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The Arab Socialist Baʽath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي ' ) was a political party founded in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
by
Michel Aflaq Michel Aflaq ( ar, ميشيل عفلق‎, , 9 January 1910 – 23 June 1989) was a Syrian Syrians ( ar, سوريون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشعب السوري, ALA-LC: ''al-sha‘ab al-Sūrī''; sy ...
,
Salah al-Din al-Bitar Salah al-Din al-Bitar ( ar, صلاح الدين البيطار) (1 January 1912 – 21 July 1980) was a Syrian politician who co-founded the Ba'ath Party, Arab Ba'ath Party with Michel Aflaq in the early 1940s. As students in Paris in the ...
, and associates of
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zakī al-Arsūzī ( ar, زكي الأرسوزي; June 18992 July 1968) was a Syrian philosopher, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary critic ...
. The party espoused Baʽathism (from Arabic ''baʽth'' meaning "renaissance" or "resurrection"), which is an ideology mixing Arab nationalist,
pan-Arabism Pan-Arabism ( ar, الوحدة العربية or ) is an ideology that espouses the unification of the countries of North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is ...
, Arab socialist, and
anti-imperialist Anti-imperialism in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between ind ...
interests. Baʽathism calls for unification of the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
into a single state. Its motto, "Unity,
Liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change withou ...

Liberty
,
Socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
", refers to Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control and interference. The party was founded by the merger of the Arab Baʽath Movement, led by Aflaq and al-Bitar, and the Arab Baʽath, led by al-Arsuzi, on 7 April 1947 as the Arab Baʽath Party. The party quickly established branches in other Arab countries, although it would only hold power in
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
. The Arab Baʽath Party merged with the
Arab Socialist Movement The Arab Socialist Movement ( ar, حركة الاشتراكيين العرب , rtl=yes- ) also known as Arab Socialist Party, was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's el ...
, led by
Akram al-Hawrani Akram Al-Hourani ( ar, أَكْرَم الْحَوْرَانِي, ʾAkram al-Ḥawrānī, also transcribed El-Hourani, Howrani or Hurani) (1912 – 24 February 1996), was a Syrian politician A politician is a person active in party politics ...
, in 1952 to form the Arab Socialist Baʽath Party. The newly formed party was a relative success, and became the second-largest party in the Syrian parliament in the 1954 election. This, coupled with the increasing strength of the
Syrian Communist Party The Syrian Communist Party ( ar, الحزب الشيوعي السوري, translit=al-Ḥizb aš-Šuyūʿī as-Sūrī) was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electio ...
, led to the establishment of the
United Arab Republic The United Arab Republic (UAR; ar, الجمهورية العربية المتحدة, al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971. It was initially a political union between Re ...

United Arab Republic
(UAR), a union of Egypt and Syria. The union would prove unsuccessful, and a Syrian coup in 1961 dissolved it. Following the break-up of the UAR, the Baʽath Party was reconstituted. However, during the UAR, military activists had established the Military Committee to take control of the Baʽath Party from civilian hands. In the meantime, in Iraq, the local Baʽath Party branch had taken power by orchestrating and leading the
Ramadan Revolution The Ramadan Revolution, also referred to as the 8 February Revolution and the February 1963 coup d'état in Iraq, was a military coup by the Ba'ath Party The Arab Socialist Baʽath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراك ...
, only to lose power a couple of months later. The Military Committee, with Aflaq's consent, took power in Syria in the
8th of March Revolution 8 (eight) is the natural number In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are ''six'' coins on the table") and total order, ordering (as in "this is the ''third'' largest city in the country"). In common ...
of 1963. A power struggle quickly developed between the civilian faction led by Aflaq, al-Bitar, and
Munif al-Razzaz Munif al-Razzaz ( ar, منيف الرزاز; 19 December 1919 – 16 September 1984) was a Jordanian-Syrian physician and politician who was the second, and last, Secretary General of the National Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, having ...

Munif al-Razzaz
and the Military Committee led by
Salah Jadid Salah Jadid (1926 – 19 August 1993, ar, صلاح جديد) was a Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُ ...
and
Hafez al-Assad Hafez al-Assad ', , (6 October 1930 – 10 June 2000) was a Syrian politician and military officer who served as President of Syria from 1971 to 2000. He was also Prime Minister of Syria from 1970 to 1971, as well as regional secretary o ...
. As relations between the two factions deteriorated, the Military Committee initiated the
1966 Syrian coup d'état The 1966 Syrian coup d'état refers to events between 21 and 23 February during which the government of the Syria, Syrian Arab Republic was overthrown and replaced. The ruling National Command of the Ba'ath Party, National Command of the Ba'ath Par ...
, which ousted the National Command led by al-Razzaz, Aflaq, and their supporters. The 1966 coup split the Baʽath Party between the Iraqi-dominated Baʽath movement and the Syrian-dominated Baʽath movement.


History

The party was founded on 7 April 1947 as the Arab Ba'ath Party by
Michel Aflaq Michel Aflaq ( ar, ميشيل عفلق‎, , 9 January 1910 – 23 June 1989) was a Syrian Syrians ( ar, سوريون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشعب السوري, ALA-LC: ''al-sha‘ab al-Sūrī''; sy ...
(an Antiochian
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
),
Salah al-Din al-Bitar Salah al-Din al-Bitar ( ar, صلاح الدين البيطار) (1 January 1912 – 21 July 1980) was a Syrian politician who co-founded the Ba'ath Party, Arab Ba'ath Party with Michel Aflaq in the early 1940s. As students in Paris in the ...
(a
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
), and the followers of
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zakī al-Arsūzī ( ar, زكي الأرسوزي; June 18992 July 1968) was a Syrian philosopher, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary critic ...
(an atheist) in
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
, Syria, leading to the establishment of the Syrian Regional Branch. Other regional branches were established throughout the Arab world in the later 1940s and early 1950s, in, among others,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...
,
Yemen ) , image_map = Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a Sanaa ( ar, صَنْعَاء, ' , Yemeni Arabic: ; Old South Arabian: 𐩮 ...
and
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In ge ...
. Throughout its existence, the National Command (the body responsible for all-Arab affairs), gave most attention to Syrian affairs. The 2nd National Congress was convened in June 1954, and elected a seven-man National Command; Aflaq, Bitar, and
Akram al-Hawrani Akram Al-Hourani ( ar, أَكْرَم الْحَوْرَانِي, ʾAkram al-Ḥawrānī, also transcribed El-Hourani, Howrani or Hurani) (1912 – 24 February 1996), was a Syrian politician A politician is a person active in party politics ...
were elected and represented the Syrian Regional Branch, while Abdullah Rimawi and Abdallah Na'was were elected to represent the Jordanian Branch. The congress is notable for sanctioning the merger of the
Arab Socialist Movement The Arab Socialist Movement ( ar, حركة الاشتراكيين العرب , rtl=yes- ) also known as Arab Socialist Party, was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's el ...
and the Ba'ath Party, which took place in 1952. The Syrian Regional Branch rose to prominence in the 1940s and 1950s; in the 1954 parliamentary elections the Syrian Regional Branch won 22 seats in parliament, becoming the second largest party in the country. 90 percent of Ba'ath Party members who stood for elections were elected to parliament. The failure of the traditional parties represented by the People's Party and the National Party, strengthened the Ba'ath Party's public credibility. Through this position, the party was able to get two of its members into the cabinet; Bitar was appointed
Minister of Foreign Affairs A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawe ...
and Khalil Kallas became Minister of Economics. Its new, strengthened position, was used successfully to garner support for Syria's merger with
Gamal Abdel Nasser Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, ( ɡəˈmɑːl æbdɛl ˈnɑːsər; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East Th ...

