Thomas Wictor

Belgium as microcosm of western decay

Belgium as microcosm of western decay

The worst thing that ever happened to western culture was World War I. It drove Europeans insane forever, and it made Americans think that we have all the answers. Belgium is now a perfect museum display of what ails the west. Will we survive? I don’t know.

Belgium talks a good game

But talk is all it is.

[E]ven as Belgians absorb the shock from Tuesday’s bloodbath, there is a clear and unsettling sense that intelligence and security services have been caught badly short in confronting the lethal dangers closing in their small country.

That seems especially true because of two factors: First, Belgian officials have for months said that signs pointed to jihadist plots in the country. Second, Belgian police finally cornered [Salah] Abdeslam—after Europe’s biggest manhunt in years—just a few blocks from his family apartment in the immigrant-heavy Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek.


Rather than holing up in a remote location, Abdeslam had apparently hidden in plain sight for months, a short walk from the police precinct where SWAT teams have launched countless street-to-street raids since November.

Officials believe the Paris attacks were largely hatched within Molenbeek and carried out residents of the area, home to about 100,000 people, many of them second- and third-generation offspring of Moroccans, who arrived during the 1960s and 1970s to work in the now-defunct steel industry.

There’s no excuse for this. The authorities have no informants in Molenbeek. How is that possible?

Belgian police and intelligence officials have also faced years of budget cuts and personnel shortages, as well as a fractured political system, with deep schisms between the country’s French-speaking and Dutch-speaking populations. In Brussels, a city of 1.1 million people, there are six separate police forces.

The police and intelligence services don’t cooperate. German-speaking Jewish Czech author Franz Kafka anticipated everything we’re seeing.


He wrote about bureaucracies gone berserk. My favorite story of his is “In the Penal Colony,” about an execution machine that uses hundreds of needles in a harrow to write on the bodies of condemned criminals.


The law which the prisoner broke is engraved on his flesh. This form of execution is stretched out over twelve hours.

But how quiet the man becomes around the sixth hour! The most stupid of them begin to understand. It starts around the eyes and spreads out from there. A look that could tempt one to lie down under the harrow. Nothing else happens. The man simply begins to decipher the inscription. He purses his lips, as if he is listening. You’ve seen that it’s not easy to figure out the inscription with your eyes, but our man deciphers it with his wounds.

True, it takes a lot of work. It requires six hours to complete. But then the harrow spits him right out and throws him into the pit, where he splashes down into the bloody water and cotton wool. Then the judgment is over, and we, the soldier and I, quickly bury him.

Western culture has been executing itself Kafka-style since 1918.

Belgium led the way

In genocide.

The Congo Free State was the private land, not a colony, of King Leopold II of Belgium to do with whatever he wanted.

[A]mazingly, although the death toll is in the many millions, far exceeding what Germany did to the Hereros (I get a toll of 55,000), the incredible terror, slavery, and death imposed on the Congo natives by one man has been virtually ignored in books on genocide.

This neglect cannot be due to lack of historical information. There was a vigorous international movement at the time led by the Congo Reform Movement, and involving many notables of the day, such as Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Booker T. Washington, and Bertrand Russell. Debates over what to do about the Congo involved the legislatures and Presidents, or Prime Ministers of the United States, England, France, and Germany.

The Belgians murdered as many as 21 million Congolese. In North, Central, and South America—three continents—about 20 million indigenous people died over two centuries after Europeans arrived. Of those, 90 percent were killed by smallpox. The Belgians murdered 21 million Congolese from 1885 to 1908. Twenty-three years. I’ve read descriptions of the incomprehensibly depraved tortures and killings. You don’t ever want to know about them.

And now Belgians lecture the rest of us.


If Belgians want to commit mass suicide in atonement for what their ancestors did, fine. I’m not required to join them.

Belgium off the rails

On August 4, 1914, Germany invaded Belgium as part of its plan to quickly defeat France. Belgian neutrality was guaranteed by Britain and France, so the German invasion kicked off World War I. Belgian troops resisted, but they were armed and equipped from the previous century.


Germany was able to take about 95 percent of Belgium, leaving only the Yser Front in the hands of the Belgians.


Behind that little line, the Belgians rebuilt their army using mostly French equipment. They adopted a modern khaki uniform and developed assault platoons called patrouilleurs.

