Why does Syria matter? Your average semi-informed American would say something along the lines of human rights violations to the absence of democracy, but most people could not give you a straight answer, let alone point to it on a map. While democracy and the human rights that every man on earth deserves are reasons to why someone needs to intervene to stop the atrocities, is not the only reason the crisis in Syria is important to solve.
There exists a plague of radical ideologies that is sweeping the globe and can be seen in every corner, far and wide. This is the spread of radical Islamic extremism and the Jihad. The poisoning hand of jihad has touched places all over the world and brought death and destruction with it. But there are now states in North Africa and The Middle East, due to the Arab Spring, that are in the process of becoming demagogueries, governed by these radical ideas.
Due to either the Arab Spring or being accepted into existence in the given state, the Muslim Brotherhood has developed deep political connections in almost every North African state and all but a few of the states that make up the Middle East. While the Muslim Brotherhood is represented in these areas by political parties and factions, they are still present in organization form as the Arab world’s largest and most influential Islamic group. And with the governments of many Arab states being toppled, especially pro-western governments, the Muslim brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups are organizing, moving in and attaining power.
Hammam Saeed, head of the Jordanian chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ally of the Hamas’s Damascus-based leader, Khaled Meshaal, has been quoted saying: “Egypt’s unrest will spread across the Mideast and Arabs will topple leaders allied with the United States.” Their intentions are too clear to ignore and write off as just radical talk among actors with no influence. The Muslim Brotherhood is determined to set up the Middle East and North Africa as set of Muslim states governed by radical Islamic ideologies, and they are on their way towards making that a reality.
The Muslim Brotherhood played a heavy role in the Libyan Civil war in 2011. After which they established the Justice and Construction party which is the second largest in the Libyan national Congress, therefore giving the party substantial voice and pull. That being said, Libya still remains relatively pro-western and favors the United States presence in the region for the most part, except for those who took it upon themselves to commit the attacks on the US embassy in Benghazi. However the Muslim Brotherhood’s presence in the Egyptian revolution did not turn out the same as that in Libya. In Egypt, they again played a pivotal role during the 2011 revolution, and after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, formed the Freedom and Justice Party, which won 235 of the 508 seats in the Egyptian Parliament, but it does not stop there. The new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was not only involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, but is a leading member in the movement and Chairman of the Freedom and Justice party.
One by one the Muslim Brotherhood is setting its sights on unstable states, aiding the anti-government forces in toppling the current regime, and playing a hand in setting up a new Islamic state. Currently, the Muslim Brotherhood is training, aiding and fighting alongside Syrian Rebels in an effort to Overthrow Assad and set up a Muslim State. This is why Syria matters.
The Code of the Muslim Brotherhood is “Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations”. Furthermore, they believe firmly that Shari’ah law should be the code by which the state and society determine their affairs, and are aimed towards the goal of establishing Hegemony in the Arab world. This would be a very dark time for progress and democracy in the region. Even further devastating, if this was attained, we would have to update our maps, as our only true ally in the region, Israel, would be long gone.
This is why we must nip this in the bud. While the massacre of tens of thousands civilians in Syria must be stopped, we must also ensure that the government to replace Assad’s is not one run by or aligned with the ideologies that govern the Muslim Brotherhood. In order to maintain our interests in the region we must keep Israel in existence and keep pro-western governments in power. It is vital that we contain the spread of poisonous ideologies and utilize our current understanding of security sector reform and set these failed states up for success in the future. The more allies we have in the region, the more our interests are secure, and with much of our interests in the region being in the petroleum sector, we would be able to secure a steady flow and larger supply of petroleum into the markets and ultimately bring the price of petroleum based products and petroleum based services down. The future of American hegemony is directly related to how many countries have and will sell us crude oil and at what cost. If once pro-western states stop selling to us, they will sell to our competitors, and that is a risk that we cannot take.
Troy is an Army brat and the father of combat medic. He is also a retired Infantry Senior NCO with multiple combat tours, in addition to several stateside deployments. Troy retired from the Army and has worked in Information Technology consulting and as a contractor for the U.S. Army. He serves on several task-forces and enjoys working with soldiers every day. Troy is also a recognized and multiple-award winning military blogger who writes at www.bouhammer.com, and a familiar person in many social media circles.