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229 responses to “Breivik not a ‘crazed loner’, but a terrorist”

  1. Lefty E

    Good post Kim, well said.

  2. skip

    Ken Macleod has some good brief remarks:

    http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com/2011/07/gates-of-oslo.html

  3. tssk

    What I don’t understand is why some on the right are trying to depoliticise his actions. Why not take all the wind out of any criticism of the moderate right wing by stating “Yes he was a terrorist and his actions are to be held in contempt.”

    After all, we are all in this together and both sides of politics know that if we move to either the far right or far left we end up at the same place, misery.

  4. Michael

    There is some pretty desperate spinning going on to avoid the terrorist conclusion. Bolt’s contention that is was becuase his parents are divorced has to take the cake for sheer stupid.

    When someone writes that they want a “muslim or anti-Jihad act of terrorism” to spark a desired shift in politics, and then go about carrying out that act, it takes some amazing contortions to explain it as just an individual criminal act.

    I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, but ABB devoted a long section to possible nuclear targets in Europe, ie blowing up a reactor. Though at the end he suggested that just a dirty bomb might do.

  5. adrian

    Yes, very well said, Kim. I was particularly disgusted/disappointed with the Hartcher piece, but I am sure that there are worse examples out there.

    As a subscriber to the SMH, I should tell the editor that if I wanted to read right wing propaganda I’d buy The Australian.

  6. Robert Merkel

    Yes, Kim, very well said.

  7. Robert Merkel

    Interesting, Michael, though possibly offtopic for this thread.

    I’ve been thinking about the means chosen by Brevik, and might post about it a little later as more information becomes available and I have time to read at least some of his manifesto.

  8. Dr_Tad

    As I argued at Left Flank yesterday (reposted at The Drum today), the mainstream media have been part of stoking hatred and creating a context of nationalism, scapegoating & Islamophobia in which the far Right could feel emboldened. Hartcher has done exactly what the liberal media, as much as far Right characters, have to do to maintain their line: Separate the politics of Breivik from the politics of the far Right.

    I’m not sure that calls for “democratic humanity” cut the mustard when up against thoroughly mainstream voices like these, very much projecting themselves as the acceptable face of what we know to be the vilest logic.

  9. sg

    I particularly like this from the Guardian’s current (no doubt soon to be “updated”) headline article:

    Experts and intelligence agencies have voiced concern over the threat from pan-European rightwing terror groups since Breivik’s attacks last Friday.

    So, if they only figured this out when the rest of us did, i.e. after it happened, how do they get the moniker “experts”? Wouldn’t it be better to refer to them as “some dipshits we know who also watch the news”?

    These “experts” who were all so certain it had “all the hall-marks of an al Qaeda attack” last Friday really ought to be sacked and sent home. What idiots.

    (And incidentally, that “all the hallmarks of an al Qaeda attack” is one of my favourite pieces of media bullshit. They say it every time anyone sets off a bomb. Wow, what deductive powers!)

  10. Lachlan O'Dea

    I agree with most of this. Clearly this crime was the was the very definition of terrorism. Considering the some of the absurd things the word terrorism has been applied to post-9/11 (Wikileaks comes to mind), to not call this terrorism is shameful.

    But – “despite the fact that many Muslim terrorists appear to be motivated by anti-imperialist sentiments”. There are various motivations for Islamist terrorism, but anti-imperialism is not one of them. The various branches of Al Qaeda are all explicitly pro imperialist, wishing above all to restore the Caliphate.

  11. Katz

    Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, rightly called for a response to the mass murders in Oslo and Utoya which would consist of “more democracy, more humanity”.

    Contrast this sane, rational, optimistic and workable approach with Bush’s absurd GWOT and Howard’s craven and dangerous aggrandizement of the security state. I note that the Gillard government is also in the thrall of security fetishizes.

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have emotionally mature leaders?

  12. akn

    I’m in complete agreement Kim. I’d bring attention to Ken McLeod’s comments cited by Skip @2 in which McLeod states that the broad left’s first priority is now personal and collective security. The shootings in Norway are very alarming and in an atmsophere of unrelenting hate speech in Australia, generated by shock jocks and their attendant bloggerati, there is a sufficiently deranged culture in this nation to warrant great care. The actions of Abbott, appearing as he did in front of ‘Ditch the Bitch’ posters, the film of a Liberal Party staffer standing over that poor woman at the end of a public meeting in Frankston, Alan Jones’ suggestion that Brown and Gillard should be slung in a sack and left at sea have all now taken on deeply sinister meanings in the light of the Oslo mass killings.

    The first task at hand is to make the Police do their job. Any intimidation or threats need to be reported and the Police must be obliged to offer the protection to which citizens are entitled.

  13. Labouring the Point

    He was a christian was he?

    Can you point to biblically inspired verse that gave him the reason to do this?

  14. Michael

    Labouring the Point,

    There is a section in his rambling 1500 pages completely devoted to Biblical quotations purportedly justifying his planned atrocities.

  15. Chookie Inthebackyard

    I also heard an ABC NewsRadio person repeatedly referring to the gunman as “deranged” this morning. Bah. I have no doubt the Norwegians will have him assessed and I have no doubt the man is sane. Refer “All there is to know About Adolf Eichmann.”

    Agree generally with the “Christian” terrorist = mad while “Muslim terrorist” = religious nut, particularly in the US press, though this is not the case with the ones who bomb abortion clinics. However, when I heard the term “Christian” used of this particular terrorist on the radio, I interpreted it to mean non-Muslim, rather in the way I’ve heard Jewish people use the word to mean Gentile.

    I’m wondering if this terrorist act will slow down the anti-burqa movement in Europe: heard on the weekend news that several countries are planning to outlaw the garment. Will they connect the dots after this tragedy?

    I am also wondering if it will affect the behaviour of security agencies. From what I’ve read about ASIO files, one doesn’t have to have been particularly far to the left to have become a person of interest. How far to the right would one have to be to get the same attention, I wonder? The appalling comment by Alan Jones mentioned by akn @12 indicates to me that the Parrot ought to be on ASIO’s little list — but is he?

  16. Sam

    LTP, you are being disingenuous (at best). Brievik self identifies as a Christian. His political program, and some of his rhetoric, if not his tactics*, are entirely consistent those of the Christian political right, also self identified, especially in the United States.

    * although, the Christian Right in the US does bomb abortion clinics and shoot to death** doctors who perform abortions.

    ** Though not with dum dum bullets, as far as I am aware, though some nut in Idaho will probably now do it.

  17. akn

    Labouring the Point:

    There is also a section in his ‘diary’ in which he states his intention to engage some sex workers, drink champagne and then go to the Frogner Church either before or after the sex on the day prior to his killing rampage:

    I will probably arrange that just before or after I attend my final martyr’s mass in Frogner Church. It will contribute to ease my mind as I imagine I will get tense and very nervous. It is easier to face death if you know you are biologically, mentally and spiritually at ease.

    The Christian far right is going to have to own this one. He belongs to them and no amount of spinning is gonna make this go away.

  18. Jan

    I’ve just copied this from today’s Age. I imagine it’s in the SMH too :
    He also cites former Prime Minister John Howard, former treasurer Peter Costello and Archbishop George Pell in a “manifesto” posted online only hours before the killings.
    “Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly proven to be one of the most sensible leaders in the Western world,” he writes.
    “Mr Costello has also backed calls by Prime Minister John Howard for Islamic migrants to adopt Australian values.
    Mr Howard caused outrage in Australia’s Islamic community when he said Muslims needed to speak English and show respect to women.”
    Breivik writes that Archbishop Pell considered the September 11 attacks a wake-up call.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/i-dont-feel-like-his-father-killers-dad-20110726-1hxrx.html#ixzz1TBFZYkdw

  19. Lachlan O'Dea

    I don’t think Breivik can justifiably be called a Christian Fundamentalist (Sam Harris makes some good points). It is admittedly difficult to judge, as his manifesto is almost completely lacking in self-consistency (not an uncommon trait for political extremists).

    The only things he does display consistency on are his horrible racism and tribalism. He is pro-Zionism, but only because he wants Jews out of Europe (a not uncommon position pre WW2). He hates Islam, but mulls the possibility of alliance with Islamists – he is happy for them to have their Caliphate if Europe can return to racial purity. Thoroughly sickening.

  20. Labouring the Point

    then quote them and we will see how relevant they purportedly are

  21. Link

    It’s not just in Australian politics or in discussion of climate science that we live in the very opposite of a truth-based world.

    Yes! Thankyou!

    And this-

    A prerequisite for such democratic humanity is that we call things by their proper names

    “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names” – Chinese Proverb.

  22. Dr_Tad

    Lachlan O’Dea @19,

    Sam Harris not exactly a great person to quote given that in the same post he seems to share with Breivik some types of irrational hatred: “Islam remains the most retrograde and ill-behaved religion on earth.”

    Foul.

  23. adrian

    The ABC has really reached rock bottom in publishing this demented offering from one Mervyn Bendle: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2810818.html.
    Even more amazing than the fact that a public broadcaster would publish this is the fact that Bendle is employed to teach students at a University.

  24. Chris

    Interesting to hear in Germany the political right is already using the events in Oslo to argue for stronger anti-terrorism laws as some recently were overturned by their supreme court (around data retention).

    Events like this when organised by a single dedicated person, who goes to a great effort to appear reasonably normal from the outside, are next to impossible to stop. And like many other types of extremist terrorists its unlikely that they will be placated by any compromises that the rest of society is willing to make.

    Chookie Inthebackyard said:

    I am also wondering if it will affect the behaviour of security agencies. From what I’ve read about ASIO files, one doesn’t have to have been particularly far to the left to have become a person of interest. How far to the right would one have to be to get the same attention, I wonder?

    From what I’ve heard they do pay quite a bit of attention to right wing extremists as well. Criminal bikie gangs with right-wing links too are an example.

  25. Steve

    LTP, here is a quote from the killer’s writings – the start of a section that spans several pages:
    ——-

    3.149 The Bible and self-defence

    Many Christians claim that acts of self-defence are unbiblical, unscriptural and ungodly. However, they are un-doubtfully wrong.

    The Bible couldn’t be clearer on the right, even the duty; we have as Christians to self-defence.

    Let’s start in the Old Testament.

    Exodus 22:2″If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him,”

    we are told in Exodus 22:2. The next verse says,

    “If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be bloodshed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”

    In other words, it was perfectly OK to kill a thief breaking into your house. That’s the ultimate expression of self-defence. It doesn’t matter whether the thief is threatening your life or not. You have the right to protect your home, your family and your property, the Bible says.

    And here are a few additional subheadings and short quotes from the same section:

    God will anoint you with his power to go into battle

    Each Christian must now make their own personal decision on all of this. You can either choose to learn how to rise up in the power of your Lord and Saviour and learn how to become a true warrior in the Lord, or you can continue to keep your head in the sand and oppressor after oppressor keep beating you down. The choice is yours.

    God will give you his strength, boldness and courage to walk with his anointing

    God will go before you to fight your battles

  26. Helen

    Lachlan and others, I would point out that the double standard is equally evident with the strictures you’re proposing on the concept of “Christian” / “fundamentalist Christian”. No-one bothers with whether an accused Muslim terrorist is observant, or in what way, or whether the Koran specifically prescribes fertiliser bombs or any other mode of action. The anglophone commenter simply thinks “Muslim!”, while some of you are setting a much lower bar on whether or not Breivik was a Christian.

    As long as we take the attitude that only non-Christian or brown people are terrorists, and that our collective shit doesn’t stink, we can’t move forward.

  27. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    Not sure if anyone else saw this report’s release on June 20:

    EXCLUSIVE: A new Defence report has slammed the quality of terrorism studies in Australia and overseas, saying it is dominated by self-proclaimed experts who are inexperienced, do little primary research work in the field and have rarely met with genuine extremists.

    As a result, Defence says there remains little understanding of the fundamental process of radicalisation that makes some people move from simply feeling frustrated to becoming a terrorist.

    The strongly-worded study, conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and released on its website this month, was commissioned to improve Australia’s understanding of violent extremism and the responses to it.

    The study, Countering Violent Extremism Literature Review, concluded there were common “deficiencies” in much of the writing on terrorism issues since 2000.
    It also calls for terrorism studies to be broadened beyond Islamic terrorism…

    “Violent extremism is expressed through a multiplicity of forms and guises and so there is an urgent need to expand the research gaze beyond Islamism and Muslim communities to the broader phenomenon.

    “For instance, in the various terrorist-related cases heard in Australia it is worth noting that at least one of these case (a Tamil Tiger case) was not related to Islam, Muslim extremism or jihadist networks.

    “Thus, there is no reason to ignore that other ideological, ethnic or religious groups may also pose a threat to Australia’s national security.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/no-understanding-of-terrorists-defence/story-fn59niix-1226078121057

  28. akn

    Labouring the Point:

    testing the shooter’s Christianity against whether or not he correctly found in the texts he cites what you think might or might not be in the texts is not going to convince anyone except those whose minds are already shut like a rusted dingo trap; he cites the Bible and states his intention of going to Church prior to going on a murderous killing spree. Clearly, no one capable of those actions is acting on the basis of Christian intentions. He is clearly deranged. However, notwithstanding his derangement and his lack of Christian compassion for his victims it is nevertheless clear that for all intents and purposes he is a Christian. If he is not a Christian because of his incompetent understanding of the Bible then I daresay that this would discount rather a lot of other people who would consider themselves Christians (the intellectually impaired, for example and the illiterate).

