Germany Rankles After Rumsfeld Comments
Thursday February 6, 2003
BERLIN (AP) - After Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld lumped Germany
in with Libya and Cuba as die-hard opponents of war on Iraq, the German
opposition accused Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Thursday of isolating the
country with his anti-war stance.
Rumsfeld's remark in congressional testimony Wednesday was his latest
slap at Schroeder's left-leaning government, which has refused to contribute
German troops to an Iraq war and has made plain it won't back a war
authorization in the United Nations.
While deploring Rumsfeld's tone, the conservative opposition gladly
seized on the remark to criticize Schroeder.
``One doesn't always have to like the American rhetoric,'' Wolfgang
Schaeuble, a lawmaker and former leader of the main opposition Christian
Democrats, said on MDR radio. ``But the fact is that, unfortunately, that is how
we are behaving.''
``Alarm bells should ring in Berlin when Germany is placed on the same
level as countries like Cuba and Libya,'' said Michael Glos, parliamentary
leader of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union.
Taking up the refrain of the conservatives who were narrowly defeated by
Schroeder on an anti-war platform in last year's election, he accused the
chancellor of leading Germany into diplomatic isolation.
Rumsfeld was asked at the congressional hearing what kind of cooperation
the Bush administration could expect from other nations in the event of a war.
He listed several he considered supportive and others he thought might come
around to backing the operation.
``And then there are three or four countries
that have said they won't do anything. I believe Libya, Cuba and Germany are the
ones that I have indicated won't help in any respect,''
Rumsfeld told the House Armed Services Committee.
The Berlin government had no immediate response to Rumsfeld, who angered
many in Germany and France last month by describing those countries as problem
allies symbolizing ``old Europe.''
Winfried Nachtwei, a lawmaker from the Greens, Schroeder's junior
coalition partner, called Rumsfeld's remark ``out of line'' and urged him to
tone down his rhetoric.
A revealing cartoon
by the American cartoonist Danziger, February 4, 2003
THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE
BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE THE BOTTOM LINE