On today's Opinion Journal page (link here) is a story that just makes me furious that I ever visited the Republik of Austria and spent even a single, solitary Schilling in the shops of Vienna or Salzburg. As wonderful as those cities (rich in history, music and the arts) are, I question my love for the close cousin of Germany because of the actions of their former Chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel.
The so-called right-leaning former-Chancellor of Austria made a fatal blunder. Not one that he paid for, but for which American soldiers and Marines have paid the ultimate price. How does a conservative (by European standards) decide that selling 800 sniper rifles to Iran is in any way a positive thing? What the hell does he think they're going to do with them, use them to shoot crows at landfills?
The sale of Steyr-Mannlicher sniper rifles in 2004 was vigorously opposed by the Bush Administration (rightfully so) and was obviously after we were fully engaged in warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq (both Iran's neighbors). Good grief, what was this moron thinking (apparently that because Austria wasn't sending any troops to Iraq, what could ever be the problem?)?
Damn it, damn it, damn it! Good Americans have paid the price in blood for Schüssel's idiocy, gluttony and malfeasance! What do you want to bet that somehow S-M has made sure that Schüssel has been remunerated for his counter-intuitive position on the sale? This goes way beyond interest in seeing your country's commercial interests succeed. This goes to the issue of arming an enemy not just of your – supposedly close – ally, but of all civilized nations.
Wie schlafen Sie nachts oder schauen sich im Spiegel, Herr Bundeskanzler?
(Translation: "How do you sleep at night or look yourself in the mirror, Mr. Federal Chancellor?")