Germany's Schroeder says threat posed by Iraq does not justify war
The Jerusalem Post

March 18, 2003

Germany, along with France and Russia, opposes military action and resisted a proposed second US-British resolution at the UN Security Council that would have set Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a short deadline to disarm or face war. In the face of that resistance, the resolution was withdrawn Monday; and Bush demanded that Saddam surrender power within 48 hours or face attack.

Earlier Tuesday, a senior lawmaker from Schroeder's Social Democratic party expressed "shock" at Bush's move to take the decision on whether to use force against Iraq out of the hands of the United Nations.

"I was shocked that the American president is now taking the right to use force for himself - out of the hands of the United Nations, against which he made serious accusations - and thereby practically putting America in the place of the world organization," Gernot Erler, the deputy parliamentary leader of Schroeder's Social Democrats, said on ZDF television.

Ahead of Bush's speech, the Security Council had scheduled a Wednesday meeting at the request of France, Russia and Germany, making a last-ditch effort to achieve Iraq's peaceful disarmament. The three countries wanted to set a timetable for Iraq to carry out a dozen key disarmament tasks.

Bush criticized France and other wary allies at the United Nations.

"These governments share our assessment of the danger but not our resolve to meet it," he said.