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Thread: Germany (catch all, incl. terrorism)

  1. #61
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Btw, did you miss that the 9/11 pilots learned to fly in Florida?
    Yep and that is why SWC has its chief insurgent, Ken White, on a recce for us...

  2. #62
    Council Member Tacitus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Btw, did you miss that the 9/11 pilots learned to fly in Florida?
    Why some flight students were so interested in learning to fly a jet airplane, but unconcerned with how to land it, ought to have caused somebody down there in Florida to wonder just WHAT kind of pilot they were training to be. Since the demand for Kamikaze pilots dried up on September 2, 1945, this sort of pilot training has gone out of fashion, I believe.

    I'm just saying that if an Al Qaeda sleeper agent pulled off some big 9/11 style attack on Canada tomorrow, and it turns out he was organizing the thing out of a farmhouse in Indiana, the fact that he decided to attack elsewhere wouldn't make me feel any safer or immune from whatever this terrorist group might pull next. I am pretty sure most Americans would feel the same. But maybe we are a unique nation for feeling that way.

    Where Americans differ amongst themselves is this Iraq thing. Some think this Iraq democracy project is "the central front in the war on terror".

    Others, perhaps thinking that the mere idea of a front applied to a terrorist group is a strange metaphor to begin with, are skeptical of this.

    I'll tell you in November which political leader of these respective groups will have the most say in what happens next.
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  3. #63
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    I'm just saying that if an Al Qaeda sleeper agent pulled off some big 9/11 style attack on Canada tomorrow, and it turns out he was organizing the thing out of a farmhouse in Indiana, the fact that he decided to attack elsewhere wouldn't make me feel any safer or immune from whatever this terrorist group might pull next.
    The reason why Germans don't feel as being really threatened by AQ is more that we didn't piss the Arabs off for 25 years (well, just a little bit - about twice since 2002; OEF and Mohammed caricature re-prints).

  4. #64
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. We've been at it

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The reason why Germans don't feel as being really threatened by AQ is more that we didn't piss the Arabs off for 25 years (well, just a little bit - about twice since 2002; OEF and Mohammed caricature re-prints).
    far longer than that...

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    I'm just saying that if an Al Qaeda sleeper agent pulled off some big 9/11 style attack on Canada tomorrow, and it turns out he was organizing the thing out of a farmhouse in Indiana, the fact that he decided to attack elsewhere wouldn't make me feel any safer or immune from whatever this terrorist group might pull next.
    There are terrorists in Indiana!!!??? I bet they are hiding in the corn... I'll get my gun.
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  6. #66
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Tornados. Well, every country has at least one ####ty newspaper, I guess.
    But I've got something more interesting. Yesterday we had a cloud over parts of Western Germany that dropped not only an unbelievable volume of water - it also darkened whole regions like an eclipse. I had 10m sight range at 11 o'clock in the morning!
    It got to Oberpfalz by 1900. Scary high winds and great big hammerhead clouds.

    We are from Iowa, where tornadoes and really big thunderstorms are normally a nightly occurence at this time of year, and we were outside when it happened. My wife and I looked at each other, and said "uh oh!" thinking tornadic activity all the way.

    And the temperature drop/extreme darkness was unreal....

  7. #67
    Council Member Tacitus's Avatar
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    Wink It goes a very long way back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    far longer than that...
    Amen to that, Ken.

    You could trace the USA's conflict with violent, Islamic elements all the way back to 1784, when the ink was barely dry on the peace treaty with Britain. The Barbary Pirates, anyone?

    In 1786, Thomas Jefferson, then the ambassador to France, and John Adams, then the ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the ambassador to Britain from Tripoli. The Americans asked Adja why his government was hostile to American ships, even though there had been no provocation. The ambassador's response was reported to the Continental Congress:

    It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_pirates

    Citing the Koran as a justification to kill, rob, and/or enslave American infidels was well chronicled in history long before Nixon or Carter occupied the White House. U.S. Marines singing about fighting "to the shores of Tripoli", doesn't have anything to do with Colonel Khadaffi.
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  8. #68
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Germany explained

    Excellent thread, especially Fuchs comments.

    I do wonder, nay ask, whether the FRG has not changed its counter-terrorism laws and techniques as they are quite adequate to the threat? There are some, on both sides of the Atlantic, that feel many of the legislation passed since 9/11 has been more "spin" than substance.

