About Ba’athists and Syria

Since it has been looking as though someone will be going into Syria soon; and even if it isn’t us, or even if no country formally ‘goes in’, there are still currently a load of civilians protesting and being shot at with artillery by the Syrian government, various “terrorist” organizations ( or “liberators” if you are on the side of Iran…) such as Hammas and Hezbollah have been running guns into Syria; it looks like come “background” is in order.

What I already know is that the Ba’ath party was the same party as Saddan Hussein in Iraq. While the two countries occasionally “had issues” they were more in agreement than not. During the Iraq War ( I think it was the 2nd one…) there was a suspicious convoy of army trucks that bugged out to Syria at one point. Speculation has been that they contained some of the Weapons Of Mass Destruction materials that turned up missing after Baby Bush won…

Remember that we KNOW Iraq had WMD prior to the war as they were busy gassing their own Kurdish population and the definition of WMD is Chemical, Nuclear, Biological weapons. As to ‘if their WMD program included nuclear and / or biologicals’, that is less clear. But the bottom line is that Iraq shipped a load of stuff to Syria for “safe keeping”. That’s someone who’s more a soul mate than an enemy. Perhaps now we’ll find out what that was: Chemicals? Bug vials (as we know they ordered some from the USA and we cheerily shipped it over…) Or perhaps some centrifuge plans? Or maybe just a few dozen favorite wifes and a truck of gold for their maintenance. Who knows…. But back to Syria.

All through ancient history there are records of Assyria and Mesopotamia and Sumer and Babylon “going at it”. Some times they are one country. Sometimes two. And the name keeps changing. Occasionally parts of somebody or other’s empire. These folks have “history” together that goes back to about 4000 BC (that we know of…) So they’ve fought from time to time, and been fellow countrymen from time to time. Right now they are more like two cousins each dealing with a house fire and some bratty kids hanging around the house (some theirs, some the neighbors) and the guy next door ( i.e. us…) looks like he’s called the police twice and is oiling up his “Deer Rifle”…

So, first off, some generic links for folks who just want to hit ‘the usual’ and move on.

The Wiki Links:

They have a half dozen so you can focus in on different bits. I’m mostly going to just list them and paste in a few general bits about them:


The Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي Hizb Al-Ba’ath Al-‘Arabi Al-Ishtiraki‎) was a ba’athist political party mixing Arab nationalist and Arab socialist interests, opposed to Western imperialism, and calling for the renaissance or resurrection and unification of the Arab world into a single state. Ba’ath is also spelled Ba’th or Baath and means “rebirth,” “resurrection,” “restoration,” or “renaissance” (reddyah). Its motto—”Unity, Liberty, Socialism” (wahda, hurriya, ishtirakiya)—refers to Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control and interference.

A very key point to recognize here. TWO BIG MARKERS: “Nationalist” and “Socialist”.

Folks will remember that the NAZI party is the National Socialist Workers Party. Whenever you see ‘nationalist’ and ‘socialist’ in the same name, it’s usually in some way an offshoot or admirer of The German Nazis. Eventually I think folks will catch on to that, but it may take a while. So someday we may need to learn a couple of new ‘hot flags’, but for now those two keep on working.

Next notice the “restoration or renaissance” and “unification” goals. Those pretty much match the “Pan-Germanism” of the Nazis and yes, they have the same desire to “unify” others, want it or not…

The party was founded by the merger of the Arab Ba’ath Movement, led by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar, and the Arab Ba’ath, led by Zaki al-Arsuzi, on 7 April 1947 as the Arab Ba’ath Party. It has established branches in different Arab countries, although it has only ever held power in Syria and Iraq. In 1952 the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party was established by a merger of the Arab Socialist Party led by Akram al-Hawrani and the Arab Ba’ath Party. In Syria it has had a monopoly on political power since the party’s 1963 coup. Ba’athists also seized power in Iraq in 1963, but were deposed some months later. They returned to power in a 1968 coup and remained the sole party of government until the 2003 Iraq invasion. Since the invasion the party has been banned in Iraq.

OK, some names to “dig here!” on as time permits. Looking at their biographies can be illustrative. I’ve glanced at them and it’s not a nice bunch of folks. Note, too, the “when”. Just at the end of W.W.II. “This matters”. They were trying to model themselves on what they had just seen, and that was a lot of killing of Jews and a lot of ‘unification’…

Note too how they ‘got power’. “A coup”. To these folks have grabbed the State, illegally (by definition, every coup is against the laws of the country involved or they would not be a coup…) and held it since 1963. That’s 49 years. We’ll likely make 1/2 Century before is all over, or pretty close to it. This is NOT your ‘representative democracy’… and it is a “party” only in the same sense as the Nazi and Communist Parties. You have a choice of one that actually holds all the power, and it hands out favors to some, spanks others.

In 1966 a coup d’état by the military against the historical leadership of Aflaq and Bitar led the Syrian and Iraqi parties to split into rival organizations—the Qotri (or regionalist) Syria-based party and the Qawmi (or nationalist) Iraq-based party. Both retained the Ba’ath name and parallel structures within the Arab world, but hostilities between them grew to the point that the Syrian Ba’ath became the only Arab government to support Iran (a non-Arabic nation) against Iraq during the First Persian Gulf War.

So much for that “unification” thing… But at least you get to see what they did not agree on. “Who ought to be in charge”…

Then you get a load of the “political economy babble” about who’s a what. For folks not familiar with it, most of these folks are Progressive / Socialists of one kind or another. They’ve cleaned it up a bit, though, so it looks all innocent. You will find these same folks in the background of the various Fascists, Nazi, Socialists, and Communist “thinkers” of the modern world. The wiki article has live links in it. I’m not going to put my time into duplicating them all here. If you want to read articles about these folks, hit the wiki directly and click through.

The motto “Unity, Liberty, Socialism” (Arabic: وحدة، حرية، اشتراكية Wahdah, Hurriyah, Ishtirakiyah) was inspired by the French Jacobin political doctrine linking national unity and social equity. Unity refers to Arab unity, or Pan-Arabism; liberty emphasizes freedom from foreign control and interference (self-determination); socialism refers to Arab socialism, rather than to European socialism or communism. The idea that national freedom and the glory of the Arab Nation had been destroyed by Ottoman and Western imperialism was expounded in Michel Aflaq’s works On the Way of Resurrection and The Battle for One Destiny. Aflaq is commonly considered to be the father of Ba’athism.

I’ve linked Aflaq’s name to his wiki as it has a good description of how the coup came to be, and how his ideas got turned against him. Somehow that always seems to happen with Socialisms. They start out all sweetness and nice, and then the folks who lust for power take them over. What changes is ‘how long’. In this case it started from an already cranky base, so the fall came much faster…

Arab nationalism was influenced by 19th Century mainland European thinkers, notably conservative German philosophers such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte of the Königsberg University Kantian school, and French Positivists such as Auguste Comte and professor Ernest Renan of the Collège de France in Paris. Ba’ath party co-founders Aflaq and Salah al-Bitar both studied at the Sorbonne in the early 1930s when Positivism was still the dominant ideology among France’s academic elite.

The Kulturnation concept of Johann Gottfried Herder and the Grimm Brothers also had an impact. Kulturnation defines a nationality by its common cultural traditions and popular folklore, rather than by national, political, or religious boundaries. It was considered by some to be more suitable for German, Arab, Ottoman and Turkic countries.

So who or what is a “Jacobin”? The Wiki does an OK job of it:

The Jacobin Club was the most famous and influential political club in the development of the French Revolution, so-named because of the Dominican convent where they met, located in the Rue St. Jacques (Latin: Jacobus), Paris. The club originated as the Club Benthorn, formed at Versailles from a group of Breton deputies attending the Estates General of 1789. There were thousands of chapters throughout France, with a membership estimated at 420,000. After the fall of Robespierre the club was closed.

Initially moderate, the club later became notorious for its implementation of the Reign of Terror. To this day, the terms Jacobin and Jacobinism are used as pejoratives for radical, left-wing revolutionary politics. It should not be confused with Jacobitism.

These were the “Off with their heads!” folks…

For Fichte it has a lot of semi-praise, then mentions the ‘naughty bits’:

Fichte made important contributions to political nationalism in Germany. In his Addresses to the German Nation (1808), a series of speeches delivered in Berlin under French occupation, he urged the German peoples to “have character and be German”–entailed in his idea of Germanness was antisemitism, since he argued that “making Jews free German citizens would hurt the German nation.” Fichte answered the call of Freiherr vom Stein, who attempted to develop the patriotism necessary to resist the French specifically among the “educated and cultural elites of the kingdom.” Fichte located Germanness in the supposed continuity of the German language, and based it on Tacitus, who had hailed German virtues in Germania and celebrated the heroism of Arminius in his Annales.

