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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Iran, Anti-Terror, Pakistan,

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0002/01 0041316
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041316Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6170
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 BERLIN 000002

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
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"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

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E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC AF IR ZP PK
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, IRAN, ANTI-TERROR, PAKISTAN,
Islam, 2009/2010;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Afghanistan) Governance, Cabinet Selection
3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict
4. (Anti-Terror Fight) Yemen, Guant namo, Security Measures
5. (Pakistan) Attack on Volleyball Game
6. (Islam in European Society) Westergaard Attack
7. Look Back at 2009, Look Ahead at 2010


1. Leads Stories Summary

Frankfurter Allgemeine covered the debate over the Bundeswehr
mission
in Afghanistan, while Sueddeutsche Zeitung headlined: "Closure of
Guant namo in Danger." Tagesspiegel dealt with the discussion over

the introduction of full body scanners. Several other dailies led
with reports on U.S. and UK efforts to fight the Taliban in Yemen.

Editorials focused on the atmosphere between the coalition parties
and
on an extension of the anti-terror fight against Yemen. ZDF-TV's
early evening newscast heute and ARD-TV's early evening newscast
Tagesschau opened with a report on intensified U.S. efforts to fight

terrorism in Yemen.

2. (Afghanistan) Governance, Cabinet Selection

Several papers (01/04) carried reports on President Karzai's failure

to have the Afghan parliament confirm his list of new Cabinet
members.
While Sueddeutsche Zeitung spoke of a" Brush-off for Karzai's
Cabinet," Frankfurter Allgemeine headlined: "Karzai Discovers Beauty

of Democracy."

Under the headline: "The Farce Continues," Frankfurter Allgemeine
(01/04) editorialized: "It is almost impossible for Hamid Karzai to

present a Cabinet that will meet expectations, either those of the
West, which wants a new beginning, and those of the Afghan
parliamentarians, who understand under the term 'new beginning' this

and that.... But Karzai's list of Cabinet members did not include
the
name of one member of his opponent Abdullah's camp. That is why the

election farce, which was concluded in November by Abdullah giving
up
his demand for a run-off election, had to go on with a Cabinet
farce.
In countries that call themselves democracies, the result of such a

vote of no-confidence would have been clear."

Frankfurter Rundschau (01/04) editorialized under the headline:
"Ugly
Mirror Image" that "Hamid Karzai does not have a Cabinet and this is

especially embarrassing a few weeks before the London conference on

Afghanistan. It is by no means a coincidence that Karzai has now
become the victim of the parliamentarians' retaliation. Karzai will

now have great difficulty presenting a functioning Cabinet before
the

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donors' conference in London on January 28."

According to die tageszeitung (01/04), "the rejection of two-thirds
of
his Cabinet members is by no means a defeat but a success for Hamid

Karzai. He again demonstrated who is the boss in the house. He
confused commentators, misguided politicians, evaded the pressure
from
his most important allies and gained time and latitude. Karzai's
partners are, on the one side, the warlords. He can now say he was

not lucky with his selection and that he would have liked to get
their
representatives in his cabinet but the parliament did not go along
with his proposals. On the other side, we have the international
community which declared his Cabinet selection a yardstick for his
willingness to implement reforms...but after the vote in parliament
the
government leaders at the donors conference in London will now sit
around a big table but have no addressee. Karzai can now await this

conference with great calm. Will Americans and the British
understand
what is going on and criticize Karzai's governmental style of
deliberate confusion? We need not expect this because the two most

important ministers will stay in office: Defense Minster Warak and

Interior Minister Atmar. Karzai has now enough time to install a
Cabinet that fits his policies. His spokesman demonstrated that
Karzai is not worried by saying that the vote of the parliament
reflected 'the beauty of democracy.'"

3. (Iran) Nuclear Conflict

Under the headline "Iran delivers an ultimatum to the West,"
Handelsblatt (1/4) reported that "Iran turned the tables in the
nuclear dispute with the West. The government set a deadline of one

month for the West to accept its proposal for the enrichment of
uranium."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/4) editorialized: "The Iranian leadership

has difficulties. Mottaki apparently believes that being more
critical of the West might be a worthwhile strategy in such a
situation.... The Iranian leadership is splitting hairs. The
regime is
apparently interested in an escalation. It hopes that a foreign
political 'threat' might calm the situation in the country. The
nuclear question will be really interesting once there is a new
leadership in Iran. Is the program in the nation's interest or is
it
just the project of an increasingly irrational leadership?"

