Sunday, July 31, 2011

Norway Terrorist Aimed to Mobilize Racism


Terrorist aimed to mobilize racism

Multinational working-class unity can defeat it

By John Catalinotto
Published Jul 27, 2011 4:24 PM

On July 22 a bomb attack on central Oslo and a massacre at an island Labor Party summer camp killed 76 people, most of them youths. It was the worst such tragedy in that country of 4.8 million people since World War II.

The world asked what crisis, what degeneration, could be poisoning society so that such a disaster would occur in a place as apparently free of strife as Norway.

The BBC, the New York Times and other corporate media throughout the U.S. and Europe immediately sought out “anti-terror experts,” who immediately blamed “Islamic terrorists.” The media repeated this charge at full volume. The experts even underlined NATO-member Norway’s quiet role in the occupation of Afghanistan and the bombing of Libya as the possible motives of what they called the “terrorist” acts.

They were completely wrong. Moreover, their own words and acts showed the media’s complicity in the crime.

Journalism Professor Rune Ottosen, cited in a Norwegian workers’ daily, Klassekampen (Class Struggle), said that the New York Times took “an unreasonably long time” to change its tune even after it was clear that a Christian Norwegian was the mass murderer. Then the media avoided calling the Norwegian a terrorist, let alone a Christian terrorist; he was instead labeled a “psychopath,” which removes political responsibility.

By now nearly everyone knows that 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, a self-proclaimed Christian and anti-Muslim, has admitted killing 76 people and wounding more than 100 on July 22. They know too that he did this as a political statement of hate for Islam and for “multiculturalism” and for anything resembling Marxism or workers’ solidarity.

Like the Arizona shooter Jared Loughner, Breivik’s terrorist act grew out of the racist and anti-immigrant politics that are the central organizing tools of ultra-right organizations in Europe like the National Front in France and the Northern League in Italy — and the Tea Party in the United States, which is the home office of racism.

In Norway the party of this type is the Progressive Party, to which Breivik belonged until 2006. This fascist-style ideology has been adopted — in a barely milder form — by mainstream capitalist politicians in Europe and North America.

Rather than combating racist ideology and right-wing fallacies, the mainstream capitalist parties and the corporate-owned media help the ultra-right create a political atmosphere poisoned by the worst sort of racism and anti-immigrant, anti-foreign, especially anti-Muslim, attitudes. The Times, the BBC and the capitalists do nothing to encourage multinational solidarity, especially among the working class. Thus they help create the septic mix that nurtures a killer like Breivik.

Unlike Loughner, Breivik left a 1,500-page manifesto documenting his plans and revealing his close ties with racist U.S. bloggers and anti-Muslim ideology. A New York Times article on July 25 exposed the role of U.S.-based ultra-rightists in Breivik’s development. There are 64 references in this document to Robert Spencer, who operates the U.S.-based “Jihad Watch” website, and that’s just one example.

Look behind these developments and you find the severe capitalist economic crisis. Its first victims were the oppressed countries, the former colonies. Workers and farmers trying to survive made their way at great cost to Europe and the United States to find work, and for years many did find work.

Now the crisis is hitting home in the imperialist countries. There is high unemployment overall. What is the solution for workers and oppressed communities?

Breivik’s ideological fellow-thinkers —including those like Glenn Beck, whose first reaction to the massacre was to attack Norway’s Labor Party — propose ratcheting up racism and expelling immigrants.

These “solutions” keep the working class divided and fighting each other for the steadily dwindling pool of jobs. The capitalists are just fine with that.

Like the Times and the BBC, the mainstream capitalist parties refuse to stand firm against this racism, as the capitalists don’t want to promote solidarity. They profit from keeping workers divided.

The only alternative is for the working class itself to develop and strengthen solidarity and unity among all workers, the unemployed, and those from oppressed nations — and to realize that our enemy is the wealthy capitalist class, not each other.

The racist, divisive aims and acts of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant neo-fascists can be stopped if workers, whether they are born in a country or immigrants, join together to struggle for jobs and for an end to the nightmare of capitalism worldwide.
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