Norway Massacre Update

From today’s Guardian:

Anders Brehing Breivik, the man accused of the murder of at least 91 Norwegians in a twin bomb and gun massacre, boasted online about his discussions with the far right English Defence League and other anti-Islamic European organisations.

The Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, said Norwegian officials were working with foreign intelligence agencies to see if there was any international involvement in the slaughter. “We have running contact with other countries’ intelligence services,” he said.

Breivik was arrested on Utøya island where he shot and killed at least 84 people, mostly teenagers, at a youth summer camp for supporters of Norway’s Labour Party after bombing Oslo’s government district just hours before.Dressed as a policeman, he ordered the teenagers to gather round him before opening fire on them. Survivors described how dozens of people were mown down. Edvard Fornes, 16, described how the gunman told the youths, “Don’t be shy,” and, “Come and play with me,” before executing them. “There were two kids lying, hiding, in a ditch saying, ‘please, please don’t shoot us,’ and he shot them.”

And, this:

Breivik’s Facebook page was blocked, but a cached version describes a conservative Christian from Oslo. The profile veers between references to lofty political philosophers and gory popular films, television shows and video games. The account appears to have been set up on 17 July. The site lists no “friends” or social connections.

Fortunately, the majority of Christians, conservatives, philosophy readers and nerds who like gory movies and video games aren’t psychopaths. The massacre Anders Brehing Breivik allegedly carried out is an act of terrorism, sure, but this guy sounds like a kook who’s just fizzing with bad chemicals.

Much more here.

CLARIFICATION/UPDATE: I think commentator Rachel is concerned that I have different standards for Muslims who kill unarmed people and Christians who kill unarmed people. Not so. I have different standards for political groups that murder civilians and individuals who murder civilians. I compare an individual like Anders Brehing Breivik to terrorist kooks like Timothy McVeigh and Jared Loughner or even a Marc Lepine, where the problematic psychology of an individual drives the violent act. If it turns out these attacks are the work of an organization, I’ll upgrade Breivik to full-on terrorist bastard. (Well, he’s a bastard either way, but to me having a violent organization with calculated political goals is more despicable.)

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

13 thoughts on “Norway Massacre Update”

  1. I wonder if he had been Muslim if you’d be describing him as a kook?

    I’ve been noticing this a lot in the coverage of these events.

    White man kills many and a nation is in fear = madman

    Muslim man kills many and a nation is in fear – terrorist

  2. I’ll try to clarify: The key point for me is that this appears to be the action of one lone guy, like a Ted Kaczynski or Jared Loughner or Timothy McVeigh. One person = kook. Organized group = more complicated.

  3. I’m confident you’re not all suggesting Anders Breivik is sane. He’s an extreme right-wing Christian fascist with delusions of grandeur who just undermined his own cause by unleashing horrific suffering. Clearly. Not. Sane.

    But I understand the concern about rising xenophobia in Europe and the connection between that sentiment and this slaughter. Of course there’s a connection. Breivik is a product of toxic aspects of his era, much like Jared Loughner (who seems even crazier) is a product of Tea Party America.

    Compromise: how about I get to call the manifesto-writing madman fizzing with skunky chemicals a nutter but we all agree that there are larger problems in Europe?

  4. To call him insane without a clinical diagnosis as to whether he is mentally competent to stand trial and instruct his counsel is premature and irresponsible. As to labelling dissent as insanity, I refer you to the former USSR’s policy on political dissent: incarceration in “mental hospitals” with drug, insulin, and shock treatments.

  5. I think most people would agree that Breivik’s actions go beyond any accepted parameters of “dissent”.

  6. The Devil goes to church and praises Jesus too. Just because this demon has a facebook page proclaiming he loves my Holy Father, doesn’t make him christian.

    No christian denomination (Westboro excluded) would ever own someone like him.

  7. I was just reading about Westboro… they’re apparently both pacifist and anti-racist. Wouldn’t have figured.

  8. So Hitler was insane; also Stalin, Pol Pot, Ratko Mladic, etc., etc., etc. Where does the inability to hold people responsible for their actions end for you, Stephen?

  9. That is a very, very big question. Yeah, I think all of those awful, awful people were insane. Does that mitigate their responsibility for their atrocities at all? Dunno.

    I want Anders Breivik to spend every last day of his life locked up, if that means anything.

  10. Breivik is a serial killer who put on the pretense of being involved.He cares nothing about politics, nothing about humanity,nothing about religion.He kills for the joy of killing, no more no less.Lock him up and let him rot!

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