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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04KUWAIT1650 2004-05-24 15:16:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION KUWAIT MAY 22-24: RAFAH INCURSION;

Tags:   OIIP KU KDMR 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001650 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD, PA, INR/NESA
STATE FOR IIP/G/NEA-SA, INR/B
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL
USDOC FOR 4520/ANESA/ONE/FITZGERALD-WILKS
USDOC FOR ITA AND PTO/OLIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KU KDMR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION KUWAIT MAY 22-24: RAFAH INCURSION;
CHALABI; ABU GHRAIB; MEPI AND GMEI.



1. SUMMARY: The coincidence of the Israeli operation in
Rafah with alleged American bombing of a wedding party in
Iraq leads a prominent conservative commentator to cite both
as examples of "Arab blood being cheap." The first court
martial trial to come out of the abuses at Abu Ghraib was
dealt with in an even-handed fashion by one writer, faulting
the lack of higher accountability for the acts but also
commending the trial as a "boost to Iraq's grasp on
democracy." The raid on Ahmed Chalabi's offices was
characterized in one editorial as "America selling-out its
collaborator." END SUMMARY.



2. "Arab Blood Is Cheap"
Dr. Abdel Muhsin Yousef Jamal wrote in independent Al-Qabas
(5/22): "Whether in Iraq or Palestine, Arab blood has
become cheap. In one day more than twenty Palestinians were
killed in Rafah while trying to resist Israeli tyranny. On
the same day, forty-one Iraqis were killed when American
aircraft shelled an Iraqi village during a wedding
celebration. Arab nations are weak, and disunity rules
among the Arabs. Nevertheless, hope rises from the Arab
youth, and resistance is in itself victory."



3. "Collaborators"
Mohammed Yousef Al-Mulaifi wrote in independent Al-Seyassah
(5/23): "It seems America has reached another low,
contemptibly selling-out her collaborators. Chalabi was
America's own soldier. He was recruited, received millions
of dollars for his party, and eventually installed by the
Americans in the Governing Council. However, Chalabi was
finally humiliated when America set loose the Iraqi police
upon him. Not only did they wreak havoc at his residence,
they also humiliated him. Chalabi got a taste of what it is
to be an American collaborator."



4. "Show-Court"
Fawzia Salem Al-Sabah wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am
(5/23): "Recently, a U.S. military court convicted the
first U.S. soldier for abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib
prison. He received a one-year sentence and dismissal from
the army. The trial was no more than a show targeted to
improve the image of the United States vis--vis human
rights. The trial consisted of some negative elements, such
as: 1) no American soldier was tried before the pictures
scandal was exposed; 2) no high-ranking American military
personnel, who were supervising the interrogations and
torture, were convicted; 3) the trial was quasi-public, and
no human rights organizations were allowed to visit victims'
families, and 4) the trial was not aimed at getting justice
for the victims. However, a few positive elements emerged:
1) the trial boosted the role of the press as an unofficial
superintendent over authority; 2) the trial is a lesson to
soldiers, and a deterrence, and 3) the trial will help boost
Iraq's grasp of democracy, and place a nucleus for a new
democratic state in Iraq."



5. "For The Better"
Dr. Ayed Al-Mana'a wrote in independent Al-Watan (5/24): "
In order to reduce the negative publicity of the violations
of Iraqi prisoners' rights at Abu Ghraib, it is not enough
to offer monetary compensation to those abused. Rather, for
the U.S. to preserve its reputation, it should free the
Guantanamo detainees, especially those who have not been
convicted of any crime, and return them to their countries.
Should this take place, the image of the United States would
improve greatly."



6. "Kuwaiti `Marines'"
Dr. Sami Naser Khalifa wrote in independent Al-Rai Al-A'am
(5/22): ".[S]ome Kuwaiti officials fully endorse America's
foreign policy agenda, despite the fact that such policies
contradict our national interests. The American
administration's audacious interference in our domestic
affairs, such as demands that we implement the GMEI or the
Middle East Partnership Initiative, or even through the
dictates of the American and British ambassadors, whose
opinions have become binding to many Kuwaiti officials, has
become more than obvious. Some [Kuwaiti] journalists have
no other task but to improve the ugly image of the American
administration, and to justify American interference in the
domestic affairs of our region. My colleague was correct to
call them the 'Undercover [American] Marines.' Despite
their small numbers, they are doing a great service for the
American administration, and are exploiting the silence of
the majority of Kuwaitis. They are also grasping at the
only good deed that George Bush, Sr. accomplished, more than
twelve years ago: the liberation of Kuwait."

URBANCIC