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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, U.S.-India, Climate, Brazil-

VZCZCXRO8452
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1503/01 3291144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251144Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5894
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 1769
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0487
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1007
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2512
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1529
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0697
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 06 BERLIN 001503

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 AF IN KGHG BR IR IZ PH XF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, U.S.-INDIA, CLIMATE, BRAZIL-
IRAN, IRAQ, PHILIPPINES, ISRAEL;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Afghanistan) Decision Time Approaching
3. (U.S.-India) PM Singh in Washington
4. (Copenhagen) Climate Summit
5. (Brazil-Iran) Lula-Ahmadinejad Meeting
6. (Iraq) Elections
7. (Philippines) Emergency After Killings
8. (Israel/Palestine) Shalit Release


1. Lead Stories Summary

Print media led with the upcoming Copenhagen climate summit and a
study by climate researchers forecasting an increase in temperatures

of up to seven degrees Celsius (FAZ, Sueddeutsche Berliner Zeitung).

Other papers highlighted Chancellor Merkel's speech to the
Confederation of German Industry (Tagesspiegel, Die Welt).
Editorials
focused on business confidence in Germany and on the future of Opel.

ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening
newscast Tagesschau opened with reports on student protests in
Leipzig.

2. (Afghanistan) Decision Time Approaching

All papers also reported that President Obama will announce his
Afghanistan strategy in a speech to the nation on December 1. The
papers refer to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who said the
decision-making process has been concluded and added that the
President would announce not only the number of additional soldiers
he
wants to send to Afghanistan but also his future plans for a
withdrawal. Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/25) headlined: "'Obama Will

Send 34,000 Soldiers for the Time Being," and reported that "U.S.
President Obama plans to announce his future strategy for
Afghanistan
in an address to the nation on December 1. According to U.S. media

reports, rumors are intensifying that Obama will send 34,000
additional soldiers to Afghanistan, and in June of next year [the
administration] will review whether the troop surge has had the
desired effect in pacifying Afghanistan. Sueddeutsche Zeitung
(11/25)
headlined: "Obama to Present Strategy," while Financial Times
Deutschland (11/25) wrote: "Wealthy People Will Pay for Afghanistan
-
U.S. Senator Wants to Finance Mission with New Income Tax." The
daily
reported: "The U.S. government has finalized its deliberations on a

new strategy for the military mission in Afghanistan. For months,
Obama's decision on increasing the U.S. military presence in
Afghanistan has been expected with bated breath. Among
parliamentarians, provoking questions are circulating on how the
increasingly unpopular mission can be financed. The Democratic
Chairman of the Armed Forces Committee in the Senate, Carl Levin,
brought an additional income tax for top earners into the
discussion."
Berliner Zeitung (11/25) headlined: "Obama Wants To Complete
Afghanistan Job," and wrote that "President Obama will announce his

long-expected decision on the new Afghanistan strategy at the
beginning of next week."


BERLIN 00001503 002 OF 006


3. (U.S.-India) PM Singh in Washington

Many papers carry correspondent reports on Indian Prime Minister
Singh's visit to Washington. Sueddeutsche (11/25) headlined: "Pat
on
the Back for India - During PM Singh's Visit to the U.S. President
Obama Wants to Dispel the Suspicion That India is Unimportant for
Him." The daily wrote: "According to Indian interpretations,
Pakistan
and China, the old arch rival and the colossal competitor, enjoy
greater support than India in the White House. But Obama has
understood. That is why he mobilized all the pomp he could when he

received India's PM Singh in the White House. And then Obama paid
reverence to India by calling it a 'nuclear power' and 'biggest
democracy in the world' and finally by saying that India is 'the
leader in Asia and around the world and that India is 'indispensable

for the future of the world.' India as a global, even
indispensable
power - when hearing this, Singh smiled in a satisfied way. At
home,
too, all the laurels and all the praise with which Obama ensnared
the
subcontinent may calm down the people."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/25) headlined: "Obama Praises India as a

Partner," and reported: "During a solemn reception of India's Prime

Minister Singh in the White House, President Obama praised India as
an
indispensable partner. The president emphasized U.S.-Indian
cooperation when it comes to developing new technologies and the
proliferation of nuclear weapons. Obama said that both nations are

striving for a 'future of security and prosperity for all
nations.'"

