Sunday, 17 March 2019

What Happened Here?

Our Darkest Day: New Zealand has been horribly scarred by a fanatical follower of the international white supremacist movement. He hid among us in plain sight, masking his murderous intentions from his Dunedin neighbours, the Police, the SIS and the GCSB – until it was too late. He could not have been stopped – except by the most extraordinary stroke of good fortune. And, at 1:40 pm, on Friday, 15 March 2019, New Zealand’s luck ran out.

BRENTON TARRANT isn’t one of us. He may have been born in Australia, but he isn’t really an Australian either. If his own words are any guide, he identifies himself, above and beyond all other considerations, as White. Like so many of the horrors currently disfiguring our world, Brenton Tarrant’s crimes are an expression of pure and murderous racism.

He came here a couple of years ago to plan and to prepare for action in another part of the world, most likely in the United States. Once here, however, he appears to have changed his mind. Something about New Zealand, most probably our acute vulnerability to the sort of terrorist attack he was planning, convinced him that shots fired here would be heard around the world.

New Zealanders have nothing to reproach themselves for in relation to the horrific attack on the two Christchurch mosques. We must not for one moment entertain the notion that there was something we could have done to stop Tarrant. Lone wolf terrorists of his sort are not produced by the ignorant racist mutterings of gun club members. Nor are they inspired by the rantings and ravings of social media. That’s not how it works.

All the literature points to this sort of terrorism being born of real, geopolitical events. Indeed, if the perpetrators could not locate their murderous racist impulses within a global context, then the scale of their ambitions would be commensurately smaller. The ravages of Western and Soviet imperialism, and the asymmetrical resistance launched by the victims of that aggression, have been the drivers of global terrorist extremism for more than a century.

We didn’t start that fire.

It is no accident that one of the heroes of the rambling 73-page “manifesto” which Tarrant posted online is Anders Breivik – the Norwegian white supremacist who murdered 72 of his fellow citizens in 2011. Like Breivik, Tarrant locates himself in a phantasmagorical world of evil invaders and righteous defenders. At stake is nothing less than the survival of the “white race”.

Those who enter this fever dream are utterly inaccessible to reason. And it is precisely this inaccessibility that makes the weaponised hate of Breivik and Tarrant so dangerous. In the memorable line from the first Terminator movie: “[I]t can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop.”

That such individuals are psychologically damaged is axiomatic. No individual capable of empathy can murder men, women and children with the robotic efficiency of a Breivik or a Tarrant. Inevitably, the subsequent psychological assessment of these individuals throws up a toxic mixture of sociopathic cruelty and extreme narcissism. The injustice and suffering unfolding in the real world is reinterpreted by the defective personalities of these lone wolf terrorists as something which is happening not to others – but to themselves. They take it personally. Far from being “the continuation of politics by other means”, their terrorism is a savage quest for vengeance.

As the dreadful events of Friday, 15 March 2019 were unfolding, I couldn’t help recalling the words of King Theoden in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. As his fortress of Helm’s Deep is on the point of being over-run, he asks despairingly: “What can men do against such reckless hate?”

That is now the question which New Zealand must ask of itself.

Part of the answer, the most important part, we have already seen. In the floral tributes outside the nation’s mosques. In the images of the imam and the rabbi embracing each other. In the Pasifika voices raised in a hymn of heart-breaking poignance. In the Maori and Pakeha faces wet with tears, yet set in grim defiance. In the passionate cry of the massacre survivor: “This is not New Zealand!” In the nearly $5 million already raised to support the victims’ families. The answer already given by the people of New Zealand, united in grief, is unequivocal: When confronted with such reckless hate, the only possible answer is aroha – love.

The wrong answer; the answer the terrorist is always hoping the strategic targets of his rage will give; is to meet recklessness with recklessness; hate with hate.

While the ruins of the Twin Towers were still smoking, the American people shackled themselves to the Patriot Act: voluntarily curtailing the very freedoms the Al Qaida terrorists were condemned for attacking.

The contrast between the American response to 9/11, and the Norwegian Government’s response to Breivik, could hardly be more striking. At a memorial service in Oslo Cathedral, the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, declared: “We must not allow this attack to hurt Norwegian democracy: the proper answer to such violence is more democracy, more openness … No one has said it better than the [young woman] who was interviewed by CNN: ‘If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together.’”

It is to be hoped that our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, allows herself to be guided by Stoltenberg’s example. To date, her handling of the Christchurch tragedy has been faultless. Her sole policy response, an uncompromising pledge to reform New Zealand’s gun laws, was focused, measured and appropriate. It will be an uphill struggle for any person or lobby group foolish enough to oppose her call for stricter regulation of firearms – especially of the semi-automatic weapons that made Tarrant’s attack so costly.

