The Islamic Vortex (Note-9)
One man who understood the power of “Salafi jihadism” was Saddam Hussein, who according to Kyle Orton, writing in the New York Times, understood long before Obama that secular socialism was no match for a full-bore jihadism which had endured the test of centuries. “The Arab nationalist Baath Party, which seized power in 1968 in a coup in which Mr. Hussein played a key role, had a firmly secular outlook. This held through the 1970s, even as religiosity rose among the Iraqi people. But soon after Mr. Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, it began to change.”
To compensate for his shortcomings in governance, Saddam covered himself with the Koran. He also tried what Obama later attempted, an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, with disastrous results. Rather than beating Islam, the Baath began to be absorbed by it. “In 1986, however, the Pan-Arab Command, the Baath Party’s top ideological institution, formally reoriented Iraq’s foreign policy toward an alliance with Islamists. This was the first clear deviation from secular Baathism.”
The causal pathways in this area are easily obscured by ideological preferences.
ADDED: Throwing this in to store the link. (Some topic-bridging necessary.)