“People like Fjordman and Pamela Geller and the right-wing blogosphere who spew apocalyptic rhetoric and refuse to denounce the extremists among them now have the very real blood of children on their hands.”
OK, let take a quiz: who wrote that? Glenn Greenwald, perhaps? Andrew Sullivan? Or even me? Not a chance. This fascinating piece of writing comes from none other than Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. If you’d asked me whether I’d ever agree with anything Johnson wrote I’d have said, hell no. But the fact is that it’s damn important that someone like Johnson writes this. Even more important than if Greenwald or Andrew Sullivan or I do.
Many supporters of Geller, Spencer, et al. have taken umbrage at my accusation that they inspired these foul murders. I can explain all I want but they’ll never buy it. But they’ll have a far harder time disputing with LGF’s founder.
A Dutch newspaper, Politiken, reports that Breivik’s political awakening occurred during a conference he attended in Copenhagen in 2007 sponsored by the bizarrely named, International Civil Liberties Alliance (originally called the Center for Vigilant Freedom). At the event, he had his first opportunity to rub shoulders and network with his counterparts from throughout the rest of Europe and the U.S. Robert Spencer was there, along with Ned May aka Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna, and other far-right bloggers. According to Politiken, these are a few of the English language websites within the network represented by the Alliance: Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, MEMRI, the English Defence League.
I find it almost wickedly funny that Pam Geller is blaming Johnson for the Breivik massacre. I kid you not. This illustrates the depth of the woman’s depravity:
Breivik cites LGF numerous times…He includes a long diatribe against Charles Johnson, whom he clearly admired until he felt betrayed enough to snap. The killer speaks about Charles Johnson obsessively and wrings his hands about Johnson’s turn to the left. Could this perhaps have been the provocation? Could this have been what caused him to snap?
The idea that Geller has any skills at psychological analysis is beyond ludicrous. Also, the notion that Breivik “snapped” is fatuous. He no more snapped than all the blogs he admired including Geller’s “snapped.” They are all part of a calculated, carefully developed and nurtured campaign against Islam and those they view as its secular western leftist enablers. The only difference between Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Pam Geller, et al. and Breivik is that he translated their theories into action. They, as he pointed out, didn’t have the courage of their beliefs to actually take Islam on physically. He did.
Read this from Gates of Vienna and tell me what distinction you can make between it and Breivik’s beliefs:
We are in a religious war, whether we like it or not.It is not for us to define the conditions, but we would do well to pay attention to them. We are mistaken if we think that the only enemy is out to kill us. Jihad is again offering the West two choices: We can convert or die.
It should also be noted that this passage matches perfectly the ideological world view of Kahanist settler extremists, who again, Breivik admired. This is why I argue vehemently against the notion that the Israeli-Arab conflict is primarily religious in nature. That takes us into the realm of holy wars and Armageddon. There is only death there. Rather, the conflict is a political one and like all political conflicts it can be resolved through negotiation. These are ideas that are anathema to the Breiviks and Gellers of this world.
I’m offended by Breivik’s lawyer’s attempt to label him mentally ill. In fact, the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Marc Sagemann, whose written about Islamist jihadis, says he’s seen no hint of mental illness in Breivik’s writings. Of course, there is much delusion, much fantasy, much anger. But that is not mental illness. Declaring these crimes to be the result of insanity defangs and depoliticizes them. Breivik is a political assassin. His crimes must be understood as fundamentally political. The answer to his crimes much also be political, as Norwegians are doing successfully in their hundreds of thousands by embracing their fellow Muslim citizens and reaffirming their commitment to democracy and tolerance–all the values Breivik detested.
The right would like nothing more than diagnose Breivik as insane. It would get them off the hook. It would create a firewall between them and him. But he is no more insane than they are. If he’s insane then they are too and perhaps we should lock the lot of ’em up in a mental institution. But seriously, the antidote to Breivik is more freedom, more tolerance, more dialogue with the other. And that’s the way to face down the hateful Gellers of the world as well.
H/t reader Deir Yassin.