• Germany's news in English

Schröder hits back, saying Bush lied

Published: 09 Nov 2010 18:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2010 07:00 GMT+01:00

"Former American President Bush is not telling the truth," Schröder said in a statement released late on Tuesday.

Bush said in his memoirs that he told Schröder in an Oval Office meeting in January 2002 he was determined to make diplomacy work but cautioned that while the military option was Washington's last choice, he would use it if necessary.

"What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq," Bush quotes Schröder as saying. "Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you."

Schröder was against the March 2003 invasion, stridently rejecting what he branded a military "adventure", and his opposition is seen as one of the main reasons for his re-election in September 2002.

"I continued to work with Gerhard Schröder on areas of mutual interest. But as someone who valued personal diplomacy, I put a high premium on trust. Once that trust was violated, it was hard to have a constructive relationship again," Bush says in his book "Decision Points" released on Tuesday.

Schröder confirmed that he had told Bush that he would "stand reliably on the side of the US" if it was confirmed that Iraq was sheltering those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

"But this link, as it became clear during 2002, was false and contrived. This goes for reasons (for the invasion) given by Bush and (vice president Dick) Cheney too.

"As we know today, the Bush administration's reasons for the Iraq war were based on lies."

France's then-president Jacques Chirac also opposed the war, and a deep transatlantic rift ensued until the end of Schröder's tenure and the election of Angela Merkel as chancellor in 2005, when relations began to thaw.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:18 November 9, 2010 by Eagle1
Sadly, Germany's leaders were happy to leave Hussein in power. Never mind that Saddam was a maniac who killed hundreds of thousands of Shiites and Kurds, that he repeatedly ignored UN resolutions, or that he was prepared to restart his nuclear program as soon as inspectors went away. As long as Iraq paid off the billions that it owed to Germany and continued to hire German companies for Iraq-based projects, that's all that mattered.
19:33 November 9, 2010 by crm114
The former Iraqi president may have been a bit of a rough diamond but do you really think that the world is now or is ever likely to be a better, safer place since your dingbat former president got his paws on the controls?
19:51 November 9, 2010 by Canadianhaggis
Saddam was a totally controlled dictator surrounded by American troops and a no fly zone overhead after the first war. And later Swedish diplomat Hans Martin Blix investigated all of Iraq and found no weapons chemical or otherwise in that country so there was no need of another invasion. Saddam may have killed thousands of his own people,but since the Americans invaded and have now left over a half a million civilian me women and children have been killed and is still going on. The country is in total ruin and all the different religious factions are killing each other to try to get control of Iraq and the oil. With Saddam there,he had a tight lid on all the factions. they were more afraid of him . and maybe that was not so bad.
19:55 November 9, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Let's not forget that it also made Iran a major power of influence in Iraq.

No, no matter which way you cut it, the Iraq war was a major mistake, and this was already well known, judging by all the CIA analysis after the first Gulf War that counseled keeping Hussein in power to be a much better decision.
20:37 November 9, 2010 by Nemo2010
The only mistake made in the Iraq war was stopping at Iran's border! I could perhaps add to that that America should have helped herself to all the oil as payment for freeing the people from a megalomaniac and as part payment for all the American know-how that made it possible for the Arabs to make money off the oil...
21:21 November 9, 2010 by Eagle1
19:33 November 9, 2010 by crm114

"The former Iraqi president may have been a bit of a rough diamond but . . . ."

HA! "Rough diamond." Please. Like Hitler was a rough diamond. How silly.

19:51 November 9, 2010 by Canadianhaggis

"Saddam was a totally controlled dictator"

Wrong. Again - He repeatedly ignored UN resolutions, including those pertaining to short-range missiles. The cowards and those with economic interests (France, Germany, Russia, China) refused to take action.

"Hans Martin Blix investigated all of Iraq and found no weapons chemical or otherwise in that country so there was no need of another invasion."

Before he was executed, Saddam admitted that, to gain leverage, he wanted the international community to believe that he had such weapons. Oops. That backfired. Regardless, anyone who thinks that this guy, in a few years, wouldn't have developed a chemical and/or nuclear arsenal has his head up his ass. One need only look to North Korea and Iran as proof of that.

"Saddam may have killed thousands of his own people"

Wrong. The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq under Saddam.

"[S]ince the Americans invaded and have now left over a half a million civilian men women and children have been killed and is still going on."

Wrong again. It's around 100,000, and most of that is due to Al Queda knuckleheads. http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

"The country is in total ruin. . . ."

It is not. It is now a democratic country trying to get on its feet that no longer is a threat to the world. Further, normalcy is returning. By example, regular flights from Europe have begun.

22:33 November 9, 2010 by crm114
eagle1 - and of course Uncle Sam's interests in Iraq were entirely altruistic.