Belgian patroilleurs combined British, French, and German assault tactics. Each company, battalion, regiment, and division had its own assault platoon. It took two years for the men to be trained and for them to accumulate battlefield experience.


Patrouillers became experts in infiltration, surprise attacks, and night raids. They used hand grenades, rifle grenades, light machine guns, pistols, and daggers to overwhelm the enemy in seconds.

Then, in the summer of 1918, as the Allies prepared for the massive offensives that would end the war, the Belgians abruptly disbanded their assault platoons. Why? I have no idea. The official records say that assault platoons would not be useful in a war of movement.

Pure insanity. The ground forces of every Allied nation were organized around the assault platoon. For the offenses of March 1918, the Germans reorganized their armed forces into assault platoons. The Belgians’ rationale for disbanding their assault platoons is utterly irrational.

Just like the current Belgian approach to fighting terrorism.

Belgium isn’t alone

A British writer wants us to die with him.

“Fighting terrorism” is as meaningless as “fighting guns”.

What is not stupid is seeking to alleviate, or not aggravate, the rage that gives rise to acts of terror, and then to diminish the potency of the incident itself. The first requires a wiser foreign policy than most western nations have shown towards the Muslim world over the past decade.

More serious, the intention of the terrorist is clearly to shut down western society, to show liberal democracy to be a sham and to invoke the persecution of Muslims. Yet that is the invariable response of the security industry to these incidents.

Convinced of its potency, it dare not admit there are some things against which it cannot protect us. So when incidents occur it jerks the knee and demands ever more money and ever more power. It must not be given them.

Rage? Do these now-dead suicide bombers look angry?


Has anyone ever seen an angry member of the Islamic State?



Redwane_Hajaoui_Tarik Jadaoun

They do what they do because they love murdering, torturing, raping, and exercising power over others. They’re evil people. Was this alabaster Australian an oppressed, virile Noble Savage whose crimes should’ve been overlooked?


One of the best TV shows ever broadcast is “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” Season Three, Episode Four of The X-Files. Clyde Bruckman is an insurance salesman who’s also a psychic.


He’s helping the FBI find Puppet, a serial killer. At some point Puppet meets Bruckman.

PUPPET: So there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for some time now. You’ve seen the things I do in the past as well as in the future.

CLYDE BRUCKMAN: They’re terrible things.

PUPPET: I know they are. So, tell me, please, why have I done them?

CLYDE BRUCKMAN: Don’t you understand yet, son? Don’t you get it? You do the things you do because you’re a homicidal maniac.

PUPPET: That…that does explain a lot, doesn’t it? It’s all starting to make sense now!

We’re not responsible for the Islamic State. There’s nothing we can do to appease them. They must be defeated. Period.

Belgium can be avoided

The notion that security forces can’t protect us from all acts of terror is a totally untested theory. What we’re seeing in western security forces is rampant incompetence, indifference, indecisiveness, and inefficiency.

Belgian law enforcement officials questioned terror suspect Salah Abdeslam for about one hour between the time of his arrest Friday and the Brussels attacks Tuesday, according to Abdeslam’s attorney and two sources familiar with the investigation.

Despite the discovery of detonators, weapons, and Abdeslam’s fingerprints in a safe house days earlier and growing evidence that the Brussels terror network was stronger than previously understood, law enforcement officials only briefly questioned Abdeslam because he was still recovering from surgery after being shot in the leg during his apprehension, according to a senior Belgian security official, who asked for anonymity to speak about the investigation.

“They were not thinking about the possibilities of what happened on Tuesday morning,” said a second source with knowledge of the process.

I vote that we ignore advice from Europeans. Inside their heads is a boiling stew of mutually exclusive inclinations: racism and tolerance, classism and egalitarianism, materialism and socialism, passion and passivity, arrogance and servility, savagery and pacifism, tribalism and inclusiveness.

They’re a mess. So are we. This is how you confront terrorism.

You’re hearing Arab pilots in Syria, flying the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II that we were too stupid to keep.


Most insurgencies lose. The ones that win? Their opponents lacked the will to keep fighting.

I’ve figured out an extremely major deception in Syria, but this one I won’t discuss. All you need to know is that we’re talking to the right people. Finally.


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