In an earlier work from 1793 dealing with the ideals and politics of the French Revolution, Beiträge zur Berichtigung der Urteile des Publikums über die Französische Revolution (Contributions to the Correction of the Public’s Judgment concerning the French Revolution), he called Jews a “state within a state” that could “undermine” the German nation. In regard to Jews getting “civil rights,” he wrote that this would only be possible if one managed “to cut off all their heads in one night, and to set new ones on their shoulders, which should contain not a single Jewish idea.”

Historian Robert Nisbet thought him to be “the true author of National Socialism”.
Jewish liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin listed Fichte, along with his fellow German idealist G.W.F. Hegel, French materialist and utilitarian philosophe Claude Adrien Helvétius, Swiss collectivist philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French utopian socialist Henri de Saint-Simon, and Savoyard conservative Joseph de Maistre as thinkers who constituted the ideological basis for modern authoritarianism, in his book Freedom and Its Betrayal: Six Enemies of Human Liberty.

The Ba’ath Party was a form of the already somewhat specialized form of Socialism called Arab Socialism. IMHO, it’s your standard socialism but with a rejection of the general Socialist Hostility To Religion and with a bit more of a ‘Nazi / Fascist bent’ on the collectivizing of private property. There would still be companies and some private property as long as it did the will of the State…

For its adherents, Arab socialism was a necessary consequence of the quest for Arab unity and freedom, as only a socialist system of property and development would overcome the social and economic legacy of imperialism and colonialism. At the same time, Arab socialism widely differs from the Eastern Europe and Eastern Asian socialist movements, which were atheist. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, the basis of Arab nationalism is not ostensibly doctrinal, but cultural and spiritual. Thus, the “anti-spiritual” socialism of Eastern Europe and Eastern Asia was considered ill-adapted to the Arab World. As with socialist ideologies across the world, there has historically been a strong internationalist tendency in the Arab socialism; however, it was based primarily on anti-imperialism, and non-alignment, particularly during the Cold War.

While Arab socialism in its heyday endorsed much of the economic and social programme of Eastern European-style socialism, its divergent intellectual and spiritual foundations imposed some limits on its revolutionary potential: the ownership of the means of production was to be nationalized, but only within the constraints of traditional values such as private property,
and inheritance. So-called primitive social structures, such as feudalism, nomadism, tribalism, religious factionalism, and the oppression of women, were to be overcome, but not at the cost of severing the social ties that constituted the Arab identity.

Arguably, the most notable economic manifestations of Arab socialism were the land reforms in Egypt (1952), Syria (1963), and Iraq (1970), and the nationalization of major industries and the banking systems in those countries. In Egypt and Syria, many of these policies were later reversed to some degree from the 1970s onwards.
They were more successful in Iraq, possibly due to the country’s oil wealth, until the beginning of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980.

In their favor, they do seem to have learned relatively quickly that nationalizing the banks and “major industries” started failing pretty quick, and backed out of some of it. (Unless you have a river of Other People’s Money from selling boat loads of oil, like Iraq…)

It’s the same old story… Socialism takes over, starts screwing around with the money and the banks. Takes control of some major industries (like, oh, a couple of car companies, some Alternative Energy funding, and the medical sector…) and then once it’s pretty well screwed up and not working right, either collapses or, if very lucky, backs out in a big hurry.

You’d think that after the 50th or 80th time they saw this movie they would learn… but ideology never learns… Sigh.

I don’t know why, but in addition to the Baath Party wiki, there is a Baathism wiki:


It leans a bit more communist and less fascist in it’s socialism (wonder if they fear the Fascism word?…)

Aflaq supported the idea of democratic centralism and a committed activist revolutionary party based on the Leninist model. The revolutionary party would seize political power and from there on, transform society for the greater good. While the revolutionary party was numerically a minority, it was an all powerful institution, which had the right to initiate a policy even if the majority of the population were against it. As with the Leninist model, the Ba’ath party knew what was right and what was wrong; the population as a whole did not know this yet, they were still influenced by the old value and moral system.

Though it does give a bit of insight into why Socialists like to hide behind the “Progressive” Label (other than that most folks have figured out that socialism fails):

The only way to combat the reactionary classes laid in “progressive” revolution,
central to which is struggle for unity. This struggle could not be separated from the social revolution – to separate these two would be the same as to weaken the movement. The reactionary classes, who are content with the status quo, would oppose the “progressive” revolution. Even if the revolution succeeded in one “region” (country), that region would be unable to develop because of the resource constraints, small populations and the anti-revolution forces held by other Arab leaders. For a revolution to succeed the Arab world would have to evolve into an “organic whole” (literally become one). In short, Arab unity is both the cause of the “progressive” revolution and its effect.

A major obstacle to the success of the revolution is the Arab League. Aflaq believed that the Arab League strengthened both regional interests and the reactionary classes, thus weakening the chance of establishing an Arab nation. Because of the world situation, where the majority of Arab states were under the rule of the reactionary classes, revised his ideology to meet reality. Instead of creating an Arab nation through a Arab wide progressive revolution, the main task of country’s were progressive revolutionaries had succeeded was to spread the revolution. These progressive revolutionary countries would then one by one unite until the Arab world had evolved into an Arab nation. The revolution would not succeed if the progressive revolutionary governments did not contribute to spreading the revolution.

Yeah, it’s got all the usual markers of dogmatic socialisms and communisms with “reactionaries” and all… But at least now you can see what makes a ‘progressive’ different from a ‘socialist’. The Progressive knows they will get push back and expects to need to run from country to country until they get a ‘base’ established for taking over the others…

They have an interesting view on “liberty” (but then again, all progressives and socialists do…)

The Ba’ath party through its preeminence would establish liberty. According to Aflaq, liberty could not just come from nowhere, it needed an enlightened progressive group to create a truly free society. Fundamentally, Aflaq’s had an authoritarian perspective on liberty. In contrast to the liberal democratic concept of liberty, in Aflaq’s vision liberty would be ensured by a Ba’ath party which was not elected by the populace, because the party had the common good at heart. Historian Paul Salem has said that the weakness of such a system is “quite obvious”

“Authoritarian Liberty”… what a concept… Clearly the Socialist view of liberty is at odds with the libertarian view…

That particular link has long discussions of the Egyptian version (Nassar et al) along with discussions of the various factions and changes inside the various national versions.

It also has a discussion of the “Cell” structure used by the party and how it helps to prevent ‘infiltration’…

The Ba’ath Party was created at the Second National Congress as a cell-based organisation, with an emphasis on withstanding government repression and infiltration. Hierarchical lines of command ran from top to bottom, and members were forbidden to initiate contacts between groups on the same level of the organisation—all contacts had to pass through a higher command level. This made the party somewhat unwieldy, but helped prevent the formation of factions and cordoned off members from each other. The party was difficult to infiltrate, because members did not know the identity of many other Ba’athists.

From its lowest organizational level (the cell) to the highest (the National Command), the party was structured as follows:

Which is then followed by a list of 6 different levels and how each works.


Lists a bunch of other links too, If you care, hit THAT link to get live links. I’m just quoting the text here:

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Arab Ba’ath Movement (1940–1947)
Arab Ba’ath (1940–1947)
Arab Ba’ath Party (1947–1952)
Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party (1952–1966)
Ba’ath Party (Iraqi-led faction) (1966–present)
Ba’ath Party (Syrian-led faction) (1966–present)

Note, though, that it starts in 1940, while W.W.II is still a going concern…

The Axis Connection

It is rather coy about the beginnings. From that “Movement” link:

The Movement was formed in 1940 as the Arab Ihya Movement by Syrian expatriate Michel Aflaq.

Shortly after being founded, the Movement became involved in anti-colonial Arab nationalist militant activities, including Aflaq founding the Syrian Committee to Help Iraq that was created in 1941 to support the anti-British and pro-Axis government of Iraq against the British during the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941. The Syrian Committee sent weapons and volunteers to fight alongside Iraqi forces against the British.

“Pro-Axis” is a way to say Nazi and Fascist Italy without those embarrassing words of Nazi and Fascist…


The Axis powers (German: Achsenmächte, Italian: Potenze dell’Asse, Japanese: 枢軸国 (Sūjikukoku?)), also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was the alignment of great powers that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and Japan. The “Rome-Berlin Axis” became a full military alliance in 1939 under the Pact of Steel, and the Tripartite Pact of 1940 fully integrated the military aims of Germany, Italy, and Japan. At their zenith in the midst of World War II, the Axis powers ruled empires that dominated large parts of Europe, Africa, East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, but the war ended with their total defeat and dissolution. Like the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, and other nations entered and later left the Axis during the course of the war.
Iraq was briefly an ally of the Axis, fighting the United Kingdom in the Anglo-Iraqi War of May 1941.

