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The Way For Norway

by on September 1, 2011

Too often after news occurs there is no follow-up.  There are devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wars, droughts, famines, and attacks.  And too often there is no follow-up.  There is no report of how people are doing, of how things are going.  We rush off to report on the next disaster, man-made or natural, without considering what we can learn from events just occurred.

Of the many devastations mentioned ‘attacks‘ are the most definably perpetuated by people.  They are often described as terrorist attacks.  Attacks designed to create terror.  Are there attacks not designed to create terror?  Naturally, only the ones initiated by us, against those who are not us.

Norway has some interesting lessons for us.  There was an attack there, which the news was quick to call a terrorist attack – and which the news media said, without evidence and with conjecture, was initiated by those who are not us, i.e. Muslims.  Facts were quick to prove the news media wrong.  The attack, which instilled terror – a terrorist attack – was done by a white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Christian (he says he was Christian; he didn’t practice a different religion.  We’ll leave it at that).

When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, the world condoled and consoled the United States.  Help was offered; the attacks were condemned.  In response, the United States developed a ‘you’re either with us or against us’ attitude,  shuffled bureaucracies around to create departments like Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and created the Department of Homeland Security.  A culture of Islamophobia also resulted.

The comparison between the attack of September 11 and the attack in Norway is an unfair comparison, because the attacks on September 11 were executed by non-citizens, while Norway was attacked by a citizen.  One attack was executed by people of various nationalities, some of whose homelands the United States attacked in response.  Norway is hardly going to attack itself. Norway may not even strengthen security. “There has been no visible debate on gun laws or even on the sale of fertilizer, used by the attacker. Neither has there been calls for stricter legal punishment, Norway has 21 years as its maximum prison sentence. The limits to rhetoric in public debates have not been addressed.”  Even if a closer monitoring of computers could have prevented the attack, that’s not what Norwegians want.  “The first aid kit for social renewal has been commonly accepted as more openness, more democratic involvement, more transparency, less speculative rhetoric, less suspicion.”  That’s the Way for Norway.  We could give it a try.

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