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Norway attack warning for us all

The killing spree in Norway was not a one-off attack by an “evil madman” but a conscious act of terrorism that will reverberate around Europe as the continent’s growing social crisis unfolds.

Anders Behring Breivik may have acted alone, but his thinking reflects a modernised fascist ideology that views existing political establishments as the enemy for undermining a “way of life”.

In Norway, the target was the ruling Labour Party – which is synonymous with that country’s establishment – and its future leaders, who were at their annual summer camp on the island of Utøya.

He described members of Norway’s Labour Party as “traitors” because of their alleged support of “multiculturalism and Islamisation.” According to his 1,500 page manuscript written in preparation for his murderous attacks, Breivik regarded himself as a crusader in a war against a “Marxist-Islamist alliance”. He described himself as a “martyr” and “resistance fighter.”

Norway’s Labour Party, according to Breivik, were “traitors” for encouraging multi-culturalism, where communities can co-exist peacefully. Like his contacts in the English Defence League (EDL), Breivik wants to prevent a national culture from being “overwhelmed” by a foreign one, in this case Islam.

Breivik was inspired by and drew his thinking from a number of sources, including the right-wing evangelical movement in the United States and the ultra-Zionist Avigdor Lieberman, who is Israel’s foreign secretary and deputy prime minister.

The European fascist movement paradoxically support the Jewish state of Israel because the present Zionist leadership view Palestinians as a threat culturally, demographically as well as politically. The EDL has been known to wave Israeli flags at its demonstrations. Norway’s government is strongly pro-Palestinian and was moving towards supporting the boycott and disinvestment campaign aimed at Israel.

Breivik’s writings clearly indicate that he saw himself as part of a wider movement, declaring. “I know that tens of thousands of brothers and sister all over Europe are fighting the good fight every single day. Fighting the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist alliance every single day. Many have sacrificed everything already; many are incarcerated and some have even martyred themselves.”

As the award-winning American journalist Max Blumenthal noted:

As horrific as Breivik’s actions were, he can not be dismissed as a ‘madman’. His writings contain the same themes and language as more prominent right-wing Islamophobes… and many conservatives in general. What’s more, Breivik was articulate and coherent enough to offer a clear snapshot of his ideological motives.

Blumenthal also pointed out that Breivik, who was for a time a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party in Norway but left because it was too respectable, reflects the same “leaderless resistance” style as America’s anti-abortion terrorists. “Breivik’s writings offer much more than a window into the motives that led him to commit terror. They can also be read as an embodiment of the mentality of a new and internationalized far-right movement that not only mobilizes hatred against Muslims, but is also able to produce figures who will kill innocent non-Muslims to save the Western way of life.”

Breivik’s attack reveals the fragility of the Scandinavian model of reformist social democracy with its deep undercurrents of racism and nationalism. Far right movements in Scandinavia have been researched by journalist and crime writers like Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell. Connections to rogue elements in the state cannot be ruled out.

More widely, of course, opposition to multiculturalism and the threat to “our way of life”, has been taken up by the British political establishment in a grubby bid to win votes and keep the ultra-right at bay. Earlier this year, prime minister Cameron said in a speech that multiculturalism had “failed”, while successive New Labour ministers attacked the concept in office. Present leader Ed Miliband says the party has ignored justified fears about immigration amongst its supporters.

As the mainstream parties in Britain make further accommodation with reactionary views, a wider crisis is ensuing. Cameron today admits that people’s confidence in the establishment had been “shaken to the core” by the expenses scandal, the financial crisis and phone hacking. “There’s a sense that the rich and the powerful – politicians, bankers, the press and the police – have been serving themselves, not each other.”

Relying on such a discredited state establishment to defend people’s rights and protect them from fascist attacks is utterly wrong. Building a mass movement for self-determination in every sphere of society, based on a network of democratically-organised and run people’s assemblies, is the best response to what took place in Norway.

Paul Feldman
Communications editor
25 July 2011

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Your Say

Joseph says:

I broadly agree but am getting fed up of hearing the new far right's claims that they're battling to protect their culture and way of life from the threat of Islam taken at face value.

