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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Haiti, China-Google, Turkey-Israel, U.S.,

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TAGS: OPRC KMDR HA KWWW TK US IR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: HAITI, CHINA-GOOGLE, TURKEY-ISRAEL, U.S.,
IRAN;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Haiti) Earthquake
3. (China-Google) Dispute
4. (Turkey-Israel) Strained Relations
5. (U.S.) Bankers in The Hot Seat
6. (Iran) Aftermath of Assassination of Scientist


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's and ARD-TV's primetime newscasts and many newspapers led
with
stories on the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Die Welt and
Handelsblatt led with Chancellor Merkel's commitment to cut taxes in

2011. FT Deutschland headlined "U.S. and China in online war,"
highlighting that Google is considering pulling out of China after
Chinese hackers attacked the company. Editorials focused on
Google's
situation in China and last year's recession.

2. (Haiti) Earthquake

Front-page headlines: "Horrific Earthquake in Haiti" (mass-tabloid
Bild), "Earthquake devastates Haiti-tens of thousands killed"
(Frankfurter Allgemeine), "Haiti lies in ruins" (Tageszeitung),
"Catastrophe hits Haiti" Frankfurter Rundschau, "Three million
people
need quick emergency assistance" (Die Welt), "Haiti's government
fears
tens of thousands dead" (Berliner Zeitung).

All media (1/14) carried lengthy reports on the devastating
earthquake
in Haiti, highlighting the extent of the natural disaster and the
prominent role the U.S. is playing in efforts to help the country.

ZDF-TV's Heute (1/13) newscast reported that the U.S. sent aircraft

carrier USS Carl Vinson to Haiti, which is "particularly needed"
because "it has helicopters that can be used for emergency flights.

Planes can also land on the aircraft carrier, which is particularly

important because the tower of the airport in Port-au-Prince has
been
damaged by the earthquake, reducing the number of aid flights that
can
come in." The newscast also noted that "Secretary Clinton compared

the catastrophe with the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia."
Frankfurter
Allgemeine mentioned in its front-page report that "American
President
Obama promised Haiti quick assistance. The U.S. navy will send its

hospital ship USS Comfort to Port-au-Prince."

In a front-page editorial, Die Welt (1/14) remarked: "Barack Obama
spoke of a heartbreaking tragedy and promised quick, coordinated and

determined aid efforts. During his inauguration, the first
African-
American at the White House expressed sympathy for the world's
oldest
independent black republic founded 206 years ago. Demands from
Haitians to grant fellow citizens who work illegally in the country
a

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more secure status were not met... In economically difficult times,

American society is not ready for these things. Whether the Haitian

tragedy might change this attitude remains questionable. It is
obvious
that more generous immigration, financial payments and hosts of UN
aid
workers cannot resolve the fundamental problems of the country.
Comprehensive humanitarian assistance is now urgently necessary.
Not
just the U.S. is morally obliged to help, but the whole American
continent and the international community. However, one day in the

future, Haitians themselves must bear responsibility, and not just
call for it."

Under the headline "Collapse of a failed state," Handelsblatt (1/14)

editorialized: "The earthquake in Haiti brought the forgotten
country
back onto the political agenda. The international community slowly

sneaked out of the crisis country. The problems appeared to be to
complicated and intertwined. Development workers in Haiti have been

warning for years that only massive assistance and international
presence could rescue the country from collapsing."

Regional Badische Zeitung (1/14) opined: "Crime rates and corruption

are enormous. It is country of mismanagement and human rights
violations, of political instability and environmental destruction.

In addition, natural catastrophes occur particularly often in the
Caribbean. It is a classic vicious circle. For all these reasons,

the international community must help Haiti."

Regional Sdkurier (1/14) remarked: "Haiti is short of everything:
food, medicine, machines, and doctors. It is important that the
international community does not debate responsibilities but takes
action. Every day, every hour can decide about life and death for
the
people who still lie under the rubble. In the long run, it will
take
more than this emergency aid to get the country out of its misery.

The hopes of the first presidential elections twenty years ago were

dashed long ago. Old clans and favoritism are ruling Haiti again
today. Those who want to help the people must not accept this."

3. (China-Google) Dispute

All papers (1/14) carried reports and editorials on the dispute
between Google and China. Sddeutsche headlined: "Google
Challenging
China," and reported: "The company protests against hacker attack on

human rights activists and threatens to switch off search engine.
Following a series of spy attacks, the U.S. technology company
Google
is now seeking a confrontation with China. The company's management

reported on Tuesday evening that it no longer wants to accept the
censorship of the Internet that the rulers in Beijing imposed on it.


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With this move, Google is risking being thrown out of China. The
hacker attacks could develop into another burden on the already
tense
relations between the U.S. and China." Frankfurter Allgemeine
headlined: "Google Defies China's Censorship," while Tagesspiegel
reported under the headline: "Announced Withdrawal," that Google no

longer wants to give into censorship in China and is threatening to

withdraw from the fastest growing online market in the world." Die

Welt headlined: "China Is displacing Google," and wrote that "search

engine company Google has threatened to withdraw from China. The
company is thus reacting to ongoing hacker attacks on its computers.

Google now wants to enter into talks with Chinese authorities and
prompt it to give up censorship but observers consider the chances
to
succeed to be small."

Under the headline: "Google's Foreign Policy," Sueddeutsche Zeitung

(1/14) judged: "the U.S. government is actively supporting Google in

the confrontation with China. But what will be the future course of

the political power of the company? Will Google turn into an
indicator of freedom and prosperity such as Coca Cola and
McDonald's?
Or will it turn into a sinister global player such as the United
Fruit
Company, for which the CIA launched coups in Central American
states?"

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/14) had this to say: "Now it is necessary
to
remain consistent. The U.S. government called for a clear statement

from China. This can, if it ever comes, be categorized under the
headline 'China is acting like a prima donna.' However, the answer
to
the question of how Google implements its announcement will be
really
exciting. Will Google really withstand the demands for censorship
from Chinese authorities? Or did it only use the attacks to improve

its battered image in the world in a publicly effective way? Even
if
Google implements everything it said, a negative result could be
possible for the company. The Internet community could learn from
China how life without Google functions."

According to Handelsblatt (1/14), "There is primarily one reason
behind Google's threat to leave China: As a collector and storer of

partly highly sensitive data, Google cannot afford to be spied on by
a
country which wants to influence the next generation of Internet
standards. Beijing follows a strategy which is to prove that an
authoritarian regime can survive despite the Internet. But the
Chinese lack the expertise. That is why China is trying to get
access
to the source code. At second glance, Google's move is not as
courageous as it seems. With a share of 30 percent in the market
for
search engines and a minute share of income for advertisements in
China, the company does not take an economic risk by withdrawing

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from
the country. But it sends a spectacular signal."

Regional daily Stuttgarter Zeitung (1/14) argued that "if the
Californian company has made its step out of commercial acumen, it
would be desirable to find a few imitators. Google's withdrawal
from
China will not change the censorship methods in the country. Google

does not need China, but China does not need Google either."

Regional daily Leipziger Volkszeitung (1/14) editorialized: "This
case
comes at the right time for Google. By threatening to end the
self-
censorship, Google can present itself as a martyr of freedom of
opinion. This clever marketing strategy, according to the motto:
'the
powerful is supporting the weak,' is succeeding because Google was
internationally showered with praise on Wednesday. But as a matter
of
fact, Google is more interested in the struggle against its own bad

image than in the fight against censorship."

Neue Frankfurter Presse (1/14) wonders "what is really behind the
demand of the U.S. company? Demands to put it into the same
category
as the Chinese search engine Baidu? The Chinese search engine -
which
is the number one on the Chinese market - blithely lists links to
copyright protected music, videos or pirate software. Google has
banned this. As long as Baidu is so strong, Google's business model

will not work."

4. (Turkey-Israel) Strained Relations

Berliner Zeitung (1/14) headlined: "Israel Apologizes to Turkish
Ambassador," while Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/14) reported under the

headline: "Ajalon Apologizes for Affront," and wrote that "a
relaxation has occurred in the diplomatic controversy between Turkey

and Israel. In an interview with a Turkish TV station, Ankara's
ambassador to Israel said Wednesday night that Israel's Deputy
Foreign
Minister Danny Ajalon had apologized to him and asked him to convey

his apology also 'to the Turkish people.' The ambassador added that

he would not return to Turkey...."

Under the headline: "Turkey sets Ultimatum to Israel," Die Welt
(1/14)
reported that "the government in Ankara is threatening to break off

diplomatic relations. With its ultimatum to Israel, Turkey has
escalated the conflict between the two countries. However, it
remained
unclear whether the break of diplomatic relations was only a threat
or
whether the Turkish ambassador should only return home for a brief
period of time. This conflict has been going on for a year and it

was Erdogan who provoked it during a discussion at the Economic
Forum
in Davos. Before that Israel was considered a 'strategic partner.'

