Geller and Spencer’s work actually shaped Breivik’s ideas, Walt explains

I’ve been afraid to go too hard after mass-murderer Anders Breivik for citing Islamophobic blogger Pamela Geller because people will respond that Osama bin Laden has cited Jimmy Carter and Walt and Mearsheimer. Steve Walt deals with this question in a great post on Breivik. On the intellectual culpability issue, he says that OBL did what he did without reading Walt and Mearsheimer, while the same cannot likely be said about Breivik/Geller:


As you’d expect, some of [Robert Spencer and Pam Geller's] defenders have pointed out that the late Osama bin Laden also cited some writers favorably, including Noam Chomsky, Michael Scheuer, and yours truly. Bin Laden also mentioned John Perkins (author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) and Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The defenders suggest that these two situations are identical and accuse those who see a link between Breivik and his Islamophobic inspirations of a double standard.

This line of defense is pretty silly because it completely ignores conventional notions of causality. Osama bin Laden began his terrorist career over a decade before the authors he cited had even started the books to which he subsequently referred. He didn’t need to read Chomsky, Perkins, Scheuer, or me in order to develop his violently fundamentalist outlook; it was firmly in place long before I wrote one word and wholly at odds with the central views of the people to whom he referred. Indeed, I doubt he ever read my work; if he had, I wonder what he made of our defense of Israel’s right to exist, our condemnation of terrorism in general and al Qaeda in particular, and our explicit denunciations of anti-Semitism?

By contrast, it is clear from Breivik’s own statements that his thinking was shaped by the various Islamophobic writers whose work he cites (and whose websites he patronized and posted on). He wasn’t dreaming up terrorist plots 20 years ago and then citing these writers after the fact to justify it; on the contrary, these works apparently helped convince him that radical violence was necessary in part because there was a looming danger to “the West.” Geller, Spencer, and their ilk are not responsible for his specific decisions and actions, of course, but they do bear some responsibility for creating and promoting a vision of cultural conflict that makes such extreme responses more likely.

I’d say the distinction Walt makes extends to the bizarre ideas that neocons came up with, that George W. Bush then deployed in Iraq. And I’d add this: Breivik might actually be called an intellectual, if a twisted one; his manifesto is very articulate about repulsive ideas. Ideas that Geller and Spencer share. And I bet that if you had shown his arguments about “cultural Marxism” and political correctness and Islam’s threat to Geller a couple of weeks ago, she’d have agreed with them wholeheartedly. I wonder what in his manifesto she’d disagree with!

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 67 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Taxi says:

    But Walt didn’t go near the zio connection, tsk tsk tsk.

    I know he knows it’s there.

  2. David Samel says:

    Walt apparently is unaware of an extraordinary bombshell connection between Pam Geller and Breivik discussed (along with interesting analysis of Breivik’s finances) by Justin Raimondo at link to original.antiwar.com

    Raimondo reports that Geller’s blog included the following entry from June 24, 2007:

    Geller: “I am running an email I received from an Atlas reader in Norway. It is devastating in its matter-of-factness.

    Email from Norwegian reader of Atlas [Geller's blog]: “Well, yes, the situation is worsening. Stepping up from 29 000 immigrants every year, in 2007 we will be getting a total of 35 000 immigrants from somalia, iran, iraq and afghanistan. The nations capital is already 50% muslim, and they ALL go there after entering Norway. Adding the 1.2 births per woman per year from muslim women, there will be 300 000+ muslims out of the then 480 000 inhabitants of that city.

    “Orders from Libya and Iran say that Oslo will be known as Medina at the latest in 2010, although I consider this a PR-stunt nevertheless it is their plan.

    “From Israel the hordes clawing at the walls of Jerusalem proclaim cheerfully that next year there will be no more Israel, and I know Israel shrugs this off as do I, and will mount a strike during the summer against all of its enemies in the middle east. This will make the muslims worldwide go into a frenzy, attacking everyone around them.

    “We are stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment. This is going to happen fast.

    “Before, I thought about emigrating to Britain, Israel, USA, South Africa, etc. for taxes and politics, but instead (although I believe we are the very last generation on earth before the return of God) I will stay and fight for the right to this country and indeed the entire peninsula, for the God-fearing people, just in case this isn’t the end of the world after all. Doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.

    “It’s far from impossible to achieve, after all my people has done it every time before, in feats that match the ancient Greek, hebrew and british ‘legends’.

    “Oslo and the southeast may fall easily, but there are other lines than ‘state’-borders drawn across this country since long before there was even a single muslim in the world, and we have held them this long, against everyone else too. We are entering a new golden age for my people, and those of a handful other countrys, but only through struggle.

    “Never fear, Pamela. God is with you too in this coming time.”

    You can still find this letter on Geller’s blog at link to atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com
    She did not remove it, but did she did change it a little some time over the past few days. She has now removed one sentence, the one I bolded.

    Furthermore, as Raimondo reports,

    In the comments, one of Geller’s readers warns that the author of the letter could be prosecuted by Norewegian authorities. Geller replies: “Yes … which is why I ran it anonymously.”

    So here is some nut stockpiling “weapons, ammunition, and equipment,” because “this is going to happen fast” – with Geller’s enthusiastic encouragement. Indeed, she’s so concerned her correspondent might be arrested that she’s protecting his identity.

    Of course, we don’t know if Breivik himself was the mystery correspondent, or if it was an accomplice or associate of Breivik, or another lunatic preparing a similar attack. We do know, however, that Pam Geller knows who he is, and she’s not saying.

