The German “I Told You So”

The next WikiLeaks dump is about to reveal to the world what the United States really thinks of the world leaders it pretends to like and the degree to which it overlooks corruption among friends (it sounds like the reports will include confirmation that Hamid Karzai is corrupt, among other things).

Knowing that it’s coming adds just a bit of irony to the publication of excerpts from a German document liberated to refute some claims Bush made in his memoir.

Among other things, the document describes the Germans warning the US–in February 2003–of just how badly the Iraq war would turn out.

According to the notes — all in German — the meeting amounted to 90 minutes of verbal blows, which primarily stemmed from Rice’s “relatively rigorous and uncompromising” defense of the US position. The same notes indicate that [German foreign minister envoy Klaus] Scharioth didn’t budge an inch toward Washington, either. In retrospect, though, they document a high point in German diplomatic history, because the objections and predictions put forward by Berlin on that Tuesday have turned out to be legitimate and correct.

The crux of the German argument was that the political costs of a war in Iraq would be “higher than (the) political returns.” While Rice predicted that Iraq would take advantage of the “opportunities for reconstruction” like the ones Germany enjoyed after 1945, the delegation from Berlin countered that the rapid establishment of a democracy in Baghdad was “not (to be) expected.”

The Germans also predicted that the real beneficiary of a war in Iraq would actually be Iran, and that a US-led attack would further complicate efforts to reach a solution in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Likewise, they prophesized that going to war would precipitate a “terrorist backlash.” Scharioth stressed that it was important “to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim elite and youths,” according to the notes, and that this was “not to be achieved” by going to war. He also added that doing so would greatly increase the danger of prompting an “influx to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.”

I’m particularly interested in the warnings that this would empower Iran. It was definitely predictable that the war would strengthen Iran. But it always seemed as if the Bush Administration never even considered that possibility.

Well, at least Condi was warned.

  1. arcadesproject says:

    War is good for the right and the plutocrats, no matter how it shows up in the Won-Lost colunmn. The most abject of failures serves the purpose of diverting money and attention away from the detrioriating quality American life. (See employment, home ownership, access to higher education & medical care, infrastructure, you name it.) Terrorism is a gift from the gods to the right, who desperately needed a substitue for communism, which could no longer rally the troops. Whether it be in Iraq or Afghanistan, Yemen or Columbia, Iran or Korea, there is no such thing as a bad war from the standpoint of the right.

  2. Arbusto says:

    Condi’s USofA uber alles was and is typical of our approach to enemies and allies alike. That we are long on stick and short on carrot in dealing with Arabs (other than the Saudi) and Muslims specifically, will continue to plague us along, with our never ending interventions.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      I hate sticks and carrots. It’s how a master deals with an animal in their control that they are trying to bend to their will. What about respect and reason among equals? My idea of a legitimate war on terror. Quit terrorizing people and they won’t terrorize you. No outsiders, all equal insiders.

  3. SirLurksAlot says:

    Condi’s iron cross and thigh-high boots will be back in style, just you wait. she’s got no integrity left to impugn, and andrea merkel needs a backrub…oh how I miss the good ole days (not). that these people still walk free is an ominous sign for the future.

  4. DeadLast says:

    Well, at least Condi was warned.

    “I think that report was entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike within the U.S.” — Condoleezza Rice

  5. jo6pac says:

    but the dark lord cheney said they were the old world and weren’t needed any more. They most of wondered if the leadership in this nation had gone Mad and they were right. This leak should be fun to watch them spin this but sad because of the death and destruction we’ve done.

    • hackworth1 says:

      Rumsfeld maligned European countries which could not be coerced to join the Coalition of the Depantsed.

      Cheney said it too. Old Europe.

      Old Europe treats its citizens better than the USA does. Many European countries provide a better lifestyle than the USA.

      The USA has been busted out by Republican thieves and Democratic enablers and thieves.

      • mattcarmody says:

        Exactly my thoughts for a long time now.
        One more shot at the Treasury to pick up the change they left on the floor when they left in 2009 and the Bush crime family members will be sitting pretty behind the executive orders still extant that have made this country a police state. All they need is a trigger event.

        • PeasantParty says:

          I’m convinced they used the Saudi’s to make 9-11 happen. Otherwise, there would be no closed off investigations and the wreckage would not have been disappeared.

            • PeasantParty says:

              Yep. Let’s not forget the Bush’s and the Saud’s are best buds. Also, Cheney was all about that secret oil meeting crap. Who on earth thought the vice prez was able and should handle all that alone? Well, he stomped on the face of Congress and did it anyway.

