Norwegian Wood

Before Norwegian authorities arrested a sole, Norwegian suspect in today’s murders, America’s professional bullshitters stroked themselves into quite the, er, terrection, if you will. A sampling:

Jennifer Rubin:

This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists. …

Some irresponsible lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — I will point the finger at Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee and yet backed the Gang of Six scheme to cut $800 billion from defense — would have us believe that enormous defense cuts would not affect our national security.

Will Saletan:

Oslo Peace Process. Nobel Peace Prize. Today’s attacks show how little terrorists respect countries that pursue peace.

This was, of course, seconded by Saletan’s colleague Dave Weigel.

The Atlantic ran with the unsubstantiated Muslim-terrorist angle and [edit: this article was from July 13, 2010; see Update 2 below] scoffed at any suggestion that the Norwegian government’s ongoing involvement in two wars in Muslim countries might have anything to do with an attack by Muslims:

It may be pointless to search for a single grievance to explain the recent plot. Most likely, a combination of factors placed Norway on the jihadists’ radar. In al-Qaeda’s binary worldview, Norway is part of the “Jewish-Crusader alliance.” Not a platinum member, perhaps, but a member nonetheless. If you’re not with al-Qaeda, you’re with the United States.

(Perplexed hat tip to Jesse Walker, whose reading recommendations will be taken less seriously in the future.)

There are plenty of other examples of this war-on-terror-justifying gun-jumping; feel free to post the most egregious in comments. And who knows? Maybe blondie really will turn out to be a Muslim, as The Daily Mail hopefully suggested*. But even if that’s so, as Glenn Greenwald put it:

[T]hese kinds of civilian-targeting attacks are, as I said, inherently unjustifiable (though if NATO declares the leader of Libya a “legitimate military target” and air bombs his residence, what’s the argument as to why the office of the Prime Minister whose country is at war with Libya is not a legitimate target?). The point is that it’s completely unsurprising that a nation at war — whether Norway or the U.S. — is going to be targeted with violent attacks. That’s what “being at war” means, and it’s usually what it provokes. And the way this fact is suppressed (“a coordinated assault on the ordinarily peaceful Scandinavian nation” = the post-9/11 why do they hate us?) highlights how we view violence as something only those Others commit, but not we.

*UPDATE: The Daily Mail, with characteristic integrity, has revised the linked story without notice to remove the original suggestion that the suspect might be — cross your fingers! — Muslim.

UPDATE 2: In haste, I jumped the gun on dissing The Atlantic. I missed the date and read it as background on today’s attacks.

  • skulz fontaine

    CBS reported that it was "Helpers of Global Jihad" perped the Oslo bombings. Criminy, they're (CBS et al.) are simply making stuff up as they go along.

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  • stop bombing

    also on some news they stated *** the twin terror attacks *** meaning in norway, so…
    in ur mind u relate it to ***the twin tower attack 9/11 ***
    once agina media propoganda to paint pictures to install fear in civilians..
    seems there is an outragous amount of fear being spread around the world…
    then the hipocracy of supporting al kada/ terrorists in Libya and yet
    with a snake toungue they are hunting down al kada / terrorists..
    what happened to Peace and Prosperity !
    Stop Bombing LIbya NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Peace Not War….

  • Lear K

    And as usual 9/11 is mentioned several times in each report.

  • They hate us for our pickled herring.

  • dsparling

    I’m sure no one is surprised to find such a fucktard writing this on foxnews.com (Making Sense of Oslo)

    “No one—terrorism expert or man-in-the-street—will be surprised if the attacks are linked to Islamist terrorists.”

  • Watson

    Interestingly, Norwegians themselves are comparing this attack to Oklahoma City rather than 9/11. According to the attacker's Facebook page, he describes himself as a 'Christian Conservative' who, incidentally, doesn't like Muslims.

    But the media is still hoping. While the stories came in fast and furious for hours, once it was determined that this was a homegrown rightwing maniac and not some bloodthirsty, crazed Muslim, the news spigot got turned off. All you find at major media websites this evening are the same early stories which have not been updated to reflect current information about the identity of the attacker. Deliberate?

  • In fairness to The Atlantic, Matt, it's not fair to say they "ran with the unsubstantiated Muslim-terrorist angle"; the article that I linked to appeared on July 13 and was about an earlier (alleged) terror plot. At any rate, you needn't be perplexed about why I linked to it. As I explained in the following tweet, I was quoting a line from it that struck me as funny; the link was a footnote.

    • Matt Barganier

      Yes, I was confused by your posting it today. (I missed the date and read it as background on today’s attacks.) But the other criticism stands: if Muslims were to strike Norway, they'd have reasons other than "Norway is part of the 'Jewish-Crusader alliance.'”

  • Lear K

    As with TWA jet that crashed several years ago,and the Oklahoma City bombings blames were quicklly and without any proof were directed at "Muslims ,Islamic,Arab terrorists".Shouln't this be labled as "Christian terrorist",or we going to be told that he he was mentaly disturbed person as with attacks by Jewish terrorists and extremists against the Palestinians.

    "Anders Behring Breivik is a conservative Christian who enjoys classical music and the video game World of Warcraft. " http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2011/07/22/1845

    • John_Muhammad

      I have to wonder why they included WoW in their description of the guy. Equating gamers to nascent terrorists, perhaps? They seem to forget, it's older gamers who are now piloting their despicable drones.

  • Michael Kenny

    There certainly has been an attempt to hijack this event for its propaganda value, probably by Israel or its supporters. That attempt is so obvious, though, that it tends to suggest a panicky clutching at straws and could well therefore blow up in the faces of the hijackers, betraying the weakness of their position in their own minds!

