Decision Points! If the New Yorker‘s lengthy and incisive skewering of George W. Bush’s new book wasn’t pleasure enough, here’s yet another stumble in the former president’s attempt at scrubbing his resume. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder tells the Telegraph that Bush lied about his stance on the US invading Iraq.
Bush wrote that Schroeder agreed to stand with him on the Iraq invasion, but then reneged on his position. “What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq,” he quotes Schroeder as saying. “Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you.” He writes that when Schroeder changed his mind, he felt it was the ultimate betrayal.
Which is typical of Bush’s binary line of thinking–only according to Schroeder, none of it happened.
In a statement, he confirmed that he had told Mr Bush he would “stand reliably on the side of the US” if it was confirmed that Iraq was sheltering those responsible for the September 11 terrorist 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 [then vice-president Dick] Cheney too.
“As we know today, the Bush administration’s reasons for the Iraq war were based on lies.”
A legion of Schroeder’s former aides went on to slam the ex-president, as well, with slightly less, ahem, dignified restraint. Former spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye, in particular, lobbed some zingers.
The reaction of former Schroeder aides was scathing. “We noticed that the intellectual reach of the president of the most important nation at the time was exceptionally low,” said Uwe-Karsten Heye, Mr Schroeder’s spokesman at the time told German news channel N24.
“For this reason it was difficult to communicate with him. He had no idea what was happening in the world. He was so fixated on being a Texan. I think he knew every longhorn in Texas.”
It must be cathartic for world leaders to freely air their grievances now that Bush is out of office. And while it’s impossible to make light of his many crimes of humanity, at least we can glean some small satisfaction from their public disdain.
Posted at November 29, 2010, 9:43 am