POSTED COMMENTS TO A COLUMN BY TIMOTHY GARTON ASH IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
Sorry, Breveik fed on a lot of "mainline" writers, people like Mark Steyn.
I do wish we could counteract the flood of Islamophobia and propaganda by apologists for Israel's brutality, but there are such people writing for every newspaper in the Western world.
It is their thinking - the kind of stuff Margaret Wente periodically expels about the Middle East - that Breveik fed on.
We should not be intimidated by these horrible events into putting all the blame on the Internet - that would be foolish and it would be wrong.
The subtler forms of prejudice and injustice we regularly receive from people like Thomas Friedman or Margaret Wente or Charles Krauthammer or Jeff Jacoby or Mark Steyn is far more dangerous than blogs on the Internet.
It comes wrapped in the robes of noted newspapers, giving it a sense of weight of authority or importance for the weak-minded or unanalytical, and some of it has far greater circulation than most things on the Internet.
There is no question that a man like Breveik respected symbols of authority - he was totally captivated by things military.
No Joe Blow on a blog would have appealed to him the way a Mark Steyn did.
A reader quotes:
"All that is required for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. "
A wonderful quote.
But like all aphorisms, it leaves the details out - a bit like a prescription without all the ingredients.
"Doing something" is not the same thing as "doing the right thing."
The examples of Norway and the United States are important.
Norway has chosen deliberately to keep its openness, freedoms, and rights. It struck out at no one, not even killing Breveik in capturing him.
The United States - after one terrorist incident, which by the way was actually smaller than Norway's as a proportion of population - has gone berserk.
It has started two wars, bombed half a dozen countries, killed maybe a million people itself, passed stupid, anti-democratic laws, and turned its borders into those of a fascist state.
I'll take the Norweigian response any day.
Your response is that of the United States or of that other place which partly inspired Breveik, the garrison state, Israel.