Cablegate: Media Reaction: Week of December 1 - 7; 12/07/09; Buenos
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: WEEK OF DECEMBER 1 - 7; 12/07/09; BUENOS
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ADDRESS ON AFGHANISTAN;
COPENHAGEN CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT; HONDURAS; BOLIVIA; 12/07/09;
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
International opinion pieces are mostly related to President
Obama's Afghanistan address; expectations about the Copenhagen
Climate Change Summit; the situation in Honduras; and the outcome
of yesterday's elections in Honduras.
2. AFGHANISTAN ADDRESS
- "Afghanistan: Bush's continuity with Obama's face"
Leading "Clarin" carries a full-page op-ed by its international
editor Marcelo Cantelmi who writes (12/05), "Terrorism was the
argument used by US neo-conservative leaders to extend the imperial
power under the Bush administration. In spite of their defeat,
President Barack Obama has decided to use the same formula by
sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan (and Pakistan) and
holding true the myths invented by former President Bush to justify
a military front that continued in Iraq. No sign indicates that
Obama will be victorious where others have been defeated, but this
is this Democrat's view on what the US should do to recover its
full status of a superpower.
"In his West Point address Obama mentioned Al Qaeda as the enemy he
wants to defeat through a huge military deployment. However, US and
European central intelligence agencies agree that Al Qaeda no
longer represents a threat. Whether Obama believes it or not,
nothing will be obtained in Afghanistan by using the military
solution: what is required is another scenario in which foreign
troops are replaced by investments that can build the future."
- "Obama will decide the war in Afghanistan in the next 18
Leading "Clarin" publishes an op-ed by a prestigious political
analyst, Jorge Castro, who highlights (12/06) "The Afghanistan war
will be decided during the next 18 months (July 2011) not because
the US military can win over that period but because the bottom
line is changing the nature of the conflict (in which the Taliban
have made a remarkable progress) or losing in the long run. Obama's
plan is a counterinsurgent policy in the framework of a major
policy aimed at building a nation.
"An era of irregular, persistent wars is emerging, in which the US
conventional supremacy is impotent. To fight in asymmetrical
confrontations, the US military power should also be asymmetrical.
Its army is compelled to learn from the Taliban."
3. CLIMATE CHANGE
- "Climate Change Summit and a colossal challenge"
Luisa Corradini, Paris-based correspondent for daily-of-record "La
Nacion," writes (12/06), "In Copenhagen, the world will have to
reach an agreement on a global strategy aimed at cutting greenhouse
gas emissions. This means an extraordinary political challenge for
the international community, which will have to overcome the
antagonistic position of countries having colliding interests. The
Copenhagen Climate Change Summit represents a new hope. For the
first time since scientists launched their warning, the US seems
now determined to reach an international agreement aimed at
'de-carbonizing' its economy. Along with China, the US is the
largest world producer of GHG emissions. Each of them produces
6,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year and both account for 40% of
"The second hope is that the projected Copenhagen agreement is in
principle much more ambitious than the Kyoto Protocol, which it
should replace in 2012.
"The innovative idea about Copenhagen Climate Change Summit is the
creation of an intermediate category of countries that will include
the 'big emerging countries,' such as India and Brazil, to persuade
them to assume their own commitments."
- "Climate Change Summit kicks off tomorrow amid optimism"
Gustavo Sierra, on special assignment in Copenhagen for leading
"Clarin," comments (12/06), "Obama saved the Copenhagen Summit.
When everything seemed to indicate that it was going to end up with
an unsubstantial agreement with no signature whatsoever, US
President confirmed he will arrive in the Danish capital city at a
crucial time, when other 60 Chiefs of State are present between
December 17 and 18, to assume the commitment that his country (the
largest world pollutant) will lower its greenhouse gas emissions
triggering global warming.
"The White House has announced it is willing to submit 100 billion
dollars per year to emerging countries through 2025 to finance the
reconversion of their industries. The US commitment was possible
after the US reached an agreement (of which no details were made
public) with China (the second largest world pollutant) and India
(the fourth largest world pollutant) whereby they will also lower
their carbon dioxide emissions."
- "Argentina seeks funds to mitigate the impact"
Laura Rocha, columnist of daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes
(12/07), "Argentina will arrive to the Copenhagen Summit will share
expectations with the entire G-77 and China: obtaining funding for
the adaptation and mitigation of the climate change effects and
demanding more ambitious reduction commitments from developed
"Nazareno Castillo, Environment Secretariat's Climate Change Head,
one of the members of the Argentine delegation attending the
Denmark Climate Change Summit, said: 'Lack of a measurable
commitment from the US to cut GHG emissions, lack of definition of
commitments for developed countries in the Kyoto Protocol's second
period and lack of clarity about the kind of participation of
developing countries on global mitigation actions are currently the
focus of larger attention in the international negotiation field.
Responsibilities are common although different according to the
- "Three for the price of one"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" carries an opinion piece by
international analyst Jorge Elias, who writes (12/06), "Honduras
has now three presidents: one abroad, another who was elected in
elections that have not been acknowledged by most countries in the
international community and, third, a de facto president. In line
with the international community, which supports the legitimate
government and rejects the de facto government, the US now makes
against Honduras the same charges Brazil made against the US - they
feel disappointed. US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemispheric
affairs Arturo Valenzuela, whose confirmation on Capitol Hill is
being delayed for having condemned the coup d'etat, concludes the
acknowledgement of the president-elect does not invalidate the
restoration of the ousted president.
"Honduras has had a pre-emptive coup d'etat in view of the
possibility that Zelaya could eliminate a constitutional banning
for his re-election through a constitutional amendment allowing for
"What is the difference between a pre-emptive coup d'etat against
Zelaya and George W. Bush's pre-emptive war on Iraq in view of the
possibility that a tyrant such as Saddam Hussein could hide WMD and
become a partner of Osama bin Laden? Fears encourage a coup and
lies trigger war."
- "Why did Evo win?"
Left-of-center "Pagina 12" carries an opinion piece by political
analyst Atilio A. Boron, who opines (12/07), "The outcome of
Bolivian elections has marked at least three milestones in
Bolivia's history: 1) Evo Morales is the first democratic president
who has been re-elected for two terms in a row; 2) he is the first
president who obtained a larger percentage of votes than when
elected for the first time (53,7%); and 3) he is the first
president who obtained an overwhelming representation at the
Plurinational Legislative Assembly.
"All this turns Evo Morales in the most powerful president in
Bolivia's history. Obviously enough, this will not prevent the
Department of State from reiterating its already known criticism of
the Bolivian democracy's 'faulty' institutional quality,' Evo's
populism and the need to improve the country's political mechanism
to guarantee popular will.
"What lies behind this impressive 'machine' to win elections? A
government that has honored its election promises and that for this
same reason has developed an active social policy."
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