Saturday, July 24, 2004

Read the whole thing

Two articles that I want to recommend:

Sins of the Mother. An interview with the journalist Bertina Röhl at the Stockholm Spectator. It was Röhl who cracked the story on Joschka Fischer and his past a couple of years ago. And by the way, Röhl is Ulrike Meinhof's daughter.

"The RAF was shrouded in myth from day one. People spoke of Baader being liberated with the help of my mother. But the wording is all wrong. He wasn’t liberated; it was a violent break-out. Out of this emerged the myth of a glossy, gun-toting group with magnificent ideas in their heads about freeing Baader in the name of a higher ideal. The horror of the whole episode was submerged. Stefan Aust [RAF-chronicler and Spiegel editor] is the one who really put a Bonnie and Clyde spin on all of this, despite his full knowledge of how awful it really was. The aims of these people were never mentioned. It finally came out that what they wanted was a sort of North Korean scenario and we can all be extremely thankful that they didn’t succeed. Baader and Meinhof had contacts with the North Korean government in their underground days and dreamed of retiring there if they were released from prison. I’m sure they didn’t know what such a dream would entail in reality."


Hating America. Bruce Bawer writes in the Hudson Review about the Europeans and their (our) view of the U.S. (Link via Virginia Postrel)

. . . No wonder so many smart, ambitious young Europeans look for inspiration to the United States, which has a dynamism their own countries lack, and which communicates the idea that  life can be an adventure and that there’s important, exciting work to be done. Reagan-style “morning in America” clichés may make some of us wince, but they reflect something genuine and valuable in the American air. Europeans may or may not have more of a “sense of history” than Americans do . . . but America has something else that matters—a belief in the future.