shaky ground. But it would also

be right to give up plans to spend money on things for which the
funds
are not available. There is no compelling reason to reduce taxes.

Even those who treat the government with benevolence are shaking
their
heads. Maybe the new government will soon realize that a sound
economy needs sound state finances."
MURPHY

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