Cablegate: Media Reaction: Climate Change, Nobel Peace Prize,
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
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R 101307Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6036
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
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RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: CLIMATE CHANGE, NOBEL PEACE PRIZE,
AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ, GREECE;BERLIN
1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Climate Change
3. Nobel Peace Prize
5. Iraq Terror Attacks
6. Greek Financial Crisis
1. Lead Stories
ZDF-TVQs primetime newscast Heute opened with a story on German
carmaker VWQs new stake in Japanese carmaker Suzuki. ARDTVQs
primetime Tagesschau opened with a report saying that statutory
health insurance programs would face a deficit of four billion euros
next year. Newspapers led with diverse stories, including the
dispute over climate protection measures in Copenhagen, the British
governmentQs move against bonuses, and Defense Minister zu
GuttenbergQs problems. Stern magazineQs cover showed President
Obama under the headlined QA rescuer in need.Q Editorials focused
on many topics, including VW and climate change.
2. Climate Change
All German media highlighted the dispute between industrialized and
developing nations at the climate conference in Copenhagen.
Tagesspiegel led with the headline: QClimate: poor vs. rich, north
vs. southQDispute over greenhouse gases and money in Copenhagen,
criticism of the Danish negotiations.Q Frankfurter Rundschau
fronted: QDispute in Copenhagen,Q adding: QDeveloping countries are
outraged about the draft agreement of the industrial countries.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung editorialized: QIt would be a great mistake to
believe that individual abstention could replace collective
abstention, which is a compelling condition for an effective fight
against the worst consequences of global warming in the rich world.
A society that only believes in voluntary efforts in this huge task
is unfair and will ultimately fail. Forcing people to give up some
things in our affluent society does not automatically pave the way
into a miserable life. Once a certain level of prosperity is
reached, happiness and satisfaction can no longer be increased,
unlike the number of depressed people. Refraining from certain
things will be easier if all carry the burden collectively and
TagesspiegelQs front-page editorial remarked: QParticularly the U.S.
must be blamed if there will not be a binding agreementQbut only
promisesQon greenhouse gases in Copenhagen. Obama does not want to
do more than the U.S. Congress allows him. Kyoto has made clear
that an agreement the President approves is worth nothing as long as
it is not implemented at home. Obama will therefore offer a CO2
reduction of 17 percent compared with 2005. This means a reduction
of only four percent compared with 1990 However, he is fighting
for more, telling Americans that their environmental consciousness
is two decades behind the times.
Die Welt analyzed: QEven Democrats from states with high
unemployment see climate protection as a luxury one cannot afford.
In Copenhagen, Barack Obama might embrace the world, but in the
Congress only a few follow him to support his promises. Global
warming and climate protection have become a matter of belief.
Opponents claim that enough oil for generations lies off AmericaQs
coast. They see themselves as godQs warriors and Copenhagen and
its allies in the UN as those who want to weaken America to
establish a socialist world government. For those Americans,
ObamaQs post-imperial posture is more than a sell-out of AmericaQs
interests: it is high treason and the Nobel Peace Prize the
traitorQs reward In addition, Obama is chained by a Congress that
is hardly capable of taking action The Senate is destructive and
anachronistic. Everyone, apart from the 100 Senators, knows that.
BERLIN 00001571 002 OF 003
Thueringer Allgemeine commented: QThe rift between the
industrialized countries and the developing countries is also so
wide because of hundreds of years of exploitation and oppression by
Europe and America. Generous support of poor countries does not
just have the purpose of guaranteeing its growth in an
environment-friendly way. It would also be a kind of compensation.
Against this background, the U.S. offer of ten billion dollars
sounds in fact like a joke. The outcry of the 135 developing
countries is therefore understandable.
