Choice of Texts

Michel Aflak

Problems of the Arab Struggle

If love is the soil on which your nationalism is grown and nourished, we will have no doubt about what nationalism means, nationalism will become a tolerant spirit, in other words, it opens its heart and spreads its wings to protect those who have shared with the Arabs their history and lived with tem.
(Nationalism is love before everything else, I – 1944)

From Algeria may emerge the ideal image of future Arabism, for the people of Algeria have known psychological suffering in a way not known by any other peoples. The struggle of Algeria is the yardstick of the vitality of the Arab nation and its capacity for renewal and creativeness. In this age, movements and revolutions have arisen which were a surprise to the world and aroused its admiration. But the Algerian revolution has surprised the Arabs themselves.
(Nationalism is love before everything else, 1 1944)

This is what we have understood by nationalism. The question is not to prove its existence but to realize a positive content for it.
(Nationalism is a live fact with positive and humane content, 2 - March 22, 1957)

In point of fact Algeria in its revolution represents the Arab nation in its best qualities, that is, in its brilliant and forthcoming future. This revolution was a challenge to the Arabs before being challenge to imperialism. It has put to test the aspirations of the Arabs and their faith their nationalism as well as their unity in every region. It has fixed for them the level worthy of their numerous potentials, which they have not yet dared to explore in full, and release from their confinement. It has put a choice to them: either they renounce their claims and large hopes or support them and ensure their seriousness by sacrifice, action and Jihad.
(The Algerian revolution is the Arab miracle in this age, 5 - May 17, 1957)

Q- In Bahrain there is a new problem, since Iran demands annexation of it. What is the reality of this?
A. Imperialism always works, wherever it is, to create conditions, which would help it to continue or to bargain. This is what happened when the British encouraged the Iranians to immigrate to Bahrain until the percentage of Iranians in Bahrain has become high. Britain started to negotiate with the government of Iraq and with the government of Iran for the annexation of Bahrain to either of them. But Bahrain is an integral part of the large Arab homeland and this will determine its future whether the British agree to it or not.
(Interview with the Egyptian magazine ‘The Police’ entitled: Imperialism is bargaining republished by Al-Baath, 5 - 1957)

Our people in Algeria have known the deepest suffering; therefore its revolution is the most profound. It has included all the people, men and women, and has swept away in its tide classes, social disparities, and political differences. In it the nationalist cause has fused with the human values, for the Arabs of Algeria have encountered, in the defense of their nationalism, the oppression and pain, which helped them, reach the roots of their humanity. This has gained for them the sympathy and admiration of the peoples of the world.
Our duty toward the Algerian revolution is not that of a brother, to his brother, but in Algeria today the destiny of the modern Arab revolution in its entirety is being determined.
In our combat with imperialism Algeria represents the first defense line of our United Arab Republic, which is the hope of the Arabs in freedom and unity.
(The Algerian revolution and the revolution of unity, 2 April 4, 1958)

The nation which has undergone all this will either perish under imperialist pressure or will possess such capacity for life and revival that it will shake off its burdens, overcome all this and emerge with a new revolution which benefits from all those predicaments, disasters and sufferings so that it will offer humanity a new and profound experience. It is the later alternative, which has happened.
(The humanity of the struggle of the Arab nation, 5 Baghdad - Late July 1958)

By the same token we reject the division of the people inside Lebanon into two parts, one with Arabism (Uruba) and the other against it. By nationalist and revolutionary standards both are far from Arabism, although in different degrees for if the conventional classification is applied and half the population of Lebanon is considered Arab nationalist, i.e. revolutionary Arabs, then there would be no one opposing Arabism save a minority of reactionaries, nay, there would not be in it any progressive who is not a supporter of Arabism and a believer in it, for the problem that Lebanon has with Arabism is nothing but the problem of the progressivism of Uruba (Arabism).
According to this, Lebanon has a fundamental role to play in rectifying, deepening and integrating the Arab revolutionary movement, even if those there who oppose Arabism do not mean to rectify hostile and negative attitude, for modern Arabism may be expected to be capable of standing up to this challenge and responding to it by making its progressiveness more explicit and deepening its belief in liberty and humanity.
(Lebanon and Uruba (Arabism), 1 – 1960)

The Kurdish national movement cannot contradict the Arab revolution and when it does, imperialism must be behind the contradiction, whether by creating agent leaderships for this movement or by involving reactionary or secessionist Arab governments in order to provoke this movement in ways which aggravate it.
(The Kurdish question and the Arab revolution, 3 - June 10, 1969)

The road of the Arab revolution is the natural and essential one for every liberation and progressive revolution in all the Third World. The Kurdish national movement is a legitimate and genuine part of the Arab revolution against imperialism, Zionism, class exploitation, backwardness arid fragmentation. Everything that deviates the Kurdish national movement towards meeting and colluding with imperialism and Zionism and puts it in the ranks of the feudal class and secession should be laid bare and unmasked as a conspiracy against both the Arab revolution and the Kurdish national movement. The response to the demands of the Kurdish national movement should be within the framework of this harmony between its movement and the march of Arab revolution.
(The Kurdish question and the Arab revolution, 3 - June 10, 1969)

We were one people in the past. If the Kurdish people have any grievances, they are in countries other than the Arab lands, as there was no segregation or discrimination between them and the Arabs. They were treated in the Arab homeland the way Arabs treat Arabs. There is another fact, which is ignored only by those who lack a historical view, and this fact is that the Arab revolution is the revolution of this age. It is the measure of every revolution and every progressive movement in every country in the world. He who stands against it cannot be progressive or revolutionary. He who opposes it must be falling prey to imperialism, reaction arid Zionism. How could a national movement of a small people be in opposition to the march of the Arab revolution? How could it maintain the minimum degree of safety, remain intact with no foreign and imperialist intervention and manipulation if it does not recognize the obvious fact that it cannot be in opposition with the mother revolution, the Arab revolution?
(The Baath experience in Iraq is the starting point for the Arab revolution. A speech to the advanced cadres of the Arab Baath Socialist party in Baghdad - June 24, 1974)


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