They do not coherently believe anything of the sort and this is just the dog-whistle propaganda of their American Tea Party sponsors. The EDL in particular is a clumsy sock-puppet whose banners often look as if they were printed in Oklahama rather than Oldham, with slogans like "UK Patriots" etc. I mean, who in England or Britain uses a business term like "UK" when discussing identity?
The EDL's foot-thugs may be drawn from the same pool as the BNP and NF, but it's shambolic leaders look as if their speeches were written by the US embassy.

The deracinated new-far-right hang around extremist American websites reciting American/Israeli language about Eurabia, Londonistan and the Ayrab Mowzlem threat, and finding ample and amplified echoes of their hatred in the Murdoch press and Israel's other propagandists such as Barking Mad Mel.
They look at their own continent through fevered American/Israeli eyes and believe the Muslims are behind everything and controlling everything - which is patent nonsense to anybody who actually lives here, of whatever political persuasion.

That is the driving force of this animus and there is nothing paradoxical about the new far right's support (virtually worship) of Israel, as that is a part and parcel of their Americanisation.
Nor does Lieberman represent a new phenomenon in Israel, which is a fundamentalist settler state established and maintained by ethnic cleansing and massive terror.

There is a question mark over how much of the old far right has been subsumed into the new one. I was maybe inclined to belittle them as not much more than a propaganda presence, but the EDL represents their most significant mass membership pool, so it's not surprising the Norwegian fanatic (let him be nameless) was so close to them.
And it only takes a few like him to generate carnage.

M. D. Fisher says:

1. Until we reject all ideologies that justify separating humanity on some basis with the outgroup less worthy we will continue to slaughter. The corpses produced by Marxist and religious entities were as logical a consequence of their division of people on the basis of class and religious belief as the corpses produced by fascists, racists and nationalists were of their beliefs. On each side of the barricades regardless of the criteria that erected those barricades are human beings. 

2. Nations formed by self-determination are based on a particular ethnic group or religion determining the form of the state. It is ethnic nationalism. I am opposed to all states formed by self-determination and prefer that nations do not discriminate among their citizenry on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

Joyce says:

I agree with all that you say, this is (quote) a "conscious act of terrorism" but, the media and everyone calls it the ramblings of a mad man. When will the world leaders and the world's security network take these ramblings seriously, should they continue to ignore the ramblings, (as they call the threats) we would never get the help to support people under 'attack' from the people carrying out these evil deeds? (Jean's quote) 

Jean says:

Very good reports. I agree totally with what you say, but where is the help to support people under 'attack' from the people carrying out these evil deeds? 

Jonathan says:

On Russian television an Investigative Journalist from Bristol pointed out the the 'Christianity' he espoused was more closely that of Bush and Blair, as the above notes, the evangelistic core of the tea party and on. A telling, and speedy, comment by someone who read carefully the well worded document used as a manifesto. He also referred to a previously instigated Operation Gladio in Italy. A worthy reference given the role now of NATO as the foreign policy tool of Westminster and Washington.

It was also questioned as to how the state knew his name when they came to disarm him, as well as question why no use of helicopters which would have reached the island within 15 minutes. The same youth and others targeted, and surviving, here will not leave it be: history is speeding up, and the internet providing extra tools, to allow 'truth', so woefully, or lyingly, referred to elsewhere, to surface and feed back to influence events much quicker than ever before.

Within an hour the responsibility was laid at the door of multiculturalism by a leading Norwegian politician already having convinced themselves the attack had come from 'Islamist extremism', and swung the same inside other countries. And even as the debate developed as to the real attacker – it retained the centre ground. Already the 'rogue' or just hidden hand of the state is being looked at, outside normal conspiracy theorists. It makes sense for the Eurozone, the US debt, and the continued resistance in places like Spain is not really part of the plan. More significantly is that whether the 'Big Society' or whatever else they can pull out of their bag of worn out ideas will stop any resistance. And it is the economic crisis that is wearing them out.

But I find the most important in the above the need for assemblies, and add to this the need to work on ideas as such. For not only do the youth need the leadership – they need to be armed with how to deal with the result of the necessary results they will draw from analysing what went on in Norway, and to then have somewhere to organise against what will logically come next: which, logic or not, is not inevitable. It is necessary to make an intervention in our own futures. 

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