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. Mr. T. Bag

    BUSH? Lying? –Say it ain't so...

    November 10, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Gravitas

    Bush Lied??? Oh my God, I am so SHOCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 10, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. j

    Bush sees and hears only what he wants too and a very selective memory. Bush trying to rewrite his presidency to deflect blame elsewhere. ---– I believe the German.

    November 10, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. The Dude

    I wish this loser would just fade into history.

    November 10, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. jay in denver

    When a president lies to his country in order to take it to war, we collectively shrug our shoulders and say nothing. But when the president says that each American should be able to see a doctor wen he gets sick, we must "take our country back." No wonder America has lost its position as the world leader.

    November 10, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Operation Crush Rush

    As Anne Richards might say"Poor George,he just cant keep his feet out of his mouth".I will buy the book so my dog can urinate on it.

    November 10, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. yanni

    Can you ever trust the Germans?

    November 10, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Sara

    Bush lied, soldiers died. His mama didn't teach him not to lie. He was the worst president we have had and not bright as well.

    November 10, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. Bill

    Right now, its Bush's word against Schroeder's. Unless one of them backs it up with an itinerary or meeting notes, the discussion is moot. Especially since both leaders are out of office, and we all know their public actions afterwords. It would be interesting to see who is the real liar – or if its just bad long term memory.

    November 10, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. USMC Ret.

    Who cares what the Germans say. They still deny any knowledge of the holocaust.

    November 10, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Lynne

    Bush lied? Shocking. I guess I'll just have to go home and cry myself to sleep. Actually it'll be interesting to see if anyone else comes forward and disputes his memory of events.

    November 10, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. Joseph

    Why do I tend to believe former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder more than I believe Bush? Who is he kidding?

    November 10, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. HCX

    Bush lied then and lies now. No change. No surprise.

    November 10, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. TiredofthheRhetoricinDC

    Just think about it.. Under Bush's watch we have 9/11, Financial Collapse, Unfunded wars, Unpaid Drug Prescription Bill, and unpaid Tax Cuts..

    The only good thing that came out of his era was No Child Left Behind.

    November 10, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. LiberalMajority

    Busted! Bush just doesn't get it, and neither do the people who voted for him. Oh, wait...they're the same one's who just helped the republicans take control of the House. GREAT IDEA, YOU UNAMERICAN M0R0N$!!!!

    November 10, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. manuel Rodriguez

    Well i think we can call him born again lying.

    November 10, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. John in Chicago

    Which German chancellor did Bush try to give a shoulder massage?

    November 10, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. RB

    His Life is a lie; his Presidency was a lie, what should we expect from his book...another lie. He is just trying to rewrite history...sorry history has already submited its veredict he is a living lie.

    November 10, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Anthony Patrick

    Wow, what a surprise, he lied! This is a guy that lied about this Military service, had his political supporters smear John Kerry's valid military record, lied about the analysts agreeing that Iraq had WMD.

    As they used to say when Richard Nixon wrote his book after leaving the White House, "Don't buy books by crooks"!

    November 10, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Tim

    I believe Bush, old Europe has a classic case of weasel.

    November 10, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. Josh

    God bless George W. Bush. All you liberals can do is call him names. He will be remembered as a great leader who did not compromise his principles, and kept America, liberal and conservative, safe in the turbulent time after 9/11. And he will never be charged with anything except being a GREAT AMERICAN!

    November 10, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Tim

    Sadaam didn't adhere to the cease fire terms and thumbed it's nose at 18 UN resolutions, resolutions that Germany, and all the liberals in congress, wholeheartedly approved.

    WMD doesn't matter, it would have been icing on the cake.

    And Bush has more class in his little pincky hang-nail that Obama will ever muster in his entire life.

    November 10, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Chris C

    My thought is Bush is actually telling the truth. There is no reason for him to lie in this book. He never lied about Iraq and it is just wrong for people to think that. Most of the comments above are pathetic.

    November 10, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. AR

    Hmmm.. who do we believe here? the guy who just wrote a book who is truly disinterested in the matter? Or the guy who will literally be tried for war crimes if it turns out this is true?

    Seriously. what would Bush have to gain from lying about this? Nothing! He could have left it out. But this Kraut knows that, in Europe, where freedom exists to the extent the media permits it, saying or doing certain things could end up getting you killed. So he's covering his own rear end.

    Of course, this will naturally be followed by a chorus of delusional "oh well George Bush is just a big ugly liar"s.

    Move on. Everything doesn't fit into your neatly painted leftist oil-on-canvas anymore.

    November 10, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. Tomcat

    The bottome line with Bush..."your either with us or against us." Prior to the invasion Bush met with Iraqi dissedents at the WH at the dismay of the dissedents Bush was CLUELESS as to the history or basic curiosty of sunni and shia; this coming from a man that would invade and occupy a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11. Trillions of dollars and brave military lives lost as a result of a strategic Bush/Cheney BLUNDER. Iran GAINED as a result. Thanks alot GW!!

    November 10, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8