Libertarian Hawk


Random Thoughts on the Norwegian Terror Attacks

July 27, 2011 By: Scott Spiegel Category: War on Terror


Image by Scott Spiegel via Flickr

Random thoughts and observations on last week’s terror attacks in Norway (per Thomas Sowell):

Just when the mainstream media was finally starting to learn that virtually every ideologically motivated mass murder attempted in the past 30 years has been committed by an Islamic extremist, some anti-immigration nut in Norway has to go and spoil it.  It’ll take us 30 years to retrain them.

The mass shooting perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik that left scores dead at a children’s day camp at Utoya Island “puts the spotlight on right-wing extremism in Europe,” as the New York Times helpfully noted, and “typifies a new breed of conservative extremists,” in the Financial Timeswords.  Yet the 9/11 attacks, the London bombing attacks, the Spain bombing attacks, the Mumbai bombing attacks, and eight million other blatant, graphic examples of Islamist-fueled mass murder somehow never seem to “put the spotlight on Muslim extremism” worldwide.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg mistakenly predicted that failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was “[h]omegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill…”  Attorney General Eric Holder urged us not to jump to conclusions about the ideological motivations of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan, who delivered a PowerPoint presentation to doctors on slaughtering infidels and roared “Allahu Akbar!” before his murderous rampage.  The Council on American-Islamic Relations sniffed that Washington, D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad had no Muslim connection and was most likely a right-wing redneck.  But one loon in a Scandinavian village-state shoots up an island, and suddenly conservatism is on trial worldwide.

Some news outlets initially attributed the violence in Oslo to Islamic terrorists.  One such outlet was Al Jazeera.

A group called Helpers of the Global Jihad, which initially assumed the shooting had been committed by Islamic terrorists, immediately announced their support for the perpetrators of the attack before later renouncing it.

Some honest liberals are admitting that the World of Warcraft-loving, Dexter-watching, Unabomber manifesto-reading Breivik is not a stand-in for conservative thought, anti-Islamist concern, or worry about mass immigration accompanied by lack of cultural assimilation.  Froma Harrop, for example, writes, “What Breivik is not is a ‘right-winger’ in any conventional sense of the term.  Calling this crackpot such puts him on a political spectrum occupied by people arguing about real things in the current century.  Even ‘right-wing extremist’ is pushing it.  Once you place the likes of Breivik in the political debate, you distort the views of others concerned with similar-sounding issues.”

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, to whom the Norwegian shooter has been compared, was revealed to have had Muslim conspirators, including accomplice Hussain Al-Hussaini.  Clinton’s Justice Department inexcusably declined to follow up on leads linking McVeigh to Al-Hussaini.  Perhaps it would be prudent to wait a bit to see just who or what turns up in Breivik’s checkered past.

In the last two years, the media have jumped to the following conclusions: Jarred Lee Loughner, who shot Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was a Tea Party fanatic; James von Brunn, who opened fire in D.C.’s Holocaust Museum, was a conservative racist; Andrew Joseph Stack, who crashed his plane into an IRS building, was an anti-federal government conservative; James Lee, who tried to blow up a Discovery building, was an anti-government militia member; John Patrick Bedell, who fired on police in the Pentagon, was an anti-Obama zealot; and Michael Enright, who stabbed a Muslim cabdriver in lower Manhattan, was a bigoted Ground Zero Mosque opponent.  In fact, these kooks turned out to be leftists (Loughner), Bush-haters (von Brunn), anti-corporatists (Stack), environmentalists (Lee), 9/11 truthers (Bedell), and Ground Zero Mosque supporters (Enright).  Given the media’s track record on predicting the ideological leanings of would-be mass murderers, it’s odd there are so few reporters humble enough to wait and find out the full story about Breivik’s motives and associates before branding him a “radical right-winger.”

No anti-terror groups are likely to propose building an anti-Islamic monument on Utoya Island.

It will be interesting to learn why “right-winger” Breivik blew up Oslo’s Oil Ministry and not, say, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion.

The Oslo attacks were swiftly condemned by the Islamic Council of Norway, a lovely, state-supported organization that favors the death penalty for homosexuals.

The entire Oslo police helicopter crew inexplicably went on vacation days before the shooting at Utoya Island, an arrangement that prevented police from getting to the shooter until 90 minutes after the shooting began.  It’s not unreasonable to suspect that the serial killer timed his attack to coincide with the helicopter crew’s vacation.

Norwegian police typically don’t patrol the streets armed with guns—or any weapons, for that matter.  It seems unlikely that Breivik would have carried out his attack with such abandon in a better-patrolled area, say, Central Park.

In a column titled “Breivik and His Enablers,” New York Times op-ed contributor Roger Cohen writes that a good way to honor the death of recently deceased “Jewish girl” Amy Winehouse is “to confront the latest iteration of a European bigotry that kills.”  And Times editors wonder why no one reads their paper anymore.

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