Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Rationale of Terror

Pat Buchanan shows how the past repeats itself.
Arguably the most successful act of revolutionary terror was the June 1914 assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

Believing his mission to murder the heir to the Austrian throne had failed, Gavrilo Princip suddenly found himself standing a few feet away from the royal car. He fired twice, mortally wounding the archduke and his wife.

Tactically, that act of terror eliminated the reformist Ferdinand, who meant to address the grievances of his Slav subjects by granting them greater autonomy and equality with Austrians and Hungarians inside the empire.

Strategically, the assassination succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its Black Hand plotters.

Hard-liners in Austria demanded an ultimatum to Serbia. When her demands were not met in full, Vienna declared war. Czar Nicholas mobilized in support of Russia’s little Slav brothers. The Kaiser ordered mobilization. When the French refused to declare neutrality, Germany declared war. In hours, the British Cabinet had reversed itself to back war with Germany on behalf of Belgium and France.

Princip had lit the fuse that set off in six weeks the greatest war in history. While Serbia suffered per capita losses as great as any other nation, she ended the Great War as the lead nation in a Kingdom of the South Slavs embracing Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Albanians, Montenegrins, Macedonians and Hungarians. The Habsburg Empire at which Princip had struck had vanished.

Last week’s Mumbai massacre seems a similar triumph of terror.


1 comment:

xavier said...

Maria Elena:
Yes and the Serbs were incorrectly rewarded by gaining Croatia and Slovenia which had absolutely nothing to do with Serbia. Sure the Croats speak the exact same language but Croatia had a totally different development.
When you look at the Austro Hungarian empire in 1919 and see the amount of territory that Hungary lost for example and adding others to Serbia, Romania, etc; it's no wonder that Eastern and Central Europe was such a powder keg. It's so sad to see how basically decent politicians decided to side with the nazis after the Munich betrayal