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US to punish German 'treachery'
The Observer (U.K.) ^ | 02/16/03 | Peter Beaumont, David Rose and Paul Beaver

Posted on 02/15/2003 4:00:02 PM PST by Pokey78

America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.

The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'.

The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future.

This follows weeks of increasingly angry exchanges between Rumsfeld and Germany, in which at one point he taunted Germany and France for being an irrelevant part of 'old Europe'.

Now Rumsfeld has decided to go further by unilaterally imposing the Pentagon's sanctions on a country already in the throes of economic problems.

'We are doing this for one reason only: to harm the German economy,' one source told The Observer last week.

'Our troops contribute many millions of dollars. Why should we continue to support a country which has treated Nato and the protection we provided for decades with such incredible contempt?'

Another Pentagon source said: 'The aim is to hit German trade and commerce. It is not just about taking out the troops and equipment; it is also about cancelling commercial contracts and defence-related arrangements.'

The Pentagon plan - and the language expressed by officials close to Rumsfeld - has horrified State Department officials, who believe that bullying other countries to follow the US line will further exacerbate anti-Americanism and alienate those European countries that might support a United Nations resolution authorising a war.

German industry earns billions of euros every year from supporting the US Army Europe which, although reduced from its Cold War heights, still totals 42,000 troops and 785 tanks - almost three times as many as the British Army owns. Many of these soldiers and their fighting equipment, including Apache helicopters, have already been sent to the Gulf.

German industry is heavily involved in supporting the US presence. Among the defence companies which stand to lose out are missile-maker Diehl, aerospace and defence giant EADS Deutschland, armaments maker Rheinmetall and vehicle maker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

There is also a US Air Force contingent of about 15,000 service people with bases at Bitburg, Frankfurt-am-Main and neighbouring Ramstein, where the commander doubles as part of the Nato command. This force includes nearly 60 F-16 fighter-bombers and a squadron of A-10 tank-buster aircraft.

Rumsfeld and his staff have made no attempt to hide their fury at Schröder's 'treachery and ineptitude' over Iraq. Last week Schröder leaked to reporters a Franco-German plan for avoiding war by increasing the number of UN weapons inspectors before informing his American counterparts.

'After this, Germany is finished as a serious power,' one of the sources added. 'This is simply not the way to conduct diplomacy at a moment of international crisis.' One diplomatic source said Rumsfeld was 'furious at Germany. He is a bruiser and it looks as though he means to do it'.

Under these plans, the US would move its troops in Europe eastwards to countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, all of which have strongly supported America's line against Saddam Hussein. It is likely that the overall size of the deployment would be reduced, as the US military changes its priorities for a long-term and disparate engagement with international terrorism.

Although Rumsfeld had already been considering a redeployment of US troops around the world after a war in Iraq to save money and respond to new threats, the plans now under consideration go far beyond what had been discussed.

It is likely that future years will see a sharp increase in the proportion of special forces troops able to deploy rapidly across the globe.

Germany would suffer considerable financial loss if US forces were withdrawn from the country. The bases provide jobs for local people as everything from administrators to cleaners, and are huge customers for dairy products and bread.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Germany; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: warlist
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1 posted on 02/15/2003 4:00:02 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Why should we stay where we're not wanted?
2 posted on 02/15/2003 4:02:19 PM PST by Catspaw
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To: Pokey78
An administration source would not say much of this, so I don't believe it. Even if the administration wanted to screw the already delapidated German economy, which is in a long term, and perhaps irreversible decline, in part because its educational system is in a state of collapse, that self defeating goal would never be enunciated. The redeployment of troops would be explained on grounds of defense policy, not grounds of economic retaliation.
3 posted on 02/15/2003 4:03:34 PM PST by Torie
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To: Pokey78
I am all for punishing Germany and France, and I hope that the USA will give them just what they deserve. I have German ancestory, and I am ashamed of that bunch. So put them on the shi* list, and keep them there, until they straighten up.
4 posted on 02/15/2003 4:04:57 PM PST by tessalu
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To: Pokey78
Great idea, but where will the troops go to?
5 posted on 02/15/2003 4:05:09 PM PST by Momaw Nadon
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To: Pokey78
'We are doing this for one reason only: to harm the German economy,' one source told The Observer last week.

Our troops contribute many millions of dollars. Why should we continue to support a country which has treated Nato and the protection we provided for decades with such incredible contempt?'

Another Pentagon source said: 'The aim is to hit German trade and commerce. It is not just about taking out the troops and equipment; it is also about cancelling commercial contracts and defence-related arrangements.'

Germans are the same in any century.

They are mesmerized to follow the wrong leaders and wrong ideology.

Few can think for themselves!

6 posted on 02/15/2003 4:05:28 PM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
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To: Pokey78

I LOVE THIS GUY!

7 posted on 02/15/2003 4:05:41 PM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: Torie
100% correct - that screed is totally bogus.
8 posted on 02/15/2003 4:06:12 PM PST by ErnBatavia ((Bumperootus!))
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To: Pokey78
I hope this is true. Germany deserves a spanking.
9 posted on 02/15/2003 4:06:33 PM PST by LibKill (FIRE! and LOTS OF IT!)
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To: Momaw Nadon
where will the troops go to?

Poland is BEGGING for them. Italy and Spain, both real allies, are preparing welcome mats as I type. :)

10 posted on 02/15/2003 4:06:56 PM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: Pokey78
Maybe we can have a balanced budget afterall. Why are we subsidizing Germany of all places ? It makes no sense.
11 posted on 02/15/2003 4:07:33 PM PST by VRWC_minion ( Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: Pokey78
This reads like some British Socialistic drivel.

I don't doubt SecRum is looking for ways to save $$$ after Iraq but I serioulsy doubt if he or anyone else in the Admin is ready to toss Germany to the wolves.

Isn't this paper related to The Guardian?

12 posted on 02/15/2003 4:08:02 PM PST by JimVT
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To: Momaw Nadon
From the story:

Under these plans, the US would move its troops in Europe eastwards to countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, all of which have strongly supported America's line against Saddam Hussein. It is likely that the overall size of the deployment would be reduced, as the US military changes its priorities for a long-term and disparate engagement with international terrorism.

13 posted on 02/15/2003 4:08:03 PM PST by Catspaw
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To: tessalu
Rumsfeld has many family members in Germany.
14 posted on 02/15/2003 4:08:24 PM PST by cynicom
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To: tessalu
Let's Roll!
15 posted on 02/15/2003 4:08:28 PM PST by timestax
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To: Pokey78
If there has ever been a story I wanted to be true, this is it. U.S. into Iraq, out of Germany-NOW!
16 posted on 02/15/2003 4:09:31 PM PST by putupon (Smack a frog and call him Suzette)
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To: Pokey78
billions of euros

As Carl Sagen would say, "Billions and billions of Euros..."

17 posted on 02/15/2003 4:10:54 PM PST by 11th_VA
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To: Pokey78
PULL 'EM OUT!
18 posted on 02/15/2003 4:11:09 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Pokey78
Sounds like the paper took a few liberties. Those quotes simply don't sound like anything I've ever heard from Rumsfeild.

I'm 100% in support of the move, though. If Germany's politicians are going to spread anti-american sentiment for their own political gain, and if germans elect these people, then it's time to stop considering them allies.
19 posted on 02/15/2003 4:11:11 PM PST by Sofa King (-Do the world a favor: BOMB FRANCE)
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To: Pokey78
All you GI's stationed in Germany don't panic! Czech beer is just as good as German and Czech girls are friendlier!
20 posted on 02/15/2003 4:11:28 PM PST by Tailback
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To: tessalu; Pokey78
I am all for punishing Germany and France, and I hope that the USA will give them just what they deserve.

Yes! I want you all to know that Gov. Bush of Floridaleft today on a trade mission to one of our two major EU allies, Spain. Give Spain and Britain (and Italy and various and sundry Eastern European countries and Turkey) the goodies, and starve out the stupid Saddam-supporting weasels.