      • Watt4Bob says:

        The USA has been busted out by Republican thieves and Democratic enablers and thieves.

        Keeping in mind that a bust-out usually ends with gasoline and a late-night fire, I’m sad/afraid to say that I think you hit the nail on the head.

    • RevBev says:

      And Cheney and Halliburton needed all that oil and a new world order of permanent war. Let alone that people still pay attention to W; what an indicator that is.

  6. seeker561 says:

    ” It was definitely predictable that the war would strengthen Iran. But it always seemed as if the Bush Administration never even considered that possibility.”

    You presume that Bush and the MOTU he was working for consider empowering Iran to be a bad thing. I no longer believe that apparently “unintended consequenses” are in fact “unintended”. It appears more and more often that the “unintended consequences” are actually the whole point.

    And while Bush was particularly inelegant in his approach, Obama has turned this duplicity into and art form.

  7. nonpartisanliberal says:

    All of the things the Germans predicted were things I read predicted by others before the war.

  8. hackworth1 says:

    Israel/AIPAC wants to provoke Iran. Israel wants to take out Iran. So Hillary and Obama want the same.

    • CTuttle says:

      Isn’t it bitterly ironic that during the Ray-gun era, we’d both encouraged Saddam to invade Iran(and gave him germs), while also, having the Israelis supply arms (our arms…) to Iran…! Wtf…?

  9. EvilDrPuma says:

    Hey, cut COndi Rice some slack in all this. Remember that she was trained to be an incompetent Russian specialist, not an incompetent Western Europe specialist.

  10. perris says:

    The Germans also predicted that the real beneficiary of a war in Iraq would actually be Iran, and that a US-led attack would further complicate efforts to reach a solution in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    Likewise, they prophesized that going to war would precipitate a “terrorist backlash.” Scharioth stressed that it was important “to win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim elite and youths,” according to the notes, and that this was “not to be achieved” by going to war. He also added that doing so would greatly increase the danger of prompting an “influx to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.”

    well at least condi was warned

    she was warned by EVERYONE, mostly those damned frigging hippies at firedoglake dot com but EVERYONE warned them and told them the same thing, this was NOT “isolated” advise

    the cia warned them, the fbi warned them, france warned them, canada warned them


    everyone told them EXACTLY the same thing

    everyone except of course that sociapath in the fourth branch, him and his team b

    but EVERYONE ELSE told them EXACTLY what the germans told them

    “but nobody could have anticipated” is soon to follow, this I guarantee

  11. bigbrother says:

    EW excellent follow through the continuity line of the UN provocation by Powell and CIA run up after we had partnered with Iraq against Iran is part of the timeline to take out Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    AIPAC plan to dominate the whole Middle East by playing the victim. But the US taxpayers foot the bill and the karma. They complicit criminal are plunging the world into choas as they implement the Shock Doctrine. They own the air and the sea power just some land uncontrolled.Thank you for reminding us that it is a work in has been obvious since Bush was flying around after 9/11.

    • bigbrother says:

      Ans added ti that effort was our putting up a puppet leader in Pakistan ms Bhuta. She was shot. But we have our military in there anyway just not invited.

    • CTuttle says:

      It should be fascinating to see what the US/Israeli cables shall reveal…

      Today’s Haaretz…

      U.S.: Wikileaks release will put lives in danger

      Warning follows American calls on Israel and other allies to prepare for embarrassment from exposure of classified documents.

  12. PeasantParty says:

    We support Israel with money and weapons. Their security is better than ours. If they want war, they should have their own war. Why push the US into wars that they will not fight in, nor support?

  13. bgrothus says:

    Most likely the Europeans have more concern for Muslim youth and how political acts impact young Muslims across Europe. Underpants bombers are cultivable, and they know it.

    As a percentage of population, I suppose there are larger numbers of Muslim immigrants in Germany, France, Italy, even Norway, than in the US.

    Our arrogance as espoused by our state department officials and others must be hard to swallow. How humiliating for the US to have it thrown back in our faces. Wikileaks was inevitable.

  14. IntelVet says:

    The only event that will save America would be the trial and subsequent inevitable hanging of GWBush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  15. TarheelDem says:

    I wonder if the documents will include admissions of knowledge that Ahmed Chalabi was an Iranian agent and the recent knowledge the Harmid Karzai has been receiving money at the tune of $2 million a year from the Iran government?

    Will it also show that W was an Iranian agent?

