Norway Shootings

Jul 25th, 2011, in Featured, News, by

Indonesian non reactions to the killing spree by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway.

There has been little Indonesian reaction to the Norwegian massacre - the most searched for items on Detik's search engine remain mostly old favourites:

  1. SYAHRINI BUGIL
  2. sex
  3. artis bugil
  4. ari wibowo gerayangi pembantu
  5. adegan panas artis
  6. hot telanjang
  7. 081977391381
  8. HYUNDAI I10
  9. kark
  10. mayangsari

Apart from standard official statements; Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said

We are very shocked and dismayed by the incidents in Norway. We condemn the shooting and bombing that have killed civilians. We express deep condolences to the victims, their families, and the Norwegian government

The apparent fact that the killer was on an "anti Muslim crusade" has seemed to excite little interest within the country.


216 Comments on “Norway Shootings”

  1. avatar Oigal says:

    Perhaps you just didn’t say it very well. Did you see when our loner terrorist has some pretty links to that other gang of thugs the EDL? Of course, they bear no resemblance to mobs like the FPI, they are just patriots……

  2. avatar Odinius says:

    BB said:

    There was a shooting at LAX airport in July 2002 where several El Al employees where killed, again the shooter was a Muslim and again he was dismissed simply as a madman.

    Not true, the FBI concluded it was an act of terrorism. This was reported in the mainstream media, for example CNN:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2003-04-12/justice/airport.shooting_1_federal-investigators-israelis-terror?_s=PM:LAW

    As you can see, though, the FBI also found no evidence linking the shooter to any organized terrorist group. So this is one of your “lone wolf” cases. It’s also not clear whether the shooter was motivated by religious or ethno-national antipathies–both are strong in Arab-Israeli conflict discourses, and actually the religious ones were barely present until the mid-90s. Even now it’s 50/50 at most.

    BB said (again):

    As for describing Timothy McVeigh as a “Christian terrorist”, this is nonsense on stilts, he was a right wing terrorist who may or may not have believed in Christ but his belief or otherwise in God was entirely irrelevant, trust me the Turner Diaries is not a Christian tract and McVeigh was not trying to create a Christian state.

    MvVeigh was a believer in, and proponent of, the “Christian Identity Movement.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Identity

    This is a thoroughly fringe, extremist ideology that twists Christianity to justify white supremacism. It elevates wacko writings like Turner Diaries to near gospel and engages in mental gymnastics to find biblical justification for a campaign of hate and violence against those it deems outside the fold. Sounds awfully familiar to me, and it should.

    Normal Christians should not be implicated in the crimes of people like Breivik or McVeigh, provided they don’t follow their ideologies of hate and justifications of violence. Again, this should sound familiar.

  3. avatar Odinius says:

    Oigal said:

    Perhaps you just didn’t say it very well. Did you see when our loner terrorist has some pretty links to that other gang of thugs the EDL? Of course, they bear no resemblance to mobs like the FPI, they are just patriots……

    I wonder if our old pal Ross is busy calling out the EDL based on his passionate exhortations against FPI! Oh, wait…

  4. avatar Odinius says:

    Oigal said:

    The debate has now moved to the shock-jock introduction of “Not all Muslims are Terrorists but all Terrorists are Muslims.” This of course is actually reassuring to those marginalized in Western Society by virtue an economy and society changing to fast for them to adapt and provides that ever so convenient scapegoat for all their woes. Fear is a pretty handy tool for a lazy politician looking for re-election. The fact is your terrorist is just a psychopath and to suggest the some how christians are operating from a somewhat higher plane is not really valid.

    The suggestion that Christians are less prone to violence ignores history. If anything, is it secularism, science and education that has provided the laws in the majority of previously “christian” countries that curb the excesses of religious mandated barbarity, you don’t have to go back very far in Western History to when the Christian Religion was just as intolerant, violent and brutal as the extreme Islamism is today.

    You only need to look at Serbia to see how fast Christian brutality emerges when those secular controls break down. The primacy of science and education in the developed nations over the essentially hate driven religious dogma was hard won and its role if providing a safe, tolerant society is one of the reasons we should all very concerned at the rise of the christian right in so many countries today (It’s just plain scary to think US Presidential front runners include both creationists and the intelligent design wackos).

