November 10th, 2010
08:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Bush lying, says ex-German leader

(CNN) -George Bush's memoir only hit bookshelves Tuesday, but already one prominent ex-world leader says the former president isn't being truthful when it comes to his description of a 2002 conversation about the possible use of force in Iraq.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who left office in 2005, is disputing a passage in Bush's new book that claims Schroeder privately offered the president full-fledged support in 2002 should he decide to invade Iraq.

"The former American president is not telling the truth," Schroeder said Tuesday according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

In his new book "Decision Points," Bush writes that in a January 2002 White House meeting with Schroeder, the German leader said of possible force in Iraq: "What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq. Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you."

"I took that as a statement of support," Bush writes of the conversation. "But when German elections arrived later that year, Schroeder had a different take. He denounced the possibility of using force against Iraq."

Speaking Tuesday, Schroeder said the 2002 meeting was actually focused on the mere possibility former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the September 11 attacks, and said he made no unequivocal commitments

"Just as I did during my subsequent meetings with the American president, I made it clear that, should Iraq ... prove to have provided protection and hospitality to al Qaeda fighters, Germany would reliably stand beside the US," Schroeder said of his comments to the president. "This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed."

Bush, whose relationship with Schroeder quickly turned frosty after the chancellor expressed opposition to the war, writes he was "shocked and furious" with the actions of his ally, especially after the German justice minister accused Bush of acting like Adolf Hitler in his efforts to "divert attention from domestic political problems."

"It was hard to have a constructive relationship again," Bush writes of his future relations with Schroeder.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Michael

    George, when in your life have you ever told the truth?
    You lied about your time in the Texas National Guard. You lied about how you got into the TNG.
    You lied about your drug-abuse and about your alcoholism.
    You lied lied lied.
    Even your wife Laura told lies in her book about being poisoned while nobody recall this incident.
    Your children lied and used false ID's.
    Notorious liars.

    November 10, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Mr. Moderate

    Of course viewed it as support. He we so obcessed with settling his family vendetta ("Saddam Hussein is not a nice man, he tried to kill my dad") anything anyone would have said would be viewed in his mind as support. Heck, if he had paid attention and 9/11 not occurred, he would have still figured out a way to invade Iraq.

    November 10, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. greenhands

    He is war criminal. we are going to need 100 yrs to clean all the mess he put us in. send him to jail so we can start cleaning our back yard.

    November 10, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. cesar

    Ill wait until it goes for sale at the Dollar General for 3 dollars like Palin's book. No sense in spending more than I should when I can get more reliable information off the national enquirer.

    November 10, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. George

    Bush? Lie? You've got to be kidding!

    November 10, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Sane One

    How does everyone know for certain Bush is lying? The Germans have lied to the world before...

    November 10, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Denker

    This will have the American Kool-Aid Right-Wing Volkssturm up in arms. Don't you dare call a lie a lie! Of course it is all because Schröder is left and socialist, not because Bush actually lied.

    Good going Jim in Florida! You just qualified as dictatorship fodder. Everybody remain in their comfort zone, please.

    November 10, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Jay T.

    No! Impossible. Bush lie! Where does CNN find this junk? I'm just glad he didn't lie about getting us into the Iraq War. I mean, could you imagine the guilt of knowing many American families lost their youth based on one of your lies. That would be a terrible thing to carry around (unless you are a sociopath).

    November 10, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. sandi

    praise to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder – keep putting it out there, Sir; humanity is counting on your honesty.

    November 10, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Tssshhh

    Anyone who followed the agenda and beliefs of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder understands this posture. He's looking for a few flash bulbs and to reignite liberal comradery in Germany. What a mess.

    November 10, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. jMez

    I believe Bush. The Germans have a history that is undeniable. WAR> They have been, just like the Russians, a very deceptive and doublerpeak people who have and should never be trusted in international affairs. Europe has become nothing but a humanist progresive socialist thuggery empire that allows only liars to rule and decieve. Look at Greece! and Italy....and prostitute land the Netherlands to see why I say that with cetainty. Do not trsut that German liar.

    November 10, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Patty2012

    "But when German elections arrived later that year, Schroeder had a different take."

    I guess POLITICIANS Worldwide LIE when it suits them? I BELIEVE BUSH! Too bad he didn't record the conversation on Youtube!

    November 10, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Leonard

    This doesn't surprise me...I'm surprise that Bush would remember anything he while in office...He often had a faraway look in his if he wanted to be in lala land.

    November 10, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    If Bush had really wanted to go after the perpetrators of 9/11, he would have invaded Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

    Osama bin Laden and the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia; there was never any connection to Iraq.

    But wait, the Bush family and the Saudi Royal family are friends ... Better to kill tens of thousands of Iraqis and over 4,000 American military and spend trillions of dollars on a war we were lied into instead of upsetting them!

    November 10, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Matt

    I'm glad CNN is reporting this, but I'm not sure what's so shocking about it. It's abundantly clear that Bush and Cheney wanted to invade Iraq and were willing to believe anything and everything that supported the war. This includes the outright lies and distortions and, apparently, an ability to misinterpret statements by other leaders. Same (stuff), different day.

    November 10, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. LouAz

    Bush was brought to you by the same guys that want to "give" Sister Sarah Palin, the Half Governor of Alaska. Really simple minded people should not be elected to Congress or the Presidency. Bush really does not know right from wrong, or anything about the United States of America and it's history.

    November 10, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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