Viewing cable 05MUSCAT125
Title: MUSCAT MEDIA REACTION: DISASTERS, DISTRUST, AND

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT1252005-01-24 12:18:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000125 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), NEA/P 
(FFINVER), INR/R/MR 
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH 
PARIS FOR ZEYA 
USCENTCOM FOR PLUSH 
FOREIGN PRESS CENTER/ASILAS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO KMDR OIIP MU
SUBJECT: MUSCAT MEDIA REACTION: DISASTERS, DISTRUST, AND 
DEMOCRACY 
 
 
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The Pain of Disasters 
--------------------- 
 
¶1. The privately-owned Arabic daily "Al-Watan" published an 
editorial on January 23 entitled, "Disasters Get Smaller Except 
in Iraq and Palestine": 
 
"It is said that disasters seem smaller with the passage of time, 
but it is more likely that our hopes grow larger to erase the 
pain caused by disasters.  However, in places like Iraq and 
Palestine, the opposite seems to occur ... pain grows stronger 
instead of diminishing.  Palestinians stopped launching missiles 
against Israel to facilitate negotiations between the two sides. 
In response, Israel threatened more attacks.  Election Day in 
Iraq is fast approaching with its promise of self-determination, 
but the unstable political situation suggests that violence and 
pain will continue to prevail there even after the election." 
 
 
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Peace Ball in Israel's Court 
---------------------------- 
 
¶2. On January 24, privately-owned Arabic daily "Al-Watan" carried 
an editorial entitled, "Do Not Help Israel Get What It Wants": 
 
"At a time when Mahmood Abbas is working to ensure that there is 
real progress in the Palestinian dialogue and the Palestinians 
are close to a ceasefire agreement, Israeli officials are sending 
confusing, contradictory, and mysterious messages that suggest 
bad news is in the offing.  Sharon made new threats to attack the 
Palestinian territories in response to a possible attack, and his 
senior advisor (Zalman Shoufal) openly expressed skepticism about 
Abbas' ability to stop attacks against Israel.  Only Peres has 
made positive statements about Abu Mazen, indicating that his 
party is the only one that really wants peace.  The fact that 
Peres is the only one that has spoken about peace with optimism 
shows that Israel is embarrassed that the ball is in its court." 
 
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Will Reform End Terror? 
----------------------- 
 
¶3. On January 24, the government-owned Arabic daily "Oman" 
carried an editorial under the heading, "Will Calls for Change 
Lead to Destruction?": 
 
"According to America, terror attacks in the Middle East indicate 
that the region is a spawning ground for terrorists and an 
exporter of evildoers.  For this reason, America has developed a 
two-pronged strategy for dealing with the issue.  First, it 
declared war against anyone who represents a real or imaginary 
threat. Then it introduced reform projects such as the Middle 
East Partnership Initiative to address many of the region's 
problems.  The Bush Administration was aware that its war against 
terror, particularly Arab and Islamic terror, would further 
alienate it from the people of this region.  To make things more 
palatable to Arabs, Bush opted to focus his reform efforts on 
issues dear to the Arab heart like democracy, the empowerment of 
women, and political participation." 
 
STEWART