Anti-British sentiments were widespread in Iraq prior to 1941. Seizing power on April 1, 1941, the nationalist government of Iraqi Prime Minister Rashid Ali repudiated the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930 and demanded that the British abandon their military bases and withdraw from the country. Ali sought support from Germany and Italy in expelling British forces from Iraq.

On May 9, 1941, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Mufti of Jerusalem and associate of Ali, declared “holy war” against the British and called on Arabs throughout the Middle East to rise up against British rule. On May 25, 1941, the Germans stepped up offensive operations. Hitler issued Order 30,“ “The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East is our natural ally against England. In this connection special importance is attached to the liberation of Iraq… I have therefore decided to move forward in the Middle East by supporting Iraq.”

Hostilities between the Iraqi and British forces began on May 2, 1941, with heavy fighting at the RAF air base in Habbaniya. The Germans and Italians dispatched aircraft and aircrew to Iraq utilizing Vichy French bases in Syria, which would later invoke fighting between Allied and Vichy French forces in Syria.

The Germans planned to coordinate a combined German-Italian offensive against the British in Egypt, Palestine and Iraq. Iraqi military resistance, however, ended by May 31, 1941. Rashid Ali and the Mufti of Jerusalem fled to Iran, then Turkey, Italy and finally Germany where Ali was welcomed by Hitler as head of the Iraqi government-in-exile in Berlin. In propaganda broadcasts from Berlin, the Mufti continued to call on Arabs to rise up against the British and aid German and Italian forces. He also helped recruit Muslim volunteers in the Balkans for the Waffen SS.

Also note that Syria was a French territory at the time.
Vichy France and allied to Germany.

Vichy France assisted Iraq in the Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941, allowing Germany and Italy to utilize air bases in the French mandate of Syria to support the Iraqi revolt against the British. Allied forces responded by attacking Syria and Lebanon in 1941. In 1942, Allied forces attacked the French colony of Madagascar.

So you see, the Ba’ath Party largely started as a Nazi fostered vehicle for putting a nice little Fascist flavored Socialism in Iraq and Syria during W.W.II for the express purpose of going to war with the United Kingdom and the “Colonial West”…

The Nazi and Fascist movements were fellow travelers with the Ba’ath Party from it’s first beginnings.

Other Sources

Leaving behind the wiki world, there are other places where you can find similar information. Often even more strongly worded.

I was rather surprised to find that ‘absolute astronomy’ had a page:


but it looks to be just a clone of the wiki. Then again, it might serve as a preserved copy if ‘things change’…

I found this next link a fascinating read. It is biased, bigoted, has an agenda. And that is exactly why I like it. I know what this guy is saying. Like it or not, it’s not sanitized by the PC filter that’s in so many places these days. The page is written from a very Muslim Arab point of view (at least, I think it’s Arab. The talk about corruption of the “Arab World”, but I suppose it might be Persian tossing dirt at the Arab World…) It basically ‘rips em’ on the topic of Arab Socialism and has a big chip about Darwin ( though I’m not sure why Darwin is so much a focus… but I did find a connection in the wiki on one of the French Socialists that said they had been inspired by Darwin to create a secular religion idea to replace other religions with the state, so maybe that is more widely known outside the USA…)


Communists have always been among the most fervid adherents of Social Darwinism. This relationship between Darwinism and communism goes back to the founders of both “isms.” Marx and Engels, the founders of communism, read Darwin’s Origin of Species as soon as it was published and admired the book’s “dialectical materialist” approach. Correspondence between Marx and Engels shows that they both considered Darwin’s theory to be “the foundation of communism in terms of the natural sciences.” Indeed, in his book Dialectics of Nature, written under the influence of Darwin, Engels praised Darwin and tried, in his own eyes, to make a contribution to the theory of evolution in the chapter “The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man.”

At any rate, if you ‘get past that’ it lets you see how someone ‘over there’ sees things.

After a rather nice writeup about Nasser ( I’d not realized he was so closely tied to Arab Socialism movements and the Ba’athists.) I knew he’d been sort of socialist, but frankly was paying attention to other things when he was running Egypt… like going to grammar school and learning to ride a bike and drive a car. He died while I was still in High School. FWIW, looking over the wiki, I think I need to brush up on his role in the wars with Israel and the whole nationalizing the Suez thing. I knew he did those things, but did not have the lens of ‘what is an Arab Socialist’ to add clarity. It also looks like there was a brief “union” with Syria (that later fell apart) so that would be an interesting “dig”. Just how did this Socialism work out in Egypt back then..


At any rate, back at that other link; it does a good job of painting the sweep of history:

How Did the Communist Intellectual System
Gradually Seize Power in Arab Countries?

– The administration phase: In the period between the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the World War II, the colonialist powers Great Britain and France established an intensely repressive system in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Fascist Germany and Italy were busy repressing Muslims in such countries as Libya and Ethiopia. Enormous pressure was put on religious people in this period, while new generation intellectuals and state administrators were receiving a Darwinist education in Europe. The aim was to distance first the administrators in Arab countries and then the public from Islamic moral values, and thus to maintain the colonialist system. The communist and Darwinist education provided in Europe resulted in the appearance of a communist new generation and ideologies in the Muslim Arab world that were far removed from the moral values of Islam.

– The military phase: Following the end of the World War II, which resulted in the economic collapse of the states of Europe, the cold war began, a struggle between two opposing axes, together with a communist movement among Arab countries. These movements uttered Arab nationalist slogans and also wished to establish a communist-socialist regime. Communist ideology found particular support among the upper echelons of the various militaries because Arab armies had also received Darwinist materialist training in Europe during the colonialist period and consisted of cadres who had been completely distanced from Islamic moral values.

– The coup phase: The Arab socialist-communist movement seized power through a number of coups right up until the 1970s. Arab socialist eras dawned with Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, in Iraq with first General Hassan al-Bakr and then Saddam Hussein and in Syria with the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Hafez al-Assad. Arab states were communized through these coups. The communist took the name of the Ba’ath Party in politics in Iraq and Syria, and throughout the decades of their rule, communist cadres were installed in the most crucial positions in the state, the army, the civil service and the education system.

Searching on “Ba’ath movement NAZI history” turns up many interesting links. There are several that look to be Israeli or Jewish at a minimum. I would expect their facts to be right, but watch out for emotional bias…


But the rise of German fascism also played a role. Many in the Arab world saw Hitler as an ally. In 1941, the Arab world was electrified by a pro-Axis coup in Baghdad. At that time, Iraq was nominally independent but Britain maintained a strong military presence. An Arab nationalist by the name of Rashid Ali al-Kailani organised an army coup against the pro-British Iraqi monarchy and requested help from Nazi Germany. In Damascus, then a Vichy French colony, the Baath Party founders immediately organised public demonstrations in support of Rashid Ali.

After the Second World War, the Baathists emerged as the leadership of Arab nationalism for two reasons. First, they were the only force with a coherent ideology. Second, the existing Arab political elites were blamed for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Nor was Islam a competitor. For the Western-educated founders of Baathism, Islam smacked of backwardness. For the nascent Islamic fundamentalists, the Baathists were substituting Arabism for the much wider historic conquests of Muslim civilisation. But it was that pan-Arab nationalism that appealed to discontented Arab youth in the Fifties and Sixties.


The radical Arab nationalist groups of the 1930s and after were influenced by European fascism. From an early date Mussolini chose to present himself as a promoter of Arab nationalism, above all as a tool for the expansion of Italian influence. The Fascist regime had him proclaimed a “hero of Islam” and “defender of Islam” in Italian Libya. where a parallel Libyan Arab Fascist party was created. From Newsweek of October 7, 1940, he made a trip to Libya and there proclaimed himself the “Defender of Islam,” Leaflets were distributed, which reminded Arabs that Mussolini was there “defender” [6]. In Egypt the Italians have adopted much of the same line, and last week they also continued efforts to woo King Farouk with promises that if he threw in his lot with the totalitarian powers he might become the head of a greater Arab state.

At least four other Arab countries had developed fascist-type movements by 1939: Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq. among the pre WW2 Arab-Nazi organizations were: the Iron Shirts (led by Fakhri al-Barudi of the National Bloc, still a member of the Syrian parliament in 1946); the League for National Action (headed by Abdu al-Huda al-Yab, Dr. Zaki al-Jabi and others); the An-Nadi al-Arabi Club of Damascus (headed by Dr. Said Abd Al-Fattah al-Imam); the Councils for the Defense of Arab Palestine (head by well known pro-Nazi leaders, such as Nabi al-Azmah, Adil Arslan and others); the Syrian People’s Party SSNP.

