Background: Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party in Iraq

Despite the lies and disinformation circulated in the Western press, Iraq is not run by a military dictatorship but by a progressive Arab nationalist government headed by Saddam Hussein, a lawyer by profession. Iraq has a national parliament which is responsible for the day to day functioning of the State and a constitutional framework that places supreme responsibility in the office of the President of the Republic.

In 1958 General Abdul Karim Qasim overthrew the British-imposed Iraqi monarchy, and executed the royal family. A coup deposed Qasim in 1963, and triggered a series of developments which eventually led to the 1968 seizure of power by the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party, the Party of Saddam Hussein.

The word Ba'ath in Arabic means 'Resurgence' or 'Rebirth' and as the name implies the Party's goal is to reawaken Arab culture, national unity and independence.

While Western civilisation languished during the Dark Ages, the Arab World in contrast became the world centre for science and technology. Many Western historical scholars believe that the civilisation centred in Baghdad from the 9th to the 11th century played a critical role in human development and history. It concentrated and saved from extinction mathematical and scientific knowledge from the ancient classical civilisations of Egypt and Greece. The European Renaissance would not have occurred had not this body of knowledge been saved by Arab civilisation. Without the great contribution of Arab civilisation, Europe would never have emerged from the Dark Ages and Western civilisation would never have developed.

The Ba'ath Party began as a political movement in Syria in the 1930s under Michel Aflaq, a Christian from Damascus. Aflaq, who had studied in Paris, developed progressive Arab nationalism articulated in the Ba'ath Party slogan Unity, Freedom and Socialism, which was far more radical than that of the liberal nationalists. Possessing a clear intellect Aflaq became the leading ideologue of Arab unity popularising the concept: "One Arab Nation with an eternal mission."

The Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party, which is organised throughout the Arab homeland, established an alliance of students, workers, peasants and soldiers around a coherent revolutionary program. Imperialist domination of the Arab Nation could only be defeated by unity of the people.

Since July 1968, the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party has led the revolutionary transformation in Iraq. Under the Ba'ath Party Iraq has made great economic, technological and social progress, making it an example to all the Arab world. One of the most important and far reaching results of the Ba'ath coming to power in Iraq was the permanent nationalisation of the Western owned and controlled oil in 1972, to the great outrage of Britain and the United States, and the triggering of similar nationalisation drives throughout the region.

Iraq's nationalisation of oil put the world's second largest reserves under the control of a secular, progressive nationalist state committed to modernisation. By 1979, Iraq, a nation of 17 million people, had $9 billion in cash reserves, and annual export earnings of $6.3 billion. Unlike such British puppet states as Kuwait, which poured their vast revenues into London real-estate investment and stockmarket speculation, Iraq used its vast oil reserves to finance a massive infrastructure program to develop the country. This ambitious program was only curtailed by the triggering of the highly destructive Iran-Iraq war.

After more than seven years of barbaric UN sanctions on Iraq, the Anglo-American-Zionist powers are still committed to the 'containment' and eventual 'annihilation' of any progressive nationalist regime which may emerge in the so-called Third World.