Germany might deploy troops in Iraq if conditions there change, Peter Struck, the German defence minister, indicated on Tuesday in a gesture that appears to provide backing for John Kerry, the US Democratic presidential challenger.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Struck departed from his government’s resolve not to send troops to Iraq under any circumstances, saying: “At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make a such a binding statement [about the future].”
Mr Struck also welcomed Mr Kerry’s proposal that he would convene an international conference on Iraq including countries that opposed the war if he were to win next month’s election.
Germany would certainly attend, Mr Struck said. “This is a very sensible proposal. The situation in Iraq can only be cleared up when all those involved sit together at one table. Germany has taken on responsibilities in Iraq, including financial ones; this would naturally justify our involvement in such a conference.”
Of course this is very sensible. It didn’t come from the Neocon White House.
That was only the defense minister talking. Seemingly he didn’t want to totally rule out any possibility of German involvement in Iraq ever. In fact he was referring to a misty, remote future. He could as well have said “That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” And even with that, he would have stirred up much protest from within the government coalition, just like he did with what he actually said.
Oh yeah, Germans are flip-floppers, juste like French, who changed their minds at mid-course and now whine they got it all wrong and should have done things differently if only they had been informed better and hadn’t been screwed over by their own government. Uh, wait a minute…
German officials on Wednesday reaffirmed their policy of not contributing troops to the American-led force in Iraq and rejected speculation, prompted by a published interview with the country’s defense minister, that the policy might change.
“There will be no German soldiers in Iraq,” a government spokesman, Thomas Steg, said, answering reporters’ questions about the interview in The Financial Times in which Defense Minister Peter Struck seemed to hold the door open for a possible change in Germany’s policy.
“The position of the German government as far as Iraq is concerned is clear - it will not be changed,” The Associated Press reported that Mr. Steg said. “It will remain in the future what it was in the past - there will be no German soldiers in Iraq.”
Because if a country changed it’s position on something that would be like a freaking Twilight Zone episode! That could never, ever, never happen. Not even if you offered them a whole lot of money.[/quote]
And I always thought peacekeepers where soldiers by profession…
And, Andrew Mayer, you won’t see Germany’s position on sending soldiers to Iraq changing anytime soon. If there’s anything the current government, which has constantly been in trouble for over two years now, can not afford, it’s German soldiers dying in Iraq.
But hey, we’re doing our part in Afghanistan, which is more than most NATO members can claim.