We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Something Fischy in Germany

Drop what you are doing and follow Instapundit’s link to the Washington Post article on German Minister Joschka Fischer’s past.

To be fair, many, many people at the time would have been involved to some level or have known some of these people. I imagine more than one amongst us cringe at the memory of things they did as kids. Why, I knew a person who knew Bernadette Dohrn (later of the Weather Underground) when she was a teenager. This was a status conferring thing. We’d sit around the Student Union and say “Wow, man, like you really, like knew her? That’s like, really far out! Pass that over would you?”

There was a certain cachet about those who “did something”. None of us would have dreamed of doing anything really destructive. We even had a team clean up the administration building (Warner Hall) before we handed it back in the morning [we took it over the night after the Kent State murders]… all tidied up and us on our way just in time for the staff arrival at 8am. Wouldn’t have been nice leaving all our coffee cups and candy wrappers laying about from the overnight demonstration, now would it? Such was CMU.

I particularly remember the Coke machine on the second floor (first floor in the UK). If you gave it a sharp punch in just the right place, a cup dropped into the dispenser, a relay clicked and you got a Coke. Free. By the end of the night almost everyone had mastered this student survival art.

I’m afraid the youthful Joschka and his violent friends would have laughed at us for our bourgeoise values.

It was another time and place and has little connection with today’s world. For many of us they are fond memories of a time past. It was fun. Sadly, there are those who are forever sitting in the Student Union of their minds. They have not moved on. They do not live in the world that is.

I’m not saying Joschka is quite that stuck, but the Washington Post story does tell us “where he is coming from”.

MORE:Glenn posteda link to an even worse bit of Joschka’s past straight from the mouth of General Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Nicolae Ceausescu intelligence chief. Fischer is connected via a number of insider sources to a Libyan terror operation run by Carlos “the Jackal”.

7 comments to Something Fischy in Germany

  • John J. Coupal

    Congrats, Dale!

    “Sadly, there are those who are forever sitting in the Student Union of their minds.”

    A very perceptive comment…

  • Peter Koren

    For more on Herr Fischer see:

    Paul Berman on Fischer

  • Miranda

    Makes one wonder why they are bringing it up at this very moment, doesn’t it? Fischer’s wild youth has been an open secret for years.

  • Felonious Punk

    For all my absolute, unmitigated hatred for the German government these days, I think Michael Kelly was wrong about Fischer. Yes, granted his questionable past, but as a politican he has come very far indeed since that time and has outgrown his past. In fact, he has talked quite a bit about his political evolution, so it’s not like this is some skeleton in the closet. I do not think you can say this of many people in the German government and the ruling parites, but Joschka Fischer is absolutely not an anti-American. He is a friend of ours, of that I have no doubt.

    Personally, I have lots of respect for him, even if I do think he is wrong on Iraq. He’s the only – the only – member of the German government with honor, thoughtfulness and depth. Count on it – he is not behind the insane foreign policy moves of the German government – it is Gerhard Schroeder who is. He is in a tough spot and I believe trying to fix what damage his boss does as he can.

    Let’s focus our ire where it belongs – squarely on Schroeder.

  • Anyone who’s followed stories about the origins of the Red-Green coalition knows of Joschka Fischer’s background as a former student radical. What’s more interesting, from a political standpoint, is the way in which he’s alienated his fellow Greens over the years with his endorsement of both the NATO bombings in Yugoslavia and Germany’s participation in the war on terror. In many ways, I think Fischer and Schroder’s anti-US stance on Iraq is an attempt to appease those Greens who grew increasingly frustrated with Germany having a “military” foreign policy. For the sake of German coalition politics, Germany is now threatening to divide NATO and the Security Council. Fun stuff.

  • In Germany, Fischer’s youthful radicalism is no secret, not even an open secret. Everybody knows all about it; very very few care. In the early days of the current coalition, the CDU tried to make a BFD of it. The Springer press et al. were dutifully shocked, shocked etc. The nation yawned.

    The WaPo piece does give a view of where Fischer ‘is coming from’. It’s a rather slanted view, though. For example, Michael Kelly seems not to know that Fischer’s terrorist friend Klein was an ex-terrorist who had long since sundered ties to his groupuscule. Tired of life on the lam, he told his (non-terrorist) friends that he planned to surrender to the authorities (ironically, it was an intercepted communication to this effect that allowed the authorities to capture him). Fischer supported Klein, all right: he supported him in his break with terrrorism. Well, maybe Kelly does know that, but it would have spoilt a good story.

    What the piece fails to give is a view of where Fischer has come. I don’t have much time for most of his politics, but he is far from an enemy of the USA. He was instrumental in selling the broad German left on the need to support the USA in Afghanistan. And there are signs he’s deeply frustrated at Schröder’s stance. Indeed, if I recall correctly, the very next link in the Instapundit post described some of these. Maybe Gleen Reynolds didn’t pay enough attention to the links he was stringing together.

  • David Mercer

    Yes, I read some articles linked to by Occam’s Toothbrush and (I believe) Iberian Notes that indicated he is FURIOUS with Schroeder having backed the German govt. “into a cul-de-sac” in regard to Iraq, and he feels that the Chancellor has been duped by Chirac.

    Those pieces also had some interesting background on how the German system works, with the Foreign Minister having to tow the line that the Chancellor feeds him, whether or not he likes it (FM is the consolation prize for being second place in a coalition govt.).

    Explains some of Fischer’s insincere tone in the UN, no?
    He was eating a shit sandwich with every word, and I’ve actually gotten a bit of respect for him recently, in contrast to my previous loathing.

    He even threatened to withdraw the Greens from the govt., forcing an early election, because Schroder was too hardline dovish.

    Too irrationally dovish for the German Green Party leader, now THAT’s some very weird irony!

    Isn’t parliamentary govt. fun?