The Brotherhood needs to work out something with the Salafists and to build a broad appeal with conservative-traditionalist Syrians and perhaps with local strongmen. The moderates have to learn street politics and win over local strongmen; find a way to split the conservative-traditionalist masses from the Islamists; and work out some alliance with Christians and Kurds without being branded as traitors to Sunni Arab interests.
Not only does the Brotherhood have the easier task, but it also can expect more foreign support and money, even possibly from the United States. The battle isn’t yet lost, but things don’t look great.
That’s especially true since a West that set up a new regime in Libya and helped (albeit fairly little) the opposition overturn the Syrian regime suddenly freezes when it comes to helping ensure that Syria has a pro-Western government that contributes to regional stability and is less repressive at home.
– The Libyan government gave 50 percent of the funds to finance the budget of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council (SNC) budget. Since Libya is very much a U.S. client, it’s reasonable to conclude that the Obama administration encouraged this generosity. Yet this money was financing a Muslim Brotherhood front. A lot of arms have been flowing from Libya to Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and to radical forces in Syria. Some claim that the U.S. government was coordinating that traffic, though this has not yet been proven. But at least indirectly, the U.S. government was helping to arm the Brotherhood by overseeing Qatar and Turkey delivering weapons to the Brotherhood’s militia without making any attempt to identify and arm moderate and non-Islamist forces instead.
This means the Obama administration was using a barely disguised channel to pay for a revolutionary Islamist movement seeking to take over Syria. The fact that this group was also anti-American, anti-Semitic, and genocidal toward Jews seems significant.
The rest of the SNC budget came from Qatar (38 percent) and Saudi Arabia (12 percent).