There were three pieces of the Koln story which came out late yesterday, which kinda made me shake my head.
The Wall Street Journal did a fine and long piece over Koln riot and assaults from the 31st. One of the odd questions that had bothered me for a while was the lack of reserves. Major urbanized cities in Germany would typically have that ability. Well....the WSJ notes that there was an assigned reserve force and they would have been there in the area around the train-station.....except they were deployed to Bavaria to handle the refugee inflow there.
For the locals in Koln who figure this out.....they probably will be asking for their reserve guys to be brought back to Koln in short fashion. All of this points toward a lack of national leadership, and splintered this mess has become because of the state-by-state management concept employed.
The second curious thing reported.....by Focus (the German news magazine)....was this piece of paper that the cops took from one of the guys there on the evening of the 31st. They had to arrest a couple of guys and here was this sheet of paper. On one side was the Arabic words (right), and on the other side (left) was the German or English translated words. Naturally, these were all important words to know...like fu*k, or phrases like 'big breasts', or 'I will kill you'.
It's a cheat sheet on languages because the guy literally doesn't grasp or understand enough German to even cuss, or make some play on a German gal.
I sat there kinda amazed about this. I've been to a couple of German language classes in my life.....mostly run by German women. The kind of words that this guy had written down.....weren't the type that you'd get in the class. But it's not the kind of words that most German guys walk around and use in public situations.
It would be something to overlook, but then you start to think about this.....this wasn't a soccer game where some folks flew in and they were here just for a week or two. These are guys who are intending to stay for an awful long period of time. They are not exactly thinking along the lines that they are guests or that the behavior they've shown won't be acceptable to ninety-nine percent of German society. They are in someways.....making themselves into a unwanted class. Who'd want to hire some thug like this? Who'd want them as employees of an ice cream shop, or gas station?
So, I come to the third part of the Koln story, which came out of the Wall Street Journal article. Cops were interviewed anonymously for their story. One of the cops a blunt statement. Normally, when he walks into some situation or confrontation....there is some basic respect for him and the authority that he wheels.
If you bring this up in a conversation....Germans will typically say that you need to respect the cop in public situations. Anarchists in Germany will disagree about this....at least when in riot mode, but the bulk of German society is respectful.
The cop in the interview says when he tried to get into the middle of an assault going on.....telling the thugs to back off from him and the suspect....they refused. They choose to intimidate him and showed a significant amount of disrespect. He'd never seen this in his entire career.
When I arrived in Germany in 1978....one of the hundred things that was impressed upon me at this youthful point in my life....was that you showed respect to the German cops, or you could be bashed in the head. German cops of the 1970s wheeled an awful lot of physical punishment, which was generally noted by the public. They didn't have to shoot you....a night-stick usually did enough to convince you to avoid stupidity.
In the years since that initial phase....I've come to note that German cops are fairly smart and clever....unlike some cops in the US (especially in the DC area).
Maybe it's just my logical nature....but I don't see German cops accepting this thug-like behavior. They may have to come out in bigger numbers and use some physical actions to correct the perception from the foreigner.
If I were a Koln resident.....looking at these three parts of the story....I'd be in amazement. It'd leave a sour taste in my mouth over the immigration policy, security of the city, and where things are going.