That last one is rather interesting as it’s joined with the Ba’ath Party to form a conglomerate of sorts, the “National Progressive Front” (No hiding what “Progressive” means for these folks, No-Siryee…


The Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) (Arabic: الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي‎, transliterated: al-Ḥizb as-Sūrī al-Qawmī al-‘Ijtimāʕī, often referred to in French as Parti Populaire Syrien or Parti Social Nationaliste Syrien), is a secular nationalist political party operating in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. It advocates the establishment of a Syrian nation state spanning the Fertile Crescent, including present day Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait, Sinai, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran. It is the largest political group in Syria after the Ba’ath, with over 100,000 members. In Lebanon, it is part of the March 8 Alliance.

Founded in Beirut in 1932 as a national liberation organization hostile to French colonialism, the party played a significant role in Lebanese politics and was involved in attempted coups in 1949 and 1961 following which it was thoroughly repressed. It was active in the resistance against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon from 1982 to 2000 while continiously supporting the Syrian presence in Lebanon. In Syria, the SSNP became a major political force in the early 1950s, but was thoroughly repressed in 1955. It remained organised, and in 2005 was legalised and joined the Ba’ath Party-led National Progressive Front.

They even have a nice little “Swastika Lite” on their flag:

Syrian Social Nationalist Party - a Swastika like emblem

Syrian Social Nationalist Party - a Swastika like emblem

I think I’ll end this little survey of the Ba’ath Party and their comrades on that note. You can easily find more of the same with out much trouble. So do we call these folks Arab Nazis, or Syrian Fascists, or Pan-Arab Socialist Nationalists? I don’t think it really matters. Folks on the Socialist side of things change names as often as I change cars. They relabel the package every couple of years and find a new batch of folks willing to buy it, for a while.

What matters to me is just that I now have a much better handle on what the mind set is of the folks in Syria. Where their ideology has it’s roots. Why they act as they do.

It is just the ‘same old same old’ Fascist variant of Socialism doing it’s typical “Usurp power, dominate and oppress” thing. The roots of their two major political parties (only one with real power as it has a constitutional lock on seats) reach back to their old friends and fellow travelers in the desire to exterminate the Jews: The German Nazi “National Socialist Workers Party”.

They used a coup to come to power. They have no qualms about continuing to use military might to cling to power. They have no love of liberty, and despise self determination for the common man. They have a very long history of this, having fostered similar movements in other Arab countries ( most of which have already failed). They have a ‘cell’ structure rather like the communist system, but IIRC, the Nazis had something like that too early on. But I suppose the trains run on time…

No wonder just about everyone from the Israelis to Al Quada don’t like them and would like them gone… And no wonder they are also so willing to shell civilian city areas, such as in Homs, and indiscriminately kill civilians to get their way… It’s been part of the Socialist Playbooks since they were first written by folks like Marx/Engels/Lenin, Mussolini, and HItler. “Revolution” and suppression of “Reactionaries” is a core need of the ideology… how else can you have a “Progressive” revolution?…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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32 Responses to About Ba’athists and Syria

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    Could it be said, then, that the Baath Party, as any “socialism” is of the same occidental origin, as it has been shown in this blog?

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    Remember “Lawrence of Arabia”, the english agent?

  3. Richard Ilfeld says:

    The foremost agreement among all the ‘isms’ is:
    Hate the jew!. There has to be more to it than just
    “Hate the Bankers”. For a couple of milennia it has
    been a convenient, small, highly visible target that
    doesn’t hit back, and can always be confiscatorially taxed
    to fund military adventures.

    This may be about to change.

  4. Andrew says:

    Hah, when I saw the title of the post I thought uh oh…he is going to talk about Nazi’s…

    Sorry not something to joke about, I know, and again I am commenting way before I even finish reading…

    Nazi…and the Baath’s…and the United States Progressive movement…all, at least sympathetic to the same cause. Most peoples historical perspectives are so screwed…I meant skewed…but the typo fits. Anyway, I better shut up and read.

    (I have some university social science textbooks from the 1930’s that are very supportive of the ‘promising research’ in the field of Eugenics coming out of Germany…it’s scary to think how deep the ‘Nazi’ ties are…everywhere. It is important to remember. Hitler was ‘elected’!)

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Andrew: And also the Malthusian liberals with their mental fixation on birth control. Who does know more than nature itself about reproduction?, perhaps the feverish reproduction rates of 3rd.world countries and its consequence: Growing economies and markets, (BTW:lending money to the 1st.world birth comptrollers and aging populations) is nature´s response to a probable and sudden world population reduction. Perhaps, even, obesity (one of the last liberal war fronts) is nature´s reaction to a coming New Ice Age. :-)

  6. Dave says:

    The History Channel; I know that title is questionable, (if I see one more show on the Free Masons or the Knights Templar…) had a show about six years ago that I still have on my DVR called “Saddam and the Third Reich”. The DVD is available for sale.


    It was a fascinating show. Describes many of the same things in this post. There actually was an Arab/Muslim detachment fighting for Hitler in Berlin when it fell. The more important part to take notice of is the common statements such as “Hitler was a racist and would never have allowed that…” Very similar to comments from a Persian friend of mine who swore up and down that “Iran hates the Taliban and would never aid or work with them…” I think anyone who pays attention to the conflict in Afghanistan knows that is a bunch of bunk. Common enemies and bigotry makes strange bedfellows. People forget that far too often.

    The Arabs had legitimate concerns with British Colonialism but siding with the Germans was not a wise choice. People who know the full story are aware that Arab Nationalism has close ties to Nazi Germany and that of course is bad PR so it isn’t talked about much.

    Amazon lists a book I’ve thought of reading but haven’t had time that deals with the Axis attempts to swing the Middle East to their side:


  7. E.M.Smith says:


    This link has a nice picture of one of the Nazi Muslim Army divisions:


    A web search on “hanjar” will turn up a lot more:


    mostly from the Yugoslavian Muslim population, but formed via a Middle East connection:

    The Führer’s Mufti: After World War I, the Great Powers of Europe jockeyed for influence in the Middle East’s oil fields and trade routes, with France and Britain holding mandates throughout most of the region. In the 1930s, the fascist regimes that arose in Italy and Germany sought greater stakes in the area, and began courting Arab leaders to revolt against their British and French custodians. Among their many willing accomplices was Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, who fled Palestine after agitating against the British during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. He found refuge in Iraq – another of Her Majesty’s mandates – where he again topped the British most wanted list after helping pull the strings behind the Iraqi coup of 1941. The revolt in Baghdad was orchestrated by Hitler as part of a strategy to squeeze the region between the pincers of Rommel’s troops in North Africa, German forces in the Caucuses and pro-Nazi forces in Iraq. However, in June 1941 British troops put down the rebellion and the Mufti escaped via Tehran to Italy and eventually to Berlin.

    Once in Berlin, the Mufti received an enthusiastic reception by the “Islamische Zentralinstitut” and the whole Islamic community of Germany, which welcomed him as the “Führer of the Arabic world.” In an introductory speech, he called the Jews the “most fierce enemies of the Muslims” and an “ever corruptive element” in the world. Husseini soon became an honored guest of the Nazi leadership and met on several occasions with Hitler. He personally lobbied the Führer against the plan to let Jews leave Hungary, fearing they would immigrate to Palestine. He also strongly intervened when Adolf Eichman tried to cut a deal with the British government to exchange German POWs for 5000 Jewish children who also could have fled to Palestine. The Mufti’s protests with the SS were successful, as the children were sent to death camps in Poland instead. One German officer noted in his journals that the Mufti would liked to have seen the Jews “preferably all killed.” On a visit to Auschwitz, he reportedly admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently. Throughout the war, he appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East, preaching his pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic message to the Arab masses back home.

    To show gratitude towards his hosts, in 1943 the Mufti traveled several times to Bosnia, where on orders of the SS he recruited the notorious “Hanjar troopers,” a special Bosnian Waffen SS company which slaughtered 90% of Bosnia’s Jews and burned countless Serbian churches and villages. These Bosnian Muslim recruits rapidly found favor with SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who established a special Mullah Military school in Dresden.

    The only condition the Mufti set for his help was that after Hitler won the war, the entire Jewish population in Palestine should be liquidated. After the war, Husseini fled to Switzerland and from there escaped via France to Cairo, were he was warmly received. The Mufti used funds received earlier from the Hitler regime to finance the Nazi-inspired Arab Liberation Army that terrorized Jews in Palestine.

