Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Middle East, Afghanistan, Iran, Eu,

VZCZCXRO4802
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1371/01 3031433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301433Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5626
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 1687
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0399
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0916
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2427
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1442
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0619
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 001371

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 XF AK IR EU US
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: MIDDLE EAST, AFGHANISTAN, IRAN, EU,
U.S.;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Middle East) Secretary Clinton's Visit
3. (Afghanistan) U.S. Strategy, NATO Report on Air Strikes
4. (Iran) Nuclear Program
5. (EU) Summit Meeting, EU President
6. (U.S.) Economic Recovery


1. Lead Stories Summary

Die Welt and Tagesspiegel opened with reports that the U.S. economy
is
recovering. Sueddeutsche headlined: "Pensioners must Expect No
Increase in Their Pensions Next Year," while Frankfurter Allgemeine

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

opened with a story on the NATO report dealing with the air strikes

against two fuel trucks near Kunduz on Sept. 4. Editorials centered

on the most recent unemployment rate and on the NATO report on the
air
strike near Kunduz. ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute opened
with
a report on the new ministers taking office, while ARD-TV's early
evening newscast Tagesschau opened with a report on the EU summit in

Brussels.

2. (Middle East) Secretary Clinton's Visit

Under the headline "In the circle of standstill," Sddeutsche
editorializes that " Secretary Clinton will not be able to change
the
fact that peace is not on the agenda in the Mideast at the
moment....
The mistrust between Israel and the Palestinians has reached a level

which will require more than a U.S. secretary, who discovered the
Mideast conflict nine months after she took office."

3. (Afghanistan) U.S. Strategy, NATO Report on Air Strikes

Financial Times Deutschland (10/30) dealt with the future U.S.
Afghanistan strategy and opined under the headline: "From a Magician

To a Hesitator," that "Barack Obama keeps putting off a final
decision
on the future Afghanistan strategy. His indecisiveness is dangerous

because it strengthens the Taliban and discourages the allies. For

more than eight years, the United States has waged a war in
Afghanistan - and is about to lose it. In this respect, Barack
Obama's deliberateness is wrong. He must make up his mind. It is
true that he inherited the difficult situation in Afghanistan from
his
predecessor but he is responsible for his hesitation. Thus far, the

allies have tried to achieve much with too little. Irrespective of

what Barack Obama will decide: He must bring means and purpose into

accordance and clearly say what he wants. But primarily he must do

one thing: make up his mind."

ARD-TV's Tagesthemen (10/29) broadcast the following commentary: "A


BERLIN 00001371 002 OF 007


touch of Vietnam has covered Afghanistan. It will not be that easy
to
show the Taliban their limits. And it is becoming increasingly
questionable whether the Taliban can be defeated militarily at all.

The international debate over the air strikes the Bundeswehr
requested
near Kunduz, demonstrates how questionable military activities
against
the Taliban have become. The United States has at least begun to
develop new strategies. Political and economic initiatives are
being
given greater weight in Washington, too. This is good. But it is
high time that Germany and Europe take part in finding a political
solution to the conflicts; we should not leave this to the United
States alone. For the new German government this issue must be on
the
top of the agenda. Mr. Westerwelle, Mr. zu Guttenberg, please take

over!"

Regional daily Landeszeitung of Lneburg (10/30) judged: "The
military
salute that President Obama paid to the coffin of a fallen U.S.
soldier in Afghanistan is honorable. With this gesture, the U.S.
president is ending his predecessor's degrading hide-and-seek game
about the costs of the war. But Obama's salute does not replace a
real policy. Despite the latest bloodshed in Afghanistan and
Pakistan, Obama is content with a policy of symbols instead of
approving a new Afghanistan strategy. The change of strategies in
Afghanistan demanded by General McChrystal is warranted: maximum
protection of the population from the Taliban, which, however, can
only be achieved by an increase in forces. If, at the same time,
the
Pakistani army is able to crush the Taliban in the country instead
of
dispersing them, the region could be stabilized."