Berliner Zeitung (1/4) analyzed: "The legitimacy of the regime has
been seriously damaged in Iran. However, it has not yet lost all
support throughout the country. Since Ahmadinejad stayed in power
in
June only by election fraud, it has become clear that broad parts of

the Iranian people as well as parts of the political and religious
elite, who once made the success of the revolution possible, are
disappointed about the idea of the Islamic state. However,
important
groups, particularly the Bassij, still stand by the regime and
Ayatollah Khamenei."

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4. (Anti-Terror Fight) Yemen, Guant namo, Security Measures

Yemen:

Die Welt (1/4) led with the headline "Yemen and Somalia--the
breeding
ground of terrorism. U.S. and Britain close Embassies in fear of al

Qaida attacks." The paper noted in a front-page editorial on the
U.S.
efforts in Yemen: "The American public is shocked that its media,
intelligence services and former President Bush ignored the growing

terror network in Yemen for almost one decade. On October 12, 2000,

when a speed boat loaded with explosives hit the battleship USS Cole

and killed 17 sailors, America focused on Yemen. At the time,
Washington and Sana'a could have nipped terrorism in the bud....
[However,] mistrust has been a burden to the relationship between
both
countries for years. It is anything but certain that the U.S. will

make more friends than enemies with all the money, trainers and
drones
it provides to Yemen."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/4) editorialized: "Yemen has turned into
the
front line in the war on terrorism... However, like in Afghanistan
and
Pakistan, Americans and the world face a dilemma. The governments
in
these countries are too weak to fight against terrorists, or they
try
to appease the insatiable enemy in the hope they will be eaten last.

American airstrike might hit local al Qaida leaders. However, only

Muslim societies can defeat Islamist terrorism, which kills
particularly Muslims."

Under the headline "The perfect place for al Qaida," tageszeitung
(1/4) commented: "The U.S. responds to this real danger by rearming

the Yemenite government and by participating - to only some extent
so
far - in the military fight against Islamists. We might at least
doubt that this fight will be more successful in Yemen than in
Afghanistan."

Westdeutsche Zeitung (1/4) opined: "Yemen is desperately poor, but
its
position is strategically highly important. The U.S. and Britain
are
right about this. However, there is also the lesson of Afghanistan.

Bombs do not create peace but only stir up an unequal opponent.
Maybe
the worst can be prevented this time - by a steady hand during the
Afghanistan conference in London."

The Munich-based Abendzeitung (1/4) remarked: "The West faces a
dilemma in Yemen. If it is does nothing, the weak government will
not
defeat the terrorists. If it increases the military pressure too
massively and kills innocent people, the people will turn against

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the
West. The answer is not simple. However, staying out of it does
not
automatically create peace."

Berliner Zeitung (1/4) noted on British Prime Minister Brown's
counterterrorism efforts: "Brown fosters the image of a competent
leader who wants to tackle genuine problems. Last autumn, we already

had the impression that the British tail wagged the American dog.
While President Obama still considered his strategy on Afghanistan,

the Briton had new ideas and announced an increase in the number of

troops.

Security measures:

Deutschlandfunk (1/3) opined: "The key question is: how many checks,

rules and data collection do we want to accept? When does security

turn into snooping? Do we have to suspect any fellow citizen as a
potential terrorist to effectively counter the threat? ... Flight
253
and its happy end told us that collecting data alone does not help.

We have to rely on ourselves because the determination of passengers

prevented flight 253 from crashing."

Sddeutsche (1/4) editorialized on the debate about body scanners:
"Experts promise that neither the traveler's face nor the sex will
be
recognizable. If this promise is kept and these scanners do not
pose
a health risk, nothing can be said against this technology.
However,
it can be doubted whether these machines can contain international
terrorism. Potential terrorists will search for new ways to smuggle

weapons and explosives on board. History shows that they will find

them. And how do we want to protect trains and subways against
attacks in the future? Nobody will seriously propose to scan every

commuter every morning."

