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Goooood stuff. Just heard it on the news, on NDR (North German Broadcasting Servic). They are of course all up in arms about it. One evil American dares to criticize their beloved Schroeder. To them, it doesn't matter that Tom Lantos actually belongs to the American left. And it doesn't matter that according to polls among German citizens Schroeder is the least liked of all German chancellors. The question was, "Whom of the German chancellors do you like most?" Schroeder was the only one to get 0%.

As one German language blog ('Zettels Raum') recently pointed out, it was actually Schroeder who in 2002 convinced the French president Chirac to oppose the Iraq war, not vice versa. And it was him who got Putin on board of that axis of hypocrites.

I found it remarkable that in the Spiegel article (German version) it is not even mentioned that Tom Lantos is a DEMOCRAT.

Here is the url:

If he would have been a Republican, I am sure, they would have reported it in large letters.

For once I agree with Tom Lantos. What I find more disturbing than the fact that Gerhard Schroeder received a job with gas prom, is the 1 billion euro loan guarantee he gave them right before he left office. This did not get much press coverage here in Germany, and probably none in the US. But think about it, the Chancellor was basically possibly giving away 1 Billon Euro of taxpayers’ money (if Gasprom defaults). There was no approval process, no vote in the Bundestag, nothing. This of course was right before he left office and right before he was employed by Gasprom. When asked about it he said that he knew nothing about it and some clerk in some little office approved it without his knowledge. SAY WHAT??? Hey Gerhard, this is a BILLION Euro. No Small change. That statement shows a few things: one is his total incompetence since he did not know what was going on in his government. It shows the way politicians think about the taxpayer’s money (not unique to Germany). It shows how easy Schroeder shrugs off responsibility. It happened so many times that in the Sundays paper an idea was floated. If the reaction was positive, on Monday Gerhard was all smiles and taking credit. If the reaction was negative, he said the person was speaking on their own without any backing from his government..
Enough about Schroeder, he was a Clintonian politician of the highest degree and Gasprom just proves that. Back to Lantos,
Interesting that SPON does not mention the ALL the facts about Tom Lantos. He is a Democrat for one, also he is from the Bush Hating wing of the Democrat party. He is strongly aligned with Nancy “thinks she is secretary of state” Pelosi, or is it Nancy “thinks she is queen” Pelosi.
Here are a few highlights from Tom Lantos’ website that shows he is a Liberal of distinction. He should be listened to by the German Mainstream Media since he thinks like they do.
Tom Lantos strongly supported the recent effort to limit funds for the effort in Iraq in order to constrain the President’s options for further escalating the war.
Recently, Tom has battled the Bush Administration's determination to undermine clean air and clean water standards, as well as efforts to limit the Endangered Species Act and drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
For the last six years Tom Lantos, a former economics professor in the Bay Area with a PhD from Berkeley, has been fighting an uphill battle to reign in deficits and restore sanity to our budget process. He has opposed providing tax cuts for the richest Americans while important programs go under-funded, and he has railed against the borrow-and-spend policies of the Bush Administration and the rubberstamp Congress.
Tom Lantos is a staunch supporter of a woman's right to choose.

Well, not somebody I would vote for, but about his remarks – way to go Tom!!

They're offended? Gimme a break. They've compared Bush to Hitler. At least prostitution is legal in Germany. And let's face it, *most* politicians could be classified as political prostitutes. It's the nature of the beast.

Regardless of how the shoe may fit, it's not exactly an appropriate thing for the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee to say in public. One would hope for a bit more class from a politician of his stature in a civilized country. On the other hand, it does speak to the depth of US resentment of Germany's position against us before the war (not that the Germans seem much to care).

I am surprised at two things. First, that the Germans would take offence considering what Schroeder did.

If an American president did somethings similar (which was what was implied many times by the Europ0ean media---that it was all done for his Texas buddies/family oil cabal) the words used here would be much harsher.

Rhw Second surprise is that nobody mentioned that he is a Holocaust survivor!?

Gerhard is German and like all Germans he is as pure as the wind driven snow... nothing new here.

"On the other hand, it does speak to the depth of US resentment of Germany's position against us before the war (not that the Germans seem much to care)."

Or, it could just be that Lantos personally dislikes Schroeder.

That a spokesman of the interim government is commenting on this speaks volumes of the fragility of the so-called grand coalition.

Tom Lantos touched an important bit of truth that may have deep implications:

"Lantos is also probably quite frustrated at Germany's continuing lack of serious commitment in Afghanistan, where the US, UK and Canada have absorbed around 85% of the fatalities - despite the fact that the operation is a supposedly "multilateral" undertaking."

To get the Bundestag approve sending German troops to Afghanistan, Schröder invoked his first Vertrauensfrage - offering his resignation in the case the deployment would not be approved by representatives from his coalition including these from the Green party.

