Choice of Texts

Michel Aflak

On the Arab Baath movement


Remember, then, when you feel that you want to refresh your activity to pursue the fight Jihad, that you have been recompensed for your struggle first when you impose events on your opponents and second, by this result, which you could consider a historic turning point in the life of the homeland, the beginning of a formation of a sound national leadership which will restore sacredness and significance to the struggle and fill a vacuum that was threatening the structure of the nation with collapse.
(The people have breathed a sigh of relief, 4 - A manifesto distributed among the masses - March 25, 1945)

What has distinguished the ideology of the Arab Baath is that it has not differentiated between the idea and the method, or between the end and means. The thought and the ends are the possession of all. Any individual and any party can claim to have them. But the only guarantee for this claim is that the means and the methods should be derived from the very idea and be consonant with the end. For this reason we have made it a condition that the national leadership should come from the people, not from the intruders and that the nationalist movement should be popular and socialist, paying those who participate in it a sum of money proportionate to their wealth and their income and demanding that they prove the truthfulness of their adherence to the idea of overthrow by committing themselves to the line of opposition and disavowing interest in government for a long time. All this will save the nationalist movement from being manipulated and played with by various hands and from being adopted by people who are the least suitable for it, and the least faithful to it. The movement has been defined in such a strict way to exclude the intruders, the exploiters, the weaklings and the hasty people, and confine it to the people who are worthy of it by virtue of their education and their social and economic conditions and because they have become ready to carry on the struggle and have also reached a degree of consciousness enabling them to recognize the necessity of overthrow and faithful and continuous action.
(A statement to the Al-Nidal newspaper on the principles of the party, its program and stands - September 16, 1945)

The good word does not satisfy everybody but it divides the people into clear-cut two parts. If antagonizing a segment of the people yields a clear loss, hardships and worries, this is but the just price for gaining the true sympathizers, those who devote their lives to the service of the idea, for they see in it the significance of their lives.
(The seeds of Al-Baath, 4 - July 3, 1946)

We also like to have all the people on our side and to have our idea embraced by all the citizens of our nation, but we know that this will not take place now and it will not happen without hardships. We look forward to the future and work for it, and for this end we sacrifice and conquer the present. We do not pay attention to public opinion, but we strive to make the public have an opinion. We do not care about the present number of our adherents and we wait for their number to be transformed from a mere figure into the reality of tomorrow. We withstand the isolation of the winter for the sake of joy in the spring. In order that the harvest becomes rich we have accepted that the grain be forgotten in the soil. Our concern now is to make the roots of the tree unshakeable.
(The seeds of Al-Baath - AI-Baath, 4 - July 3, 1946)

But the movement, which wants the Baath to be its spokesman, has never stopped fighting the people’s tendency to temporary impressionability and the hasty credulity of magicians and miracle makers. If there is a distinctive quality of the Baath movement that it is anxious to preserve, it is that it does not put its trust in surprises and does not believe in facile success. It wants— and this is also the aim of the newspaper to be a living movement that has deep and unshakeable roots which secure for it survival, stability and natural growth.
(The seeds of the Baath, 4 - July 3, 1946)

Our party is an Arab party in the sense that no other party is like it. It does not content itself with the affirmation of the Arab idea but endeavors, in reality, besides its idea, to be the comprehensive Arab party in all the Arab regions. It tackles the Arab problems as an indivisible whole. It does not treat the regional question, including the question of Syria, except in the light of one Arab nation.
(Our attitude vis-a-vis the present government, 4 - Al-Baath-January 27, 1947)

Our powers are not the visible and limited powers. Our powers are of inexhaustible richness. I would add that we depend on another force, which is the march of our movement toward human progress. Our aim is to elevate the nation from the state of backwardness to that of work, seriousness and creativeness. History is taking this direction and we move with it. The logic of history demands that the Arab nation rise and occupy a positive and creative place and assume its role to construct its future. History then is on our side.
(The connection between Arabism (Uruba) and the radical change movement – 1950)

We have developed three qualities b this generation 1 - the awareness of the historical and social pre-requisites; it knows why this transformation was necessary for the nation 2 - ethics; that is, it the vanguard in the frontline free from those who only react and surrender to the situation 3 - faith; it knows that it is not enough to understand the necessity of change and appreciate its responsibility, hut it must also believe that destiny and history and all conditions are propitious for the success of this overthrow. From these points we have reached the conclusion that the new generation is the means for the overthrow. This generation depends on the individuals for the awareness and faith are to be found in individuals, not in society.
(About the overthrow, 1 – 1950)

We will not say to the Arabs that they will reach the unified, free and socialist life, the Baathist life, in the future, when Arab revival has been reached, but we say to them: this is the image we have of that life. This is the life where social disparities, and regional barriers and sectarian shameful stains will vanish as will all the vestiges of servitude, private interests and imitation. Then the future will come to us, will grow in us. It will no longer be something separate from and external to us.
(The future, 1 – 1950)