Tagesspiegel (1/4) commented: "The new German government has finally

discovered a common project: counterterrorism. Over Christmas,
politicians of the coalition government were seriously concerned
about
the renewed debate about body scanners and did not want under any
circumstances to violate the dignity of the people. Suddenly, a new

generation of body scanners that would respect the privacy of people

was being discussed. In 2010, the interior and research ministers
surprisingly have new information that removes all technical and
ethnical concerns... although Justice Minister Leutheusser-
Schnarrenberger stressed that the flood of data and not the lack of

security tools poses a problem."

Guant namo

Under the headline: "Terror Recycling," Sueddeutsche Zeitung (01/04)

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opined: "the thwarted terror attack on Flight 253 is likely to have
an
impact on an important pillar of President Obama's anti-terror
policy:
the difficult closure of Guant namo has now become even more
complicated. It has been clear for a long time that Obama will miss

his goal of closing this disgraceful camp. As a matter of fact,
there
is no doubt about the fact that there has been a kind of 'terror
recycling' with prisoners from the camp in Guant namo. Suspects
were
released as harmless but found themselves in the ranks of al-Qaida
again. Republicans but also security experts of his own party are
now
calling for a moratorium on the release of further prisoners to
Yemen.
But if Obama is unable to get rid of prisoners, he will be faced
with
the alternative of transferring them to the U.S. mainland or keeping

them in Guant namo. We do not have to guess what he will do in an
election year. Guant namo will stay for the time being."

Financial Times Deutschland (01/04) argued, "As simple and correct
it
is for President Obama to support Yemen with money and military
support in its fight against al-Qaida, as complicated are the
consequences, for instance, that it will become even more difficult

for President Obama to close Guant namo. But as difficult as it may

be, the U.S. government should continue to find countries that are
willing to accept the remaining Yemenites in Guant namo. In order
to
avoid a ghettoization and a further radicalization, the Arab world
would be more appropriate than Europe or an island paradise such as

the Bermudas. The states in the region that cooperate with the
United
States should together seek a solution to accept the Yemenites.
Otherwise the closure of Guant namo will become the next victim in
the
fight against terror."

5. (Pakistan) Attack on Volleyball Game

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/4) carried a report under the headline:
"Peace Committee Criticizes Pakistan's Security Forces," and wrote:

"Following the devastating attack in a village in northwestern
Pakistan with more than 90 people killed, the secretary general of
the
local government-friendly peace initiative criticized security
forces.
He said that they did not do justice to their responsibility to
protect the villagers. As is usual in attacks with many killed
civilians, no Taliban group assumed responsibility for the crime.
Meanwhile, violence in the Northwestern part of the country
continued.
A former minister of the province was killed by a remote controlled

bomb In the Hangu district." Sueddeutsche Zeitung (1/4) carried a
similar report, headlined: "The Revenge of the Taliban." Die Welt
(1/4) reported under the headline: "Pakistan: Accusations against
[Security] Agencies Following Attack."


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Berliner Zeitung (1/4) analyzed the situation in Pakistan and wrote

under the headline: "The Plans of the Taliban No Longer Always Come

True," that "what at the beginning seemed to be a senseless terror
attack is now turning out to be a well-conceived part of a brutal
intimidation campaign of the Taliban in the border area to
Afghanistan
against villages and Pashtun tribes which are opposed to the
extremists and which have sided with the government. This attack
seems to be a retaliatory strike. However, a 50-year old village
councilor said after the attack that such attacks would only
strengthen their resolve because they were Pasthuns and revenge
would
be the only answer to the cruel murder. If his words come true, the

Taliban's calculations would be wrong to intimidate the villagers
and
people of other regions."

6. (Islam in European Society) Westergaard Attack

Munich's Mnchener Merkur (01/04) noted: "The deadly seeds which
preachers of hatred sowed with their calls to kill Danish cartoonist

Westergaard, have borne fruit. The attack of this fanatic Islamic
terrorist is really not surprising. The crime itself is not
surprising, neither the eloquent silence of those who are outraged
when they consider the feelings of Muslims to be insulted, such as
Turkish Premier Erdogan who saw fascism at work when the Swiss
advocated a ban on minarets. But the hatred in the name of Allah
cannot be overcome by remaining silent. The outrage of western
politicians is also hypocritical: out of fear of further eruptions
of
outrage in the Muslim world, Europe's political and intellectual
elites could not disassociate themselves quickly enough from this
regrettable cartoonist after the publication of these cartoons."

Regional daily SchwQbische Zeitung of Leutkirch (01/04) opined:
"Thus
far, Islam has evaded a discussion over its historical background.

