Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norwegian Soil

---"I have a message to those who attacked us, a message from the whole of Norway. You won’t destroy us. You won't destroy our democracy. We are a small but proud nation. No one can bomb us to silence. No one can scare us from being Norway. When tomorrow comes, let’s show the world that the Norwegian democracy still stands strong. The most important thing tonight is to take care of each other."--- Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg 

Oslo after bomb went off

Utøya Island-youth summer camp

Yesterday while many of you were still in bed sleeping I watched a piece of Norway fall down. Today there are many families that sit and wait for news of missing loved ones and others that sit in shock and disbelief. News unfolded slowly and speculations were inevitable. Who could do such a thing and why little Norway?
Norway is a nation better known for its active diplomacy and peacekeeping missions than as a target for extremists. 

Initial reports focused on the possibility of Islamic militants, in particular Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, or Helpers of the Global Jihad. There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible. In 2004 and again in 2008, the No. 2 leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, who took over after the death of Osama bin Laden, threatened Norway because of its support of the American-led NATO military operation in Afghanistan. Norway has over 500 soldiers and several medevac helicopters in northern Afghanistan. 

Well guess what? While there are still alot of unknown facts at this time, one man posted last Sunday, these words on Twitter: 
“One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.” 

This 32 year old Norwegian political extremist confessed to bombing the government center, killing 7 people, before he headed over to an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party and continued to kill over 80 people. This was the deadliest attack on Norwegian soil since World War 11, and it was a Norwegian man who did it. What kind of a message has he sent out to a confused nation and an astonished world? We are still waiting to hear, but one thing is perfectly clear. A terrorist can be found in anyones back yard and the color of his skin or religion has nothing to do with the weapons he bears.  

Yesterday I watched a piece of Norway fall down, but today I watch as it stands up again stronger then ever. Norway may have lost its innocence, but its heart is still strong.


For more of the story go here


Bob Scotney said...

My heart goes out to Norway at this time. I was in Stavanger when the Aleander Kjelland was lost and will never forget how the people pulled together as I am sure they will this time too especially as this was no accident.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi Siv,

We watched in horror the images on BBC news. Horrendous scenes, and so tragic that it was all down to internal extremist' beliefs. It's hard enough to accept a terrorist hit from outside, but from within the community is a tough call.

Our hearts go out to all those who've lost loved ones. As Brits we're more used to terrorism re Northern Ireland and differing IRA bomb incidents within in England, plus the suicide bombers who struck on the tube line and blew up a bus, yet it always shocks us to the core.


Melissa Bradley said...

Oh Siv, my thoughts and prayers go out to Norway. I tried to send you an email yesterday, but I don't know if you got it. I was worried about you and your family

Homegrown terrorists are particularly despicable, I mean why would someone do that to their own country? We here in the States remember all too well Timothy McVeigh and the destruction in Oklahoma City.

My heart breaks for Norway, but if I've learned anything in these weeks visiting your blog, it's that Norway is a very strong, beautiful and resilient nation.

Craziness abounds said...

I remember after 9/11 the major craziness that ran though our country. I can only imagine what Norway is dealing with right now. How very sad. Did he kill children at the youth camp or just adults? What happened?

Lauracea (Sue R) said...

My thoughts are with you, Siv, and the people of Norway. These extremists think they're achieving their own aims, but they really accomplish a more unified country and stronger people. They can never win, no matter what kind of atrocities they think up. There's more good in this world than bad.

GigglesandGuns said...

Siv, I am so sorry that Norway has to experience this tragedy. My prayers are with you, your family and your country.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've been watching with horror at the events. Cruella just posted this morning - she works in that building and just happened to stop at the store before returning to work. One nut job. Isn't that frightening?

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

How sad.
My heart is breaking.

Geoff Maritz said...

Siv, I sit here reading your blog and those of other people I know in Norway and the tears just stream down my face. Norway is such a peaceful country and to have someone, anyone, do such a despicable thing is beyond my ability to comprehend.
My Lord please reach out to these wonderful people of Norway and comfort them. This is my humble prayer.
Stay safe my beautiful friend, Geoff.

Emily Rittel-King said...

I ache for Norway. My heart and prayers are with all the families of the lost ones. What a horrible tragedy.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Americans feel the pain for Norway and stand with them.

cherie said...

I haven't been watching the news so I missed this. My stomach is churning. This is so sick and wrong and sad. All those people dead. What a horrible, heartbreaking thing to happen. My prayers go to Norway and the families of the victims.

erica and christy said...

Wishing you the best. That's the most a lot of us can do. :)
erica (olson)

Bob said...

My thoughts, and prayers are for the people of Norway.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Oh, Sis,

What are horrible thing to happen. I can so relate. I am an New Yorker and when the city was attacked on 9/11 I completely FREAKED out. Worrying about friends and family. The aweful waiting...

I hope none of your friends or family were hurt. And you are right, Norway will come back stronger than ever.

Hilary said...

Hi Siv .. what has happened is awful - how can one man do this - what's in his head .. actually what's in any bully's head - dictator, bully, murderer, etc etc .. I feel for each and everyone of you - but Norway will pull together and the world will become kinder and more caring sooner rather than later I hope. With many thoughts - Hilary

Paula Martin said...

To say I was shocked is a complete understatement.
Over the past 40+ years, Britain has suffered at the hands of terrorists (IRA and Al Quaeda). The centre of my own city of Manchester was destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1996.
But for this kind of awful tragedy to happen in Norway, such a peaceful country, is so horrifying and heartbreaking. The sympathies of the whole world go out to Norway right now.

Christine Murray said...

Thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones, and to the mourning people of Norway. I can't believe that this has happened in such a strong and peaceful nation. Words don't quite seem enough right now.

Weissdorn said...

I'm like you - an expat American living in Germany. For years I've tried to explain to my fellow Americans why they don't allow Nazis and Neo-Nazis the freedom of speech and the freedom of ssembly; why it's illegal to give the Hitler salute or wear Swastikas in public.

It's because Germans know how dangerous Neo-Nazis are. As recent news has reported Breivik is not just some paper-Christian gun-collecting freak who hates Muslims; he's part of an underground terrorist group network all over Europe and North America that glorifies Adolf Hitler.

The only good thing Breivik has done for the rest of the free world is to show us that we can't afford to give criminal Nazi organisations the freedom to spread their hate speech and hate ideology - because the danger of Brievik is everywhere, and a threat to democracy.