Anders Breivik killed nearly a hundred unarmed civilians, most of them youth, while attempting to destroy the government of his country at the same time. This was horrific, psychopathic, and evil.
Now the man is being shamelessly used by Leftist media from the New York Times to progressive news television to attack Christians. He is repeatedly being called a “Christian fundamentalist” despite his own assertions that he was not religious, and his odd use of the term “Christian” to mean basically “of European culture.” (For example, he saw no conflict in an atheist being a “cultural Christian.”)
This gruesome atrocity is being used as a club to beat those of Christian faith by progressive media, as a defense of jihadists around the world. The instant moral equivalence is being drawn on blogs all over the Internet: “See, Christian terrorists are just as bad as Muslim terrorists!”
Past “Christian terrorists”
I’ve written about such comparisons before. Timothy McVeigh, the agnostic, “science is my religion” mass murderer, was reinvented as a Christian terrorist just after 9/11 by US media, so as to prove that “Christian fundamentalists are just as bad.” (An acquaintance frequently referred to all Republicans as “Taliban wannabes” — but when pressed, he would defend those in the Taliban.)
McVeigh’s case is a bit complicated for those on the left considering the evidence that the bomb he used (crafted with his partner Terry Nichols) benefited from al Qaida help, and that the bombing apparently had help from Iraqi and Palestinian jihadists.. Clinton counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke wrote about Nichols’ trips to the Philippines, suggesting that he may have received bomb-making instruction from al Qaida operatives there. (These were the same al Qaida folks supported by Saddam Hussein.) As Clarke put it in Against All Enemies (page 127):
Another conspiracy theory intrigued me because I could never disprove it. The theory seemed unlikely on its face: Ramzi Yousef or Khalid Sheik Muhammad had taught Terry Nichols how to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building. The problem was that, upon investigation, we established that both Ramzi Yousef and Nichols had been in the city of Cebu on the same days. I had been to Cebu years earlier; it is on an island in the Central Philippines. It was a town in which word could have spread that a local girl was bringing her American boy friend home and that the American hated the U. S. government.
Yousef and Khalid Sheik Muhammad had gone there to help create an al Qaeda spinoff, a Philippine affiliate Chapter, named after a hero of the Afghan war against the Soviets, Abu Sayaff. Could the al Qaeda explosives experts have been introduced to the angry American who proclaimed his hatred for the U.S. Government? We do not know, despite some FBI investigation. We do know that Nichols’ bombs did not work before his Philippine stay and were deadly when he returned. We also know that Nichols continued to call Cebu long after his wife returned to the United States. The final coincidence is that several al Qaeda operatives had attended a radical Islamic conference a few years earlier in, of all places, Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma is, indeed, a nexus for jihadists. This has always struck me as odd, but it is undeniably true. Several of the tickets for the 9/11 hijackings were purchased from the library at Oklahoma State University, and a radical mosque there (in Norman, Oklahoma) is linked to 9/11 hijackers as well as the attempt to set off a suicide bomb in the university’s stadium (when it contained 84,000 people) that I wrote about here.
Protection of actual jihadists
In order to keep from reporting the October 1, 2005 backpack bomber as a jihadist attack, the media successfully portrayed this as “a troubled student’s suicide.”
Various other “Christian terrorists” have been invented by the media, to focus attention away from jihadists. At one point even the left-wing Berkeley college math professor called the Unabomber was being described as a Christian terrorist. At the same time, any actual jihadists are sanitized by the media (and this administration) as much as possible.
Nidal Hasan’s attack at Fort Hood being repeatedly discussed on major media without mentioning his religion and his shouts of “Allahu Akbar” as he killed “infidels.” The official report on Hasan described here does not mention his faith, his jihadist beliefs, or even his name (apparently because his name sounded Islamic).
So the left protects jihadists, saying that they don’t want to offend them. And they invent “Christian terrorists,” from deranged people with no such motivation, hoping to demonize Christianity and conservatives in general whether religious or not.
Breivik and Hannibal Lecter
With Anders Breivik, they finally had their shot at a “real one.” (I can imagine the dismay at the Times when Jared Loughner turned out to have been motivated by nihilistic communism, or when the Discovery Channel hostage taker was a devotee of Al Gore, or when the IRS suicide pilot quoted Karl Marx in his manifesto.) Mass murderer Anders Breivik reminds me in some respects of the fictional Dr. Hannibal Lecter: A weird mix of brilliant, rational, and terribly insane.
Lecter as depicted in Thomas Harris’s books was truly a genius, and there were aspects of the way his mind worked that I found myself envious of. He wrote research papers on psychology that were highly respected, and believed that “rudeness” in society was a growing problem — and considered it quite rational to kill and eat people who were rude.
Breivik wrote some 1,518 pages (downloadable from scribd.com), keeping a journal of the activities of preparing his bomb and the gear he wanted for his attack on the island full of young people. It’s more than a daily log; he spends hundreds of pages talking about what he sees as a problem of the mostly Muslim cultural immigration/invasion of Europe combined with the rise of Marxism, including in his own Norway. He describes crime increases and other problems associated with these immigrants failing to assimilate into European society (issues which are well documented elsewhere) — then he reaches the conclusion that the solution to this problem is to kill Norwegian politicians, and youths at an anti-Israel political camp.
