Hitchens: A Ridiculous Rapid Response
Why did so many “experts” declare the Oslo attacks to be the work of Islamic terrorists?
By Christopher HitchensPosted Sunday, July 24, 2011, at 6:36 PM ET
Having had 16 years to reflect since Oklahoma City, we should really have become a little more refined in our rapid-response diagnoses of anti-civilian mass murder. Rather than make it more difficult, the number of contrasting features in the most recent case of Norway actually makes this task fractionally easier. The fruit bat and troll population of the recent scenery of catastrophe, enriched with Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell characters, permits a wider view of the various fields of fire and a greater variety of arguable motives for analysis.
The anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Behring Breivik from Norway.
Here is a secular Scandinavian social democracy, which is currently contributing forces to Western military efforts in Afghanistan and Libya. This consideration was what originally led some more orthodox conservatives to descry a “link.” (Even though, for example, it is unclear whether the jihadist groups in Norway identify with Muammar Qaddafi or his recent calls for suicide efforts against NATO.) Moreover, the lethal attacks were launched against the youth movement of Norway’s ruling party, that stout bulwark of multi-culti good feelings and outreach to Muslim immigrants. This might not have been the first objective of a terror faction striving to take Norway off the military chessboard.
Then again, the prime suspect in the pogrom, Anders Behring Breivik, seems to come complete with a Jared Loughner reading list of his own, as well as a background in white power Nordic enthusiasm. I was touched to see that a flirtation of his with Freemasonry was counted as “right wing” in some quarters. In the old days, Catholic fascism hated Masons almost as much as it did Jews. (Chilean President Salvador Allende was a Freemason, for example, in a tradition of leftist anti-clericalism that I am sad to see dying out.) And finally—though in this wilderness of mirrors it probably isn’t finally—Breivik has apparently declared himself a passionate pro-Zionist as well as a sworn foe of all sorts of Islamization. More attention should be paid to that last aspect: The true “neo-Nazi” gangs in Europe have violent anti-Semitism in common with their ostensibly deadliest Islamist foes, whereas anti-immigrant populists of the Geert Wilders stripe in Holland seek respectability by standing up for Israel, very often against criticism from the multi-culti left.