Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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201 Responses

  1. Avatar Danny says:

    As it happens I don’t think you can credibly claim that the bomber was a “white nationalist”; that hasn’t been reported anywhere AFAIK, and doesn’t seem to be supported by the Reuters piece.

    Right-winger? Yes.
    Fundamentalist Christian? Yes.
    Posted links to Pamella Gellers blog online? Yes.
    Hostile to Islam? Yes.

    “White Nationalist”? No, no-ones been reporting that yet, from what I read.

    But at least “white nationalist” would seem to put some rethorical distance between that murderer and your run-of-the-mill frequenter of Atlas Shrugged (the blog).

    Rather pathetic showing, Erik.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      What on earth do you think a white nationalist is?Report

      • Avatar Danny says:

        You’re calling half the base of the republican party “white nationalists”? Fine by me.

        Here’s Wikipedia:

        “White nationalism is a far right political ideology which advocates a racial definition of national identity for white people. White separatism and white supremacism are subgroups within white nationalism.”

        E.g. we can certainly accuse Pamella Geller of being a bigot and islamophobe, but hardly of being a White Nationalist, wouldn’t you agree, Erik?Report

        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          To this comment and the one below – the political/cultural divides are much different in Europe than in America. I think this guy sounds exactly like a white nationalist. He is killing political opponents who are preventing nationalists from deporting Muslims. It’s not so different from the crazy guy who shot up a Unitarian church.Report

          • Avatar Danny says:

            I just think it’s funny that you’re ready to assume islamists without any confirmation, and now you’re ready to assume that there’s no connection between this guy and the documented rise in right-wing militants on the other side of the pond. You’re willing to rule out a connection between Veigh, Loutner and Andre Behring Brevik – why?

            The guy posted links to Geller, after all. He’s a fundamentalist Christian, and your run of the mill White Supremacist isn’t necessarily a Christian at all.

            Your bias is shining through, buddy.Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

              Dude. What the hell are you talking about? Do you know anything at all about right-wing nationalism in Europe? Sure, he may very well be tied to right-wing militants here in America. It’s more likely that he’s tied to right-wingers in his own country, but he could have ties to both. I imagine he also reads some similarly Islamaphobic European blogs, of which there are many.

              What bias would I be showing in pointing this out exactly? I’m sincerely confused. I never said there was no connection between him and the rightwing in America (obviously he read Geller, so there is that). I said he’s a white nationalist, and white nationalist Europeans are often in some way or another connected to white nationalists here. Please clarify your point.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                The bias I’m talking about is being quick and carefree about implicating islamists but then carefully quick to draw a line between the murderous deed and movement conservatism, one of it’s offshoots (post 9/11 islamophobes, as examplified by one Pamella Geller) there being a documented connection to already.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                Movement conservatism has been around longer than 9/11. As a broad movement, it is no more at fault than the mainstream conservative parties in Europe. We are talking about fringe elements both here and abroad, and often those fringe elements do have connections. And sometimes they hold a bit of influence here or abroad. More often than not, they remain at the fringes until something like this happens. The non-violent nationalism (soft nationalism?) that amounts to anti-immigrant sentiment here and elsewhere is more common and usually doesn’t manifest itself violently (or we would have a lot more of these cases on our hands). I’m not trying to excuse anyone or accuse anyone in particular right now. White nationalism is something that occurs here and in Europe and they have a lot in common, but who knows who this guy was directly affiliated with? I’m sure he read more blogs than just Atlas Shrugged. I guess I just don’t see where in this post I defended the American right – or said anything about anything other than linking a European racist to European nationalism.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                How can you write at length, absolving movement conservatism, a day after the deed when we know pretty much nothing, that’s what I’d like to know. Post 9/11 when GWOT was all the rave a cadre of islam critics were carried into the spotlight by movement conservatives. They were guys like Daniel Pipes, gals like Pam Geller. “Islamofascism” was all the rage, peddled by Rush Limbaugh then, and Glenn Beck later.

                Movement conservatism got nothing to do with that? You’re absolving them?

                I’m not about to judge anyone, not yet. But Geller was not always such a fringe element as you pretend her to be. We know far to little at this point to absolve anyone, especially the valiant champions against Islamofascism. You know, the guys who turned Charles Johnson back to vote (D)? Those guys.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How can you write at length, absolving movement conservatism, a day after the deed when we know pretty much nothing, that’s what I’d like to know


                Is the point that we can judge Islam by the acts of the terrorists or that we can’t?

                Or is it that movement Conservativism is significantly different from Islam insofar as belief systems and so when someone like this white guy kills dozens of children, we know it’s because of his political views which are shared by plenty of white guys who look just like him and so we need to do everything we can to stamp this evil ideology out because our way of life is at stake?Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                How can you write at length, absolving movement conservatism

                Um, maybe because ‘movement conservatism’ is an abstraction, not a person or a corporate body?Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                >>> Wait.

                Is the point that we can judge Islam by the acts of the terrorists or that we can’t? <<<

                False equivalency.

                But if we were to ask:

                Can we blame Islamists somewhat for the deeds of Takfiri Salafists?

                Yes, then, perhaps, depending on what we find out about Brevik, that would be equivalent to asking:

                Can we blame movement conservatives somewhat for the actions of Brevik and Veigh?


                Can we blame the New Left somewhat for the actions of the Weather Underground?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I just need to know whether I need to start packing a gun in case I see someone who looks like a movement conservative start talking about tax cuts.

                The guy down at the gas station was wearing a shirt with an American Flag on it the other day…Report

              • Avatar Danny says:


                I’m sure that there’s nothing for you to worry about if the guy was white.

                What was your point again? People who are similar to yourself never commits atrocities?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m sure that there’s nothing for you to worry about if the guy was white.

                Maybe you haven’t noticed but the guy who killed everybody had a very particular profile.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Also, Atlas Shrugged is a vile blog, but still, the run of the mill readers of it aren’t out killing people. I hope it status that way obviously. But this guy is not run of the mill anything. And white, racist, Christians who hate Islam and are trying to remove Muslims and liberals from society are petty much nationalist by definition.Report

      • Avatar Danny says:

        Once again, the only proof there is as of now that the murderer held anything but run-of-the-mill right wing opinions is as far as I know unconfirmed.