    • gingershot says:

      Putting aside all the ink that Geller is squirting out to provide herself some minim of hypothetical plausible deniability – Breivik was just her kind of man

      Israel and her Israeli Lobby are very annoyed that their anti-jihadist clown parade has had some very icy water thrown on it

      Geller and rest of the Israeli Lobby are terrorists – the war on Iraq was a war of terror for Israel and the coming war against Iran will be a war of terror for Israel unless we can avert it

      Too the Office of Homeland Security can’t seek a warrant and seize Geller’s computer – but then again this made for Israel office probably still has it’s hands full trying to bust Alice Walker and the rest of the last Flotilla to Gaza

    • ToivoS says:

      David I saw that Raimondo piece as well. It occurs to me that there is a way to test whether or not that anonymous author is Breivik (perhaps not prove but to establish plausibility or not to the the theory). This is a syntactical analysis of sentence structure. This involves a computer analysis of sentence structure that led to the revelation that Joe Klein was the author of Primary Colours. This has also been applied to the old testament showing quite clearly that that document had multiple authors.

      I have no idea how this program works, but this issue seems important enough that someone with the requisite skills should do the analysis.

      • David Samel says:

        Excellent point, Toivo. I recall reading the article that exposed Klein and thinking it brilliant and conclusive but I did not make the connection you did. Of course, if it is Breivik, Geller looks worse, but if it’s someone else, her treatment of the email is just as indefensible.

    • Potsherd2 says:

      The 3 monkey club at Daily Kos won’t hear about this link because Raimondo’s site is also banned.

  3. tokyobk says:

    I stopped reading jihadwatch when they began attacking Tarek Fatah for being a “slick propagandist” supposedly covering for Islamism. Anyone who knows Fatah’s work would laugh out loud at the idea.

    Fatah’s crime was advancing the interpretation that Ayesha, Muhammads’s wife was in fact not underage by contemporary standards at the time of their consumption. Rather than seeing this as exactly what Unitarians and Reconstructionists do all the time, reinterpret and update, they insisted it was proof that he was trying to hoodwink the kuffir.

    That’s when I knew they were not looking for or really interested in moderate Muslims or moderate Islam.

  4. Mndwss says:

    The New Anti-Semitism
    By Uri Avnery

    The Nazi Propaganda Minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, calls his boss, Adolf Hitler, by hell-phone.

    ‘Mein Führer,’ he exclaims excitedly. ‘News from the world. It seems we were on the right track, after all. Anti-Semitism is conquering Europe!’

    “Good!” the Führer says, “That will be the end of the Jews!”

    “Hmmm…well…not exactly, mein Führer. It looks as though we chose the wrong Semites. Our heirs, the new Nazis, are going to annihilate the Arabs and all the other Muslims in Europe.” Then, with a chuckle, “After all, there are many more Muslims than Jews to exterminate.”

    “But what about the Jews?” Hitler insists.

    “You won’t believe this: the new Nazis love Israel, the Jewish State – and Israel loves them!”

    link to palestinechronicle.com

  5. Miura says:

    Why only a couple of weeks before the outrage? How about after the evil had occurred under the Sun:

    Italian Northern League MEP Mario Borghezio described [Breivik's ideas] as “100% good”.

    This from a country where the next Prime Minister–who also comes from the “family” of the far-right–is likely to be a man who as late as the mid-90s regarded Mussolini as “the greatest statesman of the 20th Century”. Of course, all is forgiven after he cleaned up his act and like dozens of ex-hitmen became a vocal pentito getting a certificate of good neighborliness from the Man of Peace himself, Ariel Sharon:

    He is a good and friendly leader–it is time to look to the future, not the past.

  6. MRW says:

    Could we have a moment of clarity here?

    Breivik admitted to massacring the 90+ people; he was caught on the island with his gun and surrendered..

    Osama bin Laden was indicted by Richard Perle and Ehud Barak on BBC on September 11, 2001, in a ‘who else could it have been?’ broadcast (They actually said that.) This happened around 6:30 PM GMT on September 11, 2001, then reported back to the US as the truth. (Ehud Barak was sitting in the BBC Green Room at 9:30 AM EST waiting to go to talk about the WTC. He was shown in an insert, with a “Coming up…” announcement. That was 1/2 hour before the first tower came down. I saw replays of the BBC show where I live over and over again. You bet I noticed this, because my question was, ‘What the hell is he doing in London’?)
    • Bin Laden denied, repeatedly, having anything to do with 9/11 in the weeks following 9/11.
    • The Taliban told the USA and Britain, ‘show us your proof he did it and we’ll hand-deliver him’. Neither Bush nor Blair did.
    • A fat, bulbous-nosed OBL, wearing gold and gesticulating as if he were right-handed, in a fuzzy video delivered in Nov/Dec 2001 is the supposed proof he did it. (Delivered via S.I.T.E. if I remember correctly.) This is the only proof they have. The video was debunked by Swiss experts, by the way, who used voice and body comparisons.
    • The FBI refused to put OBL on its Most Wanted List for the crime. As of June 2006 (could have been 2005) the spokesman for the FBI when asked about it said “We have no proof.” That is documented, and I have a copy of the written FBI response somewhere.