Getting back to the article, its interesting to see that Schröder has now all but called Dubya a liar, not that we needed any confirmation of that. The fact of the matter is that Schröder had the temerity to stand his ground and say what his nation and others thought, unlike the fawning evangelist in-chief sat in Whitehall.

For that he deserves credit not condemnation.
23:46 November 9, 2010 by Deutschguy
The removal of Saddam was not worth the price the US paid. Had the US been polled on whether or not we wanted to kill 4,000 US soldiers, wound 31,000 of them, create 2 million refugees, unleash a slaughter and/or otherwise extinguish the lives of 600,000 Iraqi innocents, we would have said no.

That leaves aside the trillions we will spend there and the amounts we will spend now on wounded Veteran's health care.

From the IraqBodyCount website: "The IBC site states: "it should be noted that many deaths will probably go unreported or unrecorded by officials and media." Other studies have found much higher death rates. And, remember, before the US invaded, there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Bush is on his book tour to whitewash his own complicity in war crimes and to excuse the invasion based on "faulty intelligence". Three separate government agency investigations showed that there were no WMDs in Iraq at least 3 months prior to invasion. And, no, you can't compare a contained Saddam, facing a revolt against him both south and north and no-fly zones, to North Korea.

Bush is either lying or was so drunk/ hungover that Cheney could have led him to believe anything (and did).
23:56 November 9, 2010 by crm114
Godwins in seven moves - checkmate. Good effort Eagle
00:30 November 10, 2010 by DEACON6825
Eagle1 must have got, all his INFO, from the FOX comedy channel!!!
01:13 November 10, 2010 by ReaderX
Wow people still crying about George Bush.

Let it go.
01:14 November 10, 2010 by Blaueauge
"The former Iraqi president may have been a bit of a rough diamond"

This comment must be a joke. Either that or it is the belief of someone with

very little knowledge of the man.
02:53 November 10, 2010 by hanskarl
Well now, two different political systems and philosophy of government. Three thousand miles difference in distance between Germany and the US versus Iraq. The US was terrorized and not Germany in this instance. Quite a change don't you think? Both countries with mainline news sources feeding the public the glop they want them to hear.

I understand German apprehension where there have been more terrorist acts due to its proximity to the Middle East and its porous borders (EU). Add to that a plethora of refugees (Kosovo and other Islamic countries) and a large Mideastern population plus the problems Germany has witness not just within its own borders but in neighbouring countries and it stands to reason that if one wants to win an election give the squeaky wheel the grease!!

And the most glaring difference was Germany was in the midst of an election, which prior to his change in direction, Fernsehen Schroeder was on the verge of losing. Pretty pragmatic choice if you ask me. That is what Schroeder did.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is how the Democrat Party "stood behind" then President Bush only to insert the dagger in the next election over this very situation. How ironic!!
04:46 November 10, 2010 by vonSchwerin
Schröder was a jerk about this. Of course, he had a right to disagree with Bush over Iraq. And Schröder may have been right in the end. But the USA and the FRG are close allies, and they should treat each other with respect.

Schröder could have disagreed with American policy without making it his main campaign issue in 2002. I remember hearing Schröder say over and over, "Wir sagen Nein zum Krieg gegen den Irak!" It became a bully pulpit issue and rhetorical punching bag for him during the election. I can see how Bush would be annoyed -- especially if Schröder did promise his support earlier.

Incidentally, I heard Schröder say in 2005, "Wir sagen Nein zu einem Krieg gegen Iran!" and thought, "Who the hell is talking about a war against Iran?" Is he going to play this card again? And we going to fall for it twice?
07:37 November 10, 2010 by eddmac
Shröder give us all some pride by not falling in with US neocons. The horror the yanks have created, firstly by putting Sadam in power and secondly by by the manner in which they toppled him, has left this world in a mess that will take 100 years or more so settle down.
08:07 November 10, 2010 by Portnoy
The intelligence the U.S. used to invade Iraq came from Germany. Then foreign minister Fischer told Rumsfeld publicly he didn't believe the intelligence, and Schroeder's resistance to the war should have been enough. But no, Bush went ahead. He should be up on war crimes charges, not a book tour.

Schroeder was only partially elected on the pacifist platform. His re-election was really related to his reaction to the floods in Dresden, much in the way Bush's non-reaction to Katrina stands as a metaphor for his entire crappy presidency.
08:27 November 10, 2010 by auniquecorn
Dubya, you are the man.
08:52 November 10, 2010 by jamano
Iraq under Saddam rule was a secular state with law and order. Now the country is violent chaotic place with no rules, everyday killings and religion extremists taking "justice" in their hands as their understanding is.
09:27 November 10, 2010 by catjones
911, Iraq, Katrina, Meltdown. Bush legacy. His incompetence is matched only by his hubris.
10:18 November 10, 2010 by nolibs
Sorry, but Schröder has no credibility. He sold out Germany's energy policies to the Russians and then took a fat-paying job after he was booted out of office. Some may call that treason.
10:38 November 10, 2010 by Gerd1965
Does anyone remember that Saddam was a great friend of the USA? As long as he was doing business in US terms and conditions he got every support he wanted to have. Attacking Kuwait was a big mistake from Saddam and based on a misunderstanding between Saddam and the USA. US governments were never bothered by human right violations as long as their partners were playing according to US business and power rules. Saddam never supported Al Quaida, he was a terrorist against some ethnic and religous groups in his own country (some of them supporting Al Quaida).