        It’s being reported that he posted links to Gellers blog online; it’s not reported that he posted links to White Supremacist websites. Put whatever spin you feel like on that.Report

        • Avatar BSK says:

          It was also reported that he either expressed or linked to white nationalist sentiments on his Facebook page, but that has seen been taken down. I also found a link to a foreign-language newspaper that supposedly had much more information about his ideologies, but alas, I could not translate it.Report

          • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

            Yes, I read that as well. It may turn out that he wasn’t a white nationalist and just hated the Labor Party, but I doubt it. At this point it looks like an attack on his political opponents who represented a group unwilling to go along with what the nationalist parties want (i.e. deportation of Muslims, etc.) I could be wrong, but that’s certainly what it looks like at this point.Report

            • Avatar Danny says:

              There are other (as of yet unconfirmed) reports by a swedish right winger who were in contact with Brevik and considered him a Geert Wilders type Christian islamophobe, but e.g. a friend of Israel. If that turns out to be true that’s exactly in line with US post 9/11 right wing anti-muslims like Geller, Pipes etc and e.g. Wilders and the Danish Dansk Folkeparti in europe but not with old school european style White Nationalism who hates Jews just as much as muslims.Report

        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          I’m sure there are a number of rightwingers in America who share his Islamaphobia, but I don’t think that the rightwing here is nearly so invested in Islamaphobia as the European nationalist movement. Certainly there is a wing of the conservative movement here that aligns with the Euro-nationalists on a lot of things, but here you see much more often support for Israel and hawkish policies and concerns about terror. European nationalists have a much more extreme critique – they want to deport all Muslims, for instance and are often rabidly anti-Semitic as well – though Geller and some other American bloggers are right there with them.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco says:

            for instance and are often rabidly anti-Semitic as well – though Geller and some other American bloggers are right there with them.

            Pamela Geller is ‘rabidly anti-semitic’?Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

              Art Deco – no, that’s not what I meant. I meant she’s right there with them in terms of extreme rhetoric and anti-Muslim bigotry. She’s obviously not anti-Semitic.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I am not a meticulous student of Pamela Geller’s public utterances. Just out of curiosity, how are you using the term ‘bigotry’ and just what did she say?Report

          • Avatar Johannes says:

            You know, Erik, you could have just apologized without the qualifiers–“I jumped to conclusions. That was wrong of me. Full Stop.” That would have been much better than this (forgive me) defensive muddling you’re doing.

            You’re now rather unconvincingly excusing the American Extreme Right in contradistinction to the European Extreme Right, while acknowledging that some portions of the American Extreme Right are “right there with them.” (Also, your syntax is off–you’re clearly not saying that Geller is antisemitic–because that’s how the sentence reads).

            Beyond the fact that this sort of logic leads to cotillions on pin-heads, it makes the mistake of assuming that extreme rhetoric is cost free. It isn’t. That doesn’t mean we censor it, of course, but we have no right to tell those who pay the price of being collateral damage for our freedoms that what happened to them was just a fluke. Words have power–that’s why we protect them. But it gives rise to costs when people go beyond words.Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

              No, that’s not what I’m doing. But this guy was Norwegian and the killings took place in Norway, so I’m saying he was likely linked to European nationalists. Why are we supposed to hold the American right responsible immediately when the killings take place in a country with a crazy rightwing all its own?Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                We’re not. But maybe Geller, right? When we know more… But if we’re gonna get out ahead and absolve the american right; including Pipes, McCarthy et al. Well that’s not right either. Even if you knock down coctails with them now and then.Report

              • Avatar Johannes says:

                I’m not suggesting we hold anyone legally accountable other than the perpetrator. Morally, the links to Geller raise a reasonable question as to the effect of her inflammatory anti-jihad jihad, but don’t resolve it, and certainly suggest your exculpation of the American Right is premature. You’ve already once landed in the soup due to speculation as to facts unknown; I’d urge you to stop speculating. You are, I’m sure not deliberately, creating the impression that it’s important to you to marginalize the influences on this terrorist, now that it is clear that they come from non-Islamic sources. That strikes this reader at least as resembling the conservative strategy of of declaring all right wing terrorists “lone psychos” while non-white terrorists are the terrifying other. And, no, I don’t think that’s what you’re doing–it’s just that your backing-and-filling produces a result that reads like it. Stop digging, please.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I’m not suggesting we hold anyone legally accountable other than the perpetrator

                Thank you very much.Report

              • Avatar Johannes says:

                Just responding to EDK’s point about holding the American Right “responsible” and pointing out that we’re talking about criticism here, not coercive state action. And that even that should await clarification of the facts.

                Tough room.Report

          • Avatar Danny says:

            But how come you’re willing to assume one connection and rule out the other, both without evidence? The guy was a documented online promoter of Pamella Geller – an american right winger. Perhaps you should cut you’re losses and just wait for the facts before you prematurely fly off the handle again…Report

            • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

              I’m not ruling out anything. I said he was a white nationalist in the post. I didn’t say he had no ties to American rightwingers. I suspect that the European and American nationalists have a lot of ties actually.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                But you wrote this above

                >>> To this comment and the one below – the political/cultural divides are much different in Europe than in America. I think this guy sounds exactly like a white nationalist. He is killing political opponents who are preventing nationalists from deporting Muslims. It’s not so different from the crazy guy who shot up a Unitarian church. <<<

                You think this guy is a european white nationalist, because he sounds like one (much like the bombing sounded islamist). You're free to think whatever you want to of course. But it's documented that the guy's an evangelical christian, and reader of Geller. So maybe you should just acknowledge that at this point in time you don't know and Brevik may even have been a reader of some guys you call friends…Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                I think he sounds like one based on news reports that said he had anti-Muslim writing up and based on the fact that he read blogs like Geller’s. From numerous accounts at this point it sounds like the guy was a white nationalist. Are you seriously suggesting he was just an angry Republican voter in Norway?Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                Then maybe you want to redefine White Nationalism to include jewish, rigidly pro-israel writers like Geller and Pipes, then? Sounds like you’re confused.

                >>> Are you seriously suggesting he was just an angry Republican voter in Norway? <<<

                No, in contrast with you, I'd say we don't know more at this moment than that the guy was right-wing, christian and anti-muslim. If I were you I'd have written that, because I'd have gone fore accuracy. YMMV.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                Nationalism takes many forms. We will have to wait and see what form his took. But right-wing, Christian, and anti-Muslim topped off with a major killing spree sure does sound like a form of nationalism to me.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                >>> But right-wing, Christian, and anti-Muslim topped off with a major killing spree sure does sound like a form of nationalism to me. <<<

                Why should it? It could be racial supremacism from a guy who at the same time thinks Norway should go back to being a part of Denmark. It could be solely springing from the guys deep christian faith and his fear that muslims are condemning millions to the fiery pits of hell.

                It's a fact that at least half the republican base are right-wing and christian. Anti-muslim – let's just leave that one aside.

                Doesn't mean that they're all "nationalist". Heck many keep threatening to secede.

                Read up & stop shrilling for conservatives; some advice for the road.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                EDK, Just because someone engages in extreme behavior it doesn’t follow that they have extreme political beliefs. Why the insistence that this act have some larger political/ideological motivation?

                It may be ideological, it may not. At this point we don’t know.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                Stillwater – I’m not insisting anything. I think it certainly appears to be the actions of a white nationalist rightwinger, given what little we know of his Facebook writing, his membership in Nazi forums, his membership in a rightwing anti-Muslim party in Norway, etc. I’m not arguing with anyone that the guy isn’t a conservative; I’m saying he’s a particular breed of conservative. He’s also likely somewhat insane (just as, I imagine, some of the Muslim terrorists we’ve encountered have been I’m sure).

