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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Climate, Mideast, Guantanamo,

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1481/01 3270710
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230710Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5844
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0673
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 BERLIN 001481

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"

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E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO AF KGHG XF US IR US EU ETRD
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, CLIMATE, MIDEAST, GUANTANAMO,

IRAN, U.S.-ASIA, EU, WTO;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Afghanistan) Karzai's Inauguration
3. (Environment) Copenhagen Summit
4. (Mideast) Israeli Settlements
5. (U.S.) Closure of Guant namo
6. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict
7. (U.S.-Asia) Future Relations
8. (EU) Top Jobs
9. (Economic) WTO


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's primetime newscast Heute opened with a story on the recall
of
100,000 credit cards after allegations of data fraud; ARD-TV's
primetime newscast Tagesschau opened with a story on the coalition
government's retreat at Meseberg Castle. Newspapers led with
diverse
economic and political stories, ranging from the opposition against

the school reform in the state of Hamburg (FAZ) to the increase of
electricity costs (Sueddeutsche). Die Welt carried a front page
photo
of President Obama walking on top of the Great Wall of China.
Editorials focused on the government's retreat at Meseberg, the
Mideast conflict and other topics.

2. (Afghanistan) Karzai's Inauguration

Electronic media led this morning with reports saying that President

Karzai was inaugurated for a second term as Afghan president in
front
of hundreds of guests, including Secretary Clinton and German
Foreign
Minister Westerwelle. "In his inauguration speech, Karzai held out

the prospect that Afghanistan could take over the responsibility for

the country's security in five years time. He promised to fight
corruption," ZDF-TV's Heute newscast reports.

The ZDF-TV's correspondent Uli Gack said in Kabul (11/19): "Kabul is
a
ghost city right now. The entire government center is cordoned of
by
nervous soldiers. During the swearing-in ceremony, there were many

Western leaders but also old familiar faces of warlords whom we
would
rather put in front of a war tribunal and not in such a ceremony.
Karzai has not said much new, but reiterated old policies. His
speech
was once interrupted by applause when he spoke of increasing the
fight
against corruption.... Action must now follow his words. Western
foreign ministers met this morning. They want to see Karzai take
action."

Sddeutsche (11/19) briefly reported under the headline "Clinton in

Afghanistan" that "prior to the inauguration of President Karzai,
U.S.
Secretary of State Clinton arrived in Kabul for her first visit...
In
fear of attacks, security measures were increased." Spiegel Online

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led
with the headline "Surprise Visit in Afghanistan-Foreign Minister
Westerwelle urges Karzai to launch reforms." The webzine adds that

Westerwelle faces a "tricky mission: he must connect congratulations

with tough demands."

3. (Environment) Copenhagen Summit

Several papers (11/19) carried factual news reports according to
which
the EU adopted new rules for the construction of houses and that
Russia wants to meet EU climate protection goals. Financial Times
Deutschland reported that "the EU has now stipulated new energy
standards for homeowners. As of 2020, privately-built new houses
must
use as little energy as possible. The remaining consumption of
energy
must be generated from solar energy and biomass. For public
buildings, these rules take effect at the end of 2018. With these
new
rules, the EU is imposing tough standards for its ambitious climate

protection goals. Shortly before the Copenhagen summit, the
Europeans
are sending a political signal."

Sueddeutsche (11/19) headlined: "Russia Wants to Adopt EU Climate
Protection Goals," and wrote: "Russia wants to commit itself to
accepting ambitious climate protection goals, thus giving the
sluggish
talks on a new international climate protection agreement a new
impetus. According to sources at the EU-Russia summit negotiations,

Moscow is examining whether to adopt European climate protection
goals. With an ambitious Russian commitment, pressure on the other

big polluters in the United States (globally the second biggest
emitter of carbon dioxide emissions) and China (the biggest
polluter)
will increase. Both countries have thus far not accepted any
commitment. At the margins of the special EU summit, Chancellor
Merkel again wants to get support for her view that the European
envoys enter the Copenhagen talks with ambitious goals. She said in

Berlin: "As Europeans we should not give in. Copenhagen must become
a
success.'" Tagesspiegel (11/19) headlined: "Tired New Beginning,"
and
reported that "Russian President Medvedev avoided mentioning
concrete
targets and percentage points and left it open to what extent the
Russian promise would be binding. Medvedev added that Russia and
the
EU must now convince others of the need for quick action until the
beginning of the Copenhagen conference."

Financial Times Deutschland (11/19) headlined: "Russia is Fooling
The
EU with a Climate Stunt," and reported: "With its new climate goals,

Russia caused euphoria in the EU. Following the EU-Russia summit in

Stockholm, European Commission President Barroso said: 'This was a
successful day for our climate talks with Russia.' But it is
questionable whether the new Russian CO2 reduction goals really mean

that Russia must change its policies. Stephan Singer, head of the

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global climate protection policy of the WWF environmental
organization, told FTD: 'This 20-percent target is a laughing stock.

It would mean that Russia would be allowed to emit even more [CO2].'

He added that Russia has enormous possibilities to reduce emissions.