The Prime Minister will, doubtless, come under increasing pressure from angry and misguided persons to curtail the rights of New Zealanders articulating unpopular views concerning Maori-Pakeha relations, the Islamic religion, multiculturalism and immigration policy. In defence of the liberal-democratic values that Tarrant assaulted so violently, Jacinda should calmly resist all such calls. We must not allow the unanimity of our grief to be translated into a demand for unanimity of opinion.

New Zealand has been horribly scarred by a fanatical follower of the international white supremacist movement. He hid among us in plain sight, masking his murderous intentions from his Dunedin neighbours, the Police, the SIS and the GCSB – until it was too late. Brenton Tarrant is a lone wolf terrorist who took advantage of everything that is good about New Zealand to perpetrate a devastating act of homicidal violence against defenceless Muslim worshippers. He could not have been stopped – except by the most extraordinary stroke of good fortune. And, at 1:40 pm, on Friday, 15 March 2019, New Zealand’s luck ran out.

What happened at the Linwood and Al Noor mosques was horrific, but it wasn’t our doing. As we begin the long journey towards recovery, it is vitally important that we keep that fact squarely before us. New Zealand is a good place. New Zealanders are good people. We are not responsible for Brenton Tarrant’s dreadful crime. This is not us.

This essay was posted simultaneously on the Bowalley Road and The Daily Blog of Sunday, 17 March 2019.

41 comments:

pat said...

A well considered article ...and response

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Donald Trump... Ann Coulter... Tucker Carlson... Stephen Yaxley Lennon.. . Milo wotsisface... Steve Bannon... Breitbart News... Fox News – I could go on. All these bear some responsibility for encouraging and legitimising this sort of thinking that goes into this tragedy by demonising Muslims. Of course, they should reflect on what they say, and perhaps some introspection? But there will be nothing but evasions and excuses. Perhaps now some of you who think that free speech should somehow be unlimited would also like to reflect on the fact that speech sometimes has consequences. And those consequences we might not like.
Interestingly the NRA and its adherents who normally mention that now was not the time to talk about gun laws – when it's their own that might be criticised – are all over the Internet asking questions that usually begin something like – "Given New Zealand's strict gun laws..." Because of course they're happy to use it for their own political ends, particularly as Muslims are foreign and therefore don't count.
And naturally that fuckwit Rush Limbaugh – it had to happen I guess – has come out and said it's a "false flag" operation.
I must confess I'm speaking in anger here, and I might have a slightly different approach/opinion once I've calmed down, but just at the moment I think anger is necessary. Whatever the excuses might be that the extreme right will make for this guy – he is a terrorist, and he did not act alone.

Nick J l said...

You picked it Chris, extreme narcissism. This was about the killer.

First he posts an excuse, full of twisted truths and untruths...but most importantly with him as the hero. Look at me.

Then he spreads across the net. Across social media, gets an on stream audience Look at me.

Next he shows the world a perversion of shootem up online games, except it's livestreaming reality...he's the main event killing at will for all to see. I've got your attention, look at me.

True to form his life is most important to him, so that he can see that he is centre of attention, on arrest, on trial. He's not going to die for his cause to which his commitment is peripheral. Look at me.

His deadly narcissism mirrors that of terrorists of all descriptions, they want our attention. Well fuck them all. I'd suggest we tell him straight up that yes he had our attention but now we will lock him safely away, ignore him forever, deplatform him so that he never gets to air opinions and observe people's response to him. That is all that his narcissism demands of us.

He doesn't count going forward, all that matters is that we help and try to rebuild shattered lives.

David Stone said...

But for god's sake America is doing this to people somewhere in the world every day. It's normal behaviour if you are a superpower. spending upwards of 50% of public funds collected from taxes on 800+ military bases all over the world: dropping bombs and white phosphorus on cities in the Middle East. It' hardly surprising that occasionally some nobody is going to make themselves somebody for a day by behaving the same way as is normal for the greatest example of Western democracy does continuously . Upwards of $750 billion dollars this year isn't it? On weapons of mass destruction. He probably just sees himself taking a little independent initiative . Getting at them when they arrive in our country instead of going over to Syria. Much safer too.
I agree it is no part of our society and let's hope it stays that way , but it is a matter of every day for Syria and has been for Libya and Afghanistan and Iraq, and Venezuela seems to be in the frame for the next project. And it's every day for Palestine. But its official government action so I suppose it must be right. But it doesn't seem much different to me.
D J S

Unknown said...

i imagine theres quite a bit of anti-muslim sentiment in small town ignorant backwater kiwi towns, there's quite a bit all over the place and it's no surprise some hick gun club in the wop wops had some neo nazi, zombie apocalypse camo wearing muslim haters in it's midst. It's not Steve Bannon or Trump or Carlson that you should be taking aim at. To do so just highlights your ignorance of the decades long oil for guns farce that all the politicians are complicit in. Most recently it was Clinton toppling Gadaffi and dancing and laughing while he was executed and before the the cooked up WMD's justifying Saddams murder. The gun club this guy trained at was reported to Police a couple of years ago but they didn't do anything, didn't flag it, nothing. They're too busy chasing after 1080 protestors, dope growers and speeders not to mention being all to ready to jump all over Tama Iti - someone who probably had legitimate gripes. Why did it take half an hour for the cops to react when they guy was letting off clips in the main street? The phones must have been red hot 5 minutes after the shooting began. You need to calm yourself down and stop looking for the easy out.

