Choice of Texts

Michel Aflak

On Imperialism and Zionism

It is inevitable for the Arab governments to befriend the imperialist countries without love for them. This is because those governments are faced with two choices: either combat the imperialist countries in a serious way and be forced to mobilize all the potential of the people and lift from their way all that hampers their activity and progress. By doing this, such governments will have no room to exploit and oppress the people. The other choice is to continue exploiting the people and lose their support in resisting the imperialist countries.
By doing so, they will lose most of the people’s powers for struggle as these are stifled by poverty and ignorance and killed by injustice and oppression. In this case, such governments will appease those countries and come to agreement with them about division of influence and benefits.
(The reversed policy kept for the people its cunning and devoted its loyalty to its foes. A1-Baath, 4 - July 21, 1946)

The Zionist menace is not merely an economic invasion motivated by material greed, but it is first and foremost a religious invasion, which has no parallel in history except the crusades! Nothing but the awakening of faith in the Arabs, and the incarnation of that faith in a practical and efficacious form can ward off this menace. Therefore, the reliance on politics with its calculations and prevarications is the strongest opium of the spirit of struggle in the people and the thickest screen to conceal from the Arabs the danger, which threatens them.
(The Arabs should not wait for a miracle. Palestine cannot be saved by governments but by popular action, 1 - A1-Baath -August 6, 1946)

The interest of the Arab homeland can never be to side with the Western bloc or with of its members. Therefore the policy of the Arab governments should be one of neutrality in the conflict between the two world blocs, instead of binding themselves to the enemies of the Arabs by new treaties. It is imperative that we should relieve ourselves of any bound with them.
(Our foreign policy Al-Baath, 4 January 12, 1948)

It is high time we exposed the cheating and deceit in this logic. Without a serious view of the conditions of the people there will be no serious resistance to the Zionist menace. Without raising the economic standard and without applying the feasible unification of some Arab regions, to engage in an actual battle with Zionism will have no real significance.
(The Arab unity and socialism, 1 - February 1956)

As to imperialism, it relies on two forces: the one positive, derived from its scientific and technological activity and we cannot confront this force except through adopting it and seizing this decisive battle as an opportunity to leap to the level of modern science and organization. We shall then be delivered once and for all from the vestiges of reactionary mentality and the absence of planning. The negative force of imperialism is derived from the shortcoming and loopholes, which still exist in our society and its conditions. The loopholes give imperialism collaborators among our people who are enslaved by their private interests and blinded by ignorance and prejudice. It is within our power today to wrest this weapon from imperialism in order to purify our internal front, isolate the conspiring elements and speedily and decisively tackle the causes of plotting and deviation.
(Our battle with imperialism is inevitable. Al-Baath, 5 -August 24, 1956)

Imperialism today imposes on us a new and cruel battle for which it is preparing every means of aggression it possessed before the Suez crisis, since the time it became certain of the fermentation of the revolutionary Arab consciousness and of the fact that popular capacities in some Arab regions have reached the level of effective organization. This means that the battle is that of the Arabs before it is that of imperialism. The legitimate and natural surge of the Arabs toward liberation and progress forms by itself a grave danger to the interests of imperialism and its existence not only in the Arab homeland but also in the world.
(Our battle with imperialism is inevitable. Al-Baath, 5 -August 24, 1956)

The peoples of the imperialist countries are day by day, becoming, less enthusiastic, about these imperialistic wars. They increasingly withdraw from them so that the battle will finally be confined, without disguise, to those who are really interested in it. These capitalists, the adventurers and mercenaries who profit by wars, when they have reached this stage, will come to their end, for imperialistic wars do not depend solely on the imperialists but on the capacity of the latter to deceive their peoples drive them into such wars.
(The role of the Algerian battle in our struggle, 5 – 1956)

The Baghdad Pact could be described as an imperialist attack a defense to which Britain has resorted to stop the growth of Arab awakening and forestall its consequences. It has worked out this pact with the design and the objectives of confronting, disfiguring, deviating or paralyzing every facet of the new Arab movement.
(The outcome of a stage of struggle, 5 - December 1956)

The Arabs have to put an end to subterfuges, to shirking of responsibility and to putting the blame on imperialism. They should look into their problems deeply and from within and consider themselves solely responsible for their destiny.
(The battle between superficial and genuine existence, 2)