                I’m still not sure what everyone is arguing here. Are we to blame all conservatives for this? No, no more than we should blame all Muslims for Islamic radicalism. Should we look and see if his associations with radical groups or writing had an influence on him – I think so.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Well, I didn’t mean my comment to sound like an argument, so apologies for that. Mostly I was saying that violent acts don’t necessarily have their roots in ideological agendas, and the sorta reflexive desire to think they do can often obscure the way people view the facts on the ground. That’s all.

                Regarding his insanity, I agree. The guy is clearly morally insane. That shouldn’t even be subject to dispute.Report

              • Avatar Murali says:


                Dude, don’t know whether you’re reading the same thing I am.

                I know that once upon a time ED Kain did call himself part of the conservative movement, but that was a long time ago. Erik is a neoliberal/liberaltarian, not a conservative. I dont see how you see him shilling for conservatives. In fact, you seem to be angry with him for the simple reason that he seems unwilling to hold all right-wing, anti-Muslim Christians (including the american ones) morally responsible for the one Norwegian bomber.

                You seem very urgent to spread the blame around…

                what the hell is wrong with you?Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                My point was that there’s no need to get out ahead and absolve conservatives. In fact, e.g. Pam Geller should possibly be implicated, from what we know at the moment. Let’s also take note that Tim Phillips (of Americans For Prosperity) traveled to Norway earlier this year to coordinate with Framskrettspartiet, IOW the “rightwing anti-Muslim party” Erik is talking about above.

                It’s freaking hilarious how right/center-right opinionators are perfectly fine with assuming islamist fingerprints in a split second, but as soon as it turns out the guy’s from the right wing end of the political spectrum then it gotta be a mad-man – even if we have no idea if the guy really is mad at all at the moment.

                But this guy’s been active in politics for 15+ years and he identifies himself as a christian conservative. This guy’s just one more example of the equivalent of the Rote Arme Fraktion or the Weather Underground and conservatives are implicated and share part of the blame to the extent they persist in inflamatory rethorics like naming books “Treason”; calling a moderate community center the “Ground Zero Mosque”; carping about Sharia Law in flyover country, etc etc.Report

              • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

                Danny – who is absolving conservatives? I’m saying that it’s not the fault of all conservatives any more than an act of Islamic terror would be the fault of all Muslims.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:


                He was evidently expelled from the Progress Party in 2006.

                And, again, the Progress Party has a specific political program which you can critique. (It presumably does not include random murder of children).Report

              • Avatar Danny says:


                Maybe not, but the update to your first post jumped the gun by suggesting either islamists or lone madman. I think “White Nationalist” is also likely to turn out inaccurate.

                From what I’ve read so far Christian Conservative and adherent to the Counter-Jihad movement sounds most accurate. But we’re still just one day after the shootings, so we simply don’t know for sure.

                But the effort of Erik to put distance between Brevik and e.g. movement conservatism does not seem to be warranted. Movement conservatism and counter jihad has been overlapping for many years now, trying to separate the two at this early stage is whitewash and hackery.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:


                Is that you murbella?

                I’ll keep it our little secret.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                No, it is not documented. It was a preliminary remark made by a Norwegian police official. The term used was translated as ‘fundamentalist’, not ‘evangelical’. (To confound matters, ‘Evangelical’ is a common official appellation of Lutheran congregations).

                Evidently, the man’s excised Facebook page listed him as interested in freemasonry as well. What has been written does not indicate whether he was an adherent as well as more generically. Protestant congregations generally do not make much of adhering to Scottish-rite lodges, but if he belonged to a Grand-orient lodge, that would indicate his religious views were a peculiar collage.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                “as well as more generically interested”.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                In scandinavia “fundamentalist christian” usually refers to “evangelical protestant”. Agree or disagree, but the scandinavian countries have protestant state churches and protestant congregations outside the state church is looked upon with suspicion.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          the only proof there is as of now that the murderer held anything but run-of-the-mill right wing opinions is as far as I know unconfirmed

          It might just be prudent to wait at least a few days before characterizing this fellow, in light of the fallacies which have come to light so far.Report

          • Avatar BSK says:

            Interesting that you advocate what is prudent when the accusations are levied against a white man and were conspicuously silent when accusations were levied against Islam. Where were the calls for evidence then?Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              “Conspicuously silent”? I am usually silent.

              I do not think I am under any obligation to read and remark upon everything Erik D. Kain has to say, and, in fact, did not yesterday read that post or the associated commentary.Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. says:

              Yeah, I’ve said this before but I’d rather we stopped using the “silence is deafening” argument. People can’t be expected to hang out online every day responding to every single thing in order to maintain some ideal of consistency.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        Atlas Shrugged is a vile blog,

        No, merely obsessive.Report

  2. Avatar PJH says:

    “In any case, the violence done in the past twenty-four hours is terrible. It made me angry and sad and it sounded exactly like an Al-Qaeda attack.”

    Actually, when the targets are connected to one political party, my first assumption would be someone from the opposite political spectrum. If the headquarters of the Republican party AND a youth camp organized by Campus Young Republicans for example are bombed, my initial suspicion would not be Islamic terrorist at all, but rather some far-left terrorist organization. But that’s just me.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      That’s hardly the only factor here, however. Al-Qaeda has been promising revenge for bin Laden’s death. There has already been violence in Scandinavian countries over the publication of the images of Mohammed. An Al-Qaeda attack in Norway would hardly be surprising, especially since we haven’t seen any major violence from the nationalist groups in Europe for quite some time. Now it looks like that violence may be on the rise, which is really frightening.Report

      • Avatar PJH says:

        Look, you’ve explained about your initial assumption, fair enough, reasonable people may differ and all that. But I find the doubling down troubling. The white Muslim guy theory, even after facts after facts have come out. I think we keep ascribing this brilliant theories and logics to Al Qaeda – of course they’ll find blond, blue-eyed people! – and that ended up affecting the way we respond to the threats of Islamic terrorism (the continuing War on Terror is countries after countries, with the number increasing year by year).

        I thought your article on this topic in Forbes was very good, making that connection with the War on Drugs. I just don’t understand why your tone and content here are so different and offensive to me as a Muslim. “Host nation”? Are all Muslims in Europe considered just “visitors” then? “Islamic immigrants”? Surely there are some Muslims in Norway who were born there and are not first generation immigrants? At what point do they qualify as non-immigrants? After third generation? Seven? Or never, because they don’t belong to the European secular tradition, or Judeo-Christian tradition in some countries?

        I was very intemperate in some my comments, engaging in ad-hominem attack, and I apologize. But I think maybe you need to reread you initial post and comments and think about it a bit, too.Report

        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          The ‘white Muslim’ thing was a qualifier so that people wouldn’t accuse me of saying all Muslims were brown people. And I wrote it after feeling unfairly attacked by people who I thought should know that my intent was not to smear Muslims at all – but rather a sort of angry rant about how much worse this will make everything. And if it had been Islamic radicals, good lord that would have been bad for all Muslim immigrants (and non-immigrants, too!). So I was worried, and pissed off.

