The jihadis vs the post-Westphalia world system

The Black Flag of Islam

The Muslims, in particular the Jihadi Sunni, do NOT accept the organization of the world into nation states as was envisioned by Europe in the Treaty of Westphalia in the settlement of the 30 Years War. That war had been fought over religion, Catholic against Protestant with every little statelet ravaging every other on the basis of sectarian allegiance.

This struggle reflected the medieval mind. In the Middle Ages men were ruled by faith above all else, above commerce, above all else. The Enlightenment had occurred in Europe, the great awakening to science, political reform and toleration of difference. Religion survived as a dominant force in various pockets and among discreet populations, the Puritans in England, the “kirk” in Scotland. etc., but by and large, the conception of nationhood determined by language group prevailed. The French kings consolidated their power and territory. It took a while, longer in Germany than France, but the principle was accepted.

The Enlightenment did not occur in the Islamic World. Nothing like the Treaty of Westphalia existed. Colonialism existed. Colonial influences existed. In the Ottoman Empire, the “tanziimat” introduced Westphalian values. In British India, in Dutch Indonesia, in the Spanish Phillippines, well, you get the idea.

But … medieval Islam persists. Every hundred years or so the Sunnis throw off a revivalist salafi jihadi movement. They do this when the memory of the pain of defeat at the hands of the Westphalian states dies out with the passing of time. The dervishes in Sudan, Salah al-din al-ayyoubi, the mamluks, Erdogan and the neo-Ottomans. And now we have the jihadi movements of the 21st Century; the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qa’ida, etc. BTW, their calendar is Lunar. We do not even have that in common.

The jihadis DO NOT accept the Westphalian framework for our world. They defy it and cling to their various versions of sharia according to the consensus (ijma’) of their groups. They aim to demonstrate that God is not mocked by the impious nature of Westphalian empire. For them the ‘umma (world Islamic community) is all, and those who are contaminated by the West are murtad (apostate) and their goods, and women are available as ghanima’ (booty) to be divided up among the brothers.

The 12er Shia are not much different. They are simply better organized in the Hawza.

Sadly, they will have to be destroyed once again, and driven into the darkness for another hundred years.

In the process, another Bataan may be the outcome. pl

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30 Responses to The jihadis vs the post-Westphalia world system

  1. asx says:

    You might have started a countdown for the shutdown of the blog simply by stating uncomfortable and historical facts. In a hundred years, if the atrocities of the ISIS and Taliban can be sent down the memory hole and erased, a new generation of people will start afresh unprepared for the horrors that await them from the unenlightened.

    Today on the eve of India’s Independence Day, the current openly and unapologetically Hindu leadership declared the prior day as a day of remembrance for victims of the subcontinent’s partition in 1947. Millions died because the unenlightened minority could not fathom a future in a secular state which they had ruled prior to the British. And Marxist historians successfully whitewashed the centuries of ISIS/Taliban style subjugation of the native population by the sword and instead romanticized the fusion of cuisine and architecture.

    I fully expect glowing articles in the NY Times praising the moderation of Taliban 2.0 which will read somewhat like this. The Taliban have united the tribes of Afghanistan and are truly the founding fathers of a new Afghanistan, fulfilling Reagan’s prophetic words. If our founding fathers can be venerated(or tolerated) even after sidestepping the rights of women and slaves, surely the Taliban cannot be excessively condemned for the same. In a major acceptance of liberal values the Taliban have doubled the age threshold of the sex slaves they will take to 12. The world should reciprocate and show greater cultural accommodation and avoid judgement of the Taliban using privileged moral standards of the West. You get the drift.

    • Pat Lang says:


      I will write this blog until my death.

