Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin 09BERLIN1274 2009-10-13 15:02 2011-08-24 01:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Berlin
VZCZCXRO8655 RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ DE RUEHRL #1274/01 2861502 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 131502Z OCT 09 FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5462 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 1622 RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0329 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0846 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2363 RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1372 RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0555 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 07 BERLIN 001274
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"
E.0. 12958: N/A TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO PK AF RS XF US AM EU SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, RUSSIA-U.S., MIDEAST, U.S., TURKEY-ARMENIA, EU
¶1. Lead Stories Summary ¶2. (Pakistan) Bomb Attack ¶3. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy ¶4. (Russia-U.S.) Clinton Visit ¶5. (Mideast) Aftermath of Goldstone Report ¶6. (U.S.) Nobel Peace Prize for Obama ¶7. (Turkey-Armenia) Rapprochement ¶8. (EU) Future of Lisbon Treaty
¶1. Lead Stories Summary
There is only one lead story in the print and electronic media: the
plan of Brandenburg's SPD leader Platzeck to form a coalition government with the Left Party. Editorials focused on the same issue and on the state of the coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and the
FDP in Berlin.
¶2. (Pakistan) Bomb Attack
Many papers (10/13) carried wire service reports on the Taliban attacks on the Pakistani armed forces headquarters in Rawalpindi. "New Wave of Violence in Pakistan - Taliban creating Endurance Test
for Nuclear State," headlined Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reporting that "following a period of relative calm, the Taliban and its allies are
covering the country with a new wave of violence. The United States
has secretly helped Pakistan develop security measures which prevent
unauthorized people from blowing up nuclear warheads. Nevertheless,
rumors are spreading that the U.S. has developed emergency plans to
take over control of Pakistani nuclear warheads in the case that Islamists were to take control of the country."
Handelsblatt (10/13) judged under the headline, "Wake-Up Call For the Armed Forces," that: "Since last year, there has been a civilian government in Pakistan, but the real center of power continues to be
the headquarters of the armed forces. An attack on this high-security headquarters is therefore the greatest possible challenge to the Pakistani state. The Taliban's hostage-taking in the military headquarters is a signal in two respects. It destroys the illusion
that Islamic extremism in Pakistan is on the retreat since the death
of notorious Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. And it makes clear that the government and the armed forces will lose the fight for Afghanistan sooner or later if they continue their usual halfhearted
approach against the Islamic threat. [Following the weekend attack], the army must realize that controlling South Waziristan is not only a question of doing the disliked United States a favor, but also a question of survival. And now that the Taliban have attacked the heart of the armed forces, the chances are better than ever that the
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situation will change."
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/13) editorialized: "The Pakistani armed forces celebrated their spring offensive as a success, but this was
premature. The attack on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi is
politically and morally the most serious one: this army is even unable to defend its own security. Of course, the question must be raised as to what extent the army has been undermined. Even if the governments
in London and Washington express their confidence that the Pakistani
government is still in full control of its nuclear arsenal, we would
not bet on it. There is no doubt that Pakistan is faced with a murderous danger - a danger to which we have closed our eyes for much too long."
"Pakistan under Taliban Fire," headlined Die Welt (10/12) and opined: "[Following the attack on the military headquarter,] the countries of the world are raising the question of how safe the red button, which
ignites the Pakistani nuclear weapons, is. Could the attack happen
without the knowledge of informants from the powerful military intelligence service, which has cultivated close relations with the
Taliban and sees Afghanistan as a strategic hinterland against India? Following this attack, the message to the Pakistani is: Who can protect you if the armed forces are even unable to protect themselves. The international community must interpret the attack as what it is: a warning."
¶3. (Afghanistan) New U.S. Strategy
Under the headline: "New U.S. Strategy Fails in Afghanistan - Project for Farmers Cannot Be Begun - Helpers Stranded in Kabul,' Frankfurter Rundschau (10/13) reported: "The U.S. is exerting increasing pressure on the Afghan leadership. According to Secretary Clinton, Washington is expecting much more from President Karzai than before. Clinton said in London: 'If the vote results in his re-election, then there
must be a new relationship between him and the people.' Due to the
investigation of election fraud, there has been no official result of the August 20 presidential elections. Efforts for reconstruction are increasingly lagging behind the U.S. proposed schedule. The New York Times reported that U.S. efforts threaten to fail in the fight against corruption, the establishment of government and legal structures and
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the training of an able police force."