          Anyways, I’m sorry for the intemperate comments as well, and for leaping to conclusions – as I mention in this post, it’s easy to leap to those conclusions when there are past examples of similar things happening at the hands of a group like Al-Qaeda.Report

  3. Avatar Danny says:

    >>> Also, Atlas Shrugged is a vile blog, but still, the run of the mill readers of it aren’t out killing people. <<<

    And yet, Mrs Geller writes day after day about how Islam is an existential threat to our way of life. Does it surprise you that someone would choose to go to war against such a threat? Do you see a connection? Did Der Sturmer have anything to do with the Holocaust?Report

  4. Avatar dmf says:

    “How do people become monsters? ”


  5. Avatar Kyle Cupp says:

    How do people become monsters?

    There’s an old Christian saying, “But for the grace of God go I,” which speaks to the possibility that anyone, myself included, can become a monster. The process varies, I’m sure, but I wager it typically involves the formation of vice–habitual disposition to do evil–either from a ongoing willingness to do what one considers evil or from the perpetual belief that what one does is not actually evil. Vice has a way of corrupting the heart, perverting the mind, and possessing the soul.

    A person thus viciously consumed with hatred for some and entirely apathetic toward others is capable of anything given the wrong circumstances, opportunities, societal pressures, and cultural guidance. We could have had gas chambers in the US had some situations been otherwise. Religions and ideologies are dangerous precisely because they can encourage the widespread formation (and justification) of monsters, and do so in a way that corrupts the person at his or her very core.Report

    • Avatar BSK says:

      I think it is fear. This likely was a man with intense self-esteem issues. I think that is the case for most racists. They have so many questions about their own standing in the world that they must externalize the issues and blame ‘the other’. They can’t stand that their own struggles in life might be their own fault; they must be someone else’s. As a white male member of the majority culture in Norway, this man possessed a certain privilege, which he likely assumed to be deserved. When this privilege was challenged and his standing in society was challenged, he couldn’t cope. The shifting of power, be it social, political, or economic, out of the hands of those who look, act, and think like him was scary. Why were they taking from him what he deserved? Why were undeserving people thinking they were entitled to what he had earned? How dare someone challenge his place in society? He couldn’t handle it. He snapped.

      I think a lot of people struggle with these things. I think it is what motivates a lot of the anger we see in Tea Party-esque movements in this country. People feel threatened. Not everyone snaps and goes violent. This man likely had violent tendencies from an early age; whether that is a function of nature or nurture, I don’t know. But faced with the fact that society was changing in a way that was likely not to his benefit after having lived coddled by a society uniquely designed for his benefit, was too much for this individual to handle.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It’s the whole “goals I can understand” thing that gets me.

    When it comes to radical Muslims who go out and kill a buncha folks, I understand that, on some level, they believe that their acts will help usher in some eschatological event. Demonstrate enough Faith and Allah will finally make the world over. I don’t agree with the method, I don’t agree with the goal, but I understand how they got from here to there.

    When I see stuff like this, I don’t understand what the goal was. It seems absolutely senseless.

    I understand that they got him alive. Has he said anything? What he was hoping to accomplish by killing children?Report

  7. Avatar JGabriel says:

    E. D. Kain: I’m glad I was wrong, that this wasn’t Islamic extremism at work, but that’s colored heavily by the fact that this appears to be the work of anti-Muslim extremists. Which just means the violence is escalating.

    More to the point, Erik, it was the work of Right-Wing Conservative Anti-Labor extremists. It was an act of Conservative Terrorism. The targets were members of the Labor party, their offices, and, most tragically, their children. The Labor party, of course, is a mainstream party in Norway — slightly to the left of, but fulfilling much the same role as, the Democratic Party here in the US.

    It wasn’t an escalation of violence against Muslims. It was an escalation of violence against social democrats, against the center-left. As an American Democrat, I fear it won’t be long before we see more of the same kind of violence coming from the right on these shores.


    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      As an American Democrat, I fear it won’t be long before we see more of the same kind of violence coming from the right on these shores.

      Whatever gets you through the day.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      As an American Democrat, I fear it won’t be long before we see more of the same kind of violence coming from the right on these shores.

      Why do they hate you?Report

      • Avatar JGabriel says:

        NY Times: “We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference. “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said.

        That would seem to support my contention that this is an act of Conservative Terrorism, aimed at the center-left, rather than some sort of racist or anti-Muslim action. Do you agree?


        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          Do you know much about European politics? If you did, you would know that the extreme right hates the left mostly because of its support for Islamic immigrants and residents. If this was an act of terror against the left, I’m still quite sure Islam was at the heart of it. As was nationalism. He may very well have had help, but so far we don’t know.

          Why are people being so quick to dismiss nationalist influences here and so quick to assume it was an attack against “the left”? I don’t get it. This simply doesn’t jibe with the politics on the ground in a place like Norway.Report

          • Avatar JGabriel says:

            E.D. Kain: Do you know much about European politics? If you did, you would know that the extreme right hates the left mostly because of its support for Islamic immigrants and residents.

            As as a matter, I do. Are you saying that American Conservatives don’t engage in the same kind of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, or focus it’s hatred and accusations of support for them on the left?

            Because in my experience, those are pretty common themes in the American Right as well.


          • Avatar JGabriel says:

            E.D. Kain: Why are people being so quick to dismiss nationalist influences here and so quick to assume it was an attack against “the left”?

            Because it was the center-left that was attacked. It was the Labor Party, it’s offices, and, unbelievably, it’s children, that were bombed and shot.

            Why are you so quick to dismiss the obvious? If you can’t agree to what’s clear to the meanest eye, then you’re going to have to at least make a far stronger argument refuting it.

            Do you think the non-Muslim family of Labor members, and their children, who were killed today think the explosions and bullets that killed them were aimed at Muslims?


        • Avatar Jaybird says:


          I’m wondering what you and yours have done to engender this kind of hatred. Is there anything you can do to atone? What do they want? I’m not suggesting we negotiate, of course, but I do wonder if maybe they have a point that we could have addressed earlier and saved these lives.

          Or do you think that you’re blameless and all of the fault is in the heads of these “others”?

          Do you think that war is inevitable? How do you think it ought to best be fought? Is the organization of these folks something that can be destroyed or do they swim in a sea of the people?

          Is there anything that we can do to protect our children from this menace?Report

          • Avatar JGabriel says:

            Jaybird: I’m wondering what you and yours have done to engender this kind of hatred.

            Right. Blame the victims. Those damn lefties made that poor good Conservative fella shoot and bomb them.

            May God have mercy on your soul.


            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              May God have mercy on your soul.

              I’m sure that even *MORE* religious sentiment is what we need at this point.

              I also had other questions, though.

              I’ll repeat them.

              Do you think that you’re blameless and all of the fault is in the heads of these “others”?

