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03ABUDHABI16 2003-01-04 12:36:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION: A YEAR'S REFLECTIONS ON MEPI, IRAQ,

Tags:   OIIP KMDR TC 
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Diana T Fritz  06/05/2007 04:24:43 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                         January 04, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 16 - UNKNOWN)           

TAGS:     OIIP, KMDR                                             

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  MEDIA REACTION:  A YEAR'S REFLECTIONS ON MEPI, IRAQ,   
          AND DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST                       

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
UNCLAS        ABU DHABI 00016

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: PAO 
    INFO:   ECON POL AMB DCM 
Laser1:
    ACTION: PAO 

DISSEMINATION: PAO
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: ADCM:TWILLIAMS
DRAFTED: PAO:TPONCE
CLEARED: PAO:KVANDEVATE

VZCZCADI304
OO RUEHC RUENAAA RUEKJCS RUEHZM RUEHLO RUEHFR
RHRMDAB RUCJACC RUCQSOC
DE RUEHAD #0016/01 0041236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041236Z JAN 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7695
RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZM/GCC COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0546
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0616
RHRMDAB/COMUSNAVCENT
RUCJACC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//CCPA//
RUCQSOC/USCINCSOC MACDILL AFB FL//PA//
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 000016 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP (LMALENAS), NEA/P (ACASPER), NEA/PPD
(JDAVIES, WMOONEY, CBOURGEOIS), INR
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA
USCINCCENT FOR POLAD
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH; PARIS FOR O'FRIEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR TC
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: A YEAR'S REFLECTIONS ON MEPI, IRAQ,
AND DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST




1. SUMMARY: UAE MEDIA COMMENTED ON WHAT IT CALLED PRESIDENT
BUSH'S POSITIVE STATEMENT ON IRAQ. HOWEVER, LOCAL MEDIA ALSO
LABELED PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENTS ON IRAQ AND NORTH KOREA AS
CONTRADICTORY. AN "AKHBAR AL ARAB" EDITORIAL HOPED PRESIDENT
BUSH'S STATEMENTS REPRESENT A NEW AMERICAN START TO REMOVE THE
SPECTER OF WAR HOVERING IN THE REGION. MEANWHILE, "AL KHALEEJ"
ARGUED CONTRADICTORY POSITIONS AND VAGUE QUESTIONS REFLECT A U.S.
POLICY LACKING BALANCE AND REASON. RESPONDING TO THE THREAT OF
WAR, "AL BAYAN" CALLED ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO CONFRONT
PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEW POLICY OF DOMINATION. CONSIDERING SUCH A
SCENARIO UNLIKELY, CHIEF EDITOR OF "AL BAYAN" DELIBERATED ON
WHETHER OR NOT SADDAM WOULD SURPRISE EVERYONE BY CHOOSING SELF-
EXILE. DEMOCRACY WAS ALSO A FOCUS OF SOME DAILIES, WHO REPORTED
NO ACHIEVEMENTS TOWARDS DEMOCRACY IN THE ARAB WORLD DURING 2002.
REFLECTING ON 2002, AN "AKHBAR AL ARAB" EDITORIAL NOTED THERE
WERE NO SERIOUS EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY OR DEVELOP CIVIC
INSTITUTIONS IN THE ARAB WORLD. END SUMMARY.



2. REVIEWING THE EVENTS OF 2002, ABU DHABI-BASED PAN-ARAB
"AKHBAR AL ARAB" EDITORIALIZED ON 1/1:

"...DURING 2002, WE DID NOT SEE SERIOUS ARAB EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE
DEMOCRACY AND BUILD INSTITUTIONS OF CIVIL SOCIETY, EXCEPT IN ONE
OR TWO PLACES IN THE ENTIRE ARAB WORLD. POLITICAL TRANQUILITY IS
DOMINANT, THUS, OPENING THE DOOR FOR EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE, THE
MOST SIGNIFICANT OF WHICH IS SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL'S
INITIATIVE FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE ARAB WORLD..."



3. COMMENTING ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S POSITIVE STATEMENTS ON IRAQ,
"AKHBAR AL ARAB" EDITORIALIZED ON 1/4:

"... WE HOPE PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENTS ARE A START OF AMERICAN
STEPS TO REMOVE THE SPECTER OF WAR FROM THE REGION. THE
STATEMENTS MUST BE COMBINED WITH PRACTICAL STEPS ON THE GROUND BY
DISCONTINUING THE FEVER OF THE CONTINUOUS MILITARY BUILD-UP (IN
THE GULF) THAT TAKES PLACE DAY AND NIGHT..."