The energy intensity per dollar of its economic output is still
considerably higher in Russia than in China or the United States, he

said.

Frankfurter Rundschau (10/19) observed: "Russia as a protector of
the
climate. Thus far we have thought those two words would not fit
together. But all of a sudden, Moscow is creating new excitement
for
the Copenhagen global climate summit. President Medvedev's
announced
that he wants to support the EU emission targets by 2020, thus
putting
pressure on Washington and Beijing. And this is good. It is easy
for
Russia to achieve its climate goals because the collapse of the
Soviet
industry still has a favorable effect on its carbon dioxide
emissions
budget. Nevertheless, this signal should not be underestimated.
Russia could now sell unused carbon dioxide rights to other nations.

Maybe Russia has realized how important climate protection is. This

would be a sensation."

Under the headline: "Tightrope Act," weekly Die Zeit (11/19)
editorialized: "On the margins of the APEC summit, which includes
the
greatest climate sinners of all nations such as the United States,
China, Russia, and Japan, there was an official announcement that
there will be no climate protection agreement for the time being.
It
would now be possible to identify those who must be blamed for the
failure of the Copenhagen summit, but it would be to no avail.
Obviously, the world is not yet ready to protect the climate.
Instead
of trying to wrap up bad climate protection in nice words in
Copenhagen, it is, according to the current situation better, to
keep
talking - provided the Copenhagen Declaration establishes the right

framework conditions. First, it must agree on global targets;
second,
the declaration must make clear who is to shoulder which burden; and

third, the Copenhagen Declaration should leave no doubt that climate

sinners have to pay. Climate policy has already produced enough hot

air. In Copenhagen, politicians must be honest and finally approve

concrete goals."

4. (Mideast) Israeli Settlements

Sddeutsche (11/19) editorialized: "The building plans for Gilo
face
serious opposition. They seem to lead to a power struggle between
Prime Minister Netanyahu's government and President Obama, which is


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long overdue. The harsh criticism from Washington shows how much
this
project provokes Washington. Only last week was Netanyahu in the
White House and everything suggested that Obama urged the prime
minister to cooperate and warned him against going it alone. It did

not help much. Israeli bulldozers are the last thing Obama needs to

pave the way for new peace talks with the Palestinians.... However,
the
U.S. government must blame itself for the deadlocked U.S. diplomacy
on
the Mideast. In recent weeks, Secretary Clinton suggested to
Netanyahu that Washington is no longer so serious about an immediate

settlement freeze. This zigzag course has caused much damage. The

Palestinians feel discouraged and betrayed. The Israelis feel
encouraged to sit out demands from the White House. If Obama does
not
want others to make a fool out of him, he must exert pressure in the

question of Gilo. He would be backed by UN Sectary General Ban Ki-
moon and Europeans. This would not be a bad starting point.
However,
the U.S. President must prepare himself for a tough fight."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/19) opined: "It is indeed whitewash to
claim that the extension of already existing settlements is not an
expansion of the settlement activities.... Particularly in eastern

Jerusalem, the demographic changes are significant. Washington as

well as Ban Ki-moon fear that a two-state solution would no longer
be
possible if this goes on. The efforts for new peace talks would
also
be impeded."

Under the headline "Dangerous provocation in Mideast," Handelsblatt

(11/19) argued: "Israel remains unimpressed and advances settlement

construction in the West Bank. Peace in the Middle East will be
even
further away if the U.S. does not vigorously interfere.... After
his
sobering trip to Asia, the President will now have to take care of
the
Mideast. If he fails to get the parties at one table again, the
U.S.
is threatened with an enormous loss of reputation abroad. The
impression that Obama is just bluffing in his approach to Israel
would
solidify. Given the complexity of the problems in Afghanistan Iraq,

the Mideast and China, Washington is obviously reaching the limits
of
its political capability."

5. (U.S.) Closure of Guant namo

Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/19) headlined: "Obama admits delay" and
Sddeutsche headlined on its front-page: "Guantanamo will remain for

the time being - U.S. President cannot close camp as promised."

Sddeutsche (11/19) editorialized: "The admission was inevitable.
Obama had to admit that he could not keep his promise to close the

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shameful camp of Guantanamo by January 20, 2010, the anniversary of

his inauguration. The announcement made in the euphoria of the
inauguration, which sounded naQve and wrong at the time, has now
been
cancelled. It was wrong because it seemed to be clear a year ago
that
it would be difficult to close and guarantee the inmates a lawful
procedure. Still today it is not clear what to do with some 100
detainees who are apparently so dangerous that one cannot release
them. However, there is also not sufficient evidence against them
to
take them to court. And the announcement was naQve because Obama
believed he only had to create enough public pressure to reach his
goals. This was the way to win the election, but leading a
government
works differently. The President has greatly underestimated
political
opposition and the persistence of the apparatus. However, Obama is
a
long-term strategist and believes in small steps.... He will close

Guantanamo in the end, but not by January 20, 2010."

6. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict

Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/19) editorialized: "U.S. President
Obama
claims he is not disappointed that the detention camp in Guantanamo

would not be closed by January next year as announced. It would be

interesting to know whether he is also not disappointed about Iran's

rejection of the compromise proposal to send abroad its uranium for

enrichment. It is clear that the hand Obama reached out has not
been
taken by the Tehran leadership even after months. The agreements
made
in Geneva disappeared into thin air. Iran does not even think about

making a move towards dtente - not as long as it can expect Russia

and particularly China to act in Tehran's interest concerning
sanctions. The Iranian leadership knows how to gamble for time.
Western powers should have understood this by now. One day the game

will be over. The question is: who will win?"

7. (U.S.-Asia) Future Relations

Under the headline: "The Bride is Hesitating," Die Welt (11/19)
argued: "While Europe again does not seem to take advantage of its
possibilities when it comes to selecting the candidates for its top

jobs and continues to suffer from the illusion that the model of a
transatlantic expert governs in the White House, the United States
is
turning to Asia. Europe has never looked as old as during President

Obama's trip to Asia. And that is why his absence at the 20th
anniversary of the fall of the Wall was only consistent. Those who

want to win the future, prefer to travel to Asia rather than to
Europe. And unlike what many Europeans think, Obama is not an
idealist but a pragmatic realist in foreign policy. He seeks those
as
partners with whom he thinks he can solve problems the best. And

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this
is increasingly China, not Europe. This week, the world has got a
pretaste of how the future global directorate made up of the U.S.
and
China might look. If the G-20 format is too complicated to find a
solution, the two big colossi of global politics will meet for an
informal G-2. The only problem for Obama is that the Asian bride is

still coy. The Americans are increasingly realizing that Europe
lacks
global policy ambitions and determination in order to share global
leadership tasks in cooperation with the U.S. At the same time,
China is still a power that is becoming more influential and is
still
taking out loans on the future. Obama offered the Chinese a
strategic
partnership, but they do not want to accept it. For Europe this
means
it is not yet too late to present itself as a natural partner in
leadership for the U.S. With respect to his biography, Obama is
really the first Pacific U.S. president. That is why Europe must
offer more than a nostalgic transfiguration of the transatlantic
past."

8. (EU) Top Jobs

Under the headline: "European Province," Sueddeutsche Zeitung
(11/19)
editorialized: "The miserable wrestling over EU top positions is a
mockery towards the EU's claim to be taken seriously in the world.

Only political dreamers consider the back and forth about the EU's
top
positions as evidence of democratic maturity. In reality this
discord
is evidence of the unwillingness of EU members to look beyond the
horizon of their national and partisan interests. Today's EU summit

will fail if it does not do away with one shortcoming: first, the
future task of the people in these top jobs must be studied and then

they must examine who could best meet all the requirements,
irrespective of his/her origin, gender and partisan orientation.
This
is the only way out of the confusion."

In a front-page editorial Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/19) judged: "If

next year, for instance, the G-20 leaders convene, the EU
delegation,
in addition to the national delegations, will be even bigger than
today, with even more actors... The increase in Europe's
representation
abroad could create confusion and add fuel to the complaint that the

Europeans appear with too many people in international bodies. It
is
not without its irony that America, China, Brazil, and others are
calling upon the Europeans to concentrate their forces, but they in

turn create even more positions. The situation is not getting
better.
The intention to streamline positions leads to an extension. Can
the
EU leadership be optimized? Maybe. Since this position has now been

created, the first president of the European Council must be ready
to
lead and the member states must support him in their own national

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interests."

"European Dream Team," is the headline of an editorial in Financial

Times Deutschland (11/19), which noted: "The EU leaders can appoint

whomever they like tonight at their summit meeting, but if Merkel
and
her colleagues do not show the courage and the will to really
handover
the representation of European interests in decisive moments to
their
representative, the EU will continue to lose power and influence."

Weekly Die Zeit (11/19) sub-headlined: "Europe can Remain a Factor
of
Power in Global Politics only if it Speaks with one Voice." The
paper
opined: "As of next year, the Europeans can send their president to

international conferences, or their foreign minister.... It would
be
the first time that he would be able to speak for the 500 million
Europeans. For this reason alone, this Thursday is a good day for
the
European Union. But to speak with one voice does not mean to speak
with the one voice of the European Council president or the foreign

minister. Both can achieve little on their own; only if the 27 EU
leaders support them, will Europe speak as a continent with 500
million people. Only then will Europe be heard. No continent is
more
innovative, more social, and fairer - and up until today more
prosperous. Nowhere in the world are living conditions better than

here. With its soft power, Europe must seek its splendor not only
in
the past. On the contrary, it can be a model for the world."

9. (Economic) WTO

According to an editorial in Sueddeutsche Zeitung (11/19), "The
European Commission has now declared its willingness to soften the
restrictions for the import of bananas, mangos, and other tropical
fruit. It is good news in many respects that these nonsensical EU
subsidies will soon be terminated. The banana agreement will
primarily cause confidence in Geneva because the WTO envoys, who
have
their seat there, have been trying for years to conclude a global
free
trade agreement. Thus far, the Doha talks have dragged along
without
producing any results. But if now Americans, Europeans, and
Africans
bury the longest lasting dispute in the WTO's history, they will
also
make a great step forward to successfully conclude the WTO talks."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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