Sunday, July 24, 2011

Murder in Oslo

There are days when I have to ask myself, "what's in the water"? In Oslo, Norway, where nothing ever seems to happen, a 32 year old right wingnut by the name of Anders Behring Breivik goes on a bombing and shooting rampage. He's successful with some moderate building damage, but its his systemic hunting down and murdering of at least 90 young adults attending a politically oriented retreat sponsored by Norway's liberal Labour Party on a remote island of Utoeya that causes the most carnage. His explanation was that he was trying to spark a conservative coup or something against "cultural Marxists". He has reportedly said that his actions were largely in response to Norway's extreme open policy to immigration and the large influx of Moslems and Africans.

I guess I can understand his frustration. No one wants to see their culture, language, or religion usurped by any group, but just how does blowing up a building or shooting a bunch of kids in cold blood help his cause? Sure, it's going to bring the world's attention to his cause; the media will examine ad nauseam his childhood, his relationships, his motives, and, of course, the impact (both real and anticipated) of his actions. The media will interview the subjects of his hatred, Moslems, Africans, and other third world immigrants living in Norway and throughout Europe. Much will be made of the socialist policies of the Scandinavian countries, and the all but free social care they receive and the high tax base native (and working) Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians pay for this social safety net. I suspect too there will be some comparison to the Scandinavian socialist polices and Obama's efforts to socialize America's social safety net as well as immigration (both legal and illegal).

But, in the end, what will have been accomplished? Mr. Breivik will be tried amid the glare of cameras, and in the end, sentenced to life in prison since Norway (and the rest of Europe) doesn't believe in the death penalty. He will pay for his fifteen minutes of fame with someone else's pound of flesh. Most people, even those who agree with his cause, will attempt to distance themselves from any conservative groups, and the more liberal groups, such as the Labour Party, may even seen a slight increase in membership or donations as form of sympatric support. And parents will bury their children.

Actions like this seldom have their desired effect. Assassinations rarely alter policies. In America, Timothy McVey, who was 26 years old at the time, attempted the something similar by blowing up the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Instead of sparking a civil war or revolution, his actions only sparked revolution at the carnage. McVey's actions were triggered by outraged at the FBI's botched raids at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993 where a number of innocent individuals were killed (and in some cases, murdered) by FBI and ATF agents. But, in the end, many like minded individuals distanced themselves from anti-government oriented militias and similar groups, while others simply faded into the woodwork. McVey, in many ways, did more harm to his cause than the forces he was fighting ever could. I think Mr. Breivik's action will have the same result for his cause. Cold comfort for the survivors or the families of the dead.

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