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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Haiti, Obama Presidency, Kunduz Airstrike,

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R 211518Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6326
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
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1702
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RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUZEADH/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS BERLIN 000083

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"

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E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR SENV KGHG HA US AF
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: HAITI, OBAMA PRESIDENCY, KUNDUZ AIRSTRIKE,
IPCC;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. Haiti Earthquake
3. Massachusetts Senate Race
4. Afghanistan--Kunduz Airstrike
5. Climate Protection--IPCC

1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's heute opened with a story on the security alert at Munich
airport. ARD-TV's primetime Tagesschau opened with a story on the
aftershock in Haiti. Newspapers led with stories on many different
topics, including the beginning of the Bundestag defense committee's
investigation of the Kunduz airstrikes. Sueddeutsche headlined:
"Guttenberg increasingly under pressure." Die Welt highlighted that
Guttenberg said Germans are not cowards in Afghanistan. Berliner
Zeitung and FT Deutschland led with stories on weapons lobbyist
Schneider's trial, noting that he claimed to have given donations to
the CSU. Frankfurter Allgemeine emphasized that the federal court
strengthened the rights of the Bundestag. Editorials focused on
yesterday's Bundestag debate, the election result in Massachusetts,
and the German debate on Afghanistan.

2. Haiti Earthquake

All media continued to report that the situation in Haiti is
difficult. However, the story was no longer a lead story in most
media. Coverage of the role the U.S. is playing is positive.

Weekly Die Zeit began its front page article on Haiti with the
subheadline: "The earthquake destroyed Haiti. Now humanity, under
the leadership of America, is proving that it is capable of
generosity and can provide assistance that transcends all political
borders." The weekly added: "Barack Obama has not just committed
himself to a gigantic rescue operation, but also to an enormous
effort to rebuild a country. Of course, this is in America's own
interests. However, Obama has done the right thing and takes great
political risks. If the mission succeeds, it will have many fathers
and mothers: the UN, the U.S., Latin American neighbors and the EU.
If it fails, only Obama will be blamed."

Die Welt noted in a front-page teaser that "the security situation
is stabilizing thanks to the efforts of thousands of U.S. soldiers.
Aid supplies are also slowly reaching the people." In a front-page
editorial, Die Welt added: "Haiti, this small, strategically
insignificant country in the Caribbean, this faraway and unhappy
place that never succeeded to rise from the dust, arouses global
sympathy. Those who thought that the interest will decline after a
few days and that the public would turn to other topics are wrong.
In natural disasters, all men are equal."

In a lengthy report on Haiti, Stern magazine underlined that even
the U.S. base in Guantanamo is playing a positive role in the rescue
efforts. It highlighted that "Guantanamo turned into the base for
assistance flights" and added: "In Washington, Barack Obama lined up
with former Presidents George W. Bush and William Clinton to include
the whole nation in the aid program worth 100 million, which
includes the deployment of 10,000 soldiers and hundreds of civilian
aid workers. The U.S. sent a whole fleet of aircraft carriers and
swimming hospitals and took over the control of the airport in
Port-au-Prince. Even the U.S. military base in Guantanamo-which is
infamous for the detention center-turned into a base for the
humanitarian mission. The U.S. enclave is only 350 km away from
the epicenter of the earthquake. Only last Saturday, 29 flights of
the Operation Unified Response, as the earthquake assistance is
called in military lingo, started from and landed in Guantanamo."


ARD-TV's Tagesschau reported: "This most serious of all aftershocks

dashed the little hope people had gotten in recent days. The good
news is that a hospital ship of the U.S. navy arrived today and the
first patient was a Haitian boy with severe burns."

3. Massachusetts Senate Race

Frankfurter Allgemeine opined in a front-page editorial: "The
President's priority of reforming the healthcare system might be the
first to fall victim to the new situation. Although local
circumstances played a role in the special Massachusetts Senate race
and the Democratic candidate was anything but exciting, the loss of
the seat is a tough hit against the President and his party. The
declining popularity of Obama's policies has now been made official:
the pendulum is swinging back; many independent voters are turning
their backs on the 2008 election winner. The writing for the
Congressional elections this autumn is on the wall: if the
Republicans can win in Massachusetts, they can compete anywhere."