    If you are concerned to defend the faith that I’m presuming you share with him then your best course of action might be to reflect on what elements within far right Christianity foster a culture intolerance, bigotry and violence; then turn your attentions on them, admonishing them to change their ways, rather than to trying to convince others that the shooter wasn’t a real Christian.

  29. dave

    I name Breivik a terrorist, and a creature bred by an increasingly intolerant right wing political body as the NYT observed in this article. The phenomenon observed by Kim whereby the acts of people like Breivik enter into the mainstream dialog as nutters or loners rather than terrorists is utterly detestable but sadly quite predictable since the msm is the voice of the right and one that dictates the right wing narrative we are supposed to live by.

    I think there are some very seriously and sinister echos to the middle of last century in this act and the conditions that engendered it. How these are turned around is the really big question.

  30. Labouring the Point

    steve,

    I can’t see how digging into a mudhut wall in the middle of the night ( not daylinght) is the same as shooting unarmed people and blowing up the same.

  31. Mark Bahnisch

    I think the post from (ir)religiosity Kim linked to goes directly to the question about Breivik’s religious identity, and I’d urge those who haven’t read it to do so.

  32. Lefty E

    Great link, will I regret etc. This has certainly been my impression over several years. “Terrorism” studies is dominated by lightweights who recycle each others material, and rarely think outside government approved narratives. I see that back on June 20, the report also called “for terrorism studies to be broadened beyond Islamic terrorism.

  33. Joe

    In the media over here there is consensus forming that he is not mentally ill– although, I find it hard to imagine, but a psychologist saw know signs of psychopathy in his actions. There was then a long and rather disturbing description about the potential for young men in particular to enter some kind of hunting-state where they can actually find killing people enjoyable. In relation to the mental illness of the offender, it seems as though his preparation is a strong argument for his not being sick.

    In this case, then I think it is justifiable to say that he is a Christian. He is a man with Christian beliefs. This should also give everyone an insight into the possibility that the beliefs and values of Muslims do not have to be anti-civilization for anyone who still harbours such thoughts.

    Religion can be and often has been a force for great evil. These kinds of massacre events are a syndrome of our times, it seems. It would be interesting to speculate about why this is, but perhaps not on this thread 😉

  34. Joe

    Mark,
    without reading all the links here there is another reason why some people, myself included, didn’t want to jump on the Christian Fascist bandwagon, which related to the fact that this has never happened before.

    This is in some respects a new kind of crime and perhaps a new type of criminal (There are some similarities to the UNAbomber, but also some very big differences) — it’s not so hard to accept that he is Christian as that he is actually not mentally ill.

  35. Labouring the Point

    ah I see a christian is a person who thinks they are a christian.

    It doesn’t matter if their actions are at complete odds on what is taught.

  36. tigtog

    @LTP: I see two points being the true issue –
    1. That Christianity does not prevent some people who identify as Christians from committing atrocities, despite most other Christians seeing such atrocities as against the spirit of their religion, there will always be some who can twist teachings of generosity and kindness into justifications for violence against perceived threats. In this Christianity is no different from any other religious affiliation.

    2. There is a huge double standard being displayed by many self-identified Christians regarding how they have demonised all Muslims and the whole of the teachings of Islam for the violent acts of a tiny number of terrorists who self-identify as Muslims, versus how they are demanding that this terrorist (and others in the past) who self-identify as a Christian should be viewed/analysed as if religion doesn’t come into their motivations at all.

  37. Craig Mc

    As discussed on this thread and this one, that conjecture had a pattern – a basic set of assumptions that outrages such as what occurred were ‘Islamic terrorism’.

    Well, when an Islamic terror group initially takes credit for an AQ-style attack, you can hardly blame people for believing them.

    That aside, I agree this was definitely terrorism. Brevik was depressingly all too rational. Utterly cynical and nihilist, but still rational. I hope he’s deluded in his imagined support and is bitterly disappointed with the reaction he hoped to provoke.

    I’ve just copied this from today’s Age. I imagine it’s in the SMH too :
    He also cites former Prime Minister John Howard, former treasurer Peter Costello and Archbishop George Pell in a “manifesto” posted online only hours before the killings.

    And Hitler was a vegetarian, so they’re guilty of genocide too.

  38. Mindy

    LTP – Apparently he was also interested in the Knights Templar, who were all about using the Christian faith to justify their slaughter of others. Doesn’t mean that it is Christian, but he wouldn’t be the first to use Christianity as an excuse for bloody deeds.

  39. Lachlan O'Dea

    Apologies if I’m getting too OT.

    Dr_Tad @22 said:

    Sam Harris not exactly a great person to quote given that in the same post he seems to share with Breivik some types of irrational hatred: “Islam remains the most retrograde and ill-behaved religion on earth.”

    It is reasonable to disagree with Sam Harris on that (although I agree with him); but that statement is not irrational, and does not constitute hatred. Religions are not all the same, and criticism of a particular religion does not constitute hate speech against adherents of that religion.

    When it comes to preaching real hate across the globe (against women, gays, jews, apostates, et al), what religion or ideology competes with Islam in 2011? Of course, very many of the opponents of the “retrograde” aspects of Islam are themselves Muslims. Of course neither I or nor Sam Harris would make the generalisation that all Muslims are “ill-behaved” (which would be offensive). But the Left needs to get over this idea that Islam is nothing but another religion and that there’s no problems with it. This can be done without agreeing with true bigots like Pamela Geller.

  40. Fran Barlow

    LabouringThe Point said:

    ah I see a christian is a person who thinks they are a christian. It doesn’t matter if their actions are at complete odds on what is taught.

    I actually have some sympathy for what I take to be your objection. It is often argued, typically, but not exclusively by the right that Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Kin iIl Sung/Kim Jong Il are commun|sts. More recently, the same label has been applied by some on the right to Julia Gillard and Bob Brown. Pricing carbon is said to be a Marx|st plot and indeed the UN is said to be bound up in it too.

    I am someone who gets annoyed when the language is debauched, particularly when the debauchery is undertaken to make outlandish political or cultural claims.

    I concede that I have no idea whether he is, as a matter of doctrine, a christian. I would note though that in some iterations of the faith, the mere declaration of belief in Jesus Christ and acceptance of him in your life as the path to salvation suffices to qualify you as a christian. There’s no corresponding benchmark for commun|sts. For us, it’s about attachment to the notion of a classless society of material abundance, achieved through the development of the productive forces resultant on the empowerment of working people on a world scale, an equitable international division of labour, and attachment to the programs that would bring that end nearer.

    The trouble though is that unless a clear, coherent and fairly easily testable set of set of criteria can be developed that all avowing christianity could accept were developed and therewith a panel of experts to rule on who was compliant, it would be impossible to say with certainty that anyone was a christian. I suspect that that is why we take avowal of belief as sufficient, at least for the purposes of common conversation. If someone avows christianity, and seems to have a rough idea of what it demands of them that isn’t radically at odds with what most of us got in scripture classes, then we are inclined to take them at their word. We aren’t going to ask them for a certificate of compliance with the relevant theocracy.

    Certainly, it seems clear that Breivik saw the banner of christianity as one behind which all of his potential allies might be arrayed in a democidal war against Islam, “cultural” marxism and multiculturalism. For him, what he took to be christianity was one causal factor in his crime, and in so far as it drew upon common themes associated with “western” identity and counter-defined against Islamic identity, the broad rubric of christianity is a pertinent object of discussion. As AKN asked — one might interrogate the themes within christianity which drew this homicidal criminal to identify with it. Looking at his manifesto, we know he also identified with John Howard, Peter Costello, Cardinal Pell, Keith Windschuttle and Lord Monckton. This doesn’t render any of these figures responsible for his crime, but it does raise the question of whether the cultural firmament which these people have authored offered space for this criminal to situate his murderous acts within their cultural rubrics.

  41. Helen

    No True Scotsman!…

  42. Fran Barlow

    And Hitler was a vegetarian,

    Often stated, but completely wrong. He ate chicken broth.

  43. Helen

    which related to the fact that this has never happened before.

    This is in some respects a new kind of crime and perhaps a new type of criminal

    Look, apologies to those who are sick of me banging on about Dave Niewert, but this just isn’t so. Right wing criminals with a more or less Christian outlook (however twisted) have been bombing buildings, shooting suspected “illegal immigrants” and murdering doctors who perform abortions for quite some time now. Read Orcinus, read feminist blogs.

  44. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Let’s avoid the “No True Scotsman” fallacy, shall we?

    Excellent post, Kim.

  45. Joseph Steelman

    The Norwegian is a conservative. I would myself shy away from any discussion of the ethics of what he did. Since so many people believe fervently in targeting civilians, I don’t have the stomach for that.

    But what do people think of his actions on a purely tactical level? I suspect that he will influence matters in his favor.

  46. Fran Barlow

    Hat tip SHV at Pure Poison:

    I haven’t seen this angle given any prominence:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/215928#.Ti2Anluafzw

    Breivik says, “The time has come to stop the stupid support of the Palestinians…and to start supporting our cultural cousins – Israel.” The sight of the massacre was a camp which demanded, days earlier, that Israel “finish the occupation.” Anti-Israel, pro-Arab signs were hung in the camp. The death toll in the shooting and the explosion of a bomb in downtown Oslo stands at 93.

    Which only makes this eye-witness statement even MORE chilling:

    “Some of my friends tried to stop him by talking to him. Many people think on the island that it was a test … comparing it to how it is to live in Gaza. So many people went to him and tried to talk to him, but they were shot immediately.” – Adrian Pracon

  47. Lachlan O'Dea

    Helen @26 says “No-one bothers with whether an accused Muslim terrorist is observant, or in what way”. The prejudice you’re talking about does exist, but this is an unjustified generalisation. I know I bother, and so do many others. If it so happened that Timothy McVeigh was Muslim, then it would certainly not justify saying his crime was motivated by Islam (yes, many fools would say it regardless).

    But as it happens, every terrorist act committed by a Muslim that I have ever heard of is directly motivated by genuinely held Islamic religious beliefs. Very extreme and not mainstream beliefs, certainly, but Islamic none the less. How do I know this? Because that is what the Islamic terrorists themselves say of their motivation and goals. When a person explicitly states that he will commit murder-suicide because Islam demands it, and then does so, we should take those statements seriously.

  48. Katz

    ah I see a christian is a person who thinks they are a christian.

    It doesn’t matter if their actions are at complete odds on what is taught.

    Oh dear, LTP, one group of Christians “is taught” that transubstantiation occurs at the Eucharist. Another group of Christians “is taught” that this is a pack of heretical nonsense. This disagreement is no mere matter of detail. Either the physical body of the Saviour is present at the mass or it isn’t. They are at “complete odds” with each other.

    Surely both groups can’t be “true Christians”.

    Who misses out, LTP?

  49. Geoff Honnor

    Andrew Sullivan suggests “Christianism” as a better definition (I agree) and Breivik asserts no overt interest in god bothering……but likes dressing up as a Knight Templar.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/07/breivik-a-living-definition-of-christianism-ctd.html

  50. akn

    Yeah, Mao never read Marx which means that all socialists can breathe easy and not have to reconsider their socialism in the light of the ‘cultural revolution’. The shooter quotes from the Old Testament and well, that’s ok then, because true Christians only work off the King James Bible. Spare us.

  51. jane

    @43, I think the “Reverend” Fred Phelps is a prime example of a self professed “christian” who, despite claiming to be a christian, seems unable to grasp even the most basic tenets of the teachings of Christ.

    I think it would be very safe to say that should the pinko faggot Jew dare step foot on the planet again, the rev would have no hesitation in having him re-crucified and picket the funeral.

    Unfortunately, the various faiths all have their fair share of these people; to claim that Islam is the only faith chock full of terrorists is to bury one’s head not just in sand, but concrete, imo.

  52. sg

    I recently read multiple accounts of allied soldiers in world war 2 shooting large numbers of surrendered Japanese soldiers, unarmed floating mariners, etc. and also cutting out their gold fillings while they still lived, pissing in their dead mouths and even sending bits of their bodies as mementoes to, for example, Roosevelt. The book I’m reading makes pretty clear that this is not the sole consequence of the “dehumanizing” nature of war, since none of the same things were done by allied soldiers to Germans at anything like the same rate. It was the result of dehumanizing propaganda that the allied soldiers and their supporting populations were exposed to.

    I don’t think we should accept that this shooter is insane, any more than we would think those ww2 allied soldiers were insane. In both cases they’ve formed a view of what is necessary based on what they have identified as the properties of their enemy. The question in both cases is who broadcast the propaganda, why they broadcast it, what it told its receivers to do and who was listening to it.

  53. Joseph Steelman

    In a sense he came after you guys. He’s a conservative who came after the Norwegian equivalent of the Prodeo crowd. Cutting you all down as if he had traveled back in a time machine. I know for a fact that his acts won’t influence me one little bit. But can you all say the same? The left were notorious appeasers of the Muslims after terrorism kicked in. Prior to that Israel and its Kibbutzes were supported very strongly on the left in this country.

    Think of yourselves as survivors from this massacre. I think most of you will be influenced. And those of you not influenced would be dead. I think he made his point.