Gamal Abdel Nasser
's Egypt, which led to the establishment of the
United Arab Republic The United Arab Republic (UAR; ar, الجمهورية العربية المتحدة, al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971. It was initially a political union between Re ...

United Arab Republic
(UAR) in 1958. On 24 June 1959,
Fuad al-Rikabi Fuad al-Rikabi (1932– 1971) was an Iraqi politician and a founder of the Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Al-Rikabi became the Secretary of Iraqi Regional Command of the Ba'ath Party in 1954 and held the post until 195 ...
, the Regional Secretary of the Iraqi Regional Branch, accused the National Command of betraying Arab nationalist principles by conspiring against the UAR. In light of these criticisms, the Ba'ath convened the 3rd National Congress (held 27 August – 1 September 1959), which was attended by delegates from "Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, South Arabia, the Gulf, Arab South, Arab Maghreb, Palestine and Party student organisations in Arab and other universities outside the
rab Rab ( dlm, Arba, la, Arba, it, Arbe, german: Arbey) is an island in Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa n ...

rab
homeland". The congress is notable for endorsing the dissolution of the Syrian Regional Branch, which had been decided by Aflaq and Bitar without inner-party consultation in 1958, and for expelling Rimawi, the Regional Secretary of the Jordanian Regional Branch. Rimawi reacted to his expulsion by forming his own party, the Arab Socialist Revolutionary Ba'ath Party, which established a rival National Command to compete with the original. The National Command responded to the problems in Iraq by appointing a Temporary Regional Command on 2 February 1960, which appointed
Talib El-Shibib Talib El-Shibib (22 March 1934 – 12 October 1997) was an Iraqi politician. Born in Babylon Province Babil Governorate or Babylon Province ( ar, محافظة بابل ''Muḥāfaẓa Bābil'') is a governorate A governorate is an administrati ...
as Regional Secretary, and on 15 June 1961 the National Command expelled Rikabi from the party. In Iraq, the Iraqi Regional Branch had supported
Abd al-Karim Qasim Abd al-Karim Qasim Muhammad Bakr al-Fadhli al-Zubaidi ( ar, عبد الكريم قاسم ' ) (21 November 1914 – 9 February 1963) was an Iraqi Army brigadier Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the c ...
's seizure of power and its ensuing abolishment of the Iraqi Monarchy. The Iraqi Ba'athists supported Qasim on the ground that they believed he would enter Iraq into the UAR, enlarging the Arab nationalist republic. However, this was proven to be a ruse, and after taking power Qasim launched an Iraq first policy. In retaliation, the Ba'ath Party tried to assassinate Qasim in February 1959, but the operation (which was led by a young
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...

Saddam Hussein
) failed. Qasim was overthrown in the
Ramadan Revolution The Ramadan Revolution, also referred to as the 8 February Revolution and the February 1963 coup d'état in Iraq, was a military coup by the Ba'ath Party The Arab Socialist Baʽath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراك ...
led by young Ba'athist officer
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr ' (1 July 1914 – 4 October 1982) was the fourth President of Iraq The president of Iraq is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), stat ...
, and rumoured to be supported by the American
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
(CIA). Declassified documents and the testimony of former CIA officers indicate there was no direct American involvement, although the CIA had been previously notified of an earlier Ba'athist coup plot in July 1962 by a high-ranking informant within the Party. The CIA official working with Archie Roosevelt Jr. on a separate plan to instigate a military coup against Qasim, and who later became the head of the CIA's operations in Iraq and Syria "from late 1968 to June 1970," has "denied any involvement in the Ba'ath Party's actions." The Iraqi Regional Branch, when it took power, was so riven by factionalism that its purported allies launched a counter-coup forcing them out of power in November 1963. The 4th National Congress, held in August 1960, criticized the leadership of Aflaq and Bitar, called for the reestablishment of the Syrian Regional Branch and deemphasized the party's commitment to Arab nationalism while emphasizing more the socialist character of the party. A year after, at the UAR's nadir in Syria, the Syrian General
Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi Abd al-Karim al-Nahlawi ( ar, عبد الكريم النحلاوي) (born 1926) is a former Syrian military officer and head of the Coup d'état, coup which ended the union of Syria and Egypt as the United Arab Republic on Sept. 28, 1961. Al-Nahlawi ...
launched a coup on 28 September 1961, which led to the reestablishment of the Syrian Arab Republic.


