Monday, September 23, 2002
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George W Bush has been compared to Hitler by the German justice minister as relations between Berlin and Washington plumb new depths. Herta Daeubler-Gemlin said the US president "wants to divert attention from his domestic problems. It's a classic tactic. It's one that Hitler used."
Q Ari, are U.S.-German relations being threatened by the tone of the Iraq debate in the political campaign there? That's including the Justice Minister's equating President Bush's tactics with Hitler, and Chancellor Schroeder's ruling out German involvement in any Iraq war.
Well, let me say I've noted the report out of Berlin where the German Justice Minister likened President Bush's actions to those of Adolf Hitler. And the United States and Germany have had a very long and valuable relationship, and the relations between the people of the United States and the people of Germany are very important to the American people. But this statement by the Justice Minister is outrageous and is inexplicable.
Germany's justice minister has denied comparing U.S. President George W. Bush to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Herta Daeubler-Gmelin blamed "erroneous and inflammatory" newspaper reports for the scandal which has dominated the last day of campaigning ahead of German national elections on Sunday.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder apologised to US President George Bush on Friday for the offence caused by a report that his Justice minister had compared Bush’s methods to that of Hitler’s. The election-eve report in a regional daily angered a US Administration already upset about the centre-Left chancellor’s voluble — and highly popular opposition to a prospective US-led war in Iraq.
I think this is all very plain for everybody to know and plain to see, and I'm not going to belabor the point. Things were said that I think, in the President's judgment, were excessive during the campaign and raise a sense of anti-Americanism and criticism of the United States and the United States policies from an ally. These criticisms were not muted.
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