  16. conradcelledge says:

    Boy oh boy, that’s one hard looking hag. They say evil doesn’t always show itself but Condi’s got her soul on her face. Of course she could avoid and ignore all the contrary advice because about this time she was down in the basement goin’ porno on torture vids with the other pervs. Yep, this is one you don’t take home to mother.

  17. papau says:

    Actually Condi and Bush were warned every day – from before taking office to 9/11, that the Clinton team thought there was a crisis with regard to Osama. Famous Feb conversation have been documented as well as the WH response that they would not listen to the Clinton losers (indeed sounds a bit like the Obama WH and their attitude toward Hillary).

    The June no fly worries, the July orders to Cabinet folks not to fly, all proceeded the August intel briefing report.

    Bush not listening to good advice on Iraq mirrors Obama not listening to good advice on economic moves and health care reform cost control/public option decisions.

    This really is the 3rd Bush term.

  18. TheOracle says:

    There is every indication that after the neo-con Republicans had the U.S. invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein, with seizing control of Iraq’s oil resources foremost in their minds, that they next planned on attacking Iran and seizing control of the Iranian province right across the border from Basra in south Iraq, a province which produces 90 percent of Iran’s oil revenues.

    The neo-con Republicans figured that two enemy states of Israel would therefore be neutralized, Iraq because of its scud attacks on Israel in the first Gulf War and Iran because of its support of Hezbollah, and the north shore of the Persian Gulf would be secured, along with the Persian Gulf oil tanker shipping lanes and the Strait of Hormuz.

    Just like the preparations for the invasion of Iraq which entailed placing a large U.S. military force in Kuwait, in preparation for the planned assault on Iran the neo-con Republicans built-up U.S military forces in the Arab emirates on the south side of the Persian Gulf across from Iran to the north.

    Thus, why would the neo-con Republican nuts in the Bush/Cheney administration have listened to any warnings from anyone that an invasion of Iraq would strengthen Iran next door, especially since their plan was attacking and neutralizing Iran next?

    The neo-cons placed Iraq and Iran together in Bush’s “axis of evil” for a reason.

    They were both targeted, first Iraq and then Iran, but then things didn’t go exactly the way they planned (fantasized?) things would go in Iraq, did they? The “cakewalk” in Iraq turned into a fiery bed of hot coals. Two years were spent fruitlessly searching for non-existent Iraqi WMD. Too few troops were on the ground to stop sectarian warfare from erupting between suddenly “liberated” Iraqi factions. U.S. forces got bogged down in Iraq with stop-loss and extended tours being implemented to maintain force levels. Sunni Baathists were kicked out of the Iraqi government, so they turned to guerrilla warfare attacks against U.S. forces, with the help of al Qaeda elements able to finally operate in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. And Iranians, days after the invasion began in March 2003, immediately seized on this opportunity given them by the neo-con Republicans of an Iraq in chaos next door to send Iranian agents into Iraq, supporting the hardline Iraqi religious Shiite factions against the Sunni Baathists and the too-small U.S. military force trying to stabilize Iraq.

    However, there is no doubt that Iran was on the neo-con Republicans’ radar, next on their Persian Gulf hit list, but for some reason George W. Bush blinked, deciding not to follow the advice of his VP, Dick Cheney, and other war-crazed neo-con Republicans in his administration. Maybe this huge Wikileaks document release will shed some light on this.

    • al75 says:

      Oracle, I think you have it exactly right: the “Bush Doctrine” (i.e. the Cheney doctrine) was based on the principle of US domination of the world as the remaining great power – and as ignorant as he is, Cheney + his partners understood the strategic importance of controlling oil reserves.

      Iran was undoubtedly next.

      It’s interesting to me that this vision was identical to that of Churchill just after WWI. “British Petroleum” was founded I believe to exploit (and control) Iranian oil reserves. Churchill pushed for the doomed, bloody British effort to subordinate Iraq.

      There’s a difference of about 100 IQ points between Churchill and Bush/Cheney, but the results may be the same – the destruction of a great power as the result of inflexibility and reckless over-reach.

  19. Jeff Kaye says:

    Er, well, I’ve heard this German song before. Not that they didn’t warn Bush, as they said, but the Spiegel piece is mostly for German domestic consumption.

    From this Feb. 2006 NYT article:

    Two German intelligence agents in Baghdad obtained a copy of Saddam Hussein’s plan to defend the Iraqi capital, which a German official passed on to American commanders a month before the invasion, according to a classified study by the United States military.

    In providing the Iraqi document, German intelligence officials offered more significant assistance to the United States than their government has publicly acknowledged….

