INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Media Reaction On President Bush's Remakrs at The

Published: Tue 18 Nov 2003 09:03 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SANAA 002730
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA AND
S/CT
CENTCOM FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PHUM PTER KISL YM DEMOCRATIC REFORM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION ON PRESIDENT BUSH'S REMAKRS AT THE
NATIOANL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (NED).
NEA/PPD FOR MQUINN, JKINCANNON, TROBERTS
1. SUMMARY: U.S. President George W. Bush's remarks at the
National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on November 6th have
been mentioned in government, opposition and independent
papers. The opposition and independent papers, some of
which are anti-American, published excerpts of the speech.
Most papers carried commentary focusing primarily on "the US
bias to Israel" which many papers believe is responsible for
a growing anti-U.S. sentiment in the region. Yemeni
organizers of an international human rights/democracy
conference set for January 4 (to be funded and jointly
sponsored by the E.U.) are citing the speech as an important
boost for their efforts (see reftel).END SUMMARY.
2. Under the title "U.S. President calls for political
reforms in the region and lauds the multi party system in
Yemen," Al-Thawra official daily (11/07) published a front-
page report covering Bush's remarks on democracy for the
Middle East.
3. "Al-Thawra" of 11/08 cited reactions to the speech in
Jordan, Egypt and Iran all indicating that the main reason
for the growing anti-US sentiments in the Arab region is
"the total U.S. bias toward Israel."
4. "Al-Thawra" published on November 11 an op-ed article
indicating that Bush's remarks were not very much welcomed
by the Arabs "and were received by suspicion especially with
regard to his remarks on freedom and democracy in the Arab
world." The paper added that the US credibility will be
assessed based on its policies toward Israel. "All the
Arabs bear no hatred toward the American people but toward
the US political bias to Israel which made all Arabs and
Muslims very suspicious of the U.S. policies in the region."
Al-Thawra added that: "If the U.S. wants its policies to
gain acceptance and support in the Arab world it has to take
one single step which is to force Israel to withdraw from
occupied Palestine and to comply with Security Council
resolutions and peace accords." "Only then" Al-Thawra added
"Arabs will give a round of applause to President Bush's
speech" al-Thawra concluded.
5. "Al-Shura", weekly of the Popular Forces Union, (November
9)published an op-ed titled "Bush markets democracy to the
region" commenting specifically on Bush's remarks regarding
the multi party system in Yemen. Al-Shura indicated that
"the US's growing interest in Yemen in the context of
democracy confirms that the U.S. wants to use Yemen as a
regional center to implement its strategy that failed in
Iraq."
6. "Annas" independent weekly (11/10) published an op-ed
article saying that Bush has revealed in his speech "the
US's bad intentions toward Syria and Iran." The article
indicated that "the proposed U.S. democratic reforms for the
region cannot yet be implemented in countries that still
hold political prisoners, unfair elections and high poverty
rates." The article rejected Bush's remarks "since the
White House is as much corrupt as the Arab Regimes are."
7. Without commenting on the content, "Al-Sahwa" weekly
(11/13, mouthpiece of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform -
Islah) published a major part of the speech.
8. "Ra'ay" weekly (mouthpiece of the Rabita party) published
excerpts of the speech highlighting Bush's remarks on
democracy for the Middle East as stated in the speech such
as: "the United States has adopted a new policy: a forward
strategy of freedom in the Middle East that requires the
same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown
before ... and it will yield the same results." The paper
criticized the speech for ignoring "the Israeli practices
against the Palestinians."
MISENHEIMER
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