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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Afghanistan Mideast, Iran, Eu,

VZCZCXRO3427
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1364/01 3021315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291315Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5611
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 1680
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0392
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0909
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2420
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1435
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0612
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 001364

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 AF XF IR EU GM KGHG
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, AFGHANISTAN MIDEAST, IRAN, EU,

U.S.-GERMANY, ENVIRONMENT;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Afghanistan) Bomb Attack, U.S. Strategy
3. (Afghanistan) Karzai Brother on CIA Payroll
4. (Mideast) Clinton Visit
5. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict
6. (EU) Future President
7. (U.S.-Germany) Relations
8. (Environment) Climate Talks


1. Lead Stories Summary

Primetime newscasts and most newspapers opened with Chancellor
Merkel's re-election, noting that not all CDU/CSU and FDP
politicians
voted in favor of her. Die Welt led with a story on Postbank's data

security problem. Editorials focused on Merkel's second term and
the
election of the first woman to head the most senior office in the
Evangelical church.

2. (Afghanistan) Bomb Attack, U.S. Strategy

Many papers carried reports on the attacks on UN officials in Kabul

and on the bomb attack in Peshawar. Frankfurter Rundschau (10/29)
headlined: "Attack For a Welcome," while Sueddeutsche (10/29) wrote:

Taliban Killing UN officials in Kabul Ten days before run-off
elections in Afghanistan. As under the headline: "Dissonance in the

Clinton-Holbrooke-Kerry Triangle, Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/29)
reported that "while Secretary Clinton is trying to improve
confidence
between Washington and Islamabad, special envoy Holbrooke and
Senator
Kerry are sending different signals. While Clinton praised the
Pakistani offensive in South Waziristan as a turning point in
Islamabad's fight against the Taliban, Holbrooke expressed his
skepticism saying that one has to find out first of all whether the

Pakistan armed forces really want "to destroy or only disperse" the

Taliban this time. Kerry's name, in turn, is linked to a law, which

will allocate $7.6 billion in civil aid for Pakistan provided that
its
use corresponds with U.S. requests. In this Clinton-Holbrooke-Kerry

triangle, one can hardly make out the U.S. policy towards
Pakistan."

ARD-TV's primetime newscast Tagesschau (10/28) noted: "A nuclear
Pakistan is caught in between terrorism and the hope of defeating
it.
Pakistanis show determination in the fight against extremists
because
they have realized that the Taliban and al Qaida fighters do not
just
pose a danger to the Afghan-Pakistani border region, but threaten
the
entire country."

Deutschlandfunk (10/28) broadcast the following commentary: "It is
painstaking to see how long it takes to develop a strategy (for
Afghanistan) and then implement it. It is simply not enough to send

BERLIN 00001364 002 OF 007

more soldiers; then the Taliban will become even stronger.
Everywhere
that economic recovery is in the offing, the Taliban are losing
their
base. And if the international community finally implements the
things it agreed upon before, the Taliban's influence would be
considerably weakened. But the international community is doing too

little, and thus the Taliban maintain their bases, and in turn the
international community does even less. It is a downward spiral.
And
all this is also, to a great extent, destabilizing Pakistan, a
country
with nuclear weapons. What we are missing is a clearly visible
counter strategy from the international community, which first of
all
looks to the United States."

FAZ (10/29) editorialized: "[Following the attacks in Peshawar and
Kabul], one thing has become clear: the security situation in the
Af/Pak region has become precarious. Those calling for a withdrawal

from Afghanistan or who consider support for Pakistan one matter
among
many others have not understood what is at stake. Af/Pak should not

become an address for Taliban, Jihadists, and al-Qaida. The
international organizations and states which are engaged in
Afghanistan with military and civil projects should not allow anyone

to intimidate them - as difficult as this might be. That is why
President Obama must finally make up his mind and say which means he

wants to use against whom in Afghanistan and in the Afghan-Pakistani

border region. The longer he hesitates, the more the opponents of
the
West will feel encouraged to launch new terrorist attacks."

Under the headline: "Trial Balloon," Frankfurter Rundschau (10/29)
argued: "We are excited to see how the Americans will react to the
White House's trial balloon with respect to the future Afghanistan
strategy. The offensive, launched early this year with much ado,
has
obviously failed. Afghanistan has not become safer. This shows
that
the military card alone will not lead to success. If the
international community does not ultimately intensify the
reconstruction of the country and does not integrate neighboring
countries such as Pakistan and Iran into this process, it will fail.

Then the withdrawal from the region will resemble the start of the
withdrawal from Afghanistan."

In an editorial Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (10/29) opined: "It
is
absurd that the attack in Kabul was directed against the UN.... Who
is
backing democratic elections and the development of the country more

than the UN? The Taliban are wrong to think that they can wage war

against the rest of the world. They do not know the impact of their

blind hatred. The attempt to prompt the West to give up via
increasing violence could backfire. The leading powers in the world

will not leave Pakistan or Afghanistan to the Taliban."

