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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02AMMAN5348
2002-09-18 08:36:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION ON MIDDLE EAST DEVELOPMENTS

Tags:   KMDR  JO 
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 005348 SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD, NEA/IPA FOR ALTERMAN USAID/ANE/MEA LONDON FOR GOLDRICH PARIS FOR O'FRIEL USCINCCENT//CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL STATE PASS TO AID E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KMDR JO SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON MIDDLE EAST DEVELOPMENTS Summary -- Lead stories in the Jordanian media over the past few days, September 13-17, focuses on a number of developments related to Iraq and Peace Process issues. Highlighted stories focus on Iraq's "unconditional" approval of return of the weapons inspectors to Iraq; the Saudi Foreign Minister's remarks about Saudi willingness to cooperate in "any U.N.-endorsed strike on Iraq"; and President Bush's address to the U.N. General Assembly about Iraq. Editorial Commentary -- "Rhetorical stances will not solve the region's crisis" Semi-official, influential Arabic daily Al-Ra'i (09/17) editorializes: "Moving the Iraqi file to the United Nations constituted a positive step for American diplomacy. This means that the Arabs must not simply rebut with rhetoric and speeches that were used during the Cold War, and before (the attacks of) September 11 and its repercussions. Arabs must instead search boldly and realistically for a new form of rhetoric that protects their principles and their rights and that establishes a new and balanced formula that does not fall to the favor of the interests of opponents and enemies." -- "Before the countdown to war begins" Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (09/17) editorializes: "The bad omen already clear in the Iraqi issue now is how the situation in the Palestinian territories could develop should a war in the Gulf region start again. It is expected that Sharon would take advantage of the war atmosphere to the maximum in order to implement his hellish plans against the Palestinian people, including the transfer of as many Palestinians as he could. We call on the Arab leaders to make good use of the time left, before the United States begins its final countdown to this, to intensify their diplomatic efforts and their international contacts not only to spare Iraq the destruction and division, but also to spare the Palestinian people the tragedy of another transfer." -- "Check on implementation" Centrist, influential among the elite, English daily Jordan Times (09/17) editorializes: "In his address to the 57the session of the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. President George Bush lashed out at the U.N. system for lacking what he called "backbone" in standing up to Iraq. By describing the United Nations as inept and ineffective, he called on the international organization to get its act together against the dangers posed by the Iraqi regime or let the United States do the job! By taking on the United Nations as well as Iraq, the U.S. President opened a Pandora's box on an issue that goes beyond Iraq and its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction and touches other imminent regional threats. Do we dare ask why the resolutions on the Palestinian question remain ink on paper? Is it not true that these resolutions have yet to be implemented because of Washington's opposition to them? That is why in addressing the issue of the ineffectiveness of the U.N. system we must not single out Iraq but also point to other disputes over which the U.N. system failed to demonstrate the necessary brawn to deal with them." -- "Will America let the Security Council establish security?" Center-left, influential Arabic daily Al-Dustour (09/14) editorializes: "The United States insists on letting the world hear the drums of war beating against Iraq. Most world countries were relieved about the American move to transfer the crisis with Iraq to the United Nations. This means that Washington, for the time being at least, has given up on the idea of striking Iraq unilaterally. Let the U.S. administration then allow the Security Council to act upon their international responsibilities and commitment to world peace. Let Washington allow the Security Council itself to decide the extent of Iraq's commitment to implementing Security Council resolutions and recommendations and then decide whether to use force. We wonder, is it in the interest of world peace and security to jump over the dead bodies of Palestinians and their rights to be free and independent from the claws of nuclear empowered state and focus on an Arab country besieged for the past twelve years in order to search for weapons of mass destruction that have already been eliminated in a world war?" GNEHM