Uncle Rudy tells a fairy tale

Rudy Giuliani during his speech at the convention:

Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.

And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.

The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.

Action like this became the rule, not the exception.

Well, back in ’72 nobody was prepared for such attacks, except may be the Israelis. And the three terrorists were set free in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked Lufthansa plane. At the time we had no way to deal with this kind of situation, so I don’t see how the authorities had much choice. Up to that time West Germany had avoided the training of special operations groups, so that the rest of Europe wouldn’t become nervous.

Anyway, due to such humiliating incidents such restraints went right out the window and the counter terrorism group GSG 9 was founded, which has performed very well so far:

While other CT [counter terrorism] teams were created because of the Munich Olympics, GSG-9 has distinction because the massacre in 1972 was, at least in part, directly attributed to the German police’s lack of preparation and training for such trials. Because of this failure, GSG-9 was created and was considered operational on April 17, 1973–six months after the massacre in Munich.

GSG-9s best known mission is the 1977 takedown of a terrorist held Lufthansa 707 in Mogadishu, Somali. A team of two men and two women hijacked the plane, demanding the release of Baader-Meinhof terrorists held in German jails. After the captain of the plane was killed, the German Government ordered GSG-9 in.

They arrived at 17:30 hours on 17, October 1977. Two SAS officers were along to “observe” the takedown; They brought the new “flash-bang” stun grenades with them. Members of GSG-9 and the two SAS troopers begin approaching the aircraft from the rear. At 23:50, with the help of the local Somali military, diversions were set up to distract the terrorists. They were told their demands had been met. Then a huge bonfire set by the Somali special forces began to burn 100 yards in front of the plane. At 00:05 (12:05 for those of you who can’t read military time) the assault began.

Climbing up the rubber tipped ladders, 20 GSG-9 operators forced their way into the aircraft and tossed the flash-bang grenades towards the cockpit. One female terrorist was encountered immediately and killed. Another raced to the rear of the aircraft and barricaded herself in a toilet. She was critically wounded by a burst from an MP-5, but survived.

Two minutes after the assault began, the fuselage of the aircraft is secure and the evacuation of passengers begins as the battle rages for the cockpit. The leader of the terrorists tosses two fragmentation grenades at the GSG-9 operators; these detonate under a row of seats and do little harm. The leader is then dispatched by a burst of 9mm from a MP-5. The fourth and final terrorist is killed when the leader and father of GSG-9, Ulrich Wegener, places several .38 rounds into his head. Eleven minutes after the assault begins, the aircraft is secure, with no losses.

It seems that this incident went right down the Anglo Saxon memory hole, even though it was global news back then. I suppose Giuliani knows about it, for it would weaken his message.

This is also interesting in this context: CONVICTION OF MOHAMMAD HAMADEI

Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, recently I addressed the Senate on the occasion of the conviction of Lebanese terrorist Fawaz Yunis in Federal district court. Today, I take this opportunity to call to the attention of my colleagues another important development in the battle against international terrorism. On May 17, a West German court convicted Mohammad Ali Hamadei of murder and air piracy and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The conviction of Hamadei, like the conviction of Yunis before it, sends an important message to terrorists around the world about the determination of the civilized world to root out and punish terrorist acts.

The facts of the Hamadei case shock the conscience. On June 14, 1985, Trans World Airline flight 847 departed Athens International Airport enroute to Rome, Italy with 153 passengers and crew on board, most of them Americans. Approximately 10 minutes into the flight, two hijackers, later identified as Mohammad Hamadei and Hasan ‘Izz-al-din, commandeered the aircraft and ran through the plane brandishing hand grenades and a pistol while randomly striking the seated passengers on the head, neck, and shoulders with their weapons. The hijackers forced Chief Stewardess Uli Derickson to the flight deck area and gained access to the cockpit. The hijackers then pistol-whipped the flight crew inside the cockpit and ordered the pilot to fly to Algiers. The aircraft ultimately flew between Beirut and Algiers several times during the next 2 days while the hijackers retained control of the plane.

Once in control of the aircraft, the hijackers ordered Derickson to collect all passports and separate those of U.S. citizens and military personnel. The terrorists then ordered the military personnel into the first-class section one at a time for questioning, beginning with Navy diver Robert Stethem. The hijackers bound his arms together with an electrical cord, cutting off his circulation, and beat him until he was unconscious. Several other passengers were also beaten. Stethem regained consciousness, only to be shot in the head in cold blood. The hijackers dumped his body onto the tarmac in Beirut before several more hijackers boarded the plane for its flight back to Algiers.