Under the headline: "General McChrystal Must Go," Die Welt (10/30)
opined: "Colonel Georg Klein, who ordered an air strike against two

kidnapped fuel tankers near Kunduz two months ago, acted militarily

correctly. Klein's commander, General Schneiderhan, said that this

is what the confidential report of the ISAF said. But among those
who
jumped to conclusions is General Stanley McChrystal. His supreme
commander, President Obama, will meet Chancellor Merkel on Monday.

Then the chancellor will have the opportunity to tell Obama that an

ISAF commander has to be loyal to his forces. McChrystal missed his

chance to show this loyalty. The ISAF report now seems to emphasize

which consequences such an attitude could have. The Bundeswehr
needs
a new boss in Afghanistan. General McChrystal should go. He is
ready
to step down."

According to Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/30), "General Schneiderhan
comes to the conclusion that the air strikes against the two fuel
trucks were appropriate in view of the situation that day. At least

he understands that the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan is not in a
computer

BERLIN 00001371 003 OF 007


simulation but in an undeclared war which its opponents want to make

as dirty as possible. If Germany wants to rule out the possibility
of
civilians being killed, then it must discontinue its involvement.
There has never been a war without accidents, misconceptions,
civilian
and military victims."

Mass-tabloid Bild Zeitung of Hamburg (10/30) opined: "Those who want

to know what the leadership of the Bundeswehr thinks, need only
listen
to the Bundeswehr's chief of staff, General Schneiderhan. His
bureaucratic lingo is a mockery to the 68 NATO soldiers who lost
their
lives in Afghanistan this month. It was one of the bloodiest
months
for NATO since the beginning of the war. The Afghan government -
our
partner - uninhibitedly falsified elections, and Taliban terrorist
bombs went off all over the country. In the United States and in
the
UK, people heatedly argue about the escalation, but only here in
Germany do we talk about this war as if it were an administrative
problem. New Defense Minister zu Guttenberg has a lot to do.
Afghanistan needs a plan, a vision. But first of all, zu Guttenberg

should demand that his staff speak in clear language, and use words

that explain instead of hushing things up."

Regional daily Heilbronner Stimme (10/30) noted: "Even the newest
details of the NATO investigative report do not disperse the fog of

war. Bundeswehr chief of Staff, General Schneiderhan, has presented

partial results to the public, which - and it is no surprise -
exonerate Colonel Klein. Other facts of the confidential report
remain secret. Is that a coincidence? The majority of people who
are
now raising their voices only know minute details of the report.
But
one thing is clear: the new Defense Minister zu Guttenberg would be

well-advised to quickly end his predecessor's camouflage tactics."


KQlner Stadt-Anzeiger (10/30) observed: "Yesterday's appearance of
Bundeswehr Chief of Staff, General Schneiderhan was at best,
bizarre.
Germany's highest-ranking soldier talked about a NATO report without

saying what was in the report. And he drew a conclusion which,
according to what we know, could hardly have led to his conclusion.

It is honorable that Schneiderhan backs his fellow soldier. Some
say
he should have done so much earlier. In the first week after the
incident, he remained silent probably under pressure from former
Defense Minister Jung. But it will be of no use if assessments
replace facts."

Regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine (10/30) had this to say: "Since

the report is secret there is still too much room for
interpretation.
That is why it would be welcome if the great doubters of the

BERLIN 00001371 004 OF 007


Alliance
would put everything they have on the table. Only then will all the

unfounded and malicious suspicions come to an end."

4. (Iran) Nuclear Program

Under the headline "Iranian riddle," Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/30)

editorialized: "At worst, Iran wants to provoke the world by
refusing
to compromise and enriching uranium itself-and moving closer to a
nuclear bomb. A more hopeful thesis is that the regime is looking
for
a way out of the nuclear dispute without losing its face. The
notoriously disunited group of six must now make a decision as to
which interpretation is right as Iran continues to make demands.
Optimists will say that the Iranian leadership had to respond to
internal critics. Skeptics only need to refer to the fact that Iran

has pretended to reach out many times before."

