reply to post by stirling
Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath Party student cell, Cairo, in the period 1959–63.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي Hizb Al-Ba'ath Al-'Arabi Al-Ishtiraki) was a
political party founded in Syria by Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar and associates of Zaki al-Arsuzi. The party espoused Ba'athism, an ideology
mixing Arab nationalist, pan-Arabism, Arab socialist and anti-imperialist interests. Ba'athism calls for the renaissance or resurrection and
unification of the Arab world into a single state. Its motto—"Unity, Liberty, Socialism" (wahda, hurriya, ishtirakiya)—refers to Arab unity, and
freedom from non-Arab control and interference.
The party was founded by the merger of the Arab Ba'ath Movement, led by Aflaq and al-Bitar, and the Arab Ba'ath, led by al-Arsuzi, on 7 April 1947
as the Arab Ba'ath Party. The party quickly established branches in other Arab countries, although it would only hold power in Iraq and Syria. The
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was merged with the Arab Socialist Party led by Akram al-Hawrani in 1952 to form the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. The
newly-formed party was a relative success, and became the second-largest party in the Syrian parliament in the 1954 parliamentary election. This,
coupled with the increasing strength of the Syrian Communist Party, led to the establishment of the United Arab Republic (UAR), a union of Egypt and
Syria. The union would prove unsuccessful, and a Syrian coup in 1961 dissolved the union.
Following the break-up of the UAR, the Ba'ath Party was reconstituted. However, during the UAR, military activists had established the Military
Committee to take control of the Ba'ath Party from civilian hands. In the meantime, in Iraq the Ba'ath Party had orchestrated and led the Ramadan
Revolution and came to power, only to lose power a couple of months later. The Military Committee, with Aflaq's consent, took power in the 8 March
Revolution of 1963. A power struggle quickly developed between the civilian faction led by Aflaq, al-Bitar and Munif al-Razzaz and the Military
Committee led by Salah Jadid and Hafez al-Assad. As relations between the two factions became worse, the Military Committee initiated the 1966 Syrian
coup d'état which ousted the National Command led by al-Razzaz, Aflaq and their supporters. The 1966 coup split the Ba'ath Party between the
Iraqi-led Ba'ath movement and the Syrian-led Ba'ath movement.
The motto "Unity, Liberty, Socialism" (Arabic: وحدة، حرية، اشتراكية Wahdah, Hurriyah, Ishtirakiyah) was inspired by the French
Jacobin political doctrine linking national unity and social equity. Unity refers to Arab unity, or Pan-Arabism; liberty emphasizes freedom from
foreign control and interference (self-determination); socialism refers to Arab socialism, rather than to European socialism or communism. The idea
that national freedom and the glory of the Arab Nation had been destroyed by Ottoman and Western imperialism was expounded in Michel Aflaq’s works
On the Way of Resurrection and The Battle for One Destiny. Aflaq is commonly considered to be the father of Ba'athism.