    Finally, to bring it more local. Does anyone really think Indonesia has more terrorists (?) or potentials than Australia per head of population? Using the “all terrorists are Muslim” model that must be so. However I would venture that the nutter to rational ratio is about the same, lets say 1% of the population or around 300,000 people. Fortunately thanks to a reasonably adept policing, the mostly likely of these are pretty much under full time watch. If we apply the same model to Indonesia, we are looking at ten times that figure with a policing agencies and educational (content as opposed to volume) standards which are ..well.

    So is Indonesia more prone to violence because of Islam? Or is it just a tad more complicated that the Shock Jock and bar shrill would have us think.

    Sorry, need to quote this whole thing. You really hit all the important points here. To add a bit:

    Facts:

    1. Western civilization does not get human rights, secular citizenship, democracy, protections for minorities or the separation of church and state from Christianity, but rather from the modern rejection of religious moral authority over secular affairs by humanists. These laws and principles were modern re-interpretations of pre-Christian, classical ideas. That said, it is possible to find Christian justifications for all of these in the Bible. The Catholic Church, despite previous opposition, now officially backs all of them.

    2. You can do all the same things with other religions. For example, in Islam you can look at institutions like the majelis, shura, etc. and harmonize that with democracy. You can look at the autonomy of the ulama and harmonize that with a separation of church and state. You can look at the medina treaty and harmonize that with modern protections for minorities. Etc.

    3. Within both, and other, religions, you can also do all of the opposite things.

    4. Strong, representative institutions sustain the former in a democracy; weak, unrepresentative institutions allow the emergence of the latter.

    Conclusion:

    It’s not the proper nouns that matter, it’s what you do with them. The degree of strength and legitimacy of institutions like law enforcement and government, which in democracies like the US, Australia or Indonesia (theoretically) back the former, determine how far the aggressive and hateful types can go.

  5. avatar Odinius says:

    Oh, well on the topic at hand…this just popped up in the news:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/07/20117259426336524.html

  6. avatar Lairedion says:

    Odinius,

    The degree of strength and legitimacy of institutions like law enforcement and government, which in democracies like the US, Australia or Indonesia (theoretically) back the former, determine how far the aggressive and hateful types can go.

    In Indonesia they can go all the way if we don’t pay attention. A couple of months (!) sentence for the Cikeusik massacre criminals.

  7. avatar Odinius says:

    Lairedion,

    That’s what I’ve been arguing all along…Indonesia’s problem isn’t pervasive or unusual levels of intolerance, it’s the lack of enforcement and general weakness of the state’s response to what are clearly and unambiguously hate crimes. By failing to arrest suspects, and by doling out miniscule sentences when they do, the state is trying to avoid committing resources to a conflict that anyone can see they’d win easily if they did (I remember seeing FPI’s major anti-Ahmadiyah rally last year, outnumbered 2-1 by police, and probably by PSSI reform protesters as well).

    It’s also essentially telling Indonesia’s relative small number of deeply committed extremists: “go ahead and do what you want, we’ll just back down anyways.”

    This is the main difference between a developing democracy like Indonesia, or another like India, and developed ones like Norway, the US or Australia. The EDL and FPI are exactly the same; only the response is different.

  8. avatar Oigal says:

    By failing to arrest suspects, and by doling out miniscule sentences when they do, the state is trying to avoid committing resources to a conflict that anyone can see they’d win easily if they did (I remember seeing FPI’s major anti-Ahmadiyah rally last year, outnumbered 2-1 by police, and probably by PSSI reform protesters as well).

    At the risk of doing a Ross and disappearing into conspiracy of my own making. I cannot help but wonder how much of this pathetic response to those involved in hate crimes and violence is puppets driven by political figures and business figures.

    It’s common knowledge that the primary cause of ethnic sweeping that swept (sorry) Balikpapan in Kalimantan last month was a very very well known Indonesian business man (?) and politician. The very selective targets of the FPI or more telling the obvious places that are never targeted (ownership is the key not what occurs at these places). I do often wonder how these creeps look at themselves in the mirror.

    Madrotter pointed out a few months back similar going on in Bandung. Most recently the laughable and obnoxious puppeting of Betawi thugs against Greenpeace. One of the great shames of Indonesia is the active and bloody use of the ignorant and poorly educated by the so called leaders of the community to enhance their own wealth and position. Worse is the passive acceptance of same by the majority.

  9. avatar berlian biru says:

    If you two guys choose to continue to believe that the threat of “Christian” terrorism is just as great as Islamic terrorism in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, that is of course your privilege.

