Choice of Texts

Michel Aflak

The Lessons of June
And The Significance of October


The nationalist and popular front on the scale of the Arab homeland and the armed popular action form the essential pillars for every strategy capable of responding to the most recent Zionist and imperialist aggression. Unity and democracy are the two slogans of the present stage. The relapse cannot be transformed into victory unless we make it a starting point for unity.
(June 5 and the chance for popular action, 3 - November, 1967)

Armament is no longer confined to armies, although the Arab armies are popular armies, the sons of the toiling class. They are brave armies with faith. But the greatest dangers can be warded off when the whole Arab people become a recruited army, and when there is cooperation, mutual assistance and interaction between the regular trained armies and the armed popular struggle. The latter should also be given training and technology, for in this age it is no longer acceptable to neglect the rules of the game of war and fighting and ignore the discoveries of science. The popular movement, with its deep drive and powerful surge, is capable of acquiring technical expertise through the fight and in periods shorter than the periods in training schools and military academies. In this way we can release all the latent powers of our people so that we can be equal to the grave danger threatening us.
(Palestine is the essence of the Arab cause, 3 - May 30, 1969)

In order to justify this capitulationism it was said that the objective of the aggression was to topple the Arab regimes and not expansion. It appeared, three years later, that the target of "Israel" and imperialism was expansion and the protection of the system, for only these regimes, which could secure for” Israel” the realization of its aims, which are first peace, second expansion, and the perpetuation of fragmentation once and for all.
The surrender to the plot of the peaceful settlement is the end of one stage of the Arab revolution, when it stumbled and moved hesitantly. It is a condemnation of a complete period of time and of the mentality and outlook prevailing in it. It is not a condemnation of persons or rules or of particular regimes except in so far as they are the _expression of that mentality and that outlook. The required analysis for that stage should not, therefore, aim at recording the errors of a certain part or party of realizing political and party benefits for another part or party. Such analysis should aim at clarifying the position in a way that will save the future.
(The plot of peaceful settlement is consecration of defeat, 3 - July 1970)

Development and construction projects, however successful, if they are not made within the framework of planning and preparation to confront imperialist and Zionist dangers threatening the Arab existence, if such projects are not used as means to face and overcome these dangers, that is, for building up the unified Arab popular struggle in a way that insures its continuity and growth, development and construction will be transformed into a diversion and deceit, for "Israel" and imperialism behind it can demolish in a few days the construction which took the efforts of twenty years.
(The plot of peaceful settlement is consecration of defeat, 3 - July 1970)

This war was meant to be fabricated and limited and not to exceed in aims the application of the Security Council’s resolution No. 242 which represented the state of the Arabs when they suffered the June defeat, or the stage of the weakness of the Arabs as opposed to the superiority of “Israel”. But the war becomes something other than designed. It released tremendous and creative forces and potential. In spite of this the regimes were content with the demand of applying the Security Council’s old resolution or something equivalent to it, for the regimes were participants in that defeat and incapable of surmounting its level. As the October war has proved, the continued existence of these regimes deprives the Arab people of the fruits of a historic victory.
(The regimes and the masses, Two opposing facets of the Arab nation, 1- Athair Al-Arabi (The Arab Revolutionary) - April 15, 1974)

The new facts, which have emerged, are not transitory or accidental nor are they superficial. They are the consequence of a profound interaction between the souls of the Arab people throughout the homeland. They are the response to the fabricated defeat, the defeat that the Arab people sustained in the June war. This interaction, this awakening of the Arab personality, was not a simple awakening. It has called up all the history to its support, from the rise of the faith, the days when Islam emerged, the religion of the Arabs, the days of Arab conquests and the rise of Arab culture. All this interaction fermented in the Arab soul during the few years between June 1967 and October 1973. Then appeared the new force, which others conspired against, trying, to stifle it in the cradle. But it is not a thing that can be stifled, for it is a historical phenomenon... It is the regaining of the nation’s existence, of its awareness of its existence, of its awareness of the significance of its existence, of its mission in life.
(Iraq and the Baath - Speech with the members of the Baghdad Branch of the Arab Baath Socialist Party, 7 - June 21, 1974)

