Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer is leaving Germany for the US, where he will become a professor at Princeton University.
This should tell us all something about Princeton: Fischer was an implacable opponent of the US-led invasion of Iraq from the beginning. Davids Medienkritik has much more about that. But that’s not what really interests me.
After he became Foreign Minister a few years ago, the late Michael Kelly wrote a very interesting bio of Mr. Fischer. Kelly was not a fan of the new German Foreign Minister, and with very good reason.
In 2001, Stern magazine published five photographs of you in action that day. What these pictures depicted was described by Berman, in a deeply informed 25,000-word article, “The Passion of Joschka Fischer” (The New Republic, Sept. 3, 2001). The photos showed you, Mr. Fischer, inflicting a “gruesome beating” on a young policeman named Rainer Marx: “Fischer and other people on the attack, the white-helmeted cop going into a crouch; Fischer’s black-gloved fist raised as if to punch the crouching cop on the back; Fischer’s comrades crowding around; the cop huddled on the ground, Fischer and his comrades appearing to kick him …”
As Berman reported, Mr. Fischer, you rose in public life as an important figure in the anti-American, anti-liberal, neo-Marxist, revolution-minded German radical left of the generation of 1968. This was the left that produced and supported the Baader-Meinhof Gang (or Red Army Faction), which, as Berman wrote, “refrained from nothing,” including “kidnappings, bank holdups, murders.” You were not a terrorist yourself, but you were a good and active friend to terrorists, weren’t you, Mr. Fischer?
In 1976, to protest the death in prison of Baader-Meinhof founder Ulrike Meinhof, you planned and participated in a Frankfurt demonstration in which, Berman wrote, “somebody tossed a Molotov cocktail at a policeman and burned him nearly to death.” You were arrested, but not charged. In 2001, Meinhof’s daughter, Bettina Rohl (who gave those damning photos to Stern) told the press that you were responsible for the throwing of that firebomb. Other contemporary witnesses, Berman reported, said that you “had never ruled out the use of Molotovs and may even have favored it.” You denied it, for the record.
Fischer also had ties to Yasser Arafat, inventor of the airplane hijacking:
Fischer was accused of having attended a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Algiers back in 1969, at which the PLO adopted a resolution to achieve final victory, which is to say, the destruction of Israel. That was not so good, and seemed triply bad for a future foreign minister of Germany, even if no one threw rocks or bombs. The ministry spokesman conceded that Fischer did attend the conference; but, doing his best to cope with one more embarrassing revelation, the spokesman made the mistake of adding that Fischer had spent only an hour there, which was like admitting to using marijuana but not to inhaling it. And, of course, the part about spending only an hour turned out to be untrue, and the spokesman, backtracking, had to acknowledge that, yes, Fischer had participated throughout.
Very nice. Princeton is bringing a former terrorist, more or less, and one who holds no academic credentials, to become its newest professor this fall.
What seems to have happened is the drug-addled students who held university sit-ins in the 60s have now taken over the institutions from within. And they’re hiring their old allies. In the case of the Taliban thug at Yale, they’re also educating their ideological children. It’s a sweet little family joined by hatred of Western values.
If that’s not what’s going on, then why are these Ivy League institutions hiring or allowing in high-school dropouts with no credentials? Ideological kinship is the only explanation that satisfies.