Norway killings reveal politics of hate

From the Restore Fairness blog-

A 32 year old Norwegian man is behind the brutal killings of 76 people in twin attacks that have shocked the world. We mourn the loss of those that lost their lives in this senseless violence. And as the shock wears off, we are slowly beginning to learn the motives behind the attack, much of which has been linked to a hatred of immigration and multiculturalism.

The man, Anders Behring Breivik, left behind a 1,500 page manifesto where he talks about the need to start a revolution against multiculturalism, fueled by the failure of Norwegian politicians in protecting the country from the influence of outsiders, with a particular focus on Muslim immigrants. The main target of his attacks were government buildings and a youth camp run by the ruling Labour Party, symbols of the government he felt were the largest obstacles to his ideal society- one without any immigrants.

In many ways, the killings have focused attention on the anti-immigrant rhetoric voiced openly in Europe. As a BBC article ‘Norway and the politics of hate’ reports,

Some of Europe’s leaders, from Angela Merkel to David Cameron, have questioned multiculturalism. The danger, of course, is that such statements can encourage extremism. Others say that in Europe the debate needs to be had, openly and transparently about immigration and multiculturalism.

A Reuters article ‘Norway massacre exposes incendiary immigration issue’ explains an even more extreme version of this questioning.

Many far-right European groups have shifted away from overtly racist rhetoric and have instead focused their argument on stressing what they see as the incompatibility of Islam and European values….Anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic parties have gained traction in Nordic and Scandinavian countries in recent years, tapping public anxiety over the relatively recent phenomenon of mass migration, particularly of Muslims, to their region.

It goes on to explain the political scenario in Sweden where the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, despite having roots in neo-Nazi movements of the last two decades, were elected to Parliament for the first time. And although “there may be no direct link between violence and comments by politicians, the rhetoric creates a fertile environment for ethnically motivated attacks.”

The attacks also spotlight anti-Muslim thought in the U.S. as Breivik’s manifesto credits many American bloggers and writers who talk about the dangers of Islam to the west, with angry posts creating fear and hatred.

His manifesto cited Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture…Marc Sageman, a former C.I.A. officer and a consultant on terrorism, said it would be unfair to attribute Mr. Breivik’s violence to the writers who helped shape his world view. But at the same time, he said the counterjihad writers do argue that the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam “is the infrastructure from which Al Qaeda emerged. Well, they and their writings are the infrastructure from which Breivik emerged.

There is never an explanation for senseless acts of violence such as this that take the lives of innocent people. While Saturday’s shooting can be seen as an isolated action of an individual, it can also be seen as emblematic of an international landscape that is often angry, divisive and intolerant. As the world churns with change, globalization has led to the shrinking of the world, often placing different cultures together. And yet, while divisive rhetoric thrives, little attention seems to be paid to the importance of diverse societies, the richness offered by immigration, and the necessity of their contributions to growing economies.

As the world reels from this violent tragedy, we must remember that the responsibility for not allowing the politics of hate to spread lies with each and every one of us. If anything, this tragic moment should become a turning point for a more honest conversation that uplifts each other and upholds the rights for everyone to live fairly with dignity and equality and justice.

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The Writings of Anders Behring Breivik

We fight for the free indigenous peoples of Europe, for those not yet born and for the memory and wishes of our forefathers, our martyrs. We fight to preserve our culture, our identity, our country and for Christendom.

All participants in the current Phase 1 civil war will be remembered as the courageous few, the immortal pioneers, true European heroes who had the courage when no one else did, who stood up against, and still stand up against an oppressive Marxist tyrant.

We must rise and claim what is rightfully ours! By September 11th, 2083, the third wave of Jihad will have been repelled and the cultural Marxist/ multiculturalist hegemony in Western Europe will be shattered and lying in ruin, exactly 400 years after we won the battle of Vienna on September 11th, 1683. Europe will once again be governed by patriots.

from Anders Behring Breivik's "2083: A European Declaration of Independence"

Under the pseudonym of Andrew Berwick, Anders Behring Breivik posted online a 1,500-page document written in English hours before his twin attacks in Norway that claimed the lives of nearly hundred people. In this Breivik takes a page from the anarco-primitivist Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, who penned a manifesto entitled Industrial Society and Its Future voicing his displeasure with the state of human affairs back in the mid 1990s. Breivik's opus is titled 2083 - A Declaration of European Independence. It is technically a compendium, half of the document is written by Breivik, the rest is a compliation from various sources.

It is a document that took nine years to research and write. Its last entry is dated Friday July 22nd 12:51 PM about 2 hours before the detonation of the car bomb. Eerily, the last part of the documents details his preparations for the bombing and the massacre, all rather matter of factly and seemingly without any concern for the devastation that he was to cause. It's not clear how long these attacks had been planned but he seems to suggest that he had been thinking about it for about six years. It took him about 80 days to actually build the bomb.

Another portion is autobiographical detailing his life and revealing among other things his phase as a graffiti artist, various assaults suffered at the hand Muslim immigrants, his run for the Oslo City Council as a candidate for the right wing populist Progress party (Norway's second largest party) and that despite his visceral hatred of Islam that he had several Muslim friends including one of Pakistani heritage.

He discloses other details of his life. He is the son of Norwegian public servants who divorced when he was still a boy. His father served in Norway's foreign service. Both of his parents were members of the Labour party. He spent summers in France with his mother and step-father. He was baptised at age 15 in the Norwegian Lutheran Church and attended services regularly. His godmother was a Chilean exile. He chose not to attend university and is largely self-educated. He has started several businesses including a farm which he used to purchase the fertilezer used to create his bomb. He's travelled widely in Europe and has visited the Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Turkey and the United States (Las Vegas, which he enjoyed but did not like as he considered it vapid). His political epiphany and radicalization seems to have been a result of the war in the Balkans and in particular the EU isolation of Serbia.

Breivik claims to belong to a group of some one hundred European nationalists that resurrected the Knights Templar/PCCTS (Latin for Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici  English: Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Solomon Temple) of medieval Christendom. He envisions himself as being in the vanguard of pan-European pan-Christian resistance movement that aims to restore what he calls cultural conservatism. If he is to believed, the Knights Templar is divided into single or duo cells across Europe. The Norway attacks are intended as a recruiting event and a wake-up call for Europeans. Noting that "the time for dialogue is over," Breivik writes that the Knight Templar aim to “seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.”

It's hard to slice through the document but he seems to envision a sixty year struggle to throw Islam out of Europe. He literally aims to deport every last Muslim after a civil war. Among the more outlandish aims are the reconquest of Constantinople, the establishment of three Christian states in the Levant (he laments the demise of Maronite Lebanon), a Coptic state in the Sinai and the creation of a greater Armenia, a Greater Greece and a Greater Serbia. Bosnia and Albania would be wiped off the map. All Turks would be deported to a rump Turkey in central Anatolia. Israel would annex the West Bank in toto.

He rails against multiculturalism, cultural Marxism, moral relativism, political elites, political correctness. He is particularly angered by Turkish denials of the Armenian genocides. He admires Japan, South Korea and Taiwan for eschewing multiculturalism and emphasizing their monocultures. He professes admiration for Winston Churchill, Otto von Bismarck and Vladimir Putin. He is not a fan of Lady Gaga, Madonna or Christina Aguilera. He considers the HBO series Sex and the City to be a cultural peversion.  He does not consider himself a racist but a nationalist. He doesn't seem to have Nazi sympathies; he's not a Holocaust denier. On Judaism, he does seem conflicted. Many of the European intellectuals he blames for the demise of European civilization happen to be Jewish but on the other hand he professes admiration for Israel. 

While it seems that he is broadly well-read, many of his sources are typical right wing media. Robert Spencer, who with Pamela Geller led the opposition to the Parc 55 Mosque in Manhattan, is a frequent citation. Surprisingly, I have yet to run across a citation of Pamela Geller. He does cite blogs like Brussels Journal (a conservative website critical of Islam and its effect on European society), JihadWatch and the Gates of Vienna. Many of the additional essays in the compendium are the work of Fjordman, the anonymous Norwegian blogger who writes for various blogs that are critical of Islam. Brevik takes pains to note that while he admires Fjordman, they have never met. 

Among academics, he quotes Gertrude Himmelfarb (the wife of Irving Kristol, the mother of William Kristol and a historian in own her right), Bernard Lewis (the Princeton historian on Ottoman Empire), Samuel Huntington (the Harvard political scientist and author of The Clash of Civilizations) and Daniel Pipes. He attacks Edward Said, the now deceased Columbia professor who wrote the landmark work Orientalism. He also critical of thinkers such as Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci. 

While most of the document relates to Europe and the role of Islam in Europe, there are a number of passages that touch on the United States. He calls for the withdrawal of all American troops from Europe calling the presence of US troops sixty-five years after the end of WWII "unacceptable." He also bemoans American cultural domination of Europe. 

Below the fold, I've pulled some of the parts the struck me. I have chosen not to provide a link to document as frankly it strikes me as a primer for committing acts of terrorism. 

In terms of my general reaction to the document, I'll say this. It is a manifesto that will likely find a receptive audience among a very small of group of anti-Islamic activists in Europe and perhaps even in the United States though it is hard to conceive that Breivik will convince many to join a reconstituted Knights Templar to wage a sixty year war on behalf of Christendom. I've heard Congressman Allen West, among others, speak of the threat from Islam and to be frank Allen West would find the portion on Islam wholly consistent with his views. The New York Times has additional information on this story.

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It's Time to Round Up All the Right Wing Christians

Eighty-seven dead is the latest toll from Friday's twin attacks in Norway. Seven died in the bombing of the government buildings in Oslo and another four score, almost all teenagers, died at the summer jamboree of the governing left of centre Norwegian Labour party in Utøya, some 25 miles northwest of Oslo. All at the hands of a single gunman, a 32 year old right wing conservative Norwegian Christian named Anders Behring Breivik. Thus, it's time to round up all the right wing Christians.

Clearly, I'm not serious but had yesterday's attacks been perpetuated by Islamists there would have been incessant calls from the right, here and abroad, to deprive Muslims of their rights. In fact even before all the facts were established, right wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin and William Jacobsen of Legal Insurrection were doing all they assign blame on Islam as a whole and engage in willful hateful misinformation. I can only imagine what the vile Pamela Geller had to say. Neither sanity nor reason are hallmarks of the American right wing, but the rush to judgment based on unadulterated hate is.

It was fairly evident to me from the start that the bombing in Oslo was not the work of Islamist jihadis, notwithstanding a claim of responsibility by a group called Ansar al Jihad al Asam. Theirs is more wishful thinking that perhaps some lone jihadist had acted. However, Islamist jihadis tend to blow themselves up in executing their perverse acts of terror. They also tend to attack civilian transportation targets. Neither was the case in Oslo. From the start, the bombing reminded me more of Oklahoma City, a car bomb against a government target. That, of course, was the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil before September 11.

We will learn more today about the gunman and his motives but one thing is for certain. On both sides of the Atlantic right wing Christian populism is a threat that must be confronted. I suspect that in Europe they will rise to that occasion. Indeed, Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was unbowed stating that "our answer to violence is more democracy."

That should scare the bejesus out of the Christian right.






Right Wing Extremism More Likely in Norway Attacks

While a jihadist group called Ansar al-Jihad al Alam has claimed responsibility for the twin attacks today in Norway that included a powerful car bomb in Oslo's city centre that ripped apart several blocks of government office buildings followed by an attack on a youth jamboree in nearby Utøya of Norway's governing leftist Labour party, Norwegian police do not believe that international terrorism lies behind today's carnage. Indeed, Knut Storberget, the Norwegian justice minister, has confirmed at a news conference that the suspect arrested today at the youth camp in Utøya was a Norwegian.

It is telling and shameful to see much of the media and the blogosphere jump to conclusions. While we should not discount the threat from Islamist groups, the specter of right wing violence is just as much a threat to Western civilization. Back in February of this year, Janne Kristiansen, the head of Norway's state police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste), warned that neo-nazism and right wing extremism were on the rise in Norway. It should not thus surprise if today's twin attacks are tied to right-wing extremism.

Full coverage at The Guardian.


Let's Elect our Constitutional Officers

Why don't Mainers get the chance to elect our attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer? Today's Portland Press Herald ( has an editorial on that question. The article expresses confidence in the abilities and proven track records of of our Attorney General, State Treasurer and Secretary of State and I can second that.

I wish all those positions were elected by the voters. Many states also elect a Lieutenant Governor too! This is an opportunity for new leaders to emerge, like Eric Menhert did in the recent US Senate primary, that our party is missing.

I certainly mean no disrespect to the talented leaders in our constitutional offices now.

Speculation on who will run for Gov in four years, throw their hat in the ring for the battle to unseat Susan Collins and run for Tom Allen's seat may involve some of these folks (and many others too!).

For the record, former House Speaker and current Attorney General Steve Rowe is a favorite for Governor and I believe State Treasurer David Lamoine is a man who belongs on the leadership scene for many years into the future. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is a fine person indeed who is doing great things.

Let's give the people a chance to elect these important public positions. Does anyone know why Mainers are not afforded the opportunity?

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