    And we wonder why the Serbs were not so keen on the Bosnian Muslims during that last war…

    At any rate, it is very interesting stuff, but I didn’t put it in the article itself because, well, it was nearing 4 am and I needed to ‘wrap up’ ;-) Yes, Editing via the clock… “All the posting that fits, we print” …

    There were a few other “odd units” in the Nazi military, and a variety of odd “finding”. Somehow or other they found the Japanese to be ‘honorary Aryans’ and acceptable too. Somehow the anti-semitic racism could be set aside for an Arab who hated Jews. It really needs a better term than anti-semitic, but I don’t know what that would be… (Not had my first cup of coffee yet ;-)


    Yes, I remember L’Arence… (as they pronounced it in the movie ;-) So? Or are you pointing out that they were fighting the Germans? Maybe I ought to go watch it again… (I have it on VHS in the living room… uncut letterbox edition… but it takes all day to watch… but it’s raining… hmmm… coffee and L’Arence? Hmmm…)

    From the very beginning the Socialist Progressive Movement has been very anti-human and anti-liberty. Their foundational belief is that the smart folks need to tell the dumb folks what to do… often that included telling them they were not worthy to have children, or that they ought to die. I had a professor at University who thought that there ought to be license to have children issued by the government. Having a child without a license to be a sever crime. Of course, he felt he and his cohort would be just perfect at deciding who was well educated and advanced enough to reproduce…

    Planned Parenthood was formed for the purpose of advancing lower births by the ‘less able classes’ as part of the Progressive Eugenics Movement. It was largely focused on poor blacks (and still is – most ‘prevented births’ are in the ‘minority populations’). There were the doctors doing forced sterilizations of anyone unlucky enough to get a variety of diseases (many of which were not genetic and / or are curable today) and the Planned Parenthood folks preventing life at the beginning. In between were the various ‘extermination squads’. And folks wonder why I’m grumpy about Progressive Socialists… So much death and despair and hatred of life…

    But to your other point: Yes, the Ba’ath Party was a western influenced creation. It was created by folks from the Middle East, but as noted in the “Anti-Darwin” link, they hatched these ideas after study in western ‘progressive’ schools. The founder of the Ba’ath Party was a Christian (reported to have converted to Islam later in life); so one could also toss rocks at Christianity over this too, I suppose. The reality is more that the ideas of Socialism and The Progressive Movement are seductive to some kinds of folks. It doesn’t matter if they come from The Arab Word, or China, or Korea, or Cambodia, or not. They exploit certain common failings in how the mind works, so spread readily. Yet the societies they infect wither and collapse.

    A kind of infective pathological meme. It causes good people to do bad things, causes stable cultures to destabilize, and leads to oppression of liberties and then the collapse of societies. All that changes as you move to different countries is the speed.

    So I don’t know that it matters that it was first voiced by ‘occidentals’. It would likely be just as damaging if the fist folks to think of it had been from the East instead.

    (The strange thing is that I can see the seduction in it too. I was interested in what could be achieved via the Socialist Model at about 20 years old. But something in it “didn’t fit”. There were loose ends. And the more I looked at the history of earlier ‘trials’ and the more I tugged at ‘lose ends’ the more it’s attraction unraveled. Yet the initial emotional response stays the same. I don’t hate socialism, I like it. BUT my reason overrides that ‘fast-but-wrong-feel-good’ based thnking. Who wouldn’t want free medical care and guaranteed food and a place to live? But with that comes the despots and the murderers, the crushing of liberties, the sapping of the economic productivity, and the eventual collapse of the host… Just the speed changes. Oh Well…) .


    Why “oh oh”? I just cover ‘what is’. Maybe sometimes with a bit of vigor ;-) If they had been in bed with Catholics and John Birchers, that’s what would be ‘talked about’. I can’t re-write history… So they were born of a Progressive Socialist root and had the support of the Nazis, that’s just what happened. Better to know it than to think of them as some kind of “Democrats or Republicans with Arabic accents”…

    BTW, the way folks on the Progressive Left like to erase the ‘naughty bits’ of their history is very enlightening. That they didn’t learn from those bits is chilling… So, for example, Planned Parenthood aborts and prevents far more black babies than white. Were this a ‘conservative’ organization the cries of racism would shake the walls… Instead, if you even mention the racist and biased impact (or worse, the historical blatant racist goals), out comes the Propaganda Machine to paint you as evil. It’s a fascinating process to watch. A bit odd when one is compelled to “What is, just is”. Took me years to figure out that trying to show them ‘the truth’ was a waste of time. That ‘truth’ was last on their list of ‘desirables’…

    One can either embrace honesty and truth, or be a Progressive. Not both. That was the fundamental lesson I learned from my sojourn on ‘the dark side’ oh those many years ago… Not the kind of place that appeals to someone with a compulsion to ‘a tidy mind’ at all… (Perhaps that’s why they embrace drug use so much? Hmmm….) At any rate, I chose “tidy honest truth” and just let it take me where it will. So far it’s been a kind of Libertarian Humanist fusion…

    At any rate, we can watch the continued Love Of All Things Malthusian from “the other side” as it plays out in various forms of death and destruction around the world. It will be interesting to see them go ballistic if / when we start having cold induced crop failures …

  8. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M.
    “Somehow or other they found the Japanese to be ‘honorary Aryans’ and acceptable too. Somehow the anti-semitic racism could be set aside for an Arab who hated Jews. ”

    This is encouraging, the fact that even racism will fade in the face of self-interest. True story here…maybe ten or fifteen years ago, an odd thing happened in Tallahassee, FL. There were two racist groups trying to promulgate their ideas there. Neither was pulling in a lot of donations, so they went together and pooled their money to buy a joint office for both their organizations. One group was a white separatist group. The other was a black separatist group. They shared an office with separate desks for each group. Someone asked one of the white representatives, “How can you share an office with black separatists?!” His answer was, “Well, we believe in the same thing!”

    You can’t make this stuff up…

    “A kind of infective pathological meme. It causes good people to do bad things, causes stable cultures to destabilize, and leads to oppression of liberties and then the collapse of societies. ”

    Yes! That is how it almost always works for any pathological meme. Actually, this is encouraging also in an odd sort of way. The only effective way to spread evil is to convince good people (which includes most people) to do bad things; this is done by lying to them that they will accomplish some greater good. How many WWII Germans would have allowed genocide if they had not embraced the lie that Jews were not quite human, that the only way to save German culture was by killing the under-mensch? It is almost impossible to perform great evil by telling people the truth.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    On re-reading your question about the occidental origin of socialism, I realized the emphasis might be on ‘unitary origin’ rather than ‘occidental’…

    Yes, all socialisms come from the same root in the same movement (out of the French Revolution). That actually has a taproot that runs back to some English “Utopian” movements that had a semi-socialist set of beliefs, but prior to the notion of what ‘socialism’ was. Basically the “commune” movement. (That could itself be traced back to some religious feeder roots… so you find various odd ‘Christian Communes’ in the 1700s… Including one little one at Plymouth Rock… and in Virginia… That promptly ran into the wall of sloth. So had John Smith – perhaps a relative… my ‘Smiths’ originate in the 1700s in VIrginia – pronounced “He who does not work, shall not eat” and they then broke up the communal land into distinct ownership plots…)

    Running it ‘forward in time’, it goes, roughly:

    Christian Communes and Utopian Communities, French Utopian / Communism ideas during the French Revolution, (various Socialist Writers of the 1800s mostly French), Marx and Engels make it German… (Communist Manifesto), Off to Russia and Lennin… (Side Bar: USA starts to flirt with it too, so we get The Roosevelts and Wilson that feed into the present; mostly reading the French and German writers), in the 1930’s it takes power in Italy as the Fascists (Mussolini was celebrated in the USA, even got a cameo in a Hollywood Movie..) and mutates into a Corporatist Form (you can keep ownership of the property, but the Party has strategic control). About the same time Hitler in Germany is kissing off the Communist “International” idea and going for a ‘Socialism with Nationalism and hate the Jews’ mix. Mostly based on the German Progressive Socialism with an artificial mythology layered on top. USSR Spreads Communism all over the world, so we get Mao popping up in China toward the middle of W.W.II (and mutating into Maoist Communism that has now mutated back to a Fascist Third Way form today – central control / plan, individual ‘ownership’ as long as they have control). Dozens of countries play with variations on Communism and Socialism globally… All fail, eventually.

