What Merkel actually said

Evidently Chancellor Merkel did not “celebrate” or express “joy” over the death of Osama bin Laden, as was incorrectly reported by the media. All she said was: “I am pleased that we managed to kill bin Laden.” Yet this simple, unstressed, non-braggadocio remark was enough to bend out of shape the entire German political class, including Merkel’s own party.

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Greg W. writes:

I wonder what the Germans would have liked her to say, or would they have preferred her to say nothing, as if it weren’t news.

Here’s something she could have said to capitulate to these folks:

“Today, I express my condolences as the Muslim community lost a great leader in Osama bin Laden. As a citizen of the world, bin Laden was a major player in spreading Islam. Even though we may have not have seen eye to eye with his tactics which included murdering any non-Muslim, using children and women as human shields, strapping bombs on teenagers in order to blow up bakeries, and flying airplanes into buildings; his devotion to his religion is something we can all learn from. We must learn to be tolerant of those who are our ideological adversaries, and to remember Diversity and Multiculturism and to keep it holy. We have many Muslims in our communities here; let us not retaliate against our fellow countrymen, but respect them in this time of mourning. Let us recognize this day as a national day of remembrance to the man beloved by so many of our citizens.”

LA replies:

Actually, she made a later statement with somewhat softer language. She said she was “relieved” that bin Laden was dead. It’s not clear if that language passed muster with the German political class and with Manfred Kleine-Hartlage.

Laurence B. writes:

I like Merkel’s quote, “I am pleased that we managed to kill bin Laden”—as if Germany was invovled in the operation. That’s the EU mentality shining through, even though I’ve heard nothing to indicate that German intelligence was used to track bin Laden or that Germans were part of the SEALs team on some sort of Special Forces Exchange Program. Regardless, Merkel will try to take some credit, “she” being part of the “we” that apparently managed to kill bin Laden. I wonder, was she displeased when “we” abused prisoners at Abu Graibh, or killed Afghan civilians. I imagine then that it was just the U.S.’s fault; no “we” solidarity to be found.

While the administration certainly bungled the publicity of this incident, it doesn’t change the fact that this operation was uniquely American. With the possible exception of Britain, I don’t think any other Western countries act with the sort of directness, precision, and determination that is inherent to Special Forces operations. In the past couple years, there have been several SEALs operations that ended in stunning success (remember the Somali pirate kidnapping incident?). I have not heard of anything comparable from other countries that have dealt with terrorists or pirates. That Obama was president during these operation isn’t really relevant either. I don’t think anyone will argue that he likes using the special forces. What’s more Islam portant is that American seems to be the only country with the capability and the will power anymore.

A lot of the liberal-based concern over the crude celebrations of Osama’s death is really a mask for their more underlying fear—that when Americans do American things and do them well, Americans still feel proud of this. There’s nothing more terrifying to the liberal mind than America acting in her interests without bureaucratic consultation with other, irrelevant powers and lots of bowing.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 09, 2011 12:05 PM | Send

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