The Attacks on Oslo and Utoeya Island
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Norway. The Oslo bombing and the shooting rampage on Utoeya island were horrific acts of cruelty. And no doubt will leave long lasting scars on a great and peaceful people.
Norway is a beautiful country. You can hear it in the music of Edvard Grieg. Who drew inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of his beloved land. The country. The people. The beauty.
So sad that a lunatic grew up in their midst. Unbeknownst to them. This singular aberration from normalcy and sanity. A merchant of death. Who preyed on the innocent. Because of a sick mind.
Something that Spilled out of a Diseased Mind
The man they arrested on Utoeya is Anders Behring Breivik. And he is insane (see An Interview with a Madman: Breivik Asks and Answers His Own Questions by Beau Friedlander posted 7/24/2011 on Time World).
The 32-year-old gunman — with his blond hair, green eyes and a six-foot build — is a Nordic ideal, and for at least nine years, he meticulously crafted his plan to root out anyone different. Breivik’s rambling writings, grandly titled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, present him as a right-wing nationalist fueled by a combined hatred of Muslims, Marxists and multiculturalists. His beliefs recall neo-Nazi politics that continue to linger throughout Europe, but freshened with a new, 21st century toxicity.
As part of the manifesto, Breivik interviews himself, offering a highly personal Q&A in which he throws himself admiring questions and answers them with disturbing calm.
You can read an abridged version of this self-interview on Time World.
Breivik is insane. Or very stupid. Because a sane person does not believe they can change the world by going on a killing spree. Unless he is so stupid that he believes the people will rise up and join him in his crusade. Of course, the odds are slim for that happening when you are killing not your enemies (in his case Muslims) but the people you want to join your crusade.
This was not part of an organized movement. This bloody day was just something that spilled out of a diseased mind.
Only an Idiot would think Mass Murder would help Advance his Agenda
And what may come as a shock to Breivik, the aftermath of his massacre is not playing out as he no doubt hoped (see Analysis: Brutal attack tests Norwegian society by Wojciech Moskwa posted 7/24/2011 on Reuters).
In a low-crime country where a single murder is front-page news, the shock from the scale of the violence would drown out any message on immigration Breivik was seeking to make, said Matlary. Even politicians who usually espouse anti-immigrant views, will above all seek to distance themselves from Breivik.
“This will surely tone down the debate on immigration ahead of local administration elections in September,” said Frank Aarebrot, political scientist at Bergen University. “In the traditional way, politicians will self-censor themselves.”
What sane person could not see this coming? Breivik sure didn’t. Because he’s not sane. His actions have made the problem (as he saw it) worse. He wanted more restrictive immigration policies? Thanks to him, no one will dare speak about any immigration reform lest they be associated with a homicidal maniac. Only an idiot would think mass murder would help advance his agenda.
The Rush to Judgment to Blame Islamic Terrorism
Of course, now the media is focusing on what’s really important in this massacre. Not the dead and traumatized. But the rush to judgment to blame Islamic terrorism (see Media Reacts to News That Norwegian Terror Suspect Isn’t Muslim by Ujala Sehgal posted 7/23/2011 on The Atlantic Wire).
Yesterday’s first reports on the massacre in Norway suggested that there was a link between the horrific attacks, which left 92 dead at latest reports, and Muslim extremists. Only later was the news released that the suspect taken by police, Anders Behring Breivik, was apparently a conservative, right-wing Christian with strong anti-Muslim and anti-immigration beliefs. Many in the media were left reeling over the fact that others were so quick to report and comment that Muslims were involved, before there was clear evidence.
In all fairness, there’s a reason a lot of people jumped to that conclusion. Such as recent history. Or they may have read an article in The Atlantic (see On Suspecting al Qaeda in the Norway Attacks by Jeffrey Goldberg).
Well, perhaps it was because [Jennifer Rubin] was reading the Atlantic. Shortly after the bombing in Oslo, the Atlantic re-posted on its home page a very interesting piece from last year by Thomas Hegghammer and Dominic Tierney entitled “Why Does al Qaeda Have a Problem With Norway?” You can read it here. In the piece, Hegghammer and Tierney discuss why Norway, against all odds, has become a favored target of al Qaeda. They give several reasons, among them fallout from the Danish cartoon crisis, and Norway’s participation in the war in Afghanistan. And then they bring up a third possibility: The presence in Norway of the aforementioned Mullah Krekar…
So there’s that. And a history of terrorism by people in the name of Islam.
It is not perverse or absurd for normal people to think of al Qaeda when they hear of acts of mass terrorism. It is logical, in fact, to suspect al Qaeda. The Norway catastrophe does not negate the fact that the majority of large-scale terrorism spectaculars by non-state actors over the past decade have been committed by Muslims. For the Right, Norway should underscore the point that Christians (and Hindus, and also Jews) are just as capable of committing murderous atrocities as Muslims.
Yes, they are. But more times than not when it is a Christian it’s usually a lone idiot and not part of a bigger international movement.
Helping the People he Hates
When you have a large scale coordinated assault directed against multiple targets, something that is very al-Qaeda-esque, you think al-Qaeda. And you start worrying about other possible attacks. Like the Americans did on 9/11. Like the Spanish did during their multiple train bombings in 2004. Like the British did during their multiple subway bombings in 2005.
Not only did Breivik make it easier for radical Muslims to get into Norway (by making everyone nervous about being too anti-Muslim), he also gave al-Qaeda a present. Killing people al-Qaeda would have loved to kill. Never in their wildest dreams did they think a Christian would kill a bunch of infidels for them while at the same time gaining sympathy for the Muslim people. They must love this guy. Helping the people he hates.
You may be able to uncover and stop international plots of terrorism, but you’ll never be able to stop the lone idiots. A lone idiot is completely inside his head. All but impossible to find. Virtually invulnerable before he attacks. And irrational as hell. That’s why we keep reading about them in the news. And why we’ll keep reading about them.
Tags: Al Qaeda, Anders Behring Breivik, anti-Muslim, Breivik, Christian, immigration, immigration policies, immigration reform, Islam, Islamic terrorism, killing spree, mass murder, massacre, Muslims, Norway, Oslo, Oslo bombing, Radical Muslims, rush to judgment, shooting rampage, terrorism, tragedy in Norway, Utoeya Island