  54. Jacques de Molay

    Anders Breivik could have used ‘chemically enhanced’ ammunition to ensure every shot was deadly, police believe.

    In his disturbing ‘manifesto’ he talked of plans to put liquid nicotine in his bullets.

    If the blast did not kill victims outright, the nicotine would go on to poison them.

    It was already known that Breivik used ‘dum-dum’ bullets during his killing spree – the expanding round has a hollow point which leaves a large exit wound after causing horrific wounds.

    In his 1,500-page manifesto he wrote late last year: ‘I’ve now ordered 50ml – 99 per cent pure liquid nicotine from a Chinese online supplier.

    ‘3-4 drops will be injected in hollow point rifle bullets which will effectively turn it into a lethal chemical weapon.

    ‘I specifically instructed the Chinese supplier to send the package by courier to my company name, with extra wrapping and chemical labelling.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2018748/Norway-massacre-Anders-Behring-Breivik-Dum-dum-bullets-injected-poision.html

  55. Joseph Steelman

    Great post Kim.

  56. Tom R

    Indeed, nowhere is the moral superiority of the Left over the Right more clearly shown by the fact that the Left dropped the whole “Bush and Blair are imperialist war criminals” trope the moment the first Ba’athist and al-Qaeda insurgents bombed a mosque in Iraq – I can’t recall ever hearing that line after mid-2003 – just as an earlier generation of left-wing activists quickly shelved their “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today” chants and bloodstained papier-mache Uncle Sams after Bill Ayers and the Weathermen started bombing American civilian targets.

    And what a moral paragon Jeff Sparrow is. Who could not admire how he publicly repudiated the International Socialists as early as 1975 once the racial genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea made “class warfare” and “Marxist analysis” dirty words that could no longer be uttered by decent human beings.

    Why can’t the Right live up to the high standards set by their political opponents on the reality-based side?

  57. Craig Mc

    Often stated, but completely wrong. He ate chicken broth.

    And my niece says she’s a vegetarian, but eats white fish. Hey, this whole thread is about the peril of relying on someone’s self-identification.

  58. Lefty E

    You sound like an apologist Steelman. I won’t be influenced one wit, other than in my determination to defeat the fascism embodied in his values and actions.

  59. tigtog

    Joseph Steelman:

    The left were notorious appeasers of the Muslims after terrorism kicked in.

    “The left”, or at least large parts of it, refused to allow 9/11 and other extremist acts to change the way they viewed Muslims as a whole. The right, or at least large parts of it, are the ones who allowed terrorism to prompt them to demand the rescindment of fundamental freedoms in the name of protection from terrorists.

    Prior to that Israel and its Kibbutzes were supported very strongly on the left in this country.

    Supporting Israel’s right to exist does not mean one is obliged to support Israel’s exclusion/oppression of indigenous Palestinians from the state built on the lands of their ancestors. Again, “the left” has been consistent on this distinction since long before “terrorism kicked in”.

  60. Craig Mc

    It was the result of dehumanizing propaganda that the allied soldiers and their supporting populations were exposed to.

    More likely, revenge. The japanese in WWII did a lot more to dehumanise themselves than any propaganda did.

  61. Lefty E

    That’s right Tigtog. The right were the surrender monkeys who immediately chucked everything we stood for as a democracy.

    Cowards.

  62. Steve at the Pub

    A Christian is one who believes in the concept of original sin, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross to atone for mankind’s sins.

  63. Tyro Rex

    Steelman == translation of “Stalin”. It’s a troll.

  64. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    Thanks Lefty E. Over the past year i have actually studied this area quite closely, and tweeted that report when it was released last month.

    Also – it might be appropriate that commenters be careful when throwing about the term ‘mentally ill’ without any understanding of Axis I and Axis II distinctions as they may pertain in this situation.

    [Loosely: * Axis I: primarily mood disorders
    * Axis II: Primarily underlying pervasive or personality disorders ]

  65. Joe

    tigtog,

    unfortunately, you might as well argue against religious dogma. These types of opinions are immutable.

    On a practical level, Australia, as a society needs to stop people like Alan Jones. It was a nice little business model, making money by playing on the prejudices of people, but it is regressive and harms everyone. The Murdoch model of media-business needs to change and regulation has to play a role.

  66. adamite

    Some more excerpts from the manifesto

    “In 1095 during th? Council ?f Clermont, Pope Urban II confirmed th?t h? remitted ??? penance incurred b? anyone (crusaders) wh? participated ?n th? initially crusade.

    Th? Pope dispenses indulgences fr?m a reservoir ?f grace tied t? martyrs ?f th? church, those men ?n? women wh?, b? virtue ?f th??r suffering, assists ?n th? intercession f?r ??? Christians. In th? 12th Century, Pope Innocuous III, prolonged th? Crusade indulgence t? include anyone assisting w?th such endeavours.

    Wh?n w?, th? cultural conservatives ?f Europe seize power ?n approximately 5-7 decades, w? w??? take th? n??????r? steps t? eradicate th? corruption wh??h ?? continuing t? plague th? Church (both th? Catholic ?n? Protestant church). W? m??t ensure th?t w? h??? Christian leaders wh? believe ?n; self defence, protection ?f Eastern Christendom ?n? th? protection ?f Christians worldwide”

    http://paraisrael.com/2011/07/syndicated-blogs/media-still-downplaying-christian-influence-on-norwegian-terrorist/

    Sounds remarkably like a plan for a Christian jihad.

  67. akn

    Not only have I been a long term supporter of Palestinian rights, Joseph Steelman, but I’m also on record, here on LP, as someone who supports the French ban on the burqa. This is not a thread derail: ‘the left’ is far more capable of nuanced understanding than the right which is why it is possible to simultansously support freedom and justice for Palestinians, the ongoing existence of Israel and be critical of repressive elements within Islam or indeed of non-Islamic cults such as that of the burqa.

    By contrast the right’s capacity for critical analysis appears to extend no further than that the shooter can’t be a terrorist because, FFS, he’s the wrong colour, he’s a Christian who loved his mum, he had a job, he has blue eyes, he wears nice uniforms, there’s no towel on his head and so on.

  68. tigtog

    @Tyro Rex, good catch. I don’t think we need any more of its blitherings.

  69. Tim Macknay

    But as it happens, every terrorist act committed by a Muslim that I have ever heard of is directly motivated by genuinely held Islamic religious beliefs. Very extreme and not mainstream beliefs, certainly, but Islamic none the less. How do I know this? Because that is what the Islamic terrorists themselves say of their motivation and goals. When a person explicitly states that he will commit murder-suicide because Islam demands it, and then does so, we should take those statements seriously.

    *headdesk*

    But, as has been demonstrated above (see Steve’s post @25), the killer has explicitly sought to justify his actions, in part, by direct reference to Christian scripture. How is it then not reasonable to say of Breivik that his atrocity was ‘motivated by genuinely held Christian religious beliefs. Very extreme and not mainstream beliefs, certainly, but Christian nonetheless. How do I know this? Because that is what Breivik himself says of his motivation and goals’?

    Disclaimer for idiots: Of course, that does not make Christianity the cause of his crimes.

  70. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    There’s just one thing that niggles me. Is “Mental Illness” versus “Rationality” just another cheap dichotomy to avoid?

    Don’t get me wrong: Brievik was sane enough to plan the operation, sane enough to stand trial for what he did, and hopefully sane enough to spend the rest of his life inside. He was probably even sane enough to declare his preparations as a tax loss before the event. (That’s a hypothesis; one of the “costs” he documented in his compendium was loss of income). But to call him a mentally healthy individual is really over-egging the pudding. I saw lots of self-pity and paranoia when I read his tome. He might have been a sadist – he planned to cover his bullets with nicotine. probably a Others might notice other pathologies. The man could have done with a couple of years of cognitive therapy, in my humble opinion.

    I think John Ralston Saul might have a few things to say about the tragedy. Voltaire’s Bastards was mainly about rational but pathological bureaucrats, but he also discussed rational but pathological terrorists.

  71. tigtog

    Pathological ideation with regard to lack of empathy/compassion towards others and impulses towards cruelty: is it always the result of mental illness?

    I think history shows that it is extremely possible for people to act in quite atrocious ways without necessarily demonstrating any obviously clinical signs of organic/biochemical brain disorders.

  72. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    Down and Out : See @ 62

  73. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    TT – you are thinking of Axis I disorders … 🙂

  74. Robert Bollard

    The argument regarding whether he was or wan’t Christian is imho irrelevant. What appears clear is his hatred of Muslims and what is distinctive in the snippets of his manifesto I’ve read is the extent to which he reproduces standard right-wing, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic rhetoric. There are fundamentalist Christians who espouse a religious version of Islamophobia, our own Danny Nahlia (or however the bastard’s name is spelled) is an example and in the US the religious version is of some significance. In Europe and here in Australia, however, Islamophobia is more likely to be secular, and in some incarnations wears secularism as a badge against the “superstitious backwardness” of Islam.

  75. Joseph Steelman

    “@Tyro Rex, good catch. I don’t think we need any more of its blitherings.”

    Its not hard to see why he went after you guys tigtog. After all their can be no reasoning with you.

  76. tigtog

    @will I regret, surely it’s not really possible to designate all examples of people relishing anti-social xenophobic attitudes (and the actions that often follow in time) as just mood disorders? Or am I misreading you?

  77. tigtog

    @”Joseph Steelman”

    Choose another nym. This one is needlessly inflammatory. Until you do, your comments will not get published here.

  78. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    Yes, absolutely opposite to my point. I am loathe to diagnose anyone, but i think you would find aspects consistent with Axis II disorders, which are not mood / organic disorders at all, though can exist with such.

  79. will i regret getting back in the saddle?

    I’d be very surprised if he had any mood disorders, more likely a large dash of :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    He knew exactly what he was doing, and had a distorted sense of importance and consequence. He comments at length in his manifesto about his capacity for analysis and obsesssion with the ‘task’ meant he has been unable to spend time practicing the nuaced skills of social intercourse, and laments the fact. LIke the UnaBomber, he’s smart, but evil, if you take evil to mean empathy incapacitation.

  80. tigtog

    Surely both Axis I and Axis II disorders can coexist with anti-social xenophobic violent attitudes – the question is whether they necessarily always do, and especially whether they are causative?

  81. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Thanks, @will i regret.

  82. Colmac

    Matthew 7:16 King James Version.
    “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

    This madman was no Christian, anybody with the slightest comprehension of the New Testament would know that.

    By your own admission you could be the Queen of England, but that is not going to get you the keys to Buckingham Palace.

    But I can understand why a lot of people would relish in the thought that he was.

  83. Point of Order

    What I find most depressing is that the leaders on the right continue to see opportunity in encouraging xenophobia. I cannot accept that Tony Abbott or even Andrew Bolt for that matter really believe the crap they produce, it is just another tool in their bag for achieving ends.
    We hope that our society would throw up leaders who see their role as helping to chart a course for the greater good for the majority. This means using their communication skills to educate.
    Sadly we have leaders who see greater personal opportunity in encouraging ignorance over learning.

    I do not read Bolts blog but from what I have seen copied here, one gets the impression that some of those are not that far from expressing support for Breivik’s actions. Possibly they do in privacy with others of the same view.

    I am assuming that there are no comments from Bolt after these posts pointing out the errors and encouraging a more moderate position.

  84. Lefty E

    Yeah, laugh it up Tinhead. ASIO might well be tracking you online at this point.

    The scales will be from a lot of security agency’s eyes after Norway.

  85. Tyro Rex

    I think history shows that it is extremely possible for people to act in quite atrocious ways without necessarily demonstrating any obviously clinical signs of organic/biochemical brain disorders.

    Absolutely. There’s no doubt he’s not suffering from anything like a disordered thinking detachment from reality. He could rationally plan and execute such an event. I don’t think he’s ‘insane’ at all; do we excuse the SS-Totenkopfverbände their atrocities because of ‘madness’? No. He is a political terrorist of the first order, has tried to justify himself, and he owns his own fate (which I hope is a lifetime of solitary confinement).

  86. Tyro Rex

    i’m still in moderation? is this whole thread moderated?

  87. FDB

    Colmac – that is what most Muslims say about Muslim terrorists.

    Exactly.

    No differences at all.

    Are they correct too, or are you both wrong?

    These are your only logical options.

  88. tigtog

    i’m still in moderation?

    No. “You” never were, although some of your comments have inadvertently used words that are im our moderation filter.

    is this whole thread moderated?

    Yes.

  89. silkworm

    In the previous thread, Tiny Dancer said:

    I got the correct site. I don’t troll the sites of far right or left idiots like you obviously do looking for some justification.

    Justification for what, TD?

  90. Helen

    Colmac – that is what most Muslims say about Muslim terrorists.

    Exactly.

    No differences at all.

    Are they correct too, or are you both wrong?

    These are your only logical options.

    Yes – see also Tim Macknay @68.

  91. GregA

    @80, yes, we may know them by their fruits as the “good book” says, but that doesn’t preclude them claiming their status as [whatever], and that’s, sadly, what will count more with the next one than with those of us more like Paul’s dictum: we will sit in judgment of the angels, why then not also of our fellow men? There are too many ready to say: he was right, than there are to say: he was a deceiver. These don’t recognise the bad fruit from the good, and that’s where we have a problem. If we cannot separate ourselves from irrationality, we cannot hope to move beyond those claiming superior knowledge, whether religious or political. Know them by their fruits indeed, but let us name them then for what they are: Christian madmen are no less madmen than Muslim madmen, Hindu madmen, atheistic madman, or anyone else.

    As @83, when I say “madmen” I do not mean legally insane, although a rational assessment may yet prove such, whether he takes responsibility or not (there’s more to it than just that – are his claims of being part of a cell reality, for example, or delusional?), but beyond the limits that keep the rest of us from even so much as having a go at whatever it is that pushes our buttons on a smaller or a grander scale.

    We need to get past the limits we’ve imposed on ourselves on what consistutes our conception of what “God” wants and what “man” needs. It’s going to take a long time and we are left to mourn, even in anticipation, the tragedies we will know and know will come.

  92. Adrien

    From one of the links:

    On Friday night’s news, they were calling him something else. He was a suspected terror cell with probable links to al-Qaida. Countless security experts queued up to tell me so. This has all the hallmarks of an al-Qaida attack, they said. Watching at home, my gut feeling was that that didn’t add up. Why Norway?

    he makes this statement with substantiating links which are nothing of the kind. Where are they saying that this dude was a Jihadist?

  93. tigtog

    @Adrien, I don’t think that anybody, once “this dude” was identified as the prime suspect, was saying that he was a jihadist.

    But before he surrendered, before people realised what his name was and what he looked like, there were many many people saying that *the attacks* were almost certainly the work of jihadists.

  94. Tiny Dancer

    Justification for righteousness of which there is much on this blog. The gloating is nauseous.

  95. tigtog

    The gloating is nauseous.

    It won’t surprise you, I’m sure, that I perceive things somewhat differently.

    Still, if all you find here is so distressing to your sensibilities, why do you continue to torture your eyeballs by coming here?

  96. FDB

    “But before he surrendered, before people realised what his name was and what he looked like, there were many many people saying that *the attacks* were almost certainly the work of jihadists.”

    If we are to conclude that he’s a Christian on the basis of his own words, we must also conclude that he’s a jihadist, albeit a counter-one.

  97. Katz

    TD, I presume you intended to express the opinion that the gloating is nauseating, not “nauseous”.

    And do you need to be informed that only winners can gloat?

  98. Mercurius

    @92 So TD, do you have anything interesting or pertinent to relate about events in Norway?

    Based on the comments you have made thus far, you appear to find the murder of slaughtered teenagers to be a mere sideshow to the really important issue — the vitally important matter of how ‘nauseating’ and ‘appalling’ you find this blog to be. Thus far, your comments have been limited to loud condemnation of LP, without remark of any moment whatsoever on the dozens of young lives lost.

    It’s such an odd set of priorities, and an odd threshold you possess for being ‘nauseated’ and ‘appalled’; one could be forgiven for thinking you are suffering from an acute bout of mock-indignation.

    So please, just offer something, anything, interesting or relevant about Norway, for a change? Because that would be, like, what this thread is about?

  99. Nickws

    For what it’s worth, the reports of this monster’s basic psychological makeup reminds me a lot of Julan Knight (or at least what I’ve read of Julian Knight). The Hoddle Street murderer has survived a quarter of a century in prison without any apparent loss of cognitive skills or physical ability. In fact he’s quite the gaolhouse lawyer these days.

    Crazy people don’t thrive in maximum security incarceration. Evil, extremely disciplined people can.

    The gloating is nauseous.

    Let me guess—9/11 Changed Everything, I Should Know, I’m A Delicate Flower Ya Big Bad Disrespectful Meanies!

  100. Fran Barlow

    TinyDancer said:

    Justification for righteousness of which there is much on this blog. The gloating is nauseous.

    That’s not possible. Gloating can’t experience nausea. Perhpas you mean that what you describe as “gloating” is nauseating (to you).

    Your assertions that people here are “gloating” reflect your own defensiveness about the correspondence of this criminal’s motivation with that of your coterie, rather than any actual pleasure on our part at this horrible event. Your suggestion to the contrary is deeply offensive.

    While I hold the xenophobic right in utter contempt, I’d far sooner that they had, on this occasion, found what they needed to avoid playing out the malodorous logic of their angst in this matter. That they have predictably failed to do so gives me no pleasure at all. While I can scarcely be more scandalised at their conduct, my overwhelming feeling is one of dismay at the scale of the challenge that we left|sts face in achieving rational public discourse.

    If you can’t cope with that, then there is, as Tigtog implied, a perfectly libertarian solution for you to exercise. Exercising it should permit you to apply salve to all the parts of your self-immage that may need attention.

  101. Fran Barlow

    {self-image}

  102. Tiny Dancer

    What? And confine myself?

  103. skepticlawyer

    I do think it’s very important to avoid playing the ‘No True Scotsman’ game over this. Breivik has views that line up with those of many libertarians on guns, and he quotes the ‘right people’ with approval. There is no excusing it, and no glossing over it.

    My post on the ‘No True Scotsman’ issue over at our place mainly focussed on certain right-leaning people leaping to the defence of News Ltd simply because Murdoch’s papers/broadcasters often purveyed congenial views (it was written largely before this atrocity), but the principle applies a fortiori to situations like this. Owning the shitty bits of one’s belief system/s is part of acting like a grown up.

  104. Michael

    The real worry is that the part of ABBs rantings about being just one cell might be true.

    Given the ‘compedium’ argued that “you can’t kill too many” let’s hope it’s not.

  105. sublimecowgirl

    I came across this perspective by Baron-Cohen (yes they are related) prior to the shooting but highly recommend it to help flesh out debate.

    The article also raises the role of Axis II personality disorders [ the narcissists, BPDs etc] and, ( in light of commentary around the killers parenting), the role of attachment in empathy deficiency.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/why-a-lack-of-empathy-is-the-root-of-all-evil-2262371.html

    TT: its not unusual to be free of Axis I disorders and be a mass murderer, though without a clue on the literature in this area, my hunch is that many traits consistent with personality disorders would usually be correlated in most, though likely not all of these perpetrators.

    Overlay all that with a sharp mind, and problematic political / conspiritorial leanings… and it gets messy.

    Most narcissists just take their crap out on those around them.

  106. Nickws

    Whoa, looking over this thread I see that a bunch of edgy contrarians (Rightwing sheeple to you and me) are convinced that Christianity couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with this man’s belief system, ‘cos he didn’t have a degree in theology or somethink. With the implication being that the only genuine terrorists steeped in religiosity are those semi-educated-in-a-Madras Islamist suicide bombers, i.e. your typical product of the Socalled Religion of Peace. Goddam.

    Funny thing is this Norwegian monster appears to be truly wedded to the popular conservative belief of a distinct, unified Judaeo Christian tradition existing in politics.

    So yes Virginia, he needn’t be a follower of Jesus’ exact teachings to be a Christian terrorist. He is from the Religious Right, after all.

  107. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    skepticlawyer: I don’t think Libertarianism has to “own” Brievik just because he cribbed a lot of his stuff from them. He also stole a lot of stuff from Ted Kaczynski, but does that make him an anarcho-primitivist?

    I think one fundamental mistake is to create neat little ideological sets – Left, Right, Libertarian, what have you and place people either in or out of them, but with no graduations of “in”-ness. It’s like nobody’s heard of fuzzy logic.

  108. Sam

    Boris Johnson (the Tory MP and Mayor of London) gets the point in the (English) Daily Telegraph

    “My friends, there is no easy way of saying this: a lot of what this evil nutcase says could be drawn from the blog-post threads that you will find in the media, especially the “conservative” media, in Britain.”

    Indeed, and not just in Britain.

  109. tigtog

    @Down and Out of Sài Gòn, that’s one reason I rather like the slightly different mapping used by the Political Compass. I’m sure that it’s not nearly fuzzy enough either (there’s probably a potentially infinite 3-D cluster of axes along which people’s political positions could be plotted) but it offers a less common way of looking at things – some folks who haven’t seen it before might be rather surprised by where they place the Australian Political Party platforms for the 2010 federal election, for instance..

  110. silkworm

    I am at a loss in explaining why Breivik targeted leftists, and not Muslims.

  111. Colmac

    [email protected]
    I agree, what civilised individual would want to openly associate themselves with such abhorrent behaviour.
    It does seem to me though that some trees historically bear more bad fruit than others, and if that is the case, irregardless of the variety, we should question what fertiliser is being used.

    [email protected]
    “We need to get past the limits we’ve imposed on ourselves on what constitutes our conception of what “God” wants and what “man” needs. It’s going to take a long time and we are left to mourn, even in anticipation, the tragedies we will know and know will come.”

    So true, good post. I just shake my head in dismay.
    It is going to take evolution a long time to sort this one out, sadly I just don’t see how the divide can be bridged politically.

    I’ve heard it said, “If you could reason with religious people. There would be no religious people.” I tend to agree.

  112. Lefty E

    “The gloating is nauseous.”

    fully [sic] !

    Hey, why don’t you go learn English if you want to move to this blog?

    I think LP might need to examine its ‘pull factors’.

  113. Katz

    You could cut ABB’s manifesto up into bite-sized chunks and post them on Catallaxy where they would be indistinguishable from the general run of comments.

    Does this mean that the general run of commenters on Catallaxy are potential mass murderers? Of course not. Luckily they get their jollies from merely murdering the English language.

  114. Craig Mc

    I am at a loss in explaining why Breivik targeted leftists, and not Muslims.

    I wondered about that too. I guess he sees leftists as enablers of creeping muslim domination.

    I still wonder why he targeted the youngest possible leftists rather than ones with genuine power. Sheesh, he was probably a leftist himself at the same age.

  115. Michael

    silkworm,

    The ‘logic’ according to ABB;

    “According to the ”United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
    Indigenous Peoples”[2] the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist
    elites of Europe (all category A, B and C traitors) are committing cultural genocide against the Indigenous Peoples of Europe….Our purpose and goal is to defeat the cultural Marxist/Multiculturalist Alliance of Europe, seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda….
    The primary goal of the shock attacks is not the immediate physical
    manifestation of the attack (destroying a few buildings, killing a few hundred traitors) but rather the indirect effects. Shock attacks will have the potency to penetrate the strict censorship regime of the cultural Marxists/multiculturalists. Any substantial shock attack will therefore have the potential to do massive ideological damage on the multicultural
    ideology (as the multicultural dream will become ever so distant) and its propagators in various ways…..In order to successfully penetrate the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist media censorship we are forced to employ significantly more brutal and breath taking operations which will result in casualties. In order for the attack to gain an influential effect, assassinations and the use of weapons of mass destruction must be embraced…..Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough…
    Another strategy would be to consider making use of a remote detonation, burning car,or other forms of arson to attract attention to one location. Ensure that the enemy forces are heading for this location. By then, you will be on the opposite side of town and in the middle of the process of finishing your primary goal…
    The government will have to invest billions on security related fields, which will weaken them financially and might contribute to cuts in other fields…Our only remaining chance to save Europe is by labelling the current cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes as illegitimate and illegal, seizing political power by initiating military coup d’états, declaring Martial law and create temporary military tribunals. We must convince enough military officers (in Phase 1 and 2) that this is the only pragmatical approach”

  116. wbb

    He’s a crazed loner and he is a political terrorist.

    He’s a Christian but Christianity and Christians had nothing to do with his actions.

    He’s Norwegian but Norway is not to blame.

    He’s a racist – but racists are not necessarily murderers.

    He is, unfortunately for his many many victims, who he is. Nobody else is to blame.

    There are, however, things to be done to remove the worst of the social conditions in which his murderous insanity took root. For example moderation of extreme views at online mainstream newspapers should be undertaken. It is not healthy allowing vilification and hate speech to stand in such public forums. It condones it in the eyes of someone like this guy.

    Racial hatred will always exist in various online sewers but it should not be acceptable in the mainstream where its very tolerance legitimises it. The editors of those papers are asleep at the wheel.

  117. Jacques de Molay

    I still wonder why he targeted the youngest possible leftists rather than ones with genuine power. Sheesh, he was probably a leftist himself at the same age.

    Because he wanted to destroy the Labour Party’s future.

  118. Katz

    I wondered about that too. I guess he sees leftists as enablers of creeping muslim domination.

    Duh!

    Anyone with a pulse should know that this has been one of the favorite tropes of the RWDB Keyboard Kommando ever since 9/11.

    The above-mentioned Catallaxy is full of this frontage.

  119. Katz

    [Frontage = frottage]

  120. Mercurius

    I’ve actually found Skeptic Lawyer’s comments to offer the most intellectually honest approach to this whole disaster (how refreshing!)

    Why is it that, out of all our Prime Ministers, John Howard is the one whom ABB cites with approval, and not, say, Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser or Bob Hawke?

    Why is it that, out of all our religious leaders, Cardinal George Pell is the one whom ABB cites with approval, and not, say, Rev. Bill Crews or Father Bob?

    Why is it that, out of all our academics, Keith Windschuttle is the one whom ABB cites with approval, and not, say, Germaine Greer or Robert Manne?

    The people who most need to find a credible and decent response to these questions are the people who, in other contexts, most ardently support John Howard, Cardinal Pell and Keith Windschuttle. Intellectual honesty and ethical fortitude demand it. To avoid facing up to these questions is not only a squib, it’s an insult to the victims of the massacre.