3. Nobel Peace Prize
Left-wing Tageszeitung editorialized: QDoes Barack Obama deserve the
Nobel Peace Prize he will get in Oslo today? The simple answer is
no, because the President is at war in Afghanistan and announced an
escalation of the conflict last week by sending in 30,000 additional
soldiers. Many who have celebrated him as the new messiah during
his speeches in Berlin and other capitals are therefore
disappointed. However, already during his elections campaign, Obama
justified the war in Afghanistan and called for more soldiers from
Germany and other countries. One cannot accuse Obama of having
lied to his people and the world.Q The paper adds: QHis course in
Afghanistan makes Obama a war president. However, he is the best
that could have happened to the U.S. and the world.
Berliner ZeitungQs editorial stated: QObama will not be honored for
something he has done, but something the world hopes he will do.
The President can hardly meet the expectations the Nobel Prize
committee is raising. What a burden for a man who rules a
superpower! At the end of his first year, Obama is back to earth.
The President has three more years to go. To achieve something he
will need not just more fortune than in the past, but also
cleverness, determination and persistence. His masterpiece could be
the reconciliation of cultures. If he succeeds, he would have
earned the Nobel Prize.
Under the headline QEuropeans without influence,Q Sueddeutsche
editorializes: QWithin NATO, it is often said that the influence of
a member on the strategy in Afghanistan increases with every
additional soldier the country sends into the war. This is
self-deception. Every nation that now increases troop levels as
part of the U.S. effort cherishes this illusion. They will not get
a greater say, because the decisions have been made a long time
agoQin Washington and without consulting the allies. This will also
be the case in the future. In his own brutal way, AfPak envoy
Holbrooke made this clear with his recent statements. He only
laughed about the London conference on Afghanistan in January.
European allies now know what it is about. Some of the allies,
particularly the Germans, hope that London would reach an
international consensus on the approach towards Afghanistan, and
with it, a justification for deploying additional soldiers and
providing more civilian aid. Nobody will do them this favor.
Instead of waiting for the London conference, Berlin should quickly
make its decision on whether it believes the U.S. strategy on
Afghanistan is promising. One should then send more troops or
5. Iraq Terror Attacks
Frankfurter Allgemeine carried an editorial on its front page
saying: QAs cynical as it may sound, the coordinated major attacks
that killed more than hundred people every two months in Bagdad show
that the process of normalization has made much progress. In 2006
BERLIN 00001571 003 OF 003
74 were killed every day; in 2007, 65. Politics hardly mattered at
all, surviving mattered. Today, terrorism does not threaten the
parliamentary elections on March 7, nor does it threaten the broad
consensus among the people that there is no other option for their
country besides democracy. However, Iraq is a maltreated country.
Terrorism is part of everydayQs life. And despite the second
largest oil resources in the world, Iraq remains a poorhouse. The
infrastructure is run down, and shortcomings are everywhere. As a
result, corruption is the quickest way for many for a better life,
at the expense of the country. Most Iraqis are still a long way
away from a life in prosperity and security.
6. Greek Financial Crisis
SueddeutscheQs front-page headlined: QGreek national debt makes EU
nervous,Q and added in an editorial: QThose who believe the world is
slowly about to overcome the global economic crisis, is corrected
these days. Greece, a country that is part of the European
currency union, is now staggering. There is talk of a debt that is
going through the roof, nervous debtors and the threat of a national
bankruptcy. Greece is a ticking time bomb. That this now poses a
danger to the whole of Europe has to do with the economic crisis.
But this is not the only reason, because the Greek have never taken
debt seriously. By giving wrong figures, they sneaked into the Euro
zone. For the euro zone, a number of national bankruptcies would
be a great threat. This would not just be about a few billion
euros. This would be about whether the currency union can deal with
such problems and whether the euro will survive.
Under the headline QSanctions if necessary,Q Tagesspiegel
editorialized: QIf necessary, sanctions must force the government in
Athens to finally change its course. The Greek finance ministerQs
statement that they will not wait for somebody to rescue the country
but take action themselves is an encouraging signal. Far-reaching
measures to save money must follow swiftly. If the debt accelerates
further, this would threaten the euro.