Norway’s tragedy appears to be homegrown

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

We are all saddened by the loss of life and tragedy that ripped open a terrible scar in Norway after a car bomb exploded in the capital and a man shot dead 80 innocent victims on Friday, according to media reports.  The police have apprehended a suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian “conservative,” according to politicons.com.

As the tragic events unfolded on Friday, some were quick to point the finger at international terrorism.

This now appears unlikely, according to the Guardian of London.  “The targeted nature of the attacks at both government offices and the Labour party youth camp both suggest a more political agenda rather than an attempt to create widespread terror,” the daily reports. “Norwegian news reports last night said that police did not think the attacks were linked to international terrorism and that it was more likely directed at the current political system.”

Former ambassador to Norway, Ole Norrback, jumped the gun a bit on the YLE’s Friday 20:30 news but said the right things. Even if the bombing initially suggested the work of an international jihadist terrorist organization, according to him, it should be seen as the work of a minority.

Norrback said that the majority of the immigrants living in Norway are hard-working people who have nothing to do with what happened.

Let’s wait for more information by the police to determine what kind of political motive the man had and how his actions could impact the rest of the region.

  1. Mika

    The Norwegian progress party are the second biggest political party in Norway but they are always denied a place in a government collation due that other political parties and various MPs have a issue with certain views of the progress party. And by doing so they are giving the give the impression that the personal views of other politicians decided the political landscape of Norway and not the democrat choice of voters. Of course this could not be in anyway related to what happened yesterday, but if it is then the Labour party will have to now question their attitude to other political parties and especially to their voters instead of refusing to acknowledge them.

    • Enrique

      –but if it is then the Labour party will have to now question their attitude to other political parties and especially to their voters instead of refusing to acknowledge them.

      Hi Mika and welcome to Migrant Tales. So what you are saying is that we should bow to terrorism? Why not look at it this way: the Freedom Party’s rhetoric incites deranged people to take the law in their hands. I personally believe that the attitude of the biggest parties towards the extremist wing of the PS is a big mistake. It is like what happened with Neville Chamberlain who “secured “peace for our time” with Hitler.

  2. JusticeDemon

    Ole Norrback left his Oslo assignment in 2003, so it’s puzzling why he should be interviewed for TV news on this subject. My guess is that everyone else was on holiday and unavailable for comment. I misssed the broadcast, but the Minister’s conditional response looks like an answer to a hypothetical question posed by a journalist.

    It is still much too early to form any even tentative opinion concerning yesterday’s events, but just to be provocative I shall provisionally opine that Finland’s economic difficulties may have spared us from comparable incidents by providing a channel for such loonies to express their frustration through the ballot box.

    Or to put the point another way: which Finnish political party would Anders Behring Breivik support?

  3. Mika

    Other political parties in Finland where aware that many of the 560,075 votes for the PS where due to their own failures and this also happened in the 614,724 votes for the progress party in 2009. But in Finland other political parties knew that the high level of votes the PS gained and out of respect for the voting rights of Finnish votes PS could not be refused a place in government talks regardless of the views of other political parties towards them. This did not happen in Norway it was totally the opposite and we may be now seeing the result of this.So in your opinion how can a ruling government refuse to recognize the huge votes of another political party and not consider the reason for theses votes and at the same time make sure they could be brought into account for this.

    • Enrique

      Mika, let’s not generalize about the PS. There are many racists among them but the ones that are of special worry are the Suomen Sisu wing led by Jussi Halla-aho. KRP and Supo have classified Suomen Sisu as a Nazi-spirited association.

      Anti-Muslim groups incite hatred among their followers. Check what this website on Anders Behring Breivik writes about Anders Pamela Geller.

      When you speak of “huge vote” you forget that the majority (81%) did not vote for the PS. The PS won the election but it backed down from governing. Politics is all about compromise.

  4. Jonas

    We have been glued to the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK’s continuous news (showing on Swedish SVT2 if you subscribe) all day. Truly horrific, dreadful, depressing. There are really not any words. The pictures from Utöya of body bags and injured are particularly disturbing.

