DE RUEHSG #2536 3411918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071918Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0518
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 002536
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA, PM
STATE FOR INL, INR/R/MR, NEA/IR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO OPRC PTER CI IR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - IRAQ STUDY GROUP REPORT
1. On December 7, conservative, independent "La Tercera" (circ.
101,000) ran an editorial entitled, "Change of Strategy in the War
in Iraq." Quotes:
2. "The results of the Baker-Hamilton Commission were released....
The tone of the document...concurs with that of the new Secretary of
Defense, who said the United States is losing the war.
3. "A dispassionate analysis of the situation in Iraq shows that
violence...is preventing the state from functioning, has virtually
paralyzed the country, and is undermining reconstruction efforts.
The bipartisan panel...acknowledges this..., reaffirms the view that
an immediate and unilateral withdrawal would leave a vacuum that
could worsen violence, admits that the U.S. by itself cannot put an
end to that violence..., and is emphatic that foreign elements such
as Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups are not responsible for this
violence.... It is positive that the White House itself
commissioned the report, because it shows a willingness not to
insist on an unsuccessful strategy.... The White House said it
would study the Commission's proposal, but noted that there is a
similar Pentagon report that must be considered. No one is
suggesting hasty actions, but the prognosis is widely known and
sufficiently strong to launch a change in strategy. The
Baker-Hamilton proposals are not easy to implement, but do show the
need for a strong change in direction on how the United States
addresses the conflict in Iraq."