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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cop15, Iran, Mepp, U.S., Finance, Germany-

VZCZCXRO5508
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1580/01 3481422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141422Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6051
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 1821
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0541
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1059
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2564
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1586
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0749
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 001580

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 IR XF US US AF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: COP15, IRAN, MEPP, U.S., FINANCE, GERMANY-
AFGHANISTAN;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Environment) Copenhagen Climate Conference
3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict
4. (Middle East) Settlement Conflict
5. (U.S.) Blackwater
6. (U.S.) Finance Markets
7. (Germany - Afghanistan) Defense Minister Under Fire

1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's main newscast heute opened with a report on the meeting
between Chancellor Merkel and Schleswig-Holstein's leadership on the

economic stimulus package, while ARD-TV's primetime newscast
Tagesschau opened with a report on the most recent developments in
the
Kunduz airstrike affair. Most newspapers also led with those
stories,
while Frankfurter Allgemeine focused on riots in Turkey after the
Turkish government banned the Kurdish DTP party. Editorials
focused
on the ongoing political fallout from the Kunduz air strike and on
the
Copenhagen climate conference.

2. (Environment) Copenhagen Climate Conference

Frankfurter Rundschau editorialized: "If it goes on at this slow
speed, then it will be hopeless. This climate summit is similar to

the previous ones.... Particularly the chief emitters, the U.S. and

China, must make a move."

Tagesspiegel commented: "Regardless of whether climate protection is

seen as an opportunity or a threat, the fact is that if Copenhagen
fails to change course, industrialized and developing countries
alike
have the best chances to drown. It is the task of state and
government leaders to come up with a climate formula that stops
global
warming and does not humiliate anybody. This requires Europe's
leadership. But we have not seen any of that thus far in
Copenhagen."

Role of the EU

Die Welt (12/12) headlined its cover story: "EU gives 7.2 billion
euros for climate protection," and added in a front-page editorial:

"The first week of the Copenhagen climate conference appeared likely

to end in irritation and frustration. Delegates have not been able
to
achieve anything on the working level. With the 7.2 billion euros,

the EU at least managed to send a ray of hope to the UN conference."

Tagesspiegel (12/12) fronted: EU energetically moves forward in
climate protection."

Deutschlandfunk opined: "The financial agreement to help threshold
and
developing countries to begin with common climate protection is
remarkable. Other countries must now live up this agreement....
The EU
is also the only negotiator that can offer its partners not just

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money, but also a concrete strategy how to prevent the rise of
temperature by more than two degrees."

Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio opined: "Missed opportunity: at the end

of the first week of the climate summit in Copenhagen a signal could

have been sent by the European state and government leaders that
Europe is stepping up its leadership role in climate protection...

However, the final communiqu of the 27 countries repeated the same

old positions.... This does not demonstrate Europe's determination
to
bring the climate conference to a successful end. Instead, the
leaders are debating stingily over immediate assistance for
developing
countries.... While the self-declared climate chancellor did not
give a
fresh impetus, her colleagues Brown and Sarkozy used the EU summit
as
an embarrassing promotion tour, staging themselves up as a Franco-
British rescue duet. The money Europe has put on the table is
nothing
compared to that pumped into banks. This is approach to meeting the

future challenges of climate change is not encouraging.

Sddeutsche (12/12) editorialized: "European government heads are
not
just travelling with a few billion euros in their pockets to the
climate negotiations in Copenhagen, but also with a sound plan.
They
have finally collected the money to help the poorest countries
protect
themselves better against rising tides and droughts.... However, the

truly remarkable achievement of the European heads of state is the
plan they developed to collect money for climate protection till
2020
and beyond... Given the strained budgets, it looked impossible for
the
EU so far to make serious promises.... The EU has asked the IMF to
make
proposals by spring 2010 for a global tax on financial transactions.