    The rest of us can continue to believe you’re delusional.

  10. avatar Odinius says:

    You don’t get it, BB. The point isn’t saying that terrorism in the name of proper noun x is more or less of a threat than terrorism in the name of proper noun y…it’s that there’s fundamentally no meaningful difference between the two other than the proper nouns. Oslo should make that painfully obvious.

    Really, it should have been painfully obvious before, but some people have stupid ideas.

  11. avatar Odinius says:

    Or. to put it more precisely (thanks to a broken editing system):

    BB, the point isn’t saying that terrorism in the name of proper noun x is more or less of a threat than terrorism in the name of proper noun y…it’s that the whole idea of separating Islamic from Christian or Hindu or atheistic terrorism is fundamentally stupid. There’s no meaningful difference between any of these other than the proper nouns involved. Oslo should make that painfully obvious.

  12. avatar berlian biru says:

    There’s no meaningful difference between any of these other than the proper nouns involved.

    If terrorism was simply the random outpourings of unconnected individuals which could happen anywhere at any time for any reason then that would be true. However that is patently not the case.

    There is in fact is a very real and meaningful difference between Norway and Oklahoma and Islamist terrorism. In the former cases the terrorism is usually random and associated with delusional individuals or micro groups with no larger connection to society as a whole.

    This is not the case with Islamist terrorism which although throwing up the occasional “lone nutter” is actually usually well planned, endemic in several nations, organised across continents, with a large following in sections of society and funded and supported by wealthy individuals and indeed national governments around the world.

    It’s not simply a quantitative difference there is an actual qualitative difference between the two types of terroristic outrages.

    I understand your abject hatred of those who you describe as “right wing” (an absurdly meaningless description of a huge range of different political viewpoints) but you seem to let this hatred blind you to actual reality.

  13. avatar Lomboksurfer says:

    @Odiniius – You said – There’s no meaningful difference between any of these other than the proper nouns involved. Oslo should make that painfully obvious

    Your bloody right about one thing and that is the end result is the same and that is usually to create as much destruction and mayhem as possible. The issue here is the labeling of the groups or individuals involved. In Northern Ireland, the British authorties labeled the combatants Catholic or Protestant even though it was clearly a civil rights movement based more on living conditions than say differences over any dogma. Religion was used to distinguish between the two sides in what was otherwise a dispute over economic and political power. I would suggest Mr. Brevivik sought to divide native Europeans from recent immigrant and that would explain his description of Chrsistian Europe being in danger from being overwhelmed by the new comers from Islamic countries. It clearly explains his blind hatred of the liberal ruling class in power in Norway and his attack upon them. He really is not that different from Timothy McVeigh, except, Mr. McVeigh belonged to a more organized group of bigots. The one positive effect ,they say about the Oklahoma bombing, was that memberships in these types of militias declined considerably as most of these guys had no serious intention of actually warring against their own country and people.

  14. avatar ET says:

    it’s that the whole idea of separating Islamic from Christian or Hindu or atheistic terrorism is fundamentally stupid. There’s no meaningful difference between any of these other than the proper nouns involved. Oslo should make that painfully obvious.

    No meaningful difference until you start counting the numbers and consider the support it gets from large swathes of a population. I still remember a survey in Indonesia some time after the Bali bombings which showed a percentage of about 25% of supporters. Even if this figure was ten times exaggerated it still represents a frightening reality.

    When terrorism is on the agenda it’s amazing how some here obstinately refuse to acknowledge the present of the elephant in the room. It makes debating a waste of time and effort.

  15. avatar Odinius says:

    BB said:

    There is in fact is a very real and meaningful difference between Norway and Oklahoma and Islamist terrorism. In the former cases the terrorism is usually random and associated with delusional individuals or micro groups with no larger connection to society as a whole.

    Bullsh*t. Oklahoma City was part of a long-term conflict between the militia movement in the US and the federal government. Ruby Ridge (1992), Waco (1993), OKC (1995) and Justus Township (1996) were all battles in this conflict, featuring a fundamentally fringe, but unavoidably religious political movement that was actively arming and training for a “final” confrontation with the secular federal government, the UN, Jews and blacks, and other “enemies.”

    Sounds an awful lot like another loose conglomeration of militants–al Qaeda–with one exception…the US managed to recognize and deal with the threat posed by these groups at a fairly early stage. al Qaeda was allowed free reign to run training camps, export extremist ideology and prepare foot soldiers for a decade in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border regions. Other than that, the differences are meaningless.