This is the decisive point that separates us from the governments in the Arab homeland. It is at the same time the point of departure from the present, characterized by paralysis to a future full of potential... the governments consider submission to the demands of imperialism easier and more feasible than meeting that uncontrollable urge which the Arab people has for liberation. They invariably choose the easy way, and by doing so they are forcefully transformed into tools used by imperialism to hamper the emancipation of the people and delay its renaissance. The governments have chosen this course and imposed it on the people. The Arab people are not to be blamed if they consider—as a result of this policy itself—that the most effective struggle they could wage against imperialism is their struggle against the ruling class, which is servile to it.
(The battle between superficial and genuine existence, 2)

The interests of the peoples do not come into conflict. The interest of the Arab people in Algeria and Maghreb goes hand in hand with the interest of the French people in the liberation from its oppressive conditions. In this there is a guarantee for the struggle of the Arabs in Maghreb, for if France persists in its imperialist policy and inflicts suffering on the Arabs of Algeria, the suffering of the French people will become much more acute and may lead them to revolt.
(The role of the Algerian battle in our struggle, 2 – 1956)

The free peoples have come to recognize our cause and support it only after they felt that it was not confined to the desires of Kings and the interests of the privileged class. They have come to know that behind it there is one struggling people that is frightening world imperialism and is shaking its foundations, for it is no longer afraid to confront its problems with perfect candidness and face its internal enemies with the same courage and determination it faces imperialism itself.
(The consensus of the people is the strongest, 2 - November 16, 1956)

We have not been wrong when we always considered imperialism as the first enemy and "Israel" as the consequence of imperialism, its ally and offshoot. Its fate is linked up with its fate. But there is no need to be reminded that this should not be taken literally, so that you think that "Israel" follows the orders of imperialism in every single matter. It is the ally of imperialism but it is not its tool in the ordinary meaning of the word. It has its own structure and designs as well as interests. It has its own power, intelligence and Policy. It depends on the strength and influence of world Zionism. Therefore it sometimes entangles imperialist countries while at other times it is imperialism, which instigates "Israel".
(The Arab struggle facing imperialism and "Israel", October 1, 1956)

The proof that Imperialism is artificial and that it is ephemeral and cannot continue or have solid foundations is that the action—the same, such as striking the nation which it wants to colonize exploit and stifle—this action itself will have contradictory consequences. The imperialist countries established "Israel" in order to prevent the revival of the Arabs and hamper their unity. But the same act has been greatly instrumental in awakening our nationalist consciousness and elevating our awareness and the standard of our struggle so that we will eventually conquer both "Israel" and imperialism.
(The Arab struggle facing imperialism and "Israel", October 1, 1956)

This nationalist advance, characterized by the fight against imperialism and the will to be liberated from it, is still insufficient and inadequate. It should be enriched and fertilized by the social revolution and the ideological revolution,
(A new level for our struggle, October 12, 1957)

Imperialism knew that the Arab nation was living in a state of fermentation and preparation for the revival of its nationality, and it felt endangered. This knowledge was one of the most important factors in urging the establishment of the national Jewish homeland in Palestine, which later came to be called "Israel".
(The Arab struggle facing imperialism and "Israel", 1 - October 1, 1956)

Our duty is to reply to imperialism with war and revolution at the same time. War is mobilization and organization of existing forces, and our available forces are not yet at the level of imperialist forces. Therefore, we have to support our war by revolution in order to release the latent potential of our people and to continually nourish war with this inexhaustible fountainhead which is the struggle of eighty million Arabs living on a soil full of riches and who have military and strategic qualities which are hardly possessed by any other country.
(Our battle with imperialism is inevitable, 4. August 24, 1956)

It is important for us to win the battle in our struggle against imperialism without losing any part of our nationalist and humane orientation. We are concerned with winning the battle against imperialism by virtue of our observance and preservation of this orientation.
(Our future as seen through the present crisis, 2 - September 7, 1956)

If we believe that our engagement in the battle will not expose our revival to the danger of relapse, and since our potential and those of the free peoples are mounting and the capacities of imperialism are slipping and on the way to vanishing with every hour, it is imperative for us to reject any hesitation to enter the battle, the retreat alone realizes the designs of imperialism, we forsake our cause and kill the dawning future for our newer generations.
(No going back and no retreat, 2 - September 14, 1956)