Anonymous said...

Like your article Chris. Thank you.

However while certainly NZ society is not to blame, our intelligence services have surely let us down. I don’t agree a lot with what Paul Buchanan (a sinophobe) says, but he was spot on the other day:
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12213123

How the fuck did these motherfuckers fly under the radar? They have been violent for a very long time, including the racist murder and beheading of a Korean backpacker.

Their views and manifestos or whatever are all over the fucken web.

So where was the friggin SIS and GCSB? Instead of stirring up hysteria over Huawei etc, or going after Tuhoe, but completely ignore the real threats to NZ democracy.

“He told me they picked up an Asian backpacker and they killed him. He said he (Flewellen) was with two others.
“Shannon said he stood on his (Mr Kim’s) throat with his boot and cut his head off with a spade.”
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/674037/Murdered-Korean-backpackers-body-found

Looks like the GCSB is full of racist fuckwits themselves with racist notions of who can or cannot be a terrorist.

Pete said...

Guerrila Surgeon you seem to have left off Winston Peters from that list. The Deputy PM, the reason Ardern is Prime Minister and New Zealand’s largest peddled of hate towards immigrants and with it the last election, muslims.

John Hurley said...

In a wider context it is without doubt that throughout the West there has been a drive to produce a Utopian ethnicless society. Voices of opposition are suppressed and deplatformed from the MSM. At the same time we are seeing phenomena in our universities such as that at Evergreen College and a Heterodox Academy. It is claimed that there is a crisis in social psychology regarding replicability and they put the blame on post-modernism and social constructionism (versus evolutionary psychology). No, majority ethnicities do not want to become minorities all competing for attention in the state boundary. This is meticulously demonstrated by Eric Kaufmann in Whiteshift. It is a scurrilous lie for our social scientists to tell ust that 89% of us want to live in a multicultural society - unless numbers are mentioned.

Eric Kaufmann talks about negative liberty. Regarding Muslims they make me uncomfortable in the way Catholic nuns did as a kid however I will politely tolerate them. Positive liberty is when the government considers one ethnicity/ race/ culture as good as the next and requires us to "celebrate" therefore turning God's Own Country into a Tin tin book.

Blood is thicker than water, there is psychological capital in being part of an ethnic nation as we were prior to 1986: we workers were the soldiers and they (Rob Muldoon ) were the commanders who lead us into battle. Now we are to see our living standards fall so people from the rest of the world can "have a better life". Our leaders are feathering their own nests in China or their UN careers.

adamsmith1922 said...

Very well put and whilst I might differ with you on some points,overall it’s an excellent post and very much on point.

Anonymous said...

Armed police were there in 6 minutes (NZ police do not carry arms usually), and even though he had left both sites, they had him in custody within 36 minutes. They were superb and made many decisions that day that kept Christchurch safe.

Unknown said...

Let's hope the PM moves immediately to ban semi-automatic and modified weapons. It should have been done after Aramoana. This time, the shooters' lobbies will get no traction. Even NZ First, their main political patron, will probably be unwilling to back them. Do it now! Such a golden opportunity may never come again.

Trev1 said...

Wise thoughts well expressed. I hope people hear you.

Geoff Fischer said...

David Stone is right. While much of the political establishment is pushing the specious line that this atrocity was an "attack on Christchurch" it was clearly and undeniably nothing of the sort. It was an attack on Muslims, and not inconsistent with the kind of attacks that the New Zealand state has itself carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan. People can proclaim, sincerely though misguidedly, that "this is not New Zealand". Yet it is "New Zealand", and if Tarant is tried in open court, and if the media chooses to publish the facts as they would be revealed through a proper judicial process, then it will become clear to all that the New Zealand state has been more than an innocent bystander in these events.
However, the indications at this point are that the New Zealand mass media will collaborate with the security forces by throwing a blanket of silence over Tarant's history, associations and motivations.

Unknown said...

they fucking were not there in 6 minutes, I watched the video, it was 17 minutes in after he started firing and there was nary an officer in sight

Simon Cohen. said...

