UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001189
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION IRAQ; UN AND GUANTANAMO;
CHINA; THE US AND LATIN AMERICA; US IMMIGRATION BILL;
MR. WAYNE AND ARGENTINA; AFGHANISTAN; MERCOSUR
Â¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend papers cover an interview with journalist
Robert Fisk on the war in Iraq; the UN asking the US
to close the Guantanamo prison; the US/Latin American
ties in the opinion of Argentine President Nestor
Kirchner; the impact of the USG decision to militarize
the US/Mexican border; Mr. Wayne's concerns about
Argentina; the war in Afghanistan; and the current
fragile status of Mercosur.
Â¶2. OPINION PIECES AND KEY STORIES
- "'The only thing occupation forces want to do is get
out of Iraq'"
Eleonora Gosman, on special assignment in Sao Paulo
for leading "Clarin," makes an interview with Robert
Fisk, foreign correspondent in the Middle East, who
opines (05/21) "... 'Many American and British
soldiers will die before troops leave. Insurgence has
almost 40,000 men and if Shiites join Sunnis they
could be 200,000, which is exactly the number of
occupation forces. Occupying forces are living in real
fortresses and live under the land.'
"... 'Arabs lost their fear to resist and the US
project seems exhausted.'"
- "The UN asks the US to close the Guantanamo prison"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (05/20) "The UN
Committee against Torture asked the US yesterday to
close Guantanamo prison in Cuba and asked Washington
to eliminate all forms of mistreatment against
detainees, as well as to avoid the use of secret
prisons in its global war on terrorism.
"... Human rights organizations believe there are some
460 detainees in Guantanamo, some of whom have stayed
there for more than four years without any charges
filed against them."
- "The next empire"
Marcelo Cantelmi, international editor of leading
"Clarin," writes (05/21) "China is leading a crucial
change in the world. Its growth is part of a long
economic cycle that impacts all over the world.
"Oil prices are owed to this capitalistic revolution
launched by the biggest communist political structure
of the world.
"In this framework, one should analyze the value of
the gigantic dam they have just built disregarding
social or environmental costs.
"The purpose is to attend to the giant's voracity of
energy and food.
"The question is where the giant will stop. The only
certainty is that it will be the next empire."
- "The region and the US"
Left-of-center "Pagina 12" carries an interview with
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, who opines
(05/21) "... I believe there will be an interesting
political change in the US. I think the role of Brazil
and Venezuela is very important for the region... The
US has not even remembered about the region, this is
reality. It proposes FTAs that are unacceptable in the
current framework. With a different US, one that could
be more integrated to the region, everything would be
"Asked whether the fact that the US has not set its
eyes on the region may have been a circumstantial
relative advantage, Kirchner answers 'It is a relative
advantage with this policy, and it is a relative
disadvantage if there is a more integrating policy for
- "South, a wall, and after that..."
Jorge Elias, columnist of daily-of-record "La Nacion,"
writes (05/21) "... Globalization, ruled by an alleged
freedom of movement, turned out to the be the victim
of a cruel contradiction - if Germany's reunification
and the end of the Soviet Union were reasons to be
glad, why do the wealthiest countries fence the
Southern border... vis--vis the virtual risk posed by
an invasion of those who, due to the lack of
opportunities in their countries of origin, have to
abandon their homes and families in search for a
"... Every wall means a more or less painful scar that
protects some while expelling others. Neither the US
nor Australia, nor Mexico, nor Argentina, nor any
other country that was generous with immigrants would
not have conceived of with walls."
- "US: racist groups increase and Hispanics are the
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading
"Clarin," writes (05/22) "... The latest pro-
immigration demonstrations that took place in several
cities of the US demonstrated the extreme racism still
prevailing in some US groups. In response to those
demonstrations, the neo-Nazi Movement, the Ku Klux
Klan, the Skinheads and other reactionary groups
openly called to terrorist violence including
operations with car bombs, attacks with machine guns,
and murders of members of the US congress and Senate.
"According to a former journalist of The Miami Herald
and the USA Today who now works for the Southern
Poverty Law Center, 'The number of neo-Nazi groups
operating in the US went from 762 in 2004 to 803 in
Â¶2005. During the last five years there has been a 33%
increase. There are many reasons to explain this
increase, but the increase in the number of Hispanic
immigrants is the most important one.'"
- "K(irchner)'s Braden"
Jorge Lanata, contributor to centrist "Perfil," writes
(05/21) "... Mr. Wayne does not speak Spanish and does
not know our region well but, according to him, during
his job as US Assistant Secretary for Economic and
Business Affairs during the Clinton administration,
'the first thing I used to do in the morning was check
what was going on with the Argentine economy'...
"Mr. Wayne is concerned about Kirchner's ties with
Hugo Chavez, although he knows from Argentine
Government officials that 'with Venezuela we only do
business, our partnership is not ideological.'
"... According to former diplomat and writer Albino
Gomez, 'Peron was an opportunist without any ideology,
not even a fascist. This is why it was highly
advisable for both Braden and Peron to come to an
agreement regardless of what could have publicly been
said about their relationship.'
"... The official history of Braden 'versus' Peron has
been questioned for good reason - several historians
agree to make Braden appear as engaged in conflict
with Peron, while both did good business together
(just as it has been recently with Kirchner's
enemies)... Peron granted airline concessions to his
'enemy' Braden and the two of them reached a deal on
- "Afghanistan again"
Liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald"
carries an opinion piece by contributor Gwynne Dyer,
who writes (05/229 "The Taliban are back. The
resurgence of Taliban attacks in the Pashto-speaking
provinces of southern and eastern Afghanistan means
that US and other foreign troops in Afghanistan are
now taking casualties at the same rate as US troops in
Iraq... This was entirely predictable, but almost
impossible to prevent given the strategy that the US
has pursued since overthrowing the Taliban regime in
late 2001. On the other hand, no alternative strategy
could have offered a guarantee of success in
"Afghanistan was always the problem from hell for
Western strategists, as it was in earlier times for
British and Russian strategists. It is an easy country
to invade, but an almost impossible country to occupy
".. Would the situation improve if they all went home?
No; it will probably just jog along as a low-level
guerrilla, with occasional peaks of violence like the
present and no end in sight. Damned if you do, and
damned if you don't."
- "'One should keep a cautious distance from the US
and not being hostile to it'"
Telma Luzzani makes an interview with Brazilian
political analyst Helio Jaguaribe, who opines (05/21)
"'South American integration cannot be performed with
a negative, anti-US ideological sign, which will lead
nowhere. It must be carried out under the sign of
regional autonomy. And this means to keep a cautious
distance from Washington, but not being hostile to it.
Americans have the resources to torpedo this
- "Why is Mercosur fainting"
Leading "Clarin" carries an op-ed piece by Marta
Bekerman, professor of Economic Development, School of
Economic Sciences, National University of Buenos
Aires, who writes (05/22) "Uruguay's announcement that
it will start a trade liberalization process with the
US does nothing but deepen Mercosur's critical
"... The process started with the Brazilian
devaluation and the crisis of neo-liberal policies
implies the end of a model of Mercosur and a form of
administration that is typical of the '90s.
"... What this has demonstrated is that trade
liberalization itself does not have the virtuous
effect of diluting asymmetries and even less
- "The control of hot borders"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (05/22) "The
tough anti-immigration measures taken by the US in
recent days reflect an increasing concern about
illegal immigration and its effects on the US economy
"... The USG decision to militarize the US-Mexican
border targets the police aspect of the problem but
clearly it does not solve it. It also implies a view
that could generate discrimination and biases and that
does not honor the US multicultural tradition."
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