    We’ll wait and see how the Breivik thing turns out. Could be a “lone wolf” like the Ft. Hood shooter, or it might turn out that his rantings about a Templar conspiracy are actually factual. Apparently, Norwegian police are searching for co-conspirators, but have yet to turn anything up. Regardless, expect more. European nativism already has its version of FPI in the EDL and copycat organizations, and plenty of its PKSes, so if Breivik isn’t part of a European JI, then it’s coming. Mark your calendars.

  16. avatar berlian biru says:

    If some form of transnational, well funded, group of elite Christians who are engaged in actively training “Templars” to fight a new crusade to restore the Western World to the principles of medieval Christianity is actually uncovered by the Norwegian police then I will come back here and eat my hat.

    If as seems more likely Breivik is discovered to be a pathetic loser living out a fantasy world over the internet, connecting with other losers such as bloggers who call themselves “Lionheart” and groups of glorified football hooligans in England I expect you to do the same.

    As regards Waco and Ruby Ridge you clearly haven’t the slightest notion about what actually occurred at those locations. Family homes were attacked by paranoid law enforcement groups who deemed that the families’ desire to live among themselves apart from society and posing no threat to the government was somehow a capital offence that required the massacre of innocent women and children to prevent.

    The government were the terrorists in Waco and Ruby Ridge, the government murdered the unarmed women and children, remember that rather basic fact. I would guess that probably 90% of what you think you know about Waco is incorrect and derived from US government propaganda.

  17. avatar Odinius says:

    What does “transnational” actually change for Americans targeted by both Christian Identity militias and Islamist extremists, or for Norwegians targeted by Breivik’s variant of right-wing violence and the Islamic variant that, well, has yet to cause trouble in Norway but theoretically could? It might be consequential if trying to explain the incidence and distribution of terrorism in modern times, but it tells us absolutely nothing about differences between the various acts of violence.

    Were some a Muslim to attack Norwegians tomorrow to the tune of 77 dead, it would be exactly the same as when a crazy Christian(s) just did.

  18. avatar berlian biru says:

    Where do you get this obsession about the Christianity of the American groups you reference? Is it some sort of desperate attempt at creating a false equivalence? All it does is show up your desperate ignorance about the issue that you are discussing.

    The people you speak about are lazily categorised in a hostile press as “militia” groups, they are all lumped together into some vague form of right wing, knuckle dragging, white supremacist, hill-billy, fundamentalist freak show without the least attempt to analyse what they are actually involved in (unlike Islamists who are always sure to have their motivations and beliefs sympathetically discussed in the BBC or the New York Times).

    What these people are is very simple, they are libertarians. They believe in the individual rights and freedoms granted by the US constitution and are extremely distrustful (rightly in the case of Randy Weaver and the women and children in Waco) of the US Federal government and the honesty and legality of various US Federal agencies, many of them are Christians, many are not, some of them are far to the left and resist federal drugs laws.

    You, obviously a fan of big government and distrustful of individual freedom, follow the government line that these people are dangerous. You swallow hook line and sinker the government propaganda that anyone who dislikes an overmighty central government (the foundation of the United States let us not forget) must be a threat and must ipso facto be racists or religious nutters. You can’t get your head around the fact that they are simply people who want to be left the hell alone as the families at Waco and Ruby Ridge wanted.

    The ATF for example is a treasury agency, it is a group of glorified VAT inspectors. Yet they are armed to the teeth with armoured cars and assault weapons and have recently been shown to be inherently corrupt (as government agencies very often are) in running guns to Mexican drug cartels. Is it any wonder people are wary of such agencies? The “militias” (to use the lazy terminology) are always characterised as paranoid loons afraid of Federal agents in black helicopters raiding their homes and killing their families.

    Which is amusing up to the point where the Federal agents in black helicopters raid their homes and kill their families.

    One of the prime targets of opposition from the libertarians (the nearest thing to their political representative would be Ron Paul) is the US Federal Department of Education which they feel is an indoctrination organisation and not required. Opponents of this policy usually shriek in horror at this point imagining all US schools being closed down until it is pointed out that the US existed for almost two centuries educating its children perfectly competently without the assistance of the Education Department which was only set up by Jimmy Carter.

    Incidentally the US Education Department doesn’t actually employ a single teacher, not one, it does have its own police force with SWAT teams however as one unfortunate citizen discovered when they raided his home over a student loan.

