Monday, April 16, 2012

Anders Behring Breivik and the LTTE

Anders Breivik is currently is about to go on trial for a massacre of 77 people in Oslo. Sections of the local press have been trying valiantly to find parallels between him and the LTTE, the objective of which seems to be:

a) to prove Western hypocrisy
b) prove that the fight against the LTTE is the same as the West's battle against miscellaneous evils, from Al Quaeda to the odd psychopath.

I don't think anybody takes this very seriously, although people trying to draw parallels even saw a resemblance between the coastline of Sri Lanka and the area of Norway in which the massacre took place. Having a little time I decided to do a little research, to test the veracity of these claims.

Anders Breivik's 'manifesto' is available online. I skimmed it and found one reference to the LTTE and one to Sri Lanka.

The tract as a whole is against Islam and other anti-Western influences which he perceives to be destroying Europe. According to him these influences are disguised under the cloak of 'multiculturalism' and will eventually destroy Europe. There is nothing new in this, plenty of right-wing nationalist parties have similar views and pages 1244-1250 of the manifesto list many of these.

In any case, why such a racist should see anything positive, let alone be influenced by the LTTE is a mystery. His one reference comes on page 1,479 (of 1,518 page manifesto) and refers to physical fighting. To quote the relevant paragraph:

Fourth Generation War is normally characterised by a “stateless” entity fighting a state or regime (the EUSSR). Fighting can be physically such as Hezbollah or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to use two modern examples. In this realm the 4GW entity uses all three levels of Fourth Generation War. These are the physical (actual combat; it is considered the least important), mental (the will to fight, belief in victory, etc) and moral (the most important, this includes cultural norms, etc) levels. Fighting can also be without the physical level of war. This is via non-violent means. Examples of this could be Gandhi’s opposition to the British Empire or by Martin Luther King’s marches. Both desired their factions to deescalate the conflict while the state escalates against them, the objective being to target the opponent on the moral and mental levels rather than the physical level. The state is then seen as a bully and loses support.

It is rather far-fetched to look at the above quote and claim that he was inspired by the LTTE, or for that matter Hezbollah, an Islamic militant group, mentioned in the same breath. Many opponents of multiculturalism will however find plenty to draw on in Breivik.

This article claims that "The killer’s manifesto also referred to the Anuradhapura massacre in 1985 and the slaughter of Muslims at the Kattankudy Mosque, in August 1990", neither of which I can locate in the manifesto.

It goes on to say that the "Sri Lanka mission in Oslo has said it would be important to study how the LTTE had influenced Breivik and the circumstances leading to the 33-year-old Norwegian following the Sri Lankan terrorist group".

If this is indeed what they intend doing perhaps they should desist, unless they want to run the risk looking rather foolish.


Funny Gypsy said...

I'm surprised the media can make such statements on his behalf and try to get away with it.
Has he said anything of the sort (of sympathising or supporting LTTE)? No.
Wouldn't his being influenced by LTTE be contradictory to his being racist? Yes.
Then whoever made these preposterous claims should get their heads examined, their journalism degrees revoked, and go for introductory logic classes.

Jack Point said...

Welcome Gypsy and thanks for that comment. Could not agree more. That particular newspaper seems to indulge in that habit on a fairly regular basis.

Anonymous said...

The Island is a joke. Maybe Sri Lanka could also learn lessons from the way Norway treats this whole issue.

Jack Point said...

Jehan, thanks for that comment.

Any newspaper that runs front page editorials on a monthly (and towards the end of the war, weekly) is rather difficult to take seriously.

They make all manner of misleading or sometimes downright false statements, but since very few people have the time ti check, they are never challenged.

They regularly howl that teh "western" media are hypocritical and have "double standards".

Perhaps someone should remind them that when one points a finger at someone, four fingers point back to oneself.