Many thanks for your kind words! Yes, this is a
terrible tragedy, especially maybe the situation on Utøya where many youngsters
were 'hunted and killed' for almost two hours on a very small island. Almost
one in 7 of the 650 people on the island were either killed or more or less
severely wounded, and the survivors may be scarred for life. The bomb in town
was of course also terrible, but here most of the enormous damage is material
(although 7 people were killed and many injured also here). The fact that all
this terror is the result of the delusions of just one lone intelligent 'rogue'
is almost unbelievable, but on the other side in a way also good to know; it
had been much worse, I think, for the country and the forthcoming (local)
elections, if it had been terror from outside, e.g. El Qaida.
Norway is, compared to most other European
countries, a very open society, with a small distance between those who govern
and the governed, e.g. ministers, and even often the king and crown prince,
travel with the normal scheduled flights when they have business elsewhere in
the country. (The quite young lady, who told me: No, just sit, OÌ can climb
over you to the window seat in the plane to Tromsø a few years ago, turned out
to be the Interior Minister.) Of course, modern times penetrate also here, and
Jens Stoltenberg, our prime minister, is no longer allowed to bicycle to work,
too dangerous. The fact that the AUF summercamp had no real police present on
the small island Utøya must be seen in the same light. The terror actions of
Friday may well change the picture a lot, but we all strive to keep the society
as open as possible, and the distance between Norwegians of all stripes as
small as possible: Norway is still a quite egalitarian society. We absolutely
must avoid to get into the situation I always hate so much on say US airports;
there you are 'guilty until proven innocent'. Things like the terror last
Friday are a very high price to pay for such an open society, but it may even
be worth it!
Best greetings from the high North, where we just lost
the midnight sun for this year.
Van: John McGowan
Verzonden: zondag 24 juli 2011 11:20
Aan: Vader Willem Jan Marinus
Onderwerp: RE: [Birding-Aus] Tragedy in Norway
Very well said Michael
I can only echo these comments. This is a tragedy in any country, but in one
as small and as close knit as Norway it must be shattering.
I so enjoy reading your emails and I share then with a couple of people who are
not birders-just Norwegian-philes.
You guys have been through worse and you'll come back.
> Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 19:09:03 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Tragedy in Norway
> Dear Wim
> I needed to write to say how upsetting it is to hear of the awful massacre
> of innocents in Norway.
> It would be appalling anywhere - but for it to happen in a country of such
> wonderful, balanced people is beyond words.
> My thoughts are with you all - especially the survivors and the families of
> the victims - and my hopes are that this act of madness will eventually
> result in Norwegians reaffirming their tremendous values of sanity and
> I have copied this to other subscribers to Birding-Aus because I had not
> seen any posting so far from the numerous friends of you and of Norway.
> Michael Norris
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