Troubled German-American Relationships And the Upcoming War With Iraq

Yesterday, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had been wiretapped by NSA in late 2002 when former President George W. Bush had been angered by Schröder who had publicly made sure that Germany’s transatlantic loyalty has its limits and he and his coalition of Social Democrats and the Green Party would not be available for further adventures (the upcoming war with Iraq); and Herta Däubler-Gmelin, then Minister of Justice in Schröder’s Cabinet who had compared G.W. Bush’s propaganda methods with those of Adolf Hitler.

While such a comparison is of course outrageous since Hitler’s WWII and the extermination of six million Jews must not be compared with estimated  just 120,000-134,000 civilian deaths in the illegal war with Iraq with its made-up claims of former dictator Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Däubler-Gmelin had shown remarkable far-sightedness and Schröder was, after all, deadly right. While Däubler-Gmelin had to resign after a sort of apology by her boss, Schröder had been called in 2007 a “political prostitute” by Holocaust survivor and Democratic lawmaker late Tom Lantos for his relationship with the Russian Gazprom Company after his party had lost the 2005 election in Germany.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is well-advised not to downplay the current irritation in German-U.S. American relationship for diplomatic reasons. The ever growing NSA global mass surveillance scandal is not likely to go away by appeasement. Whether her mobile phone had been tapped or that of Schröder or his Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is rather irrelevant. Merkel represents the people in Germany who do not want to be surveilled. She should show some backbone as her predecessor did.

5 February 2014 @ 6:15 pm.
Last modified February 5, 2014.
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