For the majority, the Koran is the literal revelation of God and
non-
negotiable, including the anachronistic role of women and diverse
medieval rules of the Sharia. This is the core problem which the
non-
Islamic world cannot resolve. But a tinge of understanding and
concessions would be the worst of all reactions: The west must
defend
its values tooth and nail and hope that the Muslims will sooner or
later begin to have their religion arrive in the 21st century. It
would be a comfortable signal if all Islamic authorities, who
fiercely
criticized the Mohammed caricatures four years ago, now reacted
similarly to the assassination attempt of Westergaard.
Unfortunately,
silence dominates."

Mannheimer Morgen (01/04) judged: "As was the case with the Fatwa
against writer Salman Rushdie, the same attitude is behind such
attacks: the fight of willing Islamic terrorists, who stop at
nothing,
against the freedom of the western world. With this fight, they are

discrediting millions of Muslims who are want peaceful co-existence.

We can certainly describe Westergaard's cartoons as tasteless but

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religion should not be an area that is free from criticism. And
their
self-appointed leaders have no right to take it upon themselves to
set
limits and take justice into their own hands."

Regional daily Lbecker Zeitung (02/01) had this to say: The
relationship between the West and the Muslim world is full of
misunderstandings and antipathies. Following the thwarted terrorist

attack on Danish Mohammed cartoonist, it is difficult to soberly
assess the incident. It should be clear that the alleged Islamic
terrorist is not a representative of the great majority of Muslims."


Regional Landeszeitung of Lneburg (1/4) argues: "Up until today,
western state leaders have not found an answer to the question of
why
Christians in Islamic countries have been prevented from practicing

their religion or are even persecuted, while freedom of religion
dominates here. Fanatics have a great interest in maintaining this

imbalance. They draw their strength from the 'weakness' of the
West."


7. Look Back at 2009, Look Ahead at 2010

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (12/31) noted under the headline: "The Failure
of
Politics" that "the year again ended with a painful insight: the
international community of nations is unable to govern itself. It
had
gathered in Copenhagen to safeguard its basis of living but failed
to
do so. A global climate agreement that could have contained global

warming will not come into existence for the time being. While
scientists only offer advice and warn against the consequences of
false decisions, real politicians follow different laws. They do
not
implement what is necessary, but what guarantees their political
survival. A model example of this is the U.S. president. His first

trips looked like campaigns, his speeches like promises. He created

worldwide hopes, promised a more peaceful and fairer society, an
ecological policy and a domesticated capitalism. But at the end of

his first year in office, Barack Obama has lost his magic.... And
2009
revealed even more: there is no longer a domestic policy, but only a

global policy. The Americans may consider their 'national interest'

to be the guideline of their policy. But the illusion that they
alone
would be able to save the world has disappeared into thin air with
the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The global policy agenda is no longer

determined by the United States. It must find an arrangement with
other powers. The frenzy that came along with the election of the
first black U.S. president made many people believe that the United

States would be able to regain its leadership role. But the loss of


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significance of the western superpower does not depend on
individuals.
It is inevitable because the global edifice has structurally
changed."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/4) carried a front-page editorial under
the
headline: "A Year of Reliability," and judged: "In 2010, peoples'
attention will go beyond Germany to President Obama in Washington.

When he was elected, everyone spoke of a different, a new, a better

leadership in America and hoped for a better world in 2010. But
President Obama must also demonstrate his reliability now. He spent

his first year in office to appear totally different than his
predecessor George W. Bush. He delivered brilliant speeches,
reached
out America's hand to its opponents and enemies, and made new offers

for cooperation...but the yield of this policy has thus far been
meager.
Iran and North Korea have refused to accept this hand, while Russia

does not really know whether to grab it or not. The emerging power

China snubbed Obama, first during his state visit, then in
Copenhagen.
The European allies have benevolently commented on the new U.S.
foreign policy but are hesitant to help him where it would be most
necessary. The question of whether the Europeans should support
Obama
in Afghanistan could turn out to be decisive for the western
Alliance.
It is true that NATO would not go down if Afghanistan's
stabilization
failed, but doubts about the meaning and the purpose of NATO would
continue to increase in Washington. America is able to provide for

its own security, while the Europeans are decades away from reaching

this goal. But the crises and conflicts, in which America is
engaged,
are also threats for Europe."

MURPHY

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