  • John_Muhammad

    You can count the hours before this story goes completely off of American radar- it just won't do to report that the terrorist is a WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE. Oh, no- that defies the anti-Islam anti-Muslim narrative being spun by the government and its media lackeys, doesn't it?

    OH WAIT – now the TSA has more justification to search WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES. Voila! Mission accomplished. (Does this mean that if I wear a t-shirt that says WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE I will be immediately marked for the total body search at the airport?)

    Did I mention the terrorist isn't an Islamic fundamentalist, that he's a WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE? Three guesses on how long that angle will get major news reporting in the US.

    • Lear K

      That angle would be soon omitted.How would those who always are linking Islam to ever act violence and holding all Muslims responsible for any act done by another Muslim,even if it were an FBI set-up and fake terrorist plot spin yhis ?Would they make the connection between Christianity,and the Christian conservative and the violence in this case.Would they call it Christian terrorism and call this guy a Christian terrorist,or is it only when a Muslim is involved is called that way?

      By the way when a Muslim is suspected or accused of planning to do ,or cought doing a terrorism act,the headlines would scream the followings:
      Islamic terrorist cought.
      Muslim is accoused of..
      Islamic extremists sought..
      And so on.

  • Watson

    Since the media can't blame it on Muslim terrorists now, the new spin is trying to blame peaceful Muslim immigrants in Norway just for being there and therefore angering these rightwingers into 'justifiable' acts of murder and mayhem against the govt that let them in. See, it's still the Muslims' fault.

    • ariana

      YES! That's exactly what I expect to see unfold: "Bloody islamofascists (fav word among neocons)! Look what they push famously peaceful Norwegians to do!"

    • andy

      But why should Norway's population be changed? Did the people of Norway ASK for muslim immigration?

      • treeestimator

        Did the original peoples of Americas, Africa, Asia ASK for Christian immigration? Did the peoples of Europe ASK for Norsemen (Vikings …) immigration? Wake up, Andy!

        • benlomand

          Astute observation.

          • andy

            How so?

        • andy

          I'm very awake. I think it is YOU my friend who is sound asleep. Did the Europeans in the Balkans ask to be conquered for 500+ years by the Ottomans? Did the Europeans of the Iberian peninsula ask to be enslaved by the muslims for 700 years? Did Russia ask to be conquered by the Mongols and the Tatars? Did the Europeans ask to be enslaved by the Barbary pirates? The very word slave, comes from Slav, by the way. As for the Norsemen, as I recall their invasions and raids were resisted strongly by other Europeans weren't they? Didn't you ever hear of Alfred the Great? Only an idiot would call them "immigrants". Are you saying that Norwegians have no right to decide who – if ANYONE – they should admit to their counrtry – because say, a Spaniard called Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico in 1519? What a total non-sequitur that is. If Norwegians shouldn't have the right to their own country and its lands then WHO SHOULD?

  • Lear K

    Had he been a Muslim ,comments on yahoo news would have totally full of vile attacks on Muslims and Islam.Every Muslim and therefore Islam would be to blame,because they very repulsive and evil people that they kill for no reason.But no such comments about Christian or Christianity in this incident.

    • andy

      Yes, but in the hypothetical situation you describe, HAD it been a muslim, he would have been a foreigner.

      • Lear K

        Not every Muslim is a foreigner.There so many Muslim converts.

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  • Marc Joffe

    Al Jazeera has a story on the knee jerk attempts to blame this incident on Islamic terrorists.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2011/07/

    Glad to see that we're pushing back on this nonsense.

  • Lear K

    'The Foreign Minister was met with claims that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state when he visited the Labour Youth League summer camp Thursday'
    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&pr

    This the same camp that was the target of conservative christian terrorist.The terrorist is said to hold extreme anti-Muslims.Arabs,and extremly pro-Israel views as that of the many views held by the many conservative-zoinists Christians in the US.

  • Lear K

    Whenever something like this happens anywhere,it usually very soon followed by accusing Muslims being behind it,the usual scapegoats,and the demand that they have to condemen the actions which never enough to many.In this case no one is holding conservative Christians responsible for this guy actions eventhough he shares many of their twisted views,nor there demand that they all condemen his actions.
    Every time something like this occuers television stations would quickly gather in front of mosques and Islamic center to shoot videos in order to make a connection in the minds of viewers that every Muslim place of worship is somehow has something to do with any terorist incident.

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  • Popsiq

    It's a bummer that what you want most – for this to be another attack by Muslims – turns out to not be the case. But you can add to 'those who hate our freeedoms' the red necked fascists who'd take your 'hard earned money' in the form of unemployment benefits and use it to buy ammunition or make explosives with which to attack the 'socialist government' you hate almost as much as they do.

    Roll on great wheel of karma, the civilized West is long overdue a healthy dose of castor oil. The bankers will provide the medication.

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  • Amused

    Everybody's got their spin . Plots , counterplots , false flag ops , woooooh "someone else behind it " ,lol….even muslims trying to make christians and islamo-phobes look bad . Somewhere in between ,the truth lies ,but certainly not on the blogs that are left or right ,they are too busy blaming each other ,for the one making the other look bad thus assigning blame .LOL…..another 9/11 replete with conspiracy theories , and not surprisingly some dumb-arse muslim groups falsely taking the blame , and others really celebrating . Oh what a Three Ring Circus , and the left and right duking it out over the dead bodies of innocent children . I think what we really need is another EXTINCTION EVENT , like a large meteor or a GRB , you know , just start all over again . But I dont think we'd be that lucky .

  • Amused

    oh …and Popsiq , be carefull of what you wish for …..Karma's a two way street .

  • Amused

    …and to title this dumb article " Norwegian Wood " …….now that is an insult ! something a madison ave add agency would do ….pfeh !

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  • And as usual 9/11 is mentioned several times in each report.