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Enemy Within: National Tragedy In Norway …

  • July 23rd, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

utoeya-rescuers.jpg norway-flag.jpgOvernight in Norway the number dead in the double outrage, inside Oslo and on Utoeya island, climbed to at least 91.

Emergency workers have counted 84 dead at the youth camp on the island outside of the capital city, where a lone gunman is understood to have roamed for as long as 40 minutes, shooting at teenage victims with an automatic weapon.

utoeya-aerial.jpgThe same man, taken into custody by police, is believed to have also set off the large car bomb in the central part of Oslo which killed at least seven others, with several wounded.

It was detonated at the building that houses the office of the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who has spoken of the crimes as an attack on the country and its democracy.

The youth event on the island was being  run by Mr Stoltenberg’s Labour Party, lead party in the centre-left coalition government of Norway; and he was scheduled to go there on the weekend.

Police identified the suspect in custody as a Caucasian Norwegian man aged 32, indicating he was known to them and had a background of posting anti-islamic messages on the Internet.

National media outlets said the man, called Anders Behring Breivik, owned two registered weapons and had links to extremist right wing elements.

NATIONAL TRAGEDY – BAD HISTORIES

The Prime Minister has called the outrages of Friday afternoon, a national tragedy.

“Never since the Second World War has our country been hit by a crime on this scale,” he said.

The crime of the war years was the betrayal of Norway in the agony of Nazi occupation, by an actual citizen of the country and  right-wing political fanatic, Vidkun Quisling.

A renegade former army Major and diplomat, Quisling staged a coup d’etat with the backing of Nazis, on 9.4.40, after the German invasion began; he headed a puppet government during three years of national humiliation, bullying and privation, and after the liberation of Norway was tried for treason and shot by a firing squad, late in 1945.

This time, the bomb  attack in Oslo brought to mind the truck bombing of a government t building complex at Oklahoma City, in the United States, 19.4.95.

Some parallels exist: the bomb was made with fertiliser chemicals, first suspect in the present case; the perpetrator was a socially marginalised ex-soldier, aged 26, linked to groups of armed extremists, declaring  themselves restless over submitting to democratic governments, however  freely and fairly elected; his action caused 168 deaths, 450 other people injured; he was tried for murder and firearms offences, and executed in 2001 by lethal injection.

Also coming to mind, with the murders on  Utoeya Island,   the Port Arthur massacre in  Tasmania, a year after Oklahoma City (28.4.96); not political, no less cruel. See EUAustralia Online, “Norway: Defiance after bombing, shooting outrage”, 23.7.11.

Reference

AFP, Paris, “Norway mourns 91 victims as homegrown suspect quizzed”, 23.7.11. http://www.afp.com/afpcom/en/taglibrary/thematic/actuality, (23.7.11).

Deutsche Welle, Bonn, “At least 84 dead in Norwegian youth camp shooting”, 23.7.11.
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15260377,00.html, (23.7.11).

Pictures    bbc tv

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