Under the headlined "Humiliation for Obama," Sueddeutsche remarked:
"Brown sensed the discontent of the people and presented himself as
a man who could give a voice to this frustration. Like Obama, he
won as a candidate against the political establishment. His triumph
is a humiliation for the President, who wanted to challenge the
system himself.... In his first year, Obama rescued banks,
prevented the automobile industry from collapsing and launched a
huge economic stimulus program. He hoped that this Herculean task
would give him the leeway for the rest of his agenda: the healthcare
reform, climate protection, investments into schools. However,
these are obviously not the priorities of the people at this moment.
Scott Brown ran in Massachusetts with two promises that touched the
nerves of the people. He wants to stop the healthcare reform and
reduce the enormous national deficit. These are the roots for the
discontent with Obama. They are suspicious about his reform agenda.
And they are under the impression that the Democrats gamble away
the future of the country if they continue to increase the debt."


FT Deutschland editorialized: "Losing one of the most liberal
constituencies in the U.S. to the Republicans is difficult to do...
The defeat in Massachusetts damages Barack Obama's shining nimbus
throughout the world. He is no longer the guy that can win
anything and who can persuade people easily. This will damage his
policy at home and abroad. Obama and his party must blame
themselves. They cannot simply blame their candidate, as weak as
she might have been. It was careless to trust that voters would be
faithful to the Democrats."

Handelsblatt noted: "The landslide of the Republicans in the special
Massachusetts elections also had local reasons. However, it brought
Obama and the Democrats down to earth with a bump. It is even
worse: it will soon turn out as a turning point. So far, the
President ruled from the height of the power. The loss of this
Senate seat deprives him of his creative majority in Congress.
There will be Congressional elections in autumn and because Obama
coolly calculates, he will give up his role of a statesman and enter
the election campaign. He will make his domestic and foreign
policies more American."

4. Afghanistan-Kunduz Airstrike

Sueddeutsche commented on Defense Minister zu Guttenberg's statement
on the September 4 airstrike in Kunduz: "The minister faced a
difficult situation. He had to deal with a colonel who had
obviously made serious mistakes. However, the troops stood behind
the colonel and expected their new defense minister to express his
solidarity. Guttenberg wanted to express solidarity-not just for
opportunistic reasons, but because the Bundeswehr is close to his
heart. As a result, he accepted the wording of his military

advisors and topped that by saying that the attack was unavoidable.
Already at the time, experts shook their heads about this
brazenness. We now know that the military assessment of the events
do not justify Guttenberg's assessment."

Die Welt editorialized: "ISAF Commander in Afghanistan McChrystal
has called on the Bundeswehr to take more risks in the north of the
country. That sounds as if he is asking for much. The truth is
that this is only the consequence of McChrystal's new strategy that
gives the highest priority to the protection of the people. Military
experts agree that this is the best strategy to fight the
insurgency. The basic idea behind it is that we will win against
the Taliban only if the majority of the people are behind us. To
achieve this, the allies most especially guarantee security, which
is the condition for the reconstruction."

5. Climate Protection--IPCC

Several papers carried reports on the confession of UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that it made
mistakes concerning the forecast for the Himalaya glaciers.
Frankfurter Allgemeine headlined: "Setback for climate change," as
"the IPCC admitted that it warned against the melting of the
Himalaya glaciers in a widely publicized report in 2007 without
having any scientific evidence for it." FT Deutschland headlined:
"IPCC admits mistake of forecast," and added: "The IPCC vice
president has admitted of massive mistakes concerning the forecast
of the melting of the Himalaya glaciers. The forecast that the
glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong and will be revised,
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele said."

MURPHY

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