Rule in Syria, infighting, the 1966 coup and split: 1963–1966

The challenges of building a Ba'athist state led to considerable ideological discussion and internal struggle within the party. The Iraqi Regional Branch was increasingly dominated by Ali Salih al-Sadi, a self-described
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
. He was supported in his ideological reorientation by Hammud al-Shufi, the Regional Secretary of the Syrian Regional Branch, Yasin al-Hafiz, one of the party’s few ideological theorists, and by certain members of the secret Military Committee. The Marxist-wing gained new ground at the 6th National Congress (held in October 1963), in which the Iraqi and Syrian regional branches called for the establishment of "socialist planning", "
collective farms Collective farming and communal farming are various types of "agricultural production in which multiple farmers run their holdings as a joint enterprise". There are two broad types of communal farms: Agricultural cooperatives, in which member-own ...
run by peasants", "workers' democratic control of the means of production", and other demands reflecting a certain emulation of Soviet-style socialism. Aflaq, angry at this transformation of his party, retained a nominal leadership role, but the National Command as a whole came under the control of the radicals. In 1963 the Ba'ath Party seized power, from then on the Ba'ath functioned as the only officially recognized Syrian political party, but factionalism and splintering within the party led to a succession of governments and new constitutions. On 23 February 1966, a coup d'état led by
Salah Jadid Salah Jadid (1926 – 19 August 1993, ar, صلاح جديد) was a Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُ ...
, the informal head of the Military Committee, overthrew Aflaq and the Bitar's cabinet. The coup sprung out of factional rivalry between Jadid's "regionalist" (qutri) camp, which promoted ambitions for a
Greater Syria The historic region of Syria ( ar, الـشَّـام, ash-Shām, Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία; in modern literature called Greater Syria, Syria-Palestine, or the Levant) is an area located east of the Mediterranean sea. ...
and the more traditionally pan-Arab, in power faction, called the "nationalist" (qawmi) faction. Jadid's supporters are considered more left-wing then Aflaq and his peers. Several of Jadid's opponents managed to make their escape and fled to
Beirut Beirut ( ; ar, بيروت, ) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Lebanon. , Greater Beirut has a population of 2.2 million, which makes it the List of largest cities in the Levant region by population, third-largest city in ...

Beirut
, Lebanon. Jadid moved the party in a more radical direction. Although he and his supporters had not been supporters of the victorious far-left line at the 6th Party Congress, they had now moved to adopt its positions. The moderate faction, formerly led by Aflaq and al-Bitar, were purged from the party. While it took some years, the 1966 coup resulted in the creation of two competing National Commands, one Syrian-dominated and another Iraqi-dominated. However, both in Iraq and Syria, the Regional Command became the real centre of party power, and the membership of the National Command became a largely honorary position, often the destination of figures being eased out of the leadership. A consequence of the split was that
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zakī al-Arsūzī ( ar, زكي الأرسوزي; June 18992 July 1968) was a Syrian philosopher, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary critic ...
took Aflaq's place as the official father of Ba'athist thought in the pro-Syrian Ba'ath movement, while the pro-Iraqi Ba'ath movement still considered Aflaq the ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' father of Ba'athist thought.


Organization

The organizational structure of the Ba'ath Party was created at the 2nd National Congress by amending the party's Internal Regulations (), which was approved at the party's 1st National Congress in 1947. The organizational structure ran from top to bottom, and members were forbidden to initiate contacts between groups on the same level of the organisation—all contacts had to pass through a higher command level.


National organization

The National Command was the ruling organ of the party between sessions of the National Congress, and was headed by a Secretary-General. Between National Congresses, the National Command was held accountable by the National Consultative Council (Arabic: ''al-majlis al-istishari al-quami''). The National Consultative Council was a forum made up of representatives from the party's regional branches. However, the number of National Consultative Council members were decided by the size of the regional branch. The National Congress elected the National Command, National Tribunal, the party's discipline body, and the Secretary-General, the party leader. The congress delegates determined the party's policies and procedures. Before 1954, the party was ruled by the Executive Committee, but this organ, along with others too, were replaced at the 2nd National Congress. In Ba'athist jargon "Nation" means the Arab Nation, because of that, the National Command formed the highest policy-making and coordinating council for the Ba'ath movement throughout the Arab world. The National Command had several bureaus, similar to those of the Regional Command. National Command sessions were held monthly. Of these, the National Liaisons Office was responsible for maintaining contact with the party's Regional Branches.


Regional organization

The term ''region'' reflected the Party's refusal to acknowledge them as separate nation-states. A "Region" (''quṭr''), in Ba'athist parlance, is an Arab state such as Syria, Iraq, or Lebanon. The Regional Congress, which combined all the provincial branches, was the region's highest authority and elected a Regional Command, the party leadership in a specific region, the Regional Tribunal, the body responsible for discipline inspection, and a Regional Secretary, the regional party leader. The Regional Congress is made of delegates from the provincial branches; other members attended, but as observers. The Regional Congress was responsible for evaluating the party's performance since the last Regional Congress, while at the same time formulating new policies for the next period, which lasts until the next Regional Congress is held. How long this period lasts is decided by the Regional Command. The Regional Command, similar to the Branch Command, operated through bureaus and met for weekly-sessions. Below the Regional Commands there existed branches. The Branch came above the Subbranch; it comprised at least two to five subbranches, and operated at the provincial level. The branch held a congress periodically in which it elected a Command and a Secretary (leader). The Command operated through bureaus, such as the Workers Bureau and the Bureau of the Secretariat for instance. Underneath the branch was the Subbranch, which was made up of three to five sections, "and was the lowest level of the party to hold a periodical Congress." Some subbranches were independent of central authority, and elected their own Command and secretaries, while other subbranches were incorporated into the Branches. In these cases the Subbranch Secretary is appointed by the superior Branch. A Section, which comprised two to five Divisions, functioned at the level of a large city quarter, a town, or a rural district. It elected its own Command, composed of five members, but the Subbranch appointed the Command's secretary. Below that there existed divisions. A division comprised two to seven Circles, controlled by a Division Commander. Such Ba'athist groups occurred throughout the bureaucracy and the military. They functioned as the Party’s watchdog and were an effective form of covert surveillance within a public administration. The lowest level was the circle. It was composed of three to seven members, constituted the basic organizational unit. The Military Organization was made up of branches similar to those in the Ba'ath's civilian sector. However, unlike the civilian sector the Military Organization was controlled by a separate Military Bureau, and held periodical Military Congresses. The Military Organization and the Civilian Organization converged at the Regional Congress.


Membership

There existed three types of membership categories in the Ba'ath Party; Active member (Arabic: udw ämil), Apprentice Member (Arabic: udw mutadarrib) and Supporter (Arabic: firqa). An Active member had to attend all formal meetings of his party unit, was given the right to vote in party elections, and could run for party office. In the Syrian Regional Branch a member had to spend 18 months as a Supporter to be promoted to Apprentice status, and then wait another 18 months to be promoted to Active member status.


Ideology and policy


Classical Ba'ath: 1947–1960


Arab Nation

From its very beginning, the party was a manifestation of Arab nationalist thought, with the party itself referring to itself as "The Party of Arab Unity". The pan-Arab tendencies of the party's predecessor, the
Arab Ba'ath Movement The Arab Baath Movement ( ar, حركة البعث العربي ''Ḥarakat al-Bath al-‘Arabī''), also literally translated as Arab Resurrection Movement or Arab Renaissance Movement, was the Baathism, Baathist political movement and predecessor ...
, was strengthened 1945–1947 by recruiting members from the
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zakī al-Arsūzī ( ar, زكي الأرسوزي; June 18992 July 1968) was a Syrian philosopher, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary critic ...
's Arab Ba'ath. The first article of the party's constitution stated "the Arabs form one nation. This nation has the natural right to live in a single state. s such,the Arab fatherland constitutes an indivisible political and economic unit. No Arab can live apart from the others." To express his heartfelt belief in Arab nationalism, Aflaq coined the term "one Arab nation with an eternal message" ( ar, ummah arabiyyah wahidah thatu risalah khalidah). Party ideology, and Ba'athism in general, was not based on concepts such as the purity of the Arab race or ethnic chauvinism, but on idealistic thoughts borrowed from the
enlightenment era The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link= ...
. According to Middle East expert Tabitha Petran, the basic idea of the party's ideology was;
that the Arab nation is a permanent entity in history. The Arab nation is considered, philosophically speaking, not as a social and economic formation, but as a transcendent fact inspiring different forms, one of its highest contributions taking the form of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
. It was not Islam that modeled the peoples of Arabia, the
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
, and
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, equipping them with Islamic values, especially the Arabic language and the Arabic culture, but the Arab nation which created Islam. This conception of the Arab nation implicitly advantages the Arab contribution to history. On the other hand, Arab decadence can be overcome through a purifying and spiritual action, not religious but moral."


Peasant and workers

The early Ba'ath gave little attention to the problems facing the peasants and workers. As
Hanna Batatu Hanna Batatu ( ar, حنّا بطاطو, ) (1926 in Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hiero ...
notes, "Aflaq was basically urban in outlook. The peasants never constituted an object of his special concern. In his writing there is scarcely an expression of concentrated interest in the country's husbandsmen." While peasants and issues facing them are mentioned in some of Aflaq's work, there was scarcely any depth given to them or the issues facing them. To take an example, in one instance Aflaq states "the ational struggle... can only be based on the generality of the Arabs and these will not take part in it if they are exploited." Secondly, Aflaq never had any official enmity towards the traditional
landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a ...
s. Issues such as these would only gain prominence when
Akram al-Hawrani Akram Al-Hourani ( ar, أَكْرَم الْحَوْرَانِي, ʾAkram al-Ḥawrānī, also transcribed El-Hourani, Howrani or Hurani) (1912 – 24 February 1996), was a Syrian politician A politician is a person active in party politics ...
became a leading party figure, and when the "transitional Ba'athists" took power. Of the four members in the 1st Executive Committee, Wahib al-Ghanim was the only who paid much attention to the problems of the peasants and workers, because the other members (Aflaq,
Salah al-Din al-Bitar Salah al-Din al-Bitar ( ar, صلاح الدين البيطار) (1 January 1912 – 21 July 1980) was a Syrian politician who co-founded the Ba'ath Party, Arab Ba'ath Party with Michel Aflaq in the early 1940s. As students in Paris in the ...
and Jalil al-Sayyide) had a
middle class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
upbringing and upheld middle class values. The early party organization never cultivated a deep following in rural areas. In fact, at the party's founding congress, only one peasant and one worker were present among the 217 delegates. Most of the delegates were either school teacher or students attending universities. When the
Akram al-Hawrani Akram Al-Hourani ( ar, أَكْرَم الْحَوْرَانِي, ʾAkram al-Ḥawrānī, also transcribed El-Hourani, Howrani or Hurani) (1912 – 24 February 1996), was a Syrian politician A politician is a person active in party politics ...
's
Arab Socialist Party The Arab Socialist Movement ( ar, حركة الاشتراكيين العرب , rtl=yes- ) also known as Arab Socialist Party, was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's el ...
(ASP) merged with the Ba'ath Party, the majority of ASP members of peasants origins did not join the Ba'ath Party, instead becoming personal followers of Hawrani. However, the majority of Ba'ath members were of rural upbringing. The "Transitional Ba'ath", which grew out of the dissolution of the Syrian Regional Branch in 1958 dissolution and the Military Committee, were more rural in outlook, policy and ideology.


"Unity, liberty, socialism"

The slogan "Unity, liberty, socialism" is the key tenet in Ba'athist thought. Unity stood for the creation of an independent, strong Arab Nation.
Liberty Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change withou ...

Liberty
did not mean
liberal democracy Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a L ...
, but rather freedom from colonial oppression and
freedom of speech Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philoso ...

freedom of speech
and
thought In their most common sense, the terms thought and thinking refer to conscious cognitive processes that can happen independently of sensory stimulation. Their most paradigmatic forms are judging, reasoning, concept formation, problem solving, an ...
. Aflaq believed that the Ba'ath Party, at least in theory, would rule, and guide the people, in a transitional period of time without consulting the people, however he did support intra-party democracy. The last tenet, 'socialism', did not mean socialism as it is defined in the West, but rather a unique form of
Arab socialism Arab socialism ( ar, الإشتِراكيّة العربية, Al-Ishtirākīya Al-‘Arabīya) is a political ideology based on the combination of pan-Arabism Pan-Arabism ( ar, الوحدة العربية or ) is an ideology that espouses the u ...
. According to Ba'athist thought, socialism had originated under the rule of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. The original interpretation of Arab socialism did not answer questions such as: how much state control was necessary, or economic equality; but instead focused on freeing the Arab Nation and its people from colonization and oppression in general.


Transitional Ba'ath: 1960–1964


Regionalists versus nationalists

After the failure of the
United Arab Republic The United Arab Republic (UAR; ar, الجمهورية العربية المتحدة, al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971. It was initially a political union between Re ...

United Arab Republic
(UAR), a union of Egypt and Syria, the Ba'ath Party was divided into two main factions, the Regionalists ( ar, Qutriyyun) and the Nationalists (pan-Arab) ( ar, Qawmiyyun). When the union with Egypt collapsed, the Ba'ath Party was put in a difficult position, the party still sought Arab unity, but did not oppose the UAR's dissolution and did not want to seek another union with Egypt under
Gamal Abdel Nasser Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, ( ɡəˈmɑːl æbdɛl ˈnɑːsər; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East Th ...