Steadfastness and optimism are required now. I would also say that the last war has shown a new level that could be described as mature or an advance toward maturity. The revolution does not bargain or become easygoing, but after it has felt this new force, which is not imaginary, its behavior should be free from bigotry and reaction. It should be confident of the future and of the Arab victory as well as the Arab consciousness, for this consciousness is continually progressing and maturing. The conduct of the revolution in the future should express this sell-confidence.
(Palestine is the cause of the Arab revolution. (The speech of the leader to the political committee of the Palestinian Revolution in Iraq), 7 - June 22, 1974)

Just a few days, the days of the October war, were sufficient to let the Arab people surge forward freely and spontaneously. In a few days this people was able to shake the whole world and arouse the admiration of all peoples and free men. It was able to prove tangibly that it could influence world order. The world might lose its equilibrium should the will of the Arab nation be ignored, should the others ignore the interest of this nation. Arab heroism, Arab bravery and efficiency gave shining examples when they were given the opportunity for fulfillment in the days of that war. A new era has begun. The West and the East have become aware that a new phenomenon has risen, the Arab power, the Arab will. A short period of Arab solidarity imposed by the Arab masses on the governments has frightened imperialism and shaken its foundations in Europe and America. It has also shaken Zionism and the foundations of its artificial and shaky doctrine. How much more could have been achieved was this nation united! How much more powerful the Arabs would be if they were one state with one will, one plan, one economy, one army; if they had unified scientific and ideological capabilities and had come back to the homeland after expatriation and despair, working for one objective.
(The working class is a guarantee for the success of the revolution and the values of the party. A speech to the general union of trade unions in the Iraqi region, 7 - June 22, 1974)

If the June defeat was incapable of killing us, how could the enemies have overcome us when we were on the verge of achieving complete victory, had it not been for the weakening of certain leaderships, the leaderships you know, and were it not for their suspect connections and their failure to understand and appreciate the inexhaustible potential of the Arab masses?
(The growing Arab capability is able to stand up to the enemies. Speech to the Syrian comrades in Baghdad, 7 - June 22, 1974)

The new Arab power revealed by the recent war is not merely a material power. It is an ethical force. It is heroism as well as a comprehension of the destiny of the nation, its existence from the distant past to the distant future. It is moral experience as well as a scientific efficiency and maturity. Such results could not have been attained if the Arab masses and the Arab nation in general had not reached a new level of national maturity and scientific efficiency. This level was reached at an extraordinary speed as a consequence of the impact of the June defeat on the Arab soul. It was an urge and a provocation that lifted the Arab souls and wills from one level into another. Thus was the process of fruition.
(The growing Arab capability is able to stand up to the enemies. A speech to the Syrian comrades in Baghdad, 7 - June 23, 1974)

The decision to participate in the October war was one that only leaders of historic moment could take. Despite the doubts which surrounded the regimes which started the war and the knowledge that they were prepared to arrange settlements and that they were incapable of taking a decisive revolutionary course, the resolution to take part in that war was an expression of the faith in the Arab masses, of the belief in the capability of the Arab nation to give much more than was calculated by the rulers of the a regimes, and a belief in its capacity to change the nature of that war. This is in fact what happened. The October war will remain one of the most glorious Arab battles, for it was a victory over the enemies and over the regimes that wanted it to be a game of limited dimensions. The participation of Iraq was proportionate to the historic importance of the decision. I believe that the participation of the Iraqi Army and its deployment on the Arab soil in the Syrian region will have an imperishable effect. Its impact will not be negligible. It has achieved something lasting and creative. I remember having told some Syrian comrades who came to me in the last days of that war urging the expediting of unity between Syria and Iraq. You may rest assured that unity has taken place as a result of this participation; it is a question of time and nothing more.
(The experiment of the Baath in Iraq is a starting point for the Arab revolution. A speech to the advanced cadres of the Arab Baath Socialist Party, Baghdad, 7. June 24, 1974)


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