Viewing cable 03ABUDHABI1431
Title: MEDIA REACTION: WAR IN IRAQ POWS ABU DHABI TV

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03ABUDHABI14312003-03-25 10:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Abu Dhabi
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Diana T Fritz  05/24/2007 04:46:01 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

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SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           March 25, 2003


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1431 - UNKNOWN)         

TAGS:     OIIP, KMDR                                             

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  MEDIA REACTION:  WAR IN IRAQ POWS ABU DHABI TV         

Ref:      None                                                   
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UNCLAS        ABU DHABI 01431

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APPROVED: PAO:KVANDEVATE
DRAFTED: PAO:AHOSHAN
CLEARED: PAO:TPONCE

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001431 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP; NEA/PPD; NEA/RA; INR/R/MR; PA; 
INR/NESA; INR/B; IIP/G/NEA-SA 
WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE 
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:  WAR IN IRAQ POWS ABU DHABI TV 
 
¶1.  SUMMARY:  THE WAR IN IRAQ, THE U.S. BOMBING OF THE AL 
AATHAMIA AREA OF BAGHDAD, AND UAE HUMANITARIAN AID FOR THE IRAQI 
PEOPLE DOMINATED COVERAGE IN UAE PRINT AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA. 
UNDER THE HEADLINE, "A CONVENTION FOR ALL," A "GULF NEWS" 
EDITORIAL CRITICIZED U.S. TREATMENT OF POWS.  AN "AL KHALEEJ" 
EDITORIAL ASSERTS THE U.S. VALUES OIL MORE THAN PEOPLE.  IN AN 
"AL KHALEEJ" OP-ED, DR. ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLA LISTS THE OPTIONS 
AVAILABLE FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE IN THEIR WAR AGAINST THE U.S.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  UNLIKE AL JAZEERA, ABU DHABI TV AND AL ARABIYYAH SATELLITE TV 
DID NOT BROADCAST VIDEO FOOTAGE OF U.S. TROOPS HANDCUFFING 
SURRENDERING IRAQI SOLDIERS.  SIMILARLY, ABU DHABI TV BROADCAST 
ONLY BLURRED IMAGES OF U.S. POWS WITHOUT SOUND.  DURING A 3/24 
INTERVIEW INITIATED WITH ABU DHABI TV, JASSEM AL SAQR, KUWAITI 
PARLIAMENTARIAN AND FORMER JOURNALIST, COMPLAINED THAT ARAB 
SATELLITE TV COVERAGE PERPETUATES THE PERCEPTION THAT ARABS BLAME 
KUWAIT FOR THE WAR.  AL SAQR THEN ACCUSED THE MAJORITY OF ARAB 
SATELLITE TV STATIONS OF SUPPORTING ONLY IRAQ. 
 
¶3.  DUBAI TV AND RADIO WILL AIR A 12-HOUR TELETHON ENTITLED "OUR 
PEOPLE IN IRAQ." TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HUMANITARIAN AID.  THE 
PROGRAM WILL ACCEPT TELEPHONE CALLS FROM CONCERNED LISTENERS TO 
VOICE SUPPORT FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND PLEDGE DONATIONS. 
 
¶4.  UNDER THE HEADLINE "A CONVENTION FOR ALL," DUBAI-BASED 
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE DAILY "GULF NEWS" EDITORIALIZED 3/25: 
 
"IT SEEMS THAT THE GEORGE W. BUSH CAMP SUFFERS FROM A MASSIVE 
MEMORY LAPSE IN DEMANDING THAT ITS CAPTURED SOLDIERS BE TREATED 
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GENEVA CONVENTION ... THE U.S. STAND IS 
IRONIC IN THAT ITS PAST ACTIONS IN RELATION TO POWS DO NOT 
MEASURE UP TO THOSE HIGH STANDARDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY 
...  AMONG A CATALOGUE OF ABUSES IN THIS REGARD IS THE TREATMENT 
METED OUT IN 2001 TO PRISONERS HELD AT MAZAR-E-SHARIF IN 
AFGHANISTAN ... ANOTHER EXAMPLE IS THAT OF THE MORE THAN 650 
DETAINERS HELD AT GUANTANAMO BAY.  THE FIRST PICTURES SHOWED THEM 
BLINDFOLDED, SHACKLED, AND CHAINED IN SIX-BY-EIGHT-FOOT CAGES 
EXPOSED TO THE ELEMENTS.  RUMSFELD HAD SAID THEN THAT HE DID NOT 
'FEEL THE SLIGHTEST CONCERN' FOR THE PRISONERS' TREATMENT." 
 
