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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Climate, Guantanamo,

VZCZCXRO7727
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1591/01 3501211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161211Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6072
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 1833
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0553
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1071
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2576
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1598
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0761
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 001591

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 AF GM KGHG US CU UK IS
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, CLIMATE, GUANTANAMO,
BRITAIN-ISRAEL;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Climate Change
3. Guantanamo
4. Afghanistan/Sep 4 airstrikes
5. British arrest warrant against Livni

1. Lead Stories

Primetime TV newscasts and Frankfurter Allgemeine led with the
Constitutional CourtQs review of the law requiring telecommunication
companies to keep track of cell phone and email records for six
months. Sueddeutsche led with a report on U.S. plans to transfer
Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. Other papers led with reports on
social benefits and financial topics. Editorials focused on data
protection issues and the debate about the September 4 airstrikes in
Afghanistan.

2. Climate Change

German media expressed new skepticism about the chance to reach a
binding agreement in Copenhagen. In particular German Environment
Minister Roettgen is quoted with critical remarks on the U.S.
Frankfurter Allgemeine headlined: QBerlin: China and America
threaten the summitQ and Tagesspiegel fronted: QU.S. vs. China:
Power struggle at climate summit.

Frankfurter Allgemeine opined: QGiven the complexity of the project,
the concerns of the Chancellor are justified. The interests of 193
countries must be taken into consideration. Not all of them are
interested in limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Some want to
preserve prosperity, others want to achieve it. Both will work only
if everybody makes concessions. The Europeans, and above all the
German government, have made far-reaching promises. However, the
two largest emitters, China and America, are hesitating. They want
to get more out of it and do less for the world than they would be
obliged to due to their historic and economic responsibility. The
EU must not allow them to jump on the bandwagon. The EU has put its
cards on the table in order to do more against climate change.
This must be it. The Chancellor must keep her nerves and her wallet
closed on Friday.

Hessische/Niedersaechsische Allgemeine remarked: QState and
government leaders will fly into Copenhagen today. The Europeans
may increase their efforts to cut carbon dioxide by 2020 to drag
others along, for instance, the U.S. and China. To reach a success
at the summit and to save the world, there are other important
things apart from the question of how quickly the worldQs biggest
climate sinners leave the fatal path of Qmore growth by more carbon
dioxide.Q However, without tough and verifiable reduction
guarantees by China and the U.S., everything else will be
worthless.

3. Guantanamo

Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized: QThe detention camp of
Guantanamo will not be closed yet, despite ObamaQs announcement to
transfer detainees to a prison in Illinois soon: the federal state
does not yet own the prison, it is not big enough for all of them,
and the Congress must approve the transfer of the detainees In
addition, the government only wants to transfer some of the
detainees to American soil. It still hopes that allied countries
will accept others. The difficulties Guantanamo has are not
insurmountable, but considerable. Would Obama have announced to
close Guantanamo if he had known them during his inauguration?
Maybe, maybe not, because Obama was interested in a symbolic gesture
and the world had longed for it.

Die Welt carried a front-page editorial: QObama has now decided to

BERLIN 00001591 002 OF 003


go for a small and symbolic act. A number of the 210 Guantanamo
detainees will be transferred to a prison in Illinois. This will
not be today or tomorrow. However, it signals that the President
takes action and continues to pursue his goal.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung remarked: QNobody knows when President Obama
will fulfill his promise to close Guantanamo. It is certain that
the decision of the White House to acquire an old prison west of
Chicago and to transfer some of the terror suspects from Cuba to
that place is only a small step towards its closure. Nothing much
will change after the planned renaming of the Thomson Correctional
Center into a new counterterrorism center for most of the 200 men
who are still in Guantanamo. The problem of Guantanamo, which Obama
inherited from his predecessor and which is so difficult to resolve,
has only little to do with its location. This applies particularly
to those 60 detainees the U.S. government believes to be dangerous
terrorists, but who cannot be charged in front of an orderly court
because the evidence is not sufficient or they were tortured. They
willQand thatQs where Obama is not much different from BushQremain
in an American prison for an undefined period of time and without
being charged. This prison will just be in the cold of Illinois
and not on the warm island of Cuba. The situation of 100 Guantanamo
detainees, who the Pentagon would like to release rather today than
tomorrow because they are believed to be innocent, is similarly
gloomy because no country wants to take them. They will also remain
in prison for the time being. As long as Obama has not found a
solution for those two groups, the problem of Guantanamo will still
exist. Changing locations does not change anything.

4. Afghanistan/Sep 4 airstrikes

In a front-page editorial, Tagesspiegel remarked: QChancellor Merkel
has seriously contributed to the current malaise. For reasons of
proportion and stability, she allowed the obviously incapable former
Defense Minister Jung to serve an entire parliamentary period.
Fearing the sentiment of the people, she avoided the topic of
Afghanistan This reflects her personal style of governmentQand it
is now coming back like a boomerang and Merkel is now paying dearly
for her own system. This is, however, the greatest challenge of her
chancellery. From the other side of the Atlantic, Nobel Peace Prize
winner Obama is urgently calling for new troops in this possibly
decisive stage of the mission. It would be bitter if Merkel now
rejects this because of the nervous sentiment in Germany.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung editorialized: QOnly if the German government
stops its secrecy will there be true transparency. The German
government cannot change the fact that NATO wants the ISAF report to
remain classified. However, nobody would stop the government from
issuing its own comprehensive report.

Under the headline Qmission impossible,Q Frankfurter Allgemeine
noted in a front-page editorial: QEnough of the contradictions and
little pieces of information. The investigation committee must not
just shed light on the events that night in the Kunduz riverbed and
the affair that followed, it must also draw its own conclusions.
The Bundestag has the duty to check whether the mandate, the
equipment and the moral support, with which it has already sent
73,000 German soldiers to Afghanistan, sufficiently match the
situation. We can have our doubts about it. The nature of the
mission in the north has fundamentally changed, almost unnoticed by
the disinterested German public. The stabilization mission has
turned into a war mission.

5. British arrest warrant against Livni

Many German papers report on the British arrest warrant against
former Israeli Foreign Minister Livni. Under the headline QBritish
arrogance,Q Die Welt editorialized: QThe scandalous thing about

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LondonQs decision is that no British judge would even think of
arresting German, American or even former British ministers,
although the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan is higher
than those who died in Gaza. This is about de-legitimizing Israel.
A British tragedy.

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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