21 posted on 02/15/2003 4:11:56 PM PST by livius
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To: Texas_Jarhead
As Cartman would say, "screw you guys, we're going home."
22 posted on 02/15/2003 4:13:05 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Momaw Nadon
Great idea, but where will the troops go to?

Rumsfield talked about this last week. The Austians blocked a train full of our troops the other day. He wants a rail line that will take our troops and armor to Italy without interuption. Maybe someone can post a map.

23 posted on 02/15/2003 4:14:04 PM PST by 11th_VA
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To: JimVT
but I serioulsy doubt if he or anyone else in the Admin is ready to toss Germany to the wolves

This action would NOT toss them to the wolves. It is a smart response to a country that takes American financial support and protection and then does not support us when we need their support.

24 posted on 02/15/2003 4:15:06 PM PST by sd-joe
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To: Pokey78
I think the transition to the former Warsaw Pact nations was planned well before the IRaq thing became an issue. It's cheaper.

But if Germans blame it on Schroeder that's OK with me.

25 posted on 02/15/2003 4:16:50 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Pokey78
I was just thinking today, someone should open a warehouse store called 'Buy American' (only American goods). Given the mood of this country right now, it would probably succeed. I'm gonna miss that Rhine River wine.
26 posted on 02/15/2003 4:16:53 PM PST by 11th_VA
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To: JimVT
It is.
27 posted on 02/15/2003 4:17:14 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Add this to the treachery
I just read in the Frankfurt Allgemeine, (FAZ.DE) that the German Government had knowledge since the 9th of August 2002 about Iraq smallpox WMD. The paper is also publishing the momo sent to the Government by their BND (German CIA). The German Health Minister has obtained enough vaccinations for the entire population. Schroeder is still maintaining that they don't have any WMD. Even now he is claiming he didn't get a report. Those of you reading German, look at the copy of the official Memo. This lying A*&*^le pisses me off.
28 posted on 02/15/2003 4:17:21 PM PST by americanbychoice
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To: Pokey78
Roger that. Pull out all forces. We have much better beer and Wisconsin can provide the sausage! As for their autos, they are highly over rated. If they are so damned good, why did they lose the war...twice?
29 posted on 02/15/2003 4:17:34 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Stir the pot...don't let anything settle to the bottom where the lawyers can feed off of it!)
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To: Tailback
Excuse me! Czech beer is better than any German beer and the girls are far more friendly!
30 posted on 02/15/2003 4:17:42 PM PST by It's me
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To: Torie
The redeployment of troops would be explained on grounds of defense policy, not grounds of economic retaliation.

The U.S. will withdraw most of its military from Germany, however, it will take several years so that no single redeployment can be cited.

31 posted on 02/15/2003 4:18:24 PM PST by CharacterCounts
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To: VRWC_minion
bttt
32 posted on 02/15/2003 4:18:31 PM PST by lodwick (I hope war breaks out soon so we can relax.)
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To: Pokey78
Check out this post re the possible closing of German bases:
"A lot of people are saying that it's because Germany does not support what appears to be an impending conflict with Iraq, but this is just not true," Major Bill Bigelow, of the U.S. military's European Command in Stuttgart, told F.A.Z. Weekly. "To tie this to a political affair without considering the fact that this has been on the Defense Department's and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's agenda for years is wrong."

33 posted on 02/15/2003 4:19:17 PM PST by mollynme
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.
It's about time!
35 posted on 02/15/2003 4:20:46 PM PST by RebelDawg
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To: Pokey78
After the Iraq War is over [and all of the IRAQI people are liberated and Saddam is no longer breathing air] all of the troops deployed from Germany need to return to the USA ... not Germany.
36 posted on 02/15/2003 4:20:55 PM PST by zeaal
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To: Momaw Nadon
"Great idea, but where will the troops go to"

How about on the U.S. / Mexican border?