Gamal Abdel Nasser
's rule. However, being the unionist party that it was, the party's leaders could not state their position on this issue. The end result was that the pro-Arab nationalists within the Ba'ath Party became committed Nasserists, while the more moderate Arab nationalists founded the pro-Nasserite
Socialist Unionists The Socialist Unionist Party ( ar, حزب الوحدويين الاشتراكيين ''Al-Wahdawiyyun Al-Ishtirakiyyun'') is a leftist Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nasserist political party in Syria. The party was founded in 1962 through a split in the Ba'ath ...
party. The third group, led by people disenchanted with both Nasser and the union period, remained in the Ba'ath Party, stopped believing in the feasibility of pan-Arabism. On 21 February 1962, the National Command issued a new policy regarding the pan-Arab project by first mentioning the successes and failures of the UAR, but ending the statement by calling for the reestablishment of the UAR as a decentralized
federal union A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...

federal union
with Nasser's Egypt. Many rank-and-file members opposed this change in policy, with many members being both disenchanted with pan-Arabism and Aflaq's continued party rule. When the Syrian Regional Branch was reestablished, the majority of its members in the provinces were of communal origins–Druze, Alawi or Ismaili. The provincial party members had not been told of the Syrian Regional Branch's dissolution, which in fact broke the communication line with provincial branches and the National Command. While its true that in 1962 the Regionalists supported the slogan, adopted at the 5th National Congress, "the renewal of the union with Egypt while taking note of past mistakes", they treated such a slogan as a propaganda slogan, and not as a feasible goal.


The "Arab road to socialism"

The disillusionment felt among party members on the pan-Arab project, led to the radicalization of the party's interpretation of socialism. Yasin al-Hafiz, a former member of the
Syrian Communist Party The Syrian Communist Party ( ar, الحزب الشيوعي السوري, translit=al-Ḥizb aš-Šuyūʿī as-Sūrī) was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electio ...
, was an early frontrunner for the party's radicalization. While he didn't oppose the pan-Arab project, he wanted to turn the concept of Arab socialism into a
scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. ...
and
revolutionary socialist Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ab ...
ideology which adapted
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
to local conditions. Jamal al-Atassi, who had been a moderate socialist for most of his life, called for the renunciation of Arab socialism in 1963 and the adoption of a "virtually Marxist concept of socialism" by claiming that
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
was the moving force in society. Hammud al-Shufi became the leader of the party's Marxist faction during his short stint as Syrian Regional Secretary, literally the head of the Syrian Regional Organization. Shufi was able, due to his position as head of the Organization Bureau of the Regional Command, to recruit several Marxist or Marxist-leaning members to the top of the Syrian Regional party hierarchy. Radical socialists led by Ali Salih al-Sadi took control of the Iraqi Regional Branch in 1963, which led to the official radicalization of the party's ideology. The delegates at the 6th National Congress elected an Ideology Committee that was responsible for writing a charter about the party's ideology. The end result was the document ''Points of Departure''. The document, which was approved by the 6th National Congress, relegated Arab unity to a secondary role and gave socialism prominence. Marxist concepts were used interchangeably alongside Ba'athist ones; however, the document was reluctant in explicitly admitting that certain ideas were of Marxist origins. While the ''Points of Departure'' didn't create a break with the party's traditional ideology, it criticized the party's old guard for giving Arab unity primacy over socialism and their failure to turn Ba'athism into a comprehensive theory. While the documents says Arab unity is progressive, the reason for it being important changed. The document stated: "Arab unity is an indispensable basis for the construction of a
socialist economy Socialist economics comprises the economic theories, practices and norms of hypothetical and existing socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisi ...
." Aflaq also believed that Arab unity was only an intermediate goal, but it stood at the centre of classical Ba'athism. In the Points of Departure, despite not firmly stating it, the goal of creating a socialist society seemed to be both an immediate goal and the main goal of the party. The concept of Arab socialism, accused of being narrow-minded and nationalistic, was replaced with the "Arab road to socialism" concept. The Points of Departure criticized the classical Ba'athist view regarding
private ownership Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental Legal personality, legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity, and from Collective ownershi ...
. Classical Ba'athists supported private ownership as a way to recruit into the party many
petty bourgeois Petty may refer to: People * Bruce Petty (born 1929), Australian political satirist and cartoonist * Bryce Petty (born 1991), American football player * Dini Petty (born 1945), Canadian television and radio host * Florence Petty (1870–1948), Br ...
elements. The document called for
nationalization Nationalization (or nationalisation) is the process of transforming privately-owned asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communic ...
of the commanding heights of the economy, the slow incorporation of the petty bourgeoisie into the socialist economy and the elimination of the
national bourgeoisie
national bourgeoisie
and its allied classes. To safeguard the party from evolving into one supporting
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
, the socialist economy would be controlled by a
vanguard party In the context of the theory of Leninist revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political act ...
together with popular participation from the toiler masses.


Neo-Ba'ath: 1964–1966

Neo-Ba'athism is the dramatic changes that manifested in Ba'athist ideology from 1960 to 1964, and the Military Committee's takeover of the Syrian Regional Branch and the National Command in the period 1964 to 1966. The 6th National Congress signified the takeover of the party by an anti-militarist left, which opposed both the traditional leaders in the National Command and the pragmatists in the Military Committee. When the anti-military left called for
popular democracy : ''Not to be mistaken with Irish or Marxist-Leninist People's Democracy. For the Italian party see Popular Democracy (United Left). For the Ecuatorian party see Christian Democratic Union (Ecuador)'' Popular democracy is a notion of direct dem ...
, no involvement of the military in national politics and popular struggle, the Military Committee became concerned. By 1965 the anti-military leftists began to "spread rumors about the rightist character of the military junta ilitary Committeewithin the party and their subversive efforts to engulf it. There was not a single officer in the party who was not accused of conspiracy and reactionary tendencies." In collaboration with the National Command the Military Committee succeeded in expelling the anti-military left from the party at the 7th National Congress. The Military Committee, which now controlled the Syrian Regional Branch, took control of the Ba'ath Party in the coup of 1966. According to Middle East expert Avraham Ben-Tzur "the eo-a'th in its latest variant is a bureaucratic apparatus headed by the military, whose daily life and routine are shaped by the rigid military oppression on the home front, and oviet aid among othersmilitary aid."


Regional branches


Iraq

Fuad al-Rikabi Fuad al-Rikabi (1932– 1971) was an Iraqi politician and a founder of the Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. Al-Rikabi became the Secretary of Iraqi Regional Command of the Ba'ath Party in 1954 and held the post until 195 ...
founded the Iraqi Regional Branch in 1951 or 1952. There are those who trace the branch's founding to Abd ar Rahman ad Damin and Abd al Khaliq al Khudayri in 1947, after their return from the 1st National Congress, which was held in Syria. Another version is that the branch was established in 1948 by Rikabi and Sa'dun Hamadi, a
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
. However, Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi contend that the Regional Branch was established in the 1940s, but that it received official recognition as a Regional Branch of the Ba'ath Party in 1952 by the National Command. What is certain is that Rikabi was elected the Regional Branch's first Regional Secretary in 1952. The party initially consisted of a majority of Shia Muslims, as Rikabi recruited supporters mainly from his friends and family, but slowly became
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
dominated. The Regional Branch, and other parties of pan-Arab inclination, had difficulties in recruiting Shia members. Most Shi'ites considered pan-Arab ideology as a Sunni project, since the majority of Arabs are Sunnis. At the time of
14 July Revolution The 14 July Revolution, also known as the 1958 Iraqi coup d'état, took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُ ...
in 1958, which overthrew the
Hashemite monarchy The Hashemites ( ar, الهاشميون, al-Hāshimīyūn), also House of Hashim, are the royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/ queens, emirs/emiras, sultans/ sultanas, or raja/ rani and sometimes their extended fa ...
, the Regional Branch had 300 members. The Iraqi Regional Branch supported
Abd al-Karim Qasim Abd al-Karim Qasim Muhammad Bakr al-Fadhli al-Zubaidi ( ar, عبد الكريم قاسم ' ) (21 November 1914 – 9 February 1963) was an Iraqi Army brigadier Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the c ...
's rule on the grounds that he would seek Iraq's entry into the
United Arab Republic The United Arab Republic (UAR; ar, الجمهورية العربية المتحدة, al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971. It was initially a political union between Re ...

United Arab Republic
. Of the 16-members of Qasim's cabinet, 12 of them were Regional Branch members. After taking power, Qasim's change his position on the UAR, reverting to the old "Iraq first policy". This turn displeased the Regional Branch and other Arab nationalists groups. Because of his policy reversal, the Regional Branch gathered a group, led by
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a lis ...

Saddam Hussein
, which tried but failed to assassinate Qasim. The Regional Branch seized power in the
Ramadan Revolution The Ramadan Revolution, also referred to as the 8 February Revolution and the February 1963 coup d'état in Iraq, was a military coup by the Ba'ath Party The Arab Socialist Baʽath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراك ...
. The coup was led by leading Regional Branch member
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr ' (1 July 1914 – 4 October 1982) was the fourth President of Iraq The president of Iraq is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), stat ...
. The plotters appointed
Abdul Salam Arif ʿAbd al-Salam Mohammed ʿArif al-Jumayli ( ar, عبد السلام محمد عارف الجميلي') (21 March 1921 – 13 April 1966) was the second President of Iraq The president of Iraq is the head of state A head of state (or chi ...
, a Nasserite, to the
Presidency A presidency is an Administration (government), administration or the Executive (government), executive, the collective administrative and governmental entity that exists around an office of President (government title), president of a state or nati ...
while al-Bakr was appointed the country's Prime Minister. However, real power was in the hands of Ali Salih al-Sadi, the branch's Regional Secretary. After taking power, the Regional Branch through its militia, the National Guard, initiated what Iraqi expert Con Coughlin referred to as an "orgy of violence" against
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communist
and
left-wing Left-wing politics support social equality Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social in ...
elements. These repressive measures coupled with factionalism within the Regional Branch led to the
November 1963 Iraqi coup d'état The November 1963 Iraqi coup d'état took place between November 13 and November 18, 1963 when, following internal party divisions, pro-Nasserism, Nasserist Iraqi officers led a military coup within the Ba'ath Party. Although the coup itself was ...
by President Arif and his Nasserite supporters. Iraq expert Malik Mufti believes Aflaq may have supported Arif's coup because it weakened al-Sadi's position within the party and strengthened his own. The coup forced the branch to go underground. Because of the coup, several leading Ba'athist were jailed, such as al-Bakr and Saddam. Despite this, the Regional Branch elected al-Bakr as Regional Secretary in 1964.


Jordan

Following the party's establishment in Syria, Ba'athist ideas spread throughout the Arab world. In Jordan Ba'athist thought first spread to the East Bank in the late-1940s, most notably at universities. While the Regional Branch was not formed until 1951, several meetings took place at the universities where students and professors alike would discuss the Ba'athist thought. Despite the ideology being very popular, it took time before the actual Regional Branch was established. A group of teachers established the Regional Branch in the city by
Al-Karak Al-Karak ( ar, الكرك), known in the Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a br ...
. At the very beginning, the clinic owned by Abd al-Rahman Shuqyar was used as the branch's meeting place. Bahjat Abu Gharbiyah became the Regional Branch's first member in the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan and the Dead Sea to the east and by Israel to the south, west a ...
, and was thus resigned the responsibility of building the party's organization in the area the branch secretary in the West Bank, and was thus responsible in that area. In the West Bank, the branch was most active in the cities of
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
and
Ramallah Ramallah ( , ; ar, رام الله, , God's Height) is a Palestinians, Palestinian city in the central West Bank located north of Jerusalem at an average elevation of above sea level, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the ''de ...

