Saturday, July 23, 2011
The main suspect in the Norwegian Killing Spree (at last count, some 91 dead, unknown number of injured) is blond. He's blue-eyed. In some of his professionally done head shots ::cough:: he's posing as if he were a movie star.
How can this be "terrorism?"
It's merely the act of Another Lone Gunman, who knows why they do these things? They just do. They snap. Bang-bang. Yer ded. It's something like the White Man's Overbite. It's quirky. It's probably genetic. But whatever it is, it's impossible to fully control.
In one of brief comments elsewhere on This Oslo Thing, I referred to the incident as the action of a "berserker," which may or may not be an accurate description of the Lone Gunman in this case.
What's interesting, besides the bloodlust and behavior of this person is his apparent Rightist affiliations - well, they really haven't been detailed. So we need to await further word on them - his Fundamentalist Christianity (again, not specified or detailed) - and his anti-immigrant ravings.
Ah, "purity of the blood." Yes. That has long been important in many white and right people's circles, certainly as much in this country as in any other land populated by Northern Europeans. The Other -- particularly if Brown or Black -- is simply "contamination." To be removed. Exterminated if need be.
Initially, of course, the story was that this incident -- actually "incidents," but who's counting? -- was the work of "Jihadis", a branch of which had claimed responsibility for the Oslo bombing (this was before the massacre on the island, however.)
Of course the Oklahoma City Bombing was at first attributed to mud-people, Muslims, "Jihadis", too. Muslims -- and mud-people of all kinds -- are apparently to forever be the first suspects whenever anything like this happens. It has long been a fixation of the media and the High and the Mighty, and yet we know that in a surprising number of cases, "people you would never suspect" (such as our blond and blue-eyed Norwegian boy up there) are the culprits.
And a fair exploration of what motivated McVeigh and his white brothers (and apparently some sisters) to do these things has never been done adequately. It's always a "mystery." Why would they do things like this? It just doesn't make any sense.
Yes, well. Perhaps it doesn't. Actually the motivations -- so far as we know them -- of white bombers and mass murderers tend to make a lot of "sense" in a certain very uncomfortable way for the societies within which they occur.
Many of the school shooters (remember when that was a fad?) tended to assert that they were "victims", generally of bullying. If we think about it, we realize that "bullying" by selected students has long been a means of managing schools, much as it is used similarly in prisons. It's an administrative tool. And in many cases, the school shooters were members of some despised out group, the kind of people almost ritually bullied in schools for generations. What's odd about their behavior is that they fought back with guns. That was, while it was happening, quite astonishing.
The school shooting phase has largely passed, and it may be in part because many administrators came to understand that managing schools through selected bullies wasn't working out all that well.
The McVeigh motive is largely ignored, but if I recall correctly, he and his cohorts were pretty up front about it: directly, the bombing in OKC was "revenge" or pay-back for Waco. That is not some "mysterious" motivation at all. What happened at Waco was simply appalling on every level. The whole thing was just a monstrous action from beginning to end, and it was utterly unnecessary. The Government came to understand that, eventually, but the rationale for committing this atrocity in the first place was an early example of just how twisted a Government gone out of control -- in an effort to enforce ever greater control -- can be.
To then "revenge" Waco by blowing up a Federal building in Oklahoma City together with all the people in it seems... odd... and yet, when you think about it, it's probably one of the simplest solutions to the question: "What do you do?" when you believe you have to do something to deal with the atrocities taking place around you.
And in McVeigh's case, there was more. He had apparently been ordered to do something -- which he apparently did -- while in the armed service in the Gulf War: he was a bulldozer driver in the Army, and he was ordered to drive his bulldozer over the trenches filled with Iraqi conscripts, some of whom were clearly alive. He did it, filling the trenches, and when he realized what he had done, he was filled with loathing and remorse, for himself and for the country he was serving. He had committed an atrocity himself, under orders, an atrocity that would be considered a war crime if the United States had not been Victorious in the Gulf War.
And so, when it came to "revenge" for Waco, in which dozens of innocents would be killed, as dozens of innocents died in the flames of the Branch Davidian Compound, and as who knows how many Iraqi conscript soldiers were buried alive in the trenchs out of Basra, the pattern of "acceptable" mass murder had already been set. McVeigh didn't claim to be innocent; he claimed to be justified.
And so we come to our man in Norway, and he is said to have posted something on his Twitter account, to wit:
Yes. Let me repeat that: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests."
This is said to be a quote from John Stuart Mill, but I haven't found any source. Doesn't mean it isn't there. What I got from the statement, however, was that it was an expression of almost pure Libertarian/Objectivism, the utter and final triumph of the Individual as Master -- through "belief." Of course, an Objectivist/Libertarian would argue it is no such thing, because... "belief" is not rational. Yes. Of course.
That's the irony, isn't it?
I do not by any means propose to know the motives of any mass murderer; I merely note there is a consistency among those who use the tactic in that they are typically white and male and often strongly individualist -- and typically OUTRAGED!!!!™ by something the "collective" -- the We in as in "We the People" -- has done or permitted.
Belief, whether it is Christianist or Objectivist or something else, particularly in the Power of the Individual to shape or control general events, is (or at least appears to be) fundamental to their action.
The murder of so many innocents will forever be the legacy of that tragic Belief.
Note: I've been following the story mostly on http://nrk.no/. Run it through Google Translator and it's pretty comprehensible, though of course, unless you understand Norwegian, the videos may be a bit hard to follow. Their coverage has been darned good given how difficult the story is for the people of Norway. They have interviewed a couple of Muslim teenagers who were on the island when the shooting started. Even though I don't understand more than a tiny bit of Norwegian, these interviews are powerful refutation of the widespread European and American caricature of Muslims out to murder us all in our beds.
Meanwhile, it is almost impossible to imagine how heartbreaking, let alone terrifying, this all must be for the Norwegian people. It's way beyond shock. The stories at the NRK news site give some sense of what the Norwegian people are going through right now.
As awful as it is -- and my heart goes out to the People of Norway -- at some point, we and Our Rulers need to grasp the horrors that have been unleashed by The West on myriad Brown and Black Peoples around the world, horrors that are the day in and day out reality for so many of them. Death from Above -- or just plain Death -- is all too real to them, nearly every day. That is what "we" are too often seen to do in the world. It must stop.