We are nothing but the progeny of our nation. If we have been able to do anything and approach certain virtues and aspire to this idealism, this has not been on our own as individuals, and our action ~s not due to our individual superiority; the credit for all this goes to the will awakened in our nation which imposes itself on the vanguard of its sons. Let us always believe that what we do and what we think and what we are capable to achieving in ourselves and in society are but a weak echo, are nothing but an incomplete reality compared with the immortal reality of our nation.
(The Arab Baath is the will of life - April 1950)

In the Baath movement, awareness in its highest form meets with faith in its deepest significance. Our movement is self-conscious because it looks forward to the future, because it looks ahead, to the highest level that can be reached by the best thinkers and intellectuals of the Arab people. It is founded on a scientific spirit and well-organised thinking. It combines all that with a deep and fertile faith that provides it with the strength and vitality, which enable it to overcome all the obstacles.
(The Arab Baath is a historic movement – 1950)

The Baath is not a school of thought to be content with proclaiming a reality in which it believes. It is a movement whose message is the struggle for achieving victory for this reality.
(The organization of radical change, 1 - February 1950)

It is supposed that joining the party should not be a continuation of the state that preceded it but an end of and severance with that state, a new start and progress towards a new psychological state as well as a new level of being. Those who were sympathizers and friends of the party, and shared with this party some of their ideas and actions, should not believe that by joining the party now they could follow their previous course but with more earnestness, more devotion and more giving. We should not look at entering the party as a continuation of a previous stage with some strengthening and development. We must try to look at it as a new state of being the opposite of the preceding state.
(I swear to the Baath, 6 – 1950)

Your party has recorded a new stage in the life of the nation, for it has freed itself from both the illusory ideas and the “Realism“ of utilitarian calculation and base interests. It has built its foundations on a rock colossal in strength and solidity, which is the interest of millions of the Arabs who want to be liberated from misery so that every one of them will become a source of life and creativeness for a new civilization in the world.
(A speech to the first camp of the Baath at Bludan. Al-Baath - September 2, 1950)

We believe that the case of our peoples is not a case of persons or that of personal and secondary differences but it is a question of vital social needs and comprehensive national aims. Any rules that do not recognize these needs and aims in depth and do not respond to their call with warmth and truthfulness are artificial rules whose fate is to vanish quickly.
(A new era with an old mentality and eternal family interests. Al-Baath, 5 - September 10, 1950)

The number of the Arab Baath is in our view the new Arab, the good Arab. The Arab who is straightforward in thinking and morality is the one who has come to understand through experience and free and independent thinking that Uruba (Arabism) cannot be realized except by a clear theory which is self-consistent, firmly based ideologically, incorporated in an active and conscious work. This new Arab is the one we seek and we address.
(The Baathist is the new Arab, 5 – 1950)

No doubt that in making this camp ready you have realized a profound fact which is that the revolutionary action is the strongest thing in the life of man, and that the achievement a simple work is stronger than the greatest idea in the realm of mind and illusion. This action and many others which our party has previously performed and the many and grave actions awaiting to be carried out by it gradually teach us this human truth: We must be liberated from the enslavement of speech and words and everything imaginary and false and to pursue the significance of our life in action alone, in the creative and useful action.
(A speech in the opening of the first camp of the Baath at Bludan - Al-Baath - September 2, 1950)

There are many things in life which have value and beauty and the normal man is one who feels and perceives the meanings of life, its value and beauty. But when such values are not available to all the people and when lives of the majority of the people are deprived of any significance joy and dignity, those who understand the beauty of life also understand that their sacrifice of such beautiful things is the only way to give them to all the children of the Arab nation. For this reason they willingly abandon them.
(A speech to welcome those who returned from the camp of Al-Baath at Bludan - It is necessary to sacrifice the beautiful things in life. Al-Baath - September 16, 1950)

The party may not always be on the right and sound track, for the party has men and men make mistakes and get slack and slothful. They are exposed to the weaknesses that man is heir to. But the greatest danger is when no people emerge from this mass to draw a comparison between their original aspirations, aims and determinations and that state that the party has reached. When such people do not come up from its depths, the party cannot be rectified changed and brought back to the right road.
(Our Party does not accept the exploitation of the actual state of affairs, 5 - A1-Baatb - April 9, 1954)

This is our fate and we shall not for a single moment become so sure that we have reached what we aspired to and that we have possessed reality and taken the tight track. In addition to our confidence in our party and out trust in our people we should always have the inner power to review our march, our program and our thinking so that our thinking becomes mature and genuine instead of becoming submerged in superficiality and imitation and so that vanity does not undo us as it has undone many others.
(Our Party does not accept the exploitation of the actual state of affairs, 5 - Al-Baath - April 9, 1954)