    Jeez, where do those crazy “militias” get their distrust of the US Federal government from anyway?

    So that puts you right, it ain’t about Christianity, no one is trying to set up a Christian theocracy in the US, people do however have a healthy distrust of over powerful government agencies, a distrust I happen to share. So relax, there is no worldwide Christian conspiracy out there, it doesn’t exist.

    Islamism and the Jihad on the other hand…

  19. avatar BrotherMouzone says:

    The argument has been made that this Norwegian Nobody conducted this act of terrorism for political reasons, while Islamic terrorists conduct terrorism for religious reasons.

    This is oversimplified; surely your average Joe Jihadist believes he is acting for a hotchpotch of reasons including, but not limited to, American military presence in Saudi Arabia, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American support for Israel, and so forth, so on. So to reduce any of the recent atrocities to either “Christian” or “Islamic” terrorism, is wrong when the truth is that the motivation for terrorism lies somewhere in a cloud of probable mental illness, politics, and religion.

    More importantly, I read that Jeremy Clarkson was quoted in “Nobody”‘s manifesto, is there any way we can pin this whole mess on him? I could see him becoming a spiritual figurehead; a sort of lanky, bubble-permed Osama Bin Laden for angry, middle class white Christian folk… He could end up being pursued from safe house to safe house by the British army, forced to present Top Gear from a cave in Cornwall.

  20. avatar timdog says:

    So a self-avowed “right wing Christian” goes on a manifestly politically motivated killing spree, and we’re talking about how terrible Muslims are? F*^&^g brilliant.

    On the specifics, I would only say this: clearly the man considered himself “right wing”, and you have to at least acknowledge that. However, it would be wildly unfair to attempt to tar proper, mainstream conservatives with his bloody brush. Conservatism is a proper, developed form of political ideology, encompassing ideas about economics, taxation, markets and the role of the state. It’s not my ideology, but it’s perfectly respectable.

    You find very little sign of any actual “conservative” political ideology in the ideas of the Norwegian killer, and you find very little sign of it in the great swathes of bottom-end “right wing” blogs and commentary. All you find is essentially apolitical (in a grown up sense) reaction.
    (Worth noting, I’ve always thought, that actually, it would be easiest to make free-for-all immigration compatible with “right wing” economic ideas, and to make strident anti-immigration opinions a part of starchy, old-fashioned economic socialism. To think! There’s a legion of good socialist hearts beating beneath those flabby layers of xenophobia!).

    On the flip side of that, however, if, as many are stridently insisting, the various flaming anti-immigrant politicians and commentators currently thundering through the European discourse – from Geert Wilders to Melanie Philips, have not just no responsibility for, but also no connection with what the Norwegian thought and what the Norwegian did, then it clearly figures that any extreme Islamist commentator, who on the internet or from the minbar preaches aggressive, inflammatory sentiments without actually espousing terrorist violence is entirely blame-free too, of course…

    ***

    But there is something far, far more important, and more disturbing about this case, something that crosses all political boundaries, and something that really isn’t being discussed as much as it should be (not least because so many intellectual perverts are simply using the case to discuss how wicked Muslims are) – the latent radicalising power of the internet.

    I’ve had my doubts about the value of the internet, and particularly about “blogging” and so on, for a long time, but this case has really allowed my concerns to crystalise.

    The internet turns people into extremists.

    Would the Norwegian’s ideology have developed as far as it did without the avenue of the internet? Would he have acted? Would most of the so-called “self-radicalising”, “home-grown” Islamists have established their mindset without the internet? Would the 7/7 bombers, the shoe-bomber etc have acted without it?

    I don’t think so.

    The internet pushes people to extremes of thought, from absolute conviction that aliens exist and that the government is covering it up, to the certainty that Jews/gays/socialists run the world, from furious Islamism to violent anti-immigrant sentiments. It radicalises us, very quickly, and with terrifying efficiency.
    People who, a decade ago, might simply have made a few slightly edgy comments down the pub/after Friday prayers now become extremists.

