The trial of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik has today entered its second week, with many interesting but chilling details having been revealed about the bombing in Oslo and subsequent shootings on the island of Utøya.
Perhaps most interesting of all, Breivik has provided a clear explanation of exactly what he hoped to achieve through his acts of terrorism. Immediately after the attack, some commentators speculated that the tragedy would be exploited by the political elite, to demonise moderate nationalists - "patriots" who reject mass immigration and the erosion of national culture - and to stifle debates on such issues.
This, it seems, is exactly what Breivik hoped for.
During the third day of his trial, The Guardian reported
insisted that his goal (in the short to medium term) was to make pariahs of Europe's nationalists – the very people with whom you might expect him to feel kinship. 'I thought I had to provoke a witchhunt of modern moderately conservative nationalists,' he said. Then he claimed that this curious strategy had already borne fruit, citing the example of Norway's prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who he said had given a speech since the attacks saying that critics of immigration were wrong. The effect of this 'witchhunt', said Breivik, would be to increase 'censorship' of moderately nationalist views, which would 'increase polarisation'. The effect of this, he said, would eventually lead to 'more radicalisation as more will lose hope and lose faith in democracy'. Ultimately, he said, these new radicals would join the war he has started to protect the 'indigenous people' of Norway and western Europe.
Whilst Jens Stoltenberg's speech
may give the impression that Breivik's strategy is indeed going to plan, other evidence suggests that nationalist parties and policies have not suffered at all in the wake of the Norwegian terror attacks. Last week
Geert Wilder's fervently anti-Islam Freedom Party, the third largest party in the Netherlands, brought down the Dutch coalition government after withdrawing its support for EU-imposed budget cuts. In France, Marine Le Pen's equally strongly anti-Islam National Front won a record 18 percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections. Le Pen claims to be fighting the "Islamisation" of France, a position for which there is evidently considerable support, particularly in the aftermath of Mohamed Merah's "Al Qaeda" shootings in Toulouse last month (the fact that Merah was likely an asset being handled
by the French authorities of course being rarely mentioned).
Indeed, the far-right appears to be in the ascendancy, and even courted by the mainstream. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, knowing that he will have to attract National Front votes if he stands any chance of re-election, said after the first round
that NF voters "must be respected", as their votes were "a vote of suffering, a crisis vote". Comments bluntly critical of Islam, previously the preserve of the far-right, have also been made by leading mainstream politicians in other European countries. Last week the leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in parliament, Volker Kauder, described Islam
as "not part of our tradition and identity in Germany and so does not belong in Germany", though he was careful to add "But Muslims do belong in Germany. As state citizens, of course, they enjoy their full rights."
Whilst Breivik's purported plan to spark a demonisation of nationalists does not appear to be working, or even necessary, his attacks are certainly feeding into the general tension currently building between those of different political parties and faiths; society is indeed becoming polarised.
This may be the natural result of a failed experiment in multiculturalism, the effects of deliberate conspiracies echoing those such as Operation Gladio, or the "strategy of tension
", or a combination of the two.
No matter who or what is behind the current ratcheting up of tension, a political, religious and racial tension inextricably linked to the collapsing economies and deteriorating living standards of Europe, the ultimate beneficiaries are clear - the shadowy criminal elite who profit from such "systemic destabilisation" and who Peter Dale Scott characterises
as the "overworld".
It must be pointed out that Zionist supporters of Israel are one of the beneficiaries of the tensions currently being played out in Europe. Indeed, the new-found alliance between staunchly pro-Israeli Zionists and ultranational anti-Islamists, is one of the most intriguing aspects of today's political scene.
The extreme right has traditionally been seen, often with good cause, as anti-Semitic - and yet now we see many examples of the anti-Islamic far-right openly embracing Zionism and Zionists. Anders Breivik was himself an avowed Zionist, his 1515-page manifesto containing multiple references
to his firm belief that Israel is an ally which must be strongly defended by nationalists at all costs. Breivik was also of course an avid follower of such anti-Islamic, pro-Zionist writers as the American blogger Pamela Geller.
The Dutch politician Geert Wilders, mentioned earlier, is also a staunch supporter of Israel, having reportedly
lived in the country for two years during his youth, and visited 40 times in the last 25 years. His Freedom Party allegedly receives
financing from supporters of Israel in the US. The English Defence League, to whom some have linked Breivik, openly state
their support of Israel, sometimes appearing at demonstrations waving the Star of David flag. The EDL has a Jewish Division, run by the Zionist Roberta Moore, who recently expressed her support
for Breivik's murders and claimed that his teenage victims were "not innocent". In France, Le Pen's National Front has also reportedly won support recently
, from a previously hostile Jewish community.
We are obviously living in dangerous times and, with the economy collapsing, widespread social tension increasing, peculiar alliances forming, and Muslims seemingly being scapegoated in a role previously allocated to Jews, drawing parallels between today's political climate and that of the 1930s, is unfortunately unavoidable.