“It would be better for the chancellor to resign.”
The White House is dissatisfied with Germany very much, and the Pentagon is even more so. And this dissatisfaction is because of the German chancellor’s strict opinion concerning the US-led campaign against Iraq. Schroeder mentioned several times already that Germany will not participate in this war, even if the UN approves it. The statement made by German Minister of Justice Herta Daubler-Gmelin when she compared George W. Bush with Hitler only added fuel to the fire.
During the past several days, German diplomats have made every possible effort to reduce the tension in relations with America, which arose after the above mentioned statements. The scandal seemed practically hushed up when Pentagon senior adviser Richard Perle arrived in Berlin. He was the aide to the US defense secretary under Ronald Reagan. As soon as he arrived in Berlin, he immediately announced that Gerhard Schroeder should resign. Perle doesn’t care at all that Germans elected the chancellor in accordance with their domestic interests. However, the American official strongly believes that if the chancellor doesn’t support US policy concerning Iraq, he should resign. Germany’s Handelsblat quotes Perle: “It would be better for the chancellor to resign.”
Perle says that Schroeder’s anti-war election campaign strongly undermined the relations between Germany and America, and in a burst of revelation, he explained to the German people how much the chancellor’s pertinacity will cost the country. Is Germany still wishing to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council? It should forget about it for a long time, Perle says. According to him, it is because of the chancellor that the problem can be considered once again only by the next generation of Germans.
Germany has been deprived of any authority to influence the Iraqi problem because of Schroeder’s “astonishing isolationism," Perle says. He adds that nobody made Schroeder do anything concerning Iraq, the USA especially. However, the chancellor, Perle says, “preferred to stay with his old friend for the sake of several votes at the elections.” Many observers say that relations between Berlin and Washington are on the lowest level ever registered since the end of WWII. They also admit that Perle’s statements proved to be the most harsh within the whole period of preparation for the war in Iraq. At first, US officials dared to speak about Hussein’s resignation only. But, as we know, appetite grows while eating.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/10/05/48017.html