    There are dozens of SideBars. One would be the way, post W.W.II, the East gets communism imposed while the west “leans capitalist” and prospers for a while, then slides into the Socialist Seduction (and the UK goes down the tubes into a socialist quagmire until Maggy Thatcher) reaching a bottom now as they run out of money collectively ( just as the Eastern Block starts to prosper having dumped communism and embraced markets…) Another would be that whole “Latin Thing”… I’m sure you are well aware of the comings and goings of Socialists in Latin America. Brazil had an oscillator for a few decades, then we had the Brazilian Miracle as a socialist left the economy as capitalist. Now they’ve elected a more ‘dedicated’ socialist and things are faltering. Hugo took over in Venezuela, and as long as they have more oil money than they know what to do with, it will work, so the ‘neighbors’ are signing up for his collective ( Ecuador, Bolivia, etc.) with their own Racist bent (in that they are promoting Native Americans – perhaps a good thing after such a long oppression, but not an economic thing…) Argentina and Chile have had the “Dictator, Democracy, Socialism, Decay, Dictator” cycle more times than I can remember (currently on a Capitalism Kick, but for how long? Chile will remember longer than most…so has more hope…)

    Maybe I ought to do a “History Of Socialisms” posting…

    At any rate, yes, they all reach back to the Utopians and the fallout of the French Revolution, then the various mutations by Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, Mao, Hugo, and the Arabs listed above. Seeing it like that it IS kind of impressive how much death, destruction, misery, and decay is connected with those bits of history. Maybe I will make a ‘family tree’ – complete with the Extinction Events in each country …

    The really sad thing is that we all grow up in a working Socialism. The Family is a socialism on a very small scale where “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” is the norm. It works because there is a natural affinity between the leadership and the led. (Then again, looking at the 50% or so divorce rate and how many kids hate their parents and maybe it isn’t all that good ;-)

    IMHO, the basic problem is that Socialism can work on the very small scale of the Tribe, but fails at larger sizes (as soon as those who lust for power can grab and keep it despite what the rest of the tribe wants). So we have thousands of years of evolution in a Socialist Model (family, tribe) and are predisposed toward it. But it just doesn’t ‘scale well’ – even to the size of small towns. The various Kibbutzim and Utopian Cities have typically failed fairly quickly. But the urge for a Global Family persists, so the misery persists too. (Curious sidebar: We are “wired” to deal best with groups of less than about 100 people and to remember about that many. Socialism seems to work at sizes of that or smaller, but not larger. At the point where the count of members puts some of them in the “Other” group, Socialisms fail. Coincidence?

    BTW, found my (two tapes!) boxed set of L’Awrence… Coffee in hand…

  10. Andrew says:

    @ E M and Aldofo

    I agree about telling it like it is regarding the Progressive movement. When I “Think Progress” I don’t think about Joe Romm and his Comrades. I think about Margaret Sanger, Rose Kennedy’s lobotomy, the Nobel Prize in Psychology awarded in 1947 (I think) for the ability to perform a frontal lobotomy using modified ice picks like removing someones ability to think should be removed like a decayed tooth…

    Grr….and I have yet to read beyond the first two paragraphs. My vanity forced me to check for responses, but the pending Ice Age has me too busy to sit and read the whole post. But I don’t care much for Nazi’s, Commies, Baathist, Progressives or most radical leftist. (Screw most of the Right Wingers too, but some of their logic makes more sense to me) Does that make me a “libertarian, conservative, sometimes moderate” extremest radical? Or just ‘crazy’? Or both?

  11. A wonderful article EM. As usual.
    Your research and output never cease to impress and amaze me.
    However, I would like to suggest, in my inimitable manner, without references, and with very due respect, that still you may have come to the wrong conclusion.
    I don’t even want to debate this, but just go on the record as saying –
    “I believe that the Syrian turmoil is simply about regime change, instigated by the western alliances, to bring Syria under the control of the UN and its associated cohorts.”
    I, of course, may be wrong.
    All the talk in the world will not alter the actual situation, the main basis for not wishing to debate the issue.
    Only time will reveal the reality
    I appreciate the opportunity to comment, Thanks!

  12. Thanks for your comment, Ken. I too have an uneasy feeling that much of the turmoil is about bringing Muslim nations “under the control of the UN and its associated cohorts.”

    Is the religious fervor of the Muslims harder to control than the fervor of modern Christians?

    I am not qualified to decipher political history, but our society is collapsing and there is growing evidence today that factual information about the Sun – Earth’s heat source – will not remain “under the control of the UN and its associated cohorts.”


  13. Sabretoothed says:


    Swastika was just a church symbol. I guess the NAZI and Church have many things in common ;)?

    I remember visiting some temple in Vietnam, it’s also used in Asia in some churches..

  14. Andrew says:

    @ Sabertoothed

    I have seen a something similar. In Winthrop, Washington, an old Western town, that capitalizes on its old cowboy theme to draw in the tourists…

    There is/was a display with the old cattle branding irons from 100+ years ago. Some ranch used the ‘Swastika’ before the little Austrian shit was writing Mein Kampf and dropping the soap for his cell mate ‘Otto’…

    Beware of the Neo-Nazi cows of the Methow Valley I always say…actually I don’t…but that will really mess up somebody’s Google search someday…

  15. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Socialism, liberalism, was an intelligent concoction, and nothing else. Its purpose: To remove from power and possessions all local elites, independent of “their” power and replace them by their “butlers” and “servants” (former actual servants and butlers now newly ascended in the “social” ladder to unimaginable positions, in exchange to their service to the new lords of the “financial world”, supreme masters of the Ponzi schemes).
    Left or right, the same thing.
    I prognosticate that it will be different very soon: In the next and cosmological “turn of the screw”. The upside down world will recover its hieratic order.

  16. Andrew says:

    @ Adolfo

    Is that not what Ike warned of in his Farewell Address…to an extent.

  17. tckev says:

    E.M Smith.
    The slow rise of the other socialist Utopians of a strong religious nature – the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be ignored.
    IMO despite the fissures and devisions within it, the Muslim Brotherhood is main political mover in the Arabic world.

    Some quick and incomplete notes about the MB –

    Started in 1928 in Egypt from the teachings of Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna, as a mainly charitable cause, it has grown to be one of the Arabic (and Muslim) world’s most powerful organizations.
    During WW2 the Muslim Brotherhood were pro-Nazi if only to assist its own political anti-colonial endeavors against the British.

    From its foundations rose both the more moderate (but still strictly Islamic) core. With the later teachings and the ideals set by Sayyid Qutb’s influence the rise of wayward Muslim fundamentalism and this spawned bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s merciless prominence.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal, as stated by the founder, was to reclaim Islam’s manifest destiny, an empire, stretching from Spain to Indonesia. At its core the brotherhood’s doctrine is “God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”
    They are also very strongly anti-Zionist, and anti-Israeli.

    Some Western politicians think they can tame this organization – IMO they haven’t a chance.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. Another interesting link… It wasn’t just Argentina to which the Odessa network moved old Nazis… Egypt too.


    Postwar Arab links to the ODESSA network
    Seán Mac Mathúna

    Gamal Abdal Nasser (1918-1970): The author Goodrick-Clarke says Nasser was “well disposed” towards the Nazis

    Most people assumes that when Nazi’s fled Europe after the war most of them went to Latin America, where the ruling elite’s – such as the Peron’s in Argentina – had always been sympathetic to Nazi ideology. Many did, but a sizable number of others find work in Egypt, notably under the regime of Gamal Abdal Nasser (1918-1970), an Egyptian army officer and political leader, who was the first president of the republic of Egypt (1956-70). In 1952 he led the coup that deposed King Farouk (another Nazi sympathizer), and later became premier (1954), and president (1956). Hitler had enjoyed quite a following among the nationalist youth of Egypt during the war, after Nassiri Nasser, the brother of Gamal had published an Arab edition of Mein Kampf in 1939, describing its author as the “strongest man of Europe”.

    The Nazi-Arab connection started by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, continued after the war according to Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke writing in Hitler’s Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan myth, and Neo-Nazism (New York University Press, New York, USA, 1998). The Middle East had emerged as a haven for Nazis fleeing Europe in the 1950s, which had its roots in the anti-British and pro-Nazi attitudes of Vichy Syria, Rashid Ali in Iraq, King Farouk of Egypt and the Mufti of Jerusalem.
    Thus, a number of “nazi experts” who had escaped the Allied dragnet were hired by the King as military, financial and technical advisers. Although King Farouk was ousted in a military coup in January 1952, the Generals of the Egyptian armed forces were themselves “great admirers” of the Nazi’s and “availed themselves of further large-scale imports of ex-Nazi expertise”. They were to be helped by the former Luftwaffe ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel, the ex-SS commando Otto Skorzeny (1908-1975) and Eugen Dollman in recruiting “large numbers” of former Nazi fugitives from Argentina for key posts in the new republican regime in Egypt.