US "war against terror" in Iraq is nothing more than a lie and Bush is the biggest liar and a war criminal. It is so asthonishing to most european and also some US citizen that US people doesn't get that.
11:11 November 10, 2010 by annan1063
The George W. Bush era damaged the USA worse than any other President in history. PERIOD!
12:39 November 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Of course Bush lies about Schröder in "his" book. Bush lied to the American people and the rest of the world for eight years. In Bush's Owellian parallel universe, mendacity is a virtue. Now the smug little bastard is making the talk show rounds flogging his book and doubling down on the lies that are demonstrably provable. He should be in prison in the Hague.
13:18 November 10, 2010 by Heine Steinfeldt
One is a born liar, the other one should be a convicted liar. No one who has never been in war should be allowed to send troops into a war.
13:54 November 10, 2010 by ridac
My own definition of both is, Schröder is a politician that respect and follow the opinion of the majority he is leading. In the other hand Bush uses different approach, first build fear and lies throughout media based on the country own interests. Then command whats called Allies to join this war with reference to 'Either with us or against us'.

Unfortunately the consequences are not important as long as he can show after couple of weeks and say 'The war is over, mission accomplished", what an arrogant!

I really just feel sorry for the innocents ppl died in both side.
16:05 November 10, 2010 by tallady
Bush lied about the reasons for the war,was responsible for a Mac Truck load of disinformation and now he wants us to believe Schröder is the liar.. MY only surprise is how many nimrods believe this.
19:00 November 10, 2010 by ECSNatale
George Bush lied? Say it isn't so.
20:37 November 10, 2010 by biker hotel harz
Schröder was the only leader of note to stand up to that liar Bush whereas, that spineless sycophant Blair, just rolled over and waited for the US administration to fcku him and the British people up the ass!

Anybody who thinks differently has either spent the last few years living in a hole in the ground or is related to Bliar or Bush or both.

Bush had been looking for a 'legitimate' reason to invade Iraq and he got it with 9/11. OIl is the question (and the answer) but the figures unfortunately don't add up thanks mainly to corruption within the Iraq construction industry but also due to some verx lax accounting by the US army and private contractors like Blackwater

Last available figures for fiscal costs (per month) in Iraq (Feb 2010) were 5.5 billion US incidentally now outstripped by Afganistan (last figures available 6.7 billion US per month). Oil revenue accounts for nearly 95% of Iraqs income.

Note: Nearly 8,7billion US is still missing from the oil revenue accounts set up by the UN security council specifically to rebuild Iraqi infratructure.

Obvioulsly Hussein was a nasty piece of work but I think quite possibly the lesser of two evils. The country is in ruins, the body count continues and services don't work.

Shame I say on Bush AND the UN who folded like a deck of cards when pressured by the US administration.

What a mess!
22:55 November 10, 2010 by wxman
The echo echo chamber chamber. Hello hello?
23:44 November 10, 2010 by coot

This is probably the basis of Bush's claim. Schroeder is not in favor of the war because Iraq was not involved in the 9/11 attacks, but Bush kept saying it was so often that maybe he believed it. (Except for that one press conference where the reporter asked "Was Iraq involved in the 9/11 attacks?" and Bush answered "No.".)

And we all agree that Saddam Hussein was a very bad man, but that doesn't necessarily justify the war. If it did, there would be a coalition of the willing invading Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Sudan, .... The list goes on and even the USA doesn't have enough bombs...
08:07 November 11, 2010 by wood artist
There are very few people who would disagree with the statement that Saddam was a brutal dictator who rivaled Stalin and Hitler in his aggressive approach to dealing with his own people. His demise was certainly something to be celebrated.

However, it is equally accurate to say that the case Bush presented as justification for his actions in Iraq was based entirely upon falsehoods, lies, and, at best, inaccuracies. Given that, the war was started with, perhaps, the best of intentions but for the worse of reasons.

Setting aside all of that, and I'm not suggesting we can or should, the second fact remains: Bush had no plan for what should be done after the government of Iraq fell. The complete disaster that ensued was not an accident. It was the result of poor planning and a complete lack of insight into the situation.

