I have been unable to tear myself away from my computer all weekend. Since Friday’s massacre in Norway, I have constantly been trying to find the latest updates, the most recent snippet of news. Only once did I leave the computer, and that was yesterday, Saturday around noon, when I went into Dublin, to the Norwegian Embassy at 34 Molesworth Street. I was surprised that they were not open for business the day after such an unfathomable tragedy. I was also surprised that so few people had left flowers there. But I realized that the full implications of what was going on in Oslo was still being laid bare, and I don’t doubt that more people did so as the day progressed.
I left red roses, the symbol of the Norwegian Labour Party, the party whose youth movement was so viciously attacked on Friday, on the doorstep. With the flowers, I also a handwritten note where I had copied down Norwegian poet Nordahl Grieg’s most famous poem, “To Youth”, which talks about love and how the spirit of brotherhood and compassion will always defeat war and evil. It is a beautiful poem, which was made into a song in the 1950′s. I didn’t sign it with my name. I signed it “From someone who loves Norway dearly”.
I stood there for a little while, and I had tears running down my face, trying to come to terms with the horror of what had happened. As I turned around to leave, I saw an elderly gentleman come towards me. He too carried red roses, and he too left them on the doorstep of the embassy. I don’t think I have ever seen a human being look so sad and so somber as this old man did. I don’t know if he was Norwegian, Irish or something else. I don’t know if he had a personal reason to be there, or if he like so many others around the whole world, simply tried to show that he cared and that he sympathized.
But we nodded to one another, and went off in separate directions. As I walked away, I sang the norwegian version of the poem to myself, under my breath. It just … came natural, I guess. I must have looked half mad to onlookers, but I don’t care. A man like Anders Behring Breivik, who has now confessed to the slaughter, will not win.
He has stated that his goal was forever to change Norwegian politics. To eliminate the political left through violence. He considers Europe in the midst of a civil war, which in his sick, twisted mind has been going on since NATO bombed Serbia in 1999. In his mind, the Serbians should have received support, “in removing Islam from their country”. He has been ranting about multiculturalism and marxism, calling the children he murdered in cold blood members of “the Stoltenberg-Jugend”. Jens Stoltenberg is the Labour Party leader and Prime Minister of Norway, and one of the most genuinely decent politicians I can think of anywhere in the world. Even in Norway, his most ardent political adversaries all tend to agree that he is a good man. They just don’t agree with his vision for the country.
Now that is what a modern democracy/republic should be all about. Civil disagreements, dealt with through fair elections and a democratic process. One of the first things, Mr. Stoltenberg said after the attacks, was that now, Norway has to be rebuilt, into an even more open, even more tolerant nation. I applaud him. I agree with him absolutely.
I want Anders Behring Breivik to spend the next many, many years in a prison cell, knowing that the European Civil War he hoped to start become a right wing, nationalist hero of never began. I want him to know that the world remembers his evil, and that it stands united WITH those who suffered, and AGAINST him. I want him to know that he failed, absolutely and utterly and miserably.
I still can’t describe the horror of it all. This morning it was revealed that a Danish woman is most likely amongst those killed on the island. But regardless of that, regardless of where ANY of the dead came from, it is all just meaningless, utter tragedy. Yesterday evening, Anders Behring Breivik’s “political manifesto” was made public. At first, people thought this 1500 page whopper was mostly an original work. This morning it was revealed very large, significant parts are copied practically verbatim from the insane ramblings of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. All that was done to it was changed words like “leftist” to “multiculturalists” and “modern society” to “western Europe”. Otherwise, not a comma has been changed. The “manifesto” also shows Anders Behring Breivik wearing military-style uniforms with words like “Marxist Hunter” on badges on his sleeves, wearing an ABC-suit and a scuba-diver’s outfit, wielding an automatic weapon. He consistently refers to himself as a “Knights Templar”, and a “Crusading Knight” or “a Resistance Fighter” throughout these ramblings.
He also claims others have declared that they were ready to follow his example. Let’s see if that is true. If there are others, they too will fail to change the world according to their wishes. Personally, I don’t think anyone WILL follow him.
This man, a self-styled Christian defender of Western Civilization, was not a brave knight or a valiant resistance fighter. In his manifesto, he writes that he has “no doubt” that he will be “chased through his town” by “a hundred defenders of the system” while his guns are still smoking, and he is praying to God.
In the end, he was nothing but the lowest of cowards, butchering children down to the age of 13 with automatic weapons, execution style. Shooting them an extra time each when they were on the ground to make SURE they were dead. In the end, he did not even try to shoot it out with the police. He just gave up and surrendered, despite having written about how surviving the attack and waking up in the hospital to be demonized by the world press, in a world where nothing had changed, was his ultimate nightmare.
Well, he didn’t have to wake up in the hospital. Just in a prison cell.
But apart from the grief, the horror, the shock and the pain, nothing has changed, and nothing will. Because the rest of us, decent, upstanding, good human beings who understand that there has to be room for civil disagreement in this world, and for more points of view than one, will never, ever cave in to demands made by evil men like him.
Evil must not win.
Evil cannot win.
Evil will not win.
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 24th, 2011 at 2:31 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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