Germany’s top diplomat in Baghdad claims in a classified report that American soldiers mishandled three workers at the Germany embassy in Baghdad. The incident has created new tensions in Berlin-Washington relations. For some unknown reason, American soldiers placed three off-duty Iraqi guards under arrest and one of them was detained for four months where he claimed to be abused by guards. After complaints by German Ambassador Hanns Schumacher two of the guards were relased and given financial compensation. As of this date, no apology has been issued by American military authorities.
This is simply a minor incident, but, in a sense, it reflects some of the ongoing problems for America in Iraq. On one hand, the United States continually complains about the lack of effort on the part of Germany, yet, on the other hand, when Germans are present, they are treated with disrespect. During the past two months, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has criticised Germany’s lack of effort in Afghanistan in public statements. Perhaps, it is time to lower the anti-Germany rhetoric and work in a cooperative manner with allies.