Banks might soon pay a special levy on bonuses and speculative
gains.
This may sound like a fairy tale now, but it could be standard
practice in three years time."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/12): "EU climate aid for poor countries-
more than seven billion euros," adding in an editorial: "The
European
fund-raising campaign for the post-Kyoto process collected 7.2
billon
euros.... As you can see from the contributions, not every European

country is committed to climate protection."

Handelsblatt opined: "In five days, the basics of the new global
climate agreement must be clear. So far, not much progress has been

made. Although the EU has promised to contribute a fair part, a
concrete offer is only expected on Wednesday or Thursday... The EU

obviously has not developed a plan how to lure the U.S. and China to


BERLIN 00001580 003 OF 006


its side. Persuading the developing countries will not be enough.

In the end, it will matter to overcome Washington's and Beijing's
opposition. There is not much ground to believe that this will
happen."

Protests

Sddeutsche carried a front-page photo of protesters in Copenhagen
with a headline saying "Time is up." The paper editorialized on the

mass protests in Copenhagen: "They had expected 20,000 or 50,000
protesters, but 100,000 came. So many people have never before
taken
to the streets in Copenhagen.... This demonstration was not just a

protest against the inactivity [of the conference]. It was the
clearest evidence of a new global movement, which is gaining more
influence on climate negotiations than some governments' would like
it
to have."

3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict

Several Saturday papers carried factual news reports on possible EU

sanctions on Iran. Frankfurter Allgemeine (12/12) headlined: "EU
threatening new sanctions against Iran," and reported: "The EU
member
states are threatening to impose new sanctions on Iran in the
nuclear
conflict. The EU leaders adopted a resolution in Brussels on Friday

in which they said that the EU would be willing to take 'the
necessary
steps' and that they would is 'very concerned' that Iran has not
done
anything until today to convince the international community that

Iran's nuclear program only serves peaceful purposes. The EU
foreign
ministers were instructed to discuss options for new sanctions at
their next meeting at the end of January.... Brussels already
drafted a
paper that lists the possibilities for sanctions. According to
sources in Brussels, the paper concentrates on sanctions in the
finance and energy sectors."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/12) reported under the headline: "EU
Threatening Tehran - But Shies Away from Imposing Its Own
Sanctions."
The daily wrote: "Gradually, the EU is losing patience with Iran.
After five years of fruitless efforts to prompt Iran to give up its

military nuclear program by offering economic cooperation, the
Europeans are now clearly intensifying the tone in the controversy.

But the EU is unwilling to impose unilateral sanctions as some
members
have demanded. In a declaration that was adopted by the EU
summiteers
last Friday, it is said that 'Iran's continuous violations of its
international commitments' called for a 'clear answer' by taking
corresponding measures.' But the site to decide about new sanctions

would be the UN Security Council. With this declaration, the EU is

pinning its hopes on combined international pressure.... Brussels

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is
afraid that unilateral EU sanctions would result in a breaking apart

of the international front [against Iran], and this is what Tehran
is
hoping for."

4. (Middle East) Settlement Conflict

According to Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/14), "nothing is more
dangerous
in this region of the world than the desecration of religious
symbols.
Despite the minor damage, the symbolism of this crime should not be

underestimated. On the one hand, it is provoking the Palestinians
to
take revenge, thus torpedoing the efforts for new peace talks. On
the
other hand, the extremists are showing the Israeli government that
they will use all means if their freedoms are restricted only a
little
bit. Now everyone can imagine what would happen if a construction
stop was implemented or if settlements were cleared. The leadership

in Jerusalem is rightfully alarmed and is trying to clarify the
matter. If it does not stop these violent settlers, it will quickly

be taken hostage by these extremists. The fact that they can now
act
as a militant veto power in questions of peace is also the result of
a
misguided settlement policy. But it is no option for the future."


