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Bush 'not telling truth' in 'Decision Points' memoir, says German ex-chancellor

George W. Bush's 'Decision Points' memoir is attracting global scrutiny. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder disputes that he initially offered support for the invasion of Iraq.

By Staff writer / November 8, 2010

Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey interviews former President George W. Bush during taping of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' at Harpo Studios in Chicago. The show will air nationally on Nov. 9.

George Burns/Harpo Productions Inc./AP

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Among the many global reactions to George W. Bush's memoir "Decision Points," the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has now said that the 43rd United States president "is not telling the truth."

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In the memoir, released Nov. 9, Mr. Bush writes that Mr. Schroeder in 2002 committed to supporting the US invasion of Iraq, only to renege later that year, a claim that the former German chancellor fiercely denied in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel.

George W. Bush’s appearances this week on NBC, Oprah, and Jay Leno underscore how his memoir "Decision Points" is geared toward an American audience. But the former president is also attracting international attention, with media worldwide focusing on aspects of the book specific to their regions.

Ukraine’s The Kyiv Post, for example, highlights how Russian leader Valdimir Putin, after he met Mr. Bush's Scottish terrier Barney, introduced the American president to his “big black Labrador.” Bush writes that, "With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, 'Bigger, stronger, faster than Barney.' "

While Russian media did not appear to be covering the interaction, Bush's reflections – on relations with Israel, decisions to start two wars, and interactions with world leaders such as Schroeder – are all sparking discussion in much of the international press.

'Not telling the truth'

According to Bush's memoir, Schroeder in 2002 told him: "What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq. Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you."

Bush continues: "I took that as a statement of support. But when the German election arrived later that year, Schroeder had a different take. He denounced the possibility of force against Iraq." Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched in March 2003 despite opposition from Germany and others.

But Schroeder on Tuesday told Der Spiegel that he said no such thing. "The former American president is not telling the truth," he said, explaining that he told Bush that he would only support the invasion of Iraq if a connection was established between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

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