Skip to comments.Socialists Support Socialists: Iraq & Saddam Hussein Are Members of Ba'ath Socialist Party
Posted on 09/27/2002 5:52:44 AM PDT by xzins
The basic principles of the Ba'th Party were unity and freedom inside an Arab nation. The party also based itself on the belief that Arabs had a special mission to end Western colonialism.
The Ba'th Party was nationalistic, populistic, socialistic and revolutionary. Its socialism was not communism but did involve land reform, public ownership of natural resources, transport, large-scale industry and financial institutions.
It did allow workers and peasants to form trade unions, and that workers should be allowed into the management of the companies they worked for. Still the socialism of the Ba'th party allowed some private ownership.
Central to their ideology was also their tendency to ignore class divisions, as well as divisions between different religious groups. This allowed many from minorities to gain political by joining the Ba'th Party.
Central to the original program of the Ba'th Party was freedom of speech and association, even if the governments of Syria and Iraq has allowed little of this.
National branches: IRAQ
This branch was established in secret in 1950. From 1955 it started to cooperate with other nationalist groups. But it was first in February 1963 that they had grown strong enough to take control over Iraq. This only lasted for a short period, until November, when a prime minister outside the Ba'th became prime minister.
Thanks to an initial cooperation with military officers, the Ba'th were able to take full control over Iraq in 1968.
This became the beginning of a process where the party and state in many important areas would became the same. This applied to the government, the armed forces, the police and the intelligence.
In the 1980s the socialism was watered out, and much encouragement was given to the private sector. Also, the Arab nationalism was replaced with Iraqi nationalism.
National branches: JORDAN
This branch was founded in 1948, originating from the Arab Ba'th Party. It was with the annexation of the West Bank (with its large Palestinian population) that the Ba'th Party really grew strong in the country's nationalist-leftist alliance. This alliance became the strongest in the parliament after the elections of 1956.
The members of the Jordanian Ba'th Party were the educated in the cities, and they had strong support from students.
In the period 1958- 61 the Ba'th Party was active in working against the monarchy of Jordan, and did this with economical aid from Syria.
As the West Bank was occupied by Israel in 1967, the Ba'th Party of Jordan was strongly weakened, and has never recovered from this.
National branches: LEBANON
The Arab Ba'th Party was established in 1948, but their political freedom was limited the year after, when international parties were banned. This situation lasted until 1958.
Lebanon was used for the Ba'th Party's congresses in 1959 and 1968.
During the Lebanese Civil War from 1975, the Ba'th Party could establish their own militia with economical support from Syria. The Ba'th Party joined a unitary group of several parties in 1987. This group later became central in forming a unitary government in Lebanon, where central leaders from the Ba'th Party were given posts.
National branches: NORTH YEMEN
This branch of the Ba'th Party was established in 1955/6, but started to become an important group first after the end of the Yemeni civil war in 1970. The party never entered any office, and was in 1976 merged with other parties to form the National Democratic Front.
National branches: SOUTH YEMEN
Similar to North Yemen, the local branch in South Yemen of the Ba'th Party, was set up in 1955/6. It could operate freely from 1967, following the independence of South Yemen.
But with the introduction of a one-party system in 1978, the Ba'th Party was forced to be dissolved.
National branches: SYRIA
This local branch of the Ba'th Party is a direct continuation of the original movement, which was first established in Syria. The party was suppressed from 1958 till 1961, during the union between Syria and Egypt, the United Arab Republic.
In 1963 the Ba'th Party took over the power in Syria. But the same year the party also split into two fractions, an anti-Marxist civilian part, and a military part. The latter was led by Salah Jadid. In 1966 tensions grew stronger, and Jadid's group made Michel Aflaq, the leader of the civilian group, go into exile.
In 1970 a 2 week party congress tried to solve a conflict between Jadid and Hafez al-Assad, but did not succeed. Soon after Assad had Jadid removed from his position, and put in jail. Following this, Assad took more and more control over the party.
At certain periods there was much dissent with his political line, but in 1979 Assad removed opponents from important positions.
1930s: Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din Bitar and Zaki Arsuzi travels around Syria to promote an ideology of Arab nationalism.
1943: The Arab Ba'th Party is formed in Damascus by Aflaq and Bitar.
1946: After the French left Syria, Aflaq and Bitar manages to get a licence for their political group. Later they merge it with the political movement led by Arsuzi.
1947 April 7: At the first party congress in Damascus, the party is officially founded, a constitution is approved and an executive committee is formed.
1954 March: The Arab Ba'th Socialist Party is formed after a merger with the Arab Socialist Party.
1966: A split in the Syrian party, makes many of its members to establish a second Ba'th Party in Beirut, Lebanon.
1968 July: The breakaway branch of Ba'th moves to Baghdad, following the coup in Iraq.
In particular, Iraq and Saddam Hussein are integral parts of the Ba'ath Party, a regional socialist party. Iraq is practicing a form of national socialism at the moment under Saddam Hussein (as is Syria.)
National socialism last gained prominence in Germany.
Not to worry. InterNational socialism is on the way.