The anti-Israel sentiment among Norway’s leftist government is quite high: Norway’s ambassador to Israel was sly in pointing out that Norway did not deserve a terrorist attack, whereas Israel does.
The current thrust of progressive media like the New York Times is two-fold:
· to label the man a Christian terrorist, and de-legitimize that religion
· to connect “conservatism” to this heinous act.
On the first point, there are problems. Breivik describes himself as not particularly religious, and he makes it clear that he uses “Christian” in a general way, meaning one who subscribes to the European/Western culture. Several times, he amplifies this term to be “cultural Christian,” and he explicitly says that European atheists qualify.
Nor does he use religious teachings to justify his attack as jihadists do. In fact, at one point he described having to “explain to God” why he’s doing the right thing, and he does spend a bit of time trying to explain himself to actual Christian readers of the document; he doesn’t seem to think that this is convincing. As a blogger at “The British Atheist” writes:
As atheists and antitheists, we need to be quick in spreading the word about the fact that although he defines himself quite clearly as “non-religious”, he is charged by god on this mission.
In other words, even if he’s not religious, blame the attack on his being a religious zealot.
The Problem of Scale
And the media’s underlying point, that finally they can say that “Christian terrorists” are just as bad as jihadists, has a little problem of scale: In the week following Breivik’s attack, jihadists managed to more than double his grim “score”:
(From The Religion Of Peace.)
That was the scorecard for a single week, adding to their 17,000+ victims in the last ten years. Compared to “not very religious” Breivik’s 77. Breivik’s act is horrific enough, but the jihadism of all of those other terrorist attacks must not be excused as a result. The progressive media seems happy to overlook it.
The Conservative Connection
But the second point that the NYTimes and others want to do, connecting Breivik with conservatism, they’re more successful at. Anders Breivik wrote about jihadism as a major threat to Western culture. I’ve written much the same over the years. Therefore, I must be just like the madman Breivik. And anyone who expresses concern about jihadism is a “madman” and “dangerous” while at the same time jihadists must not be offended.
The New York Times even managed to be sympathetic to the “devout, thoughtful and generous” jihadists who attacked London, finding a way to include “understanding” of the reaction to the “bitter harvest” of the UK’s help with Iraq:
To the boys from Cross Flats Park, Mr. Tanweer, 22, who blew himself up on a subway train in London last week, was devout, thoughtful and generous. If they understood his actions, it was because they lived in Mr. Tanweer’s world, too. They did not agree with what Mr. Tanweer had done, but made clear they shared the same sense of otherness, the same sense of siege, the same sense that their community, and Muslims in general, were in their view helpless before the whims of greater powers. Ultimately, they understood his anger.
From another article, they found someone to blame:
Perhaps the crudest lesson to be drawn was that, in adopting the stance he took after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Blair had finally reaped the bitter harvest of the war on terrorism — so often forecast but never quite seeming real until the explosions boomed across London.
What was that lesson? That jihadism was a real threat? Or was it, as the NYT seems to suggest, that resistance to terrorism is the real cause of terrorism?
A Misguided Assessment
The left in the West have been confused about terrorism, and this was made particularly evident two years ago when Obama took office. I remember when Obama administration published a terrorist assessment of conservatives. I wrote about it back here; it was released just a few days after President Obama’s inauguration, but the assessment looked as if it had been written in a few days. The pair of assessments, left wing and right wing, completely sanitized the jihadist issue, and made conservatives appear to be the real threat against the United States.
So with Anders Breivik, they finally have someone who is (sort of) a conservative, though of the European rather than American mold. He is, for example, utterly convinced that Global Warming is a crisis, and he’s right in line with Al Gore on many issues in that area (and quotes him). Still, he’s close enough to “conservative” for media/political purposes, and now they can make the Big Link between conservatism and terrorism.
And between conservatism and racism, too. Breivik writes about the “white race” a lot, and many of the things he says would qualify him as a “white supremacist.” (Not completely: he notes that people of all races are welcome as long as they are adopt European culture, and he calls on Hindus and Jews and Buddhists for help.) The left has been trying to hang the “racist” charge on the Tea Party since the beginning of that movement; they jumped on this to damn all conservatives by “association.” (Quoting blog sites is association enough, as long as you’re careful of which ones you notice.)
The New York Times attacked a conservative writer (Robert Spencer, who writes about the rise of jihadism) because he was referred to by Breivik (and in the NYT article, the Unabomber is suddenly right-wing). But the New York Times itself is cited favorably by Breivik several times. (So was Mahatma Gandhi.) And of course, the New York Times was amused when Usama bin Ladin praised the work of their favorites Noam Chomsky and William Blum; they were flattered. No character assassination there.
The New Civil Tone
As we’ve seen with the “debt crisis” media attention, leftist politicians all the way up to the Vice President, and many national media figures, are now comfortable referring to conservatives as “terrorists.” The New York Times describes Republicans in Congress as “terrorists” with “suicide vests” who are “waging jihad against America”: This is the Left’s New Civil ToneTM, apparently.
At least they suddenly seem to think that “jihad” is a bad thing. For a progressive, perhaps that can be counted as progress. But they are working hard to eliminate or discredit anyone speaking up against Islamic jihad.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle