Antwerp Massacre: Turning the World into Hell
From the desk of Paul Belien on Fri, 2006-05-12 21:49
Yesterday Hans Van Themsche, an 18 year old high-school student who had just been expelled from boarding school for smoking in the dormitories, went berserk and set out on a bloody rampage in Antwerp. In the morning he shaved his head down to the neck. He put on combat boots and a black leather outfit and went to a store of sporting and hunting gear to buy a rifle. Dressed as a “Goth” he walked through town and shot at three people who crossed his path: a veiled Turkish woman, a two year old Flemish toddler on a tricycle and her black nanny, killing the latter two and seriously wounding the first.
A policeman was able to neutralise the student by shooting him in the stomach. He is currently in hospital, recovering from the wound. According to the authorities he said he was a skinhead on a suicide mission who wanted to kill foreigners and intended the last bullet for himself. In a farewell note, which he left at his school, he mentioned “heaven, which does not exist” and wrote that his three brothers would feel better once he was gone. Luc Deprez, the schoolmaster, said that Hans Van Themsche, who turned 18 last February, was an intelligent and courteous boy. According to the judicial authorities, who questioned his parents, there are no indications that the murderer was raised “in a racist or violent environment.”
The murderer’s aunt, Frieda Van Themsche, confirmed that the boy has been raised in a family where he and his brothers were even forbidden to play with toy guns. Frieda Van Themsche, however, is a member of parliament for the Vlaams Belang party. This party, which is Antwerp’s and also Belgium’s largest single political party, aims for the independence of Flanders, is opposed to Muslim immigration and does not believe in a multicultural society.
Following Hans Van Themsche’s killing spree, however, his aunt is guilty by association, and so is the entire party. The Belgian government has strongly condemned the shootings, describing them as an extreme form of racism. Guilty, too, is this website because the writer of this article happens to be married to another VB member of parliament. Today a far-left organisation, the Progress Lawyers Network (PLN), attacked The Brussels Journal in a press release, and demanded that “Paul Belien be prosecuted for his recent publications.” Tomorrow the Belgian media will parrot the message. I am a prolific and outspoken writer, which in Belgium is not tolerated from a Conservative. Sixteen years ago, long before my wife went into politics, I was fired by a Belgian newspaper for writing an op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal explaining why the Belgian media spiked the story of the late King Baudouin’s objections to the Belgian abortion bill. Since then I have never been given the opportunity to write for a Belgian newspaper again. Last summer I started The Brussels Journal, which some want to silence because political correctness is all they want the public to hear.
Following the recent murder of Joe Van Holsbeeck I wrote that citizens should be allowed the right to bear arms (specifically mentioning peppersprays) if the authorities are no longer able to guarantee public safety. According to Belgian law it is illegal to buy, possess and carry pepperspray, although this is a purely defensive weapon which, if Joe Van Holsbeeck had been allowed to use it, might have saved his life. On the other hand, while Belgian law forbids adults (anyone over eighteen years of age) to carry sports or hunting weapons without permits, they are allowed to buy and possess such weapons. In a reaction to Van Themsche’s killings the Belgian government announced today that legislation will soon be voted to restrict the possession of weapons even further. However, there is a threat which is at least as dangerous to our society as weapons.
Like the Columbine School Massacre a few years ago in the US, Hans Van Themsche’s killing spree is indicative of a society where young people have lost all respect for human life. Is it a coincidence that this should happen in a society that has lost respect for human life itself? Belgium has a very liberal abortion law and wants to extend its euthanasia legislation to minors and to the senile elderly (whose guardians will decide for them). Is it a coincidence that at the same time so many young people have also lost their faith in the future? They listen to Satanic and “goth” music, dress in black, shave their heads and write in farewell letters that “heaven does not exist.” Having lost faith in heaven, they then decide to turn the world into hell.
Submitted by thecurerox on Sat, 2006-05-20 06:23.
With the governments removing more or less all things that the Christian belief stands for, because it is offending someone in the population, has its dangerous side effects. Having a religion that is based on love and forgiveness, is far better than to trust the government and have only the current to stand responsible for. This is what is happening, the violence is everywhere, and it has become parts of all kids life. The movies, the TV, the music, the computer games, killing or get killed is the game.
