Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Syrian Michel Aflaq. This image of original painting was posted on Wikipedia under subject of 1950s Syrian Ba'athis, or Aflaq and Bitar. Original art composed by Sconosciuto, made in Iraq about 1954. This work is likely still considered under the legal protection of 2010 Iraq.

Lurene's email in 2014:

MAY 14, 1990

Syria – lecture
May 14, 1990

1954 – 58 – Second democratic era.

Ba’athists had their problems with the communists, and the Western powers. 1956 they joined the Syrian government. Only to push an Egyptian-Syrian coalition, though.

(Books on Ba’athists: Abu Jaber, John Devlin)

This was to legitimize the Ba’athists, in fact

19th Ce. Romantic liberalism, socialist and fascist ideas; eclectic mixture in Ba’athist party. Humanitarian nationalism. Contradictions in ideology. State ownership –vs- small capitalism. Democracy –vs- strong leadership. Aflaq and Bitar were not leaders, really, but theorists. When Syria-Egypt talks on UAR commenced, Army officers sympathetic to Ba’ath went, not actual Ba’athists.

Ba’athists were secular, but had non-Sunni sectarian support. Many still see it as an anti-Sunni party.

Free elections of 1954: Syria was never in a position to make foreign policy decisions because no agreements in Syria between political parties. Not before 1958, anyway.

First Prime Minister 1954: Sabri al-Asakli – joined the nat. block in 56. with Vichy. In 1943 elected to Syrian Parliament. Kept close, secret relations with Hashemite Iraq (which means the Lebanese press published it!) Also, with Egypt and Saudi – the enemies of Hashemite Iraq! Could form any coalition he wished. Did so, in fact. Between National Bloc, people’s party, this was a “status Quo” arrangement.

Why no meaningful Syrian Union with other Arab nations:

1) Syrians can’t give up claim to Arabism, Arab-Unity still.
2) Till 1966, every Syrian politician benefited from meddlers. No more bribes or easy money.

More personal, regional politics than anything during this period in Syria. Much fermentation in Army. Oct., 1956 – first Syrian-Soviet Armistice, under al-Quwatli.

Dec. 56 – peoples party leave govt. leaves National Bloc and Ba’athists. Communist supported this union from sidelines.

Abd al-Hamid Sarraj – intelligence chief in Syrian military

Afif al-Bizri – Supporter of Communists.

Army in process of sympathizing with Ba’athists.


MAY 16, WED.

1956 – Syria was in a catch. On one hand, Army officers though Western powers would meddle in Coup scenarios. Or, afraid of military attack from mid-east country BACKED by West.

Also thought Communists in Syria would get upper hand, or Soviets would do it.

Ba’athists saw this paranoia in Army and wanted to take advantage for their own use. Needed an outside force. Could only be Egypt.

No politician correctly read the intentions of Nasser. Each legitimate regime had to be…

1) Sunni
2) Arab (excludes Iran, Turkey)
3) Republic, socialist
4) Non-Aligned

…to qualify as a cooperative force with Egypt.

Syria Paper:

Was there a coalition between Iran and Syria and reasons WHY?

Why did Syria prefer a non-Arab ally?

Try to find Circumstantial evidence, informal treaty.

Planes over Iraq
Syrian border

1. Read 5 or 6 sources on war
2. Based

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