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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.Yemen, Terrorism-Airports, Mepp, Iran

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0004/01 0051350
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051350Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6179
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 1887
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0609
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1125
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2630
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1652
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0815
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 000004

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: PTER PTER XF IR AF RS GR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S.YEMEN, TERRORISM-AIRPORTS, MEPP, IRAN
AFGHANISTAN, ECONOMIC, GREECE;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Terrorism) Developments in Yemen
3. (Terrorism) Airport Security
4. (Middle East) New U.S. Peace Proposal
5. (Iran) Role of Opposition Movement
6. (Afghanistan/Iraq) U.S. Role
7. (Economic) Russian Oil Exports
8. (Greece) Financial Problems


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's primetime newscast Heute opened with a story on the bad
financial situation of German communities and ARD-TV's primetime
newscast Tagesschau opened with a story on the European debate about

body scanners. Frankfurter Allgemeine, Sddeutsche and Berliner
Zeitung led with stories on the controversy about the "Foundation
Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation." Many newspapers carried front-
page photos of the Burji Dubai opening. Editorials focused on a
broad
variety of topics.

2. (Terrorism) Developments in Yemen

Under the headline "Situation in Yemen poses global threat," Spiegel

Online (1/5) reported that, "according to U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, the situation in Yemen poses a global danger. She

said that the country must no longer serve al Qaida as a base for
its
terror attacks." This morning's ARD-TV's Tagesschau also showed
Secretary Clinton saying that Yemen's instability poses a threat to

the regional and global security. "She called for more
international
support for the Yemenite government," the report noted.

Deutschlandfunk (1/4) opined: "The experience of recent months shows

that bombs alone cannot defeat al Qaida, particularly not in a
poverty-stricken country like Yemen. Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama

should have understood this. It takes a broader strategy, one that

also addresses the economic, political and social problems of
Yemen."

Frankfurter Rundschau (1/5) editorialized: "At best, Yemen is a
loose
association of tribes, regions and armed groups. The north is
plunging into a civil war, the south is rebelling. The oil, which
provides for 70 percent of the budget, is running low. Similar to
Afghanistan, al Qaida is beginning to creep into the state system.

What shall we do? How to respond? Foreign ground forces or a
sudden
wave of development aid cannot put an overpopulated failed state
right."

Reutlinger General-Anzeiger (1/5) commented: "Obama is stuck in a
dilemma. America and its allies were involved in hopeless missions
to
improve the world already before his inauguration. Apart from the
expensive and hardly effective counterterrorism activities in
Afghanistan and Iraq, which involve heavy losses, another campaign
is

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looming in Yemen. Obama's situation is similar to that of John F.
Kennedy, who faced the Cuba crisis and could not prevent America
from
plunging deeper into the Vietnam trauma."

3. (Terrorism) Airport Security

All papers (1/5) carry extensive reports on intensified security
checks at U.S. airports. Berliner Zeitung carried a report under
the
headline: "U.S. Drastically Tightens up Security Controls - EU also

Wants to Intensify Controls - New Technologies to Achieve This are
in
the Pipeline." Sueddeutsche headlined: "Tougher Controls for Flights

to the U.S. - Citizens from 14 Nations will Always be Checked,"
while
Die Welt reported under the headline: "Obama Extends Axis of Evil,"

and wrote that "the United States will subject citizens from 14
primarily African and Arab states to strict controls before they
enter
the United States. These rules become valid immediately and require

the full control of hand luggage and the patting down. At the same

time, U.S. agencies have relaxed the intensified controls that were

introduced on Christmas Day."

Under the headline: "Security Craze," regional daily Neue Ruhr/Neue

Rhein Zeitung of Essen (1/5) opined: "Full body scanners will soon
be
standard at German airports. After the failed terrorist attack from

Detroit, there is probably no way around it. But apart from the
question whether such scanners violate people's privacy, suggest
greater security, or whether these devices are reasonable, their
installation means one thing: another victory for terror. Just a
few
terrorists have succeeded in making societies, which were so proud
of
their freedom ideals, continue to shut themselves off from the rest
of
the world even more. This security craze is well thriving in a
climate of fear. Fear is the reason that today almost every citizen

is suspected of being a criminal and that this citizen is
increasingly
deprived of his rights. It may be increasingly difficult for
terrorists to kill other people, but the fear of them is killing
freedom. And this is another aspect which the 'religious warriors'

will consider a great success."

