There’s an interesting piece in the National Review Online today by neocon writer John O’Sullivan.
Clearly, neoconservatives around the world have a serious image problem as a direct result of the deeds of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik on account of the neocons and Breivik having exactly the same political ideology. Now that Breivik is on trial, his motives are becoming even more exposed than when those terrible events happened back in July of last year. Because it was such an horrific event, the commentary that attempted to answer the question of ‘why’ it happened got a little lost as we tried desperately to find out ‘how’ it happened. But, now the trial of Breivik has begun and it’s becoming clearer every day that Breivik is nothing more than an extremist ultra-violent Islam-hating neoconservative, neoconservatives around the word are having to put as much distance between themselves and Breivik as they possibly can. In order to do this, neoconservatives need to utterly condemn Breivik’s deeds to the extreme. And John O’Sullivan is doing just that by inferring that Norway should reintroduce the death penalty.
Leaving aside the fact that neoconservatives would simply like to see the problem go away, and executing Breivik, so they hope, would achieve that, O’Sullivan’s piece also exposes a lot about the neoconservative mindset.
First, there is the pure arrogance displayed in the piece.
Norway is a sovereign state with laws and practices that exclude the use of the death penalty. Norway is also a nation that provides every single person under its jurisdiction an opportunity to the full benefit of their laws no matter who or what they’ve done and does not make exceptions to those laws – especially on the suggestions of American neoconservatives.
Secondly, there is the usual propensity that neocons display – the ‘do as we do’ notion of justice. O’Sullivan actually asks why there should even be a trial at all. Could it be that Norway, unlike the US, would prefer to seek justice rather than revenge against those that commit crimes? Trials not only provide justice, they also often provide an understanding of what went so horribly wrong and, in doing so, may also provide answers in seeking ways to prevent reoccurrence.
And, of course, it’s not just O’Sullivan that’s back-pedalling as fast as possible to put distance between Breivik and the neocons; they’re all at it across the world. Dan Hodges, a Blairite neocon writing in the UKs Daily Telegraph, asks why the Norwegian police didn’t just shoot Breivik on the spot. While Hodges then goes on to explain why they shouldn’t have, one needs to ask why he suggested it in the first place. Hodges then goes on telling his readers how the Norwegians should run their justice system.