Skip to comments.Berlin's New Anti-American Axis (Joschka Fischer Alert)
Posted on 02/15/2003 8:52:26 PM PST by defenderSD
On February 10, 2003, the government of Germany began building a new, anti-American Berlin-Moscow-Paris Axis. As one of the former Soviet bloc experts on German matters (and chief of a bloc intelligence station in West Germany), I had been waiting for something like that to happen ever since October 1998, when Joschka Fischer became Germany's foreign minister.
Fischer is an indirect product of the old anti-American intelligence community to which I once belonged. In 1975 Libya's dictator, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, informed Romania's tyrant, Nicolae Ceausescu through me that he was preparing a terrorist attack against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and asked my boss to provide him with blueprints of OPEC's temporary headquarters in Vienna. Ceausescu agreed, and the Romanian espionage service (the DIE) complied. The December 1975 takeover of OPEC's headquarters in Vienna resulted in the seizure of 60 OPEC officials and staff members as hostages. The kidnapping was organized by Qaddafi and the infamous Ilich Ramírez Sánchez "Carlos" or "the Jackal."
Twenty-two years later, Carlos was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan, by the French counterintelligence service (DST), with whose director, Yves Bonnet, I had earlier cooperated after leaving Romania. Carlos was immediately taken to Paris, where he was charged with killing two French police officers in 1979; he was sentenced to life in prison. During interrogation, Carlos asserted that his deputy for the OPEC operation had been German terrorist Hans Joachim Klein, codenamed "Angie," who had killed an OPEC security man and an Austrian policeman during that attack. Carlos also testified that the weapons used for the OPEC operation had been kept in an apartment in Frankfurt/Main, where Klein was then living with two other "red revolutionaries" of those days, Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Joschka Fischer.
In 2000, Klein, who was a fugitive, was also arrested by the French DST. He was deported to Germany, where he was charged with abetting Carlos's OPEC terrorist operation, and he cooperated with the prosecution. According to Klein, on December 17, 1975 four days before the attack the terrorists led by Carlos had met with officials of the Libyan embassy in Vienna, who provided the blueprints of the building and the security details, which had been passed to them by my DIE. (The DIE had an agent in Vienna who had access to this information.) "The fact that the necessary information about the [OPEC] conference building came from Libya convinced me that the action could be carried out," Klein testified during his trial. Klein was sentenced to only nine years in prison, since he had aided investigators.
Joschka Fischer,who testified as a character witness at Klein's trial in 2001, refuted as "grotesque" the allegation that the arms used in the OPEC attack had been kept in the apartment he shared with Hans Joachim Klein and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (currently a member of the European Parliament). I have reason to question Fischer's statement. In a January 1976 thank-you message to Ceausescu also sent through me Qaddafi had emphasized that Carlos's OPEC operation would not have been possible without the help of the DIE (which had provided the blueprints of OPEC headquarters) and a "West German revolutionary group in Frankfurt/Main" (which had provided Carlos with both manpower and arms). (In giving me the message, Qaddafi, who knew I had at one time been stationed in Frankfurt/Main as chief of the DIE's West German station, specifically called my attention to the mention of "your" Frankfurt.)
After Carlos was arrested by the DST, German journalist Bettina Roehl (daughter of the late Ulrike Meinhof, co-leader of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof organization) revealed that Fischer did indeed belong to a Frankfurt/Main terrorist group during the 1970s. She also provided pictures showing a helmeted Fischer beating a German police officer during an April 7, 1973, violent demonstration in Frankfurt/Main. The pictures show Fischer fighting side by side with Klein, Carlos's deputy in the 1975 attack on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna. In 2002, after these photographs had been authenticated by the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Fischer publicly apologized to the beaten police officer. Bettina Roehl also disclosed that Fischer had been the main advocate of using petrol bombs in a 1976 demonstration in which a policeman almost died of terrible burns. This information was also vehemently denied by the German foreign minister.
Veteran German terrorist Margrit Schiller asserted in her book Es war ein harter Kampf um meine Erinnerung that in the 1970s, Fischer had been in contact with illegal members of the Red Army Faction (RAF) in Frankfurt/Main (a terrorist organization my DIE station was at the time supporting with information and money), and that he had thrown stones at representatives of West Germany's pro-American government. Once again, Fisher has denied both accusations. But Schiller, who in the 1970s belonged to the RAF, remembers staying in 1973 at the Frankfurt apartment of "Herr Fischer and Daniel Cohn-Bendit," having breakfast with Fischer, and going on a pub crawl with him. In October 2002, Fischer was asked by a German prosecutor about this statement but he dodged the question, replying simply that his flat had not been a hostel for terrorists.