Under the headline: "Transpacific Balance," Berliner Zeitung (11/25)

editorialized: "It is no coincidence that President Obama gave the
first official state reception of his term for India's PM Singh.
This
red carpet treatment followed Obama's important visit to Beijing.
The
U.S. government is striving for a new relationship with China:
integrating instead of containing, this is the slogan. It is true
that Washington's rapprochement with Beijing may be unavoidable, but

America's new pussyfooting course towards Beijing is making other
Asian players nervous, primarily Japan and India. Geopolitics in
Asia
should no longer be a zero sum game in which one side wins, while
the
other side loses. It will be difficult for President Obama to
convince his guest of this"

4. (Copenhagen) Climate Summit

Twenty-six climate experts published an appeal to politicians in
which
they warned against a collapse of the climate. Hans-Joachim
Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam-based Institute for Climate
Research, said: "This is the last scientific appeal to the envoys of

192 states not to miss the climate protection train in Copenhagen."


BERLIN 00001503 003 OF 006


He added that climate change is happening faster than expected. He

said that in order to confine global warming to two degrees, carbon

dioxide emissions must peak at the latest in five to ten years and
then rapidly decline (all papers).

In a front-page report headlined: "Copenhagen Will Also See U.S.
Climate Targets - Will Obama Come?" FAZ (11/25) wrote that the U.S.

delegation will present binding goals for a reduction of emissions
at
the Copenhagen summit. The paper cited U.S. media as saying that
President Obama will go public with these goals in the coming days.

In an editorial under the headline: "The Earth Has a Fever,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (11/25) argued: "It is certainly theoretically

possible that climate research could be wrong and that other factors

could be responsible for global warming. But those who base their
activities on that outlook act like a patient who looks into his
bright red pharynx and who is told by his doctor that he suffers
from
strep throat, but insists that this could be any number of things
but
not a serious infection - instead of swallowing the right pills."

Berliner Zeitung (11/25) headlined: "U.S. Blockade," and judged:
"Will
he or will he not come to Copenhagen? The assistance of the U.S.
president is urgently necessary. The talks on a global climate
protection agreement have got bogged down over the past few weeks.

This also has to do with the United States and this even though
President Obama promised a change in the hesitant U.S. climate
policy.
That is why his participation would be a strong signal. The
greatest
obstacle on the path to an agreement is the U.S. Senate, which has
blocked a national climate protection law for months. But without

completed legislation in his pocket, Obama will hardly be able to
commit himself."

Die Welt (11/25) opined under the headline: "[Copenhagen] Not
Possible
Without Horror [Stories]," and noted: "A group of climate
researchers
told us yesterday that everything would become even worse. It could

be expected that the forecast would become even gloomier shortly
before the Copenhagen climate summit. But time will tell whether
their forecast will come true. In the meantime, the number of
voices
from renowned geo-research institutes is on the rise, which, like
the
IPCC, also think that mankind is responsible for the increase in
global warming but who warn against horror scenarios. The
credibility
of a few climate researchers and their forecasts has now been
damaged
by the hacker scandal. But by exaggerating their views, they will
not
get back this credibility."

In a report, headlined; "Obama Speeding Things up," die tageszeitung


BERLIN 00001503 004 OF 006


(11/25) reported: "Shortly before the Copenhagen climate summit,
President Obama is speeding up things. Before the beginning of the

conference in two weeks, his government plans to present targets for

the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, irrespective or not of
whether the U.S. climate protection bill has been adopted. This is

what U.S. papers reported, referring to White House sources."

In an editorial, die tageszeitung (11/25) argued: "All of a sudden,

the situation is getting more exciting again because President Obama

announced that he would present climate protection targets in
Copenhagen. He has hardly reacted to international pressure but,
unlike his predecessor, Obama is not ignorant and he is seizing this

opportunity to make a considerable profit with a small investment:
to
stop playing the 'role of a skunk at a garden party.'... [The
U.S.] is
the most important player in Copenhagen. Obama knows that if the
U.S.
does not block the deal other industrialized nations will approve
it,
and if the wealthy nations increase their financial commitments,
even
threshold countries such as China and India have no more reason to
block climate protection any longer. Obama's move comes at the
right
time."