    • Lelush says:

      With regard Taliban atrocities, just yesterday night i was reading about Mazar-e-Sharif take over, and raiding of Dostum´s extravagantly luxurious palaces, to know that he had once introduced 1000 Taliban in sealed containers and left them there to die from asphixia….No wonder he rushed for Uzbekistan…

      One would say that, either these current Taliban are from another generation, or their dirigents are mature, seasoned and intelligenct people looking for international acceptance, in the line of hezbollah and Iran´s Islamic Republic, otherwise their constraint has no sense..

      Btw, that after the arrival in Kabul and ongoing negotiations for a peaceful transition of power, they have announced they will respect women´s rights and will not be denying them the right of going out….Well, something is something, a bit better than in Saudi Arabia

      For the rest, there is a massive trafick jam in Kabul for the airport, as the “experts” estimations of the time needed for the Taliban arriving in Kabul were from weeks to a month, and it happened overnight…with people there stating they have not been so worried in their whole life…

      Related to being more worried than in whole life, there are currently hundreds of thousands, if not a few millions, of European citizens who are currently being menaced with not being able to go out to work, or even get food, or develop sane social relations, if they do not submit themselves to being innoculated with experiemental meds causing overhwleming and dangerous side effects and with dubious effectivity against the virus they allegedly protect against…

      I simply fail to find any grounds to criticize the Taliban taking into account current standards of human rights and civil liberties in Western “democracies”…Here it is not only women who will notgo out to get a breath, but, also men, elders, young and children….who do not submit, with increasing signals and images of concentration camps being prepared for the next fall…

      May be the laissez faire in the taking over of Afghanistan by the Taliban on the part of the West is directed to supporting the “building back better” of the Western world towards the medioevo…

  2. LG says:

    With all due respect col, where have the twelver shia behaved such as you describe above. (by the way i am not twelver).

  3. Lelush says:

    Informative and succint summary thread by Colonel Pedro Baños on the historic milestones involving Afghanistan…At certain point he states these peoples have always preferred to die than become slaves and that that is the main explanation of their invincibility….In Spanish…

    For what I can see, the Britons are, like it happens in so many parts of the world, to blame for the current mess….

  4. John+Merryman says:

    One of the books I found most insightful to the origins and evolution of Western culture was, The Five Stages of Greek Religion, by Gilbert Murray.
    He digs down into the concept of god as more of what we consider memes, or ideals today. The essence of concepts motivating life and society, that would become formalized over the centuries into the Olympian Gods of classical Greece.
    As such, monotheism was not some ethereal meta-deity, but was a description of a monoculture, such as the Persians. One people, one rule, one god. While the Greeks concept of pantheism was considered much more organic and multicultural. The many interacting, competing and cooperating. Much like the Greek city states.
    Remember that democracy and republicanism originated in pantheistic cultures and the Romans only adopted Christianity as the Empire solidified and remnants of the Republic were being shed.
    On the other hand, Islam was not adopted by an established empire, as a way to formalize a more monolithic political system, but arose on the fringes of said empire by those who saw the power and effectiveness of a common, unifying creed, creating the eternal vision of empire as a state to be sought.
    So the essential relationship between religion and state is the opposite.

  5. Lelush says:

    This is the whole thread by Colonel Baños, sorry, may be wrong link which included only 3 twitts…

  6. Lelush says:

    Some guys owning a website on geopolitics anre stating in livestream that some private jets have already taken off from Kabul airport, which may well could be the Afghan governemt…

    They are also missing statements form the French Embassy and government about their steps in Afghanistan, while considering it could be probably due Macron has its own Afghanistan at home which has him very busy….

    Here the streaming, which is to be open during almost the whole day, for people able to understand Spanish…
    Last they are saying Spain coordinates its steps to those of the EU, alleging “they will not left anybody behind”….

  7. Lelush says:

    In a streaming by some geopolitics site, they are stating there is a Taliban Hazara ( Shia…) section with its representative….

  8. Lelush says:

    The people are asking the guys at DescifrandoLaGuerra website streaming how long they think a Taliban government will last….

