In Germany, expressing happiness about bin Laden’s death comes with legal consequences.
While the civilized world is relieved at the demise of Osama bin Laden, a judge in Hamburg has lodged a legal complaint against German Chancellor Angela Merkel for expressing joy over his death.
At a press conference after the US Navy SEALS successful mission, Merkel said she was “happy” it had succeeded in killing bin Laden. This relatively harmless statement, which probably represents the view of many Germans, caused the judge to file a two-page complaint against the German chancellor. In it, he claims Merkel violated paragraph 140 of the German penal code that condemns the “rewarding and sanctioning” of a criminal act and could result in the German chancellor’s having to appear in court.
Not unexpectedly, the death of Osama bin Laden did not cause an outpouring of relief among Germany’s political left but rather a feeling of anger. Like the judge, the German left has also rushed to take advantage of Merkel’s allegedly inappropriate remarks and has “massively” criticised the leader of Germany’s ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union Party for “celebrating” an illegal “execution.”
But the German left’s supposed concern about the appropriateness of Merkel’s words and violation of legalities surrounding bin Laden’s death is anything but humanitarian. Its frothing-at-the-mouth “moral outrage” is simply a smokescreen for the hatred it harbours deep in its soul for the United States that manifests itself in rabid anti-Americanism. What is really going on here is that German and other European leftists simply cannot stand the idea that America has scored a success. And the attack on Merkel and the dispute over the legalities of bin Laden’s death are serving as outlets for this dissatisfaction and unhappiness concerning America’s stunning achievement.
But the German’s left’s response to bin Laden’s end was not unexpected. The German-Jewish writer Henryk Broder understands its anti-Americanism, hypocrisy and lack of humanity so well that he published a day after the successful operation a satirical article in the German newspaper, Die Welt, anticipating accurately all the arguments the left was going to use to attack the American action.
Chief among these are that the American military violated Pakistani sovereignty, and bin Laden should have been taken alive and given a trial because his guilt had not yet been proven in a court of law. His killing may also have been an execution or “liquidation,” and an independent commission should be formed to investigate this. With tongue in cheek, Broder recommends Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who investigated Israel’s Gaza operation and later took back his findings, as commission chairman.
The leftist German publication Der Spiegel, Germany’s leading news magazine, actually published two articles arguing in depth the legality of the American commando action: Von Problem der staatlichen “License to Kill” (On the Problem of the State “License to Kill”), and Der Al-Qaida-Chef als Kriegsopfer (The Al-Qaeda Chief as Victim of War). Needless to say, neither one took a pro-American position.
The one argument Broder didn’t anticipate was made by a commentator on a leading German television news program, who said bin Laden’s killing was nothing but a re-election ploy on Barack Obama’s part. Like many other European leftists who pride themselves as being morally superior to everyone else, he was “disturbed” by scenes in the United States celebrating bin Laden’s death.
“What kind of a country is this that celebrates an execution in such a way,” he said. “It’s clear that Osama bin Laden was responsible for thousands of deaths but does that suffice as an explanation? …The world is not safer with bin Laden’s death.”
An indication of the depth and irrationality of the European left’s anti-Americanism occurred in Holland after the American raid. Two Dutch men were so infuriated at bin Laden’s killing, they went to a local police station to lay a charge against President Obama for murdering the al-Qaeda leader. While a complaint was registered, the police told them it would be better for them to go to the international court in The Hague.
Just as deep as its hatred for the United States, is the European left’s hypocrisy regarding bin Laden’s demise. While they are crying tears of phoney moral outrage over a terrorist leader’s killing, they have not been bothered by the thousands of Arab deaths in the Middle East this year let alone by the tens of thousands of Muslims al-Qaeda has killed. European leftists have always prided themselves on being in the forefront of Third World peoples’ emancipation struggles, but they have been silent during the current Middle Eastern bloodletting, in which Arab demonstrators have paid, and continue to pay, a terrible price in human life in their fight for freedom and a better social order.
But the Arabs currently protesting, fighting and dying in Middle Eastern countries do not realise they are themselves responsible for the European left’s indifference to their plight. They are not screaming any anti-American or anti-Israeli messages that would warm leftists' hearts. These Arabs are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their children, uninteresting topics for the“progressive” left.
And this year’s annual Easter demonstrations in 100 German cities by leftists indicated their complete indifference to Arab suffering. The demonstrations’ four main themes, as reported in Die Welt, were pulling German troops out of Afghanistan, the outlawing of nuclear weapons, turning off all nuclear power plants and stopping NATO’s intervention in Libya. Besides bin Laden, other Arab deaths apparently aren’t even worth mentioning.
Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the German left’s reaction to bin Laden’s death is its lack of concern for the safety of its own country and people. Osama bin Laden had threatened Germany and other European countries in the past with terrorist attacks, and Al-Qaeda has killed Germans and other European citizens. An al-Qaeda-allied terrorist group is also training German converts and Muslim German citizens in Pakistan for attacks in Germany. One would think German leftists would at least be relieved that this danger to their country was now eliminated.
But it is obvious that the hatred German and other European leftists possess for America has caused them to lose all perspective and feeling for humanity. They are simply not interested in any cause where they can’t burn an American or Israeli flag. In their eyes, only on such occasions should Chancellor Merkel be allowed to express her happiness.