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Germany, U.S. Differ Over Iraq

September 28, 2002

The way the U.S. media in general are reacting to Germany's stance on Iraq these days, they want you to believe that Germany has declared war on us ("Schroeder Softens Tone on U.S.," Sept. 24). I suggest instead that perhaps it is President Bush who is making too much of it. Obviously his feelings got hurt, but I would like to think that the leader of the free world is above a few ruffled feathers. A great leader would not be making such a fuss over a personal issue. Get over it, Bush.

Arlene Williams

Sparks, Nev.

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German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder did not win because of his "steadfast refusal to commit German troops to a war against Iraq" (Sept. 23). This is inflammatory and ignores the realities of local politics, which drive all democracies. Schroeder won because of his rapid and empathetic handling of the flood crisis in eastern Germany and ultimate misgivings by most Germans about electing a southern German to the leadership of the entire country.

I am ashamed, as an American, at the huge huff this administration (and its press) takes on when our allies do not go in lock-step with our views. It is immature, if not arrogant, and creates the very hatred that has become our enemy. Bush and his administration are vaunted for all their business expertise, which many people of their party would want applied to government.

I ask any truly successful business person reading this letter: If you applied these same bullying tactics--the arrogance toward friend and foe alike and the failure to account for everyone else's agenda--to your own business, how successful would you be?

Maude Ham

Burbank

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Who abrogated some treaties during the late '30s? Who ignored the existing world organization during that same time? Who asked for and received massive powers to conduct a war? Who ignored international public opinion? Aren't these the very things that Bush is doing today? Why are the media being so harsh on German Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, who pointed this out the other day? All she was doing was pointing out the obvious.

Let us call a spade a spade and let the chips fall where they may. There are obviously many stark differences between Bush and Hitler, but there are some parallels too. Hopefully our Senate will show more courage than the German Bundestag.

Arnold Tena

Los Angeles

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