    Inidentally it was important in the UK to make illegal private possession of nuclear material, an important gap in our laws.

    davidbfpo

  9. #69
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Thanks, Davidbfpo.
    The CT changes of laws have mostly increased the ability of the state to spy on and find (in population databases) extremists in Germany. Attempts to establish a domestic CT role of the Bundeswehr have been repelled.

    One problem with the new competencies is that their success is often reported as marginal, but greater success is probably simply kept as secret.
    I personally believe that many new competencies have become useless against all but the dumbest wannabe-terrorists simply because these competencies have become publicly known and suspects can adapt to the new situation.

    Classic example: A Muslim terrorist might book a flight and order a pork meal, but simply doesn't eat the pork. The competence to look at databases for specific behaviours (like to not order the pork meal because you're probably Muslim) to add suspicion points could easily be fooled like this. With up to several years of intense discussion on the law changes you can bet that the suspects have adapted even before the new laws were in force. What's left? Our state moved some steps towards police state for probably no real benefit.


    Tacitus, Ken White;
    I believe the today really relevant conflicts with Arabs began in 1973 when the USA attempted to save Israel. It had a rather low profile till then. I believe that older conflicts are quite irrelevant and were not of greater scope than conflicts with Europeans (which remained much less troublesome than 9/11 except of course the Algerian war of independence).

    The U.S. conflict with Persians might date back due to the support (or establishment?) of the Shah regime, but concerning the Arabs I'd say 25 years = since 1973.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 05-31-2008 at 10:23 PM.

  10. #70
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I think you're broadly correct in that assessment

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    ...I believe the today really relevant conflicts with Arabs began in 1973 when the USA attempted to save Israel. It had a rather low profile till then. I believe that older conflicts are quite irrelevant and were not of greater scope than conflicts with Europeans (which remained much less troublesome than 9/11 except of course the Algerian war of independence).

    The U.S. conflict with Persians might date back due to the support (or establishment?) of the Shah regime, but concerning the Arabs I'd say 25 years = since 1973.
    but our intrusion into the area with the British during WW II started the trend; immediate post war efforts by us alone aimed at eclipsing the British and French made us the focus of concern (and predictably aroused the ire of those two western Nations but that's another thread).

    Placing Mohammed Reza on the Peacock throne and then colluding with the British to keep him there in 1953 did not help. That was all survivable but Lyndon Johnson's massive support of Israel in 1967 -- it had really been sort of tepid prior to that -- tilted the balance. The support in 1973 just went further in reinforcing that downward trend.

    Add to that the intrusion of despised western (but mostly American) 'culture' from 1945 forward with acceleration due to better global communication in the post 1960 era and we are correctly and widely seen as having far more than our nose under the tent.

    Couple all that with inappropriate responses to the to be expected lashing out at the Great Satan from folks in the ME and we have a classic example of unthinking and unsophisticated intrusion coupled with an ignorance bred response to the utterly predictable strikes which merely exacerbated the problem.

    We haven't done much in the ME very well and we've been doing that for a good many years...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Tacitus, Ken White;
    I believe the today really relevant conflicts with Arabs began in 1973 when the USA attempted to save Israel. It had a rather low profile till then. I believe that older conflicts are quite irrelevant and were not of greater scope than conflicts with Europeans (which remained much less troublesome than 9/11 except of course the Algerian war of independence).

    The U.S. conflict with Persians might date back due to the support (or establishment?) of the Shah regime, but concerning the Arabs I'd say 25 years = since 1973.
    If I may to inject myself into this with a litle comment, I would agree and say that is 100% on point with regards to U.S. Until then main fight was against UK & French imperialism.

    Also, I would like to remind everyone when talking about Germany (in particular) and Europe (in general) that one can not talk about Muslim anger, and reasons for action of some individuals, without to mention hostility of EU against Turkey and they membership (purely based on history, hate and xenophobia), and West inaction in Bosnia. That was main rally call of "Hamburg group", right?

  12. #72
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Well, the Turks and German-Turks in Germany are worker class or unemployed.
    It's an often denied fact, but they are in competition with the German worker class and unemployed workers for jobs. The social situation also causes unfavourable criminal statistics and low respect of middle and upper classes.
    That's not helpful.

    Another aspect is that the Turkish culture is quite different, especially the very backward version that's in use with the emigrants (who often stick to a culture as of 1950's rural Turkey). They provide occasionally terrible examples (like murder of sister because she was too Western and 'dishonoured' the family and such nonsense).