    But the German government was an especially vociferous critic of the Bush administration’s decision to use military force to topple Mr. Hussein….

    On Thursday, the German government released a new report that acknowledged that German agents had provided some intelligence but suggested it was very limited….

    Besides the support by German intelligence, the German government cooperated with the United States military in other ways.

    German ships guarded the sea lanes near the Horn of Africa as part of Task Force 150, an effort to deter terrorist attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, for example. The patrols helped safeguard the waterways the United States used to build up its forces in the Persian Gulf for the invasion of Iraq….

    German personnel also guarded American military bases in Germany, freeing United States soldiers to go to Iraq….

    Germany later provided the missiles for the Patriot batteries sent to Turkey.

    Ask Khaled el-Masri if the Germans supported the Americans. I already know the answer, even if it embarrasses some people.

    Bush rakes in millions for his book, while Schröder and Fischer can shine their fake rep for “making every effort they could.”

    Oh, Speigel… you know better than this.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Jeff, re what Big Brother said @ 26 about Bush flying around after 9/11 — I left a comment in an earlier diary of yours re Kabul being bombed on 9/11. I remembered seeing it on CNN, and you found me a link to CNN’s coverage to rummage through, and then I found it:

      The bombing of Kabul starts here. Of note, as far as I’ve listened, which is actually quite a ways, the US does NOT claim responsibility for it (at least not right away?). There’s actually a bit of discussion about WHO is bombing Kabul, maybe the Northern Alliance? …And as I’m watching, Kabul is being bombed, we’re denying it or whoever’s being asked knows nothing, nothing, the biggest of wigs are meeting in the Pentagon, and the Taliban is denying responsibility for 9/11, so whoever’s bombing Kabul — well, hasty? Or they know more than the US Congress does, since the I think I saw that the Congress and State Dept have been evacuated?

      Do you know if it was us bombing Kabul, and who ordered it? Was it while Bush was flying around, and Congress and State Department evacuated? In which case, by what authority? (Does Bush mention this in Decision Points?) Just asking, is this an order traceable to Cheney?

        • thatvisionthing says:

          It just keeps bugging me. I would have forgotten it myself if something CNN’s Nic Robertson in Kabul said then hadn’t hit me sideways so that I wrote an an e-mail that night and saved a printout. And now that I’ve got the actual CNN video to watch again (thank you Jeff), I see that the “hard vicious talk” that made Nic Robertson’s phrase catch at me so poignantly was that of Wesley Clark and Lawrence Eagleburger, on just before him. It comes together again.

  20. eblair says:

    Assange has promised a reformation by the end of the year. Was he telling the truth? Any Assange defenders want to explain the reformation claim for those of us who are underimpressed by and skeptical of WL? A reformation? A reformation? A reformation?

  21. wigwam says:

    The Germans’ warning was pretty much the same as the one that the CIA and State Department gave the first Bush Administration prior to Desert Storm and that the senior Bush heeded. In fact, both he and Cheney repeated that warning in the mid-to-late 90s. But, after 9/11, the neoconservatives’ escape from reality overwhelmed all of Washington and the mainstream media. A new day had dawned. We were after all: “The planet’s sole remaining superpower.”

  22. jdmckay0 says:

    Good post, nice catch Marcy.

    I’m particularly interested in the warnings that this would empower Iran.

    One event that I only saw a blurb of (WP?)… just after initial invasion the neocons were flooding media w/their desire to extend invasion to Iran. I have little doubt they would have, but…

    Russia moved a battleship battalion right off coast of Iran in the gulf. The message was loud and clear: eg. we (Russians) don’t like this Iraq adventure but we can’t do much to stop you. But don’t fuck w/Iran.

    It was definitely predictable that the war would strengthen Iran. But it always seemed as if the Bush Administration never even considered that possibility.

    There was a whole universe of in-your-face possibilities they didn’t consider. And when confronted w/one, their method was to just make up shit and flood the airwaves w/patriotic jargon.

  23. TheCallUp says:

    Funny how after the war, Fox News and all the right winged talking heads repeated the same narrative 24/7 that ALL the Europeans’ intelligence said the exact same thing as American intelligence. This was often in defense of the allegation that the neo-cons cherry-picked intelligence. And the Left would just timidly back away from this assertion.

    The Right repeated this narrative over and over and over until it became widely accepted. Finally Germany and others come forward and expose that they did NOT believe the intelligence justified an invasion, and they were fiercely lobbying the Bush Administration NOT to invade Iraq.