All you have to know about Norway is the fact that even if the bomber/shooter is convicted on all counts (by no means a foregone conclusion) he can only be imprisoned for 21 years at the most. This, to me, is the triumph of that peculiar variety of secular humanism that manifests itself in the Nordic countries as a kind of stolid optimism combined with naivete – not only about themselves but about people in general. The notion that “This could never happen here because we're too nice (and/or boring).” So theory overcomes reality when it comes to the vagaries of human nature, and when confronted with real evil, or insanity, or both, no one knows how to cope, because, as it turns out, there are more things in heaven (and hell) and earth than are dreamt of in their philosophy. It's as if you had a whole country made up of NPR devotees... kind of like if Vermont were a country, say.
Now, I've made a few observations about what one might call "the paranoid style in American law enforcement”, where every crossroads hamlet has a SWAT team, and (in Pennsylvania at least) some guy mouthing off to his neighbor can be charged with “making terroristic threats”. And I suppose that the U.S. does look like a police state compared to any place in Scandinavia... or the Netherlands... or probably a few other places here and there. On the other hand, I daresay that at the first sounds of gunfire on that island, if it had been in the U.S., we would have had a dozen or so different law enforcement agencies in boats, helicopters, hovercraft, rafts, etc. pouring in there within a few minutes. Yeah... I hate to admit it, but sometimes paranoia pays off because it really is the right attitude. And dare I say that it would probably have been illegal for anyone on that island to be carrying a gun? What if only two or three people there had been armed? Things might have turned out quite differently.
And then we have the interesting phenomenon of people saying “At least it wasn't...” and you can name just about any group you like – a foreigner, a Moslem, and an Arab being the most often mentioned. Right – at least it was a native Norwegian – thank goodness! One of our own! Which means that no awkward questions of race, ethnicity, or religion have to be dragged out in court. Except that they do, because what apparently motivated the “suspect” was Norway's having jumped enthusiastically onto the multiculturalism bandwagon. (And it is striking, you must admit, how many of the people appearing in the newsreels are anything but Nordic-looking. Who knew?) Now... how one wages jihad against multiculturalism and Islam by killing fellow Norwegians is a good question, and I think “insanity” might qualify as a reason – although that carries the risk of the guy being transferred immediately to a group home, with no actual time behind bars at all.
But that's not the only intriguing thing about the whole affair. The immediate assumption on the part of everyone in Norway, and the world press, and our own press, was that of course the culprit(s) had to be jihadists/terrorists/Al Qaeda/Arabs/whatever. And why did that immediately come to mind? Isn't Norway, after all, one of those cool, enlightened, non-warlike Scandinavian countries that the rest of us all admire? Well, yes and no. They have pretenses to cool, no doubt – but guess who is right up there among the “coalition of the willing” when it comes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the bombing campaign in Libya. Right – good old “neutral”, nice-guy Norway. So if I'm a jihadist, I'm going to see Norway through the same color glasses as I see the U.S. -- no “nuance” required, thank you. And I suspect that the Norwegians, if not their government, have been feeling a bit awkward about this whole situation for some time now – just waiting for the day when the “terrorists” would decide to bring the war home and exact a bit of payback, the way they have elsewhere in Europe. So the minute things start going wrong, there is this kind of “I knew it” feeling – it had to happen eventually. What a, um, pleasant surprise, then, when it turned out it had nothing to do with “terrorism” -- unless this tall, blond, Nordic guy is really a jihadist in disguise, or a convert, or something... which he apparently is not.
So places like Norway are carrying a burden of guilt – if seldom expressed by anyone – because, on some level, they may not really believe in what we are doing and what they are helping us do, but they go along with it for... well, for any number of reasons. For one thing, everyone wants to play with the big dogs, and no one wants to be left out. And after all, didn't the Vikings come from Norway, and weren't they the baddest of the bad? Plus, peace is a fine thing, but it gets boring after a while. And what better way to enhance one's “street creds” with the U.S. (and the EU) than to tag along on all of the various U.S. and NATO wars and military actions (and military actions disguised as humanitarian efforts)? So places like Norway get suckered in – and they're never quite comfortable with the situation, and feel like someone, or something, is going to get even some day... and they're right just often enough that the feeling never quite goes away.