The secret to happiness is not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do.
Submitted by starviego on Thu, 2006-07-06 05:59.
Black trenchcoats, like the one Van Themsche was wearing, seems to be some kind of code in the case of the young rampage-rage slayer. In each of the following cases the perp either owned or wore a black trenchcoat and no coherent motive has ever been put forward:
--3-20-06 Kyle Huff, 28, Seattle rave slayer, 7 dead
-- 2-1-06 Jacob D. Robida, 18, Massachusetts gay bar slasher/shooter, 3 dead
--11-20-05 Tacoma(WA) Mall Shooter, Dominick Sergio Maldonado, 20, 6 wounded
--10-30-05 William Freund, Orange County, CA 19-year-old in a black cape and a paintball mask went on a shooting rampage, 3 dead
--10-15-05 Scott Dyleski, 16, Lafayette Goth Killer(SF bay area), (victim Pam Vitale, wife of noted CourtTV commentator Daniel Horowitz)
--3-21-05 Jeff Weise, 17, Red Lake, Minnesota school shooting, 8 dead
--4-20-99 Columbine Massacre, Colorado, 15 dead
--10-1-97 Luke Woodham, 16. Pearl, Mississippi 2 dead
The Antwerp shooter sounds like a mind-controlled patsy, to me. No coincidence that gun-control legislations was ready soon after the event. And of course lets not forget how the populist nationalist VB party was smeared through this event. this one has all the hallmarks of a covert 'black' operation, probably carried out by the intelligence agencies.
“I think this is the Columbine client,” (Defense attorney Sverre)Staurset said. “I think his background is exactly like all the high school shooters.” (on Tacoma Mall Shooter Maldonado)
What is new in this case?
Submitted by starviego on Sat, 2006-12-23 05:50.
Does anybody know what happened to Van Themsche? Will there be a criminal trial? Was any investigative report made public? There is absolutely no news on this side of the Atlantic(US).
last paragraph #2
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2006-05-18 23:11.
I think that a careful reading of the famous "last paragraph" is in order. You claim that Belien said that the liberalisation of the abortion law "had an influence on this murder spree". He did no such thing!! He talked, admittedly in very general terms, about a loss of respect for human life". He talked about "a coincidence" with abortion and euthanasia legislation, but not about a direct "influence" by any specific law on this particular murder spree. A fairer interpretation of the paragraph would be that he makes claims about broader societal trends, of which this specific crime and these pieces of legislation are all part and parcel.
He is entitled to his opinions without having the label of "demagogue" being thrown at him. And, one also has to try to be somewhat realistic about what a website like this can be, and what it cannot be. There are better places to go to look into the intricacies of conflicting and controversial 'sociological research'. This is a blogsite wich is full of opinions on a wide variety of topics. By all means, offer counteropinions - with or without reliable empirical support - but one should not too quickly call someone a "demagogue".
No, you did not claim that "Belien is the only demagogue in Belgium", and neither did I claim that you did.
Dictionary.com defines a
Submitted by Filip Van Roosbroeck on Fri, 2006-05-19 00:02.
Dictionary.com defines a demogue as: "an orator who appeals to the passions and prejudices of his audience".
While you could argue about Mr. Belien's status as an orator, the definition seems fitting to me.
It's true that Mr. Belien does not make a direct link between the liberalisation of abortion and the gun massacre - however, I read that particular piece of the text as saying "it was no coincidence that the killings occurred in society with a lack of respect for live (exemplified by the abortion law)". The abortion law, in itself, might not have influenced the crime, but it did influence society. law -> society; society -> crime; = law -> crime
That's how I read the paragraph anyway. I'll grant that it might not be what Mr. Belien intended, but my overall comments still stand.
He is of course entitled to his own opinions, but Mr. Belien is obviously writing for an audience. As a part of that audience, I feel he should provide proof for some of the wilder claims he makes.
In that context, I offered the research anecdote to show that it might be less clear-cut than he seems to believe.
Why ignore the obvious?