¶4. (Russia-U.S.) Clinton Visit
All major broadcast media (10/12) carried factual reports on Secretary Clinton's arrival in Moscow to hold talks with her Russian counterpart, Lavrov, and Russian President Medevev on a new disarmament accord and Iran. "The talks are also about whether Russia will support new sanctions on Iran if it does not comply in the dispute over its nuclear program. Other topics will be the situation in Afghanistan, Georgia and arms control," Deutschlandfunk radio noted this morning. Under the headline "Clinton calls on conflicting parties in Northern Ireland," Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that "Clinton tried to restart the autonomy process in Northern Ireland through personal calls. She said that the U.S. government wants to
continue to promote and support the northern Irish path to peace...
However, the parties in Belfast must walk the remaining steps alone."
¶5. (Mideast) Aftermath of Goldstone Report
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) commented: "It is easy to guess that
Palestinian President Abbas only supported the idea of freezing the
Goldstone report because Israel has promised him something. What could that be? Despite intensive efforts by Mideast Envoy Mitchell,
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has been inflexible-he does not even want to stop the further building of settlements in the West Bank.... Palestinians now accuse their President of unnecessarily giving way to Israel. Their annoyance is understandable; many of them already see
Abbas as too weak. Israel is critical of the UN, and it is partly right, but making Abbas their accomplice will only further strengthen the radicals among the Palestinians."
¶6. (U.S.) Nobel Peace Prize for Obama
All papers (10/10) carried reports on President Obama being awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize. Der Spiegel carried a front-page picture of
the President's face and the caption: "Mission: Global Peace - The Impossible mission of Barack Obama." Frankfurter Rundschau showed the President with a laurel wreath around his head, saying: "Advance Payment for Obama. The U.S. president gets the Nobel Peace Prize, not for his achievements but for his visions. The award is an expression of the high expectations, people have for Obama. Obama himself, however, doubts that he deserves the prize." Die Welt opened with the president's remarks and headlined: "'I have not deserved it.' Nobel
Peace Prize: U.S. President Barack Obama is Demonstrating Modesty -
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Critics Consider the Honor to be Premature." Many other papers carried the same headline: "Nobel Peace Prize for Barack Obama."
Norddeutscher Rundfunk radio of Hamburg (10/9) broadcast the following commentary: "The speaker and visionary Barack Obama indeed deserves
the Nobel Peace Prize - but he deserved it six years ago when he, as
the only Democrat, clearly raised his voice against George Bush's Iraq War. But now Obama will not be awarded as a speaker at the Democratic Party Congress, not as a peace-loving election campaigner and not as a visionary but as president of the United States. And as U.S. president he cannot present any peace successes. On the contrary. Obama's increase in forces in Afghanistan is provoking an increase in victims.... The Afghanistan war is his war at least that is what Obama says over and over again, as if he wanted to prove that not only his
predecessor but he, too, knows how to wage the right war. Unfortunately, he is fighting the right war in the wrong way."
Sdwestrundfunk of Stuttgart (10/9) aired the following commentary:
"There is no doubt that Barack Obama has many good and correct ideas
and he is working hard to implement his vision of a better world. But the Nobel Peace Prize now? Obama has only just begun to work on his
ambitious plans. And time will tell whether he will succeed. Thus
far, measurable successes are scarce. It addition, it would have a
pale aftertaste if the Nobel Peace Prize goes to a man who as supreme commander is responsible for two wars, who has presented the highest
defense budget ever, and whose Defense Department has now reported that it is using all available means to make the most destructive conventional bomb operational. Much will now depend on how the U.S.
President deals with this award, how he himself defines his role as
Nobel Peace laureate. Obama has won the Nobel peace prize; now he must earn it."
DeutschlandRadio Kultur (10/9) commented: "If the Nobel Committee has really taken the prize seriously, then it has at least mixed up the
most necessary criteria for assessing political achievements. Words
have replaced deeds, and hopes have replaced successes.... Nothing can currently be more detrimental to Barack Obama, who has been confronted with sober realities in domestic and foreign policies over the past
few weeks. The premature Nobel Peace Prize is now threatening to suffocate this great carrier of hope under excessive expectations."
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Under the headline: "The Prize As a Burden," Sueddeutsche (10/10) argued: "The Nobel Prize Committee has imposed a heavy burden on the
President. It has even deprived him somewhat of his political clout, for this award is upsetting the world. What will happen to the presidential office and the prize if Obama has to wage a war? Obama
cannot want to shoulder this prize on his own. This prize is a trust
bonus and only the coming three years will tell whether it was justified. The Committee does not say anything else but that it wants to thank Obama for giving up the policy of his predecessor George W.