    Finally we have some really stupid newspapers in both languages.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    About racism and national conflicts in Germany in general:
    There's no real "racism" in Germany. It's rather an antipathy towards specific nationalities.

    positive:
    UK
    Scandinavian countries
    France (although they're not particularly friendly to us)
    Spain & Portugal
    Italy
    Austria & Switzerland (they speak German...kind of)
    Australia & New Zealand
    Canada
    Asians (India to Japan)
    Netherlands (although they dislike us)

    divided:
    Poland (hard-working helpers in agriculture and grey market in general, but also notorious for stealing cars)
    USA (this goes to negative for sure if McCain gets elected)
    Russia ("drunk")
    Arabs (quickly drifting to negative due to corruption and extremists)

    neutral:
    Bulgaria
    Slovakia
    Czech
    Belgium
    Latin Americans
    most non-Russian Eastern Europeans
    most Africans
    Carribbean countries

    negative:
    Romania (Romanian gangs had serious looting campaigns in Germany in the early 90's. They crashed into stores, about 10 Romanians stole as much as possible and loaded the truck, then they drove to next town. Seriously.)
    Ghana (quite many Africans sitting unemployed in cities and supposedly dealing drugs - many of them are assumed to be from Ghana for some unknown reason)
    Afghans (drug troubles)
    Vietnamese (cigarette smuggling, most of them are a leftover of DDR friendship policy with Vietnam in 70's and 80's)
    Albania (lots of very violent criminals)
    Turkey (mentioned above)

    An American black man would feel next to no discrimination in office clothes in Germany, but if misunderstood for a Ghanaan seeking asylum he might run into troubles monthly.
    A Romanian would be under close scrutiny, a Bulgarian likely not.
    A Macedonian would have little if any troubles (I had a Macedonian friend and he never had serious problems), but an Albanian would likely get no job.
    Skin colour and religions are quite unimportant, nationality is much more important in Germany.

  13. #73
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Well, I could agree except for the fact that

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    If I may to inject myself into this with a litle comment, I would agree and say that is 100% on point with regards to U.S. Until then main fight was against UK & French imperialism.
    the US effectively killed any and all UK and French imperialism in the ME on 6 November 1956 and everyone in the ME knew that had occurred. Thus, the US became the bad guy everyone loved to hate...

    So 1973 is too late; Johnson's massive aid and total support in 1967, to the extent of swallowing the attack by the Israelis on the USS Liberty merely continued and cemented the trend of the US replacing the British and French in ME eyes that began in 1956. By 1973 that process had been in effect for 17 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Skin colour and religions are quite unimportant, nationality is much more important in Germany.
    Generally speaking, yes I will agree... Nationalism was always bigger in Europe.

    Back to Turks... Majority of them are secular, right? And talking about different culture, would you say that Serbs have same culture values like Europeans? And if so, why would they be more accepted (being responsible for genocide in Bosnia and Croatia, and still harboring war criminals which did not stop Europeans to have talks with them about joining EU) then Turks?

    Can I assume that you know that Serbs also recognize "honor" killings in they culture and instances of that crimes are often in serbian villages? Or you think European hate for those crimes is only limited on Muslims?! BTW, I read International Crisis Group report on Turks in Germany and it was interesting read that explained allot about Turks in Germany, they life and hopes... You should look into it (if you didn't by now).

    What I am trying to say is that bias in Europe (together with they own background, education level and culture) has to do with how others are treated there and how will they respond on it. Germany, having the experience with migrant workers and WWII history is maybe less engage in racist profiling but they are coming around and quickly choosing sides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    the US effectively killed any and all UK and French imperialism in the ME on 6 November 1956 and everyone in the ME knew that had occurred. Thus, the US became the bad guy everyone loved to hate...

    So 1973 is too late; Johnson's massive aid and total support in 1967, to the extent of swallowing the attack by the Israelis on the USS Liberty merely continued and cemented the trend of the US replacing the British and French in ME eyes that began in 1956. By 1973 that process had been in effect for 17 years.
    It was never clear to me why did Liberty happened and why didn't US Goverment responded and defend those sailors?! Some of them even spoke about pressure to stay silent.

    Anyways, maybe US did help end of Imperialisms in ME but very fast US step up to fill vacuum and become neo-imperialistic force to this day (replaced with economic pressures, small war/interventions, regime changes and financial control and black mails). I remember reading something from Truman office (some report) about ME and Islam and it is pure bias and full of imperialistic ideas.