Who said these words.
"They say – ah yes – but New Zealand has always been a nation of immigrants. They miss a crucial point. New Zealand has never been a nation of Islamic immigrants…"
"This two-faced approach is how radical Islam works – present the acceptable face to one audience and the militant face to another.

Winston Raymond Peters.

John Hurley said...

Chris. They are asking (RNZ) why attention wasn't focussed on "white supremacists". A security expert answered this on Nine to Noon. The "white supremacists" were always the attention of middle class leftists (it was sport for them). They were trying to express reason as far as i can tell but every movement needs it's intellectuals.
https://publicaddress.net/onpoint/chasing-skin-heads/

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I'm sort of interested in how long the police took to get there as well. But I don't think that just because there weren't any in sight, that it means there weren't any there. I don't think that they would blindly rush into arrest someone with a semiautomatic weapon. Still, I would really like to know. Particularly now that we've given them the right to have firearms in their cars.
Interesting isn't it though, if this had been a Muslim terrorist attack the blogosphere including this site, would be full of people expressing the opinion that there is something about Islam that predisposes them to violence et cetera et cetera et cetera. Not a peep about Christianity. I did however, see one question on Quora asking if Islam needed some sort of reformation to be able to give up violence. To which somebody quite sensibly answered "As Christianity didn't give up violence after their reformation it's doubtful if Islam would."

Anonymous said...

Guerilla Surgeon , you rightfully said that you were posting in anger. and that when you calmed done you may have more considered views.
Perhaps you should take your own advice.
If you had any remote understanding of Christianity or Islam , which clearly you don't, you would see that one religions violent acts are because of their religion. The other inspite of it.
The debate around gun laws needs some common sense. The wide calls to ban all semi autos ignores the fact it was semi autos in the hands of the 2 country policeman that stopped the killer. Yes ban semi autos in some circumstances but make it hard for people to get weapons in the first place and make penalties for transgressions very painful.

There are to many people using this atrocity , conducted by a deranged individual . to attack their political opponents .
All well end up with is tit for tat atrocities in the future.
Think about that when you comment next , in anger

Anonymous said...

The killer was 28 years old, he knows nothing of life and hooked onto some questionable conspiracies about white genocide and the vast Jewish conspiracy to flood the west with largely brown muslim proletariat to work as slaves for the Jewish money men (check out storm front if you think Im making this up).

There might be plenty of folk walking around believing this sort of nonsense (not ok but not illegal), this guy decided to act violently. His act is terrible, but he is just an ignorant 28 year old with no experience of life and probably limited erudition - we gain nothing by discussing him and his motives - his motives are not of us - lets think about the victims and let Tarrant fade into oblivion.

Simon Cohen said...

This is the timeline concerning police response as published on Stuff.
1.41pm: It's Friday prayers, and the Al Noor mosque is filled with people. The imam, Gamal Fouda, has just finished the Khutbah, a sermon delivered in Arabic. He is starting the next part in which he translates it into English.

As a gunman approaches the mosque, a man in the entrance turns and says, "Hello, brother." The gunman starts shooting.

The first emergency call is made to police.

1.47pm: The first armed officers arrive at Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue six minutes after the 111 call.

1.51pm: The armed offenders squad (AOS) are at the scene within 10 minutes of the call.

1.56pm: Ambulances and response vehicles arrive at the scene from 1.56pm, a St Johns spokesman said. About 20 in total were involved.

Meanwhile, the gunman is on his way to his next target: Linwood Masjid. Sirens are audible in the background of his livestream, which cuts out during the drive.

Seven people died at the second mosque, and it's likely a worshipper there, Abdul Aziz, interrupted the attack when he ran towards the gunman using a credit card machine as a makeshift weapon. He chased the gunman as he ran to his car and sped away.

2.05pm: Schools and businesses start to go into lockdown, and would remain in that state for about four hours.

2.17pm: Some 36 minutes after the initial call, two police officers rammed the gunman's Subaru Outback and dragged him from the car.

If these times can be verified I do not believe this is an unreasonable time for the responses.
What can be verified from the footage shot by witnesses cellphones is that it was 2:17 pm when the alleged offender was apprehended.
This to me is an excellent response by police.
The rant bu unknown where he complains that it took half an hour for police to respond to a shooting in the main street is totally ill informed.To take just one example Deans Avenue is not the main street of Christchurch.One wonders if he could devise a response system which could respond more quickly than what transpired.
In his next post he cuts the response time from half an hour to 17 minutes because he has watched the video.
One wonders what kind of a sick person he is if he has watched the video and studied it as intently as he obviously has.
One wonders Chris why you have allowed an anonymous person to comment on this blog in this fashion.
Your Bowalley Road rules state:
The blogosphere tends to be a very noisy, and all-too-often a very abusive, place. I intend Bowalley Road to be a much quieter, and certainly a more respectful, place.
So, if you wish your comments to survive the moderation process, you will have to follow the Bowalley Road Rules.
These are based on two very simple principles:
Courtesy and Respect.
Comments which are defamatory, vituperative, snide or hurtful will be removed, and the commentators responsible permanently banned.
Anonymous comments will not be publish.

