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Tragedy in Norway

July 25th, 2011

As usual on such occasions, I haven’t had much to say about the horrific events in Norway. It’s generally better, in such circumstances, to pause for reflection, and certainly some who rushed to judgement have gone badly wrong in doing so, here as on previous occasions. This is not the time for judgement, but that time will come.

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  1. Freelander
    July 25th, 2011 at 09:12 | #1

    A very sad business and the toll proportionately greater for a small nation than September 11 was for the US.

    From the comments I have heard on the radio, the Norwegians sound as though they are committed to not over reacting or letting the tragedy radically alter their values or way of life. I have also been impressed by the apparent absence of scapegoating or quick search for those to blame, not even thirst for the blood of the culprit. Nothing can bring back what was taken after something like this, a terrible senseless waste of lives.

    Compounded this weekend by one more tragically shortened life, that of Amy Winehouse.

  2. pablo
    July 25th, 2011 at 09:27 | #2

    This guy could belong to a gun club and own multiple weapons and buy 6 tonnes of ammonia nitrate without raising any suspicion. Without presuming what ‘anti-terrorism’ laws apply in Norway, you would have to be concerned at the rigor of their application anywhere.

  3. gerard
  4. gerard
  5. Sam
    July 25th, 2011 at 11:35 | #5

    It was interesting reading Andrew Bolt’s initial take on things. At first his angle was that it was just one more argument against Islamic immigration. When subsequent reports revealed the shooter was a blonde christian, suddenly it became a cautionary tale against gun control (because no one could shoot back). The tireless commitment of this man to push an ideological barrow in the face of all human decency is impressive.

  6. gerard
    July 25th, 2011 at 12:31 | #6

    A blonde Christian obsessed with Islamic immigration, no less.

  7. Chris Warren
    July 25th, 2011 at 12:41 | #7

    gerard :
    A blonde Christian obsessed with Islamic immigration, no less.

    I can hardly wait for Geraldine Doogue’s ‘Compass’ program to tackle this aspect of Christianity.

    Or are these pundits not willing to take the good with the bad?

  8. PeterM
    July 25th, 2011 at 12:54 | #8

    It seems the lack any sort of interest in the rabid right isn’t just a Noregian phenomia. Anyone read Brain Toohey’s column in Saturday’s Fin. Review where he documents his attempts get the AFP to take assassion threats against Julia Gillard seriously?

    Unfortunately the online version is behind a paywall at the URL:


  9. may
    July 25th, 2011 at 12:59 | #9

    i wonder what the “public information industry”would have made of the call to political assassination directed at our Prime Minister if it had been directed at any person connected with the opposing political parties?

  10. rog
    July 25th, 2011 at 14:42 | #10

    Whatever the reason somehow it becomes the fault of Muslims.

    If the US had not reacted to 9/11 with their WOT and full blown invasion of Iarq would the world be in a better economic state? It is hard to find any positive outcomes for their robust foreign policy.

  11. Ian Milliss
    July 25th, 2011 at 15:22 | #11

    The right wing rush to judgement/shift the blame has been bad enough but I find the left wing hand wringing and outright concern trolling of “let’s not be beastly to the fascists” variety equally concerning. All over the world the Right backed up by certain corporations and parts of the media has been running campaigns of vilification and threatened violence against even the mildest of left wing positions. It’s hardly a surprise that it has spilled over into actual violence and personally I don’t see why we shouldn’t be pointing an accusing finger at those who have created and enabled this monster and developing a process of getting rid of them – breaking up News Ltd would be a good start, just to encourage the others.

  12. Chris Warren
    July 25th, 2011 at 16:00 | #12

    @Ian Milliss

    What is an example of left wing “let’s not be beastly to the fascists”?????

  13. Freelander
    July 25th, 2011 at 16:29 | #13


    Typical Bolt. The US has been such a success story with everyone having the right to shoot back. Sure has stopped gun violence in that country.


    He got himself a farm, which, presumably would be enough to get fertiliser in many countries including the US even with post-911 anti-terrorism laws. Unfortunately, owning multiple weapons is far to easy in a lot of countries. In my opinion, one gun is one too many for a member of the public.

    That said, it is very difficult to protect society from every reasonably intelligent and surreptitious individual intent on mayhem. And the costs from attempting to do so can be the loss of the type of society you would want to protect, as well as resulting in the creation of more of those you want to protect society against.

    How many terrorists have some of the post-911 reactions to terrorism recruited?

    Interestingly, their own research indicates that a significant number of the many innocent people the Americans warehoused in Gitmo and eventually let go, immediately joined the terrorists. I suppose that should not be surprising. As a result, the Americans don’t think it safe to release their Gitmo detainees regardless of whether they were/are innocent.

    And in Australia we have the travesty of further persecution of David Hicks by our government when he can hardly be considered to have been convicted of anything by a properly constituted court.

    David Hicks was given a choice ‘confess’ and be released according to a set schedule. Or refuse to ‘confess’ and never be released. Also, his book can hardly be looked at as the proceeds of his crime. The interest in his book is not due to anything he did before he was detained; the interest resides in the American crime of kidnapping him and holding him indefinitely and without charge in a territory the Americans effectively annexed in an earlier American preemptive war (or more accurately an imperial war of conquest to assert dominion over the Americas), the war with Spain.

  14. Freelander
    July 25th, 2011 at 16:39 | #14


    Yes. I agree with Brian Toohey. Calls to assassinate any of our politicians (or anyone else for that matter) should not be ignored by the AFP. Unsound minds can take that sort of talk as a validation. Those sorts of threats should be treated far more seriously than the way every dope who tries to crack a tasteless joke on an airline is currently treated.

  15. Ian Milliss
    July 25th, 2011 at 17:19 | #15

    Chris [email protected] :
    @Ian Milliss
    What is an example of left wing “let’s not be beastly to the fascists”?????

    Both commenters and moderators over at Larvatus Prodeo.

