Mittwoch, Januar 17, 2007

The Difference Between Then And Now...

I was reading last week's Spiegal magazine, a retrospective of the last 60 years (that's how long they've been publishing). One thing that struck me was the difference between the post-war politicians - Adenauer, Schmidt - and today's German politicians.

Today's politicians are technocrats: they have mastered the political framework that they live in, but in doing so have retained no charachter. I don't use the term in a nice sense: I do not espouse technocracy, as it is simply elitism wrapped in academic paper. Still stinks.

I realized that something that happened in the past would run completely different today.


The hijacking of the Landshut.

On 13 October 1977, Lufthansa flight LH181 from La Palma to Frankfurt was hijacked by the "Martyr Halimeh" terror commando, led by Zohair Youssif Akache and with Souhaila Andrawes, Riza Abbasi and Nadia Duaibes. Further details aren't really necessary: it is the reaction that counts.

After the pilot, Jürgen Schumann, was murdered - he was executed in the aisle of the plane with a shot to the back of his head - the GSG 9, up to that point a relatively unknown anti-terror commando created after the Munich massacre, stormed the aircraft on 18 Oct and killed three of the hijackers. A stewardess and a GSG 9 member were wounded.

If this were to happen today, I doubt that any German politician would dare to order the same action. The German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, had prepared a letter of resignation if the attack had failed.

German politicians today are too interested in their careers to risk anything like that.

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