BERLIN 00001364 003 OF 007

3. (Afghanistan) Karzai Brother on CIA Payroll

Under the headline: Al Capone in Kandahar," Frankfurter Rundschau
(10/29) reported: "For President Karzai, the latest report on the
activities of his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai in the New York Times,
which refers to CIA sources, is very unfortunate. On November 7, he

will enter run-off elections which will not improve his chances of
winning if his brother turns out to be a U.S. puppet. A U.S.
general
in Afghanistan said about Ahmed Karzai's role in Kandahar: 'If we
wanted to clear Chicago, it would be necessary to get rid of Al
Capone.' The former U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Ronald Neumann,
called
Ahmed Karzai a 'political embarrassment.'''

"Karzai Compromised by His Own Family," headlined Die Welt (10/29)
and
added: "[In view of all the bad news], the revelation that President

Karzai's brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been on the payroll of the
CIA, could compromise the entire U.S. strategy for Afghanistan.
The
new debate is now overshadowing President Obama's expected decision

about the future U.S. strategy for Afghanistan. The impression that

the United States applied double standards in Afghanistan will make
it
even more complicated for President Obama to convey a convincing
strategy for Afghanistan."

Die Welt (10/29) opined: "This news is not surprising. The
camaraderie
between the CIA and Afghan drug lord Ahmed Wali Karzai follows a
simple logic: 'If he is a bastard, he is at least our bastard.' The

debate over the meaning of the Afghanistan mission has once again
been
fueled. In this situation, Barack Obama appears to be acting too
hesitantly. In addition, the pre-emptive award of the Nobel Peace
Prize is now turning into a burden for him that will strengthen the

Taliban. If the mountainous and rugged landscape cannot be
safeguarded, Obama and NATO must concentrate on the important
centers
of the country while politicians must hope that stone-age Islamic
extremists delegitimize themselves in the remote areas of the
country.
There is no doubt that when looking at the overall situation,
Pakistan
is more important. The large neighboring country with its nuclear
arms arsenal should by no means turn into a failed state."

4. (Mideast) Clinton Visit

According to Sueddeutsche (10/29), "Since January, Hillary Clinton

has been at the top of the State Department but only now is she
concentrating on the two biggest chunks of U.S. foreign policy. On

Wednesday, she will travel to Pakistan. The fact that the trip
remained secret until her arrival in Islamabad and coincided with a

horrible slaughter in Peshawar shows how dramatic the situation is.

The second trouble spot is the Mideast: Over the past few months,


BERLIN 00001364 004 OF 007


she sent two special envoys to the region unsuccessfully, resulting
in
a lot of wasted time. Only now is Clinton apparently realizing that

there are problems in foreign policy which the secretary of state
should take care of herself - nine months too late."

5. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/29) reported under the headline: "Iran
Will
Only Accept Portion of Enriched Uranium Plan and wrote: "Iran will

accept the 'framework' of the draft treaty that was signed last week

in Vienna on the enrichment of Iranian uranium, but demands a few
'amendments.' With this statement the planned conference between
the
P5 plus Germany and Iran, scheduled to take place in Geneva this
Thursday, has been thwarted."

Sueddeutsche (10/29) opined in an editorial that "The most important

rule in the nuclear conflict with Iran is as follows: if all sides
involved want to achieve a solution via negotiations, Iran's
justified
security interests must be respected. At the same time, no one
should
be so naQve to insinuate that Tehran has only defensive motifs for
its
nuclear armament. It is true that Tehran is still a few years away

from possessing the bomb, but it would hardly be so senseless as to

attack Israel. The regime is interested in preserving its power,
not
in committing suicide. However, there is one path upon which all
sides could embark. First of all, Iran should stop the enrichment
of
uranium and re-apply the NPT additional protocol. [IAEA] inspectors

could then search for secret facilities. Like in the case of Libya,

Iran's violations from the past should be revealed but it should not

be punished for them. Then the West should back a lifting of
sanctions and keep its promise to cooperate on the civil use of
nuclear energy - and guarantee Iran's security. But the much lauded

security system for the Middle East or a nuclear-free Israel should

not be preconditions for this. If a basis of confidence were to be

established, it would be enough to give Iran a non-aggression
promise.
However, if the talks fail, the only option that remains will be to

impose tough sanctions."

6. (EU) Future President

Tagesspiegel (10/29) headlined: "Britons are at odds over EU office

for Blair" and Die Welt noted in a lengthy piece on the former
British
Prime Minister that "Tony Blair's candidature for the EU presidency
is
raising skepticism from Europe's capitals. The Britons are even
plunging into an identity crisis." Die Welt added: "A Tory

BERLIN 00001364 005 OF 007


government
in Downing Street and an EU President Blair in Brussels: this would

mean nothing good for the island's relationship with the continent.