Perhaps you can enlighten your readers as to why you published this anonymous persons vituperative and expletive laden comments.

pat said...

@ GS
"I'm sort of interested in how long the police took to get there as well. But I don't think that just because there weren't any in sight, that it means there weren't any there. I don't think that they would blindly rush into arrest someone with a semiautomatic weapon. Still, I would really like to know. Particularly now that we've given them the right to have firearms in their cars."

Seriously ?...they were there in a matter of minutes and had arrested him in 36....I was caught up in this tragic affair and the police moved bloody fast...for once in your life stop looking for scapegoats

Andrew Nichols said...

Id forgotten Stoltenberg was the PM then. Since then he's become a US Foreign Legion (NATO) Sec General and all round militaristic nut job. Age I guess.

greywarbler said...

It's no surprise that white racism and other isms continue to raise their ugly heads. The thinking is embedded in people who are recalcitrant to change. That is obvious in men who spout their distaste at one excess of mind-sludge and show their own version, using the term motherfucker which has been protested against regularly. This would have become a no-no term for anyone of sensitivity and consideration for moral principles and others feelings. Cunt is another word that comes from minds that remain untouched by women's situation of being often downgraded as people, to become merely the architecture of R&R stations.

An effort to think of others is required to overcome 'isms'; to be more aware of the human you interact with, and whether they have human values that enable a good but relaxed society. So not one that is full of primness, and demanding rules, some flexibility, judgment required. It may be necessary to accept this in formal occasions when required, but take a more relaxed approach in life. This is where good discrimination comes to the fore. You try to set a reasonable standard of values and look at what the other appears to follow, and steer clear of the brutalised, the domineering, the negative, the hoodwinker, the vicious. The signs show up soon in conversation, and then you draw your line in the sand; how far is too far in this person's mind.

David J. Hall said...

Dear Chris,

Two quick questions:

1/ Should freedom from harm take priority over freedom of speech?

2/ Can you please link to some of "All the literature"?

I ask please that you swiftly answer this latter question, because the question of causality is obviously vitally important over the weeks ahead, and the spread of misinformation in the current environment would be highly irresponsible.

Feel free to answer me on Twitter where the above questions remain unanswered.

Yours very sincerely, Dr David Hall

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"If you had any remote understanding of Christianity or Islam , which clearly you don't, you would see that one religions violent acts are because of their religion. The other inspite of it."
I might have guessed that somebody would come out of the woodwork and start spouting that myth. Both the Koran and the Bible are full of violence. That holy book violence doesn't exist on its own, it must be interpreted and acted on by those who believe in it. And the history of Christianity about which you obviously know very little if we're talking about who knows what – is full of episodes of violence, from killing children for insolence, through the Crusades to the Inquisition and the various persecutions of Jews and pagans. So if it's in spite of their religion – there's a shitload of people who do it in spite of their religion – in fact the majority it seems to me.
And it's probably no coincidence that the highest rates of family violence seem to be amongst fundamentalist/evangelical Christians in Australia and the US.
God I could go on but it's just.... Brendolini's law. It takes far more effort to debunk bullshit than it does to make it up. Your statement is bullshit. You know less about Christianity and Islam than I do obviously. But the no true Scotsman defence is always the go to for Christians when one of their own does something wrong. Sorry, they're using your book – you own it.
I leave you with 1 Samuel: "And utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them,"... "But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey."............. enjoy the rest of your day.

Chris Trotter said...

To: David Hall

I'm afraid these sound like trick questions, David, posed with an ulterior motive. If that's not the case, then please accept my apologies.

In relation to your first, there are clearly situations where the need to avoid harm trumps the right to free speech. The most famous example being the prohibition against crying "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.

As to your second question, I'm afraid I cannot direct you to a specific link. My observation is born of many years of reading on and around the subject of terrorism. If you do not agree that terrorist acts have their genesis in real geopolitical events, then I would be interested to learn what you think it is that causes them.

I notice you have a doctorate. Perhaps it is this that explains your interest in citations. It should also, however, equip you to carry out your own research - don't you think?

Simon Cohen said...

