Elementary. Need more complete takes on modern MENA ideologies. That’s another thing sort of missing, I am coming to think.
The Baath party was founded in Syria in 1947 on a pan-Arabist platform with the stated goals of unity, freedom and socialism. “Freedom” in this sense, it is important to note, meant freedom from colonialism, not personal liberty. But the definition lost its meaning as the regimes in Syria, starting in 1963, and Iraq, 1968 to 2003, solidified into strongarm dictatorships.
The poison of the modern-day Baathist regime is not only its willingness to torture and kill its own population. It is far more insidious. There is an ideology that breeds violence and extremism, a tendency that has not been sufficiently examined. In examining Middle East militancy and terrorism, academics have focused on religious extremism and often overlooked other ideologies.
As a radical ideology that requires complete social, political and cultural transformation, there is an inevitable propensity for violence.