It’s taken me a long time to write about the terrible events that happened here in Norway on the 22nd of July at the hands of Breivik. Mostly out of respect and a desire to wait until I had learned more about the facts.
The official period of mourning comes to an end this week, heralding a new era, the realisation that Norway is not exempt from extremist evil. Especially because this terrible thing was carried out by a “Son of Norway”, and a fairly privileged one at that. Normally these things happen to other countries, not Norway. Once again the twisted mind of a terrorist breaks the mold with new ways to bring their paranoia and terror onto their unsuspecting victims.
Although no consolation to the many victims, the actions of this surely mad man do not represent an undercurent of feeling here. He acted alone and was alone in every sense. Sure, people are concerned about immigration, but that is an oxymoron; because they’re only worried about attracting the right sort of people, you know the peaceful, hardworking, ambitious and family minded ones. Let the idle, dishonest ones stay away, which seems fair enough to me.
A newspaper described the events as a “loss of innocence” for Norway. I think that’s an accurate description of how lots of people feel here. Somehow it would be easier to rationalize if had been an external threat. Easier to direct all the fear and anger away from Norway. But when it is inexplicably one of your own, it is bewildering, confusing and somehow disappointing. Maybe we need a ‘foreign bogey man’ to blame in all this.
We have driven through the area around Utoya and it’s a lovely picturesque place, as the water winds its way through the landscape. You could never imagine it to have seen such terror. For this is no war torn area, no opposing factions, no age old animosities; just an everyday rural idyll, full of innocent people peacefully going about their activities during a wonderful summers day in the holidays.
I have skimmed though Breivik’s twisted rantings. I know I shouldn’t have, but I was looking for the ravings of a mad man to try and justify how he could have done such terrible things without remorse. It was like a horror movie, you can’t watch but you can’t turn away either. It was chilling in its detail and planning, it was not what I expected. It reads like a thesis, a study, an experiment, but overall it was an evil guide for others to replicate. Breivik described his terrible actions as a “marketing exercise” to draw attention to his ideology.
Look at these images, Norway is full of compassion for the families involved, united in their support of the government and adamant that they oppose everything that Breivik stands for. It seems to me that Breivik was seeking confirmation. That he wanted the people of Norway to agree with him, to thank him for what he did for his country.
So, I hope that images like this and the outpouring of people from all walks of life answer your question Mr Breivik.