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/30) opined: "A compromise was arduously
reached. Tehran now agrees to search for a compromise on that
basis.
At least, Iran made a move on the matter. The matter is gambling
for
time, working against UN embargos on importing fissile material.
And
an internal power struggle. However, the P5 plus one are also
involved in power struggles. This does not make it easier."
Stuttgarter Zeitung editorialized: "The West and Iran are dependent
on
each other. That is why one has to accept Tehran's basic right to
enrich uranium, and, at the same time, make offers for the
construction of advanced refineries in order to help the country.
In
addition, President Obama must link his dream of a nuclear-free
world
with the concrete goal of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East by

giving all countries in the region U.S. security guarantees. Then
peace would be closer."

5. (EU) Summit Meeting, EU President

All media (10/30) carry lengthy reports on the EU summit in
Brussels,
highlighting that the "EU rejects Tony Blair as president,"
(Sddeutsche headline) and that "Europeans fight over money for
climate protection" (FT Deutschland). Other headlines noted: "Left

dupes Blair" (Spiegel Online), "Socialists stop Blair" (FT
Deutschland), and "Blair fails because of the Socialists"
(Frankfurter
Rundschau).

Under the headline "Blair's short dream," Sddeutsche (10/30)
editorialized: "It was foreseeable that Tony Blair would fail at his


ambition to become EU Council president.... It has always been an
odd
idea to promote someone to the chair of the EU Council whose country

is opposed to the core projects of the EU. He has also obstructed
the
EU reform efforts whenever possible. This disqualified Blair right

BERLIN 00001371 005 OF 007

from the start for an office that is supposed to promote
integration.
Making Blair the president would have meant setting the fox to keep

the geese. Europe's Social Democrats have also realized this and
stopped their party ally from London."

Deutschlandfunk (10/29) radio remarked: "It could have been a summit

of relief at which the necessary personnel decisions were made and
the
years-long battle over a more efficient EU and the institutional
navel-gazing came to an end. However, we are not yet there.... The

spirit of Czech President Klaus is looming over Brussels, hopefully

for only one last time... It is indeed too early to make decisions
on
the future leading personnel. No serious candidate would put his
hat
in the ring as long as the Czechs have not ratified the Lisbon
Treaty
and reform of the EU has not become reality."

Under the headline "Climate Chancellor on collision path," Spiegel
Online (10/30) editorialized: "Merkel blocks financial promises on
climate protection at the EU summit in Brussels. The chancellor is

gaming away a great opportunity and risks allowing the failure of
the
world climate summit in Copenhagen that scientists and
environmentalists have all their hopes pinned on. She was once
celebrated as climate chancellor and an important advocate for
climate
policies. Now, it could be Merkel, above all, who delivers the
deathblow to the global climate negotiations by way of a
shortsighted
EU policy... If even the Europeans, who always praise themselves as

pioneers in climate policy, hesitate, the U.S. and China will not
make
a move at all. The Copenhagen summit threatens to fail because rich

and poor countries are blocking each other. This failure could set

back global climate protection efforts by years. Merkel could play
an
important role in the decision-making of the EU council. If the EU

fails to make financial commitments because of her, it would
increase
the notion that the West is not ready to go forward in climate
protection. It may be that the Chancellor was tired from the
coalition negotiations in which every euro was fought over. She
might be thinking about the billions she has to come up with for tax

cuts. And she is probably still busy with the giant stimulus
packages
to help banks and big companies.
Perhaps there is now no money left over to save the world? ... The

German chancellor has an enormous opportunity to show greatness
compared with President Obama. She could show him how to leave
behind
national small-mindedness and make decisions that need to be
explained
at home. Merkel still has the opportunity to do something for all

BERLIN 00001371 006 OF 007


people.... Obama gathered a fabulous environmental team around him
and
incorporated environmentally-friendly elements in the economic
stimulus programs. But as a global player he must now make sure
that
the whole world embarks on a green course. The U.S. has been asked
to
become a leading nation, but the country does not deliver."