Ramallah
. The 1st Regional Congress was held in 1951 in the home of Abdullah Rimawi. The congress mapped out the "future course of the party". The next year, the 2nd Regional Congress was held, this time in Abdallah Na'was' home. It elected a Regional Command and appointed Rimawi as the branch's Regional Secretary. Shugyar, Gharbiyah and Na'was agreed to serve in the Regional Branch's Central Committee. Rimawi and Na'was, his deputy, would prove effective leaders. Shortly after the 2nd Regional Congress, the branch launched a successful recruitment campaign in Jordanian and Palestinian neighbourhoods and cities. On 28 August 1956 the branch was legalized by a High Court. Both Rimawi and Na'was were elected to Parliament in the
1950 January * January 1 – The International Police Association (IPA) – the largest police organization in the world – is formed. * January 5 **United States Senate, U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver introduces a Resolution (law), resolutio ...
and 1951 elections as independents (the branch was not a legal party at the time). In the 1951 election, the branch managed to elect three members to parliament. Rimawi was able to retain his seat in parliament until the 1956 election. None of these elections can be considered democratic. Shuqyar, during the 1951 elections, was imprisoned by the authorities because his views were deemed to radical. Less than a month before the election day, the British Embassy in Amman had estimated that Shuqyar would gain an easy victory. However, because of the undemocratic nature of the election, Shuqyar was not elected. As voting patterns would prove, voters who voted for Ba'athist candidates lived in
Irbid Irbid ( ar, إِربِد), known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela (Άρβηλα in Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek), is the capital and largest city of the Irbid Governorate. It also has the second largest metropolitan population in J ...
and
Amman Amman (; ar, عَمَّان, ' ) is the capital and largest city of Jordan and the country's economic, political and cultural centre. With a population of 4,007,526, Amman is the List of largest cities in the Levant region by population, larg ...

Amman
on the East Bank, and Jerusalem and
Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ''Shechem'', ISO 259-3 ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις, Νeápolis) is a city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem (approximately by road), with a ...

Nablus
on the West Bank. Shuqyar during a government-imposed exile to Southern Jordan, used his spare time reading Marxist and
Leninist Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the Dictatorship of the proletariat#Vladimir Lenin, dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary Vanguardism ...
literature. While he never became a communist, Shuqyar began to support communist concepts. On his return from exile he tried to persuade the Regional Branch to join in an electoral front with the
Jordanian Communist Party The Jordanian Communist Party (JCP; ar, الحزب الشیوعی الاردنی, ''al-Hizb al-Shuyu'i al-Urduni'') is a communist party A communist party is a left-wing political party that seeks to realize the social and economic goals of ...
. However, the Regional Branch leaders Rimawi, Na'was, Gharbiyah and
Munif al-Razzaz Munif al-Razzaz ( ar, منيف الرزاز; 19 December 1919 – 16 September 1984) was a Jordanian-Syrian physician and politician who was the second, and last, Secretary General of the National Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, having ...
opposed such an idea, and because of it, Shuqyar left the Ba'ath Party. Rimawi and Na'was were elected to the National Command at the 2nd National Congress (held in 1952). At the 6th and 7th National Congress, the Regional Branch elected Razzaz to the National Command.


Lebanon

The Lebanese Regional Branch was formed in 1949–1950. During the existence of the UAR, the Regional Branch was split into two factions, those supporting Nasser and those opposing him. However, in April 1960, the UAR denied the Regional Branch organ ''As Sahafäh'' access into the UAR-ruled Syria. The Regional Branch was strongest in the city of
Tripoli Tripoli (; ar, طرابلس, ; ber, ⵜⵔⵢⴱⵓⵍⵙ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
. In the 1960 elections, Abd al-Majid al-Rafei was just a few votes short of being elected to parliament. However, a persistent problem for him during his election campaign was the vocal criticism of him and the Regional Branch by the
Lebanese Communist Party The Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) (abbr. PCL) is a communist party A communist party is a left-wing political party that seeks to realize the social and economic goals of communism. The term ''communist party'' was popularized by the title ...
. In Tripoli the Communists supported the candidacy of
Rashid Karami Rashid Abdul Hamid Karami (30 December 1921 – Assassinated 1 June 1987) ( ar, رشيد كرامي) was a Lebanese statesman. He is considered one of the most important political figures in Lebanon for more than 30 years, including during much ...

Rashid Karami
, to ensure themselves of a Regional Branch victory. On 17 July 1961 a group of rival Ba'athists led by Rimawi opened fire on several of the Regional Branch's members. During the UAR years, the same factional lines that developed in the Syrian Regional Branch came to the Lebanese Regional Branch. At the 4th National Congress (held in Lebanon), which was mainly attended by delegates representing Lebanon, several resolutions with a pronounced anti-Nasser tone were approved. At the same time, criticism of Aflaq and Bitar was severe, both their leadership records and their ideology were criticized. A resolution was approved, which stated that the party leaders [Aflaq, al-Bitar among others had to hastily entered into a union with Egypt, had wrongly dissolved the Syrian Regional Branch in 1958, given pan-Arabism primacy when socialism was the more important, the need to use Marxist, not Ba'athi, tools to analyze the current situation and the need for the party to strengthen their positions amongst the popular classes–the workers, peasants, artisans and shopkeepers. Because of the position of the Lebanese Regional Branch, Aflaq at the 5th National Congress invited enough Iraqi Regional Branch delegates to neutralize the Lebanese delegates. However, at the same time, the Lebanese Regional Branch opposed Hawrani and his faction. At the 6th National Congress, the Lebanese Regional Branch elected Jubrän Majdalani and Khalid al-Ali to the National Command. At the 7th National Congress the National Command in collaboration with the Military Committee either expelled or removed leftists such as those found in the Lebanese Regional Branch from leadership position, and in the most severe cases, expelled them from the party. The Lebanese Regional Branch managed to elect three members to the National Command at the 7th National Congress; Majdalani, al-Ali and Abd al-Majid Rafi.


Libya

The Regional Branch was founded in the 1950s by Amr Taher Deghayes. Ba'athism was a major political force in Libya following the establishment of the
United Arab Republic The United Arab Republic (UAR; ar, الجمهورية العربية المتحدة, al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah) was a sovereign state in the Middle East from 1958 until 1971. It was initially a political union between Re ...

United Arab Republic
. Many intellectuals were attracted to Ba'athist ideology during the later years of the Kingdom of Libya. However, with help from Nasserist propaganda, several Ba'athists changed affiliation and became Nasserists instead. The growth of these pan-Arab ideologies concerned the government, which led to the incarceration of several Nasserist and Ba'athist military officers in the early sixties. The Ba'athist were accused of working to overthrow "the political, economic and social system" of the Kingdom; the sentences ranged from everything to eight months to two years. By 1964, the Libyan Regional Branch had only managed to establish one-level below the Regional Command, the branch-level. Syrian specialist John Devlin estimated that the Libyan Regional Branch had been 50 and 150 members in 1964.


