German Leaders Downplay Berlin Terror Attack

The sights and scents of Christmas were replaced with the stench of death on Monday night when a terrorist drove a truck through a holiday market in Berlin, killing at least 12 people and injuring 45 others. Information on the suspect was scarce as of Tuesday morning, but a Pakistani refugee named “Naved B” was reportedly arrested soon after the tragedy.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms what appears to have been a terrorist attacks on a Christmas market in Berlin,” said the National Security Council in a statement.

Funny how quickly U.S. intelligence officials can reach that conclusion when an attack occurs on foreign soil. If this had happened in Los Angeles, we’d be hearing about the driver’s secret homosexual tendencies, his workplace grievances, his longstanding aversion to Christmas trees, or some other irrelevant claptrap. As long as it happens in Germany, though, the Obama regime feels comfortable giving Americans the truth.

But they’re playing a version of the same game over there. Following the tragedy, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere shied away from calling it an “attack.”

“The words we choose have a psychological effect on the whole country,” he said. “I am consciously avoiding using the word ‘attack,’ although there is a lot that points in that direction.”

What kind of psychological effect does it have on a country when leaders refuse to use straightforward language with the citizenry?

Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed to understand that denying the nature of the bloodshed was a non-starter, but she was preoccupied with the political ramifications. “I know it will be especially hard for us to take if it is confirmed that the person who committed this attack sought protection and asylum in Germany,” she said.

Merkel’s concerns are not unfounded. She has been criticized for more than a year for throwing Germany’s security to the wind by allowing tens of thousands of Muslim refugees into the country. Under considerable pressure from conservative populists, her administration has recently begun moving to the right on the issue, but it may be too late. The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) is swelling in popularity, mirroring the backlash against foolish liberalism seen in the U.S., the U.K., and throughout much of the Western democratic world.

“When will the German state of law strike back?” tweeted AfD member Marcus Pretzell. “When will this cursed hypocrisy stop? These are Merkel’s dead!”

But members of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, like MP Roderich Kiesewetter, say the important thing is to push back against that narrative.

“Incidents like this will create a feeling of insecurity in Germany,” said Kiesewetter. “So-called right-wing Alternative for Germany will make profit from this, and it will radicalize the German public, and we will have a lot of work to do to explain it to our public.”

Read: We’ll have to bring out the big propaganda guns to justify this one.

Maybe if German authorities would spend more time protecting the country than dreaming up ways to “explain” terrorist attacks to the public, the shoppers killed on Monday night would have been able to enjoy Christmas with their families.