Commenter Thomas writes:
It’s actually possible that the Germans really do suck at internal security and antiterrorism. It’s hard not to remember the 1972 Munich Olympics, and how badly the Boches botched that incident, and its aftermath (they cut a deal with the Black September terrorists afterwards to let the surviving gunmen go in exchange for a fake hostage-taking). They formed a reasonably good counterterrorist unit after that (GSG9) that at least had the ability to chase and shoot people and free hostages, and were able to at least keep Communist-inspired terrorism sufficiently under control to avoid it causing a problem for NATO, but I don’t think they ever really made deep changes to their policies to keep foreign bad guys from operating in the country pretty much at will. Keep in mind that the core group of the 9/11 hijackers were based in Hamburg from the late 1990s until 2001.
I get a feeling that Germany has been sliding in this century into kind of a “Potemkin society” in a lot of ways, with high-level mismanagement, scandals and corruption that just sort of gets glossed over and allowed to fester until it blows up (e.g., the VW emissions scandal; several rounds of Siemens getting caught greasing palms in foreign countries; and Deutsche Bank in serious, possibly fatal, financial trouble as of this year after being rocked by continual losses, penalties, and scandals, including a $7 billion settlement with the US Justice Department over malfeasance in the 2008 crash announced just today). I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes out in the next few years that the EU has been, in no small part, a vehicle for Germany, its banks and industry, to basically cover up a lot of bad decisions and losses.
Merkel’s Boner in 2015 was based in part on the idea that being seen as nice to refugees and diverse was a good cover for German Economic Hegemony. But if Germany turns out to be not quite the economic powerhouse it thinks it is …
Okay well I’m gonna take a little time off now after posingt 11 new blog items in one day to, like, buy Christmas presents for my loved ones. But I’ll try to approve comments. We’re headed for about 195,000 comments for 2016, which is an extraordinary total. Thanks! It we get 200,000 comments and 10 million page views, even better!