  16. #76
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Serbia is difficult.
    Slovenia is no problem at all, Croatia is (if known at all) rather positive.
    Serbia otherwise is still stained by the reporting about the Yugoslavian civil wars.

    Serbs usually get little appreciation for their political positions in Germany.
    I cannot tell much about private relationships, I only knew one Serbian female 11 years ago.

    Serbia is no doubt being considered as "European" (unlike Turkey or Georgia, for example).

  17. #77
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Mixed bag...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    It was never clear to me why did Liberty happened and why didn't US Goverment responded and defend those sailors?! Some of them even spoke about pressure to stay silent.
    Nor is it clear to many anywhere; lot of arguments and discussions back and forth with no real resolution. It happened; it's over.
    Anyways, maybe US did help end of Imperialisms in ME but very fast US step up to fill vacuum and become neo-imperialistic force to this day (replaced with economic pressures, small war/interventions, regime changes and financial control and black mails). I remember reading something from Truman office (some report) about ME and Islam and it is pure bias and full of imperialistic ideas.
    I thought that's what I said? Also, you seem to forget I said this above in this thread: ""We haven't done much in the ME very well and we've been doing that for a good many years...""

    There are plenty of dummies on both sides of this, the ME has some; we have some. Neither side has done well. not looking all that good for the future, either...

  18. #78
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    Left out of this summary is anything about Mohamed Atta.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Atta#Germany
    He apparently felt comfortable enough operating in Hamburg to create the Hamburg Cell, which was central to carrying out the 9/11 assault.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg_Cell

    I've been to several places in Germany, but never Hamburg. Is Hamburg especially hospitable for radical Islamists, for some reason?

    I'm not a big fan at all of this democracy project of ours in Mesopotamia. But if the USA was discovered to be used as a base of planning operations for an Al Qaeda attack on another place (say Germany), I would regard this as a pretty serious development. If they feel comfortable planning something like that from here, then we've got a problem.
    Tacitus,
    I believe the Hamburg Cell’s radicalization process was the “bunch of guys” dynamic. The key was their recruitment, what happened once they decided they wanted to join an armed Jihadi front. Their original aim was to fight in Chechnya, but they were selected for a bigger mission while they were in the AQ training process. Two individuals also located in Hamburg are involved in linking them into this process, Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli.

    Zammar and Darkazanli were both born in Allepo, Syria, both are German citizens, and both are members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Zammar was active in the 1990’s in supplying foreign fighters and arms to Bosnian Muslims. It is known that Germany covertly aided Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims, as did we-overtly once the arms embargo was dropped. Islamic NGO’s based in German (and in the U.S.) also provided humanitarian and military aide to the Bosnian Muslims with little interference by both governments.

  19. #79
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Sunni-Shia Divide

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Thanks, Davidbfpo.

    I believe the today really relevant conflicts with Arabs began in 1973 when the USA attempted to save Israel. It had a rather low profile till then. I believe that older conflicts are quite irrelevant and were not of greater scope than conflicts with Europeans (which remained much less troublesome than 9/11 except of course the Algerian war of independence).

    The U.S. conflict with Persians might date back due to the support (or establishment?) of the Shah regime, but concerning the Arabs I'd say 25 years = since 1973.
    Fuchs,

    During my year in Iraq I was amazed to find that people really and truly cared about Sunni-Shia split in 632 and what the Ottoman Turks did in Iraq 1831.

    Herr Uhrlau of the BND has an interesting take on things...

    Uhrlau: We mustn't fool ourselves. From the standpoint of the sponsors of terrorism and their accomplices, we belong to the "crusaders." German soldiers are deployed in Afghanistan, and the German navy is patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa and in the Mediterranean off the Lebanese coast. From the perspective of the terrorists, we have adopted a clear position in this conflict -- they see us as being on the side of the attackers.
    Do you see Otto von Bismarck's alliance with the Ottoman Turks as a positive and how does that square with the EU's current stance on the accession of Turkey?

    Regards,

    Steve
    Sapere Aude

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Nor is it clear to many anywhere; lot of arguments and discussions back and forth with no real resolution. It happened; it's over.I thought that's what I said? Also, you seem to forget I said this above in this thread: ""We haven't done much in the ME very well and we've been doing that for a good many years...""

    There are plenty of dummies on both sides of this, the ME has some; we have some. Neither side has done well. not looking all that good for the future, either...
    Sorry if I miss your point. And, I do agree with you latest statement in full.

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