You have yet to answer my questions Chris.
Unfortunately I find the comments by some of your anonymous posters increasingly offensive.
Why do you not stand by your rules and insist all comments are not made anonymously.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Seriously ?...they were there in a matter of minutes and had arrested him in 36....I was caught up in this tragic affair and the police moved bloody fast...for once in your life stop looking for scapegoats"

I was not in fact looking for scapegoats. And I was unaware that in fact I had spent my life looking for scapegoats productive though it may have been in some situations. :) But if you had argued this on American websites, which you obviously haven't, you'd realise that one of the mantras of the NRA is something like "When the police are minutes away seconds count." or something. Along with "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Neither are aphorisms I particularly agree with. It was simply a straightforward question, and I simply wanted to know the answer. To which end thank you Simon Cohen. One of two people on these American websites have been asking me how long it took. Anyway Pat, perhaps you could pause a moment and think before accusing me of something I didn't do?

John Hurley said...

Those who enter this fever dream are utterly inaccessible to reason. And it is precisely this inaccessibility that makes the weaponised hate of Breivik and Tarrant so dangerous. 
….................................
You explained in your previous post on Brievik how the political parties had shut out a populist Norwegian party.

Cale momentarily struggled between hatred of foreigners and love of media attention. My winning smile won him over.
“I want to say… don’t stereotype us.”
Sounds promising…
“National pride is not hate.” [1]
Uh hur…
“We’re free thinking.”
Awesome.
Cale wasn’t so different from you or I. He has a kid. And he’s a musician. What kind of music does he play?

https://publicaddress.net/onpoint/chasing-skin-heads/

[1] is correct. Keith Ng just doesn't know any better
the prevailing approach to the study of ethnocentrism, ingroup bias, and prejudice presumes that ingroup love and outgroup hate are reciprocally related. Findings from both cross-cultural research and laboratory experiments support the alternative view that ingroup identification is independent of negative attitudes toward out goups and that much ingroup bias and intergroup discrimination is motivated by preferential treatment of ingroup members rather than direct hostility toward outgroup members.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.197.4614&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Our politicians need to answer: “If they are us; who are we?” The answer isn't 32. There will without doubt be an evolutionary basis behind all that and “celebrate diversity” or progressive finger wagging wont satisfy those deep yearnings.


pat said...

Of course you were only asking for confirmation of the response time GS.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Simon Cohen.

David J. Hall said...

Dear Chris,

Absolutely no motive other than to make the better argument.

As for the first question, I am relieved to hear your answer: at least we are within the ballpark of plausible liberalisms. The prohibition on "calling fire" is one very famous trade-off of harm and speech – yet within the liberal tradition there are others proposed too. We can narrow this down by focusing on the second question...

Yes – I do have a doctorate in politics and I have done my own research in this space, some of which I've linked to on Twitter. But I reattach it here...

For a good lit review, see here: http://journals.sfu.ca/jd/index.php/jd/article/view/150/119

But I recommend the work of Daniel Köhler, who I once interviewed for the Listener. His work is part academic, part practice-based, through his work in deradicalising both neo-nazis and jihadis in Germany. http://girds.org/staff/daniel-koehler

A lot of his work is hidden behind paywalls, but please consult the table on page 4 of this: https://www.mei.edu/sites/default/files/Koehler.pdf. The deradicalisation solutions focus variously on the micro-, meso- and macro-level: the individual, the group or network, and wider society. This is because, of course, the 'causes' operate at all these levels also. Violent extremism has a complex causal story: it involves an alignment of factors at all these levels, not merely a geopolitical event. Of course, geopolitical events affect multitudes of people, but only very few become extremists, because other factors are critical.

Note also that there are a range of different possible solutions, not all of which involve state intervention, perhaps intervention by a non-state actor or not intervention at all. We should keep all these activities in mind: there is a suite of possible responses, not only state censorship or arrest. As Köhler says, 'Ideally,a national strategy to counter extremism (both violent and non-violent) should implement methods and programs in every “square” that complement each other.'

Now: note the bottom left cell: counter narrative projects. That's the one most relevant to trade-offs with speech. I recommend reading this for a start: https://www.academia.edu/2634842/Archetti_C._2017_Narrative_Wars_Understanding_Terrorism_in_the_Era_of_Global_Interconnectedness_in_A._Miskimmon_B._O_Loughlin_and_L._Roselle_eds_Forging_the_World_Strategic_Narratives_and_International_Relations_Ann_Arbor_University_of_Michigan_Press_pp._218-245

As she says at the beginning, security agencies well recognise that narrative is a driver for radicalisation. The Chch shooter is obviously densely embedded in such narratives, not only written on his weapons, but also his manifesto, not only what it says, but also the jokes and trolling it involves. Far from being a lone wolf, he is embedded in an online network (meso-level) with a shared language and aspirations which increasingly extends beyond the silo of 8chan, and involves Youtube superstars like Southern and Molyneux, as Paul Spoonley discusses here: https://theconversation.com/christchurch-mosque-shootings-must-end-new-zealands-innocence-about-right-wing-terrorism-113655

It probably makes sense to pause here to give you a chance to provide contrary references, or to object to anything I've said so far, before we discuss potential tradeoffs between speech and harm, and how these might be operationalised...