    So, a guy who thinks that there’s “too many foreigners” in the country – and who a decade ago might have just had a few arguments after a few pints – now enters the swamp of the internet. From the starting point of the comment section of some mainstream news site – the list of soundbites beneath a Daily Mail editorial, perhaps – he discovers that there are many others who share his sentiments, many of them, in the anonymity of the internet (and by that I mean principally the “facelessness” of it, rather than the actual business of anonymous posting under pseudonyms), actually go much further.
    Following the electronic alleyways he finds blogs dedicated to the issue, and learns that it’s Muslims that are the problem, more than generic foreigners, because Islam is evil.
    Soon he’s popping up on comment sections talking in pseudo-technical language, almost as if he’s an “expert”, talking of “islamification”, and slapping out chunks of scripture and referencing hadiths. Does this “information” come from long reading, library time, sustained academic engagement, and sustained experience on the ground amongst the subject matter? Of course not; they are soundbites picked off some unedited blog and then given legitimacy by dint of the fact that he finds other people on other blogs repeating them over and over…

    Because of the scattergun approach of some of the “right wing” internet underbelly, he finds himself in the company of some strange fellow travellers, and perhaps begins to give credence to other essentially unrelated ideas – “cultural Marxism” is sweeping Europe; Barak Obama is a Kenyan-born Indonesian Muslim, George Soros is the antichrist, climate change doesn’t exist and the Marxist/antichrists are pushing its myth, gays are evil – click this link to read the irrefutible evidence!

    Down and down he spirals, surrounded by a vast, vast mass of sympathisers, but at the same time developing a sense of persecution, a sense that “the mainstream” is something he and his fellow-soldiers must fight against (someone leaving a comment on a mainstream news-site saying something particularly extreme about immigrants/infidels/rich landholders will likely be banned – so back he goes to the underbelly with further evidence that we are engaged in a valiant struggle….).

    Now he starts his own blog. His sentiments are already much, much more extreme than when he started; the perceived “power” of having his own “voice” only encourages him to voice them more stridently; voicing ideas serves to confirm them in his own mind, and then to push them still further. If his blog gets noticed at all, it will receive only two kinds of comments – there will be no moderating voices; there will only be people who cheer him on, or perhaps a handful of passers-by who are angered and disgusted by what he says. “Us and them”, and nothing in between. Further extremes are reached.

    So you now have a man, who not long ago was nothing more than a guy who made a few slightly dodgy comments about foreigners down the pub, full of rage, believing his is in possession of bone fide “knowledge” and “expertise” on his subject matter (the cut-n-paste Koranic quotes; the anecdotes of immigrants murdering babies, eating swans and living in five-star hotels on housing benefits etc), aware that he has a great bedrock of fellow travellers, but also believing that the conspiring mainstream is angled against him.

    None of this means that he will go on the rampage with a machine gun/conduct an Islamist suicide bombing, but it’s a process that he must have gone through – along with millions of other people – before he reaches that point.

    This isn’t a joke; this isn’t fantasy; you’ll see people on this very website who are clearly already on this continuum of radicalisation.

    I stress (not that many will bother listening) that this same kind of internet-fuelled radicalisation process is at work on huge numbers of Muslims, doubtless on plenty of people who would regard themselves as “left-wing”, on people who believe in aliens, who believe that Jews run the world, on “black pride” people, and so on, and so on.

    However, the event under discussion here involved someone with manifestly “right wing” ideas, so it seems to make sense to use that as the example, rather than “Muslims” surely?

    I haven’t necessarily articulated this as well as I could have done; but I’ve been wandering around carrying these ideas all week, and feeling deeply unsettled by them. Quite frankly if the internet really does exist in hard form, in a warehouse in the Arizona desert or wherever, I’d quite like to go there and pull the plug right now.

  21. avatar timdog says:

    He could end up being pursued from safe house to safe house by the British army, forced to present Top Gear from a cave in Cornwall.

    On a lighter note – BM, how dare you! We’d never give the English b*stard a space in one of our caves, though we might toss him down a mineshaft… 😉

  22. avatar berlian biru says:

    Yes, we need to restrict the internet, close down the free exchange of ideas that we don’t like, censor any political issues that we don’t approve of.

    I need hardly mention that when I say “we” I of course mean all right thinking people and when I say “right thinking people” I of course mean people like me and people who agree with me.

    This isn’t a new idea, you realise that the kings, emperors and popes of old had exactly the same idea. They couldn’t tolerate ordinary people thinking for themselves and debating among themselves.

    Goodness knows what sort of dangerous ideas they might come up with, like democracy or freedom of the individual. The pope set up the Spanish Inquisition prescisely for that reason. Protestants and believers in choice and personal freedom on the other hand rather welcomed the free press and felt erring on the side of freedom of expression was better than censorship.