The terrorists eventually abandoned the plane after its final landing in Beirut. Thirty-nine passengers were removed from the aircraft and held hostage in various locations in Beirut for 17 additional days before they finally were freed on June 30, 1985.

Hamadei, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim, was arrested in Frankfurt, West Germany. A number of the Members of this body, including this Senator, believe that the West Germans should have extradited Hamadei to the United States to stand trial in Federal district court, but that did not come to pass. While I regret the West German decision not to honor our extradition request, I commend the Germans for bringing this terrorist to justice and I applaud the West German court for imposing the maximum sentence of life imprisonment upon Hamadei.

Before you are ready to oppose terrorists effectively, you have to have prior experience and get your nose bloodied.

The United States also needed time to get up to speed. Here are some examples:

– In 1984, the CIA station chief in Beirut was abducted, tortured and then beheaded. His death was never avenged, even though the guilty party is known by name and affiliation. There also were numerous abductions of American citizens during that period, and for those there also weren’t any reprisals.

– In October 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed, with a deathtoll of 241. There was no direct military response to the attack, and in February 1984 the International peacekeeping force was withdrawn, including the Marines.

As to the present situation: While the war on Iraq was the right thing to do, opposition to it shouldn’t be mistaken as attempts to appease terrorists. Most Europeans and their governments simply saw no connection between Al Queda and Saddam Hussein, and a lot of that opposition was motivated by opportunism, not fear. There simply is no tradition appeasing terrorists in Europe, that’s just something Americans like to tell to each other.

17 thoughts on “Uncle Rudy tells a fairy tale”

  1. Good to hear that the Germans has effective counter terrorism forces, and to be reminded that they conducted an effective operation in Mogadishu. Remind me, what happened during last year’s kidnapping of European (mainly German) tourists in the Sahara? Did the German counter terrorist forces go in, heroically rescue the hostages and take out the bad guys, or did the German Govt cravenly pay off the kidnappers in cash? Cash which the terrorists have subsequently converted into weapons to be used against the people of Chad, Mali and Algeria?

  2. As a born in Chicago native with a once-proud european bloodline- I must say that Ralf’s attempt at defense of german policies woth regard to hostage taking falls such and borders on a pathetic disgrace of journalism. With the highly evident recent payment to terrorists, with german troops hiding like rabbits in kosovo as christian churches were burned down, and the COUNRTY of germany being the instigator and supporter of a crumbling yugoslavia (with NO damn ability to solve a crises IT created on IT’s CONTINENT- I need to ask you Ralf- why the constant and desperately infantile defense of german policy with each blog you post on? Gulliani nailed it on the head with his speech- the pain of reality you felt from his words has caused a truly delushional response from you, once again.

  3. In the end, both the terrorists and the hostage takers got exactly what they wanted: The jews are still dead their killers live on in freedom and german actions reinforce the inclination to kill and take hostages again. Fairy tale? Hardly.

  4. and in closing-
    I will state again my belief that G Bush will win the election by a margin that will spin heads in europe. The next several years will be very interesting for Us who care enough to take the time to post on this blog.
    Many US men and woman have died for the defense of europe. To date- I know of NOT ONE european who has died to assist america, other than the one’s who came here to build and live. The contributions given from so many countries serving in the coalition are GIFST FROM THEM TO THE CIVILIZED WORLD, and should NOT be construed as “gifts” to America. Many, many US men and woman have died in this current battle SOLELY DUE TO EUROPEAN IMPOTENCE AND OBSTRUCTION. I, along with the millions upon millions of others in the US will tolerate this no more. Germany NOW considers DDAy as “It’s liberation from nazi-ism”. I never thought I would hear such horszhit in my day.
    So many americans wonder what in the lving hell the US was doing coming to the euros aid in sarajevo and Kosovo. It was out last attempt to show the muslims we do not hate them. We did it for europe 2 times in one decade. To hear what emminates from euroville towards the US now is just sickening.
    There is NOT one european country today who has offered troops to guard the UN in baghdad, nor to assist in Dafur other than the great Brits. For that their should be such shame felt across your continent. You have built up your fantasy world ONLY due to the blanket of security that US men and woman wrapped around europe. You hurl insults, you disgrace our culture, you mock our lifestyles, yet emulate every damn thing we do.
    There truly is nothing worse than one who constantly plays the protagonist, shouting at how things should be done, claiming the “high ground” all the while possessing such great impotence that following through with what it advises others to do (SOLELY when they are in their public’s eye), without having one god damn ability to see beyond the edge of one’s own nose and do the job that DEMAND others to do.
    One century from now there will be far more psychologists than historians analyzing this euro duplicity, cowardness, denial and impotence. It is the psychologists who will be trying to get an understanding of the intellectual cancer that ran through europe and which began to fester and bleed in the winter 2001.

