The constant struggle to promote interests has cultivated the creation of the Baath Party. By incorporating the proper ideals prescribed by the founders and promoting efficient measures to address these issues, the Baath party became a dominant force both in local and international politics. History Tracing the history of the party can be dated back from the early 1940’s. Its primary location of founding was in Damascus wherein the fundamental beliefs were grounded on the idea of socialism.
“The Ba’ath Party is a pan-Arab organisation formed in 1947 at a founding congress in Damascus. ” (Issues Briefs, 2007, p. 1) “The three major proponents of early Baathist thought, Zaki al-Arsuzi, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, and Michel Aflaq, were middle-class educators whose political thought had been influenced by Western education. ” (The Syrian Encyclopedia, p. 1) The political ideals promulgated by the party then spread into the areas of Syria and expanded in other Arab countries. The history of Baathist’s party in Syria can be described as a constant struggle for power.
It all started in 1958. “In 1958—with one of its founders, Salah al-Din Bitar, as foreign minister—it led Syria into the ill-fated United Arab Republic (UAR) with Egypt. ” (Infoplease, 2005, p. 1) The next stage of its rise was during the successful coup attempt by the members of the party. “In 1963 a military coup restored the Ba’ath to power in Syria, and it embarked on a course of large-scale nationalization. ” (Infoplease, 2005, p. 1) Another military takeover again prompted the revitalized ideologies of the Ba’ath party during the 70’s.
“Despite constant maneuvering and government changes, the two factions remained in an uneasy coalition of power until 1970, when, in another coup, Assad succeeded in ousting Atassi as prime minister. ” (Infoplease, 2005, p. 1) The next section will present the historical foundation of the party in Iraqi politics. The founding of the party in Iraq can be attributed to three men who formed the Ba’ath party. “The three men, Fayiz Ismail, Wasfi al-Ghanim and Sulayman al-Eisa – returned to Syria and joined political scientist Zaki al-Arsoozi, who was intent on founding al-Baath (renaissance) party.
” (Aljazeera. net, 2005, p. 1) The formal establishment of the party in Iraq came into force during 1949. “Upon their return to Baghdad in 1949, they established the Iraqi Baath Party. ” Their efforts never became unnoticed for they were recognized by the grand party in Syria. “The party membership grew steadily from just 50 members in 1951 until they gained recognition by the Baath National Leadership in Damascus. ” (Aljazeera. net, 2005, p. 1) Ideologies The Ba’ath party’s ideology revolves around the promotion of Arab nationalism.
“Articulated as the principle of Arab nationalism, the Baath movement was one of several political groups that drew legitimacy from an essentially reactive ideology. ” (The Syrian Encyclopedia, p. 1) Their principles are deeply rooted on Arab ideals and political stratification and cooperation. “The Baath party embraced the principles of “unity, freedom, and socialism. ” (Aljazeera. net, 2005, p. 1) “From its earliest development, the motivation behind Baathist political thought and its leading supporters was the need to produce a means of reasserting the Arab spirit in the face of foreign domination.
” (Iraqi News, 2003, p. 1) In addition, the party seeks to revitalize Arab ideals and foster a deeper invigoration of principles within the community. “Arabs needed a regeneration of the common heritage of people in the region to drive off debilitating external influences. ” (Iraqi News, 2003, p. 1) With these, the party started to create mechanisms and practices to synchronize each party’s goals in every state. “In early 1988, the Baath Party began calling for parallelism between regional (qutri) and national (qawmi) goals. ” (Aljazeera.
net, 2005, p. 1) Scope and Influences in other Countries It has been mentioned on the previous section that Baathist principles have also paved the way for its expansion to other Arab states. The Ba’ath party refers this as national branches. One example of its national branch is in Jordan. “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. ” (Encyclopedia of the Orient, 2007, p. 1) Another national branch was in Lebanon.
“The Arab Ba’th Party was established in 1948, but in the following year, when international parties were banned, their freedom was limited. ” (Encyclopedia of the Orient, 2007, p. 1) Notable successes were highlighted in this country. “Lebanon was used for the Ba’th Party’s congresses in 1959 and 1968. ” (Encyclopedia of the Orient, 2007, p. 1) Other national branches include of North Yemen and South Yemen. Conclusion The Ba’ath party has a long and rich history which can be attributed to a mixture of failures and successes in Arab politics.
As continuous developments occur both in the local and international arena, the Ba’ath party shall continue to exhibit and promote its ideologies that will enhance and protect the interests of the Arab countries both locally and internationally. It is through these objectives that they continue to have a firm grip and hold in local politics in the Arab countries. References Aljazeera. net (2005) ‘The Iraqi Baath Party’ in Aljazeera. [online] Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://english. aljazeera. net/English/archive/archive? ArchiveId=60 Encyclopedia of the Orient. (2007) Ba’ath Socialist Party’ in Encyclopeadia of the Orient.
Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://i-cias. com/e. o/baath. htm Infoplease. (2005) Ba’ath Party. Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://www. infoplease. com/ce6/history/A0805601. html Iraqi News. (2003) Al-Baath Party. [on-line] Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://www. iraqinews. com/party_baath_party. shtml Issues Briefs. (2007) History of the Ba’ath Party. Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://issuesbriefs. nationalforum. com. au/war-in-iraq/baath. html The Syrian Encyclopedia. Baath Party. Retrieved December 18, 2007 from http://www. damascus-online. com/se/hist/baath_party. htm
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