    I shouldn’t need to remind all of you of the difficulty the Jersey Four wives had getting an official investigation into 911 even two years after the fact. Nor, should I need to remind you that the legal counsel for the commission, John Farmer (Dean of Rutgers Law School and former Attorney-General of NJ) wrote a book (Ground Truth?) detailing how critical info was withheld from the Commission, how they were prevented from investigating key parts of the events, and how they were shut down in their investigation. Commissioner Kean confirmed Farmer’s assertions.

    So let’s be achingly accurate here and use that ancient and out-of-use 20th C journalistic word, which used to mean something: “allegedly.”

    • One of the great mysteries of our time….

      How otherwise sane and intelligent people can accept an official explanation for the events of 9/11 that is more fantastic than an HG Wells novel.

      The REAL “conspiracy theory” is the official accounting of what actually happened.

      • How otherwise sane and intelligent people can accept an official explanation for the events of 9/11 that is more fantastic than an HG Wells novel.

        Indeed. I find the phenonmenon of people’s brains switching off when presented with utterly clear evidence that flatly contradicts the official explanation one of the great mysteries of our time.

      • stevieb says:

        My thoughts exactly. I thought I would lose it completely when most people accepted without question the Obama story about killing OBL. For me it was clearly BS. Show me some evidence or p*ss off…

    • CigarGod says:

      btw, even after the death of OBL, the fbi website had not updated it to say he was even a suspect in 9/11.
      I sent several emails over the years and never got a response back.

  7. Sin Nombre says:

    Phil Weiss wrote:

    “Steve Walt deals with [the question of Breivik's motivations and etc.] in a great post…”

    No, actually it was surprisingly weak for Walt to do what so many others do with similar stuff and try to perceive some big meaning, conveniently in line with his other beliefs, into this kind of thing.

    In fact he best comment about this whole thing and indeed this kind of phenomenon actually came from a commentator on Walt’s site named Zathras which is so great I’ll just reproduce it here:

    “I wish some people would learn to look out the window or go for a walk before using some events in the news as a hook for the expression of beliefs they held anyway.

    We all do it, those of us who write about public affairs for a living or as a hobby. It’s not always a bad practice, or a harmful practice. All I’m saying is we should use some common sense. This Breivik person went to a place he knew had many children and no security, and spent well over an hour hunting down children with automatic weapons. His were the acts of a monster.

    What I understand from news reports to be this man’s political ideology doesn’t commend itself to me in any way, but ideology can serve as a pretext for morally despicable acts as easily as it can be a reason for them. This man clearly spent a great deal of time and effort thinking of a way to justify slaughtering children. If he hadn’t come up with his goofy idea of being a modern Knight Templar, he’d have come up with something else.

    We don’t tie ourselves into intellectual knots worrying what Jack the Ripper means for our tolerance of prostitution. He doesn’t mean anything. This is no different.”

    • MRW says:

      Sin Nombre,

      While Zathras’ comment is interesting, it doesn’t apply other than realizing the guy murdered people/kids, no excuses allowed.

      Breivik didn’t think up ways to justify slaughtering children. His manifesto is about Geller/Spencer’s and other anti-Muslim ideas and how to build a bomb. His diary is riveting, actually, even though he meant to be pedagogic. (Full bias disclosure: I still maintain his slaughter on Utoya was an afterthought of the week’s events; the Utoya killings were not headlined in his manifesto; no indication he was planning for them; he provided enough ammo to shoot his way out of Oslo in the event things went wrong.)

    • Your attempt to hang your theory on these events is less credible than Walt’s.

      • Sin Nombre says:

        justicewillprevail wrote:

        “Your attempt to hang your theory on these events is less credible than Walt’s.”

        Well that’s a smart way of putting things for sure, justice, and has caused me to consider that … okay, neither I nor Zathras is really saying Walt was “wrong” in what he said, but I think that’s because what he says is in the final analysis pretty weak tea.

        Look at Walt’s summation of his “theory”:

        “Geller, Spencer, and their ilk are not responsible for his specific decisions and actions, of course, but they do bear some responsibility for creating and promoting a vision of cultural conflict that makes such extreme responses more likely.”

        So okay, I’d ask you, as a regular reader here I think I have a rough recall and sense of what your general take has been on the ME conflict. (Invariably smart if indeed I recall right, and certainly not notably nuts.)

        But … if some nut cold-bloodedly went out and started murdering West Bank settler kids and it turned out he read everything you’ve ever written here, don’t you think in the same vein someone could find at least *something* you wrote that … “creat[ed] and promot[ed] a vision of cultural conflict that [made] such [an] extreme response[] more likely”?

        Very probably yes, I suspect the answer is (without even going and trying to resurrect what you’ve written in the past) … simply because I suspect we *all* probably have.

        Why? Because there’s nuts out there, who latch onto things because … in many instances, they are subconsciously *looking* to latch onto something to justify their impulses.

        But … THEY ARE NUTS, and I think that’s the big Magilla here that people keep conveniently pretending doesn’t exist.

        As Zathras said—plus noting that this nut wasn’t even killing arab or moslem kids—this guy obviously had a Jones for just simply trapping and then gunning down loads of kids and he had thought long and hard about the best opportunity to do so. Or in other words, he just simply was a nut.

        And I don’t think that anything anyone writes ought to be dinged because of what some nut has fixed on. There are no doubt nuts who went nuts after reading some math textbook. So before any future math guy writes another book does he have to research this knowing that at least *some* math talk “creates and promotes a vision that makes such extreme responses more likely”?

