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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Nobel Peace Prize, Cop15, Finance;Berlin

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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: Nobel Peace Prize, COP15, Finance;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Nobel Peace Prize
3. Climate Change
4. Levy on Bonuses

1. Lead Stories

Almost all major media led with stories on the Nobel Peace Prize
ceremony. Newspaper headlines included: QObama: war is sometimes
necessaryQ (Frankfurter Rundschau, Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung),
QObama defends AmericaQs WarsQ (Sueddeutsche), QObama: war is part
of mankindQ (Die Welt). Frankfurter Allgemeine led with a report on
the KSK special forcesQ involvement in the September 4 airstrikes
near Kunduz. Handelsblatt, FT Deutschland and Tageszeitung led with
stories on climate change. Editorials focused on President ObamaQs
Nobel Peace Prize speech.

2. Nobel Peace Prize

ARD-TVQs Tagesthemen commented: QOf course, he could have said I
donQt accept the prize because I did not earn it, at least not yet.
However, Obama is great precisely because he admits such
contradictions. This openness was amazing when he admitted that he
did not know what to do with Guantanamo inmates. He was not talking
as a politician, but a moralist Those who now warn again against
the smooth-talker Obama, as if this were the opposite of serious
policy decisions, should check whether they still have the
Weizsdcker speech on their shelves, of which we were so proud of at
the time. When the moralist Obama banned torture, which some of us
already approvingly described as interrogation methods, he did that
against the majority opinion in America. Obama is therefore
credible. Maybe he has not yet earned the prize, but we can grant
him that premature praise.

Deutschlandfunk radio had this to say: QIn front of the world, the
American President was forced to resolve the apparent contraction
between his role as commander-in-chief and peacemaker. He has done
thatQas alwaysQwith an excellent speech, plain language and honest
words. Those who watched Obama over the last three months know how
difficult the decision on Afghanistan was. Torne between ideals
and realism, he chose the politically more uncomfortable and risky
option of increasing the troops. Although he referred to Martin
Luther King, and many see him as his political heir, Obama noted
that he could not be guided by him alone. And he is right. The
catastrophic derailments of the last eight years under President
Bush do not change anything about the reason for defeating al
Qaida... Obama is a President in times of war, and spoke as such in
Oslo. No diplomacy is helpful in the fight against blind
extremists, and a war against them does not necessarily create
peace. A Nobel Peace Prize is not a guarantee of success, butQas
in the case of Willy BrandtQit honors further efforts. What a
wonderfully modest claim.

Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote in a front-page editorial that
President ObamaQs speech was Qsobering,Q adding: QThere was little
talk of visions for a new, peaceful world; however, there was much
talk about the dilemmas of practical political actions which have
caught up with Obama, like Afghanistan. At the moment the Oslo
committee awarded him this prize, it must have dawned on him that it
was a burden rather than a reward. It is a check for the future,
which might not be covered. Behind it is the clear attempt to put
AmericaQs foreign policy under moral pressure to push it into a
direction that the five ladies and gents of the Oslo committee
prefer. They will have been disappointed about a few statements
Obama made, such as the one of the Qhard truthQ. In the Oslo town
hall, a President spoke who realized in his first months in office
that reconciliatory gestures and friendly worlds do not change the
world. Being the most powerful man in the world also means making
difficult and unpopular decisions.

BERLIN 00001574 002 OF 003

Sueddeutsche editorialized: QIn Oslo, Barack Obama delivered a
partly annoying speech. Of all days, on the day of accepting the
Nobel Peace Prize, Obama justified war. Even the short part of the
speech dedicated to peace dealt foremost with the question of what
prevents the world from being more peaceful, not so much with how we
can create peace. There are two important reasons against the
decision of the Oslo committee. Obama is still a President of hope,
not of success. The hope, however, is diminishing. His words hint
at a better world, but his results are of this world. The Nobel
Prize is more of an incentive, than a reward. For many Europeans
the prize is also an anti-Bush award. Secondly, Obama is also a
wartime President. He has inherited Iraq and Afghanistan from
George W. Bush. In Afghanistan, he is not reducing the engagement,
but he is escalating the situation by sending in more troops.

