Anders Behring Breivik stood on trial yesterday in Norway, glorifying his actions and calling for acquittal in the Norway massacre trial in which he is responsible for the death of 77 people.
Anders Breivik is the man accused of killing 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July. The 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty and has stated that his actions were a necessity, as he was acting under the premise of national defense. Among his crimes was a car bomb set off outside the government headquarters in Oslo and then shooting another 69 people at a youth summer camp organized by the ruling Labour Party. Vindicating his actions through nationalistic jargon, jingoism, Breivik sought to retaliate against what he saw as a contagion of immigrants and cultures that were undermining his ideal of pure Arianism, glorying actions of the NSDAP regime in Germany under Hitler. Upon taking the stand at his trial for the first time, the previously declared insane business fraudster read from a statement for an hour, turning the trial into a publication of his violent propaganda. Among his statement, he invoked Native American warriors such as Sitting Bull, as well as raging against Islam and multiculturalism and warned of ‘rivers of blood’ in Europe. Expressing no regret for his actions, Breivik has turned his massacre into a self-described notion of revolutionary nationalism. The toxic legacy of Breivik’s actions have illustrated the conflict within the nation, as well as the growing criticism that globalization is depriving cultures of their identity and thus sparking such retaliatory actions.
“I have carried out the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack committed in Europe since the Second World War. The July 22 attacks were preemptive attacks to defend the Norwegian people and the Norwegian ethnicity.” – Anders Behring Breivik
While he likely be kept behind bars for the duration of his life, Breivik’s main objective is to prove his sanity, a court judgement that he sees as vindication for his anti-Muslim and anti-immigration cause. If found guilty and sane, Breivik faces a maximum 21-year sentence, due to Norway’s liberal court system and peace-keeping objective. Nevertheless, Breivik could be held indefinitely if he is considered a continuing danger. If declared insane, a label he considers a fate worse than death, Breivik would go to a psychiatric institution indefinitely with periodic reviews. Breivik has sternly opposed being labelled insane. Breivik has claims that it was Norway’s politicians who should be locked up in the sort of mental institution in which he could expect to spend the rest of his life. Ironically, Breivik’s sanity plea is paralleled by extreme rhetoric and inflammatory statement which will offset any support for his mental state. Among his statement, Breivik insisted that the youth killed at the summer camp were not innocent, non-political children; rather, he insisted that they were people seeking to undermine Norwegian nationality by upholding multicultural values, going so far as comparing the Labour party’s youth wing (AUF) with the Hitler Youth.
“They [politicians] expect us to applaud our ethnic and cultural doom. They should be characterized as insane, not me. Why is this the real insanity? This is the real insanity because it is not rational to work to deconstruct one’s own ethnic group, culture and religion.” – Anders Behring Breivik
Breivik’s courtroom strategy is as wickedly calculated as was his original massacre. He admitted his responsibility for the 77 deaths, but he also made clear, both in his conduct and through his lawyers, that he is wholly unrepentant and sees those deaths as a means to a wider political end. He revels in the horrified attention that is focused on him. He is ready to give further offence to liberal values, and he intends to add insult to injury by trying Norway’s patience in every way possible. Among his courtroom repertoire of narcissistic actions, Breivik gave a right-wing salute, a refusal to recognize the court which he regards as an illegitimate creation of defenders of multiculturalism, and his only show of emotion was when the court reviewed his calls to arms video to defend Norwegian national purity against Islamic subversion. The trial, a long and perpetuating process, is scheduled to last 10 weeks. His defense team has called 29 witnesses to argue Breivik was sane, including Mulah Krekar, the Kurdish founder of Islamist group Ansar al-Islam and ‘Fjordman’, a right-wing blogger who influenced Breivik.