    The Norwegian prime minister Stoltenberg has reacted well though. In his press conference, in which he was markedly shocked, he called for the response to be “more democracy”. I can’t help think that the world would be a better place today if George W Bush had responded in an equally brave way in 2001, rather than the “we’re going to hunt you down'”statement of revenge through further violence. Let’s hope that the Norwegian and Nordic peoples are above allowing the populists to capitalise from this horrible tragedy.

    Disturbingly, there are now reports on NRK that there may possibly be a second gunman that wasn’t dressed as a police who may be on free foot.

    • Enrique

      Hi Jonas, it is a terrible tragedy and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s response has been exemplary: “No one will bomb us to silence. No one will shoot us to silence. No one will ever scare us away from being Norway. You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy or our ideals for a better world.” Here is the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/23/norway-attacks-world-leaders-violence

      I totally agree with you about George W. Bush’s reaction, which we are still suffering from today.

  5. Mika

    Its does not matter if the PS have members which may have more a right wing view than other members of PS the Finnish voters did not have a problem with that issue and those are the people which a government has to respect. And if I party like PS goes from a handful of votes to being the third biggest party whilst at the same time bringing down the ruling government is irrelevant if 81% did not vote for them because if a party with only 19% of the vote could do that, then the new government has to listen to the reasons for those who made the choice of voting for that party regardless of the politics of that party. No one in Norway would expect the Labour party and the Norwegian progress party to form a government together but with them being the two largest parties there was never a token meting to talk about forming a government talks which unacceptable. .

  6. JusticeDemon

    Surely there must be some way to blame Moslem immigrants for what happened yesterday?

    After all, it wouldn’t have happened if Fremskrittspartiet had been in power…

    Waiting for our more rabid contributors to come up with some twisted reasoning along these or similar lines.

    • Enrique

      JusticeDemon, do you think the Fremskrittspartiet will be hurt by what happened in Norway? I wonder what it will do the other populist groups like the Danish People’s Party and the PS.

  7. Jonas

    Have to correct myself, he was chairman of local party in Oslo West for about 9 months but then on the local party’s board for 2 years or so. Sorry, I couldn’t believe what I was reading so I bought it to you too soon. Apologies. Nonetheless, hardly a benign member.

    The youth party has reacted by distancing itself from him and saying that today they are all standing together with the Labour Youth AUF. But it will be interesting to see their reaction in coming days and months. They have been good at talking up the threat of Islamic extremism and immigration. They are in rather an awkward situation now when the extremism that has caused the deaths of nearly 100 of their compatriots is caused by one of their own former members.

    • Enrique

      Thank you Jonas for providing this link. The interesting matter in this story is that the hatred, nationalism and indifference these type of partiles like Fremskrittspartiet spread come back to them. How tragic and sad. I wonder what they are thinking at the Perussuomalaiset party and the Danish People’s Party?

  8. Mika

    “JusticeDemon, do you think the Fremskrittspartiet will be hurt by what happened in Norway? I wonder what it will do the other populist groups like the Danish People’s Party and the PS”

    It wont hurt them but again it wont help them.

    Norway and Sweden are classic examples of liberal countries which refuse to address any issues which they did not want to talk about to the anger of many people.
    The Norwegian government only address immigration issues when it is a political move to keep them in power and not because they are addressing the issue,which then again also creates more anger towards the government.
    Most would disagree with what Andres did but you will find many who understand why he did it what he did.

    When the full story of the reasons why Anders Behring Breivik carried out the bombing and shootings come out and if is Norway’s failure to address immigration issues Jens Stoltenberg may have to answer some tough questions regarding his governments agenda on the immigration issue . Jens Stoltenberg is at the moment playing the part of a victim (which he is) but he is not stupid and I think in the back of his mind he knows that he may have to carry some responsibility for what happened yesterday. .
    Remember what happened in Spain when the Spanish government blamed the Madrid train attacks on ETA when everyone knew it was the work of an Islamic terror group

    • Enrique

      Mika, so in your opinion since the governments don’t bow to these nuts’ demands it is ok to go on the rampage and kill people? You are saying that if I don’t like an elected government’s policies, I have the right to kill people.

      –Remember what happened in Spain when the Spanish government blamed the Madrid train attacks on ETA when everyone knew it was the work of an Islamic terror group

      That was a trick by the right-wing PP party which tried to cover the whole affair because elections were just around the corner. So you think that Anders Breivik is only a “front” for some jihadist group? I’m worried about you, Mika.

