Your assessment is misguided on several levels for the following reasons:
Schroeder was bashing Bush long before the Iraq thing came up. His foreign minister Fischer is a known anti-American. They both played up the anti-American, anti-Bush message in his re-election campaign as well.
The problem with Germany is that it failed to appreciate as it did so well during the Cold War that US troops were what defended it from the Soviet Union. The Persian Gulf and stable oil supplies are now protected by the US. When it came to taking out Saddam, we were pre-emptively removing a threat that had been around for quite some time and one that we believed was given added urgency following 911.
Given that NO German troops would ever be sent to deal with a nuclear equipped Saddam or one with wmds, but plenty of American soldiers would, why does Germany feel that it deserved a say in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq at all.
Now, you explain to me, how Iraq (a nation of level 4 importance to Berlin) is allowed to become an issue that derails Germany’s relationship with its No. 1 security and economic partner. Germany could have abstained. No one asked it to play an active role. It chose to actively oppose the US because it feared Iraq would become a source of terrorism? Bullshit. Why then was Berlin absolutely content to do nothing about Afghanistan for 13 years? Suddenly, the mere possibility of Iraq becoming a terrorist nest is cause to rupture its key relationship for 60 years. If that were the case, why no hysteria over Algeria or Lebanon.
The truth of the matter is that Schroeder and Fischer have long been anti-American and it took something like this to get them out in the open and expose their true tendencies. Given that Germany was the primary source of most of Saddam’s nuclear, chemical and missile technology and equipment, I think we know the real truth. This is about making money and corruption at the highest levels of German government. While this pales in comparison to what goes on as day-to-day business in France, Schroeder and Fischer’s anti-Americanism is what brought this sordid one-night stand with France into a broken marriage with abandoned children and a new house-sharing relationship (though not quite marriage) with the cheap tramp (Paris) that broke up the otherwise solid relationship in the first place.
If you have any doubts about any of this, I will be more than happy to once again supply a nauseating array of reports and statistics on the subject though you may wish to search through past threads on the subject first to spare me and yourself and other readers the agony.
Why don’t our earnest little reporters delve into all of this more? Did anyone KNOW or report on the fact that Germany was Saddam’s No. 1 supplier preGulf War I? Why not? What about Fischer and Schroeder’s anti-Americanism? Why doesn’t this get more coverage? If Bush had ever said the kinds of things about Schroeder that Schroeder and Fischer and others in the German administration had said about Bush, can you imagine the shitstorm? So calling Germany “old Europe” is all you can find to compare in terms of name calling and by merely one US official? That’s it? Anything from Bush, Cheney, Powell on this? I don’t think so.
Final note: Germany and France fucked America over the Iraq issue and have been doing so long before Bush came along. They have been doing so in the UN and other international organizations for quite some time. If there is to be a rebuilding of the relationship, it will have to take a change in mindset in Berlin. No one cares what Paris does. That is immaterial. The onus for improving the relationship lies with Germany, but that will not happen until Schroeder and that contemptible little fuckwit Fischer are out of office. I will celebrate the election in Baden Baden with Champagne the day those two little asswipes are voted out in a landslide victory for the opposition. Count on it.