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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Terrorism, Iran, China, U.S.;Berlin

VZCZCXRO6873
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1626/01 3630713
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290713Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6139
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 1857
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0579
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1095
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2600
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1622
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0785
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 05 BERLIN 001626

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 KGHG US IR CH US
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: TERRORISM, IRAN, CHINA, U.S.;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.) Failed Terrorist Attack
3. (Iran) New Protestsn4
4. (China) Reaction to Jailing of Liu Xiabo
5. (U.S.) Healthcare Reform


1. Lead Stories Summary

The majority of dailies opened with reports on the failed terror
attack on a Delta Airlines jet, while Sueddeutsche headlined:
"Protests Intensify - Riots in Iran" and FAZ led with the headline:

"People Killed in Demonstrations in Iran." Editorials focused on
the
failed terror attack in the U.S., with the unrest in Iran and with
the
state of the coalition government in Berlin. ZDF-TV's early evening

newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening newscast Tagesschau opened

with a report on violent clashes between the Iranian regime and
opponents.

2. (U.S.) Failed Terrorist Attack

All papers carry extensive reports the failed terrorist attack on a

Delta Airlines airliners and reported that travelers flying to the
United States must expect heightened security measures and tougher
restrictions on their flights to the United States. Die Welt
headlined: "Terror Attempt Stirring up fear of Terror," while
Financial Times headlined: "Fear of Terror is Back."

In a front-page editorial, Die Welt (12/28) judged: "The fact that
the
would-be attacker was able to board a plane with his dangerous
material reveals gaps in the control system. With metal detectors
alone chemical explosives cannot be discovered."

Under the headline: "Flight 253," Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/28)
opined: "If someone really had believed that we have transnational
terror under control, and that we can give an all-clear signal with

respect to security, then those people have now been taught better.

Irrespective of whether the attacker acted on his own or on the
instructions of al-Qaida, the danger is not over and that is why
travelers, not only to the Untied States, must accept new
inconveniences which are hopefully useful."

"Following the terror attempt in Detroit, the usual security debate

will now begin," Frankfurter Rundschau (12/28) noted, and added:
"controls will be heightened, and agencies are trying to get us to
do
everything possible to prevent another attack. This failed terror
attempt shows how unpredictable people can be who stop at nothing.

For the time being, there is only one lesson we can learn from the
events on Flight 253: It is the courageous effort of Jasper
Schuringa
who prevented even worse events. The unexpected resolve of
individuals can be the right answer to the threat that comes out of

the blue."

In the view of Stuttgarter Zeitung (12/28), "Abdulmutallab was miles


BERLIN 00001626 002 OF 005


away from the organizational level of the 9/11 attackers. But the
Nigerian national succeeded in one thing: he totally unnerved the
western world, and the terror fighting machinery of the United
States
in particular. Even though the U.S. government knew about the
danger
of the young man, he was able to fly around the world without
difficulty. Almost without any problems, he was able to smuggle
dangerous substances aboard an aircraft. But what if he really had

the order from al-Qaida in Yemen to blow up the plane? How does
this
view then fit the U.S. focus on Afghanistan? Is Yemen, too, a front

in the anti-terror war? Many question, but only a few answers."

Regional daily Nrnberger Nachrichten (12/28) and regional daily
Trierischer Volksfreund (12/28) judged: "How was it possible for a
young man to get aboard with a one-way ticket and an Arabic sounding

name, whose contacts with Islamic extremists were known and whose
father even warned the U.S. embassy? The lists of passengers
travelling to the United States are transferred in advance to the
U.S.
Homeland Security Department with all its data bases. But again we

see a big hole in the net that is supposed to capture potential
terrorists. Of course, one hundred percent security will never
exist,
but these gaps are dramatic and should be an alarm call which
politicians should not ignore."

Mannheimer Morgen (12/28) warned against hysteria and judged: "Each

day terror investigators receive hundreds of tips and indications.

How is it then possible to follow a vague suspicion? We should not

exaggerate security measures for flights. The fact that in the
United
States no one is allowed to go to the bathroom one hour before
landing
is ridiculous. The same is true for the ban on liquids in Europe.

Here there is a clear disproportion between cost and benefit."
MQrkische Allgemeine of Potsdam (12/28) opined: "If airlines, as a
reaction to the failed attempt, force their passengers to remain
seated one hour before landing, then this is no more than a gesture
of
helplessness. The second much more important aspect may be
dissatisfying at the moment, but there is no way around it: Muslims

must preach again and again in their own ranks that terror is not
the
culmination of piety but a crime. Any incident like this should
stress to the Muslim world how urgent this message is."

Regional daily Westdeutsche Zeitung of Dsseldorf (12/28) observed:

"Hectic measure such as barring passengers from getting up should
not
prevail in the long run. In the future, there will be no way around

finding the right balance between possible improvements of our
security standards compared to the trouble caused by
them."SchwarzwQlder Bote (12/28) noted: "Everything we have learned

about this attack does not strengthen our confidence in
international

BERLIN 00001626 003 OF 005


security measures. It is certainly right that there cannot be
absolute security from mean terrorist attacks but this does not the

least excuse the gaps in anti-terror measures.

