David Pryce-Jones disagrees, writing that Breivik is in fact More Dangerous Than Insane:
Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass-murderer, the pundits and psychiatrists are quick to say, is insane. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London and one of the most intelligent men in public life, considers that there is nothing to study in Breivik’s mind. That seems altogether too easy a dismissal.Similarly, a psychiatrist I know emails in opposition to the media's attempt to paint Breivik as insane, writing that there is a difference between someone who is insane and Breivik. Here is a summary of what the psychiatrist writes:
All the evidence is that Breivik set about this crime with unusual forethought and a thoroughness which the would-be bomber in Times Square, for example, or the man with explosives in his underwear on the flight to Detroit, were quite incapable of. Breivik is an educated man, he can make good use of a phrase of John Stuart Mill’s. For a long time he has been writing a document of 1,500 pages, a testament in which he lays out that he has enemies, in this case Muslims whom he sees taking over Europe, and the social democrat politicians, all traitors, who collude in their own downfall and the end of Christian culture in the West by encouraging Muslim immigration.
To say someone is "insane", means he has lost touch with reality--he kills because he really believes that people are out to hurt him. But Breivik killed for ideological reasons. He actually knew what he was doing and that it was "wrong" according to societal norms--but he thought his attack would help him reach his goals. While what Breivik did was evil, he is not "insane". When the media uses that term, minimizes the responsibility for those who commit atrocities in the name of Islam. In the same way, it would be a mistake to call Breivik insane and minimize his responsibility for what he did.Breivik is not insane, and what he did should be judged for the evil he did, without excuses being made.
Technorati Tag: Norway and Anders Breivik.