Friday, February 07, 2003

How To Lose Friends and Piss Off Allies by Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld remark outrages German press Donald Rumsfeld's latest comments comparing Berlin's attitude to a war on Iraq with that of Cuba and Libya have touched a raw nerve in Germany's press. "Axis of the ignorant" is how the left-leaning Tageszeitung headlines its report. "Sarcastro" writes Berlin's Tagesspiegel. "Rumsfeld's latest jolt" says the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The Hamburger Morgenpost clearly feels irony is called for: "Hooray, at last we have some friends!" Mystified In their commentaries, even Germany's centre-right dailies find it hard to stomach Rumsfeld's opinion. The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says "there are good reasons to criticize the German position on Iraq.. but this is a mixture of tastelessness and insult." "Verbal jostling just hardens positions even further, because every government has to save face", the paper warns. The tabloid Bild, which is normally a friend of all things American, is equally mystified. "Government outraged - Rumsfeld compares us with Libya and Cuba" is its headline. The paper reports "head-shaking" in Chancellor Schroeder's office, and lists politicians from all parties who have rejected the US defence secretary's remarks.
Ah, Germany is just "old Europe". Besides, we whooped their asses twice. Why should we care what they think?

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