Sueddeutsche (1/5) carried an editorial under the headline: "Simple
-
and Hopefully Effective," and judged: "Instead of pinning its hopes
on
new databases or anti-terror units, which were unable to stop the
failed terrorist from Christmas weekend, Washington is now pinning
its
hopes on the simplest of all security measures: Those who want to
board a plane will be closely checked, in particular if they come
from
a suspicious country. This filtering out and control of people who

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are only suspicious because they come from a certain country, will
result in protests, but, nevertheless, this low-cost measure is
reasonable.... It will be decisive that these new measures will
actually be applied. Plans for tougher controls will be of little
use, as will computers with long lists of names of suspects, if the

security personnel does a sloppy job."

In an editorial, Frankfurter Rundschau (1/5) wrote: "Terrorists have

learned from drug smuggling and are now transporting explosives in
their bodies. But it will now take two to three attempted attacks
before we allow others to x-ray us. While healthy people will
speculate why people were asked to step out because a full body
scanners allegedly found something irregular, e.g. people had to
undergo a cancer operation, the scanner discovered a breast implant
or
an artificial anus, a sly terrorist will quickly realize that he can

buy cutlery and chemical substances after he passed controls.."

According to die tageszeitung (1/5), "While the public is loudly
debating over the introduction of full body scanners, it silently
accepts much more serious infringements of their freedom rights.
The
fact that entire groups of people are subjected to tougher controls

only because of their nationality is not being criticized but is
welcomed as a mild alternative to full body scanners. So-called
security experts are already calling for a better linkage of all
national databases. This means that, because of intelligence
assumptions that no one can examine, passengers are subjected to
special treatment or are even excluded from flying."

In a front-page editorial Tagesspiegel (1/5) judged under the
headline: "Inappropriate Controversy" that "Germans are fiercely
discussing the introduction of full body scanners. In view of the
legal and technical questions, this is understandable, but it does
not
seem to be appropriate in view of the terrorist dangers. If the use

of a well tested technology...reduces the risk of an attacker
boarding a
plane with explosives, the use of such technology should be logical
as
quickly as possible. To put it more drastically: we prefer being
scanned hundreds of times than being torn to pieces at an altitude
of
10,000 meters."

Regional daily Stuttgarter Zeitung (1/5) judged in an editorial: "If

new security controls make it possible to check passengers to their

skin without taking their clothes off, then this technology would be

more discreet than the current frisking of people. But before
airports introduce even more security devices, it would be
reasonable
if the security agencies not only collect data but also use it in an

effective way. This alone would have been enough to capture
Christmas terrorist Abdulmutallab."

Regional Westdeutsche Zeitung of Dsseldorf (1/5) judged: "For
decades, human rights organizations have accused U.S. police of
sorting out suspects according to the color of their skin. In the

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summer of this year, it was Obama himself who wanted to punish this

approach of agencies with a bill. If racial profiling is coming up

again now in the fight against terror, then this is nothing but a
triumph for terrorists who want to achieve exactly this with their
attacks: to sow the seeds of mistrust and hatred between cultures,
to
create an atmosphere of fear in which every one is suspicious, and
finally to undermine the central values and thus the foundations of

the West's ideals."

4. (Middle East) New U.S. Peace Proposal

Under the headline "Obama's plan for the Mideast," Berliner Zeitung

editorialized: "The leaked information on the upcoming U.S. peace
initiative sounds promising. The new Obama plan intends to set the

borders between Israel and the future Palestine nine months after
the
beginning of the talks. Settlers would then know where they can
build
and where they can't. Connected with American guaranties, a
complete
agreement is planned to be ready for signature after two years...
Is
this too nice to be true? First of all, it is important to get the

deadlocked peace process going again. The main thing is that they
talk to each other.... If the new attempt fails, only radical
forces
will benefit... However, there is no reasonable alternative, it must
be
tried again. Washington is working on it. Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu is apparently ready for it, even though his right-wing
Foreign Minister Lieberman does not hide his opposition.
Palestinian
President Abbas has nothing left to lose. Everybody, however, could

win something if President Obama is a fair and strict mediator."