Bush.... The Nobel Committee wasted the opportunity to award the prize to someone who really needed it, such as Chinese dissidents, Russian
human rights activists, or Father Fhrer from Leipzig on behalf of all the people who took part in the Monday demonstrations in the former
GDR. Barack Obama does not need this prize. The prize needs Obama."
Stuttgarter Zeitung (10/10) editorialized: "Today, Obama's view that
the countries of the world sit in the same boat and will succeed together or go down together, has become self-evident. But Barack Obama stands for much more. We are witnessing the end of a period which has lasted five centuries. During all these centuries, Europeans, but also Americans, conquered the rest of the world, looted and exploited it. Obama stands for the end of the supremacy of the
white man on earth. Many did not believe the Americans capable of shedding old skins and electing Obama. They did it. That is why Oslo did not only honor Obama, but America."
Tabloid Bild (10/10) asked above the fold, "Does Obama really deserve the Nobel Prize" and concluded in a page-two editorial: "Barack Obama has been in office nine months. His record so far: much ado about nothing. The Nobel Committee has shown that it rewards not only outstanding achievements but also nice plans and daydreams. It awards the prize...for nothing at all."
Regional daily Nrnberger Nachrichten (10/10) opined: "Obama must earn this prize first and in his remaining years in office he will prove
whether he deserves it. Such was the case with Willy Brandt, we can
expect this honor to help Obama in his efforts to achieve the foreign policy goals he has outlined. The Nobel Peace Prize is an encouragement to continue a policy that stands for cooperation, not
confrontation or ill-fated U.S. unilateral action as we knew from Bush."
Regional daily Ostsee-Zeitung of Rostock (10/10) judged: "The fact
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that 48-year-old Barack Obama was awarded this globally prestigious
prize after only nine month in office is a brazen but also controversial and surprising decision. But if we take a closer look, the star in the political skies is about to burn out. Many Americans are disappointed that Obama is refusing to legally prosecute members
of the Bush administration, that CIA torturers are getting off scot- free, that massive electoral fraud is being tolerated in Afghanistan, that the international financial is still open , and that climate
protection is turning into a policy of the 'smallest common denominator.'"
¶7. (Turkey-Armenia) Rapprochement
Sddeutsche (10/12) editorialized: "It is courageous what the two governments have planned- we can only hope they have the political momentum to achieve it. The resistance to rapprochement is great inside both countries. However, those who are irreconcilable are wrong. This also includes Armenians who believe that there must not
be rapprochement before Turkey acknowledges the genocide of 1915. The opposite is true: Taking up diplomatic relations and opening borders will further undermine the genocide taboo in Turkey.... Those who are denying past events are beginning to sway. Years of democratization
in Turkey are erasing one taboo after another."
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) analyzed: "Armenians at home and abroad are accusing Armenian President Sarkisjan of making the acknowledgement of the genocide part of negotiations and of giving up legitimate territorial claims by recognizing the Turkish-Armenian border. However, the criticism has nothing at all to do with reality. It would serve Armenia's interests better to come to terms with history together [with Turkey]."
¶8. (EU) Future of Lisbon Treaty
Deutschlandfunk radio (10/11) opined: "The righteous criticism of the Lisbon Treaty does not justify Czech President Klaus's blockade.... He believes he can ignore the will of all European parliamentarians. This attitude is worse than anything he accuses the European enterprise of."
Frankfurter Allgemeine (10/12) editorialized: "Some European state leaders still don't know what it means to be a member of the European Union. In no club in the world can you enjoy the privileges of membership without paying your dues. British conservatives as well as Czech President Klaus should remember this."
Frankfurter Rundschau (10/12) commented: "The Polish president has ratified the EU Lisbon Treaty. That's good news. It ended a
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bizarre theater.... However, nobody knows when and if the treaty will clear the last hurdle. This hurdle was set even higher as Czech President Klaus not only wants to hear the outcome of a court trial, but also demands a footnote to the treaty that guarantees German expellees cannot reclaim property in the Czech Republic. This desire is completely unreasonable and impudent. Changing the treaty would make a completely new ratification process necessary in all EU countries.... Klaus has obviously got a screw loose. A single man is currently on a wild ride with 27 nations and their governments. He ignores democratic decisions, also those of his own parliament. Prague is already discussing an impeachment of Klaus. Let's do it. Klaus is an imposition - for his country and Europe."