        Nah…. Just can’t be I don’t think.

        Not to dispute but that *some* writers *can* indeed bear great responsibility for prompting great evil, but the evidence here just doesn’t come close to explaining this particular situation I don’t think. No way, I doubt, is the evidence going to come out showing that he was otherwise a stable, reasonable guy who followed some line of logic to do what he did. Instead, I’d bet, his nuttiness simply grabbed onto something floating by. The same way Jack the Ripper ripped for reasons other than because he hated the laxness of Britain’s anti-prostitution laws.

        • See this:

          link to opendemocracy.net

          You are missing the point about the nexus of influences and perceptions which are fed by these hate writers. You are dismissing an argument which isn’t being made, a simple cause and effect chain – that is not the issue.

        • Koshiro says:

          But … if some nut cold-bloodedly went out and started murdering West Bank settler kids and it turned out he read everything you’ve ever written here,

          Why yes…
          if somebody here should say what is usually alleged to be in the Hamas charter, namely that all Jews are to be driven out of Palestine because Jews – all Jews – are a malicious tumor on civilization and we are at war with them and…
          if if these writings were found to form the basis of our hypothetical settler-murderer’s ideas…
          … yes, then I would assign the same amount of blame to that hypothetical somebody as I do to Geller, Spencer and all the other islamophobic jackasses in this case.

          Ain’t gonna happen, though.

          many instances, they are subconsciously *looking* to latch onto something to justify their impulses.

          Nonsense. Breivik meticulously planned his deed for years and documented his reasons very well. The idea that he just had an “impulse” to kill people and randomly chose the hated “cultural marxists” is laughably bizarre.
          It’s kinda like claiming that the 9/11 murderers merely had a combined death wish and desire to kill a lot of people and just picked a justification at random. That’s literally what you are claiming here.

          This Breivik person went to a place he knew had many children and no security, and spent well over an hour hunting down children with automatic weapons.

          Okay, just to nip this in the bud: The majority of his victims, at least according to the lists I have seen, were adults. The others were teenagers, mostly around 16-17.

          In summary: You lack knowledge about Breivik’s deeds and his writings. In addition, your argumentation is irrational and incoherent.

        • Sin Nombre says:

          Hi again justice:

          Well okay, I understand that the “simple cause and effect chain” isn’t being argued, and that no “direct” responsibility is be argued against Geller/et. al. for this nut’s behavior and instead only … *some* sort of “responsibility”instead. (For “shaping [the nut's] ideas” as Phil so concisely puts it.)

          But in the first place even if so … what does *any* kind of “responsibility” even *mean* unless one is willing to sanction those shirking that responsibility?

          Thus: Would you really criminalize Geller’s words? Or even, say, allow this nut’s victims to successfully sue Geller civilly for damages? And thus risk … you and I here for instance to also be prosecuted and/or sued by the victims of some nut whose views were “shaped” by what we have written?

          And isn’t the entire idea of “responsibility” just meaningless unless without sanctions? For instance, what would we call a law against speeding on a certain stretch of road … that we likewise agreed should carry no penalty whatsoever?

          Again, not to say that *no* kinds of pure, clear, direct verbal incitement to violence (maybe event such talk that incites no-one) shouldn’t be punishable, but just as it’s ridiculous to hold it against someone for … almost breaking the law (for obvious reasons), we shouldn’t be talking about holding people “responsible” for not crossing the line into that pure, clear and direct incitement.

          It’s cautionary, for sure, for all of us, but nothing more I don’t think.

          Secondly and again I just very much don’t think this was really politically motivated as such. Doesn’t make sense. Why not kill a bunch of muslims? And this nut was not just citing Geller, but William Lind too, and was copying the Unabomber’s manifesto too, right?

          Once more I think people here and others trying to nail Geller et. al. are just studiously avoiding the argument that of course they *too* are *trying* to “shape” people’s ideas. And of course *especially* here there’s lots and lots of rather thundering condemnations of Israelis, partisan jews, and even worse one might say against the Israeli settlers. But we would be outraged if anyone wanted to punish or even condemn the commentators here for merely having “shaped” to some degree the world view of another who—all on their own—decided that no peaceful means could see that world view succeed and so crossed the line into violence.

          It’s that … “line of violence” then it seems to me to be crucial. Drawing distinctions, after all, is at the heart of moral thought. So short of that line, I at least think, it’s just incoherent to talk about punishing someone for … almost breaking the law.

          Incoherent … and dangerous. “Be careful of what you wish for” goes the old saw, right? So today some might say “damn right prosecute and/or sue Geller,” only to find that tomorrow they themselves are the ones getting prosecuted and/or sued.

          As always though nice hearing your perspective, justice.

        • Koshiro says:

          Once more I think people here and others trying to nail Geller et. al. are just studiously avoiding the argument that of course they *too* are *trying* to “shape” people’s ideas.

          Why of course we are trying to shape people’s ideas. It’s just that we try to shape them towards cultural tolerance, mutual respect and universal human rights. If you really cannot see the difference between that and Geller’s vision, then your ideas are in some serious need of further shaping.

          Secondly and again I just very much don’t think this was really politically motivated as such. Doesn’t make sense. Why not kill a bunch of muslims?

          Also see: Your lack of knowledge regarding Breivik’s “manifest”.