    That, I believe, is an aspect of the point SL was making.

  121. Dr_Tad

    silkworm @110

    In more general terms than what Michael @115 has quoted, Breivik’s strategy is classic fascism and not just racism or cultural conservatism. The defining features of fascist ideology are around enforcing an authoritarian national solution to a social crisis, based on a violent extra-parliamentary movement, with the eventual goal of occupying the state (although the latter is often ambiguous — some fascists think the movement must supplant the state, but that is not how it works out in practice once they fight their way in).

    Therefore, wiping out left-wing forces is a key part of the task because their organisations stand in the way of the project. The Labour Party was seen as colonising the national state and national politics with exactly the wrong program.

    An atrocity like the weekend’s is not seen as the endpoint but an important step in movement-building. Fascists often alternate more “heads-down” movement-building and electoral work with spectacular adventures of one sort or another. If their general approach is about proving the strength and audacity of their movement (to appeal to new adherents and make a point to the ruling class that they are serious and powerful) then they cannot always act “respectably”. They have to periodically risk alienating softer sympathisers through violent actions in order to hold together and inspire the harder cadres (and to grow them).

    For the best modern account of fascist movement building I’d recommend Fysh & Wolfreys on the French National Front.

  122. Katz

    That’s all very well Merc. The next step to be taken by leading elements of the radical right is to acknowledge that the only thing that distinguishes them from ABB is his willingness to act out their violent rhetoric.

    The radical right denounces the left as traitors. At least ABB was consistent in seeking to liquidate his traitors. Whereas the Keyboard Kommando merely work themselves up into a froth of symbolic violence.

  123. Sam

    Re Katz 113

    Is Catallaxy full of potential mass murderers? Probably not, but no one thought Breivik was a potential mass murderer before the event, either.

    The Australian blogosphere is full of people who think that governments, abetted by the ABC, universities, etc, have betrayed Australia by allowing mass Muslim immigration. Their paranoia is limited only by the extent of their fantasy. We all know the drill: sharia law will become the norm; our sisters and mothers will be raped and stoned; female circumcision will be mandatory; you name it, it will happen.

    Why would anyone think there can be no Breiviks among us? It’s unlikely, but far from impossible. The authorities would be extremely negligent not to check out some of the keyboard heroes on the Right.

  124. tigtog

    The authorities would be extremely negligent not to check out some of the keyboard heroes on the Right.

    The guy arrested in Castlemaine for stockpiling explosive substances does not, as yet, appear to have political rants accessible online, although such may come to light as the case against him progresses. He claims to just be interested in fireworks.

    However, I’m glad that the potential for danger to the community has been taken seriously.

  125. Katz

    Do you have any thoughts about who might be on the authorities’ list, Sam?

  126. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I’m curious how the the anti-personnel mines he ordered on eBay could be used in producing fireworks, tigtog.

  127. Sam

    Katz 125

    Do you?

  128. tigtog

    I’m curious how the the anti-personnel mines he ordered on eBay could be used in producing fireworks, tigtog.

    Me too! I’m also wondering where the instruction manual for a grenade launcher comes into the fireworks plan.

  129. Paul Norton

    Nickws @106, I think the error of the people who claim that Breivik couldn’t be a Christian may be comparable to the error in the hypothetical claim (which I’m not aware that anyone has ever made) that Bush, Blair and Howard, as the chief authors of the invasion of Iraq, couldn’t be Christians.

    It could be argued (convincingly, in my view) that the invasion of Iraq was seriously incompatible with the primary Christian virtues as developed by the ancient Judaic prophets and restated by Jesus, and that fidelity to those virtues required opposition to the invasion of Iraq. However to then go on to argue that the leaders of the Coalition of the Willing were not Christians, or that their particular understanding of Christianity was not a significant part of the overall worldview from which their support for war on Iraq stemmed, would be unsustainable.

    It seems to me beyond dispute that, however grossly his actions violated the primary Christian virtues, an obsession with Christian cultural/tribal identity was a significant element in Breivik’s motivation, he made extensive use of Christian texts to rationalise his actions, and the political project which his actions were intended to advance has significant similarities to and continuities with a particular Christian tradition (irredentist hostility to Islam and its perceived allies) represented by, amongst other things, the Spanish Reconquista and the Crusades.

    To recognise that Breivik’s actions possibly recall that tradition is clearly not the same as to tar Christianity and Christians generally with that brush, just as recognising the role of jihadist Islamism in acts of terrorism is quite compatible with recognising and respecting the existence of other currents within Islam which repudiate terrorism and other unsavoury aspects of jihadist Islamism.

  130. Sam

    Continuing …

    I aint going down the defo road, thanks very much, so I’m not suggesting anybody.

    In all seriousness, of course I’ve got no idea who if anybody is an actual threat. I hope the authorities know or are taking steps to find out.

  131. Robert Bollard

    To return once again to the importance or non-importance of Breivik’s identification as “Christian”. First, a quibble regarding the “True Scotsman” fallacy. As a Marxist who has spent my adult life trying to explain why Stalinism is a distortion (indeed the opposite) of Marxism, this is an important argument to me. A counter-example to the “True Scotsman” example would be what I call the “Democratic German Republic” example. To most observers it appears simple to argue that East Germany was Marxist (because they said they were) and that, as the Stasi etc were horrible, therefore, ipso facto, Marxism=tyranny. But, if you’re going to accept every label any individual (or, in this case, state) chooses to apply to itself at face value then East Germany was surely also “democratic”, so by the same logic democracy=tyranny.
    I, therefore, have some sympathy with Christians who want to argue that you need to actually examine the doctrines of Christianity and see if they inspire terror rather than simply accept that any nut-job who calls him or herself a Christian are behaving in a particular way because they are Christian.
    The poblem, of course, is that Christianity takes on such a myriad of forms and even if you restrict your analysis to the original text, the Bible, there are a variety of options. Do you want to love your neighbour or smite a Midianite?
    This is more than a debating point, because it has such an instructive parallel to the redcutionist and idealistic caricatures of Islam that Islamophobic provocateurs (including of course many of the figures cited with approval by Breivik himself) have engaged in. Religions that have lasted for two millenia inevitably evolve into a multiplicity of strands and the same religion (even the same individual bits of scripture/hadith etc) can inspire entirely different responses given different social, historical and political contexts. So, for instance, the Book of Kings may contain all sorts of revolting, even genocidal passages, but it helped inspire John Brown to take up arms against slavery rather than simply turn the other cheek.
    Does anyone seriously believe that Breivik did what he did because the Bible told him too? Anymore, that is, than that Bin Laden can be explained by an analysis of the Koran?
    This is not, of course, to say that ideology is not important. I may be a Marxist but I’m not that vulgar. The normalising of a form of cultural, religious (or more often than not anti-religious) xenophobia combining fear of the “other”, immigrant bashing and a revival of racist memes from the dark days of European colonialism has been a feature of European politics for at least two decades. The decade since 9/11 has seen this normalisation gather pace as xenophobia is no longer simply a province of the lunatic fringe but has moved into the mainstream. So, now, it has been possible to see an act of terror (and I agree with Dr Tad that it can best be described as classic fascist terror) which can be justified, not by reference to whacky theories, nostalgia for the Third Reich, anti-semitic conspiracy or whatever, but by arguments against multicultarism and about the need to “fight” to “defend Europe” against “Islamification”.
    In other words, what Breivik has exposed is the genocidal logic of the rhetoric of the Islamophobes. And what matters is not whether he or they are “Christian” Islamophobes or secular Islamophobes any more than it mattered that fascism took slightly different ideological forms in different countries (the Falangists being good Catholics for instance, but Hitler hating Christianity, and Catholicism in poarticular).

  132. wbb

    Politically aroused psychopaths do not belong exclusively to the extreme right, extreme left, nor the extreme middle.

    The political atmosphere post-911 would tend to give an anti-multiculturalism political language to those youthful and deranged in that era.

    Charles Manson internalised the culture of the 1960s including The Beatles.

    “the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment.” He said, “Why blame it on me? I didn’t write the music.”

  133. Huggybunny

    It strikes me that one response by the Authorities that would stop these Fascists dead would be to invite in 1000 refugee families in for every single person killed by Breivik’s actions and by any other copy cats.
    Huggy

  134. Fran Barlow

    Hat Tip Alan Shore at the #LOLbolt thread at Pure Poison

    A little long to post here, but worth a read …

  135. Katz

    The authorities have proven themselves to be remarkably bone-headed in identifying threats. One need only examine ASIO’s persecution of inoffensive leftists during the Cold War era. However, some may enjoy a sense of grim satisfaction at seeing some Keyboard Kommandos harassed by guys wearing false noses and trench coats.

  136. Jenny

    Pfft! He’s a nutter. There will always be nutters, just like there will always be tsunamis, earthquakes and lightning strikes. No lessons to be learnt. No significant patterns. No propoganda victories. Just ‘shit happens’.

  137. Mark Bahnisch

    Shakira Hussein – well worth the click:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/07/27/4829/

  138. Helen

    If we’re going to get all metaphorical, tsunamis, earthquakes and lightning strikes are not utterly and completely random. They are driven by geological and climatic movements, just as your bomb-throwing or gun toting nutter is driven by social, economic and political movements.

  139. Fran Barlow

    jenny said:

    Pfft! He’s a nutter. There will always be nutters, just like there will always be tsunamis, earthquakes and lightning strikes. No lessons to be learnt. No significant patterns. No propoganda victories. Just ‘shit happens’.

    You are Tony Abbott’s sockpuppet. I win the internetz this week.

  140. Chookie Inthebackyard

    Silkworm @ 100, there is only one thing a hater hates more than his Other, and that’s those of his Own who are perceived to be accommodating the Other. Think of terms like ‘miscegenation’, ‘half-caste’, and ‘going native’; the various penalties for converting from one religion to another.
    The Other, you see, is merely sub-human, while one of my Own who accommodates the Other is a traitor, dragging Us down to sub-humanity.
    I am sure the sociologists have better words for it.

  141. dave

    Jenny, “No lessons to be learnt. No significant patterns” ? I suppose every society, whether Norwegian or Lebanese, Australian or Russian, has people so damaged or evily wired that they are capable of mass murder….

    I guess we shouldn’t bother to ask what faith such men followed, or politics they preached, to understand why they killed so many people. They are mad.

    We could perhaps look first for some strangeness in their psyche or deep wound in their childhood that left them with such a murderous rage and a frozen indifference to the suffering of fellow humans.

    Unless they happen to Muslims who belong to al-Qaeda. Then they are terrorists engaged in a Islamist jihad. How do we judge a terrorist from a nutter? Most of us would be inclined to apply the label terrorist to people who practice terrorism, like bombing buildings and gunning down innocent civilians. However with the arrival in history of Breivik, who has a distinctly white, right wing christian background, the label cannot be applied. He’s just a nutter, an exception to the otherwise normally peaceful and deserving western society.

    Nothing to see here, move along folks…

  142. Tim Macknay

    Pfft! He’s a nutter. There will always be nutters, just like there will always be tsunamis, earthquakes and lightning strikes. No lessons to be learnt. No significant patterns. No propoganda victories. Just ‘shit happens’.

    Shorter Jenny: there’s no such thing as terrorism.

  143. Tyro Rex

    Oh. My. God. Pat Buchanan “Breivik may be right”: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201107260015

  144. Lefty E

    Jenny’s wrong of course. The significant lesson that security agencies have taken from this epsiode is to step up close surveillance of far-right extremist groups as part of their wider monitoring of potential terrorists.

    Its a lesson that has been already drawn in the UK: http://www.scotsman.com/17891/Security-services-turn-focus-on.6807608.jp

    And the US: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43887924/ns/us_news-security/

    And all over Europe. It wuld be completely irresponsbile to do otherwise.

  145. Michael

    Everyone needs to commit this number to memory;

    1800 1234 00

    If you come across individuals on-line who are spouting violent or inflammatory rhetoric against political parties of the centre-left, or individuals of such, Muslims, immigration or multiculturism, please call the number and report it.

    It’s the National Security Hotline.

  146. Steve at the Pub

    He may be a terrorist, but in the abscence of some confederates, he is a crazed loner.

  147. Helen

    Shakira Hussein – well worth the click:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2011/07/27/4829/

    Yes, well worth it. Great article.

  148. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Tyro: A lot of 19th Century Breiviks rioted to kick the Paddies out of the US. An Irish-American such as Buchanan should remain aware of this. He’s a tool, and a suspiciously ignorant one.

  149. Phil.

    “He may be a terrorist, but in the abscence of some confederates, he is a crazed loner.”

    Wishful thinking. The spin begins.

  150. sg

    Whether or not someone is crazy should be judged on a medical judgment by a skilled physician, not on the result of their works. History is full of examples of perfectly sane and rational people doing very bad things because they thought it was necessary.

    Anyone who has read Browning’s Ordinary Men must surely conclude that what Breivik did is bog-standard for men who think they are in a war where hard decisions need to be made. You could decide Breivik is crazy for thinking he is in a war, but only if you ignore the last 10 years of right-wing propaganda telling us just that.

  151. Point of Order

    OMG Michael thank you. I lost my fridge magnet when I moved. I have been worried sick about what to do.

  152. Adrien

    But before he surrendered, before people realised what his name was and what he looked like, there were many many people saying that *the attacks* were almost certainly the work of jihadists.

    I see.

    Interestingly when the Madrid Bombings happened the spin was that it wasn’t al-Qaeda but ETA. Whatever’s convenient ‘ey.

    I sincerely hope Breivik is a loner, but I have my doubts. Perhaps he intends to be Norway’s Fuhrer; will he write a book in jail?

  153. Steve at the Pub

    Brilliant? The article on that link is lightweight self-indulgence. If there is any weight to it is of a moral equivalence theme, rather than pentrating insight.

    All that can be said for it is that it is very well written.

  154. Michael

    SATP,

    Loner?

    Well a few days ago, I’d have taken his whole tract to be a another piece of highly disturbing, but self-indulgent, ranting from the far-right, needing a big dose of salt.

    He wrote about clandestinely purchasing bomb making materials – he did it.
    He wrote about making a car bomb – he did it.
    He wrote about setting off a bomb in one area, while attacking in another – he did it
    He wrote about how it was justified to kill anyone, in any numbers – he did it.

    He wrote about how he was just one of a number of seperate cells in Europe. This may well be true.
    He wrote how he was in contact with around 5000 like-minded people. This may well be true.
    He wrote that this included contacts in Australia. This may well be true.

    And it may not be. But we’d be nuts to ignore this.

    I’ve always thought the rabid hyperbole emanating from the right was more than just lunacy to giggle at, but this takes it to a whole new level.

    I wasn’t joking about the phone number above. Keep it by your computer screen.

    I will be ringing it.

  155. [yet another murderous tyrant]

    (Formerly known as Joseph Steelman).

    [rest of content snipped by moderator; new nym redacted]

    [Moderator note: please choose a nym that does not belong to a murderous tyrant, whether historical or fictional. Such nyms are gratuitously inflammatory. You have done nothing to earn the benefit of the doubt in this forum.]

  156. Sam

    I hope the people who answer that security hotline can be trusted. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?

  157. [still testing the boundaries]

    [new nym that is yet another historically polarising figure redacted: content snipped]

    [Moderator note: as long as you keep on being needlessly inflammatory just with your nyms, your comments will not get published. Might I suggest trying the formal botanical name of a thorny plant?]

  158. Katz

    He may be a terrorist, but in the abscence of some confederates, he is a crazed loner.”

    In the absence of evidence that ABB was engaged in a conspiracy, I’m happy to accept that he is a loner. His methodical planning of his outraged suggests that he is not crazed by any means.

    But back to the loner thing. Yes, folks who adhere to the misanthropic ideology of the radical right are quite likely to be loners. This ideology attracts sociopaths who act out their own inadequacies by externalising them in programmatic hatreds.

    As Groucho Marx quipped, “I wouldn’t think about joining a club that accepted my kind.” This is the mantra of adherents of radical rightism, except they don’t get the joke.

  159. Jacques de Molay

    Andrew Bolt in his column today:

    A true Christian does not live out his faith by shooting dozens of young people on an island. An ethnic Norwegian killing other ethnic Norwegians is not an obvious expression of Islamophobia.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_playing_with_the_blood_of_the_dead/

    Well that’s settled here I was thinking this terrorist self-identified as a “conservative Christian” and that the whole rationale for this was to traget their Labour Party for being pro-immigration.

    The internet document – part diary, part bomb-making manual and part political rant in which he details his Islamophobia – explains how he set up front mining and farming businesses to prepare the attacks for which he was arrested on Friday.

    and

    Blond-haired Behring Breivik described himself on his Facebook page as “conservative”, “Christian”, and interested in hunting and computer games like World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2, reports said.

    http://www.news.com.au/world/accused-killer-anders-behring-breivik-had-two-year-1500-page-plan-for-massacre/story-e6frfkyi-1226101017987

  160. Jacques de Molay

    Guy Rundle in today’s Crikey:

    Far from being a mix of impulse, emotion and opportunism?—?which most murders are?—?Breivik’s act constitutes one of the most considered, and, in terms of means and process, rationally conducted killings possible, the practical equivalent of a cool-handed contract killing.

    The universal verdict? Breivik is insane, and the act has no meaning. No conclusion can be drawn from it. This stunning and paradoxical conclusion is not merely wrong, it is abhorrent, because it negates the meaning of the victims’ deaths. The dozens of young people who were slaughtered on that island were not killed randomly, walking into the wrong McDonald’s, or coming down a high-school corridor.

    They were killed because of their political beliefs, which were in democracy and peaceful activism. Breivik’s killings were a mass political assassination.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/27/rundle-breiviks-killings-were-a-mass-political-assassination/

    100% correct.

  161. Sam

    The utterly appalling Bill O’Reilly of Fox News has this to say:

    “No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder, the man might have called himself a Christian on the net, but he is certainly not of that faith…we can find no evidence, none, that this killer practiced Christianity in any way.”

    This quote actually comes from the Wikipedia article on the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  162. Phil.

    What Norway has exposed is the Rights inability to examine their own violent ideology. It is only the left post WW2 according to them, that have carried out political assassinations. All the other countries that have suffered the violence of fascist extreme right ideology, don’t have blue eyed blond haired victims. Those countries so touched by right wing fascists are full of “Untermenschen” and they just don’t count in the scheme of things.

  163. Tim Macknay

    The folks over at Club Troppo have come to the conclusion that a certain steely interlocutor may be a certain feathered friend in disguise. Methinks his true identity may be more polarising than any of the nyms suggested so far. 😉

  164. FDB

    O/T sorry – note to moderators:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about giving Joseph Steelman the opportunity to find a more acceptable pseudonym, as Graeme Bird will be the one using it.

  165. tigtog

    @Tim Macknay & FDB, it was fairly obvious that an attempt at various gotcha plays was being set up. Whether it’s our foul feathered friend or not, this isn’t our first trip to the rodeo.

  166. Nickws

    Craig Mc @ 114: I still wonder why he targeted the youngest possible leftists rather than ones with genuine power.

    (a.) Every news report has mentioned the lucky escape the former Labour PM of Norway had that day—he was supposed to be speaking at the camp, yet was delayed. The lunatic fully planned on killing him as well as the “youngest possible leftists”. Keep up.

    (b.) For Christ’s sake, do you have any idea how creepy you sound the way you phrase that?! Hmmph, that’s a feature, not a bug, I surmise.

    Sheesh, he was probably a leftist himself at the same age.

    You really are on a BS roll here, aren’t you, Craig Mc? Odds are he was one of your lot as a teen—there being plenty of creepy Rightwing adolescents in every democracy. Seriously, his reported links to mainstream conservatism astound me. This man wasn’t a Hitler fanatic, he was an admirer of John Howard! And no, I take no pleasure in pointing that out, as l really would prefer to believe this was monster wasn’t influenced by actual democratic politics, seeing as it raises all sorts of terrible questions which are much more inherently scary than “he was nothing but a braindamaged skinhead.”

    Dr Tad @ 121: Breivik’s strategy is classic fascism and not just racism or cultural conservatism.

    His terror strategy was just as much Stern Gang- or IRA-ish or Leninist or Maoist as it was fascist.

    Paul Norton @ 129: To recognise that Breivik’s actions possibly recall that tradition is clearly not the same as to tar Christianity and Christians generally with that brush, just as recognising the role of jihadist Islamism in acts of terrorism is quite compatible with recognising and respecting the existence of other currents within Islam which repudiate terrorism and other unsavoury aspects of jihadist Islamism.

    Yes, of course I realise his form of Christian identity politics can’t be construed as being representative of the majority of that faith, ditto Al Quaeda and Islam.

    But the interesting thing here is we’re beginning to see the Boltards getting mugged by this philosophical & ethical reality for the very first time ever. That explains the squeals of petulance from some of them, their claims that Leftwing-to-moderate secular pluralists of all stripes must be conspiring to use this tragedy as a debating point against them, the poor souls.

  167. John D

    This article on on the references to the Scandinavian far right” pints out that one of the threads in Stieg Larsson’s millenium triology (girl with dragon tattoo etc.) was the threat of the Scandinavian far right.

    the neo-Nazis in Sweden targeted it, threatening Larsson (who died in 2004) and his partner of 30 years, Eva Gabrielsson. According to Gabrielsson’s book, “There Are Things I Want You to Know” About Stieg Larsson and Me, both of them were placed on hit lists, and were in enough danger to barricade their apartment doors and arrange for special police protection. “Stieg would receive bullets in the mail, and once someone was waiting for him outside the entrance of the TT building [where he worked]. Warned in time, Stieg slipped out a back door,” Gabrielsson writes.

    “Our answering machine was set permanently on ‘record’ to keep evidence of the threats we received,” she continues, “and they were always in the same vein: ‘Piece of shit, you Jew-fucker…Traitor, we’ll tear you apart…and we know where you live.'” At the sign of the slightest provocation on their apartment block police cars would descend on the street. The danger was undeniably real: Two journalists who once worked for Expo and were later employed by Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, wrote an expose of the neo-Nazi black metal music operations. One of them was seriously injured when his car was bombed. A labor union leader who revealed neo-Nazi names was shot dead.

    These events, and what Larsson felt was the government’s failure to protect citizens, made their way into Larsson’s fiction, says Gabrielsson, for example via the murders of Dag Svensson and Mia Bergman in The Girl Who Played With Fire. “In fact, everything of this nature described in The Millennium Trilogy has happened at one time or another to a Swedish citizen, journalist, politician, public prosecutor, unionist, or policeman. Nothing was made up.”

    The article also lists some of the far right organizations that Anders Breivik was connected to.

  168. Mindy

    O/T trivia – Larsson and his partner never married because the names and addresses of married couples are published and they thought that the Neo’s would find them easily. Thus the current issues over inheritance etc.

  169. tigtog

    (a.) Every news report has mentioned the lucky escape the former Labour PM of Norway had that day—he was supposed to be speaking at the camp, yet was delayed. The lunatic fully planned on killing him as well as the “youngest possible leftists”. Keep up.

    She was supposed to be speaking at the camp – he planned on killing her.

  170. GregM

    [email protected]:

    It is often argued, typically, but not exclusively by the right that Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Kin iIl Sung (sic)/Kim Jong Il are commun|sts.

    But isn’t that exactly what they thought they were (though perhaps not Kim jong-il)?

    Who then were communists?

    Surely not Lenin (Leni as you affectionately call him and who, on your own admission, is a violent psychopath, which you admire and see as preferable to democratic government) or Trotsky (the Butcher of Petropavlosk) from whom Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot and Kim iI Sung inherited their depraved ideology and their depraved practices?

    Tell us. The world wants to know.

  171. Nickws

    Ah, tigtog, I see I should keep up as well. In my defence I was relying on what I’d read in an article which hadn’t bothered to mention the ex-leader’s gender.

    The fact Gro Harlem Brundtland may have been the main target of assassination tells us a lot about the killer’s priorities—kill the feminazis, kill the youth assembled to listen to the feminazis, liberate Europe for the White Man. Pam Gellar must be so proud of her minion.

  172. GregM

    The fact Gro Harlem Brundtland may have been the main target of assassination tells us a lot about the killer’s priorities —

    May have been???

    No it doesn’t tell us anything. It means that we can speculate about his priorities and motives.

    But it does not give us any evidence from which to draw conclusions about them.

    The best, and the least, we should do in discussing a tragedy like this is to stick with the fact-finding traditions we have been brought up with before we draw conclusions or suggest to others that they should do so.

  173. Robert Bollard

    “Trotsky (the Butcher of Petropavlosk) from whom Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot and Kim iI Sung inherited their depraved ideology and their depraved practices?”

    So Stalin (and the rest of them) were all Trotskyists then. Thanks for enlightening us.

  174. tigtog

    *wearing moderator hard-hat*
    This thread has lasted well over 100 comments since Fran’s #40 which GregM has dredged up now. Fran’s comment didn’t derail the thread back then, but if you try and have this argument now you will be derailing the thread from where it currently stands. Leave it alone.

  175. Nickws

    GregM, read the UK Torygraph article tigtog links to before you get your knickers in a knot about speculation being so very unseemly.

  176. Fran Barlow

    Tigtog

    I’ve replied above — it’s now in moderation — but my reply probably does qualify as a thread derail, and as I’ve canvassed these arguments before, you might well decide to delete it. I would like it noted however that I don’t accept GregM’s characterisation of my positions in his post — specifically, that Lenin was a violent psychopath or that I preferred that style of government to democracy.

  177. sg

    GregM, I don’t think we need to suppose much about the timing with respect to the ex-PM to understand that this guy was on a political assassination mission. In fact, the ex-PM’s presence seems less relevant to me than the current foreign minister’s. But most relevant to me is the large numbers of actual people that he actually killed, purely because of their political beliefs. That’s fascism, that is.

  178. Mark Bahnisch
  179. tigtog

    In fact, the ex-PM’s presence seems less relevant to me than the current foreign minister’s.

    She is widely known as the Mother of the Nation. The foreign minister is just the foreign minister.

  180. sg

    tigtog: I thought the foreign minister was due to be there when he was … maybe I got the order reversed?

    Anyway, regardless of the presence of current or former ministers – he killed 68 members of a political party. His purpose was obvious. This is terrorism in its most naked form.

  181. tigtog

    he killed 68 members of a political party. His purpose was obvious. This is terrorism in its most naked form.

    Agreed. I’m quite disgusted at the number of comments online saying that since he killed his fellow ethnic-Norwegians it’s got nothing to do with his documented Islamophobia and other far-right grievances. He wrote it down: he viewed the Labour Party as race traitors because they encouraged Muslim immigration, and he wanted to discourage people from belonging to the Labour Party. He wrote it down, yet they’re still saying that can’t have been it.

  182. Lefty E

    Look, certain people on the right can’t handle the idea that their culture war nonsense now has to be vetted for extreme fellow travelers who may adopt classic terrorist ( viz, non state actors using political violence to achieve their goals) methods. But that’s now a reality. Security agencies would be irresponsible not to treat them in the same broad way as potential jihadis – monitoring ostensibly non violent political or religious groups for signs of members who may use force. Its a no- brainer. Pretending otherwise is just wishful thinking now.

  183. Chris

    I think people should be cautious about implying that the Norwegian authorities have not been taking the threat of right wing violence seriously. Heard a BBC report on the weekend talking about how in general rightwing inspired violence in Norway is actually quite a bit down compared to 20 years ago. And that they have some very good programs for getting people out of the influence of extremist groups.

  184. Oz

    At the moment, I’m at a global political summer camp in Europe. It’s for the global organisation that AUF is affiliated to and there was going to be a huge AUF delegation until the attack.

    When talking other social democrats in political parties. To a lot of people here, it feels like an attack on them, no matter what country they come from. It’s terrifying because it could have been them. Political summer camps are part of the norm here and happen at a continental level annually and in most countries.

    Personally, it’s particularly upsetting knowing that friends of mine considered and nearly went to the camp in Norway and recently have learnt that others I have met previously at young social democratic events were at the camp in Norway had to hide to survive. It makes it feel so much more real.

    Anyway, the Swedish leader of the social democratic party addressed the camp and spoke about Norway. His speech is worth reading if you can track it down.

  185. paul walter

    79 argues my feelings. I thought axis 2 all the way along and therefore it doesn’t preclude the observation that he is also a functional terrorist and a fascist.
    False dichotomy, that he can’t be a terrorist because he is a psychopath, to use the common term.
    TigTog notes that he was likely also there to get the Norwegian PM, but it is not certain that because he was able to plan rationally at that level, or cooperate with other fascists, that he is sane in the sense that most here are. It is hard not to feel that some thing more fundamental was “wired” wrong, self evidently in the crime itself and his obsession with it.
    Wouldn’t you have to be ricketty at some level, for hard rightist ideology, particularly this bastardised, to make sense?
    I agree with the school of thought that the Norwegian authorities were strangely tardy in “picking” him (as with the case of assassinated Olaf Palme of Sweden, by Swedish security last century) they were aware of him for a while before the attack, but lost sight of him cognitively in the renewed search for lefties and Muslims- anyone who wasn’t an authoritarian fascist- who are all traitors, even teenagers at a barbecue.
    But Tig Tog points us to the fact of the PM’s visit as the likely jewel in the crown for Breivik; doesn’t that really hint at the unbalanced grandiosity of Brievik?

  186. Wantok

    At least this horrible event should give those intending to attend the 2GB hate rally in Canberra pause to consider what they are actually rallying for: perhaps 2GB will reflect on their responsibilty as a broadcaster and stop whipping up hate.

  187. Robert Bollard

    Sometimes you read an analysis which says everything you would like to say in a way you could never manage. This is one such example:
    http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/2239/after-oslo_europe-islam-and-the-mainstreaming-of-r
    I’m tempted to cut and paste the entire article, but these two (admittedly fairly substantial) snippets will do. First, regarding the headline of this thread:

    Perhaps the least convincing claim about Breivik has been the idea that he operated alone – a claim that would never have been made had the perpetrator been a Muslim. This was encouraged by Norwegian police and intelligence as they attempted to downplay his far right connections. Breivik may have planned and perpetrated this specific atrocity by himself, but it is also clear that, far from being a lone wolf, he comes straight out of a racial-nationalist activist milieu. He had been active in the anti-immigrant Progress Party in Norway, and has been in contact with the English Defence League (EDL). Daryl Hobson, a member of the EDL whose links with EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’ have proven a source of embarrassment, acknowledged that Breivik had met him, while a ‘senior member’ told the Independent that Breivik had met several of the group’s leaders. Breivik himself claims to have advised the EDL on tactics, and to have been instrumental in co-founding the Norwegian Defence League. Far from being a lone madman, Breivik seems to have been embedded in the activist networks of the European far right.
    Equally important, the racism that motivated Breivik comes straight from the ‘mainstream.’ His ideological inspirations are prominent European politicians such as Geert Wilders, as well as media reports, columns and books written by various Islamophobic intellectuals. This connection is not incidental. A 2010 report on Islamophobia in the UK, conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter, established an important correlation between both political rhetoric and media coverage concerning Islam and subsequent upsurges in racist violence toward Muslims. In fact, the ideas that Breivik articulates stand in a tradition of European reaction. In ‘Londonistan’ and ‘Eurabia,’ we hear echoes of ‘Jew York,’ just as in Breivik’s ‘Marxist-Islamist alliance,’ we hear Hitler’s evocation of the ‘Bolshevik-Jewish threat.’ That Islam has now taken the place of Judaism in the paranoid weltanschauung of some of the far right is a result of a transformed global situation.

    And, finally, regarding the Arab Spring:

    That the media’s response to the attacks very often conformed to the same ‘clash of civilizations’ motif that undergirded Breivik’s own would-be chef d’oeuvre is an irony that has largely been lost in the deluge of opinion. What has also been lost, and what is as important, is the sheer idiotic irrelevance of such ideas in an era of Arab revolutions. The ‘clash of civilizations’ is more vacant than ever. Meanwhile, transnational jihadism has had its day. For as long as the vast majority of people in the Middle East suffered under the thumb of US-sponsored despots with little prospect of a reprieve, the solution of ‘terror’ had some limited purchase. But, while there may still be attacks, the base of support for such actions is being eroded every day. Astonishingly, none of the media’s queue of experts referred to this outstanding fact.

    Many of the Muslims – including European Muslims – whom many Europeans have spent a decade vilifying, are now demonstrating that they have a more expansive and humane conception of democracy than most of their European oblocutors, and that their commitment to it is more enduring. Pundits might wish to reflect on that heroism and its meaning, as well as the diabolical horror in Norway and its meaning, before they reflexively verbalise the stale clichés of the ‘war on terror.’

  188. Katz

    LE:

    Look, certain people on the right can’t handle the idea that their culture war nonsense now has to be vetted for extreme fellow travelers who may adopt classic terrorist ( viz, non state actors using political violence to achieve their goals) methods.

    True, LE. These folks could take a small but productive first step by resolving to refrain from denouncing their ideological opponents as traitors. Surely those rightists who are not afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome should be capable of this modest measure of self-control.

  189. Helen

    Predictably, the silliest “explanation” comes from Elizabeth Farrelly.

  190. su

    Aouragh and Seymour’s article is excellent, Robert. Jaadaliya skewers the logical contortions required to sustain a fundamentally racist worldview. The Arab Spring is ascribed to the influence of Western democracy (or as Bob Ellis would have it, authored by Assange), and Breivik took his lead from Islamic terrorists and/or had a valid concern about immigration.

  191. Paul Norton

    Tigtog @182, well said. It’s also worth remembering that there were many immigrant and Muslim youth at the Labour youth camp targetted by Breivik.

  192. Paul Burns

    On Breivik acting alone. While at the moment there appears to be no firm evidence that he didn;t, I find it almost impossible to believe that this character acted like a villian out of a Frederick Forsyth novel, or some such other piece of fiction, and perpetrated this horrible deed all by himself.

  193. dave

    Helen! Pure gold, it’s not his fault, his body made him do it! Maybe…

    However the interpretation that better fits the crime is contained in the growing right wing extremism in Europe and elsewhere. According to this Voice of America article

    These ideas of having a pure community, of having a white Europe are quite widespread across European right-wing extremism.

    And growing. From the same source, “the right-wing Progress Party is the second largest in parliament…Breivik was a member until he decided it was too moderate.” Interestingly, in 2002 the Guardian described the Norwegian Progress party as “far right” noting it had captured 15% of the popular vote and 26 seats. Amongst its standout policies “it advocates abolishing development aid to the third world…restricting immigration to a maximum of 1,000 immigrants a year…and it wants lower income taxes, lower alcohol taxes, lower taxes on cars.” That was 2002.

    Today it has 41 seats and 22% of the vote. In the informal school vote for older secondary students in Norway the Progress Party in 2005 became the largest party in Norway with 24% of the votes.

    Ominously the Gaurdian article in 2002 concluded with the remark

    something is stirring in Norway and if things go on as they are it could become a beacon of hope for far-right politicians across the continent.

    But the big question is not why Breivik did what he did, rather it is how many more Breiviks are being primed to explode?

  194. paul walter

    The photos of the young people on the news. They were really just nice kids. This guy has a Quixote complex in reverse, but for Jens Stoltenberg being there. Then you see how people might have become tempted to become sloppy in their security work, eg checking up too hard on fertiliser shipments, were they to share a similar philosophy. Too paperback?
    btw, thought the Shakira Hussein take added depth and sophistication, bit by bit it’s coming out.

  195. Katz

    The odious Michael Ledeen makes a good point.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/2011/07/26/the-myths-of-oslo/

    The more I look at the Oslo massacre, the more I am struck by how archaic it all is. The killer fancies himself a noble defender of a Western world that no longer exists, and has not existed, really, since the First World War destroyed it. He is the sort of fascist who believes in the myth of a Golden Age that must be restored, and vaingloriously sees himself a member of the elite chosen by history to defend the mythical West.

    Note to RWDBs, one of your Pied Pipers owns up that he has been leading you rats in the wrong direction. There is no Marxist threat. There is no Islamist threat. There is no “West” to defend. You have all been wasting your time and needlessly frightening the horses. Embarrassed? You should be.

    With views like that Ledeen qualifies himself to be a member of the New Left.

    Welcome aboard, Michael, almost 50 years late.

  196. sg

    Lefty E (183), it’s not just that they have to cop the possibility of vetting their rhetoric, or being vetted. These arseholes have been pushing for more and ever stronger anti-terrorist laws, many pre-emptive – including some voices calling for “enhanced interrogation,” pre-emptive detention and detention without charge. Maybe they’re starting to quiver in their boots at the thought of the security state they demanded turning its sights on them.

    tigtog (182), I’ve also seen this cute right-wing confusion about why he attacked his own race. They’re attempting to claim that their propaganda couldn’t have driven it because after all, they’re only anti-Islam, right? But one only needs to look at the RWDB reaction to Hicks, and the way he was treated here and overseas, for proof that they consider anyone white who they see as allied with islam to be fair game.

    If these people have been demanding Hicks be held without trial, hanged for treason, etc. why should they be surprised when a nationalist anti-islamist decides to start killing people he considers allies of his enemy?

  197. Sam

    Some of the commentators on Leeden’s blog disagree:

    Such as Enemy of the State (who pops up on a lot of right wing blogs), who writes:

    “The traitorous white Norwegian ruling elites (Quislings) thought that they could force PC diversity, multiculturism and mass immigration (from the third world) down the throats of the working and middle class Norwegians …”

  198. michael

    Well written.

    I suspect the ‘right’ are trying to de-politicise this because he basically put into practice some of their deeper feelings on the issue. i.e. in reality they don’t particularly disagree with what he did. I could imagine a particular friend of a friend actually thought he did a good job of protecting his country (I haven’t seen him for months, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least).

    It does after-all offer a fairly good match to their rhetoric, and presumably you don’t go around saying stuff like that without believing at least some of it.

  199. Hammygar

    This Norwegian christian is not necessarily a crazed example of his creed – much more likely he’s mainstream. It’s just that he’s converted his thoughts into action, which not so many do because they’re too busy gouging money from the poor under the guise of capitalism. I was disgusted with so many right-wingers jumping to the conclusion that the gunman must have been a Muslim. Muslims just don’t do this sort of thing. Bombers who claim to be of that faith in fact know nothing about it. They certainly are not true followers of Islam, the religion of peace. Christians historically have shed far more blood than Muslims have been accused of doing.

  200. paul walter

    Is it catching? They are chasing up a death threat to the PM by an emboldened hamster, I think in Sydney.

  201. wbb

    In the late seventies – early eighties the Sparticist League had a small presence at Melbourne University.

    Inspired by the political tactics, but not the actual terrorism of the Red Army Faction, they believed the best way to bring down capitalist state was to force it into a repressive stance. Hence provocation. eg at a trivial level: they’d burst into ALP club meetings denouncing this, that and the other.

    It was a time when left-wing political violence had some appeal on the lunar fringes. The Red Army Faction killed its imagined opponents for over 20 years before petering out.

    The authorities had better be worried about the potential for others to draw inspiration from the Norway terrorism. The large number of people openly supportive of ABB’s goals illustrate well one aspect of the nature of this political time. Archaic xenophobia and modern globalisation has temporarily produced a cesspool of hate. Personally I’m all for a return of political correctness. Racists should no longer be offered space in mainstream public forums. You can’t shutdown peronal blogs but you can sure as hell expect News Ltd to remove the comments button from Bolt’s column etc.