¶5.  CLAIMING THE U.S. BELIEVES OIL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE, 
SHARJAH-BASED PAN-ARAB DAILY "AL-KHALEEJ" EDITORIALIZED 3/25: 
 
"... (THE U.S. BELIEVES THAT) OIL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PEOPLE, 
AND CHANGING THE WHOLE REGION WILL BE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE 
PEOPLE AND THEIR RIGHTS.  THIS IS AN OCCUPIER'S POLICY, WHICH IS 
RENEWED AUTOMATICALLY OVER THE DECADES.  THIS POLICY USES KILLING 
AND DESTRUCTION AS ITS TOOLS, IN ADDITION TO CHEATING, DECEIVING, 
AND HYPOCRISY ... ROBBING THE IRAQI PEOPLE OF THE RESOURCES OF 
IRAQ IS THE MAIN GOAL, WHICH IS THE FIRST OF THE PLANNED 
OBJECTIVES FOR OCCUPYING IRAQ.  AT THE SAME TIME, THE REGION IS 
FACING THE CONTINUED OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE SINCE 1948 ..." 
 
¶6.  IN AN "AL-KHALEEJ" OP-ED ON IRAQ, UAE COLUMNIST DR. 
ABDULKHALEQ ABDULA WROTE 3/25: 
 
"... IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE LARGE MAJORITY OF IRAQIS WANT SADDAM 
TOPPLED BUT NOT BY GEORGE BUSH AND HIS SOLDIERS AND SURELY NOT 
WITH WAR, DESTRUCTION, AND KILLING.  MOREOVER, THEY DO NOT WANT 
THIS THROUGH THE APPOINTMENT OF A MILITARY OR CIVIL GOVERNOR OF 
BAGHDAD ... IF THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ DECIDE THAT THEY ARE DEFENDING 
IRAQ AND ITS INDEPENDENCE AND CONSIDER THE U.S. TROOPS AS 
OCCUPIERS, THEN THE BATTLE WILL BE VERY LONG, AND THE U.S. TROOPS 
WILL BE DEFEATED AND FACE LOSSES EXCEEDING ALL EXPECTATIONS.  BUT 
IF THE IRAQI PEOPLE DECIDE THAT THIS IS A BATTLE FOR THE IRAQI 
REGIME AND NOT FOR THE SAKE OF THE COUNTRY, THEN THE WAR WILL NOT 
GO ON FOR LONG AND WILL LEAD TO THE FALL OF BAGHDAD IN LESS THAN 
A MONTH." 
 
¶7.  CRITICIZING U.S. POLICY FOR THE WAR ON IRAQ AND THE REGION, 
UAE COLUMNIST AYSHA SULTAN WROTE IN "AL BAYAN" 3/25: 
 
"... THEY (AMERICANS) WANTED IT TO BE A FAST WAR, WHERE THEY 
COULD TRY THEIR NEW WEAPONS OF DESTRUCTION AGAINST THE IRAQI 
PEOPLE AND THE REGION.  WHAT IS IMPORTANT (FOR THE U.S.) IS TO 
TEST THEIR WEAPONS AND OCCUPY IRAQ AS A STARTING POINT FOR THE 
REST OF THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES IN AN ATTEMPT TO FULFILL THE 
DREAM OF PRODUCING COUNTRIES AND ADMINISTRATIONS SUITING AMERICAN 
TASTES, SINCE THE ARAB-MUSLIM INCLINATION IS CONSIDERED RETARDED 
AND NOT QUALIFIED TO DEAL WITH THE ZIONISTS AND AMERICANS IN A 
CIVILIZED MANNER ..." 
 
WAHBA