Gerhard Schröder’s Decisions

In Die Welt, Georg M. Oswald reviews Gerhard Schröder’s memoirs, Entscheidungen (or Decisions). (Translated by

Then with Afghanistan, a couple of Red-Green do-gooders immediately started kicking up a fuss in the Bundestag and refused to understand that there was no going back. The allegiance to NATO left no room for manoeuvre. Chancellor Schröder called for a confidence vote and because no one was that keen to surrender the so-called responsibility of government so quickly after all, everyone voted in favour of joining Enduring Freedom. Now that’s convincing decision making!

The media soon adjusted to the new circumstances. But just when they thought things were starting up again, this time in Iraq, Chancellor Schröder pulled the rug out from under them. “I have ensured that Germany will not take part in the Iraq War. But of course it will fulfil its duties to the NATO Alliance.”

Aha. And we thought it was a contradiction to fly “No War” banners out the window and at the same time guarantee fly-over rights, take-off and landing rights and security services. But things are not as simple as all that. We did not take part in the Iraq War because there was no UN mandate to do so. But we did provide the USA with logistical support and the help of “our services,” as Schröder discretely calls the Federal Intelligence Services. Of course Schröder doesn’t mention that “our services” by the looks of things also had a hand in the torturing.