Every step taken by the people in its rough journey on the way to liberation from the fetters of imperialism and overcoming its backward conditions must be accompanied by a consonant rise in nationalist objectives. The standard of patriotism and loyalty during the time of the mandate and foreign occupation, some twenty years ago, when to reach a treaty with France was considered the pinnacle of national demands, cannot be the same standard of patriotism and loyalty now that our concern is to consolidate independence from within by strengthening our army, industrializing our country, exploiting the riches of our soil and unifying the parts of our homeland on sound bases that secure for us the defense of our existence and nationality in face of the menace of "Israel" and the imperialist powers that support it.
(The rejoice of imperialist powers, July 13, 1956)

The revolution of the oppressed peoples is an indirect prelude to the revolution of the peoples of imperialist countries to better their own conditions. The wresting of illicit riches, on which the imperialist countries have been depend... their loss will cause a reversal in the order of those countries and they will be forced to rearrange their affairs, redistribute their wealth and create a new economic system enabling them to live without relying on their colonies. We are not, therefore, surprised to see this insolence on the part of imperialist countries when they deal with us.
(The Arab struggle facing imperialism and "Israel", 5 - October 1, 1956)

In Palestine the imperialists and Zionists collaborated to evict our people from its land. They said and they are still saying that "Israel" has come to stay. But the Arab people retorts, in Palestine Egypt, Syria and in every other Arab country, and the disaster is ten years old, that "Israel" has come to go away and with it imperialism will go too.
(Algeria and Palestine the two wings of the Arab revolution and the guarantee for its continuity, 2 - June 7, 1957)

The danger to the Arab nation is the existence of "Israel" as a state and not the existence of a Jewish minority in the Arab homeland. The acceleration of the liberating and unitary struggle and the achievement of quick and earnest steps in those two fields will put an end to the designs of imperialism to use "Israel" and the designs of world Zionism to use imperialism for the protection of "Israel" and enhance its expansionism. Expediting the Arab Socialist Struggle will remove the fears of the Jewish minority of the impossibility of living peacefully and justly with the Arabs. It will also obliterate or weaken the weapon of world Zionism of appealing to the sympathy of the free peoples and popular classes for "Israel" as a haven for an oppressed and advanced people. Lastly the perseverance of the Arabs in their humane direction in the international field as well as their cooperation with other peoples for the solidification of peace and socialist progress for all the peoples together with the policy of positive neutrality, all these will be instrumental in removing the causes of racial and religious fanaticism and help assimilate Jewish minorities in the European countries and will consequently weaken the justifications for the existence of "Israel".
(The combat of the Arabs with imperialism and Zionism, 1 - July 27, 1957)

There are in fact two views of imperialism and Zionism, and each of them is inadequate and deviationist: it is known that the rightist front concentrates on "Israel" to divert the attention from imperialism. On the other hand there is a liberation view which is not quite accurate when it makes "Israel" and imperialism two names for one entity. This partially conceals the danger of world Zionism that is undoubtedly an imperialist movement but an independent one. On our part, we consider "Israel" an imperialist base, beyond a doubt, for it is imperialism, which has created defended and fed it for this purpose. But this does not cover the whole question. The problem is much bigger than that.
"Israel" is also an expression of the power of world Zionism, but world Zionism is capable of making use of imperialism itself. The success of the Arabs in shattering imperialism will solve the largest part of the problem, but will not solve it in is entirety. To put it more correctly the success in conquering imperialism has a pre-requisite and this is that the forces of world Zionism be taken into account. Therefore another struggle has to accompany our struggle against imperialism and this is our struggle against Zionism. World Zionism with its strong influence has been able to make use not only of the imperialist powers, but also of the popular (downtrodden) classes themselves in many countries, exploiting the special historical situation of the Jews in Europe who in some periods were subject to religious and racial persecution, and exploiting at the same rime the high level of the state of "Israel" in respect to technological efficiency and consequently the backwardness of the Arab Society and its reactionary character. By this Zionism wants to give the image that "Israel" is the vanguard of progress in this part of the world and a new experiment of Western civilization in this part of the East.
(The combat of the Arabs with imperialism and Zionism, 1 July 27, 1957)