        • Donald says:

          I think you are partly right, Sin Nombre, in that it is possible some nut could read the very harsh condemnations we level at Zionists and take it as a reason for mass murder. Which is why we should emphasize non-violent solutions and the long term goal, which is a solution where Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs have equal rights. For the most part I think the front page articles on this website adhere to that. Some of the more heated comments in the comment section may not, but the most heated comments at any political blog usually go too far.

          I don’t think that the leading Islamophobes can make this defense, that the leading lights are basically reasonable people identifying atrocities committed by some group and pointing out non-violent solutions where everyone lives side by side in peace and equality. They may not advocate that individuals go out and slaughter people on their own, but they do encourage people to see all Muslims as a danger to Western civilization and they support wars by the US and Israel’s most militant policies. They sound very much like anti-semites in the early 20th century. They aren’t limiting their criticisms to bad behavior by Islamic extremists–the entire religion is painted as a threat, along with 1.2 billion people.

          I’m old enough to remember the period just after Jim Crow, and I don’t necessarily believe in a sharp distinction between people like Breivik who actually kill with their own hands and people who think like him, but don’t. Lynching in the South wasn’t just the work of crazy people–it was a practice made socially acceptable because so many whites who might not have ever worn a sheet thought that there was a serious threat from black men. Breivik, of course, might be crazy, but if Islamophobia became mainstream then I’d expect lynching (or pogroms) as a socially acceptable practice to follow close behind.

    • MRW says:

      “Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller Attempt to Conceal Evidence of “Truth-Telling” by Sheila Musaji in THE AMERICAN MUSLIM
      link to theamericanmuslim.org

      Some time ago I published an article Robert Spencer and the Disappearing Articles. However, that seems to be only the tip of the iceberg. It appears that Spencer and his partner Pamela Geller are now using this tactic regularly to attempt to remove evidence of what they have actually said and/or published. Since they like to refer to themselves in all sorts of patriotic and glowing terms including “truth-teller” and to refer to Muslims as purveyors of “taqiyyah” (liars), this tactic does seem to call those designations into question.
      *
      Here are the cases that I know about at this time. [...]
      *
      In 2008, Alex Koppelman on Salon reported that Geller fell for a fake story about a Michelle Obama interview, and posted and then removed the post from her site. [...]
      *
      Media Monitors reported that in July, 2010, she also “ran with a fake Obama quote from fabricated Columbia thesis.[...]
      *
      On December 21, 2010, Robert Spencer posted an article on Jihad Watch entitled London: Flight returns to terminal after Muslim starts praying in aisle, won’t take his seat. [...]
      *
      In our lengthy article collection on Robert Spencer we have noted: “The existence of website url’s “f**kallah.com” & “f**kislam.com” which redirected people to Spencer’s Jihad Watch site and which Loonwatch first brought to the attention of the Muslim community. [...]
      *
      In October of 2010 Geller posted an article titled Hate Crime which included an email from a reader who had supposedly been harrassed by Muslims in her neighborhood and was unable to get law enforcement or elected officials to do anything about it. [...]
      *
      Richard Bartholomew did an excellent debunking article on the fake “Hamas Child Bride” story promoted by Spencer and others. [...]
      *
      Charles Johnson notes (and has preserved screen captures to prove) that Geller published an “Email from Norway” in 2007. [...]
      *
      In July of 2011, Pamela Geller published a post titled Vehicular Jihad in Arizona which is Geller’s take on a simple story about a terrible car accident in Arizona in which the driver of a vehicle crashed into 3 parked vehicles in a parking lot and was killed. The man was a physician named Ajaz Rahaman, [...]

      (I probably posted this in the wrong area on this thread, so forgive me. I thought it interesting that Geller and Spencer appear to alter their spews depending on the prevailing media wind.)

  8. MRW says:

    Walt’s essay is excellent, and should be read in toto. So should Raimondo’s pieced cited by David Samel.

  9. hughsansom says:

    In the case of Pamela Geller, we know — by her own admission — that she concealed the identify of an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim racist who had described stockpiling weapons in Norway. Moreover, she has since deleted some of the relevant material from her website. By the very definitions enthusiastically embraced by Obama and conservatives across the US, Geller could be prosecuted for giving “material support” to a terrorist.

    See: link to twitlonger.com

  10. Debonnaire says:

    It’s also very important to note as N. Finklestein did in an email that the Leatherface (Geller) and Spencer blogs reflect the core beliefs of most Israelies and their apologists, anyway. It was noted here that most of Israel was ferklempt at the sight of all those Norwegian children’s blood.

  11. American says:

    I would go much farther than saying Geller’s ideas influenced Breivik.
    I think it would be entirely possible for an enterprising investigator to discover her ‘activities” in Norway, not just her blogging in the US, are connected to Breivik and the anti Muslim group in Norway….and other countries.

    Geller was in Norway to help lead a anti Muslim, anti Palestine rally supporting Israel’s Cast Lead shortly after that operation…that is a fact.
    I would bet money that Geller knows by face, having met them, if not by real name, the main leaders of this movement in Norway. She did in fact say that she knew anti Muslim blogger, Fjordman, who also inspired Breivik, personally. Which I take to mean she has met him or thru communicating with him knows personal facts about him that could identity him.
    I also think it possible that this movement in Norway receives funding from the network in the US…..and I would bet this US cabal is also willing to if not already backing similar groups in other target countries.

    Everyone should save for reference this article below by Max Blumenthal tracing the big money backers and the network of associations swirling around those like Geller, Pipes, Spencer and many others whose names we don’t see in the usual coverage of these zio/neo and anti Muslim groups.

    link to muslimmedianetwork.com

    I don’t think it is a stretch at all to say these groups and individuals, because are fanatics and have the funds to spend on promoting their fanaticism are dangerous to the US, to Everyone.

    But given how government doesn’t work any longer and our news media doesn’t do investigative jouralism for the public I don’t know what we can do about them unless some patriotic swat team wants to do a Breivik on them.

    I think we desperately need some Soros’s and Turners and big money patriots to step up and do some media takeovers to expose what’s going on in this country and our government and walk the public toward the right battle.

    • Taxi says:

      Hands down by a million miles, Max’s article on Breivik is by far more superior in it’s diagnostics and historic context than the lame piece written by Walt.

      Hats off to Max. Bucket of cold water at Walt and his anorexic half-assed analysis.

      • MRW says:

        Taxi, Walt’s piece will be read by tens, if not hundreds, of thousands, worldwide, and by government officials. Max’s readership, as much as I adore his writing (but his reporting even more, because he uses shoe leather, the sign of a real pro) is de minimus compared to Walt.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Walt didn’t check in here for other reports as he gathered his thoughts.

        This Breivik/Geller/neocon story is the crack in a major universal ice flow. Step back and think about it. It’s going to crack slowly, which will give it staggering power and longevity.

        (1) Geller has already lost an enormous amount of authority vis-a-vis those sitting on the fence. She will never, not ever, be able to pull off a Ground Zero Anti-Muslim demonstration the way she could two years ago (or whenever it was). Not a chance. She’s an Upper Eastside cartoon.

        (2) The Norway story has legs. Long, long legs. Breivik wants to sing like a canary, say the Norwegian police. The Norwegians speak, read, and write English (their kids are infinitely better educated than ours). There will be an enterprising journalist who will get the jail-side story; my bet is that he will be Norwegian (or someone like Robert Fisk). He will not be protecting American fantasies or alliances.

        • >> (2) The Norway story has legs. Long, long legs. Breivik wants to sing like a canary, say the Norwegian police. The Norwegians speak, read, and write English (their kids are infinitely better educated than ours). There will be an enterprising journalist who will get the jail-side story; my bet is that he will be Norwegian (or someone like Robert Fisk). He will not be protecting American fantasies or alliances.

          Deserves repeating.

  12. biorabbi says:

    Phil, what’s the difference between Behring Breivik and Bashar Assad? Both cull the young. One kills thousands of arabs while another only dreams of killing thousands of arabs. One leads to posts on every progressive website in the land, and one is ignored, much like the communists of yesteryear whitewashed Stalin.

    So, Assad culled, beheaded, shot 150 arabs in a single day which would be today, and it barely registers on the topic feed on Yahoo or Drudge, and, not at all on this web site. In one action that can easily be found on Youtube, the Syrian army aimed a cannon at the youth in Hama and fired, blowing the entire head off a young protestor. It is the most appalling thing I have ever observed on Youtube. Yet, there is no Phil Weiss to put it into prospective, no Mondoweiss documentary by Mr. Blumenthal, no Annie with the human side. Silence.

    • annie says:

      what do you think we should do about it bio? invade syria? reports are the death toll was 80. terrible, but much less that our invasion of libya. i haven’t read anything in our msm of younes being assassinated in libya. why do you think that is?

      i don’t understand why you have time to be posting here if the situation in syria surpasses anything going on in israel, why are you here?

      • biorabbi says:

        To demonstrate the utter hypocrisy of a worldview that only values life in the land of Israel/Palestine but has a complete devaluation of life outside ‘the occupation’ as if the occupation is the only metric worth measuring, and, no Annie, the death toll was far greater than 80 according the readily available results on the web(80 in Hama alone), but who’se counting when it’s not a Jew killing an arab, and that is my point.

        For what little it is worth, I am not a hard-right zionist, or, indeed, a supporter of religious parties, or Likud parties in general. What I am against is demonizing a people, of singling out a people, while completely ignoring the rape right outside your door.

        Everything Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal blogs may be true, but their reportage would be like a study of butterfly collectors in Nazi Germany. It ignores anything not conforming to their worldview.

        1. Israel is the problem
        2. Zionist and Jewish and Christian supporters of Israel are the problem.
        3. Jews control the media organs supporting Israel, snuffing out dissenting opinion.
        4. Jews use this media control to educate the unwashed masses about Israel.

        Other supporters of this view like Walt et al then subdivide Jews into good Jews and bad Jews. Each Jew is then judged… like Larry David of all people. This is classical anti-semitism. Jews should not be judged according to the actions of Israel no more than a German should be judged based on the actions of Himmler. While their are good and bad Jews, it is revolting to judge people according to their foreskin, an accident of birth.

        I would also argue most of the supporters of Palestine here care not a whit about Palestine except in the context of demonizing Israel. And while there is a pavlovian response here on a daily basis making distinctions from anti-semitism from anti-zionism, the multitude and quality of the Curb Your Enthusiasm paints a different picture, Annie.

        The daily ‘actions’ in Syria, hundreds this weekend, are ignored in a blog advertising itself as concerning ‘The war of Ideas’ but it is just, actually, a single war against a single opponent, and the daily murder is simply ignored, but historical memory is wrong.

