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If terror and a strategy of tension is the aim, yes.

At the Bologna or Oslo level, racist extremists aren't out to terrorize immigrants (there are skinheads for that), but the intelligent, well-meaning elements of society they would like to shake out of the tree.

The aim of the Oslo attacks (whether one-man or group-organized) is to disrupt the apparent solidity of social institutions and interaction.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 09:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Breivik wrote that
once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough, or you risk reducing the desired ideological impact of the strike. Explain what you have done (in an announcement distributed prior to operation) and make certain that everyone understands that we, the free peoples of Europe, are going to strike again and again.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 10:10:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You also shouldn't discount the simple numerical impact of losing a hundred members of your youth organisation. If he had gone after the smaller coalition partner, he would have pretty much wiped out the core of their next generation. That would have been crippling a few years down the road. With the SocDems he bit off more than he could chew in that department, though.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 01:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A kill ratio of 100 to 1 is pretty good in the political warfare department...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 01:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not if your targets outnumber you by a thousand to one.

Organisational and institutional depth can't be circumvented by any single act of direct action. Which is why the first rule of successful direct action is to stay alive and at large - something you very nearly automatically forfeit if you start deliberately killing people in a modern industrial society with proper statistical services and forensic experts.

This is why political assassinations, aside from being fundamentally morally repugnant, are strategically unsound. Unless you are operating in either a very favourable media environment or a police state where a dissident's chance of remaining alive and at large is not materially affected by killing people, because dissidents are hunted with greater diligence than murderers in the first place.

Neither the left nor the right in Norway meets any of these objective criteria, even if one were deranged enough to believe that the Norwegian constitution is sufficiently repugnant to merit assassination as a political tactic. Which latter claim is, in case it needs to be said, crazy talk.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jul 25th, 2011 at 09:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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