Die Welt opined in a front-page editorial: QYesterday, the
rhetorically gifted Barack Obama delivered his first great speechQa
speech that might become part of the worldQs small historic wealth
of outstanding addresses. We wondered for a while whether the
dreamer Obama would get down to earth and whether he would survive
this hard landing unhurt. Yesterday, he showed that he has arrived,
stood the test, and that his universal American dream was not
damaged. He made very clear why it can be necessary in the
interest of peace and humanity to wage wars. Neither was he too
shy to speak as an American patriot. Universalism is our fate and
duty, he said. The principles we believe in are so strong that we
cannot accept it if they are trampled on elsewhere. Similar to his
predecessor, Obama has delivered a speech in favor of the free
worldQs mission.

Bild opined: QIf there was a Nobel Prize for the best and most
moving speech, Obama would be a great candidate. However, he was
given the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? He was elected only a year ago,
and has not yet achieved anything substantial in this complicated
world. How could he? The Nobel Prize committee made crazy twists
yesterday to justify the choice. ThatQs ridiculous. The truth is
that Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize because Europeans
are glad to be finally rid of George W. Bush.


Tagesspiegel favorably remarked in a front-page editorial: QSince
his speech, we can understand why the decision of the Committee was
not wrong, because the American President did not even try to
pretend that he is a peacemaker. He explained to his audience and
the world why wars are sometimes inevitable to establish justice or
put a stop to incredible injustice. Obama inherited two wars from
Bush which are a gruesome burden for his country. However, he is
also trying to resolve this legacy You can believe it is
illusionary when he speaks of the divine spark that is in all of us.
However, it is particularly his belief in the good of the people,
the victorious power of the truth and the superiority of freedom and
human rights that have brought Obama into office and have made him
represent hope for people throughout the world. This Nobel Peace
Prize also expresses hope for a better future. ObamaQs dream of a
better world was rewarded. The world has not too many, but too few
of these courage boosters.

Under the headline QWrong prize at the wrong time,Q Spiegel Online
led with an unfavorable commentary by Washington correspondent Gabor
Steingart saying: QGiving the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama
could turn out to be an historic error. Others deserve this prize
more, first and foremost the unlikely trio of Gerhard Schroeder,
Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac. The Social Democratic chancellor
of Germany, the conservative French president and the new czar of
Russia assembled a much-mocked coalition against the American
invasion of Iraq in 2003. They based their rejection on the paucity
of evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. No war
without good reason, they argued. The anti-war stance of Chirac,

BERLIN 00001574 003 OF 003


Putin and Schroeder wasn't effective at the time. It seemed
hopeless. It was extremely risky. But the trio was, in hindsight,
correct nonetheless. The Nobel Prize was, in its better days, always
this: a medal for those who took the difficult path.


3. Climate Change

Under the headline QPoliticized Scientists,Q Frankfurter Allgemeine
commented in a front-page editorial on environmental research:
QThere is a reason why the spheres of politics and science are
strictly divided. Politicians have a mandate and scientists must
research independently. Climate researchers can only remain
credible if they re-establish their distance to politicians, which
some of their protagonists have obviously lost.

Sueddeutsche noted in an editorial: QGermany is not just pursuing
ambitious goals in the fight against climate change because the
country loves nature: if the world reaches an agreement in
Copenhagen to radically reduce greenhouse gases, many countries
would have to rely on innovative green technology, which they are
then supposed to buy in Germany. Climate protection would
ultimately strengthen the German economy.

FT Deutschland editorialized on its front page: QThe fact that there
is fraud in the trade of CO2 emission rights has no influence on the
climate. Trading CO2 rights can be an effective means to protect
the climate if greenhouse gases have a price tag However, the
fraud over billions of euros is more than just a financial burden
for Europe. It is a boost to those who are skeptical about trading
emissions anyway. And it makes fools out of Europeans, who see
themselves as pioneers in the fight against climate change.

4. Levy on Bonuses

Under the headline QPunitive Levy,Q Sueddeutsche editorialized: QYou
think there could be nothing new in this world, and then you are
surprised: a punitive tax of 50 percent on all bonus payments in
BritainQthatQs something. The greed of some bankers is unbearable.
It is known that generous bonuses provoked incredible risks. The
fact that some of the banks that have just been rescued by the state
continue their policies as if nothing has happened is outrageous.


FT Deutschland opined: QThe basic idea of the levy is not so bad.
Given that many believe that the problem is that banks are again
paying generous bonuses, while they have not yet accumulated
sufficient capital to be seen as healthy, the plan to give banks the
option to pay high bonuses or to put more money aside is
reasonable. The problem is: it is only supposed to apply to
bonuses that are to be paid by April 5, 2010.

MURPHY

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