Andreas Renner, the Christian-Democrat minister of Social Affairs in the German state of Baden-Wuertemberg, wants George W. Bush to be “shot down” for his handling of the crisis in New Orleans. Herr Renner is opposed to the death penalty but would obviously make an exception for the American President. He later retracted the remark (thus admitting that he had shot himself in the foot), explaining he meant Bush should be “shot in a political sense.”
It is strange to find a German so-called “conservative” politician in the company of Norwegian rappers. In October 2004 the Norwegian rap group “Gatas Parlament” called for the murder of Bush. Through the website KillHim.nu they collected money to pay a killer to shoot Bush. “Shooting this man is not just self defense, but is the only reasonable thing to do,” the rappers said. When the American embassy in Oslo complained with the Norwegian authorities, the latter closed down the website. The rappers said their call for Bush’s assassination was “satire,” and then released the video “Antiamerikansk dans” (Anti-American Dance) in which they called for burning American flags and burning down the American embassy. The video can be viewed here.
According to Norwegian law, the rappers risked up to two years in jail for the threats. However, last March the Norwegian police closed the investigation as the American embassy had decided not to press charges. This was announced on al-Jazeera, conveying the message to Muslims worldwide that one is allowed to say whatever one likes about Americans, provided one does it as “satire” or in song.
Today, the “Gatas Parlament” website has the group’s political platform for the general elections on 12 September. One of its demands is to “cast the USA out of Norway.” This is also the demand of the Socialist Left Party, one of Norway’s likely future coalition partners.
In Germany, Socialist politicians are currently demanding Herr Renner’s resignation (or, as he would put it, they want him “shot in a political sense”). The Socialists are seeking revenge for an incident which occurred during the previous election campaign in 2002 when Herta Däubler-Gmelin, the Socialist minister of Justice in the federal government, had to resign after comparing Bush to Hitler.
Meanwhile, the German Socialists have problems with a music group of their own – no rappers but punks. A left-wing punk group has established a political party, the German Anarchist Pogo Party (APPD). Since the APPD has enough members (about 750) and a “party program,” it can participate in the general elections on 18 September. The “party” made a vulgar TV commercial featuring drunk fat men cavorting with equally drunk fat bare-breasted women, raucous partying, scenes featuring needles, rats and spiders, all set to a frantic heavy metal soundtrack. Under German law, the commercial, which can be seen here and here had to be aired by German public television. The networks tried to ban it, but were ordered to air by the courts.
The commercial, which preceded a popular television show on prime time, has outraged many German television viewers. This prompted Otto Schily, the Socialist minister of the Interior in the federal government, to ask why the group, which he called a “disgrace for Germany,” had not been banned from standing for election. The question is who is the biggest disgrace for Germany: the Christian-Democrat Andreas Renner, the Pogo Party, or perhaps the German Socialists?