  16. Ian Milliss
    July 25th, 2011 at 17:44 | #16

    perhaps I should have posted the reference, perhaps not everyone is familiar with it http://bit.ly/39Y08

  17. Doug
    July 25th, 2011 at 20:52 | #17

    On the evidence so far there is little evidence to support the “fundamentalist Christian label” but a fair amount to associate him with the farther reaches of anti-Islamic cultural politics.

    Use of the label of “fundamentalist Christian” is often a media short hand for I don’t really know.

    Norway has a form of church state relationship in which about 80% of the population are members of the state church and the two are still linked. Does anyone know if he is a member of the state church? Has any reporter actually tried to find out? Is it relevant?

    I don’t know the answer to those questions – so a halt to the rush to judgement seems called for.

    Let’s wait and see and then have a sensible discussion.

  18. Malthusista
    July 26th, 2011 at 06:51 | #18

    I would have expected Norway to have been a victim of Islamist extremists terrorism (like the UK was on 7 July 2005 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings) and the US was on 11 September 2001) and not the victim of terrorism by an anti-islamist extremist.

    After all, Isn’t Norway partcipiating in the bombing of Libya right now? (http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110321/163127564.html)

    Surely, Anders Brevik would have approved?

  19. Paul Norton
    July 26th, 2011 at 08:48 | #19

    Doug @15, it seems that Breivik was obsessively Christian as a matter of cultural/tribal identity rather than in terms of adherence to any particular interpretation of Christian doctrine. See:


    It is possible to see a parallel between Breivik’s Christian identity politics and sectarian hostility to Muslims, and the Protestant identity politics and sectarian hostility towards Catholics which existed in Australia until relatively recently (although of course, and thankfully, no Australian Protestant ever went to Breivik’s extremes).

  20. gerard
    July 26th, 2011 at 09:24 | #20

    They describe themselves as “Christian Nationalists” (see Stormfront for example).

    Greenwald describes how the New York Times initially made the editorial decision that this incident was not to be called “terrorism”, because it was not committed by Muslims.

    Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out terrorism as the cause of Friday’s assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking al-Qaida’s signature brutality and multiple attacks.

    “If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from al-Qaida,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington.

  21. Ikonoclast
    July 26th, 2011 at 09:53 | #21

    Gun control, gun control, gun control.

    There are no good reasons for a private citizen to own a gun and have it in daily possession unless it is directly related to occupational needs. The only two occupations I can think of are farmer and vermin shooter. Even then, for a farmer the weapon should be a rifle only, .22 calibre short, single shot and/or perhaps a 10 guage shotgun. A vermin shooter may need a semi-automatic .22 long. All private target and sports shooting weapons should be locked in police controlled armouries when not in regulated use. Ammunition supplies ought to be strictly controlled too.

    Of course, this case in Norway illustrates that with even strict controls a badly mis-motivated individual may be able to circumvent controls. However, I doubt that weapons and ammunition rules are tight enough in Norway as some reports say he had semi-automatic weapons including handguns.

  22. Chris Warren
    July 26th, 2011 at 10:55 | #22


    Why do we always get this sort of denialist smoke.

    You only have to do a simple Google search for example:

    Breivik fundamentalist

    and you will find that Police describe him as a ‘right-wing Christian fundamentalist’.

    Obviously their use of the label is NOT short-hand for “I don’t really know”.

    Where is your evidence that the Norwegian police “don’t really know”????

    If you Google:

    Breivik Lodge

    to get plenty of evidence of his fundamentalist christian linkages.

    In Italy these lodges have been linked with false-flag bombings and in Australia with political subversion of the public service, based on a misuse of religion.

  23. Freelander
    July 26th, 2011 at 10:55 | #23


    Couldn’t agree more. There is absolutely no need for a private citizen to own a gun. Hunters, as required, could be allowed possession of a rifle as and when they need one for hunting but they should not be allowed to continue that possession out of hours.
    There was another example in the US in the last few days. Someone got angry in an argument, pulled out their gun, several people dead, several people injured, including the gunman who shot himself in the head.

    Guns don’t kill people; people with guns kill people.

  24. gerard
  25. July 26th, 2011 at 11:33 | #25

    @ Iko & Freelanda, I couldn’t disagree more.
    Freelander chimes in with the usual outburst, Iko has at least pretended to think about it.

    I respectfully suggest you are both wrong.

  26. Chris Warren
    July 26th, 2011 at 11:50 | #26

    Obviously Christian terrorism, not necessarily fundamentalist.

    Breivik writes:

    I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.

    See: Breivik

    So the motivation could be more mundane Christianity\Jewish Bible-based ideology similar to the Zionist Stern Gang and various so-called Christian Militias.

    Alan Jones has been quick to introduce violent threats against politicians he does not agree with.

  27. may
    July 26th, 2011 at 12:11 | #27

    yesterdays opinion section in the australian opinionewspaper had somebody saying that if there were more guns available then the shooters would be less likely to shoot.

    it’s not the ones who are willing to die for their religion/ideology that worry me,it’s the ones who are willing and able to kill or torture for their religion/ideology.(some of whom look so sweet and soulful, sound almost sane)

  28. Ikonoclast
    July 26th, 2011 at 13:58 | #28

    @Steve at the Pub

    This thread is not the place for it but I suggest that Steve at the Pub use a longer topics thread or a sandpit (next time prof JQ opens one) to air his gun views so a proper debate can be had on the topic. I would relish a real debate instead of SATPs usual mere smug assumption of knowledgeable superiority without production of supporting evidence or argument of any kind.

    I also haven’t forgotten a previous post of SATP’s which was pro-torture and in which he boasted of having used torture himself. Perhaps STAP would like to expand on that topic also.

  29. July 26th, 2011 at 14:19 | #29

    Iko, good work, you brought upyour personal gun views on this thread then object (attempt censoring) of a reply. Your inner brownshirt really shows through sometime.

    Torture? I’m surprised you don’t relish using it on me, being as I’m possessing “incorrect” & “smug assumptions” about gun control, etc etc. Or do you relish the thought of it being used upon me?

    Enough OT talk.