    They even “Name names”… There are several hundred just ‘counted’ and then this list of ‘notables. (Though I must point out the USA also was happy to accept old Nazis, especially those with rocket and weapons technical skill. I clearly remember old Werner von Braun in his thick German accent telling me we were going to be living in space by now… It was his Saturn V rocket that took America to the moon. Odd thought that, the only folks to go to the moon got there on a Nazi designed rocket… )

    Joachim Däumling, former Gestapo chief in Düsseldorf, and later engaged in SS operations in Croatia. He was employed to set up the Egyptian secret service along the lines of the SS Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Himmler’s Reich Security Main Office); he was helped by the former Gestapo chief of Warsaw who organised the security police.
    SS General Oskar Dirlewanger, chief of the infamous SS penal brigade;
    SS Major Eugen Eichberger, battalion-commander in the Dirlewanger brigade;
    SS Colonel Leopold Gleim, chief of the Gestapo department for Jewish affairs in Poland;
    SS Lieutenant Colonel Bernhard Bender, Gestapo official in Poland the USSR, whose knowledge of Yiddish enabled him to penetrate Jewish underground organisations;
    SS General Heinrich Selimann, Gestapo chief in Ulm;
    SS Major Schmalstich, Gestapo liaison officer to French collaborationists and organizer of Jewish transports from Paris to Auschwitz;
    SS Major Seipal, Gestapo official in Paris;
    SS General Alois Moser, a war criminal who was involved in the extermination of the Soviet Jews in the Ukraine;
    SS officer Johannes von Leers (1902-1963), who had been responsible for anti-Semitic campaigns at Goebbels’ propaganda ministry;
    SS officer, Alois Brunner, who had held senior position in Adolph Eichmann’s “Jewish Department”, and is now believed to be living under the protection of the Syrian secret police in Damascus;
    SS Major Walter Bollman, Nazi espionage chief in Britain before the war, and also involved in crimes against humanity and genocide against the Jews of the Ukraine;
    SS official Louis Heiden, who was transferred to the Egyptian press office during the war;
    Franz Bartel, and “old fighter” in the early days of the NSDAP in Germany, and Gestapo officer;
    Walter Birgal, an SS officer from Leipzig;
    Erich Bunz, a former SA major and expert in the “Jewish Question”;
    Albert Thielemann, a regional SS chief in Bohemia;
    SS Captain Wilhelm Böckler, a war criminal who had precipitated in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto;
    Wehrmacht General Wilhelm Fahrmbacher, who took over the central planning staff in Cairo . . . .

    Added to this were a number of former Nazi officials and sixty military experts, mostly former Waffen-SS men, who assisted in the training of the Egyptian army. Several of them were also linked in 1958 with the then Algerian government-in-exile. At least 200 German and Austrian scientists and other personnel were deployed in the new aircraft and missile centre at Helwan, where new staff physician was Dr. Hanns Eisele, SS Captain and medical torturer in the death camp at Buchenwald. Goodrick-Clarke says that President Gamal Abdel Nasser was “well disposed” towards the Nazis, all the more because they wished to take part in the destruction of Israel. The presence of so many Nazi’s in Egypt under the Nasser regime was exposed in the world press in October 1962, and precipitated a crisis in the Israeli government (who had ordered MOSSAD to make try and kill several of the Nazi’s), and embarrassment in West Germany, over the exposure of postwar Nazi collaboration with the Nasser regime.

    Not surprisingly, the few remaining Egyptian Jews fled. From population of 75,000 Jews in 1948, by 1974 only 350 remained.

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    I believe that makes you a Thinking Free Man…

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    Um, I don’t remember making any conclusion about “Why do Syria?” in this posting (other than noting that nobody seems to like them much, other than other related regimes / parties).

    Frankly, I don’t see anything wrong in your conclusion. I might quibble about “what is the UN?”… Clearly Russia and China are not “playing ball” with “The UN”… IMHO, “The UN” is a consortium of the USA, EU, UK and misc. ‘hangers on’ largely being driven by a “Modern Market Third Way Socialist” agenda.

    To quote one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite movies (“3 Days of the Condor”) when Joubert is explaining things…

    “I suspect he was about to become an embarrassment, as you are.”


    See, they are trying to sell the world on a New Improved Flavor! The never before seen, “Progressive Third Way!!”… And folks like me keep pointing out that that is substantially the same s The Old Third Way. They, then, Shout OH NO! NOT AT ALL! THEY WERE RIGHT WING FASCISTS!!!… Few folks dig into the history, so it slides… But the Arab Socialists are not bashful at all about THEIR connections to the Nazis and stress their Socialist nature. They also embrace a kind of “racism” (really more a tribalism as these folks are first cousins genetically) in being anti-Jewish and have Nationalism as part of their creed, just like the Nazis.

    So they are “left overs”. A dirty little loose end.

    Now it connects into your thesis. They also do not see any reason at all to hand over their sovereignty to the UN and that pack of thieves. They’ve got the EU all wrapped up. The UK is pretty much done. The USA is a work in progress, but coming along nicely. Most of the Latins along with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are pretty much a done deal (though Canada is showing some backsliding lately). China is mostly cooperative as long as they get a cut of the action (and brings a bunch of hanger-on neighbors with it…) Japan seems quietly uninterested, but amenable to most anything proposed.

    What dose that leave?

    Russia (where we continue to have “issues” but can’t take them on. Besides, I think “The UN” figured them for done after the USSR collapsed), Sub-Saharan Africa (where most countries are either easily manipulated or are already Socialists), and The Muslim World…

    So, IMHO, that puts The Muslim World in ring for “working over”.

    So they are just going along knocking off one old Nationalist Socialist Arabist Leader after another to make them available for the New Improved Global UN Market Socialism!!! (This time it’s Different! It will be global, and fair and full of “Justice” and without any “strongman” – ignore Maurice Strong and George Sorros and… – this time it’s a Central Committee!!! No nationalism. No racism. All New, All Improved!!! Get yours today!!! – Or Else…)

    Making various kinds of “Crisis” that they then do not waste…

    At least it will be interesting to watch as the Arab Muslim World blows up in their collective faces… They have no idea how much they can not control what has been unleashed in the Arab World…

    But at least we’ll be done with “Strong Man” regimes and recalcitrant Theocratic regimes… (or, rather, we’ll have hidden “Strong Man” regimes with a theocracy of Secular Humanism…)

    So if I WERE to make a conclusion, that’s the conclusion I’d make ;-)


    Christians are fairly easily ‘lead’. The book is substantially not read, is way heavily translated (and thus transformed…) anyway and everyone pretty much just listens to the Religious Leader and says “Uh Huh”… Besides, Christianity tends to a kind of socialist advocacy anyway (at least modern forms… see the Jesuits lately).

    Muslims insist on no translation from the original Arabic being acceptable. They insist on a more literal meaning, and not modifications allowed. Oh, and they tend to a certain cranky independent streak anyway… ( I admire ‘a certain cranky independent streak’ btw… a Celtic sort of thing ;-)

    So, IMHO, there will be a Culture War between Islam / Sharia and Secular Humanism / UN-3rd Way Socialism. Sadly, I don’t really care which one wins. ( I’d like them both to just leave the rest of us alone…)

    Right now, the UN is winning against the Petty Tyrants. But as to what happens next, well… Just keep watching Egypt…


    The Swastika has a long and honorable tradition as a symbol of The Sun. (The ‘bent legs’ are rays of sunshine). It traditionally meant things like “good luck” and one supposes ‘happy warm life and lots of good crops”, given what the sun does for us.

    The Nazi ideology included the creation of a mysticism based on supposed ‘Aryan Roots’ in the east somewhere. So they corrupted various older religious symbols for their own purposes. In places not dominated by Jewish Guilt, the swastika keeps its old meaning. BTW, there are a few of them on selected US Government buildings and monuments too (unless the P.C.Police have succeeded in getting them chiseled out…) They are also found in Buddhist temples and in the Tibetan monasteries.

    Were it up to me, I’d have an education campaign to rehab the symbol and give it back to the original owners, users. Nothing would more effectively destroy the Nazi heritage than to erase the meanings of its symbols. But the P.C. Jewish Lobby has dedicated itself to making it THE Iconic symbol of The Holocaust and Evil Nazis; and so inadvertently perpetuate the strength and use of the symbol in its corrupted form.

    Sigh. Even very bright people can be dumb…


    Not ignored, so much as ‘edited for topic’. This post was about Syria and Ba’ath Party in particular, not all the ways it has left footprints in other Arab Socialisms nor in how other organizations (such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that is its own class of object) might shape the Arab World.

    No complaints if other folks want to “go there”, but for any given posting, I have to ‘focus’ to some extent or each posting becomes a 1000 pages…

    But yes, the MB is presently THE major coordinating factor across the Arab World (and perhaps into other Islamic areas) and we will see how much they are in control as Egypt “evolves”. (Recently the Egyptian Army has started having Koran Memorization contests / prizes… Not Good if you are an Egyptian Coptic…)

    The quote you gave pretty much sums it up.