              Do you think that war is inevitable? How do you think it ought to best be fought? Is the organization of these folks something that can be destroyed or do they swim in a sea of the people?

              Is there anything that we can do to protect our children from this menace?Report

              • Avatar JGabriel says:

                I don’t consider someone adopting a blame the victim mentality in the face of child murders to be anyone worth arguing with, but I will answer one question, just to be clear:

                Do you think that you’re blameless and all of the fault is in the heads of these “others”?

                Yes, that is correct. I blame Andrew Breivik, a terrorist described by the Norwegian police as “right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist”, beliefs that are typically described in the US as: Conservative.


              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                JGabriel, You’re not gonna get very far accusing Jaybird of defending conservatives. He thinks they’re also part of the problem, just less so than liberals. In fact, on Jaybird’s view, everyone is to blame for everything. Except for libertarians.

                Did you know he’s a libertarian?Report

              • Avatar JGabriel says:

                Did you know he’s a libertarian?

                I do not know or care what his/her political beliefs are. Asking whether one thinks the victims are blameless, asking people to look for a reason for the kids, or their parents, to take the blame, is disgusting and obscene.

                One more point: I’m not saying that all conservatives are terrorists. I’m trying to get conservatives and their allies on the right to understand that Conservative terrorism is a real problem, albeit confined to only a few of its most extreme believers, but born of violent rhetoric from its practitioners — much like the equally heinous Islamic terrorism.


              • Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

                ’em damn conservatives be a blowin’ up shite everywhere! Better get up the poooleece and be keepin’ an eye on ’em!Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                I do think we need congressional hearings on the methods that conservative terrorists use to infiltrate and radicalize so-called moderate conservative groups. All presidential candidates should pledge not to appoint conservatives to cabinet positions. And Republican party headquarters must be moved at least 30 miles away from the hallowed ground at Memphis, Birmingham, and Oklahoma City.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                We need to profile conservatives, subpoena their library records, put them on watch lists, and double the number of TSA agents and strengthen the TSA unions.

                Otherwise the Conservatives win.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                That was already implemented. Under the Bush Rayjeem.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Conservatives don’t have library records, both because they consider public libraries nanny-state-ism, and for the more obvious reason.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                When I get those fine notices in the mail, I will tell the circulation supervisor at my local library that I have it on Mike Schilling’s authority that I have no record there.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke says:

                Are you now or have you ever read The Corner at National Review?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                Birkenstocked thug: Are you now or have you ever read The Corner at National Review?

                Suspect: Where?

                BT: We got your internet records from your ISP. They’re good, right-thinking folks, donate 90% of the profits they extort from the masses to feminist and undocumented worker causes. They were glad to help.

                S: OK, I’ve gone there. But not to read the content, just to look for pictures of K-lo and Mona Charen!


                S: Yeah, I wouldn’t have believed that one either.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I don’t consider someone adopting a blame the victim mentality

                Irony is dead.Report

            • Avatar RTod says:

              I can’t tell. Did you miss that point that badly, or are you just digging in to dig in here?Report

  8. Avatar PJH says:

    Stepping aside from the political/religious/philosophical/whatever discussion for a while:

    “Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre has said some of those killed on Utøya probably died from drowning as well as from gunshot wounds.”

    Source from the Guardian Live blog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/jul/23/norway-attacks-live-coverage#block-36

    Apparently some of the kids were running into the water to avoid the shooting. Aghh. I just can’t …….. there are no words, really. I am really, really sorry, children, that the world is such a horrible place.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Yeah it’s heartbreaking. Just awful and sad. Having kids made the reaction that much stronger in me, I admit.Report

      • Avatar PJH says:

        “As the day has progressed more and more people have been commenting on the fact that the bomb blast in Oslo now seems to have been cynically planned as a diversionary tactic, writes Andrew Boyle.
        Without the chaos of the Oslo bomb, the gunman would not have been allowed out to the Utøya camp, even with convincing police uniform. That Breivik strategically used one terror action to facilitate the success of a second, more brutal massacre has been disturbing dimension for Norwegians to grasp.”


        It’s starting to look like his real targets are those kids after all. Maybe speculating about his political motives and beliefs are not very productive at this point. As much as it irks me that the conversation IMMEDIATELY switches into “crazy loner guy” once it’s been established that the perpertrator is not a Muslim, it really is starting to seem that there really is something really, really wrong with this guy, beyond just being indoctrinated with extreme right-wing nationalistic propaganda. Of course, I would really appreciate it if people would also accept that there are also something really, really wrong with those Muslims who committed acts of terrorism, instead of concluding that’s just par-for-the-course for Muslims.Report

        • Avatar RTod says:

          I agree with everything you just said here.

          Even the last line, though i think your target of ED as someone who does this if off.

          I think all of the questions you pose here are good ones, actually, and I think we will begetter off for having considered them – if we actually as a society do.

          I do think that coming in guns ablazing looking for an enemy is the wrong way to ask them, though.

          (Still, after this horror how do we not lash out to some degree?)Report

  9. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Why, after having realized that the speculation about this being Al Qaeda was completely mistaken, are we still speculating wildly? The police have the shooter. We’ll know soon enough.Report

  10. Avatar Danny says:

    Here’s an update on Brevik, from a swedish newspaper and some help from Google Translate


    He hated Muslims, the political Left and the Labor Youth League, which he calls Stoltenberg [Norway’s Prime Minister of the Labor Party]-Jugend. The image of the arrested person Behring Anders Breivik is slowly becoming clear.
    On Facebook, he has expressed extreme right views. Online his hatred of Muslims and the political Left has become increasingly clear, writes Dagbladet.no.
    On the Islam-critical site Document.no he called former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and the Labor Party “traitors”. About the Labor youth organizations, he wrote on the same site two years ago that “we can not accept that the Labor Party is subsidizing these violent Stoltenberg-Jugend who systematically terrorize political conservatives.”
    In his posts on the Norwegian site the 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik he describes himself as a conservative Christian, according Dagbladet.no. He also writes that he has been politically active since he was 17-18 years.
    On Saturday, the xenophobic Framskrettspartiet confirmed that Behring Breivik has been a member of the party.


    • Avatar Danny says:

      …so for what it’s worth, he identified himself as a political conservative and conservative christian; he hated muslims and the left; he thought they were “traitors”…. He though the Labor party’s youth organization was like Hitler-Jugend.

      Any of those are sentiments I’d have to google for more than a couple of minutes to dig up some teabagger who’d sign on to them?Report

      • Avatar Katherine says:

        That’s setting the bar low. You could probably find someone in the race for the Republican presidential candidacy who’d sign onto them (replace “Labour party’s youth organization” with any group of pro-Obama young people).Report

  11. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I do think the Washington Post might want to amend this sobering Jennifer Rubin post:

    “This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.”

    Yes, quite right. Quite right indeed.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      It’s in many ways a public service that this is allowed to stand with no apology or correction. This too.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. says:

        I know it’s terribly insensitive to someone somewhere, but I just find stuff like this funny as hell. Part of it is just the amusement of seeing someone with their fly down, but the other thing is they inevitably respond with something like, “The fact that I was wrong only shows how right I am.” It was the same when that congresswoman got shot. Days later and you’d be reading these things like, “The fact that the shooter is clearly mad as a shithouse rat does not disprove my theory that he might have listened to Glenn Beck”.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I’ve heard that management aggressively failed to reprimand her for her politically useful mischaracterization of the events, and that upon reflection Rubin has not offered regret for reaffirming what Islamophobes already believe.Report

  12. Avatar RTod says:

    So, after having absorbed all of the news leaks on CNN and the BCC, and all the back & forth commentary here, I have decided on an action plan.

    I am now going to go hug my kids and wife, and take them out for a day of hiking, or shopping, or swimming, or anything that will show them how wonderful this world and this life can be.

    And if I come across people who have different political views along the way, I’m going to assume they’re good people and wish them well, and really mean it.

    This is what works, for me.

    So have a great Saturday, dudes and dudettes. I’ll catch up later.Report

  13. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Ugh. I have to be honest.- this is just too hideous to think about anymore. Also, Amy Winehouse was found dead this morning, according to the BBC. Not a surprise exactly, but still sad to see a 27 year old with a lot of talent die from her demons.

    I’m going for a walk in the park.Report

  14. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Danny – “movement conservatism” can only really be understood in the American context. There is no “movement conservatism” in Europe. It is a distinctly different thing.Report

  15. Avatar Danny says:


    I don’t think that’s true since the advent of internet. Brevik was a follower of Geller’s Atlas Shrugged blog, and i think we’re gonna find he was a follower of Jihad Watch as well.

    Even before the advent of the internet there’s always been an exchange of ideas, trends and cooperation over the pond; but pretending, in todays world that there’s some huge chasm between people of like minds in europe and the U.S. is absurd. Why don’t you explain the difference between european jihadists and american jihadists while you’re at it?Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      Waal, if you have an issue with what Rev. Mr. Spencer has to say, you could actually expound on the subject. (I do not think you will find many examples of him suggesting we shoot up summer camps).Report

      • Avatar Danny says:

        I never implied we would, but take note that you wouldnt find a blueprint of the final solution in der sturmer either. No further analogies implied. But my issue with e.g. Mssrs Spencer and Horowitz is that they are islamophobic bigots, trying to stir up hate against Muslims.

        But A.D., why don’t you try to get Erik on the record about his views on e.g. Spencer, Horowitz and Pipes – maybe even Andy McCarthy – and see how much of a gambler he is right now when the full extent of Breviks online shenanigans is still unknown.Report

        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          Dude, who are you and why on earth do you care so much about me and my views? I can’t stand the neocons and anti jihadist bloggers and have no interest defending them. Nor do I think we can assign the blame for this shooting on a set of bloggers whom we dislike and whose views we find abhorrent. The rot is much deeper than that, for one thing. And we don’t have nearly enough details to know the full extent of his influences. Why is this so important to you anyway?Report

          • Avatar Danny says:

            Hey, I’m mostly just kidding around, and screwing with you. I thought you messed up, and was a bit put off by you pivoting from: “It’s islamists!”, to “It’s a lone crazy guy!” a bit to quickly, when everything’s really pointing in the direction of a run-of-the-mill rightwing islamophobe.

            But I aint got no big beef with you, really.

            But movement conservatives, sure, big beef. They’ve been using islamophobia for fun and profit ever since 9/11.

            Have a look at what I posted from Jihad Watch below. Take a look at Geller’s disgustingly bigoted DVD, made to make a cheap buck by putting a crosshair on the backs of muslims.

            Or go take a couple of Glenn Beck 2010-11 shows for a spin, see if he got something to say about “socialists” and the “muslim brotherhood” and their secret plan to ruin America, and western civilization as it were. Or google for “cultural marxism” and “islam”.

            So yes, I think it’s way premature to write this one off as some foreign, unfamiliar european white nationalism. Even if we’re talking about something that went down in norway.

            And I think your smart enough not to stick up for Spencer, Horowitz et al at the moment. And for all I know, maybe you’ve always hated their guts; they sure deserve it.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          Question doesn’t interest me.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Danny, if you were a reader of this site, you would have an idea of what EDK believes about Islam and its relationship to the right. His views on all manner of things are a matter of public record. You’re not just making assumptions based on limited information. You’re doing so when the information is available readily available (two clicks away, in fact):


          • Avatar Danny says:

            Hey I never accused EDK of being a bigot. I just gently implied that he perhaps acted as a de facto apologist for the numerous confirmed bigots and profiters from bigotry within the american conservative movement by prematurely arguing against such a link to Brevik’s deeds.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              I don’t have Mr. Kain on retainer.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              Danny, in fact you went a step further than that. You suggested that he was genuinely sympathetic to the Islamophobes. And implied that even if he denied it, such denials were simply because he’s “too smart” to line up with them right now and not because he might genuinely be unsympathetic to them. So in one fell swoop: sympathetic to Islamophobia, liar if he denies it.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                I’m not quite sure exactly where I am to have implied that?

                Failure to call out bigots within the conservative movement is certainly not proof that someone is genuinely sympathetic to them or what they’re up to. The US is a two party system; makes for strange bedfellows at times.

                But there’s no need to jump from “unwillingness/cautiousness in assigning blame” to “sympathizes with”.

                Sure, I may have been sloppy somewhere, but you’re gonna have to point out where…Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                All fair enough, but for the fact EDK is not conservative (certainly not in the social or geopolitical sense), is not within the conservative movement (in any sense), and has shown no hesitation criticizing conservatives.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                I don’t think I called him a conservative, did I?

                Well here’s an excellent occasion for him to criticize conservatives some more then now that we know that the murderer was an avid reader of both Geller, Horowitz and Spencer.

                There’s no need to speculate about a connection to american conservatism, the connection’s been documented.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              I don’t have Mr. Kain on retainer.

              Is that an admission you’re a bigot?Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke says:

                It’s very bigoted to ask that question. You’re a bigot.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Tom, I’m not Big O’ Ted. You’ve got me confused with another poster.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke says:

                So now you’re calling the Irish bigots? That’s stereotyping and bigot too.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Tom, since I’m fortunate to have the use of both hands, I always stereo-type. I find it’s more efficient as well as relaxing.