    Is this feller a Mass Murderer, or a Terrorist?
    In the abscence of an organisation or support network to imply further menace, I’m inclined to plonk for “mass murderer”. He’s killed a lot of people, but won’t be killing any more.

    Words have meanings, “terrorist” is NOT the word for everyone who kills random strangers in public.

    Fear now felt by anyone at a political youth camp notwithstanding, there is no overt group or mechanism for this killer’s exploit to be replicated.

    Certainly there is no widespread community or group support for his actions.
    Example: If a group of Israeli youth were shot dead by strangers at a summer camp there is all liklihood that the killers, would find refuge & succour not far away. The killers could be anybody, there would be a wide pool of persons willing to carry out such an act.

    Likewise were it to happen to a camp of practicing christian youth in a strongly islamic country.

    Likewise if it were 20 years ago & a camp of protestant youth in Northern Ireland. Willing perpetrators aplenty, chances of replication high, succour for the killers from willing strangers.

    I suggest that none of those factors (succour after the fact from willing strangers, large pool of willing – if not able- perpetrators) & chances of [organised] replication are almost nil.

  30. Freelander
    July 26th, 2011 at 14:44 | #30

    Interesting that people that you would definitely not want with a gun in their hand pop up against gun control. That the relatively newly Murdoched WSJ spout’s support for a new ‘crusade’ simply adds to my hope that News Corp’s current trouble will mean its demise (although I am afraid it will not). FoxNews must in part be responsible for the Tea partied Congress that may yet bring GFC II. The way journalists in Oz have also bleated in unison against the media undergoing critical examination is also typical.

    As for the fundamentalism of the culprit in Norway, ridiculous that anyone disputes such an ordinary interpretation of his words and actions. What is wrong with that description of the intention to spark a will to wipe the followers of a major non-christian religion off the face of the earth? Maybe we should call it him a ‘perfectly reasonable mainstream secular proposition proposer’? Would Doug be happy then?

  31. Roy Wilke
    July 26th, 2011 at 14:49 | #31

    SATP @ 26.

    It appears that the alleged bomber/gunman planted the bomb in Oslo with the intention of decimating the nation’s current leadership (on the centre-left), then went shooting on the island with the intention of decimating the nation’s potential centre-left future leaders. It’s also been reported that he has said he intended to assassinate the former Norwegian PM, Gro Harlem Brundtland, on the island.

    All indications are that he did not go out and kill random strangers in public, but instead specifically targeted a specific sector of the country’s political establishment.

    The alleged bomber / gunman has stated in court that there are other “cells” of his “terrorist organisation” still at large in Norway. What could his intention be with that statement, other than to ‘strike terror’ into the hearts of others and make them fearful?

  32. July 26th, 2011 at 15:22 | #32

    Roy: Good point. However talking tough from a prison cell is one thing. Let’s see if these other “cells” in this “terrorist organisation” manifest themselves.

  33. July 26th, 2011 at 15:32 | #33

    From Breivik’s alleged YouTube video I gather that he believes Europe’s biggest challenge is what he calls “Islamic colonization”.

    He blames this “Islamic colonization” on “cultural Marxists”.

    “Cultural Marxists” are (1) Marxists properly, (2) “Suicidal humanists”, and (3) “Capitalist globalists”.

    His strategy to expel Muslims (and other foreigners) from Europe starts by “decimating cultural Marxists”, especially soft-targets (categories A and B, in the video). Obviously, he considered those kids in Utoya island “cultural Marxists”.

    He claims to be part of a larger movement, where others would also be charged with targeting “cultural Marxists” in other European countries.

    Once “cultural Marxists” are decimated, his Knight Templar movement would proceed against Muslims.

    Matthew Goodwin (The Guardian, 24-07-11) seems to believe Breivik’s focus on religion and cultural issues is at least partially an attempt to make his ideas more acceptable: an openly racist movement would not appeal to non-Nordic Europeans (Slavs, Mediterranean).

    My opinion here: anyone who has ever supported multiculturalism could be a target for this guy and his fellow terrorists (if they exist). Let’s hope his movement has no roots in Australia.

  34. Luke Elford
    July 26th, 2011 at 15:55 | #34

    @ Sam and May:

    I wonder if people such as Bolt who hold such views are able to think through the consequences of anything.

    I don’t think you have to have John Nash’s beautiful mind to realise that were it the case that people generally went around armed with guns, someone who wished to kill scores of people would not attempt to do so by wandering around shooting at people, since they would be killed before they achieved their goal. Instead, they would adopt one of the many other tactics used by terrorists and mass murders, such as planting bombs or setting themselves up as snipers. Given what we know, the most likely outcome would have been that the youth camp was bombed as well as central Oslo.

    So, widespread gun ownership would not prevent such atrocities, but simply change the manner in which they are carried out. And we’d be left, as Freelander said, with the horrifying consequences of people having the ability to easily and impulsively kill anyone with whom they had a minor disagreement.

  35. Uncle Milton
    July 26th, 2011 at 15:58 | #35

    @Steve at the Pub

    The Oxford Dictionary (online) defines terrorism as

    “the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”

    The key words here are unofficial, unauthorized and political. Breivik’s motives were clearly political. On the other hand, other mass murderers, like say Martin Bryant, while unauthorized, were not political, so he is not a terrorist. Neither were the Stasi, who were pursuing political aims but were authorized.

    Brevik is a terrorist, pure and simple.

  36. gerard
    July 26th, 2011 at 16:49 | #36


    During interrogation, Breivik claimed membership in an “international Christian military order” that “fights” against “Islamic suppression”. This order allegedly is called the “Knights Templar” and, according to his manifesto, has between fifteen and eighty “ordinated knights” besides an unknown number of “civilian members”.[84]

    The order, whose full name is the “Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici” or PCCTS, is said to have been established in London in April, 2002, as a “re-founding” of the twelfth-century crusading order. The new organisation supposedly was established to take political and military control of Western Europe, with its members being armed as an “anti-Jihad crusader-organisation”. It reportedly was established by nine men: two Englishmen, a Frenchman, a German, a Dutchman, a Greek, a Russian, a Norwegian, and a Serb. The main initiator apparently was the Serb, whom Breivik claims to have visited in Liberia and whom he referred to as a “war hero”.

    Breivik said that his own code name was “Sigurd Jorsalfar” (recalling the twelfth-century King Sigurd I of Norway, himself a Crusader) and that his “mentor” was “Richard Lionheart”. Breivik asserted that Norway had “4,848 traitors” who had to die.[3]

    In his manifesto, Breivik wrote that “[t]he PCCTS, Knights Templar is . . . . not a religious organization but rather a Christian ‘culturalist’ military order.”[4]


  37. July 26th, 2011 at 17:59 | #37

    Gerard: Your point is?

    Uncle Milton: Being as I refuse to recognise any dictionary other than the Oxford dictionary, I accept their definition. Though my instinct is that Oxford is allowing a euphemism to become a real definition.
    Thus it sorta looks like he is a terrorist. Albeit one with a very short reign of terror (an hour or two).

    Until there are further attacks I’m not going to fear him as I would the IRA, Alcohider, Gemma is la Meyer, Tamil Tigers et al.

    The biggest risk is off the cuff copycats.

    This man carried out a well planned & very well executed military operation. Perhaps he does have assistance or an organisation lurking somewhere. We’ll find out with time.

    I struggle with his rationale. Has a gripe about wholesale quantities of Islamic immigration, so bumps off a mob of naive christian political junkies.

  38. Ikonoclast
    July 26th, 2011 at 19:28 | #38

    @Steve at the Pub

    Far from attempting to censor SATP in any way (and I could not as I do not run this blog), I suggested he expand on his views in a separate long comments thread or sandpit thread. There, I said, we could debate the issues more fully.

    Also, here is the link to SATPs post where he claims on this very blog to have employed torture himself.


    This is an interesting claim. Please feel free to expand on this claim SATP.

  39. TerjeP
    July 26th, 2011 at 21:32 | #39

    Some remarkably sensible comments here. I think a renewed debate about gun control is probably inevitable. Personally I share the view that gun control won’t stop a determined and motivated killer (nor probably most hot headed killings). Motive trumps means in finding the perpetrator of most crimes and I suspect motive also trumps means in deciding whether the crime happens in the first place. Clearly this crime was planned in detail.

    In terms of institutional factors I’m inclined to see this as the work of a lone crazy person intoxicated with some dark ideas about saving society from itself. However let’s see what the policy investigation finds.

  40. bill
    July 26th, 2011 at 21:34 | #40

    Thus it sorta looks like he is a terrorist. Albeit one with a very short reign of terror (an hour or two).

    Yeah, not much of a terrorist at all, really.

    Just like some people are certainly pretty inadequate human beings.

  41. gerard
    July 26th, 2011 at 22:30 | #41

    my point should be obvious Steve – he belongs to a political organization, you said that he didn’t and that therefore he’s not a terrorist. Maybe this organization doesn’t meet your True Scotsman test although I suspect that if these “Templars” were Muslims you wouldn’t be here arguing that this guy, who published a 1500 page political manifesto prior to his bombing and shooting rampage against political targets was not, in fact, a “terrorist”.

    As for his rationale, he’s not bumping off a mob a “naive christian political junkies”. He’s bumping off the next generation of leadership of Norway’s Labor Party, the mainstream Left which he associates (fairly reasonably) with the immigration policy that he hates. The Muslims aren’t write the “Eurabian” immigration laws; the left-wing politicans do that. For further information regarding the connection between the Western Left and Islam, just read Mark Steyn, Glenn Beck, Andrew Bolt and other professional, unarmed bigots.

  42. sam
    July 26th, 2011 at 22:33 | #42

    @Steve at the Pub
    Well what would be your preferred definition then?

  43. Freelander
    July 26th, 2011 at 23:03 | #43

    Rupert’s ‘fair and balanced’ is telling it like it isn’t on the Norwegian shooter:


    Apparently, admissions about the shooter’s views being not unlike those FoxNews regularly disseminates is not on the cards.

  44. July 26th, 2011 at 23:04 | #44

    Gerard, you are way off the point. This is no surprise.

  45. July 26th, 2011 at 23:31 | #45

    Pr Q said:

    This is not the time for judgement, but that time will come.

    To both sides of the EU Culture War: Judge, and prepare for judgement.

    Over the past decade or so the growth of cultural diversity in Europe has been accompanied by terrorism by both unassimilated ethnics and now unreconstructed nativists. And a complementary polarisation of parties between Euro-liberals and nationalists.

    And to make matters worse, Europe itself is developing an economic schism between its thrifty-nerdy North and spend-thrift-lazy South. Which no amount of high-level elite meetings in Brussels can paper over.

    I’d say that the post-Cold War European settlement needs to be hammered out again, this time in consultation with the general populus.

  46. July 26th, 2011 at 23:32 | #46

    Wasn’t that an astute remark from Paul Norton, 16.
    Further Gerard and others appear to identify that Breivik, like many righties is troubled by something called “cultural marxism”. Seems a nebulous concept (except to a rightie?), my suspicion is that at bottom its a subjective reaction against what many here would call a theory ofthe “fair go”, with its roots in unflexive tribalism of the sort encouraged by Murdoch and the Ayn Rand right globally as they arrogate the very powers of god unto themselves.
    Watching Brievik on the news, his photo is deceptive, what I saw was an unreleivedly arrogant fascist- this is further indicated in the not guilty plea and the rationale offered as to that. The report suggested the max he can expect in the way of penalty, if he’s found guilty, is twenty years.
    Nonetheless, he might find trying to be Rupert Murdoch without Rupert Murdoch’s clout, is still costly.
    But it is the most significant terrorist act in the real senses since 11/9, because it’s a declaration of open season on those who dare even disagree with their medieval notions in the west, also.
    In a way there are synergies with the vicious Republican attempt to shut down the USA unless the cost for Wall st2007 and Cheney’s oil wars falls forth with on the ordinary people, or Abbott’s obscurantist attacks on Co2 alleviation in aid of corporatism and anti scientific superstition.
    Satp- go to bed, mate!

  47. July 26th, 2011 at 23:55 | #47

    Pr Q said:

    It’s generally better, in such circumstances, to pause for reflection, and certainly some who rushed to judgement have gone badly wrong in doing so, here as on previous occasions.

    World-historic events have never stopped me from an instantaneous rush to judgement. Why stop now?

    One obvious conclusion that I am prepared to jump to: Nordic-bombers massacre is another in the long line of helter-skelter “performance art” terrorism. Anticipated by Georges Sorel who theorised and celebrated the “energizing myths” of violent revolutionary acts. Followed later by such luminaries as Oswald, Charles Manson, the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh.

    You could probably add Osama Bin Laden to that list.

    What they all had in common was spectacular success in their terrorist tactics followed by equally spectacular failure in their political strategy – the general public revolted against the evil terrorist more than inept or venal rulers.

    I therefore predict that the Progress Party and other Nordic parties of the “Far Right” will have to tone down their policies or suffer set-backs in coming elections. So Nordic-bomber’s brilliantly executed attack will only succeed in putting his nationalistic cause back, perhaps forever.

    This tactical brilliance-strategic nonsense ying-yang is sort of a feature of aggressive Nordic nationalism, Junker-Nazi militarism being the paradigmatic example. Finland being the exception that proves the rule – totally defensive.

  48. Michael
    July 27th, 2011 at 00:47 | #48


    Why the contortions to avoid the obvious- this was terrorism. A ‘military operation’?? WTF? Which military did he belong to and what was the war?

    As to his rationale, if we can call it that – the horrific Muzzie hordes are just the symptom. The real problem are the traitorous ‘cultural marxists’ who let them in and tainted the pure European culture. For their crimes they must be killed, or as ABB put ‘they must be hunted down and executed’.

    ABB claimed to have contacts in Australia. Given the inflamed rhetoric on some well known blogs, I’m not surprised.

  49. July 27th, 2011 at 03:15 | #49

    Good to see Jack preferring the rational road to the barkings of the ill-informed. Having a brain and heart probably helps.

  50. Norwegian Guy
    July 27th, 2011 at 12:14 | #50

    According to his writings, he is a member of the of the Lutheran State Church, but he thinks it is to liberal, and he would like it to move closer to the Catholic Church. He’s surely a very conservative Christian, and where the demarcation between ‘very conservative’ and ‘fundamentalist’ is, is hard to say. It might be the same. In a Norwegian context, a fundamentalist Christian is typically someone who belongs to the fairly small minority who disapproves of female clergy. Don’t know if Brevik does or not, but he dislikes priest wearing jeans and supporting Palestinians.

  51. Freelander
    July 27th, 2011 at 14:19 | #51

    The shooter apparently quotes, positively, John Howard, Peter Costello, Cardinal George Pell and Keith Windschuttle in his manifesto. Well chosen role models? I expect Andrew Bolt feels snubbed.

  52. Jim Birch
    July 27th, 2011 at 15:18 | #52

    …and Alan Jones is rabid?

  53. July 27th, 2011 at 15:28 | #53

    Nay Freelander, the accused apparently quotes Andrew Bolt also.

  54. John Brookes
    July 27th, 2011 at 15:28 | #54

    I think he is maybe not a terrorist. Terrorists try to use terror to achieve their goals. He wasn’t trying to scare current and future political leaders from following the policies he disliked – he was trying to kill them all so that they couldn’t.

    As such, you could never release him. A person who is prepared to kill to stop others implementing policies they don’t like should not have the liberty to do so.

  55. Fran Barlow
    July 27th, 2011 at 17:16 | #55

    He also links to Monckton. ABB apparently loved the idea that Copenhagen was a step towards world government and the stuff about environmentalism being a trojan horse for “cultural” marxism. Someone needs to see if Vaclav Klaus is in there somewhere. He’s bound to be, because his quote to this effect is a regular at Quadrant.

  56. Freelander
    July 27th, 2011 at 17:48 | #56

    @Steve at the Pub

    Must be put out if he doesn’t quote you as well?

  57. gerard
    July 27th, 2011 at 18:01 | #57

    Norway killer praised Australian conservatives

    Key excerpts

    Following are some of the key excerpts from Breivik’s manifesto that reference Australian figures.

    Quoting Keith Windschuttle:

    Australian writer Keith Windschuttle, a former Marxist, is tired of that anti-Western slant that permeates academia:

    “For the past three decades and more, many of the leading opinion makers in our universities, the media and the arts have regarded Western culture as, at best, something to be ashamed of, or at worst, something to be opposed. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many ways of knowing. Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different. The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.”

    He urges us to remember how unique some elements of our culture are:

    “The concepts of free enquiry and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe. We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture.”

    But without this concept, the world would not be as it is today. There would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin.

    Quoting John Howard and Peter Costello:

    Federal Treasurer Peter Costello said Australian Muslim leaders need to stand up and publicly denounce terrorism in all its forms. 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.

    Quoting Cardinal George Pell:

    Luckily, not all Christian leaders are appeasers of Islam. One of the intelligent ones comes from Australia, a country that has been fairly resistant to Political Correctness.

    They have taken serious steps towards actually enforcing their own borders, despite the predictable outcries from various NGOs and anti-racists, and Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly proven to be one of the most sensible leaders in the Western world.

    George Cardinal Pell [sic], Archbishop of Sydney, tells of how September 11 was a wake-up call for him personally:

    “I recognised that I had to know more about Islam.” “In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages.”

    “The predominant grammatical form in which jihad is used in the Koran carries the sense of fighting or waging war.” “Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for fear-reaching renovation [sic] is severely limited.” “I’d also say that Islam is a much more war-like culture than Christianity.”

    “I’ve had it asserted to me is that in the relationship between the Islamic and non-Islamic world, the normal thing is a situation of tension if not war, or outright hostility.”

    Quoting Cardinal Pell again:

    As long as there is separation between religion and state, those of us who don’t have any religious belief should prefer religions which tend to create reasonable and prosperous communities.

    Our traditional Judeo-Christian religions have proven this capability. Islam never has, and probably never will.

    As Australia’s Cardinal George Pell says, “some seculars are so deeply anti-Christian, that anyone opposed to Christianity is seen as their ally. That could be one of the most spectacularly disastrous miscalculations in history.”

    Indeed it could.

    Quoting former Liberal Party MP Ross Cameron:

    A study from the United States identified the main barriers to men tying the knot. Heading the list was their ability to get sex without marriage more easily than in the past. The second was that they can enjoy the benefits of having a wife by cohabiting rather than marrying.

    The report lends weight to remarks by Ross Cameron, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services, who chided Australian men, blaming Australia‘s looming fertility crisis on men‘s commitment phobia.

    “The principal reason young women say they don‘t get around to having children is they can‘t find a bloke they like who is willing to commit,” he said. “This commitment aversion in the Australian male is a real problem.”

    Regarding an Australian publishing dispute:

    This kind of intimidation has taken its toll. In November 2006, publisher Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the book the Army of the Pure after booksellers said they would not stock the adventure thriller for youngsters because the “baddie” was a Muslim terrorist. Because two characters were Arabic-speaking and the plot involves a mujaheddin extremist group, Scholastic‘s decision was based “100 per cent (on) the Muslim issue”.

    This decision was at odds with the publication of Richard Flanagan’s bestselling The Unknown Terrorist and Andrew McGahan’s Underground in which terrorists are portrayed as victims driven to extreme acts by the failings of the West.

    The Unknown Terrorist describes Jesus Christ as “history‘s first … suicide bomber”.

    In McGahan‘s Underground, Muslims are executed or herded into ghettos in an Australia rendered unrecognisable by the war on terror

    Got any cite that he quoted Bolt also, Steve?

  58. July 27th, 2011 at 19:41 | #58

    gerard @ #7 gleefully pounces on quotes mined from Brevik’s 1516 page manifesto:

    Norway killer praised Australian conservatives

    Knopfelmacher used to mock the “theologico-deductive” method of social analysis ie analysing the behaviour of political agents on the basis of supposed canonical texts. Not surprising to see gerard fall for this elementary methodological error with his customary gusto.

    Its true that Brevik’s manifesto “praises Australian conservatives” with evident satisfaction. Presumably this makes Howard, Pell, Windschuttle et all the inspiration for Right-wing reactionary mass-murderers. Even Ross Cameron – Minister for Family – gets a guernsey – what did this innocuous fellow do to deserve this unwelcome attention?

    Unfortunately for gerard’s intellectual MO, Brevik also praises Churchill, Jefferson, Orwell and just about any other worthy in the liberal democratic pantheon with equal fervour. Logically that means that they too must shoulder some of the blame for his homicidal rampage.

    Brevik saves his most furious denunciations for “cultural Marxism”. I guess that means that Gramsci is off the hook. Not my first choice for “enemy of my enemy”.

    Of course anyone can play thegame of “if A supports x & y this implies that B who supports y must also be in favour of x”, Hitler was a Greenie – so Bob Brown must be anti-semitic! Guilt by association is the oldest fallacy in Aristotles book. Otherwise known as guilt by smearing association. Should be a job open for you in Murdoch’s Sun.

  59. Freelander
    July 27th, 2011 at 20:03 | #59

    Logical fallacies are about the existence or absence of a conclusive line of reasoning. Most reasoning is probabilistic, rather than of the simply logical and therefore conclusive kind. Balancing probabilities and evidence and using judgement is subtle, and difficult, and not as easily transmissible.

    Concerning the validity of any inferences about who the shooters heros are or were, and where was the source of his influences, Jack can use his judgement, and we’ll use ours.

  60. gerard
    July 27th, 2011 at 21:07 | #60

    really I was just pointing out to Steve that there are cites for Breivik praising these folks, but not Andrew Bolt, as Steve incorrectly claimed.

    Of course Bolt’s ideology and rhetoric is far closer to Breivik’s than is Howard’s or Pell’s, so I can understand why Steve might leap to that conclusion.

    However Breivik’s writing is far more lucid, intelligent and honest than Bolt’s.

  61. Fran Barlow
    July 27th, 2011 at 22:25 | #61

    @Jack Strocchi

    Brevik also praises Churchill, Jefferson, Orwell

    Well Churchill did like using WMD against unruly third worlders. He was an imperialist of the first rank, so hardly surprising. Nobody hated the left more than he did. Jefferson held slaves. Orwell is the odd one out here — initially leftist and anti-Catholic, but then again, by the end of WW2 he too was a Cold Warrior. The separation of decades (and in Jeferson’s case, centuries) probably earns them a pass on salience.

    H|tler was a Greenie – so Bob Brown must be anti-semitic!

    No he wasn’t. He believed in scorched Earth, and left Albert Speer to carry it out. Bolt has already done “Greens = [email protected]” so really Jack, more novelty is needed. Glenn Beck of course thinks that the youth of Utoya were comparable to H|tler Youth, so again, the Godwin is in already. And unlike Pat Robertson, Brown has never praised H|tler nor suggested that the shootyer might have been well-motivated. Unlike Pell, Brown’s eyes were not opened to the Islamic threat by 9/11. Vaclav Klaus and Minchin and Monckton see environmentalism as a trojan horse for marxism, like ABB.

    So ABBs choices are not random.

  62. gerard
    July 27th, 2011 at 23:54 | #62

    Glenn Beck of course thinks that the youth of Utoya were comparable to H|tler Youth, so again…


  63. gerard
    July 28th, 2011 at 01:40 | #63

    Check out how much sympathy Breivik is getting from Glenn Beck’s demented fans on Beck’s blog.


  64. Paul Norton
    July 28th, 2011 at 09:50 | #64

    “Orwell is the odd one out here — initially leftist and anti-Catholic, but then again, by the end of WW2 he too was a Cold Warrior.”

    By the end of WW2 (and for some years before that) Orwell was a democratic socialist who had drawn the obvious conclusions that many other democratic and libertarian socialists had drawn about the vileness of Stalinist persecution and oppression of democratic and libertarian socialists and dissenting communists, and Stalinist betrayal of the interests of the workers and peasants whose interests were front and centre of the political concern of genuine leftists.

  65. Jill Rush
    July 28th, 2011 at 10:35 | #65

    You are right Paul Norton – George Orwell was never a Cold Warrior. He was concerned about Russian Communism which was evil – but he was equally as concerned about what was happening in the UK and other European nations to people’s health, wealth and freedom.

    Extremism in all its forms deserves to called for what it is. Just yesterday I saw an email calling for a form of political assassination in the form of a joke picture calling for a “cull”. Normal people forward these without thinking, although it can end up anywhere and encourage someone who is politically motivated to carry out the message feeling that they are acting for the majority. Senator Scullion has won a cake competition with a cake in the form of a crocodile eating the PM.

    It is time that the right wing realised that dangerous extremism is well entrenched in their ranks and by those people who are most prone to frothing at the mouth about others. Their words and actions mean that they are part of the dangerous problems which arise.

  66. July 28th, 2011 at 11:58 | #66

    7#, What a zoo, I read, laugh, then realise that it involves the deaths of eighty people in the revised toll. FB,#11, I’d think this is part of his fantasising; his grandiosity.
    Jill Rush, re your last para, do you remember how contrarian they went after 9/11 when we thought the USA might pause for thought?
    But your “frothing at the mouth” remark has me in mind of Johnn Boehner and the manipulation of American Democracy that’s been going on, like Gillard here,Obama is leaned on by faction hacks and the corporates while pinned by media and press. Frelander, Gerard, thanks also.

  67. Fran Barlow
    July 28th, 2011 at 14:37 | #67

    @Paul Norton

    From Wikipedia:

    {Orwell} was writing to many of his friends, including Jacintha Buddicom, who had “rediscovered” him, and in March 1949, was visited by Celia Kirwan. Kirwan had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department, set up by the Labour government to publish anti-communist propaganda, and Orwell gave her a list of people he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings. Orwell’s list, not published until 2003, consisted mainly of writers but also included actors and Labour MPs. {my emphasis}


    Orwell based his list on a strictly private notebook he had maintained since the mid-1940s of possible “cryptos”, “F.T.” (his abbreviation for fellow travellers), outright members of the CP, agents and sentimental sympathizers. The notebook, now at the Orwell Archive at University College London, contains 135 names in all, including US writers and politicians. Ten names had been crossed out, either because the individual had died or because Orwell had decided that they were neither crypto-communists nor fellow-travellers.

    His apologists of course tried to distinguish him from Joseph McCarthy, but for the man who possibly coined the term “Cold War” here, he was the notorious Wisconsin Senator’s cultural patron, social-democratic dissembling notwithstanding.

  68. gerard
    July 28th, 2011 at 18:32 | #68

    the events he described in the final section of Homage to Catalonia would explain a lot though

  69. gerard
    July 28th, 2011 at 18:40 | #69

    back on topic:

    an interview with the author of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2009 report on the Rightwing Terror threat in the US, which provoked massive GOP outrage forcing Napolitano to apologise.

    How does the attack in Norway affect us?

    It should be a “wake up call” for our nation’s leaders. From a U.S. government perspective, our leaders are not really concerned about this issue. They appear to be downplaying or outright dismissing the threat from domestic non-Islamic extremists. There is an overall lack of adequate resources at the local, state and Federal level to effectively analyze and assess the vast number of domestic extremists who are likely on the verge of violence in this country. We are vulnerable to a Norway-style of attack – lone extremists using small arms and improvised explosives to carry out devastating attacks with little effort or formalized terrorist training. It should also give pause to those who are engaging in overly heated political rhetoric for personal gain.

  70. Fran Barlow
    July 28th, 2011 at 20:16 | #70


    Doubtless. Demoralisation accompanied by the lack of a coherent account within which to situate setbacks typically nudge people either in the direction of withdrawal from politics or capitulation to the most powerful classes within their own countries, which is, self-evidently, incompatible with being a revolutionary socialist. Orwell admits he went to Catalonia not as a socialist or communist, but as someone seeking “decency”. He was impelled towards the POUM, and found them aimiable. That’s not a political program. That’s a sentiment.

    He became quite ill and quite bitter post-war, and with nothing else to which to attach himself, became a dag on the backside of the British Labour Party, which, in Cold War mode assigned him his marching orders.

  71. gerard
    July 28th, 2011 at 21:31 | #71

    not to derail, but I was referring mainly to Orwell’s disgust at how many British Leftists attempted to deny and suppress information regarding the Stalinist betrayal of the POUM in Spain, and the way that they parroted the Stalinist propaganda about these “anarchists” and “Trotskyists” being fascist allies.


    I think Orwell simply believed that Stalinism was a greater threat to democratic-socialist principles than bourgeois liberalism.

  72. Paul Norton
    July 29th, 2011 at 11:38 | #72

    “I think Orwell simply believed that Stalinism was a greater threat to democratic-socialist principles than bourgeois liberalism.”

    And he was clearly correct in this belief.

    For that matter, a card-carrying Australian communist facing the threat of banning by Menzies in 1951 had a much longer life expectancy than a card-carrying Soviet communist facing the prospect of being purged by Stalin in 1936-38.

  73. Fran Barlow
    July 29th, 2011 at 13:07 | #73

    @Paul Norton

    Shorter Paul Norton … Orwell pleads guilty to being a cold warrior, with an excuse. The excuse however, still puts him on the wrong side of the class line however, as he has abandoned the socialist principle that the first enemy of every socialist is one’s “own” capitalist ruling class.

  74. July 29th, 2011 at 21:47 | #74

    Fran Barlow @ #23 said:

    Orwell pleads guilty to being a cold warrior.

    Since when is being a “cold warrior” a crime, with an accusation equivalent to a guilty verdict? That would of course make A. Solzhenitsyn a criminal, master criminal at that.

    Really Fran, try and dial down the Leftyier-than-thou to below 10. We are not a class of unruly 12 year olds. And you are coming across as an ideological scold.

    he has abandoned the socialist principle that the first enemy of every socialist is one’s “own” capitalist ruling class.

    Ah, the old “No-friends-to-the-domestic-Right” principle, stuck gamely to by the German and French communist parties during the thirties. Which, to paraphrase Peter Cook, “did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War”.

  75. Tim Macknay
    July 29th, 2011 at 22:09 | #75

    Fran, if being on the correct side of the ‘class line’ puts you on the same side as Stalin and his local supporters, you’ve drawn the line in the wrong place.

    Socialists, liberals and some conservatives banded together to defeat Nazism. In my view, a sensible socialist would prefer to band together with liberals and the odd conservative against Stalinism, rather than siding with the runner-up to Hitler in the nasty stakes for the sake of class solidarity. But then I guess I wouldn’t make a very good communist.

  76. Fran Barlow
    July 30th, 2011 at 07:56 | #76

    @Jack Strocchi

    Since when is being a “cold warrior” a crime, with an accusation equivalent to a guilty verdict? That would of course make A. Solzhenitsyn a criminal, master criminal at that.

    The use of “plead guilty” was rhetorical Jack. Of course it’s not a crime to be a cold warrior. That’s a political characterisation. It is however, incompatible with being a socialist (i.e. someone who believes that the working class should become a class for itself, remaking production and therewith the nature of class society to serve working people on a world scale in order to lay the foundation for material abundance, the dissolution of class society and their states). It’s orthodox socialist politics that the work of liberating the working class is the task of the working class itself rather than the bourgeoisie/imperialists. That’s why socialists defend unions and bona fide organisations of the workingclass against attack by the bosses, don’t cross picket lines, don’t take sides in imperialist wars, don’t join the police or become prison officers or judges or ministers in capitalist governments and so forth. This is primer level socialism Jack.

    @Tim Macknay

    Fran, if being on the correct side of the ‘class line’ puts you on the same side as Stalin and his local supporters, you’ve drawn the line in the wrong place.

    The formulation is wrong here. Socialists were not “on the side of Stalin”. They were on the side of the workers of the world, asserting the political independence of the workers from the boss class and its agencies. They knew that Stalin’s regime was a consequence of abandonment of that very principle, which is why for example, Stalin handed over communists for internment in the US during WW2, endorsed the A-bombing of Japan etc …

    In my view, a sensible socialist would prefer … But then I guess I wouldn’t make a very good communist.

    Indeed you wouldn’t, which is why you are ill-placed to evaluate what “sensible” socialists should do, or even why they should do it. Sensible socialists understand their paradigm, and either embrace it with adequate warrant, or abandon it and become something else. Whatever Orwell once was, he clearly chose the latter course in the years before his death, becoming a Cold War liberal.

  77. Freelander
    July 30th, 2011 at 18:24 | #77

    I like the way having been quoted by the shooter, the editor of QuadRant, Buttscuttle, is now vigorously trying to distance himself. Problem with espousing their philosophy of nastyism, some hear the dog-whistles. But isn’t that the intention?

  78. Fran Barlow
    July 30th, 2011 at 19:02 | #78

    Someone at the Drum made the pithy observation that the dogwhistle can also be heard by wolves. Wish I’d thought of it.


  79. gerard
  80. Freelander
    July 30th, 2011 at 21:52 | #80

    Glenn Beck doesn’t dog whistle as he is catering for the ‘Hard of Thinking’. Some of his audience are now doing a sterling job in congress.

  81. Fran Barlow
    July 31st, 2011 at 08:41 | #81

    PrQ … is there any there any reasoreason why my response to Strocchi, J and Macknay, T is still in moderation 24h + after posting? Similarly is there any reason why my other post in Monday Message board, on a pure question on macro-economic questions is held up?

  82. Fran Barlow
    July 31st, 2011 at 08:42 | #82

    ooh yuck! on a pure question of macro-economics is held up?

  83. Tim Macknay
    August 1st, 2011 at 10:44 | #83


    Socialists were not “on the side of Stalin”. They were on the side of the workers of the world, asserting the political independence of the workers from the boss class and its agencies.

    Well they would say that, wouldn’t they? 😉

  84. Mulga Mumblebrain
    August 1st, 2011 at 17:46 | #84

    The milieu of vicious and malicious hatemongering from which Breivik emerged, pitiless and cruel (he used dum-dums so his child victims were mutilated as well as dead)is absolutely ubiquitous in the West. The dominance of the Right, economically, politically and in the MSM brainwashing apparatus, means that Rightist pathopsychology is also dominant and ruthlessly projected onto society as a form of pseudo-religion. And we know what that entails, every time we pick up a copy of ‘The Fundament’ (The Fundamental Orifice of the Nation). Hatred and vilification for all the Right’s enemies, from Moslems to Christine Nixon. And when these hatemongers are identified by one of their acolytes as his inspiration, they have the utterly cynical hypocrisy to plead innocence, deny their culpability and reject their progeny, then go on to spread yet more hatred. Not just the deranged depths of a Beck, spitting on the dead, mutilated, children and projecting his own pathopsychology on them, but The Fundament’s Augean rabble of hate-opinion writers, editorialists and pet correspondents and letter-writers, who already have turned to blaming ‘multiculturalists’ and Moslem immigration for the outrage. In fact beginning the process of blaming the victims, exculpating the monster and keeping the hate flowing. And in the Stygian darkness of the Rightwing blogs you have open admiration and support. The soul of the Rightist is that of a killer, one who tries to overcome his existential fear of death by pretending to be its master, and dealing it out to others, to inflate his death-worshipping ego. Whether Auschwitz, Einsatsgruppen, ‘shock and awe’, ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’, from Hiroshima to Fallujah, the Right’s lust to kill and destroy will never be slaked.

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