March 20, 2008

To Dispel A Myth

An article by Caroline Glick in Monday's JP:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's speech in German before the Knesset this afternoon will be the culmination of what the Israeli media has referred to as an "historic" three-day state visit to Israel. The day before Merkel launched her "historic" visit, Der Spiegel reported on the "historic" visit of another German to Afghanistan.

That visit ended on March 3 when the visitor in question, known as Cüneyt C. from Bavaria and also known as Saad Ebu Furkan blew himself up in front of a US guard post in Khost, an hour's drive from the border with Pakistan where the German-Turk underwent terror training. Two US soldiers were killed and dozens were wounded after being trapped beneath the rubble, making C. Germany's first successful suicide bomber.

Although the first German to kill US forces, C.'s associate, Sadullah K. a young German from the state of Hesse died trying...

And of course, Germany's reputation as a home for al-Qaida-like jihadists was brandished by Saudi and Egyptian nationals who studied in Hamburg several years ago. Led by Muhammad Atta, they enjoyed German hospitality while planning the attacks they carried out in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.

MERKEL, WHO presents herself and her country as Israel's greatest friend and supporter in Europe, will no doubt ignore this story in her Knesset speech. She will doubtlessly also not mention that her country is Iran's largest importer. She might mention that last year Germany did cancel a half of its loan guarantees to German firms doing business with Iran. But she won't mention that the move has had almost no impact on trade volume. In a recent report on German firms in Iran, Reuters interviewed British businessman Robert Mills, who runs DHL's operation in Teheran. DHL, the express delivery firm is a unit of the mail and logistics group Deutsche Post.

Mills gushed about the booming business his firm is doing in Iran, in spite of the international sanctions. Mills said the tonnage handled by DHL jumped by 50 per cent in the last two years and the company has doubled its turnover in Iran since 2005 on the back of rising imports of everything from telecommunications equipment to car spare parts.

Like Mills, other businessmen representing German firms reported booming businesses and expanding opportunities in spite of UN sanctions. Business managers reported that their earnings have doubled and tripled in the past two years.

Iran's faith in its German business partners is apparently unlimited. Why else would it be considering listing $92 billion in shares of its energy holding company on the Frankfurt stock exchange? As MEED, the Middle East Business Intelligence Report reported Sunday, with over 1,700 German firms operating in Iran, the fact that Germany recently broke off banking ties with Iranian banks is not viewed as an obstacle to listing the firm on the Frankfurt exchange. A spokeswoman for Deutsche Borse, the company which manages the exchange told the journal that it would have no objection to listing the Iranian firm.

GERMANY'S actions toward Iran cannot be squared with Merkel's rhetoric of support for Israel and commitment to Israel's security. Both Germany's actions and its pro-Israel rhetoric can only be understood when seen through the lens of power politics - which is the lens that informs European policymakers in their decisions relating to Israel, Iran, the Middle East, and indeed the world as a whole.


Merkel of course, knows full well that Israel's presumptive Palestinian "peace partner" the Fatah movement is a terrorist group. She also knows that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government's presumptive interlocutor for peace, Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is neither able nor interested in establishing a Palestinian state that will live at peace with Israel. She also knows that if the so-called peace process brings about a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, that state will simply be a terror state that will stand at the side of the terror state that was established in Gaza in 2005.


But of course, in the media frenzy of feel good German-Israeli friendship that has characterized Merkel's visit, none of this is likely to occur this week. And in the appeasement frenzied political climate that has gripped Israel since 1993, it is hard to imagine anyone stopping to realize that we are the only ones who take the Europeans at their word.
The article is well worth reading in its entirety. I would like, however, to add a correction concerning a not totally unimportant detail, because it might create a myth.

Caroline Glick says that Cüneyt Ciftci (a Turk with German passport and, no doubt, brought up in a German Muslim "parallel society") was the first "German" to kill US forces. That is not the case. The first Germans to kill US forces were undoubted and undoubtedly ethnic Germans, namely members of the Baader-Meinhof gang, and the first member of the American military they killed was First Lieutenant Paul A. Bloomquist. That was on May 11, 1972 during a bomb attack on the headquarters of the 5th US Corps in Frankfurt/Main. Thirteen others were injured.

13 days later, during an assault on the European headquarters of the US Army on May 24, 1972, the GIs Ronald A. Woodward and Charles Peck were killed, five others were injured.

On August 7, 1985, the GI Edward Pimental was shot dead in Wiesbaden by members of the Baader-Meinhof gang. One of the girls had lured him out of a discotheque and into a situation that rendered him helpless. The sole purpose of the murder of this 20 year old boy was to get hold of his ID-card, which they later proudly showed-off to the world. It was used to get access to the Rhein-Main-Airbase in Frankfurt/Main the next day, where they detonated a car bomb. GI Frank Scarton and the civilian employee Becky Jo Bristol, the wife of an enlisted man, were killed, 23 others were injured.

The victims of the Baader-Meinhof gang are listed at the website of the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung.

Most of the murderers are free, whereas the families of the victims serve a life sentence without pardon or parole in their own private hell.

As examples may serve Irmgard Möller, who drove a car full of explosives into United States Military Intelligence Headquarters at Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg in 1972, who was arrested in July of the same year and given a lengthy prison sentence, but was released in the Nineties and Eva Haule, who was involved in the murder of Edward Pimental as well as in the following Rhein-Main Air Base bombing. The latter was granted parole in August 2007 after a "life sentence" of 21 years because, so the court, "she can't be considered a danger to the public" any longer. With her release date set for August 21, "the heirs of Freisler, Inc." released her on the 17th already, in order to protect her from the media. Everything to accomodate! Calling to account the murderers of Americans has never had a high priority in Germany anyway.

What shouldn't be forgotten either is the fact that the Baader-Meinhof terrorists received training at PLO camps, thus reviving a long tradition of excellent cooperation between Arabs and Germans, which had passed its acid test during the holocaust of the European Jews already.

And here, the matter reaches its full circle and we are back at Caroline Glick's article.