37 posted on 02/15/2003 4:21:54 PM PST by the_rightside
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To: ErnBatavia
I have to doubt the authenticity of the report since these weasely socialists will not be in power in a year or two anyway.
38 posted on 02/15/2003 4:22:03 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Catspaw
While I think a part of this article is true, I think this is just propoganda for those that are trying to portray America as selfish and spiteful.
If Bush and Rumsfeld are dicussing this, they would not use the language in the artcile. Rummy is always extremely careful of what he says and how he says it. That is what makes him so fun to watch on TV when he deals with stupid reporters that quote "unnamed" sources.
The unnamed source is probably just made up and the author is trying to drive a wedge into the alliances and deepen the anti-American feelings in Europe.
39 posted on 02/15/2003 4:22:13 PM PST by sl-17b (Piss off a liberal by using your brain.)
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To: LibservitiveRepublicrat
QUICK! Get a translator in here!
40 posted on 02/15/2003 4:22:15 PM PST by JimVT
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To: Torie
You're right. If we hastened the decline of Germany, our official reply would be "Oops, we only meant to realign our alliances to more relevant areas. Sorry about the economy thing. Hey, how about I buy a cookoo clock?"
41 posted on 02/15/2003 4:22:42 PM PST by eno_
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To: Pokey78
Oh this is from the observer... Well I'm still going to hope that there is some shred of truth to the story! LOL!
42 posted on 02/15/2003 4:22:59 PM PST by RebelDawg
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To: Pokey78
Actually, given germany's socialism and the emigration of muslims into the country, it might be a good idea to leave a few troops as a "pre-occupation" force when we have to liberate germany from the suicide-bomber religion.

After that, though, we have most of the old-soviet bloc coutries, such as Poland, which would love to have us there. The world changes, and we need to change with it.

Next step would be to get france off the un security council and replace it with a permanent vote from India. The only reason france got on the security council in the first place was a favor after WW II - the country was a total disaster and should have spent it's time rebuilding itself.

43 posted on 02/15/2003 4:23:02 PM PST by Bernard
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To: CharacterCounts
I have read that the troops will go to Poland and Bulgaria, and both need a boost in their economy. It seems that Germany does not need any assistance from us!
Austria has refused permission for out troops to pass through to put them on the "bad" list, too. I am really a bit shocked that Germany has been such a louse of a "friend", but I am not surprised about France, for they have always been turkeys, the really lousy kind.
44 posted on 02/15/2003 4:23:19 PM PST by tessalu
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To: Catspaw
As eastward movement would also cost Russia any chance of intimidating former Soviet colonies at some future time. What's not to like. That would pay back Russia's squishiness, too.
45 posted on 02/15/2003 4:24:34 PM PST by eno_
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To: Torie
An administration source would not say much of this, so I don't believe it.

I don't either. These quotes are made up; the story is a crock. A lot of this stuff may well happen, but no one in a serious capacity would say these things out loud.

46 posted on 02/15/2003 4:24:37 PM PST by Nick Danger (Freeps Ahoy! Caribbean cruise May 31... from $660 http://www.freeper.org)
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To: Tailback
Probably cheaper too! (The beer, not the girls.)

Let us not forget that the name Budweiser comes from the Czech town of Budvar. When their local brewery began marketing Budweiser beer in Europe, their American namesake sued to stop them from using the name, which corresponds to the German pronunciation for their town. The American company lost the suit. I think GIs would appreciate a cold Bud, Czech style.

47 posted on 02/15/2003 4:24:56 PM PST by jpthomas
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To: Bernard
when we have to liberate germany from the suicide-bomber religion

Don't bet on it.

48 posted on 02/15/2003 4:25:54 PM PST by Diana Rose (I hate all things french)
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To: Momaw Nadon
Great idea, but where will the troops go to?

Was the article too long for you to read? It clearly states which countries want the base's.

49 posted on 02/15/2003 4:26:01 PM PST by bfree (Liberals are EVIL!!!)
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To: Mitchell
If this threatened invasion of Iraq is just a hoax
why should the US be so upset with France and Germany?
Aren't these countries just helping them out with their plan?
50 posted on 02/15/2003 4:26:37 PM PST by Allan
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