Very interesting piece about Breivik in Counterpunch.
Breivik reminds me a little of Timothy McVeigh, in that so many of the people around him refuse to acknowledge that he isn’t confused or contrite about what he did and why–right or wrong (wrong, obviously, lest there be any doubt about where I’m coming from), he is/was a true believer. I find it ironic and shameful that the people he admires the most (Robert Spencer, Fjordman, Pam Geller, et al) are falling all over themselves to repudiate him.
William Luther Pierce put the same distance between himself and McVeigh that Spencer and his anti-Jihadist allies have with Breivik. Pierce (the author of The Turner Diaries–which features the fertilizer bomb attack on FBI headquarters that inspired Oklahoma City) said that McVeigh’s act was wrong because it was premature–the race war hadn’t begun yet. But the whole point, in McVeigh’s mind and in Pierce’s thinking, was to bring things to a head.
If Islam is as evil and insidious as Spencer says it is, why shouldn’t we be fighting back–and not just against the Muslims, but against all the liberal/feminist/politically correct/multi-culturalist turncoats who are not so much enabling radical Islam as using it to accomplish their own agenda, which is the destruction of the West? Breivik laid out his case for action and then he acted.
I’m not prepared to attest for Breivik’s sanity myself, having read as much of his manifesto as I did, especially the psycho-sexual stuff. Frankly, I’m as dubious about Spencer’s and Geller’s sanity as I am about Breivik’s. But that’s a different story.
A McVeigh or a Breivik compels us to modify or perhaps discard the very idea of an insanity defense–at least one that literally turns on an incapacity to understand the difference between right and wrong. Insanity should be an argument for mitigation when it comes to punishment–some people clearly belong in hospitals rather than prisons. But when we start applying the categories of mental illness to revolutionary acts, we act a little like the Totalitarian regimes of the last century did with their dissidents, confining them to “hopspitals” for “treatment” and “reeducation.”
And why let Spencer and his ilk off the hook so easily? I’m not saying they are criminally liable, but when they call for principled violence (“we are the soldiers….it is up to us”) they have to carry their fair share of the moral onus when people take them seriously.
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