5. (U.S.) Blackwater

All major dailies carried wire service reports and wrote that the
CIA
has cancelled its contract with Blackwater. Sueddeutsche Zeitung
and
Frankfurter Allgemeine headlined: "CIA Cancels Contract with
'Blackwater'" FAZ reported: "Staff members of the XE Services
security company, which formerly carried the name 'Blackwater,' will

no longer be responsible for equipping drones with bombs for CIA
operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but staff of the company
will
continue to protect U.S. facilities." Sueddeutsche said in its
report
that "staff members of the controversial Blackwater mercenary
company
are no longer allowed to cooperate with the CIA in covert CIA
actions
in Pakistan and Afghanistan.... In addition, CIA Director Leon
Panetta
also announced that all other contracts with Blackwater would be
reviewed."

In an editorial, Frankfurter Allgemeine noted: "The archetype of
America is called Blackwater - at least for those Iraqis, Afghans
and
Pakistani who hate the West even more than they hate domestic
extremists. The security company from North Carolina was
'extradited'
from Iraq after the bloodbath in 2007, but in Afghanistan, America
did
not want to separate from its most loyal ally.... But now an

BERLIN 00001580 005 OF 006


increasing
number of Americans are raising questions about the authorities in
the
war. It may be possible that the most recent answers from the CIA
would satisfy the America public, but the new crack in the war-
decisive partnership with the Pakistani leadership cannot be
repaired
that easily. Pakistan will continue to disassociate itself from
Washington - in order to avoid being considered an accomplice of
Blackwater."

6. (U.S.) Finance Markets

"Firewall After the Great Fire," is the headline in Sueddeutsche
Zeitung (12/14), which editorialized: "Has the world learned
anything
from the financial crisis? Yes, it did, at least U.S. Congress
demonstrated that it is able to learn. The new law on the reform of

the financial markets is of historic significance. Such
comprehensive
reforms have not been implemented since President Roosevelt
restructured America with the New Deal in the 1930s. A repetition
of
the financial crisis has now become more unlikely. It is true that

the Senate must agree on a common text, but the fact that the House
of
Representatives has adopted the draft is an important victory for
President Obama, whose economic policy has become rather unpopular
at
home.... The governments have extinguished the fire of the
financial
crisis, and now the dangerous illusion of normalcy dominates. The
majority of Democrats in the House has now rejected the illusion of

normalcy with their decision and set up a firewall. If the bill had

failed, the international community would be in a place in the fight

against the financial crisis comparable to where it was in 2001 with

regard to climate protection when the United States under George W.

Bush bid farewell to the Kyoto Protocol. Now America is leading the

way with respect to financial market regulation -- as problematic as

some parts of the bill may ever be."

7. (Germany - Afghanistan) Defense Minister Under Fire

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/14) argued: "Currently the building of
lies,
which was set up since the Afghanistan engagement in 2001, is
collapsing. The mission that was characterized by the government as
a
stabilization and reconstruction mission is taking place in a war
theater. The Bundeswehr is involved in a war, and not just since the

beginning of this year. A succession of German governments have not

had the courage to tell the truth in the Bundestag. It is insincere

to burden a Bundeswehr colonel with the political burden, in
addition
to the military and moral burden. And not even Defense Minister zu


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Guttenberg is in the focus of attention. In Kunduz, the issue is
not
whether the right procedure was followed; the bombing was not a
bureaucratic act. The former CDU/SPD government is responsible for

the bombing and for hushing up events. The chancellor, the former
defense minister, and even the foreign minister are responsible
because even he is likely to have known the real target of the
bombing. All of them remained silent by referring to a NATO report,

even though it would have been their duty to tell us about the real

background of the attack. They are now paying the price, but they
are
also paying the price for nine years of self deception. In the end,

this price could be very high.

In the view of Frankfurter Rundschau (12/14), "... an incident of
this
magnitude cannot be kept under control with nice pictures and nice
rhetorical rearguard actions. This is especially true in a
democracy.
... This forces Defense Minister zu Guttenberg to take serious
political
action and if he does not do better than before, he will soon have
to
quit his job. But this development is now encouraging public debate

on the real character of what we are doing in Afghanistan."


MURPHY

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