  9. Mika

    Mika, so in your opinion since the governments don’t bow to these nuts’ demands it is ok to go on the rampage and kill people? You are saying that if I don’t like an elected government’s policies, I have the right to kill people.

    The problem in Norway is that many ordinarily people have been wanting a sensible discussion about the immigration issues facing this is the reason why many people voted for the Norwegian peoples party. But as usual the liberal governing party did not want to admit some truths so they refused to open a debate so many people keep supporting the progress party and with vote increase forced the government to change asylum laws and very soon the government will have to talk to them in a respectful open way.
    But like what we saw.you will get a person to take a different path.

    But after all the mourning is over and when the trail is started and questions are being the government may be asked why they did not respect the views of many Norwegians and open a full long debate on immigration and bring the likes of the progress party into debate to represent those who have a negative view on immigration, and the question may be asked if there was a debate then would this attack have taken place.
    But this time the Government will not be able to ignore the question or hide behind the words “Racist” or “Xenophobia” so its up to the Norwegian people to make the choice if they think the government have to take some responsibility for this,
    Because as the moment Jens Stoltenberg is repeatedly talking about democracy and free speech which is a bit strange because he seemed to lack that towards people who asked for a full debate of immigration.

    And I think you find that Anders may not be classed as “mad” he placed a bomb as a diversion tactic so he could proceed with the attack on the island which was his man target this has been done many times by many terrorist groups and theses terrorists are never classed as mad for doing this. He is a mass murderer for sure like many terrorists are but we do not call them mad when what they do is based around a political view.

  10. JusticeDemon

    Mika

    Keep going, mate, you are on the right track.

    After a couple of beers tonight you will be able to convince everyone in the kapakka that a conspiracy of Moslem immigrants and the Norwegian Labour Party is really to blame for what happened, and that we can all understand how Anders Behring Breivik was irresistibly driven to pursue its murderous agenda̶ b̶y̶ ̶a̶t̶t̶a̶c̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶e̶n̶i̶o̶r̶ ̶L̶a̶b̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶P̶a̶r̶t̶y̶ ̶p̶o̶l̶i̶t̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶L̶a̶b̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶P̶a̶r̶t̶y̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶v̶i̶s̶t̶s̶.

    I can see you are already on first name terms with him…

  11. Mika

    Keep going, mate, you are on the right track.
    After a couple of beers tonight you will be able to convince everyone in the kapakka that a conspiracy of Moslem immigrants and the Norwegian Labour Party is really to blame for what happened, and that we can all understand how Anders Behring Breivik was irresistibly driven to pursue its murderous agenda̶ b̶y̶ ̶a̶t̶t̶a̶c̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶e̶n̶i̶o̶r̶ ̶L̶a̶b̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶P̶a̶r̶t̶y̶ ̶p̶o̶l̶i̶t̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶L̶a̶b̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶P̶a̶r̶t̶y̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶v̶i̶s̶t̶s̶.
    I can see you are already on first name terms

    PATHETIC!!!

    LEARN TO ACT YOUR AGE AND TAKE YOUR DEFEAT LIKE AN ADULT AND NOT A CHILD.

  12. Mika

    I have always wondered why people like yourself never take your view into the political arena thanks to your blog reply’s who have answered my question very nicely thank you

    And yes I will follow your suggestion of having some beers tonight ,the feeling of contentment and alcohol go hand in hand.

    So once again thank you very much for your all help with your blogs they have really helped and I hope the next time I will be feeling down looking for a lift you will be there to help me in my hour need the same what you have done for me today.

  13. JusticeDemon

    Mika

    Just a friendly suggestion: when you are feeling down looking for a lift it pays not to snarl at passers-by.

    At the risk of compounding your depression, I predict a Munich air disaster effect from this incident for the Norwegian Labour Party.

  14. Martin-Éric

    It’s not like Finland is immune to the phenomenon of refusing to address certain issues in the political discourse. It might not be immigration, which is over-abundantly discussed, but things like this country’s economical lethargy and its obsession over finding the next Nokia as the main reason why no new job gets created would need to be discussed. Sadly, this is the sort of elephant in the corner that no single politician in Finland is willing to discuss, because it would first require admitting the ill-fated and inefficient policies of Työministeriö and Kauppa- ja teollisuusministeriö, before the big TEM merger, were utter disjointed crap and are barely any better since the merger either. It would also require admitting that making empty threats to job seakers who never get invited to any interview after submitting countless job applications is pointless and can only lead to these job seakers becoming severely depressed and giving up of looking for work at all, whreas closing down all employment offices and transfering that budget towards job creation would accomplish miracles. I’m not holding my breath, because most Finnish politicians are career politicians that have been disconnected from real life for far too long.

