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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cop15, German Strategy On Afghanistan,

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1559/01 3421314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081314Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6013
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
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RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1809
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0529
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1047
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2552
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1572
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0737
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 03 BERLIN 001559

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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TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO KGHG IR AF GM US TU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: COP15, German Strategy on Afghanistan,
Iranian Protests, US-Turkish Relations;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Climate Change Conference
3. Afghanistan
4. Iranian Protests
5. U.S.-Turkish Relations

1. Lead Stories

ZDF-TV's and ARD-TV's primetime newscasts opened with stories on the
beginning of the Copenhagen climate summit. Most newspapers led
with stories on the German governmentQs plan to compensate the
victims of the September 4 airstrikes. Frankfurter Allgemeine led
with the headline: QClashes in Tehran again,Q and a few papers led
with the probe of the LBBW bank. Editorials focused on the
compensation of Afghan victims.

2. Climate Change Conference

EPA decision on carbon dioxide

Spiegel Online led with the headline QObama has a free hand in
climate protection,Q highlighting in its introduction: QIt is a
positive signal in the fight against global warming: at the
beginning of the Copenhagen UN summit, the U.S. environmental agency
declared greenhouse gases as dangerous. With that, President Obama
can push through climate protection measures against the opposition
of the Congress.Q ARD-TVQs Tagesschau newscast noted this morning:
QIt is clear that with this decision President Obama is coming to
Copenhagen in a stronger position.

ARD-TVQs Tagesthemen late-night newscast remarked: QWe must now stop
carelessly destroying our planet as if we had another one at our
disposal. We must give way to reason in Copenhagen. Otherwise it
will wind up in history books as the summit of shame if the world
continues to be so unfocused, government representatives only make
half-hearted decisions to restrict global warming, economic
interests outweigh environmental protection, and cynical lobbyists
water down what scientists demand We in the rich countries know
for sure that we cannot go on like this if we want to leave a world
to our children they can live in.... There is no alternative to a
drastic reduction of carbon dioxide. This is a conviction
Washington now also believes in: after the EPA decision, Obama will
not come to Copenhagen with empty hands. The U.S. President could
now commit the U.S. to binding climate goals without the approval of
the Congress and create a Marshall Plan for our earth. This is
maybe the best news of the day.

Handelsblatt editorialized: QThe U.S. is becoming greener, but the
Congress does not realize it. Companies are preparing themselves
for the new guidelines on climate policy With a new initiative,
California wants to increase the pressure on politicians because,
also under President Obama, the mills in the Congress grind slowly.


Poor vs. rich countries

Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio opined: QAt the end, the greatest rift
will not be between the U.S., China and the Europeans, but between
the poor and the rich. The developing countries want money to deal
better with the consequences of climate changeQand they want
prosperity and health through clean technologies. They have made
clear in previous conferences that if they do not get what they
want, then they would not commit themselves to any agreement. They
are very bitter. It could be that those who suffer most from
climate change will be the ones who block the international fight
against it.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung editorialized: QThe global climate change

BERLIN 00001559 002 OF 003


deteriorates the fight over water and pastures and becomes dangerous
in areas where there is a shortage of resources Any additional
degree will intensify the struggle for recourses on the African
continent and will stir up new wars. A bold move in Copenhagen
would therefore also be a true peace agreement.

Deutschlandfunk radio commented: QIndustrial countries should know
why it is necessary to increase their cooperation with the countries
in the south. The prospect of palm trees along the river Rhine
might be attractive. However, nobody should believe that Germany
would be untouched when millions of Bangladeshis must flee because
their country is basically drowning The term climate justice would
mean that every person in the world is granted the same amount of
carbon dioxide emissions. Negotiators are not there yet. A
farewell to the fossil age is overdue. LetQs see Copenhagen as a
chance for a structural change that makes sense.

Pershing Profile

Frankfurter Allgemeine profiled U.S. chief negotiator Jonathan
Pershing, noting that he has been involved in climate protection for
decades. The paper said he started his career as a geophysicist
looking for oil deposits in Alaska, and surmised that that
experience motivated him to engage on climate change Qwhile
retaining an ability to avoid the widespread anti-business sentiment
within the movement.Q It noted PershingQs academic career and his
role on environmental policy in the Clinton administration as the
assistant deputy negotiator for the Kyoto agreement and reported
further on PershingQs duty as head of the energy and environment
division at the International Energy Agency. Noting the
retrenchment of environmental issues to Qthink tanks on the east and
west coasts,Q FAZ commented favorably that Pershing remained engaged
by serving as an advisor to Governor Schwarzenegger during
negotiations on the Inter-American emissions trading program, and
finally worked to develop of the emissions trading platform at the
Chicago Climate Exchange. QThe late compliance of the American
President, who will now attend the final stage of the negotiations
in Copenhagen, may also have been due to PershingQs influence,Q the
paper noted.

3. Afghanistan

Apart from Handelsblatt, German editorials and reports on
Afghanistan almost exclusively focused on the German governmentQs
plans to compensate the victims of the September 4 airstrikes.

Handelsblatt editorialized: QHow often do we have to reinvent the
world? This is the question that comes up when you track the German
policy on Afghanistan. All experts have been agreeing for months on
the necessary international action to be taken in Afghanistan: more
support in developing the infrastructure as well as training the
Afghan police and military forces, in addition to a stronger
military security to push through the power of the Afghan government
across the country against the Taliban, who are becoming stronger.
It is therefore all the more remarkable that the German government
is now going its own way. While most NATO partners have quickly
defined their own additional contribution, the German government
acts as if it must think about a completely new situation. Only at
the end of January will Berlin make a decision about any additional
assistance.

Frankfurter Allgemeine commented: QIt is good that Germany will
offer the victims of the combat mission compensation payments. This
was done so in the past, and Americans and the British do this as
well. By making compensation payments, the German government does
not make any statement about the legitimacy of military actions, but
it makes clear that it is in the country and fights there for the
sake of the people.

BERLIN 00001559 003 OF 003

A front-page editorial in Die Welt noted: QThe relatives of the
civilian causalities of the airstrike near Kunduz will get money.
Berlin is taking up the practice of the U.S. of setting a signal of
good will in cases of collateral damage, as far as this is possible.
The German government, however, did not only regret the civilian
victims but also redefined the strikes of six weeks ago as
militarily inappropriate and unjustified. This new assessment
remains mysterious.

4. Iranian Protests

Many German media reported on the new clashes in Iran. Die Welt
carried a large front-page photo of protesters with green masks
under the headline QThe brave of Tehran,Q noting that Qthe
opposition in Iran has the courage again to protest against the
regime.Q An editorial in Die Welt noted: QThe regime in Tehran that
is seeking to become a regional power in the Middle East by its
nuclear armament is fighting a war at home against its young
people. Apart from the plain power, the regime has nothing to
lose.

Under the headline QDauntless,Q Frankfurter Allgemeine
editorialized: QThe severe riots last June when thousands of
Iranians protested against the questionable re-election of President
Ahmadinejad did not frighten off the opposition It is increasingly
clear that the gradual degeneration of the Islamic Republic into a
military dictatorship cannot prevent the supporters of the
opposition from expressing their dissatisfaction on the streets.
Due to the ban of journalists it is difficult to get an idea of how
powerful the resistance is. However, what news that does get out of
the country confirms the conviction that Iran is facing difficult
times next year. Attempts to heal the Qpolitical stubbornness
will not succeed. On June 12, Iran became a different country.

5. U.S.-Turkish Relations

Under the headline QU.S.-Turkish Dissonances,Q Berliner Zeitung
analyzed: QUnlike during the times of the Cold War, Ankara and
Washington are no longer in the same boat. On the contrary, in the
region, both powers continuously get in each others' way The worst
case is that of Iran. The U.S. wants to isolate the rebellious
regime and prepare for a tougher UN embargo. But Erdogan does not
really want to talk about it. However, even if Turkey is stubborn
in the case of Iran and relatively steadfast in refusing to send
more troops to Afghanistan, it remains an indispensible partner for
the Americans.

MURPHY

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