Saturday, July 23, 2011

One man's terrorist is another man's wanton killer

First, on behalf of Whitefeather Peace House, we wish to express our profound condolences to the people of Norway, to the families of the victims of the 22 July 2011 bombings and shootings there, and to all friends of all who were murdered and injured. Nothing will ever stop the hurt those evil acts have caused.

It is time to declare the long millennia of violence done and to understand that all violence is counterproductive, whether done to avenge or even supposedly to prevent greater harm. The accused Norwegian bomber is Anders Behring Breivik, 32, and "claims to be a fan of Winston Churchill, classical music, and gory movies like, '300,' and 'Gladiator,' on his Facebook page," according to the New York Daily News.
He is apparently far more akin to Timothy McVeigh than to Osama bin Laden and has some association with anti-Islam groups. Indeed, the targets were youth engaged in progressive politics and the government and perhaps incidentally his bombs were similar--tons of fertilizer.

What they all share is their own rationalization for their murderous acts. Osama bin Laden had reasons for his attacks. Timothy McVeigh had justifications. The Taliban rationalize their violence and the American military does too. In the end it is all about lies, just as Gandhi said. At the end of the day, committing acts of violence is simply a manifestly major moral failure.

One only has to look at all those suffering as a result, from Norway to Congo to Iraq to Colombia to Afghanistan to Libya and so on and so on. The cycle of violence is a death spiral that sucks in far more innocents than "evil-doers" and the acts of violence are evil done.

To strike at the heart of the Nobel Peace Prize, the land of Johan Galtung and Birgit Brock-Utne, the home of sincere peace processes--it is a mark of the insanity of violence. Some 'progressives' say don't mention Norway because we should be focused on mentioning violence done in poor countries. Excuse me? That is what we mention daily. We need to take a moment to think about Norway, about the violence of left, right, nationalism and religion, and think about how to intervene with all our hearts and minds.

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