Munich Massacre

Essay by shlazzUniversity, Bachelor'sA, January 2009

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The first situation that comes to mind when I think of the argumentative distinction between terrorism and asymmetrical conflict is the "Munich Massacre" at the 1972 Olympic games. In which Mitchell Bard writes that, "on the mourning of September 5, 1972, five Arab men wearing sweat suits and carrying athletic bags filled with weapons climbed the fence surrounding the Olympic Village" (Bard sec. 1). Mitchell Bard also recalls that, "Just before five o' clock, the Arabs knocked on the door of the Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg. When Weinberg opened the door he realized something was wrong and tried shouting to warn his associates, but his futile attempt was to no avail. Coach Weinberg and Israeli wrestler Joseph Romano attempted to block the door while others escaped, but they were killed by the terrorists. The Arabs then managed to round up nine Israeli athletes to hold as hostages" (Bard sec.1).

Bard also mentions, "at approximately 9:30am, the terrorists announced that they were Palestinians and demanded that Israel give them safe passage out of Germany and release two-hundred of their Arab prisoners. The negotiators agreed to take the terrorists and hostages to the NATO air base in Firstenfeldbruck by helicopter where they will be given an airplane to fly themselves and their hostages to Cairo" (Bard sec.1). Once at Firstenfeldbruck the situation took a horrifying turn for the worst when the on scene commander ordered his men to fire on the terrorists, who were preparing to board the aircraft from the helicopters to begin their escape (GSG-9 sec.1). Poor marksmanship, mixed with a number of snipers whom refused to fire, led to the least desirable outcome – an open gunfight (GSG-9 sec.1). The Terrorism Research Center writes, "When the smoke cleared on the Furstenfeldbruck military airfield, the terrorists and the nine...