Submitted by Kathy on Sat, 2006-05-20 01:46.
This young man got expelled for smoking in a dormitory. What did that do to his future? I am amzed that anyone gets expelled for something as minor as that. Then what does he see? He sees far worse acts by "foreigners" being excused.
Indeed, when somebody cries out at death that there is no God, it is because there is no justice. Their world just doesn't square with the possibility that there could be a loving God.
He gets expelled for smoking. But Cartoon Jihadists can riot, torch things, and cry for the annhilation of whole races...and get nothing but excuses made for poor, poor them. Indeed, they get more of whatever they demand.
He sees 3,000 people mass murdered in New York, and then hears Europe say that nothing should be done about it. What smaller valuation could be put on human life? If 3,000 automobiles were damaged, you can bet nobody would say nothing should be done about it. Autos are things of value. Their destruction incurs damages that must be paid for. Otherwise everybody will just go around destroying things for the heck of it. Right?
People do things for reasons. As in this case, they aren't always justifiable reasons, but nonetheless they do them for reasons. His note was his attempt to express his reason.
And I don't see why that should be disregarded.
And part two
Submitted by Filip Van Roosbroeck on Thu, 2006-05-18 16:28.
I point out that some research has suggested that the liberalisation of the abortion law in the United States has lead to a marked decrease in crime. Said research is rather controversial, but it might provide you some food for thought.
Have I ever said that Mr. Belien is the only demagogue in Belgium, or the only one to spout opinions without proof? Let's not jump on the bandwagon here - the fact that many people do so does not mean Mr. Belien has in any way a point.
Some of the other topics covered by Mr. Belien might be supported by more evidence - but that is not of the issue here.
Apologies, yes, those terms are rather vague. You might interpret it as 'One does not need to belief in an afterlife to have a sense of right and wrong that conforms to that to the mainstream's sense of right and wrong'. Better that way?
As a proof for statement, I could point towards the many atheists and agnostics that have made a valuable contribution to science or society. I could also point towards philosophies such as secular humanism, which have a strong moral code without a belief in an afterlife. Furthermore, I could also point out that church attendance and religiosity in general have been steadily declining, but that the number of killing sprees has not undergone a similar dramatic change.
I could also point out the opposite: namely, that many of those who had a strong sense of faith had a rather abysmal set of ethics. I'm a bit uneasy about pointing towards the Spanish in the Americas as it's a totally different time and context, but if you believe in an absolute good, they weren't it.
I submit to you the opinion that "faith", in most instances, seems to boil down to going "Oh well, God moves in mysterious ways and I'll see y'all in heaven". (This is a slightly overstated personal opinion, of course). I do not see how such an attitude helps one "when the going gets rough", other than perhaps providing some peace of mind and an excuse for lethargy.
Reply, part 1
Submitted by Filip Van Roosbroeck on Thu, 2006-05-18 16:27.
I apologise for the two comments, it did not seem to like it when I posted it in one piece.
My comment was based on this post only. You'll notice that I provided proof for my assertion that Mr. Belien is too quick to assign blame and provides unfounded blanket statements. That is all I asserted, that is all I have to prove. If Mr. Belien has evidence, say, that there is more than one Goth with homicidal tendencies, I would be more than delighted to see it. As it is though, a rapid 'they' does not suffice.
Equally so for his opinion - implied by his rhetorical questions - that the liberalisation of the abortion law had an influence on this murder spree. Question marks might have a pleasing aesthetic effect, but asking questions is all they do. If he has actual empirical evidence to back his positions, I'm sure he'd be delighted to share it with the world.
your last paragraph 2
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2006-05-18 03:33.
@ Filip van Roosbroeck
The irony of what you write seems to escape you. You don't like Mr. Belien's opinions and therefore seem all too quick to stick the label of "demagogue" on him, "with little fact to support" your contention. That is exactly the same thing that you blame him for.
If the expounding of "generalisations without proof" were proof of "demagoguery", then you might as well say that virtually all the major Belgian media and politicians are "demagogues". There is a lot of empirical evidence to support some of Mr. Belien's generalisations (not all, of course), but you must be prepared to open your eyes of course to unpleasant empirical facts (about 'crime', about trade-offs in the real world, etc...).
Take your contention that "a lack of faith does not mean a lack of ethics". For such a contention to have any real meaning, you would have to expound a bit more on the meaning of words like "faith" (in what?) and "ethics". Claiming to have "ethics" is always very easy. This could only be tested in real-world situations that require real sacrifice. I submit to you the opinion that such cheap words about "ethics" mean nothing - when 'the going gets tough' - without a serious "faith" (but not faith in Cardinal Danneels or the pope, of course!).
In your last paragraph, you
Submitted by Filip Van Roosbroeck on Mon, 2006-05-15 15:07.
In your last paragraph, you imply a causal link without offering any evidence but rhetoric. You might as well point to "The murderer’s aunt, Frieda Van Themsche, confirmed that the boy has been raised in a family where he and his brothers were even forbidden to play with toy guns." and claim that - a too sheltered upbringing - as the cause.
A lack of faith does not mean a lack of ethics. Blanket statement like "so many young people have also lost their faith in the future" and "Having lost faith in heaven, they then decide to turn the world into hell." are nothing but generalisations and are again spouted without offering any proof.
Mr. Belien, like so many on the extremes of the political landscape, is an excellent demagogue but uses little fact to support his fiction.
The dotation system renders
Submitted by Brigands on Sun, 2006-05-14 16:20.
The dotation system renders parties somewhat hooked to the State; therefor reduces their independance. Just as in this situation. Majority rules; here it abuses its power to swing at a party it cannot defeat by the usual democratic political means. Some people refer to 1930s...it sounds like the Hitler Putsch but then by the 'democratic parties'.
Submitted by Peter Fleming on Sun, 2006-05-14 16:17.
Instead of installing a system of state funding, it would have been better to create more transparency about who funds how much
re; a message
Submitted by Pat Patterson on Sun, 2006-05-14 01:54.
If Mr Belien puts up a banner that announces that he condemns "every form of violence against foreigners whether legal or illegal..." does that mean Belgians are now free to shoot, stab and bludgeon only their fellow citizens?
Which banner is most needed?
Submitted by rudi on Sun, 2006-05-14 14:09.
As some request a banner from Mr Belien, why don't same not request a banner on all mosks in Belgium stating that the verses of the Qu'ran that command to kill Christians and Jews are wrong and apologize for distributing the book "de weg van de Islam"/"la voie de l'Islam" (the way of the Islam) that recommends the "correct behavior, ethics, religious practice and social relations" (preface of the book) muslims should observe such as:
- kill homosexuals from high towers
- believe that Islam is the only religion and ALL other religions are outdated and their believers are un-believers
- have no relation neither sympatize with un-believers
- never first greet an un-believer with salaam, and when adressed as such (by an un-believer) only respond: "the same"
That book claims itself to be one of the standard books for muslims. I can't think about any other book distributed in our Western civilisation that emphasizes more the "we-they" issue as that book does.
The killing spree was not politically motivated
Submitted by Brigands on Sat, 2006-05-13 11:16.
The killing spree was not politically nor religiously motivated. Personal frustration was the motivation, triggered by being kicked off boarding school. Relating it to abortion sounds like a stretch too me as well.
A situation being abused for political means. What Geert Lambert (Spirit) has said seems very clear to me: he's pushing for the removal of State Party Funds of Vlaams Belang because of the killing spree. VB is deemed morally responsible, thus has to pay. A failure of government is what is really happening.
What will happen if the dotation of Vlaams Belang is shut down, entirely or partially?
Will it not prove that there is no democracy in the Belgian System?
What happens to States which turn from Democracy into Dictorial States (perceived or reality)?
One cannot revoke the finance of an elected fraction; that is not the task of the State but the task of the people by revoking their vote. If opposing political factions use the State in this manner...then we have a problem.
Submitted by markpetens on Sat, 2006-05-13 12:50.
Dotation in itself is a system not worthy of a democracy. It would be better if political parties would not be subsidized at all by the government. A government handing out money to political parties, Left or Right, can only increase envy among its citizens. A member of VB would not want to support the government financing the Sp.a (socialist party), likewise, a socialist would not want to see the government financing of the Vlaams Belang. There is an easy way out here, and that is to stop dotation of any political party immediately.
Submitted by yupie on Sun, 2006-05-14 01:01.
"Dotation in itself is a system not worthy of a democracy."
Indeed. But for the non-Belgian readers, it would be interesting to explain why this system exists in Belgium: it is, for starters, because of other parties (not VB) which accumulated a bad history in the 80's and early 90's of combining political party funding with governmental favours (Agusta, Plascobel to name but a few).
It then was deemed the best solution to (a) forbid party funding of individuals and companies (above certain amounts) and (b) to let the government itself fund the parties.
This is, of course, a very bad idea from a true democratic viewpoint, for different reasons, e.g.:
- party funding is according to the number of seats already obtained, so bigger parties get bigger funding (would there be any defendable reasoning in this?)
- it is much more difficult for non-existing or new parties to arise (heck, it would *already* be the case even without this, with media attention etc.)
- the argument you make, people not agreeing to fund parties which they do not approve of. Funny enough, I have been hearing this mostly from the left side only in Belgium (style "imagine us, paying taxes for people with other ideas than ours!").
There is a vivid plan now to stop (at least temporarily) the party funding for the VB, because they are alledgedly racist, but in reality only in an attempt to stop their opposition. I have a hard time to stop thinking this was the master plan from the very beginning.
Submitted by Bob Doney on Sat, 2006-05-13 09:23.
"Hans Van Themsche’s killing spree is indicative of a society where young people have lost all respect for human life."
More likely to be indicative of some sort of paranoid delusional mental illness, I would guess. But then again, what do I know?
Turning the World into Hell
Submitted by panamboy on Sat, 2006-05-13 06:45.
You should feel a sense of honor. Many have tried to present truth in what they see and the wrongs that are poured out on the citizens by politicians. Politicians can lead their fellow citizens into times of little truth, most following the path of least resistance, being politically correct when ever obstacles confront them. They blame others for how things are going, taking political positions that will hopefully extend their time sitting at the head table. They seem lead their constituents into the future to live their lives with little or no past, heritage or customs. Sterilizing everything that made what we stand for, neutralizing our individual uniqueness, forcing us to blend into the ever-growing melting pot of humanity. They are acting as impassionate artists, mixing all Gods beautiful colors into a single mass of unacceptable ugliness. To much blending will leave something that has no real individuality, lacking luster and brilliance.
The laws of Morality and laws that guide us in living with one another, preventing anarchy were given to mankind by God. Living without his morality we will be lost to Moral decay.
Thanks Paul for your enlighten us with your special insight.
May God Help Us!!
Your blaming this triple
Submitted by Jordan on Sat, 2006-05-13 05:47.
Your blaming this triple homicide on abortion and the right to ends one's painful life with dignity?
I am a BIG fan of your journal but this is a bit of a stretch.
This neo-nazi took innocent lives for the same reason jihadists suicide bomb women and children: ideas built on hate.
Submitted by George2 on Sat, 2006-05-13 04:04.
Why do you think Mr Belien is being accused of instigating violence? For the same reason why I have asked you somewhere else on this site whether you were a racist: it immediately puts someone in a corner and further communication is impossible.
And why should Mr Belien be stopped from communicating? Why are there these unfounded accusations? If he was some fool with some lunatic ideas, who would bother? So, there must be something more at hand.
You ask him to put up a sign because he is being accused although you cannot give any founded reason. This has happened before in history, in fact not that long ago. People had to wear yellow stars because they were ‘against’ the common way of doing things. They were not allowed to practice what they believed in. They were not allowed to be themselves. Also they were connected with crimes they had nothing to do with.
You and many others are walking a very dangerous path.
This site is not about instigating violence (if so, please tell me where). This site is a place for likeminded people to express their thoughts. And these thoughts are ‘against’ the common politically correct way. Is it really necessary to wear this sign? Is it really necessary to connect Mr Belien to crimes he has nothing to do with?
Why is a journalist from the left not being connected with crimes he/she has nothing to do with?
You and many others are walking a very dangerous path.
The actions of the left are far from what the Nazis did. The stigmatization of the right today is incomparable to what happened to the Jews. But the behavior is there: putting a large group of people in the corner, stigmatizing them, passing special laws to persecute them, then going from court to court to finally find a judge to formalize the stigmatization.
You and many others are walking a very dangerous path.
Nonviolence statement a bad ideal
Submitted by Dan on Sat, 2006-05-13 02:57.
He has done nothing to spur violence so why would he act as though he must make amends? A nonviolence statement would be used as a club against him if he did put one up. His enemies would suddenly notice and draw the wrong kind of attention to this site; something akin to “Brussels Journal admits guilt- seeks reconciliation” Acting guilty is almost as bad as apologizing for nothing.
Submitted by Eddy Burke on Fri, 2006-05-12 22:44.
Yes Paul: this is a tough nut to crack. Poor women, poor child and … poor Hans. My God have mercy on their souls. It comes as no surprise, however, that everything and everyone who is critical of the multicultural society, Islam and immigration will now be burdened with all the sins of Israel and serve as a handy scapegoat for the errors and incompetence of the Belgian establishment. The government and its mainstream media cohorts could not have dreamed for a more excellent circumstance to achieve three things: (i) distract the public from the real problems of violence and crime by North African and Eastern European foreigners and immigrants; (ii) crack down even more fiercely on everyone and everything that refuses to swallow and parrot the publicly correct multicultural messages pushed by the establishment, and (iii) limit even further the freedom of the individual citizen to say what he really thinks or to defend himself by arming himself. Tough times ahead! I wish you well.
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Fri, 2006-05-12 22:43.
Perhaps you could put a message at the top of your journal stating that you condemn every form of violence against foreigners whether legal or illegal in the country. Make it as big as "all the news that never gets printed". Now, that would be a statement
a message # 2
Submitted by marcfrans on Fri, 2006-05-12 23:17.
Your hypocrisy seems to have no bounds. Why should Mr. Belien put such a message at the top of his journal? Have you ever seen him advocate violence against "foreigners", or against anybody else for that matter? If not, then do the decent thing and do not imply as if he did. If he doesn't share your naive belief in the sustainability of a multicultural society, that does not mean that he advocates violence against any individual. And, if he doesn't share your naive belief in a 'secular' society's ability to maintain decent standards of morality, neither does that mean that he advocates violence against anyone.
I don't think Mr. Belien would ever request from you a message asking you to condemn every case of violence by a "foreigner" against a "local". Eventhough that would be (proportionately) more justified on the basis of empirically-verifiable crime statistics than your absurd 'request'. What you are doing is exploiting the emotions of the moment to scapegoat the innocent. Not different from what you tend to 'indiscriminately' ascribe to others who disagree with your politics. That is called hypocrisy.
And, if people really come to believe "there is no heaven", especially vulnerable young people, then indeed everything becomes possible. Not for the first time! Our own 'local' history can attest to that.
Words are 'cheap'
Submitted by marcfrans on Sat, 2006-05-13 15:39.
As I predicted, you have no evidence that Mr. Belien ever advocated violence against any individual. Yet, you SELECTIVELY expect him to make a cheap affirmation of opposition against a manifest crime.
Did you make a similar request to De Standaard, De Morgen, etc...in cases of leftist or moslem crimes against individuals? Did you request from them that they make 'cheap' useless affirmations of their opposition to such crimes? Of course, you did not! Because, naturally, you assumed that civilised people are opposed to crime. Mr. Belien deserves the same presumption of having a natural disposition against crime. But, your hypocrisy remains.....and no 'cheap words' can hide that.
a message III
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Fri, 2006-05-12 23:56.
I've got no problem putting that message under my postings. I'll add "and the other way around" though. I guess you don't mind. And it's only a piece of good advice to Paul. Nobody doubts that I'm against violence. He however, gets constantly accused of instigating to violence. So if he puts the message in big letters on a permanent basis on the top of his website, nobody has any ground left to condemn him on. He still can go on unveiling the big failures of a multicultural society.
“I condemn every case of violence by a foreigner against a local and the other way around.”