Syria

Syrian politics took a dramatic turn in 1954 when the military government of
Adib Shishakli Shishakli in military uniform Adib al-Shishakli ( ar, أديب الشيشكلي, ʾAdīb aš-Šīšaklī, 1909 – 27 September 1964) was a Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱل ...
was overthrown and the democratic system restored. The Ba'ath, now a large and popular organisation, won 15 out of 142 parliamentary seats in the Syrian election that year, becoming the second-largest party in parliament. Aside from the
Syrian Communist Party The Syrian Communist Party ( ar, الحزب الشيوعي السوري, translit=al-Ḥizb aš-Šuyūʿī as-Sūrī) was a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electio ...
(SCP), the Ba'ath Party was the only party able to organise mass protests among workers. The party was supported by the
intelligentsia The intelligentsia is a status class The German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist, who is regar ...
due to their pro-Egyptian and
anti-imperialist Anti-imperialism in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between ind ...
stance along with their advocation of social reform. The Ba'ath faced considerable competition from ideological competitors, notably the
Syrian Social Nationalist Party The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) or is a Syrian nationalist party operating in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and State of Palestine, Palestine. It advocates the establishment of a Greater Syrian nation state spanning the Fertile Cres ...

Syrian Social Nationalist Party
(SSNP), which supported the establishment of a
Greater Syria The historic region of Syria ( ar, الـشَّـام, ash-Shām, Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία; in modern literature called Greater Syria, Syria-Palestine, or the Levant) is an area located east of the Mediterranean sea. ...
. The Ba'ath Party's main adversary was the SCP, whose support for class struggle and internationalism was anathema to the Ba'ath. In addition to parliamentary-level competition, all these parties (as well as
Islamists Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or m ...
) competed in street-level activity and sought to recruit support among the military. By the end of 1957, the SCP was able to weaken the Ba'ath Party to such an extent that the Ba'ath Party drafted a bill in December that called for a union with Egypt, a move that proved to be very popular. The Ba'ath leadership dissolved the party in 1958, gambling that the illegalisation of certain parties would hurt the SCP more than it would the Ba'ath. A
military coup A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
in
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
in 1961 brought the UAR to an end. Sixteen prominent politicians signed a statement supporting the coup, among them al-Hawrani and
Salah al-Din al-Bitar Salah al-Din al-Bitar ( ar, صلاح الدين البيطار) (1 January 1912 – 21 July 1980) was a Syrian politician who co-founded the Ba'ath Party, Arab Ba'ath Party with Michel Aflaq in the early 1940s. As students in Paris in the ...
(who later retracted his signature). Following the UAR's dissolution, the Ba'ath Party was reestablished at the 1962 congress. The Military Committee did not show itself to the civilian wing of the party at this congress. During the congress, Aflaq and the Military Committee, through
Muhammad Umran Major General Muhammad Umran ( ar, محمد عمران; 1922 – 4 March 1972) was a founding member of the Military Committee of the unitary Ba'ath Party, and a leading personality in Syrian politics from the 8th of March Revolution until the ...

Muhammad Umran
, made contact for the first time; the committee asked for permission to initiate a coup d'état; Aflaq supported the conspiracy. Following the success of the
Ramadan Revolution The Ramadan Revolution, also referred to as the 8 February Revolution and the February 1963 coup d'état in Iraq, was a military coup by the Ba'ath Party The Arab Socialist Baʽath Party ( ar, حزب البعث العربي الاشتراك ...
, led by the Ba'ath Party's Iraqi Regional Branch, the Military Committee hastily convened to hatch a coup against
Nazim al-Kudsi Nazim al-Qudsi ( ar, ناظم القدسي, Nāẓim al-Qudsī or ''Nadhim Al-Kudisi''; February 14, 1906 – February 6, 1998), was a Syrian politician who served as President of Syria The president of Syria, officially the president of the Syr ...

Nazim al-Kudsi
's presidency. The 8 March Revolution proved successful, and a Ba'athist government in Syria was established. The plotters first order was to establish the
National Council for the Revolutionary Command The National Council for the Revolutionary Command (NCRC) is the twenty-man council set up to rule Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَ ...
(NCRC), consisting entirely of Ba'athists and Nasserists, and controlled by military personnel rather than civilians from the very beginning. While the Ba'ath Party had attained power, there was a problem; internal infighting. The Military Committee, which was itself a tiny minority of the already small Ba'ath Party membership, was forced to rule by force. The Ba'ath Party had only 2,500 members by mid-1963, the party lacked a popular base. Even if membership expanded, the authoritarian way of ruling it had introduced when coming to power would get worse, not better. Another problem was that the civilian wing was riven by infighting between the radical socialist and moderate faction, while the military stood more unified. Whatever the case, the Syrian Regional Command slowly amassed its powers by weakening the National Command. This all came to a head in the
1966 Syrian coup d'état The 1966 Syrian coup d'état refers to events between 21 and 23 February during which the government of the Syria, Syrian Arab Republic was overthrown and replaced. The ruling National Command of the Ba'ath Party, National Command of the Ba'ath Par ...
.


Others

Following the Ba'ath Party's founding, regional branches were established in
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regi ...

Kuwait
and
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada'') , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates ...

Saudi Arabia
. Not long after it established branches in North Yemen and
South Yemen South Yemen ( ar, اليمن الجنوبي, al-Yaman al-Janubiyy), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen ( ar, جمهورية اليمن الديمقراطية الشعبية, Jumhūriyat al-Yaman al-Dīmuqrāṭīyah al-Sha'b ...
. In
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
, a Regional Branch was established in the 1950s, but was forced underground for much of its existence. The Saudi Regional Branches elected Ali Ghannäm to represent them at the 7th National Command. While its currently unknown which side the Saudi Ba'ath took after the 1966 split, it published a newspaper, ''Sawt al-Tal‘iyya'', from 1973 to 1980. It was an ardent critic of the
Saudi royal family The House of Saud ( ar, آل سُعُود, ʾĀl Suʿūd ) is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, known as the First Saudi state (1744–1818), and ...
and
American imperialism American imperialism consists of policies aimed at extending the political, economic and cultural influence of the United States over areas beyond its boundaries. Depending on the commentator, it may include military conquest, gunboat diplomacy ...
. The majority of its members were
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
s. In late 1963, Ba'ath cells were being established in Sudan, and there were even rumours that a Ba'ath cell had been established in Egypt.


Notes


Bibliography

;Articles & journals * * ;Bibliography * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


The five volumes of Michel Aflaq’s ''On The Way Of Resurrection'' (Fi Sabil al Ba'th)


{{Authority control Arab history Arab nationalism Arab nationalist political parties Arab socialist political parties Ba'athism History of the Middle East