Friday, July 22, 2011

What Pushed Anders Behring Breivik Over the Edge?

Watching the international media on the web and TV change gears Friday, as information started to fasten to the fact that the worst terrorist act in Scandinavia since the 3rd Reich was perpetrated by a right-wing Christian zealot, was fascinating. This, rather than what Pam Geller, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, David Horowitz, CNN, Fox News and many others were touting for hours as most likely an act of Muslim Jihad in a country that is way, way too liberal.

I was keyed into paying attention to how this meme might have to morph fairly early in the afternoon, by an item carried by Michael Rivero at What Really Happened, about the major event at the youth camp the day before the massacre:
During the second day of Labour Youth League summer camp at Utøya got the Labour Party's young hopefuls visit by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Together with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Sidsel Wold and Norwegian People's Aid Kirsten Belck-Olsen, discussed the Foreign Minister of the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

As foreign minister arrived Utøya he was met with a demand from the AUF that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state.

- The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now, said the Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience. [automatically translated from Norwegian by Google translate]
That was an event held Thursday at the summer camp for the children of Norwegian liberals.

As the story developed Friday, almost every news outlet was quick to provide experts on Muslim terrorism and how that might have a growing negative impact on Norway and Europe.  On Anderson Cooper, Friday afternoon, as he had his experts on Jihadism on camera, he was being told by another person - a CNN reporter - that the shooter, possibly the bomber, was a blond Norwegian.  Cooper seemed to be taken aback, turning back to his Jihad experts, who were dismissive of the new information.

The bombing-shootings took up enormous bandwidth in our media machine until it came out that the alleged perpetrator has more in common with Sarah Palin and Alan Dershowitz than with Rachel Corrie or Furkan Doğan, both of whom have been labelled terrorists by Dershowitz.

As the end-of-the-week-in-midsummer stupor overtakes the media on a hot Friday evening in the USA, will they get around to trying to find out what set Anders Behring off?

The bombing had to be pre-planned, probably for some time.  Was the pro-Palestinian event Thursday at the camp where over 70 were killed published on the web, facebook, twitter or somewhere else?  Most likely.  That may be what pushed this guy's last button.

And just who created the group that fictitiously took credit for the massacres early Friday?
The ‘Helpers of Global Jihad’ group, of which al-Nasser is a member, made the claims in an email circular issued to various sources. The group does not appear to have any past history.

It is thought that the bombings are a belated response to Norwegian newspapers and magazines republishing cartoons of Mohammed originally published by Jyllands-Posten of Denmark.
I'm not about to go all conspiracy theory on this story.  I am bothered, though, that the media was extremely rapid to ramp up the radical Islam run amok meme, yet so unready to deal with what is increasingly appearing to be possible - that the Christian gunman was impelled to kill liberals he may have felt were too sympathetic to Palestinians.

Note: This diary originally named "self-styled terror expert" Steven Emerson as having been a person who falsely asserted on Friday that the Oslo events were linked or possibly linked to jihadists. He claims to have not discussed Oslo on Friday. My apology.


Anonymous said...

hey can one avoid going all conspiracy with things like this:
a planted news story blaming algaeda. ... -retracts/But this now appears to be false.

Philip Munger said...

People claim to have done crimes they didn't do.

There are more reports coming in, though, that Breivik knew the kids had been working on activities that he might have considered to be pro-Palestinian. I'm trying to ascertain whether some of these kids were involved with the kid's group in Trondheim that is preparing to present the Gaza Monologues at the UN this fall. People are claiming that to be the case on twitter, but so far have provided no HTML links.

Celia Harrison said...

It is very interesting that he is a right wing Christian, but I also wonder what his psych status is.

Anonymous said...

Ah...of course. It had to be Israel's fault.
Oh wait, though. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said just yesterday that he wants to open negotiations with banned Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
And some other stuff about being in support of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslim priority over the shared land, etc etc. You know. Basic anti-Israel rhetoric.

Phil, it's fairly transparent that you're being fed stuff to post. Nothing wrong with that, in itself. But it speaks to agenda.

Philip Munger said...

"Phil, it's fairly transparent that you're being fed stuff to post. Nothing wrong with that, in itself. But it speaks to agenda."

I'm certainly not saying "it is Israel's fault." Rather, I'm fascinated by how poorly our media can handle the rapid way this story is changing.

How the media might portray stories involving events related to Palestinian rights has more to do with Palestine at this point than with Israel.

I'm not being "fed stuff" to post. Good grief.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all be concerned at the emergence of what I would call Christian-Jihadists, extreme right-wing Christian terrorists. Just as Al-Qaeda has hijacked the Muslim religion for its own means, some Christian fundamentalists are trying to do the same thing. As many critics of Muslims claimed that the Muslims should have spoken out early and harshly, condemning Al Qaeda's actions, so should we as Christians condemn any and all acts of violence in the name of Christ. Yes, that includes war. IMHO

Anonymous said...

A bit OT, but one does not have to be anti-Israel to support a Palestinian state. One only has to be compassionate. There has been mistreatment on both sides.

Jeanabella said...

Phil, I'm not sure, but heard you may stop posting? Hope not! You have integrity in your writing and
integrity is always appreciated.
I'll tweet this post for sure.
The media is not dependable and I think it's more cut & pasting of stories.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Anon@3:23am - " does not have to be anti-Israel to support a Palestinian state."

Absolutely right. That's where I live.
If one has even a modest factual understanding of history, events, context, timeline, it's not necessary to propagandize anything or demonize either side. It's a tough situation, centuries old.

It's truly unfortunate that Westerner 'pro-Palestine' supporters feel the need to spin Israelis as babykillers and fiends, in order to justify Hamas/Fatah 'righteousness'.
"Us or Them", "kill or be killed", one at the complete expense of the other.
I have to wonder, do Americans and other Westerners seriously believe adopting this position contributes to a peace process? Resolution?

Obviously not. The outcome could only be a conquest and a victor. And the removal of Israel from future maps.

Anonymous said...

This man was a neo-Nazi.

"He was also involved in Progress Party youth (FPU) from 1997 to 2007. He was been President of the FPU Oslo West from 2002 to 2004. But his political engagement online has been much more radical. In 2009 he registered himself as a member of the Nazi forum Nordisk. A forum with more than 22,000 members, primarily from the north. The forum discusses everything from white supremacist music, to political strategies to crush democracy."

He was anti-multiculturalism. Racist. Hate-based. Conservative Christian. Right-wing (whatever that means).

He was most definitely anti-Islam. But that doesn't mean he was pro-Israel. That's faulty logic.
It looks to me like he was unbiased in his hatred of all people of color.

Philip Munger said...

"But that doesn't mean he was pro-Israel. That's faulty logic."

Where in my post do I say he was "pro-Israel"? I'm asking a lot of questions mostly.

However, Rob Eshman, writing Saturday for the Jewish Journal, observes:

"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."


"But Breivik was not party to that. In his twisted ideology, the struggle was not between Christians and Jews, but Christians and Jews versus Muslims. Jews, and especially Israel, formed the bulwark against Muslim domination of Europe.

"There are many web sites where adherents of this particular brand of racism connect, stew and brew with one another.

" (“Where Islam Spreads, Freedom Dies”) even now posts an apologia for the child-killer, essentially blaming Muslims for Breivik’s massacre of Christian children.

“These are Google translations of comments Anders Behring Breivik made on the website” the author writes. “There is very little that he said that I would disagree with. It is clear that he is a Counterjihadist and visits the same sites that most of us do, Gates of Vienna, Jihadwatch, Atlas Shrugs, etc. He cites Fjordman’s “Defeating Eurabia” many times.”

He's no more pro-Israel than Pam Gellert, Doug Pipes and their ilk - people he apparently respected quite fully.

John O'Brien, commenting at Eshman's article, observes:

"This man is an extremist and not insane in a legal sense. He is an Islamophobe like most fundamentalist Christians and identifies with Israel as a country that ‘knows how to deal with Muslims’. All extreme movements dehumanize their opponents and disparage their motives. “They’re Nazis” could be said of far right Israelis too. Religion is just as much a danger as racism. Israel uses both to disenfranchise the Palestinians so this man identifies with Israel."

Anonymous said...

"One does not have to be anti-Israel to support a Palestinian state."

One does not have to be anti-Jew to support a Palestinian state.

Philip Munger said...

My experience is that every Palestinian I have come to know was a person who I respect deeply for her or his humanity. Every one of the many Jews I have come to know through our becoming involved in helping support Palestinian rights, has taught my as much about how wondrous real humanity is.

Anonymous said...

Phil is doing his Hitler impersonation again.