        Annie, a few days back, there was an especially revolting video about an IDF soldier pointing a, presumably loaded, weapon against the head of a Palestinian who stood defiant, proud. But there is not video showing the actual shooting of many of Syrian children a few miles away. Whatever hypocrisy I bring to the table is dwarfed by your deliberate obtuseness.

        • annie says:

          you forgot to answer my questions

          what do you think we should do about it bio? invade syria?

          i don’t understand why you have time to be posting here if the situation in syria surpasses anything going on in israel, why are you here?

        • biorabbi says:

          You and your ilk apply a double standard. The really atrocious thing is not demonizing Israel, nor is is maligning supporters of Israel. Your malevolence also requires you to ignore murder just outside of the borders of Israel. Until I am banned, I intend to post some of what is happening just to the north of Israel. The degree of your double standard is off the charts, but, at every chance I get, I will educate you.

        • Brewer says:

          Be very cautious about “news” out of Syria.
          Every report I have read quotes “activists” or Syrian groups based in London. There is very little verifiable data coming out confirming the allegations of groups with vested interests.

          Syria is victim to line drawing on post WWI maps which have left it with a demographic nightmare. Tribal factions are driving this insurgency and they are violent. They do not represent the majority.

          Assad is certainly not the oppressive dictator he is being painted and “regime change” machinations by the usual suspects are not unprecedented. All of us have swallowed that line before. The Neocon agenda is proceeding uninterrupted. Here are some links that give pause for thought:

          link to voltairenet.org

          link to voltairenet.org

        • Sumud says:

          Annie, a few days back, there was an especially revolting video about an IDF soldier pointing a, presumably loaded, weapon against the head of a Palestinian who stood defiant, proud. But there is not video showing the actual shooting of many of Syrian children a few miles away. Whatever hypocrisy I bring to the table is dwarfed by your deliberate obtuseness.

          Again biorabbi – nobody needs to justify to you or anybody else why they feel and think that Israel/Palestine is to them an important issue.

          Have you forgotten that you are the flip side of the same coin?

          Let’s talk examine your morality biorabbi, using your own [silly] argument: Why are you wasting time (yours, mine, others) whining here about human rights activists when Assad is killing people in Syria? Why attack Phil, Annie and every other non-zionist when there is a famine in Sudan? Why are you expending any energy at all to protect the world’s 4th or 5th most powerful military which also happens to be backed up by the world’s most powerful military? Are you so important you think they can’t get by without you? Can’t you devote your energy and time to something more important like the out-of-control CO2 levels in the atmosphere? At least we’re devoting our energy to something noble like *universal* human rights (that includes you) and liberty and freedom for ALL people in the world, not just defending the narrow interests of our respective tribe(s), which in your case is built on the backs of millions of suffering Palestinians.

          Really, you’re the worst kind of hypocrite biorabbi. Are you a real rabbi? How many years have you wasted on that project when you could have been searching for a cure for cancer?

          What kind of monster are you???

        • annie says:

          thank you brewer, those are incredible videos. democracy…

        • CigarGod says:

          I don’t understand your logic.
          Am I supposed to base my activism on numbers of victims or my geographic proximity to an event?

        • MRW says:

          Thanks, Brewer,

          I’m highly suspicious of US-based news accounts of what’s going on in Syria but for different reasons. Frankly, knowing how desperately the neocons wanted the US to bomb Syria after Iraq and Iran, it’s a no-brainer. And my initial thought during the Egyptian revolution in February, which hasn’t changed, was ‘watch Syria, Israelis are going to send in teams to disrupt there’. I haven’t seen any reason for my suspicions to go away.

        • annie says:

          And my initial thought during the Egyptian revolution in February, which hasn’t changed, was ‘watch Syria, Israelis are going to send in teams to disrupt there’.

          me too.

        • Donald says:

          ‘”Everything Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal blogs may be true, but their reportage would be like a study of butterfly collectors in Nazi Germany”

          Tells you all you need to know about biorabbi. Israeli human rights violations are simply trivial to him.

          But giving him more attention than he deserves, it’s true that Syria is currently killing many more people than Israel. But that’s no reason why this blog should pay more attention to Syrian crimes than Israel’s. Phil and Adam are trying to provide a counterbalance to the overwhelming US bias against the Palestinians. If the US mainstream only paid attention to Israel’s enormous crimes against Palestinians and none to Syria’s crimes then your criticism would have weight. But as it stands you’re just upset that somewhere someone is putting a spotlight on Israeli brutality.

    • Sumud says:

      Phil, what’s the difference between Behring Breivik and Bashar Assad?

      More to the point biorabbi – what’s the difference between Behring Breivik, Bashar Assad, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, George Bush, Bibi, and Osama bin Laden? They all used or use violence directed at civilians to achieve political and military ends, ie. they engage in terrorism.

      Hmmm. I wonder if there’s any statistical significance in the occurrence of a letter ‘b’ at the start of a name and a pre-disposition towards engaging in terrorism…?

      Anyway, that’s completely beside the point, like your comment biorabbi. Nobody needs to justify whatever cause(s) they decide are important in their lives.

      Your comment presents as cynical and callous; little actual concern for massacred Syrians, but just a cheap attempt to use them to score points against non- and anti-zionists.

    • American says:

      “So, Assad culled, beheaded, shot 150 arabs in a single day which would be today”

      Do you have a link to the news report on that? Or link to the video?

    • Koshiro says:

      Phil, what’s the difference between Behring Breivik and Bashar Assad?

