Ba'th is failure because it was run by a bunch of foolios and it was basically "Islam continued". It might as well be it's own religion. It says that Christianity is good, Islam is better (because it is more "ARab") and the Ba'th is best because it supposedly unites both (ie all the ARabs).
I agree, and there is a pattern of failure for regimes that adopts this nationalism agenda that was started by Nasser. You cannot replace the country's own identity with another one, this is recipe for complete destruction of a nation. The EU has many members, and they are most successful in taking unity steps, yet Germans have not abondoned their heritage nor are they less proud of its glorious moments, nor did the French or the British.
Before Nasser, we were doing fine. Under occupation, but by far better than the rule of Nasser, Saddat,.... . There was a sense of loving the country, that you do not find now.
Compare to UAE for example, that has totally abondoned the arabic nationalism crap (and they are the original arab) and they opened to the West. Compare to Syria, Egypt, Jordon (before th shift of the 90's), Iraq, .... .
It (Ba'th) is very racist and I can tell you from growing up around Ba'thists that they are racist in most definitions.
This is rooted in Islam and in the arabic mentality since childhood, like you brilliantly showed. It is not only Ba'th, it was the scheme of Nasser's regime (before he learnt to fear St.Pope Kyrollos). There is no explanation for the hatred of Jews in uncompromising terms, if it was not a religious duty to hate them. I understand the issues they might have with israel, but not the Jews. When a religious book mentions that the Jews are the grandchildren of Pigs and Monkeys, it cannot get more racist.
Remember the famous "3eloug" expression used by the former Iraqi media minister (Sa7af) ? This is an expression used by Arab muslims and Ottmans alike, referring to the occupied places original population. For an arab muslim, upon their invasion of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, lebanon, working in the field or working in a handcraft is an insult to his manhood, for they lived in the desert on invading neighboring tribes. "3elog" was invented by them, and it means a smelly pig, to describe the original inhabitants of these countries.
Granted, every nation went through a period of racism when it was in its ultimate grasp of power. Romans called others Barabrians, and maybe did Greeks, and so did any nation, but not anymore. This racism culture is fought in these countries, ironically to the benefit of arabs and muslims. Yet it still lives in the minds of the muslims and many arabs. Ever heard how the Saudi, Kwaities, Qataris, Baheranian refer to Africans ? A very denegrative word that cannot go unchecked. Ever heard the word " Masechut" ( disfigured by divine command) in reference of the far asians ?These words are popular in the Penninsula.
I agree that many Arab nationalists equate Islam and Arab and I am fully aware of this and I have seen it many times in reading and experience (espeically in Algeria) but my friends who are also Arab (and Christian and Muslim at that) when I came to the US first asked me if I was Arab and I said yes and they did not mean Muslim.
This is a very special case, I must note. I have been under the impression that Syria is not big on religion, but on nationalism. Lebanon (the old Lebanon that was a paradise) was very loose of religion until the Palestinians and Hezballah sabotaged the South.
In Syria I was always treated as anybody else would have been (though that is hard to say because I have never been anybody else) and I am proud to be Syrian and to be Arab a
And one should be always proud of what he thinks is his heritage. That is clear and in fact encouraged. Yet all the different ethnic groups (including Copts) need to examine their history and to present it in truth, and study the present to know where they went wrong. Definitely, the arabic region cannot claim these times as its best, and the reason is the continuous state of denial of mistakes, history unpleasant facts, ..... .
Islam usually doesn't let people make progress. But I still do not believe that because a lot of people think Islam and Arab are not separable that this makes me not Arab. It is against everything I have experienced and lived.
Let me clarify so that no misunderstanding would arise. Arabs, as a race, are as any other race, with the same distribution of good and evil, intelligence and lack of it, and so on
. Any other statement is racist.
I also totally appreciate the syrain civilization of old times and the great heritage in this place.
However, it is also a fact, that all arabs (minus you and your family and a number of converts that are on the rise) are muslims. As you mentioned, Islam is an ideological system that stops progress because it stops thinking and questioning. If you cannot question what you believer in, and you go in vicious circles to prove the obviously wrong in islamic doctrines, how would you expect any progress in any field ? When the islamic domination was somewhat supressed, or neglected, between 1880 and 1952, many arabic countries made very large steps. I will refer to Egypt again. We had democracy since 1922, for the most part, a Parliment, great economy, and moreover, active and responsible youth who were absorbed in the political process. We had also relative religious freedom, relative to the ages of martyrdom at least.
When the same arabic nations revivedd Islamic fundamenstalism, and arabic nationalism which in my opinion (and I respectfully disagree with you) is an islamic idea in nature to revive the Khalifates and bring back the glory of Islam, they went into the pathetic state they are in today. So we are discussing the effect of Islam on arabic culture, which would be the same effect on other non-arab nations with time. We are not discussing the short comings of arabs becuase of their race.
This is sad and I think you are correct as 'Arab unity" is not possible and serves only the interests of fat cats (look at Syria ruining LEbanon right now) now
The presence of Syria in Lebanon reminds me of the presence of Egypt in Yemen 1962-68. An invitation for disaster. I cannot understand the logic behind it nor can I understand the mob and gang mentality that still dominates the arabic government attitude. I must question the intelligence of such regimes to invite trouble when it is already sinking. This is nothing short of Lybia in the 70's and 80's ( although I find Khadafi amusing and comic) and Nasser in the 60's. This complete detachment from reality.
It is idealistic and unrealistic
What is idealistic in ruining the Lebanon we all loved ? It is pure evil. i do not like Hariri, for he was nothing but a traitor and a dog on a leash for Saudis and he tried to islamize Lebanon, but there is nothing ideal about the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Please note that I would find the same faults at Egyptian policies as well, so it is not an attack on your nation.
It hurts Syria too, we spend too much money on keeping troops there.
Since 1948, we had to spend for the sake of others, and sometimes for no reason, without any benefit, only destruction. While many Israel's policies are opposed by me and by many, I still think there was no need to enter into a war we were not a part of in 1948. Egypt and Syria are the only countries that ever fought for the palestinian cause, and it did not even grant us a "thank you" note from arabs. Evenr heard the famous phrase :
'' Arabs fight till the last egyptian or syrian soldier". This is the direct fruit of arab nationalism, entering in wars we could have stayed away from.
I think that it is obvious that Arab nationalism went off coarse in most countries and made trouble.
- I believe it was always big words empty of any content. What real steps were taken for arabic nationalism dream except some songs, festivals, changing history books,.... ? Even the attempt of unity between Egyot and Syria in 1958 fell in three years, for both countries proved to have different natures. In a pathetic move, the name "Masr - Egypt" was dropped :'( and we were named thereafter "ARABIC UNITED REPUBLIC".
- When was there ever any unity between the arabic or islamic nations , a unity based on will of nations and not based on swords and wars ? The islamic/arabic empires of old were not confederate states like the US , for example, they were submitted into the EMpire by the sword. Whenever these nations could escape under a powerful Ameer (prince) or Sultan they did, like the Fatimites, Tolonites, Ekshedis, Mamloks, Ayoobyess (Family of Salah El-Din), Saljoki, Barahemas", .....
- Unity need compromise, and I doubt muslims compromise. Take the example of the civil war in Afghanistan after the expuslion of the Soviets. The TAKE ALL mentality prevailed, tribes killed each other because they would have all the 100 % of the pie and give nothing away.