  15. JusticeDemon

    Martin-Éric

    Stonewalling is the downside of a consensus-seeking system that discourages individual thinking and intellectual heroism. This is often frustrating for new arrivals, particularly when egoism is a factor. A wise campaigner in the social sphere does well to preserve some emotional distance from the cause and to show a little patience. In the field of immigration policy I think it takes between three and seven years for really good ideas and well founded criticism to filter through into legislation and administrative practice. One thing that we never see is dedicated reform programmes credited to named individuals outside of the highest levels of government (Raimo Sailas and Matti Pekkanen are rare examples).

    One example of a dissident who has faced such stonewalling is Pekka Viherä, who has argued persuasively that nutrient pollution in the Baltic Sea is largely the result of mire drainage in Finland. This flatly contests the current official view that such pollution comes primarily from sewage systems and from leaching of agricultural fertilisers into surface water.

    There are many historical, practical and political reasons why Viherä’s views are inconvenient for the consensus position, and following an initial quite inadequate official response the authorities have declined to debate the issue any further. To do so could, for example, risk the political future of the programme to modernise wastewater treatment in St Petersburg. It is hard enough to persuade city voters that public investment is required in this field, given that the waters of the easternmost end of the Gulf of Finland have always been good for swimming (simply because of the huge volume of Ladoga freshwater that flushes down the Neva River). If word gets out that eutrophication of the Gulf has more to do with ditch digging in Finland than with Russian sanitation systems, then a political excuse has been provided for reprioritising public spending in the Leningrad Region.

  16. Martin-Éric

    Justice Demon,

    Was this description of self-evident political behavioral patterns really necessary? Politicans always do their best to avoid seing anyone who publically contradicts their views getting too much of the public’s attention. Newspapers also contribute to this common practice. What else is new?

  17. Mary Mekko

    I think that it’s natural for all people,anywhere, to be afraid of foreigners moving into their territories. The history of native tribes around the world is to attack any invaders, especially in Africa and North America. Torture some, make the women sex objects, breeders and slaves, convert the children to their own language and customs, but mostly, kill the males. Nowadays in Scandanavia, tribal leaders (your politicians) make a decision to bring in these outsiders AGAINST the wishes of their tribal members. The usual argument made, as in days of yore on the prairie, is that the newcomers will be the slaves, a benefit to all (in theory) and take the “prairie pancake” jobs, relieving the native tribal members.

    It is really a pity that we are urged to study history, lest we repeat its awful lessons, yet in the case of nations recklessly, against the wishes of their public, bringing in unwelcome outsiders, we need to hear the oral histories of the African and North American tribes.

    BLACK ROBE about the Algonquins in 1600’s Quebec is an interesting film for those who think that Breivik’s thinking is unusual or that of a madman’s. What those nasty tribes did to outsiders is horrible to watch, and in fact, was downplayed from the original book written then.

    Breivik will not get his open day in court in Norway, but the rest of the First World instinctively knows what he meant, what he wanted, and the Internet can spread the message faster than any public broadcast speech. Most of the First World does NOT agree with his violent methods but with his anger at his tribal leaders (politicians) and their recklessness with a homogenous society. If violence will get the attention of these selfish people at the top, while their children lay dying on the ground, then perhaps the latest 15,000 new refugees will be stopped.

    I think that every Norwegian Labor Party politician should be forced to live in a all-immigrant neighborhood, to ride public transport without security, and to send their children to integrated neighborhood schools. Their policies should come smack on their heads and their families’ heads. If an immigrant commits a crime, they must stand up and take the heat, defending their policies to the victim or victim’s family. The blame must be put where it belongs for the destabilization of Norwegian society, and when they suffer directly, things change.

    We know about these things in California. The rich rulers never take the consequences. We do, on the street, in the schools, on public transport, in all public places like shops, etc.

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