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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Cop15, Afghanistan, Healthcare;Berlin

VZCZCXRO1877
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1608/01 3551313
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211313Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6108
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 1847
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0567
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1085
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2590
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1612
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0775
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 001608

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 US AF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: COP15, AFGHANISTAN, HEALTHCARE;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Copenhagen Climate Conference
3. Afghanistan
4. Healthcare Bill

1. Lead Stories Summary

Primetime newscasts opened with reports on the impact the cold
weather had in Europe and along the East Coast. Most newspapers led
with stories on the aftermath of the climate conference in
Copenhagen. Headlines included: QMerkel: DonQt badmouth results of
CopenhagenQ (Frankfurter Allgemeine), QClimate: Merkel defends
minimum compromiseQ (Die Welt), QMerkel defends climate summit
(Tagesspiegel), QClimate protection must waitQ (Berliner Zeitung),
QThe world faces a climate depressionQ (Frankfurter Rundschau),
QState leaders euphemize the summitQs failureQ (FT Deutschland).
Sueddeutsche led with a story on Defense Minister zu GuttenbergQs
proposal to speak with insurgents in Afghanistan. Several media
carried reports on President ObamaQs efforts to reach a health care
bill. Editorials focused on the Copenhagen conference and the
German debate over Afghanistan.

2. Copenhagen Climate Conference

Summary: The German media agreed that the Copenhagen conference was
a QdisasterQ and a Qfailure.Q Frankfurter RundschauQs editorial
emphasized QHopenhagen turned into Brokenhagen.Q Commentators in
particular expressed skepticism over whether the structure of the UN
is the right one to resolve the climate problem. QThe UN conference
process has failed in Copenhagen. Governments that are serious
about climate protection must therefore move ahead independently,
FT Deutschland editorialized.

ARD-TVQs Tagesthemen commented: QA disaster. The fuss made in
Copenhagen made the climate catastrophe more likely. Our
great-great-grand children might burn, drown, suffocate or die of
thirst. Ecologically seen, America remains an ecological rogue
state even under Obama and industrialized nations remain the axis of
evil. ChinaQs environmental behavior is bad, but we are worse.
Industrial countries should have delivered more. Politicians have
failed miserably in Copenhagen. However, every person can do
something to protect the climate. We fail every day. Our children
will curse us.

On ZDF-TVQs Morgenmagazin analyzed: QToo many cooks spoil the broth
Many participants must be blamed. The emerging countries did not
have a good approach to climate protection because they focused on
their national interests and it was also Barack Obama who did not
perform well diplomatically. He delivered a lukewarm speech, and he
wanted to produce a mock result. One could notice that he did not
really care and he left behind sad results when he departed.

Westdeutscher Rundfunk radio opined: QThe international climate
protection process will go on somehow. However, it was badly
damaged. Copenhagen has made clear that the climate protection
caravan cannot simply continue on this course and agree on a minimum
consensus every year. The process itself must be fundamentally
reconsidered. The Danish presidency acted clumsily and the UN
contributed to the chaos by allowing tens of thousands of
participants to attend the conference. All this led to the evil
spirit of Copenhagen and such a sobering result. There might be
alternatives to such negotiations--for instance the G20. Complex
international problems cannot be resolved in the framework of a UN
conference, where representatives of 193 countries with the most
diverse interests and culture are sitting around the table. This
process was discredited in Copenhagen.

ZDF-TVQs Heute stated: QThe result is a sad pile of leftovers, a
disaster. Twelve years of international climate policy went down

BERLIN 00001608 002 OF 003


the drain. We have fallen back behind the Kyoto Protocol. It
remains completely unclear whether we can catch up one day. The
summit failed because of national selfishness of many countries. In
particular the U.S. and China did not want to give up their
sovereignty in climate protecting matters Also the way the
negotiations were conducted was wrong. Prime Minister Rasmussen was
sometimes extremely clumsy and contributed to this failure.


Deutschlandfunk radio commented: QGermany has gambled away much
confidence at the climate summit in Copenhagen, in particular among
developing countries. The unfortunate discussion that development
assistance could be taken into account for the climate protection
measures put off the third world. In addition, state and government
leaders did not agree on a common political goal early enough. Only
when the negotiations were already underway, the EU met at the
highest level to discuss the goal This was not a lead role that
the EU and Germany could be proud of.

Frankfurter Allgemeine noted in a front-page editorial: QThe climate
summit of Copenhagen was not a success, not even a small one. We
cannot therefore badmouth the results, as Chancellor Merkel warned.
The results are not presentable. Nobody should euphemize them. The
failure of Copenhagen is sweeping. The conference of the 193 state
and government leaders demonstrated the Chinese and Indian influence
on the future of world politics. It demonstrated the helplessness
of the Europeans to push through their goals without the help of the
Americans. The content of the agreement could not be smaller.
Although the goal of keeping the increase of temperature below two
degrees of Celsius was stated, it was said nowhere how to achieve
it. It remains a riddle how this can be brought to a good end next
year.

Sueddeutsche editorialized: QCopenhagen is an insult to the
international community. Never have the expectations of a climate
conference been higher, never before have so many state leaders
gathered to resolve one problem. However, they did not resolve it,
they made it worse.

Frankfurter Rundschau remarked: QIt does not make sense to continue
the circus of the UN climate conference. The only chance we have
is that the greatest emitters must take the lead, if in doubt,
without any guarantee that the others will join in. Fifteen
countries in the world are responsible for 80 percent of carbon
dioxide emissions. They all said in Copenhagen how important
climate protection is to them. The politicians of these countries
must now implement this, and their voters must hold them
responsible.

Handelsblatt highlighted: QThe climate conference in Copenhagen
failed especially due to the conflict between rich and poor. When
the great powers of world politics put their proposals on the table,
less powerful countries rebelled and won. Not just climate politics
has reached a low. Also UN conference diplomacy in its current
format faces its end.

FT Deutschland editorialized: QAfter the fiasco of Copenhagen, there
is no ground to be optimistic that things will be better next year.
It has been an illusion right from the start that the worldQs two
biggest emittersQChina and the U.S.Qwould agree to a binding treaty
with clear emission goals and international checks under the
auspices of the United Nations. It was never before demonstrated so
brutally to Europeans that they have lost enormous influence in
central questions of international politics. They are only being
noticed. The UN conference process has failed in Copenhagen.
Governments that are serious about climate protection must therefore
move ahead independently instead of waiting for a breakthrough in
Bonn, Mexico or elsewhere.


BERLIN 00001608 003 OF 003


3. Afghanistan

Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized: QIt has been candidly said in
public and in parliament for the first time that the Bundeswehr is
at war in Afghanistan. This does not make the decision about
increasing the German contingent easier. A competitive vote in the
Bundestag would be poisonous for the moral of the troops in
Afghanistan.

QAt last, a debate about a war,Q Berliner Zeitung commented: QOne
might praise the SPD for enforcing an overdue political debate over
the war in Afghanistan and the role of the Germans. At least, they
have a position. We would indeed like to know more about the goal
and strategy the German government will pursue at the international
Afghanistan conference. The realization of the Social Democrats
has come late. The Bundestag renewed the Bundeswehr mandate for
Afghanistan only a few weeks ago. This would have been the right
time for a debate. The war in Afghanistan has been controversial
for a long time, and it is time to have this controversy in
public.

4. Healthcare Bill

Berliner Zeitung noted that Qthe President is about to achieve an
historic victory. Obama has allowed Senate leader Harry Reid enough
flexibility to reach a compromise in the Senate. It now looks as if
the reform of a century could be passed on Christmas Eve. It is
natural that not everybody is happy with the result. The matter is
very complex. Instead of walking into the trap of all or nothing,
Obama showed himself once again to be a pragmatic politician. Given
that the President has not yet used all his capital, he can
influence the upcoming negotiations in Congress. These are the best
conditions for finally establishing a comprehensive healthcare
insurance in the United States.

Under the headline QObamaQs lousy good compromise,Q Sueddeutsche
editorialized: QMaybe the Senate will now approve the draft of the
reform. Obama will be jubilant and still be suspicious about what
will come next. Also the House of Representatives must still agree.
There, the President must still persuade liberals that half a
success is still a success, and that it is better than nothing.

Tagesspiegel commented: QBarack Obama is about to achieve the
greatest success of his presidency: the approval of the healthcare
reform in the Congress. The House of Representatives has agreed on
its version in November. The president now has obviously cobbled a
majority together in the Senate. Both drafts then have to be
matched by a mediation committee. ObamaQs victory on this front is
now highly likely.

DELAWIE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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