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After Brussels
Let’s Try Collective Punishment

1,633 words

Paul Cézanne, Pyramid of Skulls, circa 1901

Paul Cézanne, Pyramid of Skulls, circa 1901

Dear Western “Leaders,”

It’s time for that talk again. Another round of terror bombings. Again? Already? Dozens more innocent men, women, and children dead and hundreds more maimed. Obama, detached, announcing stricter security measures; our world “leaders” and “national security experts” patiently lecturing us about how we shouldn’t “give in to Islamophobia.” 

But we do not want to be more thoroughly screened at airports. We do not want to be coaxed into giving warmer hugs. We don’t want more advice on how not to offend or reminders of how brave it is to go about our day as if this hasn’t happened again so that the terrorists don’t “win.” We don’t even want retaliatory airstrikes in the Middle East. We want you to listen to us for a change.

We have noticed that you have moved into a new phase in your attempts to shape public opinion about these things. Your media aims now to convince us that this is “The New Normal.” Nothing will change, we are told. We are conditioned so as not to expect it to change. We are all African slaves now, thrust under a yoke that, if we want to be good and righteous and go unflogged, we must bear without too much complaining.

Our news helps you lull us into this state of holy victimhood. On the night of the Brussels attacks, NBC nightly news’ Harry Smith sentimentally sermonized to us, accompanied by soft piano arpeggios like the intro to a Coldplay song or an Audi commercial. “Our guard is up again,” He droned, “just like every other time this happened. California. Paris. We hold our loved ones closer and realize this feeling will fade in a few days. But we also know this will happen again.”

But what if we don’t want this to happen again? What if we don’t want this to be the New Normal? What if the loved ones that we are urged to hold closer have been shredded into bloody spaghetti by shrapnel? Your “experts” never seem to offer any other strategy than the one that hasn’t been working. Bomb them there in the Middle East. Invite them here to the west. Kill them there. Be nice and hospitable here. So many of these so-called experts (such as Robert Pape on CNN) promote precisely this strategy. They do so now after the Brussels attack, parroting the same advice they gave after the Paris attacks four months ago. They keep insisting that the meaner we are to Muslims the more we will suffer their terror bombings. So we should embrace them instead. We should let them come into our cities in even greater numbers and build yet more mosques and maybe impose a bit of Sharia law and surely all this terrorism stuff will eventually go away. Right? After all, the best way to extinguish bad behavior is to reward it.

This doesn’t sound like instructions for how to get along with people. It sounds like a primer on how to keep smiling while your nation is taken from you and your wives and daughters, and even sons, are raped — or, what’s worse (because it is never-ending), are beset with an alien culture in which rape is par for the course.

Not all of us in the west are going to play along with this plan of inaction. There is an instinct to fight back. But before we get there, before we throw open the Gates of Vienna and start shooting, let us try, just this once, a different strategy. Let us consider collective punishment.

What? Is he mad?

Vasily Vereshchagin, The Apotheosis of War, 1871

Vasily Vereshchagin, The Apotheosis of War, 1871

In Defense of Collective Punishment

The consensus in the liberal west, guided by Article 33 of the Geneva Convention and muh feelings, is that collective punishment is a non-starter, ineffective and utterly immoral. But calm your tits for a moment and hear us out.

(A quick, parenthetical aside: why should we be bound to this mere document penned by old, dead, white guys anyway? Come on liberals! If you can argue that the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution is obsolete, why can’t we argue the same about the Geneva Convention?)

Ok. Let us first note that Article 33 prohibits subjecting groups to “all measures of intimidation or of terrorism.” But isn’t this what the Jihadists are doing to us? So the almighty Geneva Convention is already out the window. Are we supposed to play by the rules while our adversary does not? As Trump would say: “Not gonna happen, folks.”

It is right that we should bring in Trump here, because we think he comes near the right idea on this. He first floated the idea of collective punishment in interviews following the Paris and San Bernadino massacres: “We’re fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families.”

For this statement Trump was called the usual bad names — angry, hateful, sadistic — in the mainstream press. But was this proposed policy really the product of such emotions and inclinations? We don’t think collective punishment is meted out from some need to vent uncontrolled rage or depraved sexuality, or from an inability to distinguish the individuals who attacked us from their kinsmen who didn’t.

Though admittedly a so-called necessary evil, collective punishment is a rational, pragmatic response. It serves a purpose.

Collective punishment is an effective means to force a group, in this case Muslims, to more thoroughly police themselves. It incentivizes Muslim leaders and moderates to discourage radicalism and even to rat out suspected Jihadis in their ranks.

The strategy has a long history — because it works.

Anglo-Saxon England had, instead of a police force, a system of Sippenhaft or Frankpledge wherein communities were organized into Tithings, ten adult males who were held collectively responsible for each other’s actions. William the Conqueror used this system to establish order; each Tithing or Hundred (ten Tithings) that failed to produce the murderer of one of his followers were subjected to heavy fines.

This system worked so well that within twenty years, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1086, a man could walk across England mid his bosum full goldes ungederad — with his bosom full of gold, unhurt.

This system doesn’t seem particularly inhumane. But this isn’t the same, you might argue, as “taking out their families.”

Well, true. But harsher measures are not at all unprecedented. Treason in ancient China might get you and all your relatives executed. In ancient Rome the system of decimation, slaughtering every tenth man, helped insure that the cohorts didn’t misbehave or mutiny.

Collective punishments are used to achieve such objectives today in Israel, where suspected Palestinian militants get their houses leveled to the ground by massive, armored bulldozers. This puts pressure on Palestinian leaders, who in turn dissuade the youth in their communities from striking Israelis.

Similarly in the Chechen Republic, the former rebel leader Ramzan Kadyrov imposes some semblance of order on the region by collectively punishing his erstwhile comrades. Suspected Islamic militants can expect their apartments to be demolished — sometimes with them and their families still inside. To avoid such a fate, whole communities have been conditioned to immediately rat out any budding militants. Putin is demonized in the west for installing Kadyrov and endorsing these practices. But the fact that Moscow has been free of Chechen terror in recent years has been largely attributed to them.

Still these methods are a shock to our refined, liberal sensibilities. But should they be so shocking? Isn’t it odd that the same liberals who express horror and outrage at this idea of “taking out their families” have no qualms about collective punishment when it takes the form of retaliatory airstrikes in distant lands, which to us seems a harsher hit on a more arbitrary and potentially messier target. This can be said for Dresden and Hiroshima, for the “Shock and Awe” strikes on Baghdad, and for our penchant in the present for drone-bombing hospitals and wedding parties in remote corners of the Hindu Kush.

Airstrikes and distant military destabilizations in general are preferable to you, though, because they can be whitewashed in the media while still giving us the impression that something is being done, somewhere, about something. But what is really being achieved? Apparently only the creation of more displaced, angry migrants. More victims for us to accommodate. Don’t be racist xenophobes and do open up your hearts and lands and legs to these poor lost souls who, we promise, won’t be terrorists this time.

Considering the alternative, then, which is the status quo of terror strikes and airstrikes in which everyone seems unhappy, let us make this strategic adjustment. We don’t need to go so far as the Chinese or Trump and execute all relatives of a terrorist. But let us call off our airstrikes, call back our military and, instead impose a new Frankpledge on every Muslim community in the West.

Let us offer, for instance, this modest proposal: if we should find that members of a particular mosque have committed an act of terror or a rape, all the members of that mosque will be frog-marched into the town square and get put in stocks, there to be flogged with bacon for ten hours. If it happens again, the mosque will be leveled to the ground and all its members will have their thumbs removed with a sharped pig jowl.

Under these conditions, we think it won’t be long before there is peace. A nationalist peace. Muslims will happily go back to their caliphates, their homelands, where bombs are no longer falling, and we will be free to be nice to each other again. More trusting. Doors unlocked. Bags unattended.



  1. Gordo
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Expel them, they do not belong here.

  2. Sartor
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Delightfully written. Good sound thinking and just so obvious. Let’s hope Donald or someone the less slavish reaches of Europa can try this one. Would work a treat.

  3. Peter Quint
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “Your media aims now to convince us that this is “The New Normal.”

    We must not forget the treachery of the white christian clerics who want this to be “The New Normal.” The white christian clerics are working 24/07 to make this the new normal for their jewish masters. There were and are a lot of happy white christian clerics when the news came out that white women and white children were being slaughtered in Brussels.

  4. Ike
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    All good points but if the security services discover a radical mosque, we should just load all the members and their families on a tanker and drop them off on the N. African coast and bid them farewell.

  5. Franklin Ryckaert
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    A better “collective punishment” would be the expulsion of ONE MILLION Muslims from Europe after every terrorist attack. I’m willing to accept 44 of such attacks to remove all the 44 million of them. But perhaps such sacrifices are not necessary. We could arrange for some false flag terrorist attacks in which no real victims die. Ask the Mossad or the CIA for some practical advice.

  6. Justin Huber
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Good essay. Whenever I speak to other people regarding this I always say it is a two way street. The Muslims need to stay of here and we need to get out of there. It seems so simple, yet I doubt it will ever happen.

  7. Arindam
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    ‘Let us offer, for instance, this modest proposal: if we should find that members of a particular mosque have committed an act of terror….. all the members of that mosque will be frog marched into the town square and get put in stocks, there to be flogged with bacon for ten hours.’

    Flogged with bacon? Butchers may well protest the misuse of their meat.

    More seriously though, one could simply impose immense fines – and let the power of money do the rest. If Muslims protest, merely refer them to the Islamic custom of ‘blood money’.

    The advantages of this system are threefold:

    1) It generates revenue that can be used to compensate victims and their families.

    2) It pays for legal and security costs.

    3) It seizes funds that might otherwise be used for jihadist or other nefarious purposes.

  8. Aiser
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    The Bacon punishment would surely terrify Muslims out of their wits, but I cannot and would not support that at least that form of collective Punishment. For Bacon would then be wasted and unconsumed. I am against the wasting of food , after all as the old saying often given to children that refuse to eat their veggies “there are starving kids in Africa, therefore you have to eat”.

    My solution for collective punishment would be, that everyone within that particular Muslim community or Mosque is placed in a detention camp until further notice. Of course the further notice would never come the Israelis actually do this until the illegal Muslims and Africans end up bored out of their mind and choose to self-deport back to their countries of origins and it works.

  9. Steve S.
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Already the Jewish media is more upset over the fact that Belgians are using “racist” cartoon Tin-Tin as a symbol of solidarity.

  10. Jack
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Before we apply collective punishment we have to have 100% evidence who did what there can be no doubt. And with the surveillance that we have today that should be easy. I wonder if our Chosen Elites are applying eternal collective punishment to the West, because only the Powerful have the Power to apply collective punishment. Because I’m sure Muslims don’t have the power to apply collective punishment whenever the West invades and destroys Muslims nation after nation, and using drones killing many people just to take out a single so called terrorist.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted March 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Not really. The beauty of collective punishment is that it is collective. We don’t need to know if an individual actually did X or why. We just need to know that he belongs to the target group.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted March 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Or once people get around to understanding that it is appropriate to make judgements about Muslims as a group, we can just put them in camps and organise deportation. The U.S. And Europe have leverage, after all: Foreign aid, market access, and if that fails to open Middle eastern borders to Muslim refuse, the warmongers could fight a war that actually has some patriotic purpose this time. Win-win. Or you could confiscate all their assets and use the proceed to fund repatriation. So many beautiful possibilities!

  12. The_Brahmin
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Or we could make a modest start which will be very effective I assure you.

    1. Ban ritual killing of animals that is common to both the semitic religions – Islam & Judaism
    2. Ban ritual genital mutilation that is common again to both the semitic religions – Islam & Judaism

    1 and 2 will discourage them from coming to European lands.

