Aftermath of Munich shooting offers important lesson on the politics of fear

Published on, byY DAVID J. CLIMENHAGA, July 24, 2016.

The person I know best in Munich described the mood in the Bavarian city Friday as “surreal,” so it seems fitting the Tweet from the Munich Police that night notifying the world the crisis sparked by a mass shooting at a fast-food restaurant was finally over had the surreal quality of found poetry … //

… The first lesson is the obvious: While Friday’s events were terrifying, they were not terrorism. That is, they were not connected with terrorism in the sense we normally define the word today, as organized attacks on civilians with a political or religious motivation that are not carried out by a nation state’s armed forces … //

… So one lesson this should reinforce is that first media reports from most violent situations are almost invariably wrong.

Multiple shooters? As usual, it turned out there was only one. However, it had been threatening to rain that morning, so no doubt some of the people scurrying away were carrying rolled up umbrellas, just the thing, irresponsibly reported, to raise the panic level.

People yelling “God is Great” in Arabic? Turns out the young man in question was shouting “I am 100 per cent German” in German. There was only him. It is telling and troubling that it wasn’t only fraudulent online anti-immigration sites that made this mistake, presumably intentionally, but also respectable news organizations like CNN … //

… Another clear lesson from Friday is that tough gun control laws help. The BBC reports that it is not yet known how the shooter acquired a handgun, ownership of which is tightly controlled in Germany … //

… Finally, we can take two additional lessons, that terrorist groups will take credit for any violent tragedy, even when it is quickly apparent they could have had nothing to do with it. And that we can become so terrified of terror we’re prepared to give up what makes our society worth fighting for: our freedom of movement, association, religion and expression. Only fools, cowards and people who have another agenda would tell you a Wall will make us safe.

(full text).

(This is probably a good moment to mention to readers that in a couple of weeks, things will be much quieter for a spell on this blog. I will be off, you see, to … Munich. This post also appears on Alberta … ).


Local group pushing for livable wage in Renfrew County, on The Daily, by Ryan Paulsen, July 24, 2016;

BERLIN, GERMANY: Moving Towards Degrowth, July 26, on BIEN, by Kate Farland, July 24, 2016;

Video, 13.58 min: Hillary Clinton, a Threat to All Humanity – World War III is on the Table – her Candidacy Must be Opposed, on Global, by Jams Corbett, July 24, 2016;

Sanders Never Had a Chance: WikiLeaks Exposes Democratic National Committee’s Rigged Process in Favor of Clinton, on Global, by Stephen Lendman, July 24, 2016;

Bikini A-Bomb Tests July 1946, on National Security Archive – Electronic Briefing Book No. 555, by William Burr with Stav Geffner, July 22, 2016:

  • Underwater Atomic Blast Contaminated Test Ships Making Them “Radioactive Stoves”,
  • Declassified Documents, Films and Photographs Depict Tests “Able” and “Baker” and Removal of Bikinians;

We may be living in a non-leadership moment, on, by RICK SALUTIN, July 22, 2016;

Universal Basic Income: Free Lunch, radically misunderstood, on Financial Times, by Martin Sandbu, July 22, 2016: gainsaying the naysayers on universal basic income;

HELSINKI, Finland: Kela Releases Preliminary Report on Finnish Basic Income Experiment, on BIEN, July 22, 2016;

German Worries: Fear Fosters Crisis, on Institute for New Economic, by Thomas Fricke, July 20, 2016;

Türkei, auf dem Weg zum Gottesstaat? – Club SRF1, 74.45 min, von Bum New, Diskussion in der letzten Club-Sendung;

… and this:

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