Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Breivik’s Defense

As the trial of Norwegian mass murdered Andres Breivik opens in Stockholm, we look on in horror at his arrogant posturing, his clenched fist salute, his regret that he didn’t kill more that seventy-seven. But the fact is that this outrageous young Norwegian, is in no way the crazed psychotic we would like him to be—an unrecognizable monster who by his ghastly acts has exiled himself from civilized society.

Deranged he may be, but his beliefs and bloody actions are very much a natural product of the mounting fear and hatred of Muslims throughout much of Europe these past few years, as well as the United States.

Indeed, going about their daily lives there are probably tens of millions of Europeans (and Americans), shocked at Breivik’s actions, who would, just the same, probably agree with the premise that drove him to action: Muslims are a threat to the Western world.

In France where I live, for instance, five to six million Muslims represent about ten percent of the population, the highest concentration in Europe. We are constantly receiving emails forwarded by friends–middle-class, well-educated, professionals mind you–who are convinced that, with their growing numbers, and higher birthrate, the Muslims will soon predominate in France.

The next step, the argument goes, is that they will insist that their own fundamentalist teachings, the Sharia, become the rule of law in France—for all the French.

For instance, an email that arrived just yesterday was from a blogger outraged by a Socialist Party proposal to give the vote to all residents of France–including immigrants who are not yet citizens.  “France is for sale!” reads the message. ‘When they will have the right to vote, they will make pro Sharia candidates, as is already being done, and they will then hold in their hands the future of YOUR children!”

Which brings us to an interesting question the court in Norway will probably never address: would Breivik ever have launched his murderous attacks if he had not viewed himself as part of a global crusade, cheered on by his fellow besieged Europeans, and even more by rabid Islamophobes on Internet sites around the world.

In fact, as I wrote at the time, most of the rambling manifesto posted by Breivik before he launched his attacks last July was not spun out of his own unhinged mind, but was drawn from the writings of notorious Islamophobes, such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, the latter a regular on Fox News.

Tellingly, Pamela Geller attempted to wash her hands of any pre knowledge of Breivik’s plans by excising a paragraph from one of his long rants which she posted in 2007. The portion cut out:  “We are stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment. This is going to happen fast.”

In fact, so many Internet sites now speak of Islam as a deadly menace, so many of them issue a call to arms before it’s too late, is it any wonder that a few deranged individuals take that threat seriously, decide to give their lives, as valiant champions if you will, of “our Christian way of life”.

Bottom line:  Either there is a mortal threat to our civilization, or there isn’t. If there is, then how can you possibly condemn a heroic young fellow like Andres Breivik who decided to heed a clarion call to selfless action?

Barry M. Lando, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia University, spent 25 years as an award-winning investigative producer with 60 Minutes. His latest book is “Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush.” Lando is currently completing a novel, “The Watchman’s File”, concerning Israel’s most closely guarded secret (it’s not the bomb.) He can be reached through his blog.

More articles by:

BARRY LANDO is a former producer for 60 Minutes. He is the author of  “Deep Strike” a novel about Russian hacking, rogue CIA agents, and a new American president. He can be reached at: barrylando@gmail.com or through his website.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail