Apparently, the Norway nutter thought his mass murder of young people at a local summer camp would spark a war in Europe between Left and Right. It says so right in his "manifesto," a hodgepodge of ideas cribbed from many different sources and incorporating a large, undigested portion of the Unabomber's ravings. This murderous maniac's high hopes reminded me of another murderous maniac: Charles Manson. He had hoped that his acolytes' murder of some of L.A.'s beautiful people would be blamed on the city's black residents, thereby sparking a race war between black and white. He called this hoped-for war "Helter Skelter," the name of a cryptic Beatles song on their White Album.
One maniac was Nordic, "right-wing" and "Christian" who had been involved in the military; the other was a creepy yet oddly charismatic California lowlife who had tried and failed to break into the music biz. The common denominator: both were in the throes of deranged thinking and maniacal blood lust; both had grandiose visions of the carnage they could unleash. Tragically, both succeeded, one on a far larger scale than the other.
But guess what? One could no more blame the Beatles for inspiring Charles Manson's bloodthirstiness than one can blame, say, Mark Steyn for inspiring Anders'. However, one cannot make the same observation about the jihadis' inspiration. In their case, they are following specific instructions in sacred texts commanding them to wage holy war on unbelievers until such time as they feel themselves subdued. The difference between lone nutters and religious fanatics heeding a sacred call to arms should be obvious to all--but won't be. It will be muddied and fudged beyond all reason in the days ahead.