                But you’ll have to help me understand why you would think I’m Bi-got too . I’d think that after reading some of my comments you’d realize that I prefer mono-got. Unless we’re talking about redistribution, of course, in which case I’m a poly-got sorta guy.Report

      • Avatar Danny says:

        I might add that Jihad Watch is right now have banners plugging the following:

        – The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 attacks.
        (About an outreach community center of moderate islam, organised by a guy George W Bush held up as an example of moderate muslims)

        – Muslim Persecutions of Christians by Robert Spencer

        – Barack Obama and Islam: How He is Flirting with Disaster by Robert Spencer

        – STEALTH JIHAD: How Radical Islam Is Subverting America Without Guns Or Bombs by Robert SpencerReport

          • Avatar Danny says:

            So: those guys are d-cks and bigots, and bigotry breeds calamities and suffering.Report

            • Avatar Art Deco says:

              “Why should we bother to reply to Kautsky? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There’s no end to that. It would be quite enough for us to announce that Kautsky is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything.”Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                So the implication would be that my willingness to name and shame the bigots Spencer & Horowitz makes me a Stalinist or something? Duly noted, and I’d still say S&H deserves 10 times more naming and shaming than they received so far.Report

  16. Avatar tom van dyke says:

    Spectacular fail on all this, first slagging Muslims then “Christian,” white, right, etc.

    Dude. Is. Crazy. Like Nidal Hasan, Muslim nut; McVeigh, white nut; the guy who shot the congresslady [demi-left nut]; the Unabomber [enviro-nut]. John Muhammad [nut nut].

    None of these are “indications” of any trend or “movement” except madness wraps itself around some idea. None of these guys had an actual strategy for their terror as do al-Qaeda, the Chechens, Zionists @ King David Hotel, Tamils, etc., “freedom fighters.”

    Put it back in your pants, all of you.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

      Everyone remember the cardinal rule of political violence: if it’s a leftist or a Muslim, it’s indicative of the broad corruption and hate among whichever group those involved are a part of. If it’s right-winger or fundamentalist Christian, it’s just a lone nut/small group of nuts acting on their own with no reflection on right-wingers of fundamentalist Christians in general and probably isn’t really a right-winger or fundamentalist Christian at all because the person may have once read the back cover of Capital or a Chris Hitchens book.Report

      • Avatar tom van dyke says:

        This is the first such incident in Europe, Jesse, that’s why. I perused the guy’s online stuff that yer all speculating about. Not particularly religious or even “white” as race


        so stuff those two.

        Plus, nothing violent. Something clearly popped.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco says:

        Jesse, no one has as yet identified a criminal organization of which this man was a member. He evidently was at one time, is no longer, a member of one of Norway’s regular political parties. That particular organization has a quite unremarkable platform.

        ‘Danny’ et al profess to be quite severely agitated by the unremarked peril of ‘conservative terrorism’, then devote many pixels to passing mention of Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Pamela Geller, Andrew McCarthy, and Daniel Pipes. These people are half-vocational half-avocational wordsmiths, three of them well into middle age and two of them old. None of them are press agents for any sort of paramilitary organization or criminal mafia and if any of them advocate a change in the essential constitution of government in this country, Danny’s not telling us when and where. If the unremarked problem of ‘conservative terrorism’ agitates you, you might discuss actual terrorists rather than going on a whinge about a 49 year old clergyman with a website.

        His most salient thesis – that ‘moderate Islam’ is a cultural habit in conflict with black-letter Islam – may be debatable as is or in its practical implications. You can argue against it or ignore it. Unlike (say) Paul Krugman, Robert Spencer is not anywhere near the cultural control centers in this country. You can argue against it or ignore. Why you suppose Danny is disinclined to do either?Report

        • Avatar Danny says:

          ‘Danny’ et al profess to be quite severely agitated by the unremarked peril of ‘conservative terrorism’

          I don’t think I did that, now did I? You just made that up, didn’t you?

          then devote many pixels to passing mention of Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Pamela Geller, Andrew McCarthy, and Daniel Pipes

          Do keep up buddy. Brevik is now not only a confirmed follower of Gellers blog, but also a follower of Spencer & Horowitz blog! Whocuddanown? And you know what? They are all anti-muslim, anti-left bigots. How could one of their readers ever become hateful of muslims and the political left?

          As for the rest of your post…. Well it’s just sophistry, isn’t it?

          No need to reply Kautsky really, just to point at him and say: “hey there’s that apologist for those bigots!”. You ok with that, Kautsky?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      That it, he’s either a nut or a member of a group with a defined political strategy? No chance that he’s both, or neither?Report

  17. Avatar Danny says:

    The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks

    Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, 911 Family Members Geert Wilders (Primary Contributor), Andrew Breitbart, Pamela Hall, James Lafferty Ambassador John Bolton (Primary Contributor), Pamela Geller (Director)

    Hey I gotta watch this DVD, it’s like a who’s who of what’s likely to be Breviks main sources of inspiration: Geller! Wilders! Directed by Geller!

    Hey, we even got Bolton and Breitbart in there!Report

  18. Avatar Danny says:

    More on Brevik, from NYTimes:

    >>> But his writings on a right-wing Web site, Document.no, revealed another side, an abiding obsession with Marxists, Muslims and Norway’s multicultural ideals.

    Though he does not call for violence in the postings, he denounces the demographic change that he says has undermined Christian communities in places like Kosovo and Lebanon. Mr. Breivik writes: “Can you name ONE country where multiculturalism is successful where Islam is involved? The only historical example is the society without a welfare state with only non-Muslim minorities (U.S.).” <<>> Joran Kallmyr, Oslo’s vice mayor for transport and a member of the Progress Party, said he met Mr. Breivik several times in 2002 and 2003 at local party meetings.
    In reading some of Mr. Breivik’s online writings, Mr. Kallmyr said, he now had the feeling that Mr. Breivik left the party because he found it too soft. <<<

    Sounds like Brevik left the party himself, rather than being "kicked out".Report

  19. Avatar Danny says:


    >>> Breivik wrote he was a backer of the “Vienna School of Thought,” which was against multiculturalism and the spread of Islam.
    He also wrote he admired Geert Wilders, the populist anti-Islam Dutch politician, for following that school. <<<

    Not crazy; run-of-the-mill rightwinger and anti-muslim bigot. Nothing in there that would be out of place in The Corner @ NROReport

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Reminds me of those old “Is this quote from Al Gore or the Unabomber” games from the 90’s.Report

        • Avatar Danny says:

          Only difference perhaps being Al Gore is a former VPOTUS and Nobel Price winner talking about a real problem – global warming – while Geller, Horowitz, Spencer and McCarthy are bigots who makes a living out of peddling islamophobia and smearing the political left.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Quite. They’re on the other team espousing views that I disagree with. And moral accountability for the actions of third parties will be assigned accordingly.Report

            • Avatar Danny says:

              Well there’s a reason why one guy – the mainstream guy – got a shiny gold medal and a record of long and distinguished service to our nation, while the other three have websites with poor typography and ugly banners trying to peddle hateful, bigoted books and dvd:s.

              For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Stalin was an avid reader of Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler was an avid reader of William Shakespeare.

              Then it’s equally reasonable to blame marxism for the massacre of the kulaks and shakespearianism for the Holocaust. Correct?


