30 July 2011

Kudos to Norway's response to terrorism

Excerpts from Glenn Greenwald's column at Salon:
Over the last decade, virtually every Terrorist plot aimed at the U.S. -- whether successful or failed -- has provoked greater security and surveillance measures...

The reaction to the heinous Oslo attack by Norway's political class has been exactly the opposite: a steadfast refusal to succumb to hysteria and a security-über-alles mentality. The day after the attack -- one which, per capita, was as significant for Norway as 9/11 was for the U.S. -- Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang, when asked whether greater security measures were needed, sternly rejected that notion: "I don't think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect." It is simply inconceivable that any significant U.S. politician -- the day after an attack of that magnitude -- would publicly reject calls for greater security measures...
“The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg insisted...

Stoltenberg strongly defended the right to speak freely -- even if it includes extremist views such as Breivik’s.

“We have to be very clear to distinguish between extreme views, opinions — that’s completely legal, legitimate to have. What is not legitimate is to try to implement those extreme views by using violence,” he said in English...

What's most striking, and ironic, is that the Norwegian response to the Oslo attack is so glaringly un-American even though its core premise -- a brave refusal to sacrifice liberty and transparency in the name of fear and security -- was once the political value Americans boasted of exhibiting most. What we now have instead is the instinctive exploitation by political elites of every threat -- real and imagined -- as a means of eroding liberties, privacy and openness, based in part on fear and in part on an opportunistic desire for greater power. That's why Norway's courageous, principled response seems so foreign to American eyes and ears.
More at the link.


  1. Kudos indeed! To let fear rule is to let the enemy inside

  2. Fools! Don't they realize that it is only through fear and suppression that we can guarantee freedom and democracy?

  3. Stan, I wish your comment didn't make so much sense to me. Remember, the gropings are for your protection.

    Between this and Sweden's willingness to host WikiLeaks (while simultaneously trying to track down Assange for criminal charges), I'm pretty impressed with Scandinavia right now. Even if they do have (gasp) socialized health care.

  4. Speaking of reactions to that attack, did you see this?

    It's pretty damn awesome! Also appallingly unreported.


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