Heretofore, I've not talked about the terror attacks in Norway. But it's time to discuss the mysteries surrounding the accused killer, described as an "anti-Islam nationalist."
The New York Times published initial stories blaming the attacks on a previously-unknown jihadist group. So did a number of other media outlets
. The level of detail in these false stories is suspicious and worthy of further investigation.
The Norwegian media has now identified the chief suspect as an anti
-Muslim right-wing extremist named Anders Behring Breivik. Witnesses at the youth camp believe that he did not act alone. I would be very surprised if much evidence of a second gunman comes out in the mainstream media. (Although see here
Breivik has also identified himself as "pro-gay and pro-Israel"
The mainstream media cannot get its collective head around the possibility that someone can be both pro-Israel and
a violence-prone extreme rightist -- even though there are quite a few Muslim-hating extreme right-wingers in Israel proper, and even though violent Israeli rightists once murdered an Israeli Prime Minister.
Thus, you get this hilarious reaction
from The New York Daily News, which mentions Breivik's fondness for classical music, freemasonry, Winston Churchill, the film 300
, the TV show True Blood
, John Stuart Mill, World of Warcraft
-- everything except
for his pro-Israel zealotry. That part of his background is unmentionable. Blame video games, blame TV shows, blame anything but that
We also have this depressing, absurd reaction
from the Jewish Journal:
Anders Behring Breivik is not an anti-semite. That’s what makes my head spin. If the translations of his writings that I’ve read are accurate, he might even be a pro-Israel, philo-Semitic racist Nazi.
The writer then goes on to recount all of the very real anti-Jewish atrocities of WWII that took place in Norway. If you skim past the first sentence, the article might give you the impression Breivik really is an anti-Semite after all.
That absurd reaction makes my
It would be so much more convenient for neo-con propagandists if the killer were an anti-Semite. Republican fear-peddlers and far-right Jews would not have to face the consequences of their unrestrained, decade-long bashing of all Muslims.
Bigots like Herman Cain, Peter King, Pamela Geller, Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann have long felt free to shout anti-Muslim bigotry without consequence. These people ludicrously and routinely pretend that all practitioners of Islam are potential bomb-tossers. Such rhetoric has consequences.
For a moment, let's not look at Breivik in terms of his feelings towards Jews and Muslims. Let's look at him, and at his fellow terrorists, from a different angle.
What do Breivik, Tim McVeigh, Dick Cheney, Mohammed Atta, Osama Bin Laden and the leaders of the Likud party have in common? Conservatism.
"Conservative" was the word Breivik used to describe his ideology in a YouTube video:
The video was uploaded by a user called AndrewBerwick on YouTube, hours before the bomb in the centre of Oslo went off, TV2 said. It calls for conservatives to "embrace martyrdom."
"[If] the multiculturalist elites of Europe continue to refuse to voluntarily transfer political and military power to our conservative revolutionary forces ... then [the second world war] is likely going to appear as a picnic compared to the coming carnage," the video stated in captions.
There are no left-wing terrorists any more, with the arguable exception of the Unabomber -- whom many would classify as a libertarian
with an uncharacteristic eco-streak. You would have to go back decades to find examples of left-wing terrorism -- and even then, the "terrorist leaders" often turned out to be police provocateurs. (Look up the true history of the Red Brigades if you don't believe me.)
Here's an equation which, although over-simplified, will get you much closer to the truth than anything you'll find in either the mainstream media or the right-wing press:TERRORISM = CONSERVATISM.
Yes, there are differing tendencies at work here, differing types of conservatism and differing strains of terrorism. There are pro-Jewish, anti-Muslim terrorists like Breivik and there are anti-Jewish, pro-Muslim terrorists like Atta. Our understanding must be expansive enough to take into account both problems.
Beyond that, we must comprehend that both types of killers deserve to be called conservative
. The targets of hatred are incidental; the quality
of hate is the decisive factor.
All who would kill in the name of racial or religious bigotry are locatable on the right.
That's the factor they have in common.
(Of course, there are plenty of potentially murderous bigots out there who despise Jews and Muslims equally, or who have no opinion at all on the question of Israel.)
The Breivik conundrum runs deeper still.
One friend to this blog has directed our attention to a theory discussed primarily in some of the odder areas of the net. Is it possible that Breivik was the anti-Muslim blogger who operated under the name "Fjordman"
? From Wikipedia:
Fjordman is an anonymous Norwegian blogger. He writes articles critical of Islam and he regards Muslim immigration as posing a threat to Western civilization.
Fjordman was widely regarded by other blogs critical of Islam as an expert in his field. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch calls him the "great European essayist" and "the superb European writer". He is generally referred to as the "noted" blogger.
His articles, which are often lengthy, are widely quoted in various blogs and right-wing sites critical of Islam, such as Global Politician, FrontPageMag, Jihad Watch, Brussels Journ Little Green Footballs, Free Republic and Daily Pundit among others, and quite often printed verbatim.
Fjordman is also a featured contributor to Pamela Geller's smelly libertarian cyber-rag Atlas Shrugs; see (for example) here
. In that hate-filled essay, Fjordman denies the existence of "moderate Islam."
Apparently, Breivik himself has claimed to be Fjordman
. However, this identification has been questioned.This site
-- which, let me quickly add, may not be your idea of the world's most reputable source -- nevertheless offers some intriguing data which further research may confirm or deny:
Norwegian bloggers are reporting that Breivik is the author of a blog called Fjordman and that he’s guest blogged for Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch and Gates of Vienna “for years.” As Breivik, he publicly praised one of her posts. Elise Hendrick has translated a passage from Realisten which confirms that Fjordman and Breivik are one and the same:
According to his own statements, Anders Behring Breivik previously operated the blog ‘Fjordman’, and later wrote for many years under the pseudonym Fjordman for the anti-Muslim and Zionist blogs Gates of Vienna and Jihad Watch.
I was curious about the views of such an individual would be regarding Israel. And lo and behold, the educated terrorist doesn’t disappoint. Here is his Why Europeans Should Support Israel. With friends like this does Israel need enemies?
At this writing, I can't state that Breivik is Fjordman. But the identification seems quite possible. (Incidentally, the mighty Seixon -- remember him? -- is a Fjordman reader
, although they have come into conflict.)
Since a few of you may now be dying to put words into my mouth, let me be clear on one point: No, I am not
offering nonsensical theories about Mossad involvement in the attack. My argument is much simpler, and much more difficult to counter: Words of hatred and dehumanization -- the kind of words that people like Pam Geller and David Horowitz routinely employ -- inevitably set the stage for murder.
We saw this basic principle in action in Nazi Germany. We saw it in Rwanda. We've seen it in the Balkans. We've seen in it Ireland. We've seen it in Lebanon and in Israel. We've seen it many, many times in the United States of America, especially in the southern states.
And now Norway.Added note:
For aficionados of the ultra-weird, check out what Alex Jones
has to say about these events. The news that the killer considers himself a libertarian is making some of our most noteworthy internet nutjobs act even nuttier than usual.