And just to show how strong this feeling was, please recall that even after the perp was caught, people continued, for a while, to believe that they had been under attack from foreign, Islamic terrorists. Here was this tall, blond, Nordic guy – a life-long citizen – being led away, but the news was still all about the likelihood of Islamic terrorism. Clearly, people's brains (and whatever the media have that stands in for brains) couldn't catch up with the reality; it had to be terrorism, no matter who the apparent perpetrator was. You can add this to the corpus of case histories of mass hysteria combined with denial.
Yes, it's all very curious. And don't think the world of Islamic militancy has failed to notice any of this, right down to the smallest detail. They have seen, for example, how paltry security was in Oslo... how slow and awkward the response was to the island shootings... how defenseless and helpless a disarmed populace can be... and, as I've discussed, how readily the attacks were attributed to Islamic terrorism. Why – they must be reasoning – we might as well have actually done it, because in some remote part of the brain of every Norwegian, a part that is impervious to additional information, we did do it. To paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, what actually happened is not as important as what should have happened.
And then there's the feature of the perp having identified himself as a “Christian conservative” -- and oh, what a field day our Democrats/liberals would have with that. In fact, they did have a field day with it when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred; it took Bill Clinton about five minutes to blame Rush Limbaugh. Do they even have “talk radio” in Norway? I doubt it. But clearly, conservatives and Christians of all stripes will be on the defensive throughout the EU for a long time to come – which is a fine gift the perpetrator gave to the Regime. You see, there is such a thing as healthy, natural love of country – it's called patriotism. Then there's that aggressive, empire-building, neocon attitude that defines our foreign policy (and, by implication, the foreign policy of any country that joins us in our escapades) – that's called nationalism. So while Norwegians may yet retain a small, glimmering spark of patriotism amidst all of the multiculturalism and “diversity”, they have also signed on to our nationalism and empire-building. So in that sense they have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage, both on the domestic and international front. And what have they gotten in return? A reputation for hypocrisy, for one thing... but also one very big case of push-back from one of their citizens, who may be a nutball but much of what he's reacting to is for real. But it matters not; Norway has their Timothy McVeigh now, and it will be interesting to see what use they make of him.
And then! How about the fact that this guy identifies himself as a Knight Templar, and posts a photo of himself in a Freemason's getup? Whoa – that could keep the conspiracy mills grinding for months, if not years! Of course, the modern-day Knights Templar (yes, there is such an organization) are undoubtedly a spin-off or component group of the Freemasons – so that much makes sense. But the last time I checked, the Freemasons were, among their countless other causes and programs, totally dedicated to the notions of “diversity”, multiculturalism, deracination, watering-down, etc. -- anything, in other words, to weaken and eliminate the influence of race, ethnicity, and religion and increase the influence of empires – especially of the multi-national sort. So it is a bit curious that the guy would view his warped patriotism as being consistent with Freemasonry – but hey, he is a nut, after all.
So anyway... we haven't heard the last of all the potential fallout from these events. Will Norway or the EU start clamping down on “extreme right-wing Christian conservatives”? Are they really that much of a threat? From what I gather, they have marginal political influence in the countries where they exist at all, and zero political influence at the EU level. (How could it be otherwise, since the EU clearly represents everything they stand against.) Besides, if anything, the European media have been more thorough in their demonization of right-wingers, Christians, and conservatives than our media have – and that's saying something. But still, these events could be the final nail in the coffin... and no one will dare utter a peep against multiculturalism, or “diversity”, in the EU for years to come. And this, it seems to me, is a small matter, since Europe is already a terminal case when it comes to these issues – which is to say it's beyond rescuing. The U.S. isn't far behind, to be sure, but I don't think things are quite as bad over here as yet. And in any case, the real power in Europe does not lie with the people, or with any new immigrant group; the real power could not care less what happens to the demographics of Europe, as long as they continue to rule. Would they mind ruling over an entire continent of immigrants, with most of the bloodlines of the common people having become extinct? I don't think they'd mind at all. One of these days we may wake up to discover that there is nothing left of Europe at all – but that the European colonies are thriving, having taken its place on the map.