Beware of stagnant thinking, which does not understand the secret of life and its significance. There is no earnest action that has an impact no the status quo and creates a new actuality which is not like the moving see which carries some soil. If you want the action of your party to be historic, let it be like the sea and not like the pure stream. It is easy for our movement to be a pure stream but it will not water a nation and it will not also make history.
(Our living view of the party, 1 - April 1955)

As the movement expands in proportion to its scale and the increase in its membership, the duty of the member becomes greater than before. Every movement, and this is the nature of social movements and the nature of societies, is liable to lose some if its spontaneity, its freedom, its genuineness and to be submerged in conventional slogans, in words and to become an idol. It is not only persons who will become idols, but the movement and its ideals. This is the worst that can befall a movement that wants to be creative.
(Our live view of the party, 1 - April 1955)

There is no use for knowledge when it becomes the final stage in the journey, when it becomes an end in itself. Knowledge is a bridge to earnest action and if it is not, it is opium and a means for vanity and for the justification of laziness and sloth.
(The duty of the member - The gravity of the party responsibility, 5 - April 1955)

He who looks our party broadly and in a far reaching way will know that the emergence of opportunism in it is nothing but an acceleration of the emergence of a new kind of ideology which will be stronger than that which has existed to now. It will have the firmness of faith and the clarity of consciousness, which will make it worth of tackling the conditions through realistic action and acting without cowardice or hesitancy.
(The defense of the faith can only be by attack, 5 - June 1955)

The Iraqi government has not come up with something new when it accused our party of spreading destructive doctrines. This is the same deceit with which the ruling clique fought the party since inception, before it was forced to recognize it as a result of the response of the faithful and conscious vanguard to its call. The principles of the Arab Baath have been the foundation of the structure, which has begun to rise and emerge in the Arab people in most of the regions. As to the description “Underground organization” given to the party in Iraq, this is natural for a party, which refuses to abandon struggle in a country where public liberties are violated and party life is banned, where even reactionary parties whose objectives meet those of the ruling authorities are disbanded.
(The Saeedi terror in Iraq, 5 - July 27, 1955)

This generation, by virtue of its education, is liable to waste a good deal of the spirit of struggle and consequently lose sight of this historic mission if it does not conquer the bourgeois remnants of our society. These always tempt it to substitute talk and image for action.
We have no right to guide and direct the people if we do not criticize ourselves incessantly.
(Aspects of the crisis of the party, 2 - January 21, 1956)

The military coup d’Etat have failed in Syria by virtue of the existence of a popular overthrow movement in the true sense of the word... this movement, represented by our party, has not yet reached the level which would make it capable of preventing coup d’Etat, but it has reached a point which makes it capable of resisting and foiling them.
(On the situation in Egypt, 5 - February 21, 1956)

The faithfulness of a person is not only demonstrated by intention and proclamation but also, and especially, by the forces on which he depends for the realization of his policy and by the method he uses for this realization.
The faithful is he who always knows in every action he takes which powers are going to benefit from it, even if he has no connection with them.
(The rejoicing of the imperialist powers, 5- A1-Baath July 13, 1956)

Movements are stages on the road. If one of the most important factors in the formation the movement in which you are now, was that rebellious stand which our generation took some twenty years ago when we refused to be content with facile and small gains to acquiesce in the acceptance of the status quo and to bring the goals of the Arab nation down to the level of its present capacities or the capacities of its leaders that same stand is required always from the Arab generations whether to correct the march of the present movement or initiate a healthier and sounder movement.
(The battle and the will of the nation, 5 - November 1956)

It is necessary for the movement so that it can live in an alive and realistic atmosphere, and understand the various currents that operate in its society. We have on many occasions in the speeches of the Arab Baath and its writings touched upon the subject of the reconciliation of the vitality of the movement and its essence. How can the movement be essential, that is, be concerned with the substance and essence of things and at the same time be which responds a movement to its actuality and is connected to its time?
(The Arab Baath is a positive attitude, 2 – 1956)

We want to create conditions, which the Arab spirit will find congenial and in which society will be secure. These conditions should preclude two deviations. The deviation of stagnation and tattered conservatism and the deviation of artificial progress, which belongs to other milieus and therefore cannot respond to our needs or offer us any benefit or good. The economic problem is one of the most important aspects to which the national movement should give attention and look forward to solving for the satisfaction of the real needs, of the nation. In this field a small group is exploiting the majority of the people. It is the problem of feudalism and exploitation and the anti-nationalist socialism, which does not understand the needs of this stage, is an artificial response to it.
(The Arab Baath is a positive stand, 2 – 1956)

The movements, which rise in a given society, are either shallow and temporary or earnest and genuine. Both kinds are inevitably influenced by the conditions of time and place. But the quality of that influence determines the kind of the movement. When the movement is influenced negatively and exhausts all its potential and forces until it becomes submerged in its conditions, we consider it as one of the shallow and ephemeral movements. When the movement can be influenced by the conditions without being submerged in them and can control, them in order to direct them, it is one of serious and genuine movements.
(The Arab Baath is a positive stand, 2 – 1956)