              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                got a shiny gold medal and a record of long and distinguished service to our nation

                He is a lapsed newspaper reporter and legacy pol. He once manifested a take on public affairs that was fairly singular in the Democratic Party, then got chewed up by personal ambition some time between 1987 and 1992. He has grown increasingly peculiar over the years. As for the shiny gold medal, the purveyors of the Nobel might just make it official and distribute them in cereal boxes.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                If you’ve gone so far into the realms of wingnutopia that you think that Pamella Geller and Al Gore has done equal service to the nation or deserve the same respect, then man…. I just don’t know what to say.

                How about Orly Taitz vs HRC?

                Thou wingers cracketh me up.Report

              • Avatar Art Deco says:

                I do not recall comparing the two. My description of Mr. Gore is configurative, not comparative.Report

              • Avatar Danny says:

                At the time when you inserted yourself into the exchange that comparison was already the topic at hand. If you had no intention to make any such comparison, then your contributions were, well…. irrelevant and a diversion, frankly.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Can we still blame these attacks on Christianity?Report

              • Avatar dexter says:

                No, because anybody who murders children can’t be a Christian. However, he may be a follower of one of those psychotic homophobes that rule the old testament.Report

  20. Avatar Danny says:

    Brevik posting on Document.no:

    Follow webpages like gatesofvienna, brusselsjournal, Jihadwatch, religionofpeace etc.

    Read Fjordmans piece “Defeating Eurabia”. This is e.g. the perfect christmas present to family and friends.
    The mass murderer at Utøya is now said to have been a Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik. He is reported to have posted frequent comments at various anti-jihad websites up until sometime last year. The Scandinavians tell me that these comments showed mainstream Counterjihad sentiments, with no incitements to violence or evidence of homicidal insanity.

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal are European nationalist blogs.Report

      • Avatar Danny says:

        Are you sure that “nationalist” is the proper designation, I thought they rather called themselves “counter-jihad” and the like… Just like their american counterparts, e.g. Geller, Pipes, Spenser, Horowitz et alReport

        • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

          It doesn’t matter what they call themselves. To my knowledge few nationalists actually refer to themselves as such. Nationalists have taken many forms, as well, from Nazis to Fascists to the Serbian nationalists and so forth. There is overlap between the anti-jihad and nationalist groups and some are equal parts of each. Some anti-jihadis are just pro Israel hawks as well. Others are both anti-jihad and anti-Israel.Report

  21. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    If you’ve been banned previously you will simply be banned again.Report

  22. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I’m lost here. The guy was a nationalist, according to a bunch of the newspaper reports, and apparently he was a white supremicist too. So, E.D. Kain calling him a “white nationalist” is deeply dishonest?Report

  23. Avatar sneezy says:

    “…it sounded exactly like an Al-Qaeda attack.”

    No, it didn’t. First, Al Qaeda attacks hardly ever take place in Europe. Of 599 attacks by Al Qaeda listed in the Global Terrorism Database, twelve (2%) took place in Europe, six (1%) took place in Europe outside Spain, and three (0.5%) took place in Scandinavia (all in Sweden).

    But you, upon hearing of a bombing in Norway, immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was Al Qaeda, despite the fact that 98% of such attacks take place outside Europe and 99.5% take place outside Scandinavia.

    Of fifteen terror attacks in Norway, none were perpetrated by Al Qaeda or by groups with similar goals.

    Further, what about a lone sniper sounds “exactly” like an Al Qaeda attack to you? Do you know of any such instances? About 75% of Al Qaeda attacks use bombs. Those involving firearms are typically attacks by groups. Do you know of even one attack by a lone sniper who turned out to be a member of Al Qaeda?

    I think it would be closer to say that almost nothing about this attack ”sounded like” Al Qaeda. Doctors say “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” You thought zebras, you were dead wrong, and yet, here you are, still trying to rationalize that, well… it could have been zebras. It “sounded exactly like” zebras, at least to you. Give it up already. You were dead wrong, and there’s really not much more to say about it than that.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      sneezy – I realize that you are essentially of a made-up mind and cannot be reasoned with, but let me just say: nobody considers these statistics when they have an initial reaction to a major terrorist attack. This is because most of these incidents are very small and nobody hears about them outside of the region they take place in. Of the major terrorist strikes in Europe over the past decade we’ve had London and Spain both take major, coordinated hits from Al-Qaeda. This is what I thought of when I heard about Oslo initially. I think I am far from alone, save for a few self-important snobs who are holier than anyone in the room and a few more who were hoping against hope it was a conservative so that they would have an excuse to gleefully condemn conservatives (and libertarians).

      I realize, however, that you are not a reasonable person. You have set yourself in the role of judge and jury and there is no talking to someone like you. You talk to people but not with them. And this blog as about talking with people. If you don’t like it, I urge you quite sincerely to go elsewhere. There is plenty of room in the internet for you and people like you. The vast majority of the internet, in fact, is designed exactly for people who refuse to have an actual conversation.Report

      • Avatar sneezy says:

        “nobody considers these statistics when they have an initial reaction to a major terrorist attack. ”

        I am not talking about your initial reaction, but rather your current rationalization that your initial reaction was “reasonable.” Even now, with the benefit of hindsight, you seem constitutionally unable to simply admit you were dead wrong and leave it at that.

        “…this blog [is] about talking with people.”

        Then why so many insults from you?

        “I’m sure when you heard of the attack you dispassionately googled the terrorist attack statistics…”

        No, I did what you should have: recognized that I knew nothing about the perpetrator, didn’t jump to any conclusions, didn’t consider my own views so important that I needed to write a blog post about them, and simply waited for more information.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Just to add to that last bit again – I love how you use statistics this way. It’s really charming. I’m sure when you heard of the attack you dispassionately googled the terrorist attack statistics in Europe and then made your scientific judgment: “Of 599 attacks by Al Qaeda listed in the Global Terrorism Database, twelve (2%) took place in Europe, six (1%) took place in Europe outside Spain, and three (0.5%) took place in Scandinavia (all in Sweden).” Oh well, it couldn’t have been Al-Qaeda with statistical chances so against it!Report

  24. Avatar tom van dyke says:

    This is about madness, not politics. Some nut in Norway doesn’t make Obama a less shitty president. “Right-wing” my ass.

    Me, I don’t draw any conclusions from that Islami nut Army Major Nidal Hasan [anybody remember him?] killing 13 people except that he was a nut. And America hasn’t douchebagged that incident to any significant degree and we should not douchebag this: It was insanity wrapped around an ideology. Insanity wraps itself around ideologies; that’s how it tends to work.

    I happened to poke through the Norway nut’s internet writings, which judging by the comments here, few have. He was wiggy, but nothing suggesting violence. Something snapped and the dude went postal.

    He wasn’t libertarian, and neither was he a fundamentalist Christian. He claimed to be a Protestant [of uncertain denomination], open to a reconciliation with the Catholic Church. This is not Christian fundamentalism, o me brothers. The Roman church is the Whore of Babylon, anything but true Christianity.

    Too much distortion and ignorance in all this. The core point is that like Rep. Giffords’ assailant, like Maj. Nidal, like McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, their ideologies are unimportant, even if semi-coherent. They snapped, no more or less.Report