Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I remember being in traffic jams, caused by terrorist searches on the motorway. I don't know how old I was, must have been six or seven.

No big fuzz from my parents, not even for the fact that Gudrun Ensslin, was the daughter of a church minister... .

It was considered scarier to travel into the GDR, which we did on one or two occasions every year. That was scary.

But terrorism. I can remember the posters in the Train station.

One thing that has always fascinated me, and I read something from Juan Cole that reconfirmed that.
All the German Terrorists were highly educated people. Andreas Baader was a Studienstift Deutsches Volk. Which means he was suggested by a teacher for his outstanding success at school and subsequently passed all sort of tests, before getting a stipend for University. Jan-Carl Raspe was a Sociologist, Ulrike Meinhof a well publicized writer. I think what I am saying here is, their idealism was fueled by their intellectualism: There was a sense of wanting to better the world by getting rid of its evil influences that connects these people. The outrages attempt at achieving this aim, was fueld by superiority assumptions of understaning the masses, and knowing better was good for all.

They also were utterly fanatical, but children of their time. Their fight has proven to be utterly worthless. There aims might still be relevant, but their methods have turned out to be utterly counter productive to achieve the aim. Killing individuals does not change the system.

Which in a tragic parallelism opens up the question, where would have a successful assassination left Germany in 1944?

Coming back to Juan Cole, he made a comment once that one reason, why there had been no successful large scale attack on American soil since the eleventh of September 2001, was because AQ, lacks the intellectuals and their manpower. He pointed out, that all attackers that flew the planes where University educated people.

For the sake of not wanting to sound to condescending, but you need educated people, not just shepherd, to build bombs, and plan and execute an attack on that scale.

Having said that, and while thinking about the Oklahoma bombing, two question formed.

Firstly: What is the difference between right wing and left wing terrorism.

Secondly: Is the statement true, that errorists are intellectual idealist per se, or does that just help? Subquestion, where the other european terrorists (excluding ETA, IRA, as they are somewhat different), but I seem to recall Belgian and French terrorist cells, were they equally educated?

by PeWi on Fri Sep 23rd, 2005 at 11:58:38 AM EST

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