Angela Merkel’s ‘middle ages’ response to bin Laden news

The Christian Science Monitor reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent statement that she was "pleased that we managed to kill bin Laden" has provoked some pretty strong reactions from other political leaders, even within her own party: “These are revenge fantasies one shouldn’t indulge in. That’s the Middle Ages,” said Siegfried Kauder, a member ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

The Christian Science Monitor reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent statement that she was "pleased that we managed to kill bin Laden" has provoked some pretty strong reactions from other political leaders, even within her own party:

“These are revenge fantasies one shouldn’t indulge in. That’s the Middle Ages,” said Siegfried Kauder, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats and chairman of the parliament’s legal affairs committee.

The deputy floor leader of the Christian Democrats, Ingrid Fischbach, called it inappropriate for a Christian to express joy at a premeditated killing of a fellow human. And Hartfried Wolff, legal spokesman for the Free Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partners in government, agreed: “I just cannot take any joy out of someone else’s death.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent statement that she was "pleased that we managed to kill bin Laden" has provoked some pretty strong reactions from other political leaders, even within her own party:

“These are revenge fantasies one shouldn’t indulge in. That’s the Middle Ages,” said Siegfried Kauder, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats and chairman of the parliament’s legal affairs committee.

The deputy floor leader of the Christian Democrats, Ingrid Fischbach, called it inappropriate for a Christian to express joy at a premeditated killing of a fellow human. And Hartfried Wolff, legal spokesman for the Free Democrats, Merkel’s coalition partners in government, agreed: “I just cannot take any joy out of someone else’s death.”

Those are her political friends. Her foes want her to explain her comments in parliament and the Green politician Katrin Goering-Eckhardt, vice president of the Bundestag, said: “Killing a person is no reason to celebrate.”

Unless there’s a video somewhere of Merkel shooting off a pistol while driving donuts on an ATV, this response seems just a little bit over the top. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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