Norway Tragedy is Global Tragedy
28 July, 2011
Norway Tragedy is Global Tragedy

 

It is with sad pen and a heavy heart that I write this last article for this month of July. Next month Georgian Journal, like many European families in August, shall go on vacation. I dare to say family because I think that of the newspaper I have been with for over five years. Like any family we have disagreements in our points of view.

I have my own opinion column that you are reading at the moment and I am

printed in the press, even when my views do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper (there’s usually a disclaimer on the bottom of the article if and when that is the case.) But for all our differences, the freedom to express an opinion that is different from the social party lines stays as important as it ever was. For a family to disagree on a point of view is normal. For a company to disagree with a point of view of a worker is normal, and sometimes more than necessary for progress of the company. For a man to blow up a government building and shoot and kill teenagers who happened to have the wrong color skin is NOT normal. It is still as deplorable as it was when Timothy McVeigh unleashed his terror on Oklahoma City, killing hundred and sixty eight people and wounding three times more. He only regretted one thing - that nineteen children in the government building day care were killed. Unlike the Oklahoma-city bomber, the Norwegian murder had decided on killing children prior to the shooting spree, because he didn't agree with Labor party's political views. All that blood for a difference in opinion!

 

I am of course writing of the terrorist act that happened in Norway, July 22nd of this year. By the time this newspaper comes out it would have been a week since the nightmare the world had woken up to had devastated  Norway.  Amongst the survivors was one Georgian national Natia Chkhetiani. Another Georgian national Tamta Liparteliani was presumed missing. I cannot imagine what the parents of these two girls and of many other children who were attending the political workshops on Utoya island were thinking when they heard the news of the attack. Who would have ever suspected any danger in coming to a camp in Norway? Who would have ever suspected a Norwegian national wreaking all this havoc on his own country?

Yet as the world is starting to slowly realize, terrorism has no color preference, and fanatics of all sorts can be found in the deepest of waters. Is there a country, a nation left on this earth that can claim no links to a fanatic? Yet a surprise is expressed by many, that the shooting and the bombing was done by a blue eyed blond Norwegian male and not Muslim extremists suicide bombers. And assuming this position a CIA analyst got the origin of the attacker wrong by announcing to New York Times that a Muslim Extremist group called “Helpers of Global Jihad” had claimed responsibility. Regardless of whether that actually happened, the fact is that NYT quickly retracted the story and Norway and the world got a look at a fairly ordinary, albeit neurotic, white man in his thirties.

There are fanatics everywhere where there is land populated by humans. Some people like Anders Behring Breivik, claim to want to be rid off the bad element in the society, when in fact it is people like him that society should be careful off nurturing. And yet Norway does not have a death penalty, not even for mass murderers.

With this thought, I leave you to reflect for yourself on the state of our sociological affairs, or to toss the paper over your shoulder and forget all about the outside world and try to enjoy your August.

 

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