In a recent interview, former Polish president Lech Walesa said France and Germany were partially to blame for the Iraq war, and took credit for the fall of communism. Here's how DW-WORLD readers responded.
Walesa said France and Germany allowed Europe to split over Iraq
I found it funny that Walesa points the finger of blame directly at Germany and France. It seems to me that he has not changed since the time he led Poland. As a former Polish president, he said nothing when the Polish Foreign Ministry announced the so-called "joint operation" of German and Polish Troops in Iraq without consulting (German Defense Minister) Peter Struck. Now he is blaming Schröder and Chirac and would not dare to touch either Blair or Berlusconi. Another ridiculous fact is that Poland as a newly joined EU member has publicly criticised other founding members for their stance against Bush's dirty war in Iraq. Perhaps, billions of U.S. dollars will be sent from Washington to Warsaw and Bush will list Poland as one of America's closest allies in Europe. -- Do Viet
Yes, I believe that France, Germany and the UN security council are as much to blame for the Iraq war as the United States. If Germany and France had been more even in their comments, I believe that Saddam Hussein would not have misinterpreted the actions of the U.S. I think Hussein thought that France and Germany had enough power to stop the U.S. I do not believe that Germany, France or Russia has the economic or the military power to be of influence in the world. -- Shigeru Tokubo, U.S. Historical events are not isolated from the context in which they occur. It is really hard to believe that only one man can do such a monumental job. Walesa`s efforts to overthrow communism were not unique at that time. Chile had also followed the same direction some years before, although under different circumstances and with different means. Moreover, the Soviet regime was losing the technological race at that time. The Russian intellectuals, Sajarov and Soljenitsin prepared the road. On the other hand, it is not possible to pass over the role of the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II, who I think was the main support for Walesa. That combination was both a strong and a powerful one. Finally, foreign public opinion -- the international press -- gave the necessary impulse in critical moments. The importance of Walesa in the whole process was related more to the leadership that those elements brought. -- Erico Wulf, Chile