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Where the Black Flags Fly

Media conveys immediacy, but it doesn't convey culture. Its famous flattening effect makes shoppers at a Staples in D.C. or a Whole Foods in Berkeley feel like they're right among the toppled buildings of Aleppo or Gaza, without actually giving them any insight into the motivations of the players.

They're watching foreign movies in a language that they don't understand and attributing their own motivations to the main characters. They assume that the differences are incidental, but if the differences really were incidental, America would look a lot more like Iraq.

It's been a while since Westerners lived in a society in which human life was truly worthless, in which no one trusted anyone else and it was easier to kill than not to kill.

Outside of a few urban centers in the Middle East where the elites start the revolutions that end up stringing them from the gallows, life is cheap and worthless. Men kill their wives and daughters over petty suspicions. Clans murder each other in vicious brawls. Wedding celebrations begin with firing guns into the air and end with bodies on the ground.

Everything is worth more than people. A camel has value. A pickup truck has value. A smartphone has value. All these things are hard to make.

People are easy to make.

The birth rates are high. Everywhere there are too many people. Too many sons to inherit. Too many daughters to marry off. 

The UN and a whole bunch of international organizations slop in enough aid to keep hunger and disease away, but not enough to make life livable or worthwhile. The wealthy have satellite dishes on which they watch American reality shows and Turkish soaps. The poor kidnap them and hold them for ransom. It's not just life in the Middle East. It's the whole Third World experience.

About the only reliable source of wealth comes out of the ground and the countries that have it are usually too lazy to get it themselves. That's what the armies of Western engineers are for. They don't build their own skyscrapers with the oil money. That's what the disposable Asian workers are for.

Killing is the easiest solution to most problems. Men kill over honor. Women kill themselves out of desperation. Children grow up torturing animals.

Clerics settle religious questions with murder. It's just easier that way.

Theological debates are complicated and impossible to settle, but fly the black flags, seize a village, kill the men and force the women to convert to the true faith of the machine gun and the sword and the debate is over.

ISIS is how Islam has been settling questions of theology since the 7th century. Why stop now just because you can order takeout from your smartphone? Westerners are innately fascinated by new technology. For the Middle East, technology is a tool for settling medieval disputes. Twitter is just a way of showing off your latest crop of severed heads. The pickup truck substitutes for a camel.

Politicians settle political debates with more murders. Elections are complicated. Democracy is messy. It's easier for a colonel to take everyone out back and shoot them. And then spend the next twenty years building palaces with his people's wealth. And the people mostly like it that way too.

The question isn't why should they kill, it's why should they stop? The peace proposals never get anywhere. If you reward violence with concessions, there's no reason for it to ever stop.  And if you don't, what else is there to do?

When life is worthless, everyone has a gun and a grudge, it's easier to kill than not to kill. You can see that phenomenon as readily in Chicago as in Iraq. Why not shoot the guy next door because he owes you money, because your daughter looked at him twice, because he's on your turf or because he's a Kurd.

Or because it's Thursday.

Under crowded conditions, life is cheap but honor is expensive. Fights start over the pettiest things and escalate into relentless violence. You can see it in Yemen or in Ferguson. Everyone is just waiting for an excuse to be angry about something and to take it out on someone else.

The Western Urbanites who helicopter parent their 2.5 children into a Prozac prescription and lament their disposable society don't understand what a truly disposable society looks like even though they probably live less than a mile away from one of those.

In a disposable society, people have no value. Children have no value. Human labor has no value. If you want something done, you force someone to do it. If you can't have your own slaves, you can control an extended family. You don't think in terms of what it costs to make something. The only cost that matters is the cost of imports. Everything else is inhumanely cheap.

Emotional reactions always trump rational ones. Everyone feels put upon and slighted from the biggest prince to the lowliest laborer. Everyone is filled with resentments that they channel through the Koran and the mad preachings of Islamic clerics promising holy wars and blaming everything on the CIA, the Freemasons and the Jews.

When it gets hot enough, the killings begin and they usually don't stop until the weather cools down. The black flags fly. The yellow flags fly. The green flags fly. And you can either play the game or get beheaded on the evening news.

Maybe both.

There's no morality out here. The men are careful not to look at a donkey or a woman while praying to Allah. But they have no sense of ethics. They will casually kill, steal, rape, break oaths and a commit a hundred other crimes before breakfast.

If you're not a member of their family, you're fair game. If you are, you had better know your place and help with the stealing, kidnapping and assorted economic empowerment projects.

Killing is easy. Self-control is hard. If there's no accountability, no local bigshot that wants infidel tourists and their dollars and will make the killer's family suffer, then he has no reason not to beat you, steal from you or drag you into a home in some slum somewhere and wait for the fabled wealthy infidels to pay him a king's ransom.

If not he always cut off your head to raise the price on the next one.

His life is cheap, but yours is even cheaper.

It's best to understand that we are not dealing with a moral code that looks anything like our own. The nastier qualities of human nature, deceit, violence and greed, are practically virtues. Especially if they are directed at the right targets.

There's a reason that Islam was born here. There's a reason that it still thrives here largely in its unaltered form. There is no civilization where the black flags fly.