The party of radical change is always liable to find on its hard and long way persons and groups who mimic its overthrow philosophy like false prophets. When in history true prophets rose with their true message, their emergence tempted false prophets to appear. This happens to the party too. In this case the party has to transform relapses into progressive steps, which will increase the trust of the people in it, strengthen its struggle and deepen its experience.
(On the situation in Egypt, S - January 21, 1956)

When progressivism appears in countries in which the popular movement has reached a degree of growth, it becomes false progressivism, and imperialism will use it as a means to impede the march of the popular movement. When progressivism appears in countries our movement ha not yet reached and when it proves by its actions its seriousness, faithfulness and studied response to the needs of the people, it becomes remains but authentic exposed to the danger of being falsified, for imperialism and reaction which this progressivism touches without profoundly injuring will always try to attract it to their side, whereupon it will become a reversed progressivism and will no longer work form the overthrow. Our duty in this case is to show it the path, which will be a serious lead in the direction of fundamental change.
(On the situation in Egypt, 5 - January 21, 1956)

The party is not a government and a parliament. It is not a government that operates and a parliament that criticizes, attacks and objects. The party of overthrow is the farthest thing from this image. It is an interconnected and solid entity in which there is no difference between the leadership and the base. It has no place for the spectator, for the protester who does not perform his duty, or for the critic who gives himself all rights and absolves himself of all duties.
(Aspects of the crisis of the Party, 2 - January 21, 1956)

If we do not look at life with flexibility, reasonable toleration and healthy realism, as do those who have experience and suffered action; if we do not give life its due, it will take revenge by imposing its anarchy upon us and impeding the progress of our idea. Life is capable of changing the status quo of our nation and cultivating and planting something new and healthy in its place. If we reject this development it will be as if we bring an end to the hope of our idea penetrating into our actual reality and impregnate it. We shall be allowing the corrupt actuality to come back and be victorious, and the most cruel victory of the corrupt actual is when it proclaims the idea of the of radical change, the new birth and the genuine idea.
(Our idea on the way of realization, 5 - March 1956)

The genuine movement cannot come as a response to an accidental condition in the life of the nation. Imperialism is an accidental condition. Feudalism is accidental and transitory, as is also sectarianism which allows shah low and trivial links to overcome fundamental and deep bonds. Regionalism, which is the supremacy of local and secondary characteristics in regions and countries over the national ones, is also transient. All these conditions are passive and have nothing of life. They are the consequence of the feebleness of life and its relaxation. When life becomes weak, trifles come to the surface.
(The Arab Baath is a positive stand, 2 – 1956)

The tragedy of Palestine would not have made this deep impression and would not have given such positive results had it not been proceeded, a few years ago, in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, by an Arab direction clear in its aims and based on new ideological foundations for struggle It was these which have expressed the profound orientation of the Arabs at this stage of their history and the history of humanity. The Baath Party has represented this direction. The tragedy came as living model for this direction, confirming its correctness. It has enriched it and opened up before it the ways of expansion. This direction was the most important factor, which transformed the attitude of the Arabs toward this tragedy from being negative, ending in dissolution and degeneracy into a positive attitude that shifts the calamity to an upward track for the development of the Arabs.
(The outcome of a stage in the struggle, 2 - December 1956)

Our movement adopts the policy of stages but it conceives of it as a pressure on one point more than on others, but not as a confinement our efforts to one aspect to the exclusion of the other aspects. We do not limit our struggle to the fight imperialism, but we also work for socialism and unity. Conditions may be more amenable to the fight against imperialism more than to any other thing, but to confine us only to the combat will kill imperialism against our very struggle.
(Questions and answers, 1 – 1957)

The stages, in our opinion, are in the application, not in the awareness. Awareness is indivisible, for this reason it has been necessary for the Arab people to see, since the emergence of the movement, the reality of their conditions and what decisive treatment they should receive, Therefore, where awareness is concerned, it is useless to adopt a policy of secrecy regarding objectives, which cannot yet be realized.
(Questions and answers, 1 – 1957)

We have always said that we are nothing but _expression of the maturity of our nation. We do not create the nation. It creates us. From it we derive our strength. We only translate its needs and aspiration and announce its will. Our strength would have been worth less had it not relied on the strength of the nation and on this consciousness, which is present in every part of it that has been steeled by long experiences, deals and sufferings. Therefore similar experiences will inevitably give the same results in the various regions of the Arab homeland.
(The union of Egypt and Syria, 1 - February 20, 1958)

