Walther von Oldenburg wrote:Q:
Why are there so many ex-Saddam officers in IS? Does the world offer too few ideologies that out of all possibilities they choose Jihadi Islamism? Couldn't they choose liberal democracy or even communism instead?
This question is interesting.
It all started in 1991 just after the Gulf War Saddam recoiled from the double whammy of the "arab world" fighting against Iraq in the Gulf War as well as the Southern Iraqi Shia uprising against his regime...
Abandon "Pan Arabism" - since the arabs betrayed him
Abandon "Iraqi Nationalism" - Since the Shias betrayed him
The only thing left was "Sunni Islam".
Hence the birth of the "Faith Campaign" which raged throughout the 1990s until 2003.
Initially people thought it was a "superficial" campaign by Saddam... build mosques, add "allah akbar" to the flag, ban Bars (but not alcohol!) and impose death sentence on prostitution...
But it seems that whether it was planned, or by accident... a great number of Saddam's officers were drawn into this islamism... and after the fall of the regime in 2003 it was an easy "leap of faith" for them to get into wahhabism... Something that would have been "unthinkable" in the 1970s or 1980s.