    It’s funny how today it is the cranky, rightwing “oddballs” who relish the freedoms of the internet, cable TV and phone in talk radio, whilst it’s the fuddy duddies of the liberal left establishment in the mainstream media and university common rooms who want to restrict these freedoms and control debate and prescribe what might be discussed.

    “Plus ca change..” as I might have said in an earlier post in a different thread.

  23. avatar David says:

    Worth noting, I’ve always thought, that actually, it would be easiest to make free-for-all immigration compatible with “right wing” economic ideas, and to make strident anti-immigration opinions a part of starchy, old-fashioned economic socialism. To think! There’s a legion of good socialist hearts beating beneath those flabby layers of xenophobia!

    Just to pick out one thing there, the White Australia Policy had as some of its most vociferous supporters the trade unions and the Labor Party, as apart from I suppose ordinary dislike of foreigners they feared those coolies driving down the members’ wages….

    I can vaguely remember seeing a newsreel of I think it was Arthur Calwell the Labor immigration minister in the late 40’s standing dockside as a boatload of Scandinavians were getting off the boat and saying ‘immigrants of the right type‘; meanwhile he had his men in the Department out hunting down Asian women who had married Australian men during the war and deporting them.

    Um not saying this to snigger and condemn entirely, these old Labor men, rough around the edges as they were, were sometimes preferable to the new…

  24. avatar timdog says:

    I said:

    I stress (not that many will bother listening) that this same kind of internet-fuelled radicalisation process is at work on huge numbers of Muslims, doubtless on plenty of people who would regard themselves as “left-wing”, on people who believe in aliens, who believe that Jews run the world, on “black pride” people, and so on, and so on.

    Would it have helped you, BB, if I’d used the example of some teenage “Paki”, hunched over his laptop, trolling through the Islamist websites in a Bradford bedroom?
    Because I could just as easily have done so. It was only that, considering the case which prompted this discussion (Norway), it would have been comically perverse to have done so.

    The thing is, BB, the internet, in its “feral” zones (the blogs, the forums), seems in very many instances to be no meaningful “free exchange of ideas”, but rather an exercise in intellectual infantilism, a headlong charge to multiple bottoms from a series of existing points of departure (Islamism, xenophobia, socialism, nationalism, belief in space aliens).
    It trades, not in knowledge, but in the cut-and-paste, the borrowed soundbite. Everyone knows – or thinks they know – something about everything, while at the same time being less and less likely to know everything about something.

    Once upon a time, if I decided I wanted to know something about, say, the Kingdom of Bhutan, I had to go to my public library and to see if there was anything there. If there wasn’t I had to order something. In that something I would doubtless find references to other titles; I would have ordered them. As I read them, I would have been able to detect the varying ideological biases of the authors (“Ah, this guy is hostile to India; hmmm, seems like there’s an aspect of pro-Chinese sentiment here; well, this writer is definitely a leftie…”). My ears and eyes would have been sharpened too, to news stories about Bhutan, and by the end of the process I really would have known something about the place, with nuance and depth and an awareness of the counter-arguments.

    Now what happens?

    Someone makes reference to Bhutan in an internet forum, as evidence of something (how great monarchies are, maybe). I know nothing about Bhutan; I don’t even know where it is, but I know I disagree with the poster who mentioned the place about other things. I go to Wikipedia; I go to Google; I come back five minutes later – literally, five minutes! – making strident, pseudo-informed arguments about a place I know nothing about!
    That’s not “knowledge”; that’s not “ideas”! That’s attention spans shrinking to microscopic levels; that’s any kind of real knowledge replaced by factoids (and unverified factoids at that!).
    And in that kind of environment our critical facilities wither and die; our knees jerk harder, we no longer pause for thought, we become more, and more and more extreme.

    Now, would I really actually demand for it to be switched off? Of course not, not least because to do so would be impossible.

    But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t recognise the sheer horror of what the internet is doing to us, the unimaginable extremes of ideology and comment it is fostering amongst once “normal” people – “right-wing” and Islamist, anti-semitic and zionist, gun-nuts and animal-rights extremists, smash-the-rich anti-capitalists, smash-the-chavs howlers…

    The utopian idealists of the early years would have had it that the internet would turn everything into a sort of global hippie garden party of intellectual free love, in which little Swedish girls gamboled hand in hand through flower-filled virtual meadows with Indian programmers, and Egyptian students.

    Manifestly, that’s not what has happened.

  25. avatar David says:

    The argument has been made that this Norwegian Nobody conducted this act of terrorism for political reasons, while Islamic terrorists conduct terrorism for religious reasons.

    Yes in trying to work out whether B was a ‘real’ Christian or just a political or cultural one, I found “Anders Breivik is not Christian but anti-Islam” – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/jul/24/norway-anders-behring-breivik-beliefs and “Anders Behring Breivik: Christian terrorist? Right-wing extremist? Madman?” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/christian-terrorist-madman-how-do-we-understand-anders-behring-breivik/2011/07/25/gIQA7c6XYI_blog.html

    Religious Christians, he [Breivik] observes, have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which he himself does not have. For Breivik, “Christendom” is a vehicle for preserving European self-identity and is not necessarily opposed to elements of “paganism” such as Breivik’s own “Odnistic/Norse” heritage, even though the cross, he argues, has a greater symbolic power than Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. In spite of this, the initiation ceremony Breivik envisages for “Knights Templar” has no cross, only a candle, sword, skull.

    but you can also find other things that say he was a genuine Christian.

    So I think he was a political or cultural Christian, but not a religious one. I suppose there are also Islamic terrorists who could be put in the same category, political/cultural Muslims but not religious Muslims, I have no idea how common that might be. Or like you say a mixture of factors.

  26. avatar timdog says:

    David, that was just an aside, but yes, that was kind of my point.
    The emotional prompt for “anti-immigrant” sentiments is, if we’re entirely honest, usually good old-fashioned “ordinary dislike of foreigners”.
    But the political ideas then used to justify those sentiments, as I suggested, and as you demonstrate with your example, are generally more compatible with old protectionist stances from the left, than with anything recognisably “right wing” in the full political sense.
    Meanwhile, the biggest drive for “the wrong kind of immigration” is essentially “right wing” economic ideas. Despite the lurid claims of “swamping waves” of “bogus asylum seekers” “deluging” Europe in search of jobseekers allowances, the single biggest motivational factor is actually the ready availability of 15-hour days on illegal hourly rates in restaurant kitchens and in cauliflower fields. And there ain’t much left-wing about that.

    And to think – most of those who howl anti-immigrant sentiments onto websites think they’re right wing! Bless ’em! They’re all actually closet socialists!

  27. avatar ET says:

    Quite frankly if the internet really does exist in hard form, in a warehouse in the Arizona desert or wherever, I’d quite like to go there and pull the plug right now.

    Great idea. And replace it with read-only chip implants pre-programmed by the Ministry of Love.

    Imagine, no more thought crime, the perfect left-liberal utopia.

  28. avatar timdog says:

    I said:

    I said:

    “I stress (not that many will bother listening) that this same kind of internet-fuelled radicalisation process is at work on huge numbers of Muslims, doubtless on plenty of people who would regard themselves as “left-wing”, on people who believe in aliens, who believe that Jews run the world, on “black pride” people, and so on, and so on.”

    Would it have helped you,[ET], if I’d used the example of some teenage “Paki”, hunched over his laptop, trolling through the Islamist websites in a Bradford bedroom?
    Because I could just as easily have done so. It was only that, considering the case which prompted this discussion (Norway), it would have been comically perverse to have done so.

  29. avatar ET says:

    Would it have helped you,[ET], if I’d used the example of some teenage “Paki”, hunched over his laptop, trolling through the Islamist websites in a Bradford bedroom?

    At least our Paki – if he is a bit curious and investigating – would also have the possibility to visit other websites (including porn sites which may have a soothening effect) that shed a different light on the propaganda he is usually fed in his local mosque.
    Not everybody is in the elitist position to become a member of a public library nor has the time, affordability or intellectual background to find his way in and make use of what is available there. And even if he does what is the guarantee that his interests aren’t limited to what invigorates his already pre-formatted mindset? On the other hand the internet, despite its overwhelming informational chaos, at least has made it possible for people to get in contact with different viewpoints not hampered by borders, that help either to corroborate or differentiate their opinions. What is happening in the Arab world – whatever my come from it – would it have been possible without the internet? I doubt so.
    Thanks to this website e.g. I have come in contact with and learned about a great number of issues that otherwise would never have come to my attention. How I digest and use this information is entirely up to me. Guns don’t kill, the finger that pulls the trigger does.

Comment on “Norway Shootings”.

RSS
RSS feed
Email

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact