Viewing cable 05MUSCAT795
Title: MEDIA REACTION: DESECRATIONS, OPERATIONS, MACHINATIONS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT7952005-05-17 05:26:00 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 000795 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PPD, NEA/P, INR/R/MR 
 
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH 
PARIS FOR ZEYA 
USCENTCOM FOR PLUSH 
FOREIGN PRESS CENTER FOR ASILAS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO KMDR OIIP MU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: DESECRATIONS, OPERATIONS, MACHINATIONS 
 
 
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Guantanamo Bay Allegations 
-------------------------- 
 
¶1. Two pieces on the alleged Quran desecration at Guantanamo Bay 
appeared on the editorial page of the privately-owned Arabic 
daily "al-Watan" on May 15.  The first, entitled "Quran 
Desecration and al-Aqsa," was written by Lebanese columnist 
Zuhair Majid: 
 
"It is a season of desecration for all the sanctuaries and 
shrines that Muslims hold sacred.  First was the al-Aqsa mosque, 
and now it is the Quran.  This represents a re-awakening of 
attempts to downsize Islam and to paralyze its reach.  Since the 
Crusaders decided to `win the east' and use force to bring down 
the Muslims, we have seen attempts like these throughout history. 
The apology of the Americans for what their soldiers did at 
Guantanamo is not enough; nor are a few demonstrations in Islamic 
countries sufficient to express our outrage." 
 
¶2. Jordanian writer Mohammed Amairah penned the second piece, 
entitled "The Crime in Guantanamo": 
 
"What happened in Guantanamo is an unforgivable crime.  Those who 
committed this act should be punished.  It is strange that these 
attacks against holy Islamic places and books do not seem to be 
provoking strong actions on the part of Muslims worldwide.  For 
example, the Israelis have been desecrating the Al-Aqsa mosque 
continuously, from the time it was set on fire 35 years ago to 
the present day, where Jewish extremists are allowed to storm the 
mosque under the protection of Ariel Sharon." 
 
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Not Bullish On Iraq 
------------------- 
 
¶3. "Al-Watan" also published an editorial on May 15 under the 
headline "The Civilian Massacre of Operation Matador": 
 
"The massacre called `Operation Matador' claimed many victims, 
including women, children, businessmen, scholars, and other 
civilians.  Besides the killings, many other individuals were 
forced to flee Iraq to the borders of other countries.  The 
confused nature of the operation meant that conflicting reports 
were inevitable.  Many analysts and witnesses confirmed that 
Operation Matador targeted the civilian sector, while the 
Americans said they were only hunting Iraqi rebels wearing 
military uniforms.  The Americans acknowledged that the operation 
took place in the area where cash and weapons are smuggled 
between Syria and Iraq.  We are led to the conclusion that 
American forces believed the civilian casualties were justified 
since they were smugglers and infiltrators." 
 
---------------- 
Going In Reverse 
---------------- 
 
¶4. On May 11, the government-owned Arabic daily "Oman" carried an 
editorial entitled "Israeli Maneuvers Hinder Peace Process": 
 
"In a time when the Palestinian National Authority is working 
towards fulfilling its commitments under the Roadmap, it seems 
that Ariel Sharon wants to reverse course.  He announced the 
postponement of the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza 
Strip to next year; and he refused to release the 400 Palestinian 
prisoners as agreed under the Sharm al-Sheikh accords.  In 
addition, Foreign Minister Shalom, who has always privately 
opposed the withdrawal plan, has now publicly stated his doubts 
that Israel will withdraw from Gaza, particularly if Hamas wins 
the legislative elections next July." 
 
BALTIMORE