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A few questions for anyone that might be knowledgeable about Norway:
  • Could one man plan and execute all of this alone? Is there any information on investigations among Norway's extreme right?
  • If the suspect was indeed as Chris Cook says, "a prominent member of the Fremskritt party's youth movement", doesn't this create a PR problem for the party - to say the least? What are they saying for themselves?
  • Were there no police officers in the island? I mean, shouldn't there be?
  • Is there some really dark side of Norwegian society that is surfacing here? Recently, I always connect Norway with its uniquely violent, and sometimes murderous (not to mention racist/fascist on occasion), Black Metal scene, especially of 10-20 years ago...
  • Yet this is still one of the more equal societies in Europe, no?
  • The left of SD in Norway is in decline, and it is a part of the ruling coalition. Are there two facts correlated?


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:00:39 AM EST
Could one man plan and execute all of this alone?

Yes, if he had an IQ above room temperature. On the Celcius scale. I'll bet that I can come up with three ways to assassinate the Danish queen within ten minutes, if you don't care about getting caught. It's our good fortune that most assassins aren't very bright, but this one seems to have been the exception.

Is there any information on investigations among Norway's extreme right?

At this stage you don't get anything but blather. The real police hasn't gotten into gear yet, so all you'll get is political posturing and photo ops. That isn't a criticism of the real police, by the way - murders don't get any worse with time, so being thorough is better than being fast.

If the suspect was indeed as Chris Cook says, "a prominent member of the Fremskritt party's youth movement", doesn't this create a PR problem for the party - to say the least?

No. They have plausible deniability.

What are they saying for themselves?

I haven't checked, but if they play by the usual right-wing assassination playbook, they'll invoke plausible deniability, claim that he was an isolated individual who acted without their knowledge or consent, and that a party can't be held responsible for the actions of individuals who happen to be members - they can't run a thorough background check on every new applicant, after all.

Were there no police officers in the island? I mean, shouldn't there be?

Why should there be? It was a political party holding a summer camp, and there had been no threats made that we know of.

Is there some really dark side of Norwegian society that is surfacing here?

Yes. Scandinavia has a long-standing problem with violent right-wing direct action.

Recently, I always connect Norway with its uniquely violent, and sometimes murderous (not to mention racist/fascist on occasion), Black Metal scene, especially of 10-20 years ago...

I don't see any credible connection between the '90s black metal and right-wing direct action groups. Right-wing direct action groups tend to be associated with hooligans - at least that's the British and Spanish experience.

Yet this is still one of the more equal societies in Europe, no?

Yes.

The left of SD in Norway is in decline, and it is a part of the ruling coalition. Are there two facts correlated?

Yes, but whether the causality goes from being in government to reduced militancy or from reduced militancy making it more acceptable as a party of government is not completely clear to me.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:17:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
At this stage you don't get anything but blather.

For example on Norwegian TV2, where it's mostly standard we're so surprised he seemed a calm and nice person Who Could Have Predicted?

Only fact advanced (by Fremskrittspartiet), he was a member of their party in the early 2000s and then left.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because they weren't radical enough for him, I suppose.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 06:24:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their line is he got more extreme after leaving.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 11:19:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A nation's enemy within: The far-right loner who wiped out nearly 100 souls - Europe, World - The Independent

Norway's right-wing Progress Party, which has risen to become the second largest party by surfing on a wave of growing anti-immigrant sentiment, was forced to hastily deny that Breivik had any recent contact following revelations that he had been a paid up member as recently as 2006.

"He is not a member any more," Progress leader Siv Jensen told Reuters. "It makes me very sad that he was a member at an earlier point. He was never very active and we have a hard time finding anyone who knows much about him." He added: "He had a hard time accepting our principles and our way of working because he had his own ideas. When we didn't listen to him, he walked out the door." But after leaving Progress, it is clear that Breivik had turned to more extremist politics.