Yours sincerely, David


Geoff Fischer said...

In reply to David Hall

On Wednesday of this week I wrote the following to an RNZ journalist:

"Yesterday I received the news that an old friend, a kind and gentle soul, had died in the Al Noor Masjid massacre. She was killed by a cold, remorseless gunman, along with 48 others on that day.

The response of New Zealanders to this atrocity has been, as one would expect, shock, grief and compassion for the victims, but the reaction from some sections of government and the media concerns me.

If we are not allowed to see what took place at Al Noor and Linwood, then how are we to prepare ourselves for the next time?

If we are not allowed to read the gunman's manifesto, then how are we to understand the nature of the threat we face?

If we are not allowed to utter his name, then how are we to discover his history and associations, and thereby be helped to recognise others of his kind?

By insisting that we should remain ignorant of all this, the Prime Minister may be protecting her security services, but she does nothing to protect our people. She only makes it all but certain that there will be a next time.

The accused should be tried in open court. He should be allowed to speak in his own defence, or to remain silent as he chooses. The news media should perform its proper function of reporting all material facts as they emerge.

It seems that some in government and in the media would like to slam the covers shut on this tragedy so that we hear and see nothing more.

I do not believe that my friend would want that. I believe that she would want the full truth to be known, and she would the proper forms of justice to be followed in this case as in any other - perhaps more than any other.

For her sake, for the sake of all who died, all who remain at risk and all who trust in a system of open justice we must ensure that nothing is kept in the dark."

That is rather long, but I think that, among other things, it does address the first question you put to Chris.

I believe that Tarrant's manifesto needs to be carefully read and discussed at length.
New Zealanders kept in ignorance about its contents completely fail to understand the reaction from the Turkish President Erdogan. They also fail (a habitual failing for them, through no great fault of their own) to understand the political ramifications of this event. Everything has to be placed in context, and if we fail to do that we will be leaving ourselves open to future suffering and grief on a much greater scale than the Al Noor massacre. (Yes, I call it a "massacre" rather than a "terror attack" because "massacre" is the word which places the event in its proper historical context).

The colonial regime wants us not to know or understand what is going on here.

It wants us to parrot their line that "This is not us" and to see these events as inexplicable and unpredictable.

Well, they are both explicable and predictable. New Zealand has entered into a cycle of atrocity and reprisal which will not end even with almost universal and abolutely sincere expressions of compassion, tolerance and inclusiveness. It can only end with fundamental political change, and a precondition to that change is a public discussion which the colonial regime is determined to strangle at birth.

Charles W Etherington said...

Totally excellent. Chris you have absolutely nailed it and I would like every paper in the world to publish your piece. Your many essential and sound points need daily underlining. Seldom are we hearing such wisdom. I have written to The Press today and asked them to publish it (and pay you a good fee!)

Those of you who clearly have not read the killer's poisonous ill-educated drivel should clench their stomachs and do so, because otherwise you do not know what you are talking about in regard to this evil.

And as Chris says, the only correct response is to be more ourselves than ever. Kinder, freer, more open. Our society and culture did not do this, is a good society and as that little girl said, imagine what love the many can produce if one man can produce such hate. The better angels of our nature have been winning humans over forever, and it is absolutely essential at times like these we all embrace them, and let them loose to run riot.

A good start for some would be to stand up and use your own name from now on. Or are you afraid of your own opinions?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Of course you were only asking for confirmation of the response time GS."
I'm sorry Pat, what does this actually mean? Is this some sort of passive-aggressive sarcasm? You actually haven't got a clue why I said that certainly can't get one from what I said. If you haven't got the guts to apologise, you should have the guts to come out and say exactly what you mean.

David Stone said...

@ David Hall
Yore reference to Keiran Hardy is exteemly verbose and repudiative of the difficulty of identifying and combating radicalisation. A problem for anyone not being paid to study it. I notice that it is mostly focused on Islamic radicalisation but touches only lightly on the historical fact that the middle eastern countries where islam is the overwhelmingly dominant religion have been under the jackboot of firstBritish and the American imperialism for hundreds of years , and continue to be. It might be reasonably viewed as being a natural reaction in this situation.
The example in Christchurch has no such driver.
Chris is right in pointing out "Something about New Zealand, most probably our acute vulnerability to the sort of terrorist attack he was planning, convinced him that shots fired here would be heard around the world." This is because far from being something that is a development or grows out of some part of NZ society it has made the world headline for a week and on going absolutely because it is the world's least likely country to foster such extremism.
Returning to Hardy's work; he describes a recruitment process that perfectly mirrors the recruitment of our armed forces. And the training and indoctrination of the recruits to condition them to do just the same wanton death and destruction as this Idiot did on his own bat.
Is he worse than Bolton or Pompio or Tony Blair ,or the late John Mc Kaine or Bush? Or any of them? Just because they order others to do the killing now? And the others that take their orders, the indoctrination to break down the humanity of the recruits so that they can perform their "duty", requiring objectifying the "enemy" with whom in almost every case they have no issue whatsoever is a deliberate dehumanising process as old as recorded history. And the relevance of religion is as your reference describes not a matter of religion being the driver of the radicalisation . It is as it always has been an essential ingredient to be implemented in the radicalisation process. Whether it is ISIS, the Crusades , Nazi Germany or any other war of aggression in history.
Cheers D J S

