The Syrian Enigma: What Is the Baath?
A few weeks before the Israeli-Arab conflict last June, an uncharitable commentator compared the Baath to Samson. Blinded and weakened like the Biblical hero, he wrote, the party in power in Syria was doing its best to pull down the pillars of the temple which would kill it. Samson did not fail in his suicide. He also succeeded in burying his enemy the Philistines. The Baath, however, by no means destroyed the Israelis and their imperialist allies; on the other hand, it emerged very much alive from the ruins of military defeat.
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