  5. Ralf, we so fundamentally disagree it ain’t going to be pretty.

    – Of course, you have a choice. There always is one. So what you’re saying is that : 1) Munich Olympics terrorists are caught alive and then 2) all their associates had to do to free them was take some people hostages. I cannot help but wonder how and why you can miss that this not only rewards terrorism but gives those groups an incentive to use it to get anything they want ?

    – There is no ‘Anglo-Saxon’ – just so you know, common usage of this silly term is a distinctly Euro thing – memory hole here. Only a giant European blindspot of denial. And claiming there is no tradition of appeasement is the most common symptom of it. There was an understanding with the PLO that the French government would leave them alone as long as they did likewise. In the late 80s – when the Prime Minister was one Jacques Chirac – a well-known PLO bomber was flown to Paris, under government escort, for medical surgery. Interpol warrants were ignored. This is but one conspicuous case. What do you call that ? (“Assume the principled position!”)

    – Sure, on a few occasions, France and Germany and Italy have fought and killed some of those guys. But the overall policy, one that has been explicitly stated many times, is that this is a last resort. We try to find some kind of agreement first. If that doesn’t work we fight. Which only serves to legitimize terrorism as a political tool in the first place.

    Terrorism has become a popular weapon largely because we have made it so.

    – The examples you quote do not make your case. There is a huge gap between an absence of overt retaliation and freeing perpetrators, or using them as bargaining chips while negotiating with terrorist groups.

    Second, if the CIA retaliated for the execution of its agent, it’s not going to tell you. Third, there most definitely was a response to the Beirut attacks. The USS New Jersey pounded Hezbollah position in the hills. Special Forces did recon targets for a strike that was cancelled. Another team went in to kill a senior Hezbollah leader and didn’t succeed. So one can hardly say nothing was done. It wasn’t great. But something was done.

    Fourth, what about the bombing of Tripoli under Reagan in 1986? Seems to me they learned pretty quickly. (I am seeing a pattern here : lazy, ignorant, stupid Republican presidents seem to learn these tricks faster than European intellectuals…how could this be ?)

    – One only has to read the mainstram media on the continent. Historically, the more people a terrorist group kills, the more we are told we need to ‘understand’ them and their grievance; which is a reward in and of itself : there is no such thing as bad publicity. And as the usual victimization template is applied, the murderers become victims. We did it with the PLO, no matter how gruesome and murderous its methods were, and a few of the usual ‘avant-garde’ are already halfway there when it comes to al-Qaeda.

    – And as we well know, Yasser Arafat wasn’t rewarded for a lifetime of killing and murder with a Nobel Peace Prize to general applause for the great Palestinian ‘revolutionary’ from the European public, its press and government officials. Great lesson for Arab kids by the way : kill Jews for long enough and you become a star and go home a statesman. But hey, these are only little stories Americans like to tell themselves…Silly them.

    I think it’s time we form a rescue party to extract you.

  6. You all have no idea how happy I am that I read the comments first. I will not read the ‘More’.

    I think Ralf needs to be sedated, not rescued.

  7. It is a good thing that the Germans have created some serious capabilities in this area, and their performance in Somalia was good stuff. Their participation in Afghanistan, where they have made a military contribution, is also appreciated. Also, the Germans did the patient police work necessary to run down the Baader-Meinhoff gang, their home-grown terrorists. And I remembered all of these things, so no Anglo-Saxon memory hole here — if there is such a thing.

    But I am afraid, Ralf, that the critics overall picture is more accurate. Germany has generally taken the European approach which Sylvain describes, of trying to cut deals with terrorists where possible. I think if you look at the larger picture over the last 30 years, that is seems obvious.

    So, one cheer to Germany for creating some serious anti-terrorist capabilities and some serious special operations military force. Now, lets see more of that approach. I’m afraid we are not likely to.

  8. the academy award winning documentary “one day in september” would seem to imply that there was a conspiracy between the west germans and terrorists so that the germans wouldn’t have to deal with the situation.
    i don’t disbelieve it. perhaps others have more trust in the germans and think that they are
    1) willing to stand up to terrorists
    and 2) help jewish people in any way.

    after all (to quote the simpsons), no one who speaks german could be bad.

  9. Lex, we agree. However spectacular the exceptions to the rule – and the GSG-9 assault was reproduced in Marseille in 1994 – that is all they are. And given the number of European climbdowns, the generally pro-Arab foreign policy, the way Arafat has been treated and the respect generally given to Palestinian terrorist organizations and their friends, it is no surprise Arab terrorists also see these incidents as such.