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ah...Pat... What with all the Internet fuss about the Christchurch shooting, and the fact that I was flat out writing on a number of websites trying to explain to Americans what our gun laws are and asking them not to use our tragedy for their own political ends, I must've had a senior moment. I was shocked and hurt that someone whose opinion I respected would accuse me of something so terrible. But in the middle of the night last night I suddenly realised that that person was simply someone with the same name, and it wasn't you. From you I would expect no less. So forget what I said in my last statement – I don't respect your opinions in the least.

greywarbler said...

Simon Cohen
I don't know if you refer to comments that seem to relate to Jews, or actually mention Jews, and I don't think you state if that is the case.
Bit it is the impression I draw from your tone.
But allowing a range of views gives a picture of the thinking in the general public. The whole matter is traumatic; talking about it is also and I can't see why you think that it can be any other way. Has there been any particular sentence that illustrates your concern?

j4d3 goat said...

"We must not allow the unanimity of our grief to be translated into a demand for unanimity of opinion. "

**Outstanding**, Chris. I agree with you 100 percent.

One of the things that the scumbag wanted was *more censorship*.
We should in fact go in the **opposite** direction.

Openness is *good*.
The ability to discuss issues openly is **essential** to the health of a country.

When freedom of speech is clamped down on and restricted, it only leads to **resentment and frustration.** That can (for some people) build into rage, and from such rage can come evil acts such as this. That is *not* what *any* sane person would want.

Someone once said that "the first casualty of war is truth". The same could be said of terrorism, and "freedom of speech" is as much in danger as the truth. We must not let *either* be damaged.

Keep up the **excellent** work, Chris.

George Henderson said...

But who are we really? We are a nation that supported allies who invaded countries, infiltrated others with drone attacks, and abducted and tortured people, in order to protect us from Islamist terror attacks.
We protested some of these things as a nation, many of us also had doubts about the effectiveness of such strategies and the likelihood of them making things worse, but we went along, and as ISIS finally crumbled I think we all breathed a cautious sigh of relief.
In the meantime, we didn't really impinge on the rights of muslims to speak their opinions. - if we found them abhorrent, as when an imam abused Jews, we responded with measured protests.
In other words, we are not nice people where our safety is concerned, but we are nice people, sort of. We'd never jail someone for their opinion, but we might have them killed for trying to act on it, or look the other way while someone else did it.
Now - if we don't approach the far-right terror threat with something of the same hard-nut-with-qualms attitude, we will be racists. We will be Islamophobes. There's no getting round that.
We don't need a witch-hunt led by the far-left, I mean everyone was already sick of that and it didn't prevent anything or even give us a meaningful warning about what was coming, and all it does now is throw accelerant all over the show. No-one on that team has surprised me by getting anything right yet. But we do need a strategy, or a mind-set that takes far-right terrorism as seriously as we took Islamist terrorism. And this means - as a sideline - dealing with conspiracy theory and fake news as mental contagions or even low-key acts of war by foreign actors. Suggestions please.

Simon Cohen. said...

To Greywarbler.
You are one of the most intriguing people I have ever come across on sites such as these.You say:

I don't know if you refer to comments that seem to relate to Jews, or actually mention Jews, and I don't think you state if that is the case.
Bit it is the impression I draw from your tone.""

If from my tone you get the impression I am talking about comments that relate to Jews perhaps you should examine your own prejudices.Perhaps it is because I am Jewish that you assume that any comments I make are coloured by that.Most people I communicate with class me as a human being.
And if you want an example of the comments I was talking about then this is it.

they fucking were not there in 6 minutes, I watched the video, it was 17 minutes in after he started firing and there was nary an officer in sight""

And if you had read my comment carefully instead of jumping to your Jewish conclusions you would have understood this.
For your edification I have pasted again below what I wrote.


The rant by unknown where he complains that it took half an hour for police to respond to a shooting in the main street is totally ill informed.To take just one example Deans Avenue is not the main street of Christchurch.One wonders if he could devise a response system which could respond more quickly than what transpired.
In his next post he cuts the response time from half an hour to 17 minutes because he has watched the video.
One wonders what kind of a sick person he is if he has watched the video and studied it as intently as he obviously has.