SPD to reject USpreemptive strikes
18 November 2003 , BOCHUM - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats were due later Tuesday to pass a resolution formally rejecting the new United States military doctrine of preemptive military strikes, a party leader said.
18 November 2003
BOCHUM - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats were due later Tuesday to pass a resolution formally rejecting the new United States military doctrine of preemptive military strikes, a party leader said.
Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul told a Social Democratic Party (SPD) convention that Schroeder had been right to oppose the US-led Iraq war and that subsequent events proved this policy was right.
"We reject the concept of preemptive strikes," Wieczorek-Zeul said in remarks at the congress which on Monday re-elected Schroeder as SPD leader.
In a major shift after decades of relying on deterrence, the US government declared in 2002 that it would act preemptively against terrorists.
Wieczorek-Zeul said the convention would pass a resolution rejecting this policy.
Schroeder's leading role in saying "no" to the Iraq war had helped spawn a new global public attitude to security issues, she said.
Iraq showed that Germany needed to play a lead role in giving teeth to the European Union (EU) common foreign and security policy, said Wieczorek-Zeul.
"This is so the EU can take action in the world and won't have to subordinate itself," she said.
The EU was sharply divided over the Iraq war with Germany and France leading opposition to the conflict and Britain, Spain and Italy backing the war.
Former SPD leader Hans-Jochen Vogel went further in his praise of Schroeder, saying the Chancellor had shown exemplary strength in standing up to intense pressure aimed at his Iraq war stance.
"This has given you a place in history," declared Vogel.
In other business, the SPD congress was electing its 37-member executive committee.
One of the party's rising stars, state Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck of Brandenburg, came in first with 356 votes.
Schroeder's secretary general, Olaf Scholz, was punished by delegates on Monday who handed him a weak 52.6 percent re-election victory.
Many delegates, who are unhappy over Schroeder's economic reforms appear to have taken out frustration on the unpopular Scholz who is nicknamed "Scholz-o-matic" for his ability to spout the party line on any issue seemingly at the touch of button.
Subject: German news