This movement was the first to put the national cause, the cause of the Arab nation, at the heart of reality, and make it the essence of earnestness, by putting the social problem at the center of the nationalist revolution, by putting it in the forefront of the lives of millions of the Arab people, the subsistence of the tens of millions who were, and still are, largely paralyzed as a result of unjust conditions. The practical expression of the nationalist revolution is, therefore, the social revolution. The movement has posed the question of freedom in all its breadth and dimensions: freedom from imperialism, from the foreigners and their exploitation in all its forms, internal freedom that includes its political, social and intellectual aspects. The question of freedom, the awareness of the people and the awareness of individuals, the question of liberation, the importance of this question and its priority, have all been given a living, as you know, interaction and interrelationship by our movement.
(The unity is a historic revolution, 1. February 23, 1958)

This movement began very modestly and the secret of its strength was that it arose from a genuine strength, and has not relied on any of the present powers, which are all false. This movement was in fact a translation of preparedness and potentialities that were in existence but were concealed from the eyes of many.
This movement has been able to see clarity and innocence, free from vested interests, inherited conceptions, prejudices and selfishness. It has come to recognize strength where the majority was seeing only weakness and degeneracy. It has depended on this strength for it believed that it was a real strength. It placed its bets on the future. From the beginning, its outlook was far reaching in every sense of the word. It was far reaching in depth, in space and in time.
(The unity is a historic revolution, 1 - February 23, 1958)

The genuine revolution is characterised by positiveness and self-confidence. It does not content itself with reacting, by always focusing on the enemies, and enumerating their evils, baseness and crimes The genuine revolution is that which first and foremost itself as regards the foundation and the great reality, and believes that imperialism and the external things are a consequence of inner weakness.
(The humanity of the struggle of the Arab nation, 5 -Baghdad - Late July 1958)

There is a fact which if we overlook we will not realize the significance of the revolution and the revolutionary spirit. This fact is that life is something continuous. The future is born from the present, and our near and distant future is present in us, within our reach. We can make it by our actions, behavior and thinking. It exists like the seeds and it will grow and ripen with time. Let us then look for the features of our future in our present. Let us see to what extent we are faithful to our revolutionary principles, not in words, announcement or writing hut in application and experience.
(The humanity of the struggle of the Arab nation, 5 Baghdad - Late July 1958)

It is the nature of this modern Arab revival that its way be hard and it be tested from time to time by complex and difficult problems. For it is a revival that long centuries have prepared, centuries in which the genius of the Arab people and its vitality were latent. It was inevitable that a genuine and humane revival should come, for it came after a long patience and waiting.
It is coming from a nation, which is used to caring the message and viewing life as a mission. It behooves us, then, to remember this feature of our new revival, especially difficulty of it so that our revival may become genuine. When remembering this we meet the problems with relish, for we see in them the way for the realization of our objectives. There is a difference between our seeing the obstacles and our seeing them as our way.
The existence of the Baath and the necessity of its continuation until the end of the historical stage until it delivers its message and completely realizes its objectives, means that the Arab nation at this age cannot rise from its fall to realize the great potentialities of its people, to restore its historical place and deliver it message except through doctrinal, popular, disciplined and free action. This is the way and every departure from it exposes the nation and whatever is has realized over the decades to perdition.
(The historical necessity to which call the Baath has come to respond, 5 -June 15, 1959)

It is the first serious attempt to move the revolutionary forces in the Arab homeland within the framework of Arab objectives and along an independent Arab way. Our movement does not claim that it has created the revolutionary forces, for the Arab nation was living in a revolutionary stage before the appearance of our movement, but this movement has tried to give the Arab revolution its unified and comprehensive formula, and to put it at once in the atmosphere of the age in which it lives, the age of social and economic doctrines as well as in the atmosphere of the genuine Arab spirit.
(The historical role of the Baath movement, 1 - April 7, 1960)

The Arab Baath Socialist Party was destined to save the rising generations from being lost between regional prejudice and international revolution and put them in the center of historic action by explaining the following facts to them:
1 - The revolutionary nature of this stage and the futility of depending on revolution and partial reform.
2 - The realism of the revolution, its economic character and its reliance on the masses of the people.
3 - The unity of the revolutionary objectives, their interaction and the reciprocal influence of the liberation struggle, the socialist struggle and the unitary struggle.
4 - The comprehensiveness of the cause, the links that bind together the interests of the Arab people in all its regions and the necessity for unifying its struggle.
5 - Liberty as the deepest foundation and the strongest urge. Viewing nationalism as a live image of humanity and viewing the nation as an arena for achieving humanist values.
(The historical role of the Baath movement, 1 - April 7, 1960)

Thought is in itself a historic force, an incalculable revolutionary force. To put the nationalist Arab cause in a comprehensive ideological formula was the first task in building the Arab revolutionary movement on solid foundations. This ideological formula came into existence as a response to the needs of Arab youths in every region so that they could see the significance of the cause of their nation and its place among world causes. Hence this attempt which no doubt requires an increased effort, but which has been able to fill a vacuum in the lives of the Arab people in a number of its regions.
(The landmarks of progressive nationalism, 1 – 1960)