    And why they see America as the ultimate enemy. Europeans are just not a worry to them. Because Europe only reacts. But the U.S. act.

  10. Well, in fairness, Germany wasn’t so pacifist-leftist under previous Cancelars. But it has turned so now. They were never very decisive and determined, but now they have adopted the totally pacifist, nihilist, anti American stance of France. And, like France, they have been selling lots of military hardware to Saddam and to Iran. They prefered profiteering to fighting terrorism.

    But, to correct Giuliani, neither did the US take seriously Islamist terrorism until 9/11.

  11. Definitely a memory hole. The action of the nd French security forces against the Airbus commando in Marseille in 1994 did not occur in a vaccuum. In 1994 and 1995 France was in a state of war with the islamic fundmantalists. Although a small number of terrorists, for the first time, were recruited on French soil, the French intelligence services had done a good job and the masterminds had been unable to enter French territory and the Algerian extremists were operating mostly out of London. In the fall of 1995 the terrorists struck *eight* times in Paris. Did the French huff and puff -like Bush- and talk about WWIV and indiscriminately label all muslims terrorists? Did they start bashing America and labeling them “traitors” – after all, the U.S. has a huge responsibility in the growth of sunni terrorism – thru the funding and arming of the mujaidin in Afghanistan and the propping up of the regime in Saudi Arabia which promotes and spreads Wahabbism – No. They quietly went about fighting the terrorists. The terrorists wanted the French to stop supporting of the government in Algiers. Not only did their campaign have the opposite effect, but the French security services moved into high gear and by mid 1996 a vigourous campaign had rooted out Algerian-sponsored terrorist cells thruout Europe. One of the masterminds of the attacks was chased into a wooded area by the French police and shot dead. The French had been aware of Islamic fundamentalism and warning against it from very early on – from the time they bombed the Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 80s, barely a few years after the Iranian revolution, when shiite terrorism was nascent. The French were the first to confront shiite terrorism -in addition to the action against Hezbollah (the U.S. btw refused to retaliate) they arrested a number of prominent shiites in Paris – at a time I may add when the United States was appeasing Tehran (arms for hostages). For years French policy has been to fight islamic fundamentalism by supporting secular regimes throughout the Arab world. Yes, this has meant dealing with Arafat and Saddam- But it has also meant nudging Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon towards grater democratization. For better or for worse, that policy is entirely consistent. U.S. policy on the other hand has been a lot more erratic and contradictory and a lot more accomodating to islamic fundamentalism (see Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia) – and ultimately self-defeating- – as late as 2000 the U.S. government was playing footsie with the Taliban, at a time when the French were aiding Massood. As far as I know, Saudi Arabia is still a strategic ally of the U.S. So yeah, things are a lot more complicated than what you see on Fox News.

  12. bubba- On the real face of things, france has done none of what you mention.
    It seems the impotence of the french has created a need for self-delushion amongst those with your tainted perspective.
    you spew “In the fall of 1995 the terrorists struck *eight* times in Paris. Did the French huff and puff -like Bush- and talk about WWIV and indiscriminately label all muslims terrorists?”
    What was the french “casualty count” flea brain?
    What was the damage cost to the ad kiosks targeted?
    The recent french actions regarding compensation from Libya (acheived SOLEY by US and Brit diplomacy and skills), the hypocrisy of not allowing a military strike overfly of france at the time by US- makes your points simply the hot air of a frenchman who choses 12,000 words when 12 will do just fine. No wonder then, as a country, you fools simply chase your own tail.

  13. What the hell is wrong with you people? If you are incapable of disagreeing with someone without calling him names, go somewhere else to do it.

  14. Thanks Jonathan, and also thanks to those who commented in a civil tone. Responding to your points properly will take time, and I’d rather do it in a (or maybe several) separate post. I really don’t want to give these issues short shrift.

  15. Pato, thanks for the insults – I can see at which level you operate. Of course, the facts are not on your side, which is why you have to resort to slander. The United States has a huge responsibility in the growth of islamic fundamentalism throughout the muslim world: (1) the U.S. is the main backer of the Saudi regime, which spreads wahhabbism, the around the world (2) the U.S. funded and armed the mujaidin in Afghanistan, the armed movement whose surviving members went on to seed the extreme islmaic movements in Algeria, Chechnya, etc … (3) the U.S. is a strategic ally of Pakistan whose security services basically created the Taliban and who continue to support muslim terrorism in Kashmir. And I could go on and on. You should go to Kuala Lumpur or Manila and ask the muslims there how they feel about Americans smearing their religion and civilizations while at the same time helping spread the poisonous virus that endangers their societies. And the U.S. just did it again: by invading Iraq it breathed new life into a movement that had been discredited in the muslim world and was in its last gasps . Way to go! For a good study of the contradictions of U.S. foreign policy I suggest reading just about any analysis from the Cato Institute or the recent book by Anonymous.

