April 17th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Roundup: Admitted Norwegian killer takes stand in trial

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Anders Behring Breivik addressed a Norwegian court today, calling his admitted murder of seventy-seven people last summer the most "spectacular sophisticated political act" since World War II (NYT), while vowing to do it over again if given the opportunity. Breivik said he acted– setting off a car bomb in central Oslo that killed eight and gunning down sixty-nine others at a nearby youth summer camp on July 22, 2011–as part of a Norwegian resistance movement in defense of the alleged Islamic "colonization" of Norway. Breivik, who asked the court to acquit him, said his victims were not innocent because they supported multiculturalism.

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"But the case is about more than Breivik's sanity. Viewed from the perspective of Norwegian society, which is known in Europe and around the world for its strict adherence to openness and democracy, the trial is much more a test of the very foundations on which the country stands," writes DeutscheWelle's Gabriel Borrud.

"This is what is at stake during Behring Breivik's trial: more than his punishment, it is how we will understand 22/7. What will our children read in their textbooks in 15 years' time? Will it be seen as the mad act of Behring Breivik alone, or as the product of a growing Islamophobia and political hatred? The conclusion will follow us for generations," writes Aslek Sira Myhre for the Guardian.


Australia to Withdraw Early From Afghanistan

Australia will withdraw its forces from the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan by the end of 2013 (SMH), a year ahead of schedule, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Tuesday. Australia currently has 1,550 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

This CFR Timeline examines the events that precipitated the U.S. war in Afghanistan as well as the history of the war.

CHINA: The British government is expected to discuss the death of British businessman Neil Heywood (WSJ)–whose alleged murder in China late last year has ignited a major political crisis in China–with senior Chinese officials in London this week.


Karzai Takes Aim at Taliban Leaders

Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the Taliban for a recent wave of attacks throughout the country, saying they had killed only fellow Afghans and ensured a continued "foreign presence." But Karzai vowed to continue to seek reconciliation with his Taliban "brothers" (Reuters).

Though toppled from power in Kabul in 2001, the Taliban has become a resilient force active on two fronts–in Afghanistan and Pakistan, explains this CFR Backgrounder.

INDIA: The United States' first female ambassador to India (NYT), Nancy Powell, will arrive in New Delhi later this week amid rising tensions between the two nations over sanctioning Iran's nuclear efforts.


Qaddafi's Son Could Be Tried in Libya

Former Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, may be tried in Libya rather than at the International Criminal Court at the Hague. The ICC, which has indicted Qaddafi for crimes against humanity (BBC), would provide security and legal supervision for the trial.

BAHRAIN: The government has failed to implement adequate reforms (al-Jazeera) following an independent investigation over human rights violations committed in response to last year's anti-government protests, Amnesty International said in a report released today.


Former Mali PM Arrested

The military junta that seized power in a coup last month arrested former prime minister Modibo Sidibe (AFP) and several other former officials. The junta officially handed over power to an interim president, Dioncounda Traore, last Thursday, while a transitional prime minister is expected to be named today.

In his blog "Africa in Transition," CFR's John Campbell discusses the state of the Mali coup and the Tuareg insurrection in the north of the country.

GUINEA BISSAU: The African Union suspended the country's membership following a military coup last week, set to stay in effect until constitutional order is restored.


Russia Overtakes UK, France in Arms Spending

Russia surpassed the UK and France in terms of arms spending for 2011, becoming the third-largest global spender on weapons (Guardian) behind the United States and China. Russia spent approximately $72 billion on arms last year.


U.S. Nominee Named World Bank Chief

The World Bank chose U.S. candidate Jim Yong Kim (BBC), the current head of Dartmouth College, to be its new president. Kim, a development expert, will assume his new role on July 1.

CFR's Laurie Garrett provides an examination of the World Bank's evolution as a global health actor and Jim Yong Kim's career in public health in this Expert Brief.

ARGENTINA: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced yesterday that her government would seize a majority stake in the country's largest oil company (NYT), YPF, which is currently majority-owned by a Spanish energy company. The Spanish government and the European Union immediately condemned the move.


Senate Rejects Obama's Buffet Rule

President Obama's attempt to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans was thwarted with a Senate vote (WashPost) against consideration of the Buffett Rule Monday.

Even with renewed violence in Afghanistan this spring, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney remains adamant that the time for the United States to negotiate with the Taliban is long past (ABC), especially in light of prior failed discussions. Political correspondent Byron York asks whether Romney will align with his own party since a new Washington Post poll shows 52 percent of GOP voters now believe the war is not worth fighting.

The Republican Party is maneuvering to better appeal to Latino voters (HuffPo), focusing on the fact that Latinos have been hit hard by the economic recession and that the president has failed to deliver on comprehensive immigration reform.

Editor's Note: For more information on the presidential election and foreign policy check out CFR's campaign blog, The Candidates and the World.

To receive daily updates in your inbox sign up for CFR.org's Daily News Brief.

Topics: Europe • Law • Terrorism

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. USMC Forever

    The great irony of this trial is that Norway stands a far greater chance of being colonized by the U.S. and Great Britain than by any Muslin group in the world today, proving that Anders Breivik is barking up the wrong tree so to speak.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      How so?

      April 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  2. krm1007

    As a punishment to India for double crossing Americans (in Iran)....the US ambassador to India should be recalled and all US embassies/consulates should be closed. Let this be a lesson to India and its likes...N Korea....that defiance by anyone will not be toelrated by US.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      For the past 50 years, we've been bullying someone or other around the world, krm1007. It's high time that we stop, pure and simple!!! Bullying at any level should never be tolerated or accepted!

      April 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
      • krm1007

        This is matter of principles. Free lunches provided to Indians by American taxpayers are over. I understand backstabbing is Indian DNA....but unacceptable to americans.

        April 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  3. krm1007

    The missile that India is about to test should be shot down by USA. In a country where a billion people are living in poverty wasting money on missiles and war mongering is contrary to the principles that americans stand for. All aid and FDI by the western world to India needs to stop forthwith

    April 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      In fact krm1007, Australia should follow India's lead and adopt very similar policies toward us and say, enough of your bullying already, we'll make our own policies from now on!!! Sadly enough, that won't happen as their leaders hold up in their ivory towers preaching unity with the United States!!!

      April 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        Who is bullying who?
        How is this bullying going on?

        April 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  4. 100% ETHIO

    Well, I read very well the Court Transcripts about Mr.Breivik plea not guilty. He acts against Norwegian Multiculturalism Policy.
    As he stated, he had a very good Muslim friend when he was Youth. But, apparently that changed 20 Years after he become anti-Islamic extremist.
    He also claimed, he belong to the secret movement called, "Knights Templar".
    My question is, does this kind of ideology have some affect and effect against American Society?
    According to the Norwegian Court Transcripts, Mr.Breivik has given a good opportunity to speak up his Mind, freely without being destructed. As we seen his appearance in Court. But, in America, confrontation is always happened against inmates.

    Prejudicially, in America and Canada, more Mosques like Condo businesses boomed and keep building in every neighbourhoods, while Saudi-Arabia STRICTLY PROHIBITED Churches not to be build in its Soil.
    How do Americans and Canadians view these in a short and long term perspective among their Societies? Will these cause dysfunctionalism???

    As I witnessed, if you are Christian with non-strong community, you will be targeted not only in Muslim Countries, but also in Western Countries as well.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Tomas

      Most people in the US are like most people in Europe ... they believe what they see on TV.
      Control over the media is still the greatest power in the West, but the internet is a threat to their monopoly over public discussion. I predict that we will see greater and greater restrictions on free expression of ideas over the internet.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply

    hang this red neck thug all those kkk, nazies must be burned like they did to others.

    اغلقو سفارات روسيا واطردو دبلماسييهم ومواطنيهم من بلداننا فروسيا مشاركه بقتل الشعب السوري اريد ان اسئل سؤال اين تنظيم القاعده الذي صرعونا به من ما يجري في سوريا

    April 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      Like you above, I too dislike what the Nazis do but could you drop the Tea Party lingo as it has no place here? No, right-wing extremism is always bad whether it's ours or any one else's. In fact, that why we have military forces halfway around the world and that shouldn't be!

      April 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  6. Hahahahahahaha

    Maybe this guy and Ted Nugent can hang out together!!! Hahahahahahaha

    April 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  7. j. von hettlingen

    Karzai criticised the Taliban for a series of attacks last Sunday, His intelligence was pointing fingers at the Haqqani Network, Insiders said that the Afghan Taliban under Mullah Omar and his men of the Quetta Shura don't pretend that they could deliver peace with the Haqqani Network.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • krm1007

      Maybe the Delhi Shura can step to the plate to fill the gaps. After all the Afghan Shura is being lobotomized by the Indian Shura.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  8. j. von hettlingen

    Formula 1 is returning to Bahrain this weekend, despite appeal of protesters to the organisation to call for this year's Bahrain Grand Prix to be cancelled.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  9. j. von hettlingen

    As an effort to "recover its sovreignty" Argentina has announced it will nationalise the oil company YPF, which is owned by Spanish oil firm Repsol. Spain and the E.U. condemned it. The foreign policy chief of the E.U. – the British born Catherine Ashton – said Argentina's decision sent a "very negative signal" to investors. Britain's state secretary, William Hague capitalised on this incident to once again condemn Argentina for its unjustified claim on the Falklands.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  10. Tomas

    All European nationalities are being eradicated by mass immigration and multiculturalism. European ethnic groups have as much right to exist in their homelands as the Jews or Rwandan Tutsi, but the powers-that-be are determined to dilute European ethnic groups into oblivion. Likewise, in the USA, the number of non-Hispanic White children declined by 4.3 MILLION children in the ten years from 2000 to 2010.
    UN definition of Genocide: "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;" (UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2C)

    April 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply

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