Medium matters Posted on November 30, 2011 by Lew This is a powerful, classic, somewhat disturbing image of Norway gunman Anders Behring Breivik: Marred by very badly chosen mouseover text. L Share this:TwitterFacebook
And what I find even more disturbing than Breivik’s morally indefensible act, is those who seek to deny or justify it.
The worst offenders were Glenn Beck and Debbie Schlussel, who both said the victims had it coming because they were no different to Hitler Youth. Not only did they do a Godwin in one foul swoop, but they also showed they’re no different to what they hate.
Quite a few media commentators on both the Left and Right jumped to conclusions before waiting to find out what his mental state was.
Conclusions that funnnily enough served to justify their already established political views.
I checked out the Guardian in the vain hope that some of the commentators there might have revisited their opinions in the light of this evidence but nothing.
Norwegian defence analyst Thomas Hegghammer summed it up best, and calls it ‘macro-nationalism’:
On closer inspection, however, Mr. Breivikâ€™s worldview does not fit squarely into any of the established categories of right-wing ideology, like white supremacism, ultranationalism or Christian fundamentalism. Rather, it reveals a new doctrine of civilizational war that represents the closest thing yet to a Christian version of Al Qaeda.
For example, although Mr. Breivik says he fears â€œthe extinction of the Nordic genotypes,â€ racial hygiene is not high on his agenda. He wants to expel, not kill, Muslims in Europe, and he does not mind Jews and non-Muslim Asians. Similarly, while Mr. Breivik says he is â€œextremely proudâ€ of his â€œOdinistic/Norse heritage,â€ he is not a Norwegian nationalist â€” his â€œdeclaration of independenceâ€ applies to all of Europe. And while he is Christian, he admits that â€œIâ€™m not going to pretend Iâ€™m a very religious person.â€
Instead, Mr. Breivikâ€™s goal is to reverse what he views as the Islamization of Western Europe; indeed, he sees himself as a soldier in a defensive war against â€œIslamic imperialism.â€ In his view, Muslims are colonizing Europe, helped by high birth rates and a doctrine of multiculturalism advocated by the European elite. Islam, for him, represents an existential threat to European civilization, a threat that must be countered at all costs. The best way to do so, he argues, is to wage war against â€œcultural Marxistsâ€ â€” his label for the European political and intellectual elite â€” because they are the traitors who allow the colonization to take place.