5. (Brazil-Iran) Lula-Ahmadinejad Meeting

Under the headline: "Lula Recommends himself to the World,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (11/24) judged: "Following his meetings with
Israel's President Peres and Palestinian President Abbas, Brazil's
President has now also received Iran's leader Ahmadinejad. This
shows
how interesting, self-confident and confusing his foreign policy is.

Especially Israel and the United States feel piqued by Ahmadinejad's

visit. But even during this visit, the flexible Brazilian leader
wanted to prove his pragmatism and independence. He wants to send
two
messages: First, energy producers Brazil and Iran will improve
cooperation, and, second, the rest of the world and the United
States
in particular should prick their ears: Brazil is back again. The
fifth largest nation in the world is rising to an economic power, to

an actor who plays in the same league as India and China. Lula
incorporates this upswing and also the claim for power. Thus far,
Lula has distinguished himself as an important voice in his
immediate
neighborhood...but he has also offered refuge to Honduran President

Zelaya in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. But in Honduras, he

finds his limits and these limits are drawn by the United States.
Washington allows the putschists to do whatever they want and even
allows them to hold absurd elections."

die tageszeitung (11/25) had this to say in an editorial headlined:

"Realpolitician Lula," and observed: "With his decision to invite

BERLIN 00001503 005 OF 006


Holocaust denier Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Brazil's President Lula is now

taking a risk. Despite explicit pressure from Washington and the
uniform vote of the media in his country he has now received his
colleague in Brasilia. And he is right. By doing so, Lula again
demonstrates what he considers an independent foreign policy: the
right to consider national interests more important than showing
considerations for the 'strategic partner' in the United States.
Like
his leftist colleagues in South America, Lula prefers a multipolar
global order over a western dominance.... One-sided pressure on
Iran
has a counterproductive effect as the domestic development in Iran
showed over the past few years. However, with respect to human
rights, there are little indications that Lula had a serious talk
with
Ahmadinejad. But this is how realpolitik functions on a global
scale.
Pragmatist Lula is no exception."

6. (Iraq) Elections

According to an editorial in Sueddeutsche Zeitung (11/25) headlined

"Iraq - A House of Cards," "the Tower of Babel was a sound building

compared to the political structures in today's Iraq. They resemble
a
house of cards that will collapse if just one card falls. This
could
happen since Sunni vice President Tarik al Hashimi again wants to
use
his veto against the electoral law. His ethnic group feels
disadvantaged. As long as this conflict has not been settled, there

is no reason to think about a day for the elections. But if the
elections are delayed, the withdrawal of U.S. forces will also be
delayed since both events are linked together. To a certain extent,

the occupation of the country has resulted in a certain stability,
but, on the other hand, the U.S. presence is responsible for
tensions
between the ethnic groups. It has always been doubtful whether it
will be possible to set up strong pillars in this card house. Once

the Americans are gone, the disintegration of Iraq is a serious
possibility even with a new electoral law."

7. (Philippines) Emergency After Killings

Frankfurter Allgemeine (11/25) opined: "Politics in the Philippines
is
tougher than elsewhere. But the most recent bloodbath in the
southern
part of the country has caused a stir even among those who used to
shrug their shoulders over similar events. One reason is the large

number of victims. The conflict reveals a basic problem of the
country. It is true that democracy formally functions but real
power
has always rested in the hands of a few families. If a dispute
develops between them, there is no independent state institution
which
can settle it. The powers-that-be are interested in maintaining
this
state of affairs, even if they are in danger of becoming a victim of

this situation. Such problems are solved with what we call 'wild

BERLIN 00001503 006 OF 006


west' methods."

8. (Israel/Palestine) Shalit Release

Under the headline: "Gilad Shalit's Release 'Closer Than Ever
Before,'" Sueddeutsche Zeitung (11/25) wrote: "Israel's Trade
Minister
Benjamin Ben-Elieser said on the armed forces radio station on
Tuesday
that the release of Gilad Shalit, who has been kidnapped by Hamas,
'is
closer than ever before.' The fate of the man who was kidnapped
three
and a half years ago is moving the Israeli nation as hardly as
anything else. The whole country yearns for his release - but is

also facing an endurance test, because more than 1,000 Palestinian
prisoners, who were sentenced for terrorist activities and for
murder,
are to be set free in return for Shalit's release and now sympathy
is
fighting with fear in Israel."

MURPHY

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