Cablegate: Media Reaction; Nuclear Disarmament; President Obama
DE RUEHBU #1126/01 2861820
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 131820Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4470
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001126
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT; PRESIDENT OBAMA
WINNING NOBEL PEACE AWARD; PROJECT SYNDICATE; ARGENTINE BUSINESS
OUTLOOK; 10/13/09; BUENOS AIRES
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international opinion pieces and editorials are related to
UN Security Council Resolution 1887 in favor of nuclear disarmament;
President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize; the Project Syndicate
association of newspapers' seminar on climate change; and
Argentina's contradictions in dealing with the IMF.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "The UN favors nuclear disarmament"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (10/10), "While the UN Security
Council pledged its backing for broad progress on long-stalled
efforts to staunch the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the Iranian
government carried out another military exercise to exhibit its
"The UN is redefining its founding, which can no longer be that of
the balance of power and nuclear terror...
"UN Resolution 1887 calls to 'seek a safer world for all and to
create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.' This
resolution is two-sided - it certifies a strong US commitment
towards multilateralism as well as an agreement among Russia, China
and the European countries aimed at reinforcing nuclear disarmament
and putting at bay the arms race that is being encouraged by nuclear
programs such as that of Iran."
- "Obama and the fruits of a tree that has not grown yet"
Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by international editor
Marcelo Cantelmi, who opines (10/10), "The Nobel Peace Award granted
to Barack Obama is an unexpected gift that perhaps hides a 'trick in
the package.' This new load of prestige amplifies his power of
"What has happened is not big news for Israel and, to a different
degree, it is not big news for Iran either. This award will give
more voice to those who are against them at the White House. This is
what this decision seems to be about. The thorniest conflict in the
world is the Middle East confrontation and the Afghanistan-Pakistan
'hell.' The Norwegian Academy seems to have focused on this scenario
expecting the fruits of a tree that has not grown yet.
"... The Peace Nobel Prize is not necessarily cynical. A more
diverse view is warranted. Obama has merits that should be
highlighted. After one decade of disintegration of the concepts of
State and nation carried out by George W. Bush, the Democratic
president revived the ideas of a 'common humanity' and a 'collective
awareness' in front of the tremendous horror of these times...
"Nevertheless, Obama has had to backtrack in almost all the fields
he stepped into. The Guantanamo prison in Cuba (which he had
promised to close next year), will stay there with its compelled
guests. The president denounced torture, but there will not be any
lawsuit against those who implemented it. The rapprochement with
Latin America at the Trinidad Tobago Summit and his message to Cuba
that 'we are not trying to impose anyone any system of
government...', was not the gateway to a new start in the US-Cuban
relationship and the relationship between the US and the hemisphere.
The embargo remains and the US revisited Cuba's status as a country
sponsoring terrorism, which is a Cold War anachronism.
"Obama did generate a higher level of confidence with Russia by
dismantling the missile bases in order to focus on his main concern,
the Middle East and Iran. Now, his administration is determined to
put an end to Israel's challenge, which refuses to put an end to its
illegal settlements in Palestinian lands, which are crucial to
regional instability... He also has to decide whether he will
reinforce troops on the Afghan front. Everything is inter-related."
- "A call to the world to save the planet"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an opinion piece by its special
envoy to Copenhagen, Hugo Caligaris, who writes (10/13), "Pollutant
countries do not want to stop polluting the environment. Political
leaders dare not to put at bay polluters because they believe that
if they do so, they will have less money in the future, and
scientists cannot tame what will be the pauperization or total
destruction of the Earth... Only journalists are left aside, the
only ones who are able to generate a strong trend of opinion that
will compel political leaders to change their direction. In part
they did so - the topic is already on the table, there is greater
awareness than some years ago. However, we should struggle harder
because danger is increasing.
"This is what important political leaders, economists said at a
Project syndicate seminar, in preparation for the UN World
Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Copenhagen.
"... China's emergence as a power was not a positive environmental
news, since it is the bigger green house gas emitter (23%) vis-`-vis
21% of the US. Average temperature increases, the poles are thawed,
oceans get warmer.
"... How to reverse this? The prevailing idea regarding the December
summit is to seek a world commitment to lowering carbon dioxide
emissions by 25-40% for 2020. Europe and Japan are already on this
front. Only the rest of the world is missing...
"Obviously enough, it seems this commitment will fail or will have
"Another idea is a world tax on carbon dioxide... However, this is
not easy. Who would collect the tax? Who would monitor that the tax
is rightly implemented? How would an emerging power be prevented
from collecting a lesser tax or from not collecting any tax with the
purpose of stealing investors from its neighboring countries? These
questions still do not have a unanimous response..."
- "Depression and repression"
An editorial in liberal English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" reads
(10/12), "Perhaps few countries grappling with the global economic
crisis offer as contradictory a business outlook as Argentina - on
the one hand, Argentine bonds are soaring amid solid reserves and a
sturdy trade surplus as the markets take seriously the government'
rapprochement with the IMF despite (or perhaps even because of) its
rhetoric while on the other hand, the investment climate could
hardly be worse amid mass uncertainty. Perhaps the root of this
contradiction is a government moving two ways at the same time - on
the one hand, a return to international markets is being
persistently sought and on the other hand, the government's
broadcasting bill drives a coach and horses through legal security
by brushing aside acquired rights (quite apart from the threatened
expropriation of Papel Prensa newsprint). International investors
suspect that the media bill boils down to an elaborate way of hiding
the primal lie of INDEC statistics bureau's inflation data with more
"Yet the government's churlish overtures to the IMF are accepted
internationally as sincere because they are based on genuine fiscal
need. The general line taken by the Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
administration is that the IMF's credibility has been so battered by
the global crisis that Argentina can return on its own terms but the
contradiction of going to the IMF without any admitted need
constantly belie this ideological strength...
"In fact when the government denies seeking any IMF loan, it is
quite right not to perceive this as Argentina's main necessity - the
real need... is for more investment and this will not come to a
country with a voracious state which does not hesitate to sacrifice
private economic interests to its political battles. Perhaps the CFK
administration needs to face up to this contradiction between its
newfound openness to the outside world and a crudely statist media
bill sooner rather than later."
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