Viewing cable 05MUSCAT206
Title: MUSCAT SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION: RESPONSE TO PRESIDENTIAL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT2062005-02-07 05:43:00 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 000206 
 
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 PREL MU
SUBJECT: MUSCAT SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION: RESPONSE TO PRESIDENTIAL 
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS 
 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. Arabic and English language print media in Oman gave extensive 
coverage to President Bush's State Of The Union Address, 
particularly the sections of the speech relating to Iraq and the 
Middle East Peace Process.  Most coverage focused on his warnings 
to Iran and Syria. Many articles were critical of the 
Administration's focus on reform in the Middle East. However, at 
least one article specifically hailed the President's call for an 
independent Palestinian state.  End Summary. 
 
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An Empire Speaks 
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¶2. On February 4, privately-owned Arabic daily "Al-Watan" carried 
an editorial entitled, "Policy of a Great Empire": 
 
"The influence of the United States stretches to all parts of the 
world.  Thus, foreign policy took a prominent role in President 
Bush's State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress.  In 
addition to discussing domestic issues, the speech addressed the 
U.S. position on the war on terror, democratic reform, freedom, 
and human rights.  A large percentage of the speech was also 
dedicated to the situation in Iraq, the U.S. position on Iran and 
the Middle East Peace Process.  The speech was well delivered; 
however, there were clear inconsistencies between what Bush said 
and reality.   His remarks called for freedom and democracy. 
However, in the case of Palestinians, the U.S. sees their freedom 
as secondary to the desires of Israel.  America applauds itself 
for ousting Saddam Hussein from power.  However, in Latin America 
and other countries in the world, the U.S. has systematically 
supported dictatorships that have had no respect for democracy or 
human rights.  America calls for the Iraqi people to take charge 
of their own future.  However, it openly interferes in Iran's 
internal policies.  The reality is that under the Bush 
Administration, the whole world falls under U.S. policy.  The 
real test for America is whether it will accept new democracies 
that have views different from its own." 
 
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Words of War 
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¶3. On February 4, the privately-owned Arabic daily "Al-Watan" 
published an editorial entitled, "The American Speech of War": 
 
"President Bush's State Of The Union Address clearly indicates 
his view of what the Arab and Islamic world will look like in the 
future.  It also hinted at the wars that the U.S. will launch to 
achieve these changes.  What was missing was a clear statement 
that Syria and Iran will be the next targets of the American 
military...  America is not afraid to launch wars because it 
knows that its superior military will win easily." 
 
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Time For Change 
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¶4. The government-owned Arabic daily "Oman" carried an editorial 
reported by the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies on February 4 
under the title "Bush Speech and Signs of Change In the American 
Position": 
 
"The American President's speech gave an overview of U.S. foreign 
policy objectives, particularly in relation to democratic reform 
in this region.  The focus on reform could be good for the 
Palestinians because it may mean that the U.S. Administration 
will support a free and independent Palestinian state not only 
through words, but through deeds.  The U.S. may even oblige 
Israel to do the same.  This is a clear shift from historical 
policy regarding Palestine.  Nevertheless, the speech provoked a 
lot of controversy because of its talk of war." 
 
BALTIMORE