More in the "he seemed a calm and nice person" department, but here the sadder part:

In the suburb of Oslo where Breivik is known to have spent much of his time with his mother, a feeling of shock and disbelief had descended upon the area, an affluent corner to the west of the city centre. Police spent yesterday searching a flat that tax records show was owned by Breivik and his elderly mother, Wenche Behring.

Caroline Slatti, 22, a neighbour who lives in the same block of flats on Hoffsveien, remembered a quiet but unremarkable man with a sociable mother who tended to his every need. "He looked like an ordinary guy, he was just like anybody else," she said. "I didn't know him all that well but his mother is really friendly. She dotes on him and always talks about him."

At the back of the mall opposite the flat is a café where many of the area's retirees, including Breivik's mother, would come for a daily coffee. Stephan Imbernon, a French-born 34-year-old waiter, recalled how Mrs Behring had been in the cafe at the time her son began his rampage. "She was sitting there for around two or three hours," he said. "It's horrible. People feel very sad for this woman because everyone knows her."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 04:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you wouldn't expect any information to be leaking on the investigation. There's reports that he was running an organic vegetable farm, and had had recently received six tons of fertiliser, so it's reasonable to think that he could do this on his own, but its just as reasonable to think that he should have had help.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what kind of certified organic fertiliser can be used as an explosive.

I do know what kind of chemical fertiliser can be used as an explosive, on the other hand.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You picked up on that little inconsistency

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 10:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a known PNer.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 11:17:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
any excuse to sling more shit at the organic farming persuasion, so a la mode right now...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 10:25:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure by now he did ran some kind of vegetable farm - the documentation fits.

Breivik apparently had a license for several weapons - I see reports he owned a Glock pistol, an automatic weapon and a rifle/shotgun.

There are witness accounts of a second shooter on the island. Will have to see how credible these reports are.

The details from the stories of the survivors are horrifying. Breivik deliberately used his guise as a policeman to draw out people from their hiding places, calling out to them it was safe. The moment people approached him, he shot them. He targeted pretty girls first.

by Nomad on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 11:56:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I've seen reports about the vegetable farm, and the suggestion it allowed him to get fertiliser to use as explosive. But I doubt it was an organic farm, because I don't see what fertiliser he'd have used. In non-organic farming, otoh, there's an obvious candidate.

I also heard (radio) he had permits for a Glock and at least one other firearm.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 12:05:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a strong hunting culture in Norway after all...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 24th, 2011 at 06:26:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My instinct is that this was a one-man operation by an extremely intelligent psychopath. Note that he went to one of Oslo's top schools, the Handelsgymnasium 'commercial college'.

As a 32 year old he would have been in the Fremskritt party youth movement a few years ago: I think that this outrage may well see existing schisms in that party destroy it in months to come. We should get an indication of that in forthcoming local elections in the autumn.

Yes, indeed there are some extremely dark and sometimes dangerous currents in Norwegian society.

The myths surrounding what went on in the war and in the aftermath are now being dispelled as a generation dies and the truth is revealed after generations of suppression.

Note here that there is more than one source of poison: there is the Nazi collaboration aspect, which is mirrored by similar revelations in France and elsewhere which dispelled prevalent myths.

Secondly, and more dangerous still, there is the relationship between elements of the Norwegian Left, and the Soviet Union.

Don't forget here that the Russians did not pull out of Northern Norway until over 6 months after the War ended, and some say that was not until they were comfortable with the regime which followed. Some believe that the US was for many years uncomfortable in their dealings with Norway whom they suspected of being infiltrated. This is a very dark and dangerous area, and there have been many unexplained deaths and much ruthless suppression of inconvenient facts.

But I digress.

The real point is that lurking within the civilised and egalitarian Norwegian society may be monsters which have grown in the last 30 years, nourished by the black tide of oil and gas 'wealth'.

I think - maybe 'hope' is better - that this massacre may prove to be a cathartic event, and that Norway will emerge the stronger as the 'Old Norway' of sturdy self reliance and solidarity re-asserts itself against alien values.

It all hinges on how the Labour party heals itself in the aftermath.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 at 11:19:20 AM EST
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