  16. – Bubba, it’s an interesting rewriting of history. What ‘secular regimes’ has France supported to fight terrorism and how successful was it ?

    – Iraq comes to mind. That was very effective all right. I guess it’s OK for a government like Iraq’s to have the monopoly of terror on its own people. As long as “we” are safe….And with the other hand, we gave diplomatic support and more to the PLO. To Iran. (Where was Khomeiny exiled again ? With the protection of which government ?…memory holes are funny things aren’t they ?) And to Libya.

    – The U.S. did not “refuse” to retaliate in Lebanon. It did retaliate. With Navy artillery against Hezbollah positions and at least two special ops missions (one for target recon, the other one to kill a Hezbollah leader). One called-off air strike does not constitute a refusal. Overt responses were inadequate; in the absence of any information on covert attempts, I cannot say there was no answer. But given what we know, it is safe to assume something was done. If only because the U.S. dealt very effectively with Libyan-based terror shortly afterwards. To a point where it’s just a memory today. How many state sponsors of terrorism havens has France eliminated ?

    – Given the tension of the relations and the rhetoric on both sides, arguing the US appeased Iran is quite interesting. In case that memory hole is acting up again, the Americans attempted an extremely risky rescue mission that failed. At which point it was reasonable to attempt freeing the hostages through other channels. Which is precisely the point. France, as a rule, generally attempts to negotiate and bribe first, which is precisely what it is doing right now in Iraq. It is not the only country to do so, by any means. But it is no wonder terrorism has become so popular a political tool in the Middle East. Paying off thugs for these two journalists will only reward the perpetrators and encourage more such actions. And of course, the US will get admonitions from Paris on the need for security in Iraq.

    – But I guess it’s all OK because France ‘nudged’ some of its former colonies towards democracy. (Didn’t know Morocco had become a democracy – someone tell the King – and that Algeria wasn’t…it became one after France was kicked out of it, in case you forgot; those silly memory holes again…) How does that offset helping Saddam and Arafat ? And given the Casablanca and Spain bombing, how effective has it been ?

    – If supporting the likes of Saddam in a vain attempt to compete with the U.S. in the Middle East by having its own oil-rich tyranny as a client, if appeasing and supporting the PLO, Iran and Syria are a ‘consistent policy’, and consistency is a goal in and of itself, then I am quite satisfied with your judgment of U.S. policy as inconsistent. Thank God.

    – The U.S. government playing footsie with the Taliban ? The French helping Massoud ? Urban legends seem to have a way to survive. But let’s assume France did help Massoud. How effective was it ? Isn’t it interesting that he and his allies remained holed up in a shrinking corner of Afghanistan for the better part of a decade, until a few hundred US Special Forces and Air Force bombers beat the Taliban in six weeks, after Massoud was assassinated by al-Qaeda ? Clearly, if you do want effective and meaningful assistance, France should not be your first stop…unless you want to rot and die into oblivion. And if your extremist regime wants to survive, ‘playing footsie’ with the U.S. is no guarantee of safety. Ahem.

    As far as I know, Saudi Arabia is still a strategic ally of the U.S.So is Pakistan. You know, the one that actually sold nuclear weapon technology to our declared enemies. Time to update your argument a bit.

    So yeah, things are a lot more complicated than what you see on Fox News.How often do you watch Fox News ? Honestly, I couldn’t say, I never watch it. In fact, I very rarely watch news on TV and I’m not the only one around here so it’s not clear how relevant your pearl of condescending wisdom is. Nice attempt though; and we’re glad you feel comfortable enough to force us into your simplistic stereotypes.

    – So what if things are complicated ? “Scoop: things are more complicated than we think !!” And why doesn’t this very original insight apply to the rest of us and not to you ? Are you allowed to claim superiority, or authority, simply by acknowledging complexity ? Apologies, it takes a bit more around here. I know, I know. It’s hard. You’ll live.

    – Complex or not, we still have to deal with the situation. Of course, we can cop out and justify anything and nothing in the name of complexity and nuance. That’s easy. Any self-appointed intellectual can make a very comfortable living in Paris doing just that (even I could do it; that’s how low the standards are). In fact, the U.S. did just that for most of the 90s. And the result in New York on 9/11 was not exactly pleasing, and I even think it looked ugly on Fox News too…

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