    Well, I would venture it will last quite a few, as the Taliban were smart enough in assesing the right time for their blitzkrieg coinciding with the lowest of trust level by Western people on their respective governments due the pandemic dictatorial measures…

    They had probably contacts in the West asuring them the Western goverments will lack ground and legitimacy for criticism of others´authoritarian ways at this point…

  9. Lelush says:

    The Taliban, in a comunique in Pashtun stating thieves of one kind or another will be hold tight under control and that nobody will enter the homes of the people for their tranquility…Giving an image of control and government taking over….

  10. Barbara Ann says:


    You describe the Jihadi International’s fundamental incompatibility with the Westphalian system in terms that would fit the secular equivalent; the Comintern. Is it wishful thinking to consider that the new Emirate will choose to live within the boundaries of the place we call “Afghanistan”? No doubt there will be elements of the current leadership who wish to do so, not least in order to enrich themselves through BRI contracts and so on. Do you expect these Girondins to inevitably be overthrown by more fundamentalist forces?

    The prospect of destroying the jihadists in Afghanistan just got more difficult by orders of magnitude. On top of that, the propaganda value of the Taliban succeeding where ISIS failed is immeasurable. The GWOT has been worse than an abject failure, I fear this result will supercharge Islamic fundamentalism for years to come. OBL could not have dreamed of such a result.

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Barbara Ann,
      OBL did dream of such a result. He openly stated his vision of how it would play out. But yeah, the fundies win again. The crusader came, saw and went running home; after a while, sure, but what’s 20 years in the big scheme of things? What a morale booster, as you say. I suspect that new life is being breathed into the jihad movement.

      • JerseyJeffersonian says:

        Yes, and furthermore, how many jihadis are being waved past the southern border by the federal government in the Third World bum’s rush that it instigated? Wouldn’t take too many for them to be a problem, would it?

    • Sam says:

      Barbara Ann,

      No. GWOT has been a huge success. We’ve got the Patriot Act, unchecked FISA, mass surveillance, now expanded to the domestic theatre. Vax Passports. Lockdowns. Trillions of dollars transferred from future generations to the fascists. And we the American people are demanding they continue to grow all levers power despite their cockups.

      We’ve got to stop thinking about the rationale given by fascists and look at what they actually want to accomplish and our own role in encouraging them.

      • JerseyJeffersonian says:


        Misdirection is one of the fascists’ prime tactics. Oh, look, a dog with a poofy tail! Meanwhile they’re advancing unimpeded on multiple fronts in their agenda.

      • Fasteddiez says:

        Four Words Only: only 1789 will work!

        • Fasteddiez says:

          If a 1789 moment will not occur: More of the same; grab your ankles and wait for the imminent pork-swording!

        • blue peacock says:

          Ain’t gonna happen. At least not for a few more generations until we have the Hunger Games.

          Bread & circuses are a powerful drug. Then add in some pharma bros synthetics in vax passports. folks will voluntarily inject into their bodies at the behest of their masters. We’re watching in real-time the voluntary enslavement of a people, going on now for some 50+ years.

  11. Gallo Rojo says:

    Id have to counter signal here and point out: the West doesn’t even live in the Westphalia world anymore. Everything is subject to the Gay American Empire’s current whimsy, which is the promulgation of homosexuality, degeneracy, and the worship of “human rights”, which came into existence 5 minutes ago and are endlessly flexible depending on who is doing what to whom.

    Your average Deploreable probably has more in common with the Taliban in that they believe in a higher power, like their guns, and are against child drag queens dancing for grown men.

    The real problem the Taliban presents for the GAE is that it’s an example of a very real threat they might face domestically: a bunch of dudes sick and tired of degeneracy and seeing children being raped picking up their rifles and holy texts before they start storming their way across the country to depose a scerotic despotism that sees them, at best, as tax cows to be milked. The fact it shows the absolute clownshow that is girlboss government is a post in and of itself, where Psaki is reduced to nanny shaming language.

