Many of these recent attacks in Germany took place just beside the Dom Cathedral, in Cologne, where a large plaza area exists and connects to the rest of the downtown shopping district in Cologne. I have personally spent a lot of time there in the past, on business trips over several years - and having walked through that area many many times. It is not only dramatically beautiful, with a view of the Dom and the Rhine (below), but it was also (at least in my estimation) a very safe place to be even late in the evenings. It is also well lit and there was also a comforting police presence in that area. To see these sexual assaults taking place in this location is shocking.
Information continues to emerge on the war zone that erupted in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve, when thousands of imports from Islamic lands threw bottles and fireworks into crowds and at the police, as well as molested, raped, attacked, robbed, knifed, spat, defecated, urinated, vomited, ranted, and raved as they turned an area of a beautiful city into a site of utter barbarism. (Other cities in Germany experienced similar violence on New Year’s Eve, which is only now beginning to be reported.)
Dozens, and most likely hundreds of women were subjected to all manner of physical, sexual, and verbal assault. Authorities now believe that many of the attacks were “coordinated” by men traveling in gangs of 30-40, surrounding women to make escape impossible, and then victimizing them. Frantic women were forced to run a gauntlet through the mass of thousands of men hunting them down (as one victim described it), groping their breasts and between their legs, stripping their clothes off, spitting on them, cursing at them, and raping every available orifice.
So where were the police?
Reports on police response run the gamut, from responding to a riot while coming under direct attack to victims saying the police were of no help to police cover-ups.
Initially it appears that the police hid the truth from the public when, on New Year’s Day, they announced that the festivities from the night before had been peaceful with a “jolly atmosphere.” But as victims came forward with reports of rape and robbery and as protesters took to the streets to register their anger at the alleged inaction by the authorities, the truth and the scope of what unfolded began to leak out. When the police chief was asked why the police department claimed that things on New Year’s eve were calm, he said: “That was wrong. For this we apologize.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail reports that the perpetrators taunted the police, claimed they were untouchable, and insisted that the police “be nice” to them. At least one New Year’s Eve jihadist told the police: “I am Syrian. I must be handled in a friendly manner. Mrs. Merkel invited me here!” Many tore up their temporary residency permits, threw them at the police, and announced they’d have new ones in the morning.
With bottles and fireworks being thrown at members of law enforcement, the police decided the best strategy was to disperse the crowd, noting that crowd size made it impossible to identify attackers and make arrests.
But even after the crowd was dispersed, attacks continued, and the mob ran into the railway station, where platforms were jammed with people and as railway cars arrived covered with feces, urine, vomit, and people who had collapsed, unconscious.
One German man who witnessed the chaos from his vantage point at a luxury hotel where he works stated that the violence began with a serious stabbing that left the victim in critical condition and that things escalated from there (video here).
The gentleman (who appears to be a bouncer at the hotel) described women coming up to him all evening, shivering, terrified, asking if they could just stand near him so he could look after them. (Eventually, he was attacked as well.) He described how perpetrators jumped on the heads of victims who were already lying on the ground as he reflected on his prior impressions of the immigration issue and “right wing propaganda” that now seemed to be corrected after his confrontation with reality.
He also discussed police ineptitude, describing how constraining attackers proved useless since there were no transports to take them to jail and there were no jail cells available since they were filled to capacity. To make room for the next bunch of savages (my word, not his), they released those who had been rounded up earlier, who then resumed their violent behavior. But not before spitting on police cars and screaming, “F*** the police!”
One police officer said he hadn't seen anything like it in nearly 30 years and was struck by the high number of migrants and level of disrespect toward police officers. (Medical teams working that night confirmed that the mob comprised “asylum seekers,” and victims also corroborated that perpetrators were “migrants.”)
"Our Neighbour is a nut, a nut with a weapon."
Others have been more direct in taking the Chinese government to task. One Weibo user received more than 1000 likes for a post which said: "The heavenly kingdom [China] is still protecting this thug. We should be ashamed that the heavenly kingdom is still protecting this thug, we should be ashamed."
Some of our more bellicose presidential candidates want a no-fly zone in Syria. Some are adamant about it, and some are nonchalant—but, make no mistake, however they express it, a no-fly zone in Syria is not a tool in the war against ISIS.
A no-fly zone in Syria can only be aimed at Russia, who is flying in the area of the desired zone and the air force of the legitimate government of Syria. Now we may say that the government of Bashar al-Assad is evil. We may say it makes war against its own people. We may even say Assad has to go, but his government is the only internationally recognized and, therefore, legitimate government of Syria. It is this government's representatives who serve at the UN. It is its ambassadors who serve in the embassies around the world.
We may not like, reality but reality is reality, nonetheless. Russia is an ally of this reality-based legitimate government, and it has been given bases and operates in that country with the blessing of the aforesaid legitimate government. We do not; our operations in Syria are unilateral.
Yes, the government has lost control of large portions of its territory to ISIS and other Jihadi factions; however, we do not recognize the territory seized by these terrorists as theirs. So whose is it? Do we recognize it as some type of no-man's land? No, we still recognize it as part of a sovereign state. Yet, we act as if that sovereign state does not have a government. It does. We may choose not to recognize it, but the rest of the world does.
For one thing, if we declare a no-fly zone, we must be prepared to take down Russian planes. Some of our prospective leaders proudly say they are willing to do so. We must also be prepared for our planes to be taken out by either Russian jets or their surface-to-air missiles. None of the candidates talk about this; however, by seeking to impose a no-fly zone, they are implicitly agreeing to this, as well. If we start an air war with Russia, can a ground war be far behind?
I do not oppose a no-fly zone in Syria because we can't enforce it. I don't oppose it because it might bring a confrontation with Russia that would do nothing to enhance our security and much to impair it. I oppose a no-fly zone because it is unnecessary. If our goal is to provide safe havens for Syrians trying to flee the fighting while staying in the neighborhood, we already have two massive no-fly zones: Jordan and Turkey.
We can provide more than adequate support for any and all refugees in both of these Muslim countries for much less than a shooting war or a mass migration, and they can provide their own air cover.
Let's use our heads. Don't allow people seeking votes who want to sound tough to play on our emotions like a cheap violin and convince us that it makes sense to sing an out of tune chorus of Fly Me to the Moon as they fly us into the middle of someone else's civil war—or, worse yet, World War III with a nuclear power no one has been able to beat for hundreds of years.