Tageszeitung opined: "For five years, the inhabitants of several
villages in the West Bank have been peacefully protesting against a

settlement policy that is connected with the building of the wall on

Palestinian territory and which is depriving them of their fields,
which is their source of income. Although the protests are
peaceful,
apart from some exceptions, local authorities try to put a stop to
them by all means. Their peaceful form of protest meets all
conditions western governments demand from the Palestinians.
However,
they hardly enjoy any international support. That is a shame."

5. (Iran) Role of Opposition Movement

Under the headline "Out of Control," FT Deutschland (1/5)
editorialized on the Iranian opposition movement: "If the crisis
escalates further, the ten people killed during the Ashura protests

will only be the beginning. The government and the clerics are
determined to do worse things if necessary. Hundreds, maybe
thousands of people died during the massacre on Beijing's Tiananmen

Square in 1989. The rulers of Tehran have as few scruples as the

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Chinese regime about suppressing protests and sentencing dissidents
to
prison for ridiculous reasons. Ten deaths are only a warning. If
the
infamous Bassj militia is given rifles and not sticks, the violence

will escalate. The conflict could be very bloody."

6. (Afghanistan/Iraq) U.S. Role

Under the headline "Iraqi Light, Afghan Shade," Frankfurter
Allgemeine
(1/5) carried a lengthy feature on the situations in Iraq and
Afghanistan: "So far, the withdrawal is according to the 2008
Iraqi-
American agreement--and broadly successful. Although there have
been
a number of devastating bomb attacks since the withdrawal of combat

troops from Iraqi cities and communities, the overall number of
killed
civilians is decreasing. The organization Iraq Body Count
determined
that fewer civilians were killed in Iraq in 2009 than in any year
since the beginning of the war.... For the American troops,
December
2009 was the first month since the beginning of the war in which no

soldier was killed in a combat action.... Given the hopeful
development, General Odierno said that Iraq has moved out of the
darkness toward the light of hope. Contrary to this, there is a
negative development in Afghanistan, which is likely to deteriorate

this year.... More than half of the soldiers killed in 2009 were
killed
by IEDs. Also in Iraq, IEDs were the most effective weapon against

the occupying troops, before the surge and the opposition of the
Sunni
movement against al Qaida turned the tide."

7. (Economic) Russian Oil Exports

Sueddeutsche Zeitung dealt with the controversy between Russia and
Belarus on Russian oil exports and opined: "Simply by mentioning
possible supply bottlenecks, Russia is now putting the rest of its
reputation as oil supplier at risk. The Kremlin has never
understood
that it must supply oil, if necessary in cans, but it can never
accept
a stop, even if the conflict pushes up the price and even if Russia
is
right. Currently the Russians want to sell their oil in the Asian
markets and only recently it opened a transportation route to China.

Hong Kong, Beijing, and Seoul can hardly wait for Russian oil
supplies. They are solvent buyers and do not deliver sermons on
human
rights. It's still spring time between customer and supplier but
Asia
will also look into an empty pipeline on a regular basis."

8. (Greece) Financial Problems

According to Sueddeutsche 1/5), "at the beginning of the year, the
Greek government gave all Greeks a small and odd present: It
suspended
a tax on small wins in a lottery. But this present...was nothing

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but a
symbol. With this move, Prime Minister Papandreou wants to warm the

hearts of the ordinary people before he presents the cold shower
which
his finance minister is currently preparing. The EU will soon
examine
the plan as will the European Central Bank...because banks and other

international investors would otherwise hesitate to give the Greeks

fresh capital. It is very likely that the EU will approve the plan

because it has hardly any other choice. Greek insolvency would
considerably damage the euro. But once Papandreou's austerity plan

has been approved, and once loans are again granted to the country,

appearances must change and turn into a tough reality, and this
cannot
happen without a change of mentality. However, the signs of such a

change are not very positive. According to a poll, two-thirds of
Greeks are unwilling to make a personal contribution to an
improvement
in the financial situation of their country. As long as the new
government does not eliminate the Greek culture of freedom from
prosecution, it can abolish as many petty taxes as possible but it
will not persuade the people to accept change."

DELAWIE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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