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Many people are wondering why the government in Ankara made such a
radical turnabout in relations with Israel. And in the meantime it

seems to be clear that the real reason is based on strategic and
foreign policy reasons. In view of declining chances to be accepted

in the EU, Turkey is now trying to become the leader of the Muslim
world. Among the new allies are Iran, Syria, and Sudan...and Ankara
is
also sympathizing with Hamas. But in order to cultivate such new
friendships, Ankara must be unyielding towards Israel."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/14) carried an editorial under the
headline:
'Deteriorated." and wrote: "Israel should have known it: the Turks
are
a proud people. Diplomatic carelessness towards the Turkish
ambassador, which overall rather looked like deliberate disrespect,

has escalated into a state affair. Ankara is not satisfied with the

apology of Israel's deputy foreign minister. In return, Israel feels

slandered by a Turkish TV series. This clash is further evidence of
a
constant deterioration of relations since the Gaza War. The Gaza
War
has had a diplomatically devastating effect because Turkey and
Israel
enjoyed close relations for a long time before."

5. (U.S.) Bankers in The Hot Seat

A few papers dealt with the hearing of the CEOs of the biggest U.S.

banks. Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/14) carried a factual news report

under the headline: "In America, the Reprocessing of the Financial
Crisis is Beginning."

Handelsblatt (1/14) carried a report under the headline: U.S.
Bankers
Admit Mistakes," and reported that "the CEOs of the largest U.S.
banks
show understanding [of the criticism of the banks' activities]. The

financial crisis has been going on for two years but its
reprocessing
has only just begun. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC)

invited the CEOs of the biggest U.S. banks to a hearing on
Wednesday.
The FCIC wants to bring to the fore the reasons for the financial
crisis. But the bankers acted in an aggressive and self assured way

when the discussion focused on bonus payments...but they also
admitted
mistakes and agreed that a reform of the financial system would be
important. But Lord Bankfein emphasized that the [government]
should
not go too far.... The hearing comes at a bad time for the
government
because the Banking Committee of the Senate is talking behind closed

doors about details of the financial reforms. Political analyst
Joseph Engelhard of the Capital Alpha investment company said that
the

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Obama government and a few senators are concerned that 'new insights

could result in a public outcry which could impede possible
compromises on Capitol Hill.'"

Financial Times Deutschland (1/14) reported under the headline:
"Co-
Prosecutor in a Cross-Examination," and subtitled: "During the
public
hearing of the CEOs of the largest U.S. banks on the reasons for the

financial crisis, there has been a surprising agreement - that the
ones who must be blamed for the crisis, have not been invited." The

daily wrote: "The fact that AIG's business partners were reimbursed

for the debts of the insurance company at the expense of the
taxpayer
has angered the United States for months. But the Treasury
Department
and the Federal Reserve constantly say that they had not been able
to
implement a different solution. But Treasury Secretary Geithner and

Fed Chief Bernanke should be heard on this matter, but they are not
in
the room and the same is true for the ex-heads of AIG, Lehman Bros.,

Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae At a certain moment,
this
also struck FCIC member Hennessy: 'Why are only those people here
who
survived everything?' Hennessy was economic advisor for George W.
Bush. And he is not here either."
6. (Iran) Aftermath of Assassination of Scientist

In the view of Sddeutsche Zeitung (1/14), "conspiracy theorists are

having their great moment right now. This attack on an Iranian
scientist allows them to blame Americans, Israelis, the militant
part
of the Iranian opposition, or even the mullah regime for the attack.

For the time being, it will remain a mystery who detonated the bike

bomb in Tehran. The only thing that exists is clues and
interests...and even the peaceful opposition is not beyond doubt.
It
can blame the hated regime for the murder without having evidence of

it. This attack shows how difficult it is to look through the
muddled
conflict of interests in Iran. Outsiders, be it western
governments,
intelligence services, the media, and experts involuntarily proved
with their contradictory assessment of the nuclear program and
domestic developments that they can only put together small parts of

the current Iranian puzzle. Because so many interests are involved,

we cannot expect reasonable or understandable behavior. This means

that the development is threatening to get out of control. The
killing of the Tehran professor is a sign of this."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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