  1. Then why do our political elites proclaim that Islam is peaceful and a great religion? How do they not know these things?

  2. [There is no civilization where the black flags fly.]

    We are defeated by our own egalitarian self-righteousness of inclusion, embracing diversity until it devours us.

    “During an official meeting on Islamic-Christian dialogue, an authoritative Muslim person, speaking to the Christians participating, at one point said very calmly and assuredly: ‘Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to out religious laws we will dominate you.’ ”


  3. This is all true. There is no civilization where black flags fly -- the black flag of nihilism, the black standard of death and death worship and slavery, the black banner of anti-life. Yet most Westerners don't understand its meaning, and most Western policymakers and diplomats evade its meaning. That ignorance and evasion could lead to the death of us all.

  4. Anonymous26/8/14

    Pure insight. Excellent.

    My compliments,

  5. The context is everything. But what does intellectual arabs mean to do about it. Nothing. No justification for intellect and understanding of the World. Only justification of medieval fantasygods and their aspirations.To prolong the Wars about nonexisting entities. What kind of idiots are the sheiks?

  6. Brilliant. But if our "elites" were to read this, unfortunately, their only response would be to accuse you of "racism" or "Islamophobia". That is what is so discouraging. But keep on, this needs to be said.

  7. A very apt description of life under Islam.

  8. It's up to us in Israel to set this right. We can do it, if we just step up to the plate and lay down the law.

  9. Anonymous26/8/14

    awesome..just awesome...

  10. Thanks for another insightful blog. I wish everyone would read your stuff.

  11. Anonymous26/8/14

    We all look at the same things, Daniel, but you actually see them, and share that vision with the world. Thank you for the insights.


  12. Anonymous26/8/14

    Another brilliant essay. Thank you, Daniel!

  13. I notice that the Arabs in the west begging for money pose as western type Arabs. To relate to western liberals. They find Arabs that sort of look western, that are clean shaven and don't have beards, like Edward said, so that they don't scare the liberal ladies who make decisions about boycotts and grants.

  14. Anonymous26/8/14

    People are wondering why our elites don't understand this. Dudes and dudettes, are elites are, increasingly, like this. They just believe that they have a system which allows them to make other people's children disposable - and should that fail, they'll import disposables to get them.

    The production of disposables aren't a side effect of their polidiocies. It's the point.

  15. Anonymous26/8/14

    How ignorant of all of you. As if Christianity does not have it's own history of the "kill, steal, rape, break oaths and commit a hundred other crimes" that is described here. But once you "Christians" have commited the same crimes this author is decsribing, you create and implement laws to keep anyone from even challenging them, and then say "oh, we're a peaceful religion." Bull shit! I may be going to hell, but I'll see all of you there with me.

  16. Anonymous26/8/14

    People are wondering why our elites don't understand this. Dudes and dudettes, are elites are, increasingly, like this. They just believe that they have a system which allows them to make other people's children disposable - and should that fail, they'll import disposables to get them.

    The production of disposables isn't a side effect of their polidiocies. It's the point.

  17. Anonymous27/8/14

    There is no civilization... where there is Islam.

  18. Anonymous27/8/14

    Thanks for telling the truth. Part of the problem with the liberal West is that they don't get it and what's worse, refuse to believe it, because the facts don't fit their delusional view of the world.

    "...blaming everything on the CIA, the Freemasons and the Jews." What about Bush and the Tea Party?

  19. Islam is simply the Lucifer Principle in action. It's also the most brilliant ideology ever conceived, because it possesses an inherent vitality and will to power that no other religion or ideology can match. Moral arguments are irrelevant if they don't rouse you to fight. Islam rouses people to fight, and is a system of conquest that uses every available weapon to win. And it does win.

    If you truly despise liberal civilization, you should welcome Islam, because it's a polarizer, a reminder of the power of history, religion and tradition, and an eternal challenge to liberal decadence, weakness, hubris and complacency. Western civilization is horridly decadent today, and like all such civilizations, it must weather assaults by more vital barbarians. If it doesn't survive, then it didn't deserve to. Such is the crucible of history, and the Lucifer Principle which none can long evade. Allahu akbar!

  20. Daniel, you are a gem and a treasure.

  21. Anonymous28/8/14

    It is so crazy how Rumsfeld used to make weapons deals with Iraq. Crazy.

  22. In a disposable society, people have no value....sadly a very true statement...but what is valued to them is death because they think they will be rewarded by Allah for killing. Islam is an evil cult,disguised as a religion, but really a political ideology created by a madman,pedophile and murderer for the spawn of Satan...Allah is Satan.

  23. Anonymous1/9/14

    This is a point too seldom made- the vast difference between these worldviews. We might as well be from different planets. Most Americans have been so spoiled they cannot imagine, literally cannot imagine, the cheapness of life. I liked the part about them living a mile from it....

  24. With a few minor changes, this could be Mexico, Nigeria, fill in the blank. There is no longer a Pax Romana, Britannica or Americana. Here we are 100 years after WWI and William Butler Yeats and his poem "The Second Coming" still rings true.


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