SchwQbische Zeitung (10/30) commented: "Will EU leaders have the
courage to nominate a strong candidate like Tony Blair who can
negotiate in their name with the powerful people in the world? Or
will they install a pleasant clown as president, who will not be
able
to compete? These questions are important concerning Europe's
power.
Only if the leaders are prepared to stand back and allow somebody to

coordinate their efforts will the community reach a more united
position."

6. (U.S.) Economic Recovery

All papers (10/30) reported that the U.S. economy has recovered from

the recession and cited President Obama's Chief Economic Advisor
Christina Romer, as having said: "We are seeing a turnaround."
Several papers reported that this is also good news because Germany,

as an export-driven economy, can also profit from this recovery.
Financial Times Deutschland headlined: "United States Escapes From
the
Recession," while Die Welt said: "United States leaving Recession
Behind." Sueddeutsche headlined: "Recession In the United States is

Over," and wrote that the U.S. GDP "has surprisingly increased by
3.5
percent in the third quarter."

Financial Times Deutschland (10/30) judged in an editorial:
"Reservation, despite the good economic data, is justified. As nice

as it is that the U.S. economy has overcome its trough, we should
all
be aware of the danger of a new setback. The strong economic growth

in the third quarter is partly due to the economic stimulus program

launched by the government, including the cash-for-clunkers program,

which the U.S. copied from Germany. In view of the uncertain
prospects, however, it would not unwise to prepare a new economic
stimulus program to be able to react quickly if the economy begins
to
fall into recession again."

Under the headline: "Increased Growth Does Not Mean Normalcy,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (10/30) argued: "This is good news from
America...and foremost a success for President Barack Obama. His
courageous decision to launch a giant economic stimulus program and
to
accept a record deficit has paid off. But there is also bad news.

This recovery is everything but sustainable, and those who pretend
that the world has returned to normalcy are living dangerously.
Currently nothing is normal. The economy is on the drip of the
state.
It is indispensable that U.S. households make greater savings in the

BERLIN 00001371 007 OF 007

future. This will dampen the growth of consumption. That is why it
is
unclear when the central banks and governments will be able to phase

out their life saving measures for the global economy."

"Risk Patient' is the headline in Handelsblatt (10/30), which
opined:
"The U.S. economy is growing again. But it is much too early to be

euphoric. Doped up to its neck with cheap money fresh off the
printing press of the U.S. central bank and economic stimulus
programs
of the White House, the U.S. economy achieved considerable economic

growth in the third quarter. Unfortunately, there are a few drops
of
bitterness: "The U.S. economy will be unable to keep this pace. The

labor market, financial system and real estate problems have not yet

been resolved. The prospects, however, are clearly better than they

were six months ago. Much will now depend on how much the Fed will
be
willing to throttle the permanent infusion with cheap money. Trade

and industry will need cheap money for a long time to come, to clear

the debris from the crisis. But if the turnaround comes too late
or
is too vehement, a new recession will be looming. In this
situation,
Europe cannot expect the Untied States to become a stable economic
engine again."

According to Berliner Zeitung (10/30), "the recession in the United

States has ended and gives the world reason for hope. But the
Americans will not be able to continue the economic recovery
because,
first, the cash-for-clunkers program will expire; second,
unemployment
is on the rise, and, third, the Americans are still so indebted that

they must increase their savings. All this will slow down
consumption
in the coming months. Nevertheless, the U.S. economy will not
collapse again because stocks are almost empty and companies will
try
to fill them again. This will drive production. But this will not
be
enough to create a boom for the rest of the world. It is up to
other
countries to organize this themselves."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.