  202. Fran Barlow

    wbb said:

    In the late seventies – early eighties the Sparticist League had a small presence at Melbourne University. Inspired by the political tactics, but not the actual terrorism of the Red Army Faction, they believed the best way to bring down capitalist state was to force it into a repressive stance.

    That’s a slander. Speaking as someone familiar with the party’s perspective at the time, and the operations of the Melbourne OC, this is completely wrong. Our perspective at the time was regroupment — we sought to win over ostensible revolutionaries by intervening at meetings of OROs (ostensibly revolutionary organisations). We had no desire to be on the wrong end of harrassment by the capitalist state. We harboured no illusions that this would contribute to a revolutionary situation. As Trotskyists, we saw ourselves as merely a “fighting propaganda group”, a “cadre organisation” which, if we were successful (through regroupment of the most advanced workers) in making a qualitative leap in our numbers and connection and work with mass organisations of the proletariat, might allow us at some time in the distant future, to win over sufficient sections of the workingclass to openly contest the leadership of the workingclass with the ALP.

    This had nothing to do with substitutionist attempts to martyr ourselves for the cause. Indeed, all of our cadre were specifically enjoined to avoid direct conflict with the authorities wherever possible, to observe scrupulously bourgeois law where no question of crossing the class line was raised, including on matters of lifestyle.

    While the organisation certainly defended the Red Brigades and the RAF against capitalist repression, on the basis of defending the class line, as we would have done with any other working class organiasation attacked by the state, their politics were not ours.

  203. Katz

    Sam:

    “The traitorous white Norwegian ruling elites (Quislings) thought that they could force PC diversity, multiculturism and mass immigration (from the third world) down the throats of the working and middle class Norwegians …”

    Yep, that’s stock standard RWDB rhetoric worldwide, including Australian rightist blogs.

    And there is that word “traitorous”. It is impossible to have a rational argument with someone who thinks you are a traitor.

    And note the arrogant presumption. The Norwegian Labour Party commands a working majority. Yet these foreign dingbats think that they know the interests of Norwegians better than Norwegians.

  204. Siobhan

    Interesting how much effort is now going to painting Utøya as a standalone event with no wider repercussions.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/26/norway-illiberal-britain-patronising

  205. Joe

    i think there are increasing signs that political debate is taking on the appearance of religious “debate”. On both “sides” people are unable to agree about the basis for their “beliefs” and just as in religion, it is not possible to clearly describe what a party wants to achieve in concrete terms. Politics increasingly relies on conceptual descriptions like freedom, fairness, multiculturalism, etc. Political projects like the NBN or an ETS do not seem to be able to generate the public interest of debates related to the aforementioned ideologies. We spend too much time working out virtual positions when there are actual problems which need to be considered and investigated. Of course the media is to some extent responsible for this situation– it’s relatively easy to expound a position related to immigration, when it doesn’t actually effect yourself or offend a large proportion of the community. But to organise and structure a debate based on the advantages and disadvantages of the NBN is more difficult. For example, it involves “educating” your public so that they are able to understand the vocabulary of the experts who’s opinion needs to be canvassed. Yes, such a debate is a very complicated one as one needs to weigh up opinions based on economics, investment in the future, freedom of information, public use, etc. etc.

    Also, the media business model, that News Ltd is so proud of, give the people what they want: birth, death, sex, blood, lies… has had a negative impact on the society. I think that we are increasingly a society of “loners”– even though we have 200+ friends n facebook, are involved in 10 social organisations, there is often not the concrete dependency between individuals that there once was.

  206. wbb

    “While the organisation certainly defended the Red Brigades and the RAF against capitalist repression”

    I rest my case, Fran!

  207. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Ex-Berlusconi minister defends Anders Behring Breivik. “If [Breivik’s] ideas are that we are going towards Eurabia and those sorts of things, that western Christian civilisation needs to be defended, yes, I’m in agreement.”

    The next paragraph should be noted:

    In France, the National Front announced on Tuesday it had suspended a former local election candidate who made remarks on his blog that were interpreted as supportive of Breivik.

  208. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Is anyone really surprised that Breivik didn’t like dem uppity childless wimmim?

    Breivik’s introduction is entirely given over to a half-baked history of political correctness, “no aspect” of which, he tells us, is “more prominent … than feminist ideology”. The PC-project is bent on “transforming a patriarchy into a matriarchy” and “intends to deny the intrinsic worth of native Christian European heterosexual males”. But more than that, it has succeeded. The “feminisation of European culture” has been underway since the 1830s, and by now, men have been reduced to an “emasculate[d] … touchy-feely subspecies”.

    “1830s”? Now that’s hardcore. In Breivik’s world, even European empire builders like the East India Company were a bunch of girlymen. Must be that blasted Charlotte Brontë’s fault.

  209. Fran Barlow

    wbb said:

    I rest my case, Fran!

    You can’t rest your case until you enliven one. It would also have been a good idea if you’d shown you’d read and understood the post.

    Have a shot when you can manage that.

  210. Nickws

    michael @ 199: I suspect the ‘right’ are trying to de-politicise this

    I can’t help but think that any of us non-Rightwingers who invoke fascism as a blanket descriptor for the man and his actions are playing into that de-politicisation process. Of course he has a qualified fascistic outlook of some sort, but all in all it really does look like this joker is neoconservatism’s very own version of the Unabomber. Sure, the reports of his fifteen hundred page manifesto indicate he’s every bit as mad and incoherent a ranter as Dr K was, but it’s still a mad and incoherent form of neoconservatism. But Mussolini wasn’t a neocon.

    In other news, Greg Sheridan had an op-ed piece in the OO today that the subbie had entitled ‘There is no such thing as a Christian terror movement.’

    Bullshit nit pickery. Brevik’s Christian identity politics is drawn entirely from existing movements, whether it be the warbloggers or the Religious Right or the anti-migrant bigots. He just put it all into action. If that isn’t a movement then abstract ideas are incapable of provoking any kind of movement. The 20th century would tend to prove otherwise.

  211. tigtog

    In other news, Greg Sheridan had an op-ed piece in the OO today that the subbie had entitled ‘There is no such thing as a Christian terror movement.’

    Bullshit nit pickery.

    Exactly – there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Christians, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Muslims, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Hindus, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Odinists, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Marxists, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Jews, there are terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Tories, there may one day be terrorist subcultures within movements whose rhetoric plays to the cultural prejudices of disaffected Pastafarians.

    No religion or ideology can legitimately claim to be free of extremists who advocate violent solutions and who are capable of attracting the disaffected in times of perceived crisis. This is why it is irresponsible/reckless/negligent to foster a sense of crisis when what exists is merely tensions.

  212. Katz

    Clearly Sheridan wants to ignore the Hutaree of exotic rural Michigan.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki?search=Hutaree

    A desire to track down and kill the Antichrist refers directly to the Book of Revelation, which if memory serves me correctly is the final book of the New Testament.

    Funnily enough, the Hutarees have identified various liberal public figures as the Antichrist.

  213. Nickws

    I’m also to inclined to say that even if this guy wasn’t a member of something resembling an actual Xtian+terrorist movement (and I’m not ready to say that yet, not until we learn more of his associations) the very idea that a modern terror cell movement dedicated to waging war for Xtianity can’t exist is pure ahistorical nonsense.

    The IRA and the UDF, the abortion clinic bombers in America, that’s three (or at least two and half) quite distinct Christian identity militant groups with blood on their hands, all active and terrorising people during the last twenty years.

    The Australian should just come out and say “only Muzzies are religious terrorists, shut up that’s why!” That’s obviously the authoritarian partyline they believe in. The sooner Rupert’s heirs pull the financial life support cord on that rag the better.

  214. Katz

    Yet the radical right and its enablers are in deep denial about the fact that they resort to the No True Scotsman fallacy to defend their untenable assertions.

    As I suggested above, rational debate with their ilk is impossible.

  215. Fran Barlow

    rational debate with their ilk is impossible.

    It would be easier to conduct it with their elk. (Sorry, I just love that eggcorn!)

  216. su

    Via comments at the Crooked Timber post linked elsewhere by Mark, it appears that at least parts of ABB’s manifesto were verbatim extracts from William S Lind’s “Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology. The commenter posts on this at his blog, Ecological Headstand. It’s worth following his link to Chip Berlet as well.

  217. Paul Norton

    Fran and wbb, my observations of the Spartacist League at that time led me to conclude that their strategy was to burst into hilarious fits of incoherent rage whenever someone said “Spartz Meanz Fartz”. 🙂

  218. Paul Norton

    Fran @203, whilst you are trying to do your comradely duty with that comment, your heart is obviously not in it because the post doesn’t contain a single exclamation mark.

  219. wbb

    “if you’d shown you’d read and understood the post.”

    To be honest I didn’t get past the bit about slander. Never run into that concept on a blog before, Fran.

  220. Jikky

    “Yet the radical right and its enablers are in deep denial about the fact that they resort to the No True Scotsman fallacy to defend their untenable assertions.”

    I think that all sides are in deep denial and do not wish to take this fellow at face value.

  221. Fran Barlow

    Paul Norton said:

    Fran @203, whilst you are trying to do your comradely duty with that comment, your heart is obviously not in it because the post doesn’t contain a single exclamation mark.

    Well I’m no longer a member, and when you leave, you are relieved of the obligation to use exclamation marks or bold text. You also get relieved of the need to be a passive smoker. I’m not sure it’s an adequate reason for leaving an organisation, but it’s certainly a bonus.

    All kidding aside though, wbb‘s claim was simply wrong and I was never allowing that to stand, particualrly as in the past, similar spurious claims were made about the party in the US (that we favoured violence) in an attempt to lay the ground for repression. As you will also recall, ASIO sent in Janet Langridge in 1977 to spy on us.

    I don’t regard that as a joking matter.

  222. wbb

    “Inspired by the political tactics, but not the actual terrorism of the Red Army Faction,”

    I did not mean to give impression that I believed they favored violence, Fran.

  223. Katz

    Jikky:

    I think that all sides are in deep denial and do not wish to take this fellow at face value.

    Tell me what you think his “face value” is and I’ll tell you whether it is worth denying.

  224. Lefty E

    ‘There is no such thing as a Christian terror movement.’

    I quite agree with Sheridan there, actually. But then, I was never among those who suggested there was a ‘Muslim terror movement’ – so that makes me consistent, and him correct in the same way a stopped clock is, twice daily.

    There are political extremists from a range of religious backgrounds. Until the demise of LTTE, I understand the most empirically common one was Hinduism. And no one there was speaking of “TEH HINDU TERROR!”. Not even Bolt.

    If the Right had any ability for critical reflection – they’d see their whole schtick about Breivik not representing Christians (just because he was one) is quite correct – but also demonstates what a bunch of irrational douchebags they’ve been in tarring other major religions in the recent past.

  225. wbb

    Brevik’s Christian identity politics is drawn entirely from existing movements, whether it be the warbloggers or the Religious Right or the anti-migrant bigots. He just put it all into action.

    That’s a big “just”, nickws.

    It is wrong to draw a direct link between racist ideology and the massacre. Racist politics provided some of the material in which he garbed his grossly paranoid delusion. It helped him find a target. But racist ideology alone does not turn a psychopath into a mass murderer.

    Most racists are normal people. They will not kill alone and in cold blood. (The psychologically normal will however kill the outsider at those comparatively uncommon moments when sanctioned by their social group: eg KKK, IRA, Al Qaeda, many early colonisers, Rwanda in the 90s)

    Racism is as condemned and as strongly resisted regardless of whether last week’s massacre occurred or not. Racism’s evil is not just that it might furnish the mind of the paranoid killer – but that it is a cultural trait we can no longer afford to offer any accomodation.

  226. Nickws

    wbb, I do believe he was an outlier, that the vast majority of ‘well adjusted’ everday racists would never in a million years believe themselves capable of doing what he did.

    Yet his subset is a subset that revels in violent power fantasies against fantastical bag guys (not innocent kids). Of course most will never act out those thoughts. But the fantasy is there…

    Some context: Charles Johnson, the onetime hardcore Iraq War neocon ‘anti-Jihadist’ who now supports Obama, he believes he has evidence that Breivek once posted on the militant-yet-fairly-mainstream Rightist blog ‘Alas Shrugs’, http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38949_Pamela_Geller_Edits_Post_to_Conceal_Violent_Rhetoric_in_Email_from_Norway

    “I believe we are the very last generation on earth before the return of God… We are stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment. This is going to happen fast.”

    If this was indeed Breivik then it puts him into context as a violent outlier who was very much at home commenting on a blog run by someone with at least a sense of shame, as Pam Gellar is normal enough to want to remove the section that is a direct threat of weapons-related violence. After the event, of course.

    As for stamping out racism, I can’t help but feel that liberal society declaring the end of racial bigotry is an invitation for the violent outliers to decide hurry, last days, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

  227. Nickws

    I quite agree with Sheridan there, actually

    Lefty E, yes, the Oz headline can be parsed that way. Though I have a hard time letting them get away with such nuance.

    Though if we’re to believe in Christian-inspired violence then it’s hard not to see a common denominator between the IRA having priests who used scripture to justify viloence, the UDF having ordained ministers who used scripture…

    Actually I’m a little surprised I haven’t been taken to task for suggesting the IRA were in any way religious extremists, surely they were good old fashioned romantic nationalists.:-)

  228. lachlan