Only those who want a strained relationship would like to see such a

pair. It would not be to Europe's benefit... Tony Blair should
instead
take the time to write his memories."

FT Deutschland (10/29) headlined: "Merkel will choose the council's

president," adding: "The Chancellor's candidate will be important
for
deciding who will get what post within the EU." The paper wrote:
"The
camps are clear prior to the summit in Brussels. Larger EU
countries
such as Britain, France and Italy support Blair's candidature for
the
new office of EU council president. Smaller countries like Belgium,

Austria and Luxemburg have forged a front against Blair. Nobody yet

knows the decisive answer: who is Merkel's candidate?"

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/29) headlined: "Juncker competes against
Blair - Luxemburg's head of government wants to become EU council
president and defeat former British Prime Minister Blair."

Under the headline "One for all," weekly Die Zeit wrote on the EU's

efforts to pursue a common foreign policy: "Can 27 countries really

pursue a common foreign policy. The European Union is attempting
the
impossible by creating a European Foreign Office for the first
time....
EU diplomats will not achieve much in the beginning. Progress could
be
made if the Europe speaks with one voice. "

According to Sueddeutsche, "Sarkozy's peacock-like style usually
does
not have a lasting effect - one example is the Mediterranean Union,

while Merkel's owl-like stoicism does not meet with great public
applause. That is why the pair compliments each other in the best
possible way. Next to this European leadership duo, there is little

room for a third guiding star, yet Tony Blair wants to be this star.

He would like to be European president, and with a gloriole, as
Newsweek sees him. It would be a laudable act for the Franco-German

alliance to bury Blair's hopes."

7. (U.S.-Germany) Relations

In a front page article, Die Zeit remarked on Chancellor Merkel's
visit to Washington and address to the Congress: "The invitation is
a
demonstrative honor for the chancellor and a gesture of respect for

all Germans 20 years after the fall of the wall. However, the core
of
U.S.-German relations must be unearthed again: for Germany, America


BERLIN 00001364 006 OF 007


represents the revolutionary, egalitarian and democratic principle
and
an unprecedented power of change. Twice, the U.S. was the midwife
of
Germany's freedom, not just during the foundation of the Federal
Republic in 1949 but also after the downfall of communism in 1989.

The European powers, France and Britain, as well as many West
Germans
were not keen on overthrowing the post-war world, in which many
lived
comfortably. East Germans forced German unity-and it was the United

States that calmly responded: 'Why not? And 'If not that, then
what?'
The reception of Merkel will be an unmistakable reminder of this
interplay of forces. The chancellor would not be in the position
she
is today without the last democratic revolution, inspired by the
ideals of the West, and she will start down the path paved by the
first revolution, the American Revolution. Germany never had an
epochal revolution of its own. Its revolution was America's. The
old
authoritarian state could not survive without its alliance with the

U.S. after the Second World War. The U.S. was not perfect at the
time, and neither is it perfect today. However, U.S. society is
based
on equal rights for all people-and the pursuit of happiness.... In
the
conservative time of Konrad Adenauer, President John F. Kennedy was

the model for social democratic reformers like Willy Brandt.
Student
protests against the Vietnam War originated in the United States.
And
today? It is not a pilgrimage to the temples of democracy when the

German chancellor travels to Washington. The model has since been
tainted. Despite the great tuning point of President Obama's
election, the pathological features of U.S. policies are obvious:
the
excessive role money plays as well as the polarized and hateful
debate
over the President's reform projects. Barack Obama has not come
very
far with his project to return to reason and to change the political

culture of his country. The state of Europe's democracy is
different,
but not much better. Populists and pseudo-cesarean leaders like
Sarkozy and Berlusconi pose the greatest threat."

8. (Environment) Climate Talks

Center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (10/29) carried a lengthy
article on the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks and opined: "The
hundreds of high-ranking diplomats, almost 200 ministers, and even
some government leaders will bid each other farewell after two weeks

of talks in Copenhagen, but they will hardly have agreed on a treaty

to protect the earth from human-induced global warming. That is why

they will not declare the end of the conclave but will continue it
in
a different theater. For more than two years, all those who feared

for the fate of the blue planet, have awaited this event. And now?

BERLIN 00001364 007 OF 007

They must wait and see, have a cup of tea, and not lose patience,
although the fight against global warming cannot tolerate one
postponement after the other. As of next Monday, environmental
experts will try to find a common denominator at a meeting in
Barcelona. But why should more come of it than during the previous

meetings in Bonn and Bangkok? Too much is at stake. Primarily...
chances of development in the 21st century. Once this century was
called the century of the environment but it could also turn out to
be
the century of environmental disasters if the agreement on global
climate protection continues to be long in waiting."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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