A 1997 semi-official biography of Joschka Fischer, by Sibylle Krause-Burger, indirectly confirms that Fischer was also involved in hurling stones at West German authorities. These were not spontaneous demonstrations they were all financed by the Soviet bloc foreign-intelligence community, including my own DIE when I was at its helm. Krause-Burger's book describes how, in a public debate held in 1974 with the Young Socialist functionary Kartsen Voight, Fischer defended throwing stones at the "representatives of the system" as being a legitimate defense against the tyranny of the (West German) government. It is significant that Voight is now responsible for relations with the U.S. in Fischer's ministry of foreign affairs.
It may never be possible to prove "beyond the shadow of a doubt" Joschka Fischer's connection with the Soviet KGB, but I do know that the KGB and my DIE was financing West Germany's anti-American terrorist movements in the 1970s, while I was still in Romania. Fischer's evidently ingrained anti-Americanism is now spreading throughout the German government, and beyond. This is a monumental display of ingratitude to the 405,399 American soldiers who gave their lives to defeat Berlin's old Axis, as well as to the millions of American taxpayers who spent trillions of dollars to rebuild Germany's war-torn economy and to protect West Germany from falling into Communist clutches.
General Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. He is currently finishing a new book, Red Roots: The Origins of Today's Anti-Americanism.
Chris Harman looks at the political life of Germany's foreign minister Joschka Fischer Published February 2001
'Joschka Fischer--we knew him as the stick man. He'd stand at the back of meetings and hand out sticks for breaking windows on demonstrations.' So a German socialist told me two years ago. By then Fischer was German foreign minister, and enthusing over the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo by Nato planes using bombs that were tipped with depleted uranium.
I assumed the story about Fischer was, to say the least, somewhat exaggerated--as the best stories often are. But then last month reports from Germany suggested there might be more truth to it than I first thought. Fischer was a witness in the trial of someone accused of an armed attack on an Opec ministers' meeting in Vienna 25 years ago, and in the course of the trial a photo appeared in the press, supposedly showing him as a helmeted demonstrator attacking a policeman. This produced screams of outrage about the 'violent past' of the foreign minister from those sections of the German press sympathetic to the opposition Christian Democrats (Tories)--as if somehow the few bruises to a policeman a quarter of a century ago are in the same league as the horrendous deaths he helped cause in Serbia and Kosovo recently.
His past should, however, be of interest to people involved in the anti-capitalist movements today for the experiences which radicalised him at one point in his life were very similar to those which have been radicalising people since Seattle. He told the court how he was committed to non-violence until an Easter 1968 rally. This was immediately after the attempted assassination by the German student leader Rudi Dutschke. Fischer was lying on the ground and asked himself, 'Why always let yourself be hit?' After that, he tells, 'We decided to defend ourselves.'
His reaction was very similar to that of many thousands of young people across the world at the time. Liberals, social democrats and pacifists saw horrors like the war in Vietnam or the assassination of Martin Luther King in the US, and proclaimed themselves 'revolutionaries' en masse. There was, however, an argument everywhere about what it means to be revolutionary.
Some of us argued that the key to fighting back successfully against the system was reaching out from the relatively narrow milieux involved in the existing protest movement to sink roots among the great mass of the world's people who suffered from the system in their everyday lives--especially the rapidly expanding ranks of the world's working class.
The often more popular response was to simply see things in terms of the existing movements becoming more militant. This was the path Fischer followed. He did not carry the idea to its logical conclusion, as did those people who took to planting bombs or shooting prominent ruling class figures--the path of the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy and the Weathermen in the US. But he did opt to join the ranks of what was known as the Frankfurt Spontis.
This group, whose leading figure was Dany Cohn-Bendit, combined the belief that somehow China was socialist with a hostility to 'Leninist' organisation. In practice this meant it rejected attempts to carry revolutionary socialist political argument into the organised working class. Instead it glorified in the 'spontaneity' of an already radicalised minority whose protests turned into street fighting with the police. Its approach exacerbated an already existing trend in Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Revolutionaries tended to inhabit 'red' ghettos confined to the universities of cities like Frankfurt and Berlin. The Spontis simply extended the ghettos a little to encompass groups like squatters.
People soon found in practice that street fighting by an isolated radical minority could not budge German capitalism. They began to feel something more was needed. Groups like the Baader-Meinhof Red Army Fraction emerged--and were regarded with respect by many of the street fighting milieux. They seemed to be the ones who were taking seriously the notion of confrontation with the system. But precisely because they too were a minority, the state found it easy to destroy them. The Red Army Fraction, the Weathermen and the Red Brigades were all crushed mercilessly.
Many of the leading Spontis and autonomists followed a different path. The minority, they reasoned, could not change society violently, and therefore it had to pursue what Rudi Dutschke called 'the long march through the institutions'. The street fighters in leather jackets and jeans had to become the Green parliamentary candidates in leather jackets and jeans, organised in a 'non-hierarchical' fashion. And when they found they could not get more than about 5 percent of the vote (the level needed to get parliamentary seats in Germany), Fischer told them that they had to break with 'fundamentalism' and become 'realist Greens'. They embraced a hierarchical form of organisation, abandoned any residual hostility to capitalism, donned suits or took to power dressing, collaborated with right wing social democrats, and, eventually, joined governments prepared to engage in the sort of imperialist violence that had once so enraged them.
The story is worth telling today because we can see some of the same trends at work in the new anti-capitalist movements. People beaten and teargassed by the state are having again to think through how a radical minority can act effectively. And again the easy answer can be that of simply being better prepared to use more militant tactics on demonstrations.
In the US the misnamed 'Black Block' of hardline (almost all white) anarchists has tried to give the impression that it is the most serious force on the successor demonstrations to Seattle, while in Europe the neo-autonomist organisation Ya Basta!, with its Michelin man like demonstration gear, presents itself as the model others should follow.
Both fail to understand that demonstrations do exactly what the name implies--they demonstrate our hostility to the system. They act as a focus for discontent, as a way of drawing together people with differing discontents. But they cannot in themselves break the hold of the system, however militant and well organised they are--unless, that is, the movement finds ways of involving the vast mass of working people who, at the moment, are still standing on the sidelines (or, more likely, watching us on television).
'Street Fighting Man' may look heroic. But it is only 'Mass Organising Person' who can really take on the system.
Germany has been seething since Mr Rumsfeld last week bracketed Germany with Cuba and Libya as nations that had withheld support for the US build-up against Iraq.
Joschka Fischer strikes me as just the type that could someday become a "New Age Hitler" -- maybe even someday soon.
We need to pull our troops, our money and our investmens out of that scheisse hole red nazi nation.
Libya-Germany-Cuba... Rummy was aiming that at Fischer!
One for your spanking new ping list?
We'll give it a try!
And that makes me think that the administration knew all along that they'd get no help from the axis of weasels.
But how do you tell the American people that those they've defended for decades have gone the way of Darth Vader? You don't try to tell them--you show them--or they'll never believe you.
We didn't have to go to the UN for a resolution to prosecute the war. We had to go to the UN to rip the masks off the wolves in sheeps' clothing so Americans could gain a clearer understanding of the dangers we face.
Whether that turns out to be true or not, at least it makes me feel better for now about this seeming bending over to the UN.
But I reserve the right to question what the heck is going on if we haven't begun the march to Baghdad by the end of March :)
Correction, should be: As a matter of fact, Cohn-Bendit was indicted for aiding and abetting a fugitive from the law - he went to France and put money in his friend's hand.
Everybody could use an editor :-)
I am not aware that it has been proven that Fischer also actively aided and abetted the fugitive Klein. Not that the German mainstream media ever tried. Forget about a prosecutor indicting a sitting foreign minister. In Germany, prosecutors are not part of the judiciary, but belong to the executive branch of government.
Yes. Not enough Germans care, however, to force Fischer to resign. On the contrary, he regularly comes in first in polls rating the popularity of German politicians.
28. Mai 1974: "Joschka" Fischer rennt mit anderen Demonstranten vor Polizeiwasserwerfern weg. Foto: dpa / Rehm
Joschka s kamarády bojoval proti kapitalismu. Dokonce zmlátili policistu.
Pak se změnila doba a Joschka se se svou stranou Zelených dostal do Bundestagu.
Joschka začal tloustnout.
A proto začal běhat. Nejdříve 500 metrů denně, potom pár kilometrů denně...
Občas si kopl i do míče.
A u dokonce běhá maratony.
Dnes je Joschka ministrem zahraničí SRN. Strana Zelených směřuje k politickému středu.
Uh-oh. Does sincere repentance count? Careful what you wish for, tictoc.
The only one I know about is www.politikforum.de.
But I don't think it is very large. Maybe a few hundred posters, most of them anti-american.
Tongue in cheek remark, I take it? German politicians are sue happy. If the picture were falsely identified, Roehl would have been forced to take it off her web site a long time ago.
P.S. The web site of Bettina Roehl is well worth visiting. There is a small element of shrillness and feeling persecuted, however, this is entirely understandable given the crushing weight that the leftist/liberal German establishment has marshaled against her.
For example, her contract to publish a book was cancelled after she made the "violent Fisher" pictures public. The publisher justified its breach of contract by claiming that she had harmed their business because Fischer is a published author under the same label. Having cancelled her book, the publisher then took her to court to force her to repay the $150,000 advance.
Of particular importance to me is her interview (on her personal web site www.bettinaroehl.de) with Ignatz Bubis of blessed memory, the former head of the council of German Jews. Roehl is remarkably clear-eyed about the hypocrisy and the antisemitism on the German left. She would make a fine member of FreeRepublic!