Sunday, February 16
US to punish German 'treachery'
Peter Beaumont, David Roseand Paul Beaver, The Observer, February 16, 2003
America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.
The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'.
The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future.
This follows weeks of increasingly angry exchanges between Rumsfeld and Germany, in which at one point he taunted Germany and France for being an irrelevant part of 'old Europe'.
Now Rumsfeld has decided to go further by unilaterally imposing the Pentagon's sanctions on a country already in the throes of economic problems. [...]