During the time of the union the revolutionary Arab vanguard lived the deepest and most violent crisis in the history of its struggle It has participated m a historic event when union took place between Egypt and Syria. But after a short time this vanguard has been disappointed greatly by the distortion and falsehood accompanying the implementation of that union. The crisis of the vanguard was aggravated and became more intense and complicated by its belated realization that it was equal to the task of achieving unity, and that it would have corrected and protected it.
(Imperialism and reaction execute the biggest conspiracy against our nation, 2 - July 21, 1962)

I think that this is the most cruel suffering that could befall a man, a man who is committed to principles for which he fought so long and for the sake of their cause he devoted all his life. The most painful suffering is when he sees such an outrageous distortion of his ideas and principles that he almost denies that party was his party and that that movement was his movement.
(A speech to the meeting of the national leadership -January 19, 1965)

The revolutions spring from the party, but the party is above the revolutions and if revolutions commit mistakes, the party exists for rectifying them.
(In memory of the Ramadan Revolution, 3 - February 8, 1965)

We did not accept and we shall never accept that the Baath revolution to be merely a rule and an authority enacting laws and issuing orders. The Arab youths in this vast Arab homeland have wanted it to be a humane historic movement which would satisfy all aspirations and the thirst for values and ideals in the Arab spirit; they have wanted it to restore the connection between our present and our glorious past and open before our people the possibilities of a genuine and humane future so that they will not remain dependent on other nations imitate others or be enslaved, but renew the era of the Arab civilization with all its humanitarian values.
(In memory of the Ramadan Revolution, 3 - February 8, 1965)

The party which undertakes a historic task in order to bring happiness to a great people is not afraid to criticize itself and see its errors, for it knows that this is a fundamental pre-requisite for rectifying its line and for accelerating the achievement of its objectives.
(In memory of the Ramadan Revolution, 3 - February 8, 1965)

When the party remains imprisoned and walled-in and when it does not become open to the people and does not contact the masses and work with them in the village and the city, in the factory and the school, when it does not become open to the Arab regions and when it does not come out of the regional cocoon to perform its mission for the whole Arab nation, when it does not become open in this way, this rivalry and conflict for positions will remain. History will not remember any of the names of those who are in strife if they remain at this level and are not uplifted, so as to be up to the message carried by Al-Baath.
(A speech to the branches - The Syrian Region, 3 - January 18, 1966)

After all that, how could we believe that this is the Baath Party, and that it has not been defaced and that no designs were worked out for changing it, not out of hate for the leaders but according to a devilish plan to strike at the cause of the Arab people? By dismantling this party and by abusing its past and its tradition in the struggle, the cause of the Arab people will be dealt a blow and this is the goal of imperialism.
(A speech to the branches - The Syrian Region, 3 - January 18, 1966)

It is no longer permissible for the facts to be obliterated, and for the innocent accused of the crime of the wrongdoers. What enthusiasm will remain in the combatant if he sees the evildoers in his party being honored?
(The starting point, 3 - June 1967)

The starting point in rectifying the errors of the previous stage, as it appears to me, is the same starting point for action a quarter of a century ago: a return to the real fountainhead of strength going back to the people telling them the fact candidly, making it responsible for the struggle along with the party being frank with it about the actual facts although some of them may cause some embarrassing criticism of the party.
(The starting point, 3 - June 1967)

Our party will not be able to pursue its historic role after its relapses and the national calamity which befell the Arab homeland, unless its combatants posit its cause and the cause of the Arab revolution as a matter of life and death, and unless they accept death as an ever renewed guarantee for the genuineness of the party and the gravity of its historic role in the present Arab revolution.
(The fifth of June and the chance for historic action, 3 -November, 1967)

Our party cannot exist except through attack and except through exposing its members to risks. It exposes them to danger and to everything that tests their faith and revolutionary spirit as well as their genuine ethics, it will gain members and bind them to it. Nothing like the present conditions can assist the party in deepening its experience return to its genuineness and pursue its mission.
(The fifth of June and the chance for historic action, 3 -November, 1967)

The first stage in the life of our party, i.e. the past twenty-five years, has one significance: that the Arab nation has been readied for a historic action.
(The fifth of June and the chance for historic action, 3 November 1967)

Revolution is for the happiness of man and his dignity. If man ceases to become the measure of the revolution and the link between them is lost, as the link between the means and the end is also lost, the revolution becomes distorted and it loses its meaning. The problem with the contemporary revolutions is the extremism, which gives consideration to the importance of the objective factors at the expense of the subjective factor. This is the exact opposite of the ills of the revolutions of earlier times which exaggerated in their dependence on the subjective factor without giving the objective ones their due regard.
(The fifth of June and the chance for historic action, 3 -November, 1967)

False propagandas were on the verge of obliterating the truth until the truth of the Baath shone through the crime of February 23, 1966. It was then that the people knew that the party had been fighting deviation and corruption without capitulation during the three years preceding the crime. The people also understood that the party was so strong in faith, loyal to its objectives, concerned about its ethics, to an extent that those who had the arms and the machinery of government could not find reach for a settlement and understanding with it. They found it necessary, therefore, to commit that crime in order to keep power.
(The fifth of June and the chance for historic action, 3 November 1967)

The party has emphasized, from the outside that the Baathist will not reach the profound revolutionary outlook except through the unitary stand, through viewing the nation as a whole, which includes its actual backwardness. When the unitary view becomes absent, weakened or relaxed, and when the regionalist view has the upper hand, the fierceness of the revolutionary spirit weakens and consequently, revolutionary thinking and action will be reduced and lowered.
(The distant horizons of the revolutionary action, 3 -October 14, 1968)

The Party has achieved in this region an essential thing, which inspires hope, optimism and confidence in the future. It has become an integral part of the soil of this country and the life of this people as a result of the true struggle and many sufferings sustained by you alongside the masses of the people, as a result of the numerous sacrifices, the steadfastness in the darkest of times, as a result of the practice of struggle, truthfulness, earnestness and manliness in carrying the burdens an responsibilities of the struggle and opening it to the people so that there is no longer any barrier or distinction between the Party and the people.
(The new stage is a founding stage, 3 - October 23, 1969)

But what happened in Syria, comrades, was the result of a conspiracy not rashness vanity or in efficiency. It was a plot designed to change the features of the party, which was worked out about two years before the March move, at the time of the union, when the so-called military committee was formed in Cairo by some Syrian military people who had a superficial connection with the Party.
They worked out a plan to take over the Party and after the March move, or after the military coup d’etat, which took place in Syria in March and was instrumental in the rise of Ramadan for which it paved the way and gave momentum.
(The Revolutionary Party is the image of the future of the nation, 3 - May 10, 1969)

For this reason, one of the most important requirements for the mature revolutionary leadership is this historical conception and this high spirit, this disinterestedness which insures harmony and brotherhood among the members of the leadership and projects itself on the Party, or rather, on the whole people. It shines with confidence, inspires respect and urges for sacrifice. Within its framework both the Party and the people live this genuine revolutionary experience, it is the atmosphere of disinterestedness, sacrifice and the pursuance of distant goals.
(The Palestinian question and the revolutionary solution, 3 - May 25, 1969)

We have greatly rejoiced in what you have accomplished in our struggling region (Iraq). We have been gratified by the efficiency, which you have shown in your grasp of the lessons of the past, the lessons of calamities. You have been able, to a great extent, to protect your party, its structure and its march, to protect the new experiment you have undertaken against the various ills, which befell the previous experiment. Nobody wants those ills to come back. We will not permit them to come back. Our determination in this should be tremendous and highly responsible. On it should be concentrated all our revolutionary spirit, all our faith in our nation and in its right to life. In this determination we should concentrate on the success of this experiment so that it would pursue its advance, free from the diseases of the past which should never be repeated, for we have existed and our party has existed to give self-confidence to our people, not to make them desperate, and not to show the unworthiness of the Arabs. If we relax and leave the experiment exposed to the ills and feebleness, this will happen. We have determined to make this experiment a starting point for the party and the Arab nation so that the party in this region and all the Arab regions can proceed from one victory to another and so that the Arab nation will regain its control over its affairs in the face of the imperialist onslaught. Therefore, what you have succeeded in achieving has been reached through courage, patience and indefatigable work with the people, which is always the source that purifies the souls and elevates the morals and releases the gifts.
(The Revolutionary Party is the image of the future, 3 May 1969)

The vanguard is called upon to be in the front lines and to sacrifice. The masses will gradually wake up with every step taken by this vanguard.
(The Palestinian question and the revolutionary solution, 3 - May, 1969)

If the Party gives evidence of an extraordinary vitality and a continuous capacity for renewal and revival, it is because this Party is connected to the conscience of the Arab nation, from which it derives this power for rising, renewal and steadfastness, as it does from its sufferings, from its aims and from its obvious rights.
(The working class is the hope of the future, 3 - May 28, 1969)

We do not have yet the deadly weapons and inventions that imperialism possesses but we have the faith, we have the great number, we have the large and rich homeland, we have the spirit of sacrifice and the virtues which are not possessed by countries which live on the exploitation of the weak peoples. We have a faith that is moved by the feeling of injustice, the feeling of our clear and certain right. We have the great number as we have this people which has been deprived and stifled but has started to remove its fetters and now feels, for the first time its strength, its capacity and its human forces.
(Palestine is the essence of the Arab cause, 3. May 30, 1969)