      The difference is rather simple: One is the topic of this article; the other is not. Quit it with the distraction game.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Tzipi Livni killed over a thousand Arabs. What makes her different from Behring Breivik, then?

  13. Sumud says:

    I left a comment over on the Goldberg thread about Geller; I’ll quote a portion of it here now as it’s much more relevent:

    In other news, Abe Foxman has obliquely compared Pamela Geller and her cohorts to nazis in a Washington Post article:

    This belief system goes far beyond anti-Islamic prejudice based on simple religious or racial grounds. In a sense, it parallels the creation of an ideological — and far more deadly — form of anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the backs of the previously dominant cultural and religious forms of anti-Semitism.
    Norwegian attacks stem from a new ideological hate

    That is good – and accurate – but he then tries to position Breivik’s zionism as a “bizarre twist”, ignoring the fact that Geller herself is jewish and a zionist of the most extreme views, as her article archive at Arutz Sheva demonstrates.

    Meanwhile, LGF documents Geller deleting incriminating material from her blog by a Norweigan far-right extremist that could be Breivik or someone closely associated to him:

    Pamela Geller Edits Post to Conceal Violent Rhetoric in ‘Email from Norway’

    And Justin Raimondo asks who exactly funded Breivik, because he sure didn’t himself, and had large amounts of money deposited in his bank account:

    Anders Behring Breivik, Mystery Man

    • Gawker now has something on it:

      link to gawker.com

      Bored rich moron Pamela Geller is a big deal in the internet anti-Islam scene, thanks to her unreadable blog Atlas Shrugs. Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is reputedly such a big fan that he gave her a few shout-outs in his manifesto! Which is why we’re interested in an email she got in 2007 from an anonymous Norwegian who was “stockpiling weapons.”

      May the blowback blow!

  14. biorabbi says:

    A single day in Syria. This is a simple recap from Andrew Sullivan. I respect Andrew, because as he slams Israel, he is not obtuse to the suffering surrounding her borders.

    link to andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com

    • annie says:

      have you thought about writing something about syria for the blog and sending it into phil?

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Of course not. If it were a seperate entry on Syria, annie, it wouldn’t be rhetorical cannon fodder for distracting about right wing extremism and how its responsible for FAR far more terrorism in the West.

  15. biorabbi says:

    Annie, I also found the death toll was not 80, but 136 according to the non-zionist entity Enduring America. Thousands have also vanished in the last few weeks.

    • annie says:

      bio, i believe you. i had previously googled syria and three of the articles mentioned 80 but maybe it is rising. it seems like you are using syria to divert the topic. please excuse me if i don’t respond to anymore of your syria comments. i do not think they are relevant to the topic and i really hope the US does not intervene in syria just like i wished the US wasn’t involved in the bloodshed in libya. everytime we intervene death tolls radically increase. over a million dead in iraq. we fund israel’s ethnic cleansing and aparthied, that is why they concern me. do i care about the death in syria? yes. do i understand what is behind it? no.

      good bye and i repeat, i will not be responding to any more of your off topic comments on this thread.

    • Brewer says:

      The death toll comes courtesy of the “Syrian League for the Defence of Human Rights”.

      See if you can find their website, bona fides etc.
      I have not been successful so far.

  16. I see a troll has offered up the usual “why aren’t you looking over here” argument in an effort to divert attention away from Israel. One could wonder the same about the excess of one million Iraqi non-combatants that our Iraq adventures have murdered, and shove the question right back at him. But trolls like “Bio” are uninterested in deaths that do not adhere to the official talking point list.

  17. Sin Nombre says:

    An interesting aspect of this Norwegian horror story that seems overlooked is that this Breivik guy seems to have been a regular user of some powerful drugs.

    One story that I saw said that he was using a powerful “anabolic steroid called stanozolol, combined with an amphetamine-like drug called ephedrine, plus caffeine to make the mixture really fizz.”

    And then there’s this from his “Manifesto” which really makes me doubt any real political thought behind his actions:

    “I can’t possibly imagine how my state of mind will be during the time of the operation, though. It will be during a steroid cycle and on top of that; during an ephedrine rush, which will increase my aggressiveness, physical performance and mental focus with at least 50-60 per cent but possibly up to 100 per cent. In addition, I will put my iPod on max volume as a tool to suppress fear if needed. I might just put Lux Aeterna by Clint Mansell on repeat as it is an incredibly powerful song. The combination of these factors (when added on top of intense training, simulation, superior armour and weaponry) basically turns you into an extremely focused and deadly force, a one-man-army.”

    Plus I’ve now read that the guy is demanding that he be made chief of the Norwegian armed forces.

    As I said in an earlier post of mine, I don’t think this guy was really created by any political talk; same was just a plinth around which his nuttiness gathered. It could just as easily, it seems to me, have gone in the exact opposite alleged-political direction.

    • Koshiro says:

      As I said in an earlier post of mine, I don’t think this guy was really created by any political talk; same was just a plinth around which his nuttiness gathered. It could just as easily, it seems to me, have gone in the exact opposite alleged-political direction.

      Wishful thinking on your part, not supported by any kind of logic or evidence.
      In contrast to you, I prefer to base my evaluations on reality rather than on “could have”.

      And then there’s this from his “Manifesto” which really makes me doubt any real political thought behind his actions:

      Nice how you carefully cited the only passage in that section which does not deal with religion. Of course Breivik’s thoughts on how to avoid fear on his “mission” do not at all mean that his motive was not political either. It’s a total non sequitur.