4. COMPARING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DON RUMSFELD'S TONE TOWARDS
IRAQ IN 1983 AND AT PRESENT, SHARJAH-BASED PAN-ARAB "AL KHALEEJ"
EDITORIALIZED ON 1/1:

"... RUMSFELD IS PUSHING FOR A DESTRUCTIVE WAR AGAINST THE IRAQI
PEOPLE, PRETENDING TO REMOVE WMD, (WHILE AT THE SAME TIME) THE
SAME PERSON WHO FACILITATED PROVIDING BAGHDAD WITH DOUBLE-USE
WEAPONS WORTH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ... THE QUESTION TO BE ASKED IS
WHAT KIND OF DOUBLE STANDARD IS CONTROLLING THE POLICY OF SUCH A
LARGE COUNTRY CLAIMING - IN A FAKE MANNER - TO BE COMMITTED TO
SECURITY, STABILITY, LEGITIMACY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS? ... RUMSFELD'S
SCANDAL UNCOVERED (IN A RECENT ARTICLE) BY THE 'WASHINGTON POST'
ON HELPING BAGHDAD ACQUIRE WEAPONS DURING THE 1980'S IS NEITHER
THE FIRST NOR THE LAST ONE. HOWEVER, THIS SHOULD BE A NEW LESSON
FOR ARAB COUNTRIES NOT TO TRUST THE U.S. OR ITS PROMISES,
FRIENDSHIP, OR ALLIANCE, ESPECIALLY IF THIS ALLIANCE IS AGAINST
AN ARAB COUNTRY."



5. COMMENTING ON WHAT IT CALLED CONTRADICTIONS IN PRESIDENT
BUSH'S POSITION TOWARDS IRAQ AND NORTH KOREA, "AL KHALEEJ"
EDITORIALIZED ON 1/2:

"... AFTER PRESIDENT BUSH ADMITS SADDAM HUSSEIN DOES NOT POSSESS
WMD, HE MENTIONS THE POSSIBILITY OF SADDAM ATTACKING THE U.S. AND
DAMAGING ITS ECONOMY PERSONALLY OR THROUGH AN AGENT. HOW CAN THE
IRAQI PRESIDENT ATTACK THE U.S., WITH WHAT KIND OF WEAPON, AND
WHO IS THIS AGENT? NEVERTHELESS, AS FAR AS NORTH KOREA IS
CONCERNED, BUSH EMPHASIZES IT POSSESSES TWO NUCLEAR WEAPONS AT
LEAST BUT STILL BELIEVES THE SITUATION CAN BE RESOLVED PEACEFULLY
THROUGH DIPLOMATIC MEANS. THE QUESTION IS WHY CAN THE NORTH
KOREAN CASE BE SOLVED PEACEFULLY BUT NOT THE IRAQI? ...
CONTRADICTING STANCES AND VAGUE QUESTIONS REFLECT A U.S. POLICY
LACKING BALANCE AND REASON."



6. UNDER THE HEADLINE "DOMINATION IS REJECTED", DUBAI-BASED
BUSINESS-ORIENTED "AL BAYAN" EDITORIALIZED ON 1/4:

"... THE U.S. PRESIDENT TRIES TO APPLY NEW RULES IN AN
INTERNATIONAL POLICY GIVING WASHINGTON THE RIGHT TO CHANGE
REGIMES THAT DO NOT MOVE IN ITS ORBIT, AND REPLACE THEM WITH MORE
COOPERATIVE ONES. THE TERM OF COOPERATION IN THE AMERICAN
CONCEPT IS TO BE ON THE LIST OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE ORDERS AND
EXECUTE THEM WITHOUT HESITATION. THUS, THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY MUST CONFRONT THIS NEW POLICY..."



7. COMMENTING ON TERRORISM BETWEEN 2002 AND 2003, COLUMNIST
AHMED AL KANANI ARGUED IN "AL BAYAN" ON 1/3 THAT ARABS AND
AMERICAN HAVE EACH ACCUSED THE OTHER OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR 9/11:

"... IF ARABS AND AMERICANS CHANGE THEIR ROLES, EACH SIDE WILL
SEE THE REALITY OF THE PROBLEM AND DISCOVER THE REASONS BEHIND
IT. THE TWO SIDES ARE BOTH RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENED. THE
U.S. DISREGARD FOR ARAB RIGHTS AND BIAS TO ISRAEL GENERATE ANGER
AND HATRED AMONG ARABS. ON THE OTHER HAND, ARABS, ESPECIALLY
GOVERNMENTS, FAIL TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE BASED ON FREEDOM,
DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE, AND PROTECTION FROM -
GOVERNMENT-DESIRED - SUBJUGATION TO WASHINGTON ... ARAB
OFFICIALS' ADAPTATION TO THE AMERICAN RULES OF THE WAR ON SO-
CALLED TERRORISM CONTROL OF THE FUTURE OF THE ARAB WORLD ... THIS
WAR CARRIES AN ABSENCE OF SOVEREIGNTY, EXECUTION WITHOUT TRIAL,
AND WILL MAKE ARAB BLOOD PUBLIC. WHAT HAPPENED IN YEMEN IS THE
BEST EVIDENCE OF THIS. IT MEANS THE INCREASE OF (U.S.) STATE
TERRORISM CONFRONTING INDIVIDUAL TERRORISM I.E. TERRORISM AND
COUNTER TERRORISM..."



8. REVIEWING 2002 AND COMMENTING ON THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SPOKESMAN'S SUPPORT FOR SADDAM'S SELF-EXILE, "AL BAYAN" EDITOR-IN-
CHIEF KHALED MOHAMMED AHMED WROTE IN 1/4:

"... THE NEW YEAR UNDOUBTEDLY CARRIES SURPRISES. NEWS ON SADDAM
LEAVING IRAQ FOR ANOTHER COUNTRY HAS INCREASED RECENTLY. DESPITE
NEWS ON THE 'EXILE,' IS THERE GOING TO BE A 'SURPRISE?' LET'S
WAIT AND SEE."

WAHBA