Among the ills of the previous period, of the years proceeding the June war, were exclusiveness, vanity and a kind of narrowness and fanaticism which deluded the regimes and the parties into believing that any one of them was capable of running the whole earth and governing the world; of making decisions without anyone’s participation, and by antagonizing all. The War and the relapse gave the profound lesson: the revolutionary action should not mean monopoly and exclusivity.
(The role of the working class in the Arab revolution, 3 -November, 1969)

The Party found itself, thereafter, faced with two choices or two ways and nothing more: either rule or be overcome and conquered; either be oppressor or oppressed. By oppressor is meant that it had to shoulder responsibilities and burdens which exceeded its capacity and its readiness and made it liable to inconsistency and laceration.
(The road to unity passes through Palestine, 3 - July 1970)

There is no harm if the revolutionary movement has shortcomings and ills if it is determined to rectify its advance and to be delivered from its ills. The revolutionary movement is in the last analysis part of the potentialities, conditions and circumstances of this people, which are our people. The people will recognize this by their healthy and spontaneous intuition if the movement becomes open to it, shares with them its advance and destiny and makes them bear their share of the responsibility for not only supporting and aiding the movements but also for participating in rectifying it and curing its ills.
(The masses are the guarantee, 3 - October 1970)

Confidence and dignity are the most valuable things for the combatant. For he has accepted to expose himself to various risks and live the life of struggle. The urge and driving force of his life come only from moral values. The greatest calamity, which may befall a revolutionary movement and destroy it, is the loss of this spirit, the spirit of moral values, which are confidence, love and dignity.
(The Baath before its experiences and its great tasks, 3 -February, 1970)

Let us take the Party out of rooms and halls. Let us take its principles, ideas, organizations, studies, plans, projects, enthusiasms, faith, and drives out of this narrow framework which gathers together a handful in leadership and conferences, and implant the party in the wide Arab soil and among the toiling masses. Let us sow the seeds and cultivate them daily.
(The Baath before its experiences and its great tasks, 3 -March, 1970)

Our Party in Iraq has always been distinguished by its perseverance, by its strong will power, and by its serious and profound understanding of its national responsibilities. In spite of all the dark periods the party and the country passed through in spite of the relapses no interruption took place, there was no halt. There were always some people to take over the responsibility. The party lost some persons but it was soon able to regain its popular impact and to increase in number because the feeling of responsibility has always been the urge in this party. I find it appropriate to mention this great merit of the party because I know its history and am myself following up its struggle.
(The comprehensiveness of the Baath idea is a daily living needs, 7 - June 21, 1974)

In those circumstances coups d’Etat took place, which resulted in the participation of our party in the government without having effective control of the rule. Its flame was being exploited, its credit used while the leadership was for the others. The Party kept desperately resisting but the conspirators and the suspects had the upper hand. But we considered that relapse had two facets, the positive and valuable for it saved the party from confusion. It is true that after February 23 the Party was persecuted and overcome, and many of its combatants were put in prison, where they suffered beyond endurance. But one event was capable of balancing up all those sufferings and negative aspects. This was the clearing of the Party before the Arab masses in Syria and in all the other regions. The fact has been revealed. The rule during those years was not that of the Baath Party. The Baath Party took part in a certain way. It tested, defied and resisted corruption, resisted the process of laceration and falsification all of which were aimed at the destruction of the Party. It was a process unparalleled in the history of parties.
(The growing Arab capacity is able to stand up to the enemies, 7 - A speech to the Syrian comrades in Baghdad -June 23, 1974)

We must express our faith in our nation, in our Party and in our revolution by determination by increased activity, sacrifice, and effort and by envisaging life as a continuous attack. The mentality of defense does not suit the mentality of revolution: continuous attack means initiative, it means that man surpasses himself by exerting his utmost efforts. It means that we always explore new areas to exploit for the enrichment of this revolution, the revolution of the Party. To increase the power of this revolution and its invincibility we must increase the power of this revolution and its invincibility; we must give it light, a light that can later illuminate the whole Arab land and construct this experiment.
(The experiment of the Baath in Iraq is a starting point for the Arab revolution, 7 - June 24. – 1974)

Yes, it is an extraordinary experience, that of the Party in Iraq. It is the experience of the Party, which is not going to be surpassed. Not because we have reached all our aims for we are at the beginning of the road. But this genuine beginning is the only one, which will take us to the victorious end. Some minutes ago I said to our dear comrade Saddam that the idea of the Party was from the start a rigorous idea that required a rigorous revolutionary standard as you know from the writings in the early life of the Party. I told him that the conditions of Syria where the Party emerged were not of the same degree of difficulty and cruelty. It was natural that Arabic Iraq, with its tragic and cruel conditions, to be the starting point for a serious realization of this idea.
(The experiment of the Baath in Iraq is a starting point for the Arab revolution, 7 - A speech to the advanced cadres of the Arab Baath Socialist Party in Baghdad - June 24, 1974)


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