But why so? In the run-up to this decision, Schröder had consistently claimed that the U.S.A. had solicited him to allocate German troops, until it came to an éclat at a Pentagon press briefing:

"Q: Mr. Secretary -- Q: (Off mike) -- the military campaign, German forces into the military campaign, and you asked for 3,900 troops. So we would like to know when and where they will be deployed and needed, and why you need those special forces. Aren't there enough American Special Forces, or are we better? (Laughter.)

Rumsfeld: The last portion of that question I would never think of answering. (Laughter.) And I think that ours are all well trained and well equipped and effective.

Just to rephrase your question a little bit, we did not ask as such. We asked for broad support; we asked people to come forward with what they thought would be appropriate and what they felt was comfortable for them, as opposed to our asking for certain specific things, which we tend not to do. And my answer's the same from there on, that it's up to Germany to characterize what it is they're doing.

Q: When will they be involved? Do you know that?

Rumsfeld: That's their call."

Of course Schröder did not like this clarification, and immediately asked the Pentagon for a counterstatement:

"The U.S. asked for assistance from Germany. They responded positively. Discussions were held at Central Command as to what might be appropriate. The U.S. then requested of Germany some of the capabilities that had been discussed, but we did not request a specific number (3900) of Special Forces, which was the question I was asked. The U.S. is pleased that Germany responded positively. Both Chancellor Schröder and my statements are consistent.

Did the U.S. solicit Germany's offer of military assistance to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom?

We welcome Germany's offer to provide a variety of military capabilities to support the global campaign against terrorism in accordance with its commitments as a NATO ally under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

The U.S. has made specific requests of Germany in the fight against terrorism during extensive and on-going consultations that help shape our approach to Operation Enduring Freedom.

We reach decisions jointly during these discussions, as is the norm among NATO allies.

These are confidential discussions; we leave it to our coalition partners, of which Germany is one of the strongest, to decide how to announce specific forms of cooperation.

The United States Central Command is working with German military authorities to integrate German forces into our anti-terrorist efforts."

Whores are all about keeping up appearances who solicited their activities.

Gerhard Schröder already has been a political whore before he got involved with Wladimir Putin.

Schröder pushed trough the German participation in the war on terrorism as an act of political whoring. That´s the deeper psychological reason why Germans feel so much unease about the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan.

I would say Lantos obviously dislikes Schroeder. That's the point. Lantos is part of the Democratic opposition, the part that appointed to oversee foreign affairs, so US dislike for Schroeder appears bipartisan, though granted the wording he chose distracts from his point and does tend to make it appear more like just random US politician with grudge.

According to Wikipedia, Lantos was a professor of economics and a foreign policy analyst for Public Television before running for office -- an academic. SPON could have mentioned that as well, I suppose.

To their credit, my local paper the Tagesspiegel, which is about the only German paper I'll read, did report that Lantos is a Democrat and a Holocaust survivor. In fact, they put the "Democrat" bit in the headline. That the Spiegel didn't do this is simply disgusting. Obviously, they didn't want to portray Lantos in any way that might make him appear sympathetic.

Schroeder brings a whole new meaning to the old motto:
"Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

I generally don't waste a second thinking about Schröder. I believe Germany and the EU are much better off with him presiding somewhere in the Russian taiga. However, it's hard to find another EU or not EU top politician who managed to cover himself with so much slime in such a public way. I believe that even the other EU crook, Chirac, is just an apprentice compared to Schröder and his masterful dealings with Gazprom.

Schröder's exploitation and nurturing of anti-American sentiment during his campaign and the "Russian job" he pulled on his way out are some of the most disgraceful acts in recent EU political history. His name will forever be associated with those decisions. To the surprise of his defenders and of various relativists, history will be much harsher to him than to Bush. Fortunately he governed over a country, which has little to say on the world stage, besides worrying how to make another sale of... whatever to... whomever.

Nothing special. I think most Germans agree with Lantos's assessment of Schroeder's job for Putin.

I have linked to a video of Lantos' speech at Atlantic Review.

Most Germans think this is how politics works, has always worked, and will always work.

And all that you can do about it is get outraged, join some group that directs your outrage, bury your outrage and become a political whore yourself, stop caring about politics, or leave.

Depressing. Being principled and calm and interested in politics is the safest way to go bankrupt.

I am no fan of Schroeder. And, I have certainly had disappointments in much of Germany's role in the world over the past several years. I would not have any objections if a journalist or private individual made such a statement. However, it is not acceptable for a public official who represents our government to make such a statement. I apologize for his behavior.

You have some automatic script that sends back the following when I try to use your Trackback URL

Pinging http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/1737/19260788...
Problem: Server said 'As a measure to prevent automated commenting, please verify yourself via this captcha check.'

anyway I linked to this article

Well, my previous first comment is on the wrong news, but anyway ^_^

Schröder was, is and always be a slut. As German (me), it's impossible to mention, that he just used his rank to get the new job or he was a bad politician. Immediately your're mutate to publics enemy Nr. 1.

German rather show with the finger on others, it's just easier to ignor own problems. It's something like: "We are Germans, we're something better, we are right and the whole world is wrong".

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