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.