3. (Iran) New Protests

All papers carry extensive coverage of the new clashes between the
regime and opposition forces in Iran. Sueddeutsche headlined:
"Protests Intensify - Riots in Iran" and FAZ led with the headline:

"People Killed in Demonstrations in Iran." Frankfurter Rundschau
reported on its front page: "The protests are directed against
Iranian
President Ahmadinejad." The paper also reported that "according to

reports from Tehran, police officers partly disobeyed orders to use

their guns against the protesters. The Internet page "Jaras," which

is critical of the government, reported that 'some [police officers]

tried to fire their guns in the air when their superiors put
pressure
on them.'"

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/28) said in an editorial under the
headline:
"There is Growing Unrest among the People" that "if the information

fragments from Tehran on the demonstrations during the Ashura
holidays
allow one conclusion, then this one: the rank and file of the
protests
are now overtaking their leaders. Posters of religious leader Ali
Khamenei and the chorus of demonstrators who want to see the
dictator
dead do not correspond with the slogans of the two opposition
leaders
Moussawi and Charrubi. They are now faced with a dilemma: If they

stick to their view that they, in principle, recognize the
institutions of the Islamic republic and want to use the courts to
make their political opposition heard, then it could be that their
followers will leave them because many want something else: regime
change."

Regional daily Suedwest Presse of Ulm (12/28) editorialized: "The
regime is using all its might to extinguish the massive protests.
The
few Internet reports in any case show the brutality of the leading
clique around President Ahmadinejad. In the meantime, the regime
has
its back to the wall. The protests are no longer confined to Tehran

but are spreading to other cities.... The government can no longer

afford the good deeds with which it bought the loyalty of Iranians.

All this is really worrying for the international community of
nations."

Ostsee Zeitung of Rostock (12/28) argued: "Despite jammed cellular
phone networks and despite blocked access to the Internet, the
unrest
in Iran hardly seems to be stoppable. The resistance is still
limited
to a well-educated cosmopolitan, young, urban middle class. Large
sectors of the population, however, seem to keep quiet or seem to

BERLIN 00001626 004 OF 005


support the regime. But the cyber revolt in Tehran has demonstrated

that the mullahs no longer enjoy a monolithic power."

Regional daily Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (12/28) opined: "Since
the
allegedly manipulated re-election of President Ahmadinejad, a state
of
emergency has dominated in Iran. But this is not only the struggle
of
a limited political protest movement against the president and the
ayatollahs behind him. The country is now facing an endurance test.

At issue is whether the country wants to become a fundamental
religious state or an Islamic republic. The pictures from Iran are

shocking. It is the violence on both sides that makes us fear the
worst."

4. (China) Reaction to Jailing of Liu Xiabo

Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/28) editorialized under the headline:
"Co-
Responsibility," that foreign countries must also be blamed that a
man
like Liu Xiabo is jailed with such an absurdly high prison term.
The
foreign countries have treated China for economic considerations
with
political kid gloves for years. We can't blame China under these
circumstances because we think that it is unassailable? A positive

reaction to any criticism of the verdict cannot be expected."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/28) said in an editorial: "A subtle but
clearly visible trend is getting hold in China. Civil disobedience

among the rank and file is spreading. It is an irony that this tend

has become visible in the tough verdict against Liu Xiabo. In front

of the court in which China's leadership organized the show trial,
we
could not only see international reporters and diplomats, but
Chinese
supporters of Liu shouted slogans and unrolled posters thus
deliberately risking their arrest. Only a few courageous people
went
to the court, but they showed that intimidation no longer works as
successfully as in the past. This new trend is not only confined to

the traditional political protest. Courageous lawyers of the
Weiquan
civil rights movement are defending victims of the arbitrariness of

state agencies and they defend each other, too. And the number of
peaceful and violent civil protests is on the rise. But the Chinese

Communist Party fails miserably when it comes to channeling
communication with its critics into a constructive direction. The
verdict against Liu Xiabo is one more example. It will only
partially
obtain the desired effect but not intimidate the people. At the
same
time, new embitterment, new disobedience is growing. With each show

trial, the party is now doing of what it is accusing Liu: it
undermines the state's authority."


BERLIN 00001626 005 OF 005


5. (U.S.) Healthcare Reform

Under the headline: "Reform Blues," Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/28) had

this to say: "There is no doubt that the healthcare reform bill that

has now been adopted in the Senate is a great work...and
trailblazing.
But enthusiasm about the success is limited. One reason is that the

legislative process is so tiresome; but there is an even more
important reason: disappointment and doubts are spreading. The
advocates of the reform have been brought down to earth again
because
they were able to implement only a few of their demands. Thus far,

the Democrats have lost the fight for public opinion. They will
have
to do quite a lot in the election campaign in 2010 to avoid being
punished for a reasonable reform."

Die Welt (12/28) argued: "The Democrats will now have difficulty
explaining to their irritated voters why it is historic progress
that
31 million compatriots who have no coverage today will get health
insurance, and that health insurance companies can no longer reject

sick Americans or demand astronomically high premiums. This reform
is
supposed to carry itself and not burden the budget. But the
opponents
to the bill do not believe a word, arguing that the nation will go
bankrupt. This is a highly imperfect, weakened bill and, at the
same
time, a giant step forward into an American future in which job loss

no longer means the end of insurance protection for a former
employee
and their whole family."

DELAWIE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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