The first shot was extremely difficult.
Yes, but then it got easier and easier. Breivik is the Norwegian berserker who killed a total of 77 of his countrymen last year in a bombing and shooting spree the likes of which the Scandinavian country hasn't seen since World War II.
First he built a bomb that killed eight and then took a ferry out to Utoya Island where the Norwegian Labor Party was hosting a youth summer camp. By the time it was over another 69 were dead. According to Mr. Breivik he thought about wearing a swastika on his chest, but then decided not to because he didn't want people to think he was a nazi. Of course not. We wouldn't want others to think bad of us, would we. After all appearances are everything. Instead of wearing the swastika he dressed in a police uniform, luring several of his victims out of hiding by saying he was there to help, then shooting them.
We are assured by him he isn't a nazi, but he does claim to belong to an anti Muslim, "Knights Templar" organization. The only time he has shown emotion during the trial was when the court played a propaganda video he had made that railed against Islam. As far as I know none of the 77 people he killed were Muslim. They were, in his eyes, however race traitors. He claims he shouted, "You will die today Marxists." What Marxism and Marxists have to do with Islam is still a bit vague, but one can't worry about details when looking at the big picture.
In perhaps the most chilling moment he went all present tense in his testimony. "Some of them are completely paralyzed. They cannot run. They stand totally still. This is something they never show on TV. It is very strange," he said. There is no mention if he had an erection while uttering these words, but I'd put my money on it. Beasts like these don't have sex the same way the rest of us do.
In Oklahoma City yesterday there was a memorial service to commemorate those lost in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building. On the 19th of April, 1995 Tim McVeigh pulled a rental truck up to the front of the building and walked away from it while wearing ear plugs. He didn't want the noise of the explosion to impair his hearing. When the truck blew it killed 168 people and wounded 600. Some of those who died were babies and children who were in a child care center. As the service was being held, Anders Breivik was testifying he studied the Oklahoma City bombing closely and drew inspiration from it.
He also took to heart the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and from all places, al-Qaida. Despite his supposed hatred of Islam he finds al-Qaida a shining example of revolutionary force. In fact he claims one of his aims was to create a European version of it. If there is a strong taste of irony there it is probably because guys like Breivik not only don't have sex like the rest of us, they don't think like we do. Make no mistake about it, this guy is as deranged as they come. When they strap him into the "are you rabidly crazy psycho meter" the needle goes straight to the top.
One official diagnosis is that he is nuts another says he is sane. It is good to know psychiatrists everywhere can never agree on anything when it comes mental health issues.
Breivik himself says he either wants to be executed, or set free. Well we know the second option is off the table and it appears the first is also. The Norwegians haven't executed anyone since their post nazi liberation days. I'm sure many of them are hoping for an exception to that rule right now, but the feeling here is that Mr. Breivik is going away for the maximum of 21 years. At the end of that term he will, hopefully, still be considered dangerous and they will remand him for the rest of his unnatural life. You never know though. A couple of decades down the line some shrink is liable to decide that, yes, he went a little funny in the head once, but he is all better now. Psychiatrists and lawyers are gruesome brotherhoods.
As for now the trial continues and all of Norway is aghast at a monster they never dreamed they could produce. It just goes to show that no country is immune from deadly insanity.
In the United States we look at all this and in the back of our minds there is this nagging thought. If a Norwegian is capable of this, what sort of American Grendel is plotting a brutal outrage right here, right now. After all we have a long history of this sort of thing and we're better armed. While Norway may have only one Breivik, we have scads and scads of McVeighs.
Who says western civilization isn't great? It all makes that extended stay in Belize look good. Yes indeed, take cover in the jungle where the only thing to worry about is the occasional jaguar. At least they never kill more than they can eat.