I did not support going into Iraq, but I never feared for winning the war. Being a Vietnam veteran, I feared for winning the peace, and once again, the US demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of another culture. The lies that provided the foundation for the war only made it worse.

09:53 November 11, 2010 by Frenemy
"and even the USA doesn't have enough bombs"

...oh yes they do!

(and whatever is lacking in individual conventional GBUs can be compensated for in sheer megatons per warhead)
20:10 November 11, 2010 by hanskarl
"His re-election was really related to his reaction to the floods in Dresden, much in the way Bush's non-reaction to Katrina stands as a metaphor for his entire crappy presidency."

Bush reacted properly when he sent the responsible government agency FEMA to the state to work on the disaster of Katrina. Fernsehen Schroeder would have been there for a good photo shoot.

Some facts:

Over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana received more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion versus $1.4 billion for California, even though its population is more than seven times larger.

Bush administration's funding requests for the key New Orleans flood-control projects for the past five years were higher than the Clinton administration's for its past five years.

There was actually a plan to upgrade the miles of levees to Cat 5 standards, but that was multiple billions of dollars and more importantly 30 years to complete.

Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, has said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city, since its levees were only designed to protect against a Category 3 storm.
21:29 November 12, 2010 by DrGideonPolya
US think tanks have established that post-9-11 and prior to the US invasion of Iraq the Bush Administration told 935 lies about Iraq (Google "Bush told 935 lies")..

This latest Gerhard Schröder matter shows that war criminal and mass murderer Bush continues to lie.

UK Deputy PM Mick Clegg recently told the House of Commons that the Iraq invasion was illegal. Former head of the top UK intelligence agency MI5, Dame Elizabeth Manningham-Buller, recently told the UK Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War that there were no Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (as asserted by top UN weapons inspectors back in 2003) and that the Iraq invasion had increased the threat of terrorism.

It gets even worse. Scientific, engineering and intelligence experts provide compelling evidence that the US did 9-11 (indeed some say that the Israelis were also involved) (for details Google "US did 9-11").

20 years of US sanctions, war and occupation (1990-2010) have devastated Iraq with 4.4 million violent deaths or non-violent deaths from deprivation, 2.0 million under-5 infant deaths, 90% avoidable and due to US Coalition war crimes, 5-6 million refugees - an Iraqi Holocaust on a scale similar to that of the World War 2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and an Iraqi Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (Google Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide)..

Respected NGOs should set up a new Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal of eminent scholars top try Bush Senior , Clinton, Bush Junior and Obama (US), Blair, Brown and Cameron (UK), Howard, Rudd and Gillard (Australia) and their associates for war crimes in Iraq and also in Afghanistan (post-invasion Afghan violent and non-violent avoidable deaths 4.9 million).
09:14 November 13, 2010 by Frenemy
Google: "DrGideonPolya launches his 935th hysterical tirade on thelocal" :-p
22:58 November 13, 2010 by DEACON6825
Will the World Court, bring Bush, up on war crimes?
05:09 November 14, 2010 by Patches131
I am an American and i will say always that Bush was and is an ego maniac. I did not vote once for him and the idiots that did are blind as can be. I do not believe a word he said or says and i do not have faith in any politician. They are all in it for themselves and not the people. He started a war that never should have been started "on Lies" as i knew all along and thousand have died because of him. If a person has half a brain they can research anything and find the truth but sadly people believe and trust the ones who lie to us all the time. Politicians have had eons to perfect their lying games. I am sorry to say that most Americans fell for his lies and his propaganda of fear. So many Americans are just plain idiots ! Makes me ashamed of America and it's people. Bush should be held accountable for war crimes as far as i am concerned. I hope the history books tell the truth about this horrible human being.
02:31 November 15, 2010 by Bishopbayern
what alot of rubbish you talk patches. You would rather saddam kept killing his own people? many more died under him. Bush was strong and attacked those who threatened, would you rather america was just a sitting duck for terrorists? There was not another 9/11 whilst he was in office because he lead from the front. Its people like you that put americans and eiropeans in danger. Time we stopped being so soft and hit back before they hit us.
10:39 November 16, 2010 by bearded1
I Bet Shröder read his kiddies books the right way up!!!!
21:34 November 17, 2010 by jomondo44
Germany lecturing the USA on war crimes. lol thats rich.

Don't make us come over there and pimp slap you bums.. again..
02:59 November 18, 2010 by bearded1
Ha Ha Ha just seen Bush on TV fool me once uh uh shame on me fool me twice uuuhh well you dont fool me.
16:48 November 18, 2010 by yhsanjay
Two leaders of two great nations ! Who's speaking the truth and who's lying is not known?

But one thing is clear that rather than invading Iraq which was defenceless, the crisis could have been solved with some other method rather than using the military and killing so many innocent soldiers,civilians and so on.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Top 12 German idioms
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd