Extreme rhetoric, such as “don’t retreat, reload”, leads to violence, the latest being in Norway…

You see, it is the extremists who are the problem. Not the far left or the far right, per se, but the extremists in those camps.

Case in point:

A radical Islamic cleric threatens violent reprisals against Norway if he is deported.

And the Islamic extremists went crazy with rage and threats when a Danish newspaper published a cartoon mocking Osama Bin Laden (the now late Osama Bin Laden).

And now a right-wing home-grown terrorist has killed at least 93 people (a final count is yet to come) and maybe more, apparently first setting off a bombing as a diversion in the Norwegian capital of Oslo and then motor boating out to an island dressed in a police uniform and pretending to be there to help protect people in an apparent ongoing attack, only to then mow down people with a machine gun. The camp was for youth of the ruling left-wing party, which he may have thought too soft on suspected Islamic extremists and not vigilant enough in a perceived threat of a takeover of Europe by Islamic extremists.

The attacker was identified as Anders Breivik, 32 years old, a blond and blue-eyed Norwegian with no criminal record or anything else that caught the attention of authorities. I am not sure how he makes or has made a living, except he reportedly owns an acreage and a small farming enterprise, something that may have been used as a cover to order fertilizer to make a bomb.

When either the right or the left ratchets up the rhetoric there are nuts out there that take it all to heart and take action. These nuts left unchecked would put Hitler to shame.

Our own Sarah Palin, not really a politician, but huckster riding the far-right zeitgeist, urged her followers not to “retreat, but reload”.

People with their marbles have a hard enough time sorting out all the political rhetoric. And people a brick short a load get it all messed up and do terrible things. The Norway culprit is being likened to our (U.S.) own Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for his part in the Oklahoma bombing episode.

Unfortunately in a free society it is difficult to detect and control these nut cases in time.

But thinking people should eschew the extreme rhetoric and hate emanating from both ends of the political spectrum.

Norway is known as a peaceful country. It has not conducted war with anyone in an awful long time (ADD 1: except that Norway has committed troops to the NATO operations in Afghanistan and Libya, and earlier to the NATO operations in Kosovo). But I just read that one of its big defense contractors (arms merchants), Kongsberg, has won a contract to sell weapons to Italy. Weapons are a major industry of the western world. You reap what you sow.

It will be interesting to see how peaceful Norway responds to what has been called their own 9/11 moment.

P.s.

The Norway culprit was reportedly concerned about the threat of an Islamic takeover of western Europe. An Islamic takeover of the whole world is a real threat, I think (not that all Muslims are into that), but killing innocent people, to say the least, is not the way to counter it.

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