    As someone who nearly had his ass ripped off in more than one Taliban ambush over there, I respect them as “foemen worthy of the steel”. I still remember them still trying to fire on us even as we walked our 60mm mortar onto them. Some would say that was bad tactics, but they couldn’t out run us and there was no cover from us – how can you hide from the thunder?

    They died on their feet facing us in one last act of defiance. There are worst deaths.

  12. Artemesia says:

    Jerry Muller’s Teaching Company course, Thinking About Capitalism, is 36 lectures long.
    I’m pretty sure it’s in one of those lectures that Muller explains that “Jews invented capitalism as the 30 years war was winding down.”

    As the Colonel explained, the 30 Years War was over religion: Did a person find salvation through Catholicism, or by Protestantism?

    Muller says that Jews took a different course: they held that salvation, “the good life,” was to be found in creating wealth.

    Not sure what the Taliban would make of that.

    Col. Lang knows the present combatants much more intimately than I. Perhaps it is because I wish it to be so: I don’t think “a rejection of the Westphalian system” is uppermost on the minds of the people of Afghanistan; I (want to) believe that they want to be left alone to resolve their conflicts and emerge with their own solutions.

    Westphalia has not been an unalloyed boon to the West.

    Who knows, maybe the people of Afghanistan will think and fight through to a new form of being-in-the-world.

    • Pat Lang says:


      Nothing is foremost in their minds except Islam.

    • Deap says:

      Reading a classic book on comparative world religious decades ago, I was profoundly struck by the following under the chapter Judaism: “The reward of the Good Life, is the good life itself. ”

      (Nothing about only accumulating wealth – I took this to mean acting in good faith and doing good deeds –because they are intrinsically good in themselves, are therefore their own rewards just in the doing/acting/feeling. I found this a very helpful guidepost in my own young and jumbled life at the time. Along with another touchstone quote attributed to the Queen Mother – “If you are bored, then you are boring.” )

      WASP heritage here myself, but loved exploring other world religions. Found much to value in all of them.

  13. Stephanie McEenery says:

    Chechnya, Crimea, Kabul.

  14. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    All so true.

    Maybe the implacable warriors that finally have had enough will abandon Christianity when they figure out that, in so many ways, Christianity has abandoned them. Maybe they say the shahada and become muslims. Or maybe they become roaring pagans with a pendant of Thor’s hammer around their necks, liberated from semitism and all that it has done to them as a people. Either way, when the old manipulative tricks no longer work on them, it’s big trouble.

  15. Fred says:


    I’m working my way through “The Age of Faith” by Will Durant. A line of his comes to mind:

    “Next to bread and woman, in the hierarchy of desire, comes eternal salvation; when the stomach is satisfied, and lust is spent, man spars a litle time for God. Despite polygamy, the Moslem found considerable time for Allah, and based his morals, his laws, and his government upon his religion.”

    Sadly his work doesn’t seem to be foundational material in history courses any longer.

  16. Lelush says:

    Eventhough some analysts were expecting Mullah Baradar, or any other representative from the Taliban leadership in Doha, arriving for the proclamation of the IEA, I thought that was quite unbelievable to happen due the current insecurity and probability of attacks in the first hours after the taking over.
    Instead he adressed the Taliban in Kabul through a video, greating them for their brave offensive while in a very humble message assesing the unexpectability of such a victory while recognizing the huge task and responsability they have just assumed…It seems a good start…

    Also it is reported that Taliban were touring streets of Kabul warning through megaphone that thieves, marauders and rapists will be punished as they deserve…

    Also seized already Kabul TV they started broadcasting messages to the population for them to keep calm..

    Reported chaos at Kabul airport with thousands wanting to leave, US troops making a security perimeter, and even having to make some warning shots..

  17. Deap says:

    CNN praises Taliban for wearing masks during the downfall of Afghanistan:

    (Babylon Bee)

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