BERLIN -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pressing to improve relations with Europe, drew a promise yesterday from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany to do more to help with Iraq and a warm endorsement of President Bush's call for democracy in Iran.Mind you, Herr Schoeder hasn't completely changed his position:
...Schroeder, one of Europe's most implacable opponents of the Iraq invasion two years ago, appeared with Rice at a convivial news conference after an hourlong meeting here yesterday. He said that he, like Bush, was ready to move beyond the debates of the past and work together on several matters, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian peace effort.
Rice said, "Now is the time for our diplomacy to put our alliance to work in the service of great goals and great opportunities that stand before us."
Schroeder said that what Iraq needed was "democracy and stability," and that Germany, which has begun training Iraqi police officers in the United Arab Emirates, was "ready to help" if the Iraqis asked for it.
The Germans have ruled out any military mission, training or otherwise, on Iraqi soil, however.That's too bad, because when there's a need for democracy and stability, you want German troops on the scene.
Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll muddle through. Just like we've done for two years, in the face of strident German opposition.