Skip to comments.German president urges Europe to do more for Iraq
Posted on 11/11/2006 10:28:59 AM PST by Michael81Dus
BERLIN, Nov 10 (Reuters) - German President Horst Koehler took European countries to task on Friday for not doing more to help stabilise Iraq, saying it was foolish of them to leave the United States only to secure the country.
"The war has led to a disaster, but we can't sit back and say it's a problem for the Americans. That would be dumb, short-sighted and arrogant," Koehler told the Saturday edition of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.
"We cannot allow the region to slide into chaos. We have a direct, existential interest in preventing this." A copy of the interview was provided to Reuters ahead of publication.
A former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Koehler has limited powers in the largely ceremonial post of president.
But he can influence the national debate and has not shied away from controversial topics since being named to the position in 2004 with the support of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Koehler said the U.S. elections this week, in which the Democrats seized control of Congress from President George W. Bush's Republicans, could lead to greater demands from Washington for European help in Iraq.
He said more financial aid and civil reconstruction help was needed from Europe to stabilise the region.
"Ducking away and just watching is a worse alternative," Koehler said.
He did not suggest Germany should send troops to Iraq, a move Merkel has ruled out, as did her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder.
Under Schroeder, Germany joined France and Russia in staunchly opposing the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. The differences between Berlin and Washington over the war led to the worst crisis in bilateral relations since World War Two.
Germany has helped train Iraqi security personnel outside of the country and provided humanitarian aid in recent years.
German President Horst Köhler
"The war has led to a disaster,
dumb, short-sighted and arrogant..
Yeah, the pretty much sums up the Euroweinies since WWII.
I think that the world would rest more easily if the German Army stayed within it's own borders for a change.
the world would rest more easily if the German Army stayed within it's own borders for a change.
--He said more financial aid and civil reconstruction help was needed from Europe to stabilise the region.
"Ducking away and just watching is a worse alternative," Koehler said. --
A bunch of dead Bosnians, Serbs, Croats and Kosovars would agree.
-- A bunch of dead Bosnians, Serbs, Croats and Kosovars would agree.
Ouch. That smarted.
"I think that the world would rest more easily if the German Army stayed within it's own borders for a change."
As an American living in Europe for 16 years, I am respectfully saddened by your generalization. I have friends in the German military that are frustrated by their own governments reluctance to become involved in western military police actions. Thankfully, government policy on this issue is loosening. While America went to Afghanistan, German aircrews came to America and flew 24 hour watches over strategic target sites to protect them against terrorist attacks. These crews were deeply proud that they could do this for America. If we feel we need to liberate the Iraqis, then we also need to bring our past enemies, converted to friends, out of the closet and encourage them to become full participating allies.
Horst: the only kind of reconstruction you can accomplish in Iraq is with a rifle in one hand and a trowel in the other. Otherwise the "insurgents" will blow up your construction as fast as you build it.
I guess you've been kind of far from the subject, You don't seem to know much about it.
Glad to hear this. Good post!
The President is - just like your President - a Lieutenant of the Reserves.