Ms. Manx has a terrible confession to make: She’s worried! Yes, our eternally merry and sweetly skeptical cyberkitty is seriously bothered about Oslo…and not just because of all the carnage (although that, in itself, is terribly upsetting, too.) Beyond the immediate shock and grief, there are so many larger implications that she wants me to draw to your attention, so that enough people who might be able to do something, collectively, can start the counterattack where it counts…
At Alternet, Frank Schaeffer talks about the crapaganda of the “Christian” (note the quotes) right wing that he used to be part of before he grew a real Christian conscience. He notes how much the “Christians” and other neo-con right-wingers have become the jihadist menace they keep telling us the Muslims, and the Muslims alone, are. More worrisome than that, though, he finds the anti-government sentiment growing, and believes it will lead to more OKC-style terror attacks. He also notes how right-wing anti-goverment rhetoric has spawned numerous terror attacks in more recent years. Ms. Manx worries about that, too. Especially since the terrorists have too often been dismissed as “lone nuts”. Once more, she reiterates, ALL CAPS: IN THIS CURRENT RIGHT-WING CLIMATE, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LONE NUT!
Another expert on right-wing terror, the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s Mark Potok, has a startling chart in the New York Times. Ms. Manx would like you to pay special attention to who was in the White House when antigovernment terrorism was at its worst. (Hint: It wasn’t Dubya.)
And at Truthout, there’s a list of ten questions the media aren’t asking about all this, that of course they should. Ms. Manx can think of many, many more. Can you?
And at Kadaitcha, Jinjirrie analyzes how the “cherry-picked” ideologies of fascism play into the Oslo massacres. Recall, too, that Italian fascism and Nazism in Germany were also conglomerates of right-wing ideologies, and it was this unholy admixture that gave them the inordinate power to sweep up seemingly disparate right-wing factions all under one big, ugly umbrella. Ms. Manx gives this analysis two paws up.
Two more paws up for this commentary by German journalist Gerd Appenzeller, writing for the English language website, The Local. Ms. Manx especially likes this bit:
Groups that hold such extremist views don’t just exist in Norway – there are similar ones in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. And there are comparable political movements in Germany too. Xenophobia is on the rise in Europe, a continent which has always been marked by cultural diversity in spite of long centuries of being unified by Christianity, and whose influence has affected the world from the Americas all the way to Africa and Asia.
And now that globalization is returning to the continent that transformed the world, many people just can’t cope, and feel their identities are being betrayed. They blame politicians who they believe are failing to protect them from foreign influence, and failing to preserve old traditions.
They want their countries to insulate themselves from change, they want them to shut everything out that they consider bad, and if that isn’t possible, they want to destroy multiculturalism, Marxism and Islamism – everything they consider foreign.
But they overlook the fact that Europe always suffered when it reacted like that – Hitler’s Germany, Franco’s Spain, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia shut themselves into a madness of race or class supremacy and exterminated people who thought differently or were just different.
And they also forget that Europe prospered and achieved international importance when it overcame boundaries and embraced open societies. Whenever Europe divided itself into groups to be preserved and groups to be destroyed, then it became the continent of inhumanity. But whenever it celebrated freedom and democracy, it became a model and a yardstick for others to measure themselves by.
That is why the response to terrorism should never be separation and isolation, but a cosmopolitan outlook and the “compassion” former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt once spoke of – a man, incidentally, whose values were influenced by his years in exile in Norway during the Nazi era.
Zwei Pfoten hoch hinauf! sagt die Manx-Mieze.