The error and danger lie in considering the nationalist doctrine independent from the political fate of our nation. The doctrine exists in the life of the nation and its concern for its survival, independence and liberation. The reverse of this is not true. For this reason the gravest danger on our belief and nationality lies in ignoring the threats and imperialist conspiracies which endanger the existence of our nation when its liberating orientation is nullified by the pretext of the so-called communist doctrine. The inevitable consequence of this will be the surrendering of our nation and our regions. They will become an easy prey, despotic imperialist powers that plunder our riches, corrupt our morals and sow the seeds of discord and strife among the regions, as well as assist "Israel" to expend at the expense of the Arabs.
(Arab nationalism and liberation policy, 5 - Republished in Al-Baath-May 11, 1957)

When imperialism came up with the theory of the vacuum, by saying that there is a vacuum in our homeland that needs to be filled by imperialism and occupation, it came to my mind that the vacuum really does exist but not in our people or in our country. It is that part of the world, which has defaced and falsified values and reached in hypocrisy to the point of contradiction with the principles it claims to uphold. I have always thought that there is in the world a frightening vacuum and it is not improbable that our nation will be among the nations which will be required to fill it within a time sooner than we think. The civilization of the imperialists portends collapse and failure so long as it continues to perpetrate crimes against weak peoples in this way and falsifies facts scarcely knowing that it does so. In other words forgery has become so fused with the minds and souls of that civilization that it has become natural, constituting its very concepts.
(The ambition of Al-Baath, 1 - March 1957)

Imperialism has reinforced its aggression by giving its leadership to America for she possesses a force of international magnitude and extraordinary means of pressure and corruption. This enables it, besides threatening us from without by its aggression and that of the countries under its influence, to plot from within against our independence and liberty, against the integrity of our national structure with the weapons of bribery and corruption as well as the instigation of discord, disunity and civil war. All this requires from us a new view of the world and a new preparedness commensurate with the danger we are facing.
(Let us unify the leadership of the Arab struggle, 2 - May 17, 1957)

There is no other people that has been able, by the force of its belief in its right and its steadfastness in struggle, to unveil at one time the myth of world Zionism and the falsehood of its humane and peaceful intentions on the one hand, and on the other, the degeneracy of big states and important progressive parties and groups which Zionism was capable of buying off by money or of controlling by propaganda media in order to support its aggression against the rights of the Arabs which is as dear as daylight. Lastly, our people alone has forced the countries of the civilized West headed by the U.S.A. to lift the masks of their materialistic civilization plagued greed and the covetousness of imperialism who proclaimed their support of everything that is putrid, corrupt and backward in our Arab society. Their intention is to fight the premonitions of the progressive and dean Arab revival as represented by the revolution of Egypt and the popular movement in Syria.
(The genuineness of the Arab direction makes the violence of the battle inevitable, 2 - May 22, 1957)

The steadfastness of the Arab nation in this battle will not secure survival and protection for it alone but will also expose a profound falsehood in the life of Western countries and will restore precious values to mankind.
(The battle within and the battle without are two facets of one battle, 5 - May 31, 1957)

But this ordinary development, largely the result of the influence of circumstances and contact with the outside world, entered into the calculations of imperialism, which followed it step by step. It was imperialism, which allowed it to come in trickles while it prepared for it everything that would ensure its impediment and ward off the dangers posed by it.
(The Algerian revolution and the revolution of unity, 2 -April 4, 1958)

Events are half the question; the other half is their impact on the people. The history of the people, its heritage, victories and relapses in the past and present as well as its capacity for continuity and revival in the future are the outcome, and this is the reply to the events.
Those who have engineered the plot for the usurpation of Palestine since the start of this century and conspired with imperialist interests in order to keep the Arab homeland in a state of fragmentation and backwardness, and to facilitate for the imperialist powers the exploitation of its riches and the use of its position did not take into consideration that this imperialist project would be transformed, as we have mentioned, into a generator instigating the Arab renaissance. Here the factor of the historical and geographical formation of the nation enters. It has been from the ancient times living on a land which is a crossroad between the continents. Then a religious call of world dimensions emerged in it. Its history developed toward this world and human goal.
When these things are taken into consideration, it becomes easy to understand why the Arab response to foreign challenges and world conspiracies takes a magnitude and significance equal to the magnitude of the world and the significance of mankind.
(The regimes and the masses-contrasting components of the Arab nation - Athair Al-Arabi - (The Arab revolutionary) - April 15, 1974)


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