    3. Reinstate death sentence – hang Jihadi terrorists. Without vengefulness there is no justice ever.

    Lastly, people of European descent should start abandoning all forms of semitism that they have imbibed over the centuries. Stop using words like ”Kosher” (Halal for muslims) or Amen (Ameen for Muslims) or Arab/Judaic names like Yousef / Joseph, Dawood / David, Aaron / Haroun, Sarah, Abraham / Ibrahim, Zachariah / Zakariya etc.

    If you are not going to hate the enemy who wants your annihilation you, in a sense, accept the fate that he wishes to write for you. Hating the enemy foremost includes hating his culture in every which way.

    It all starts at home. Stop naming your children Abraham, David, Aaron, Zachariah, Daniel, Sarah, Joseph etc. Stop worshipping your enemy’s gods and ancestors. Stop paying respect to your enemy’s ”prophets” (most were desert dwelling, lizard eating charlatans anyway). None of this requires government intervention. You can do it yourself.

  13. R_Moreland
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    How much of the public horror and shock shown over the Brussels or Paris attacks is because terrorism is the only kind of attack over which white people are allowed to be outraged? One can’t be opposed to third world mass migrations into the European heartland, or object to the sexual enslavement of English schoolchildren. That would be “xenophobia” and the rest of the thoughtcrimes. But terrorism? It’s something that is still respectable for everyone to dislike (at least for now).

    Orwell points out in 1984 the ease with which people’s hate can be switched via mass media from one target to another. In response to a terrorist attack, one can light candles or demand the bombing of “X” Middle Eastern country. But massive criminal violence by third world “refugees” in Calais or Cologne? Sexual enslavement of English schoolgirls in Rotherham? Goodthinking denizens must keep their mouths doubleplus shut.

    The Islamist terrorism is the tip of the iceberg. A healthy country can survive a few hundred casualties now and then. After all, the history of the world is one of constant warfare. European cities have been besieged before and this was not the worst thing ever. No, the real threat is deeper.

    Less visible but more ominous is the growing criminality from third worlders settling into Europe. Sometimes it is visible, such as the car burnings and rioting which have wrecked havoc on ancient cities. Or mass assaults which burst into the public consciousness, as at Cologne, too obvious to ignore. Other times it is swept under the carpet as at Rotherham.

    And underneath the crime is the growing dispossession of white Europeans from their own cities. Is London still majority white? Can a Frenchman or woman stroll through the banlieues? Is the new multicultic EU going to have a place for family New Year’s celebrations in the public courtyards of cities like Cologne? And will the growing censorship of speech result in a stultified political culture?

    Even if there were to never again be another act of Islamist terrorism committed against white Europeans, the threat of racial displacement would be there. And it is the racial threat which is paramount. Once that issue has been settled, we can handle terrorism.

    • F.C. Stoughton
      Posted March 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


      I agree. I debated on whether or not to include a lengthy apology with this article. It would have said that I am embarrassed that my last two articles have been prompted by terror bombings, as if that is the only thing about the status quo that riles me. Its not the subsequent violence that causes me to oppose mass Muslim immigration (and all multicultural immigration) into the west. I would oppose mass immigration even if these acts of terror never occurred. I don’t even oppose immigration on economic grounds either, which is the underlying logic behind many arguments against Mexicans coming into the US. (They take our jobs! They depress our wages!) Of course these are good reasons to oppose it. But my main reasons are: I oppose relentless immigration because it’s genocide. And I think mixed populations always devolve into a lowest-common-denominator kind of life of mindless consumption and celebrity, eat and shit and shop and die. When the population is more uniform (it seems to me) it focuses less on who owes whom gibs, and more on transcendence and art and nuance and the stars. These are my reasons and my real concerns. In writing about terror bombings, then, I’m really just being an opportunist.

  14. Brás Cubas
    Posted March 25, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I rewrote the first sentence, for clarity; you need only publish this version:
    I thought the U.S.-European bombings in the Middle East were exactly that. Collective punishing, that is. The author himself admits it’s not helping. I think. European and American governments aren’t doing the basics (border enforcement) and the people do not seem to be able to coax them to do it, so it’s pointless to conjure up sophisticated schemes.

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