    And yes, the “Progressive Humanists” are going to discover that Secular Humanism can’t hold a candle to real Holy War. They will be lucky if they die quickly…

    The “good news” is just that Tribalism still dominates, even in a Muslim World, so any idea that “Can’t we all just get along?” is gong to run smack into “Shia vs Sunni vs Wahabi vs Alawi vs Sufi … Oh, heck, just look at the chart here:


    I have every confidence that people will continue hating and killing each other for generations to come, even in a unified Muslim World….

    (Frankly, in puckish moments, I think the best thing we could do is is unify the Muslim World, put a nice fence up saying “your side / our side” and come back in about 50 years… Without an “other” to attack, they would kill off large numbers of themselves. – rather like Europeans did prior to discovering they could kill folks in the rest of the world instead).

    My biggest fear is just that the Powers That Be will be even 1/2 as naive as I think they are about the strength of Islam and the end game will have us living in a Total Muslim World under Wahabi Sharia… Near as I can tell, that’s the way the net-net is going at present. Thanks to stupid leaders with way too much ego and not enough history…

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    “Perhaps, even, obesity (one of the last liberal war fronts) is nature´s reaction to a coming New Ice Age. :-)”

    I’ve been very busy today and my eyes and mind were starting to feel the strain – then I got to the above. Gaia sees the cold coming and humans get bigger to cope. An amazing thought really. The mind boggles.
    Columnist Doug Saunders in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb. 11, wrote that Earth may be approaching “peak people” and the implications.


    E.M., You have been busy. Each of your last several posts have been fascinating. Of course, I live on the east slope of Cascadia, have Yakamas for neighbors, Jewish friends, and an Irish grandmother (I think maybe the family left Scotland many years ago under suspicious circumstances), and red haired siblings and cousins. And I share your view that we are seeing the “same old movie.” The rewritten script has a blue cover:

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @John F. Hultquist:

    We are not at all near ‘peak people’. That idea is straight out of the folks who are bringing you Resource Shortage Scares and Global Warming Scares.

    See the “no shortage of energy” and “no shortage of stuff” postings (search for those phrases with ‘chiefio’ in front of them in any search engine…)

    We can make houses out of sand, dirt, and rocks. We can grow food in closed hydroponic / pond systems using nothing but sunshine and sewage. We can make all the energy needed to power the planet forever with Uranium from sea water and not detectable change in electricity costs compared to now. We could put the entire global population in Texas and Oklahoma in standard US Suburbs and growing most of their own food in their backyards using the French Intensive System (more than enough water in the Mississippi to keep it all well watered (and since every OTHER state would be empty, not a big deal if we use that water)

    etc. etc. etc.

    It’s just more Politics Of Fear again. The only shortage is shortage of imagination and the only limit is limits from stupid policies.

    (To the inevitable person who just Loves The Koolaid of ‘exponential math’: Yes, IFF we had actual exponential growth SOMEDAY we would hit a limit. Since all biological systems, even human ones, have S shaped growth, not exponential -even though the toe of he curve LOOKS exponential – we don’t have the problem. IFF we get our act together and actually make a decent travel system to space, we can build self contained space colonies about the size of super tankers or giant cruise ships from asteroids and then the limit becomes the entire solar system. I’ll worry in about 1000 years… But typically folks have indulged in wars far sooner than that…)

    Repeat after me:

    There is no shortage of stuff.
    There is no energy shortage.
    Folks in panic need soothing.
    The politics of screaming shortage is an orchestrated fear campaign.
    Live life in peace.
    Go quietly about a happy and secure life, ignoring the Chicken Littles.

  22. kuhnkat says:

    Here is the page for UNMOVIC: http://www.unmovic.org/

    Look under document list for the official reports on WMD’s. Quite interesting considering how the leftards insist there were NONE in Iraq!! Sodam Insane had a nice nuke program, and, even after it was officially shut down and perfectly mothballed along with about 1.5 tons of low level enriched and over 10 tons of yellowcake there are records of them looking into Laser enrichment.

    Sadam didn’t just use trucks: http://www.nysun.com/foreign/iraqs-wmd-secreted-in-syria-sada-says/26514/


    and a maybe:


  23. PaulID says:

    Funny thing the swastikas on the floor of the county court house in Idaho Falls Idaho have been painted over very badly so you can still see what they were and that courthouse has been there since somewhere between 1911 and 1919.

  24. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “The Swastika has a long and honorable tradition as a symbol of The Sun. (The ‘bent legs’ are rays of sunshine). It traditionally meant things like “good luck” and one supposes ‘happy warm life and lots of good crops”, given what the sun does for us.”

    No, no! CO2 is making the sunshine burn us! Warmth is BAD! It’s worse than we think! Desertification! Rising seas! Acid oceans! Sun = swastika = evil!

    Perhaps the IPCC should put a big swastika on the cover of their next report.

  25. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “(Though I must point out the USA also was happy to accept old Nazis, especially those with rocket and weapons technical skill. I clearly remember old Werner von Braun in his thick German accent telling me we were going to be living in space by now… It was his Saturn V rocket that took America to the moon. Odd thought that, the only folks to go to the moon got there on a Nazi designed rocket… ) ”

    The incorporation of Nazis into US governmental programs was actually widespread, with rocketry being merely the most visible. If you get a chance, you may someday wish to look at a book, “The Hunt For Zero Point” by Nick Cook. http://www.amazon.com/Hunt-Zero-Point-Classified-Antigravity/dp/0767906276 Mr. Cook was an aviation reporter and editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly for 15 years before writing it. While much of his subject (primarily anti-gravity research) is definitely fringe science, I would not label it crank science. Mr. Cook is of the opinion that not only did we (the US) get Nazi scientists and administrators, but that they have been — long term — a sort of virus which infected much of our national research facilities with memes from the Nazi ethos.

    It wasn’t only Nazis. General Shiro Ishi, the head of the WWII Japanese chemical and biological warfare division, Unit 731 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731 — a group which had practiced human vivisection on unsedated US prisoners — was granted immunity in exchange for his test data.

    In a similar vein, there were reports that Markus Wolf, former head of the East German Stasi, was hired by Homeland Security as an adviser. http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/december2004/061204wolfhired.htm

    Totalitarianism is a poison to any group. Any nation — or group, such as the MB — which knowingly and willingly incorporates Nazis or such, into its culture takes a giant risk.

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    “Any nation — or group, such as the MB — which knowingly and willingly incorporates Nazis or such, into its culture takes a giant risk.”

    What makes you think it is, from their POV, risk taking? It might be a ‘design goal’…

    Oh, and don’t forget that we, USA, hauled off a chunk of gear and data from the Japanese Nuclear Program and one of there scientists was shown on a (History channel?) show detailing it. IIRC he ended up in the USA.

    Hey, somebody’s ‘got skilz’ better to have them ‘in house’… (though I’d suggest some pretty long ‘orientation’ sessions…)

    Like the IPCC report idea. If heat is evil, then using a sun symbol for evil warming makes a lot of sense ;-)

    Per anti-gravity:

    I’m pretty sure it can be done. I’ve got several ideas on ‘how’ (some are just a countering force of a different kind, and by that definition even an airplane would be an anti-gravity machine…) Given that the magneto-electro-weak force is much stronger than the gravity force, just getting a field such that a counter EMF makes you float would do it… and we are embedded inside a strong electrical field with modest magnetic components. (Though the best way would be to find how to project your gravity into an alternate dimension – thus causing no effect here – and use trivial reaction mass or electrical acceleration to move you. The trick, of course, is handling alternate dimensions ;-)


    Nice link, thanks!

    I mostly used the poison gas example as most folks remember the picture, but having more to back it up is nice…


    They were quite common prior to W.W.II end. Just a little bit of looking finds them in many old places, usually painted over, or with an object in front of them or on top of them ( if not just a rough patch of chisel marks…)

    Kind of like letting the Nazis take over the smiley face… Oh, and I ought to mention that, IIRC, the Tibetan Monks use one with the ‘arms’ going the other way…

    There was also a ‘flap’ a few years back because a Japanese company sold a game CD with a swastika on the cover. It was a small one, used as a ‘good luck’ marker, down in a corner somewhere. Western folks went ballistic (mostly Jews and PC Christians) for no good reason. Frankly, I’d assert the complainers could be criticized for being ‘culturally insensitive’ to the large body of Asians for whom it is a cherished and peaceful cultural tradition. Why should THEY have to change because some German stole their symbols and some OTHER Europeans got pissed at him? In that case I think it was even the ‘other way’ one (though it’s a hazy thing…) so you get to ask if Europeans can’t tell right from left either…

    At any rate, the Nazis had a mythology of being healthy and out in the sun and all that. ( When your government starts talking about mandated health programs and wanting to control your fitness, remember it was a Nazi program… along with an emphasis on ‘being green’…) You find various ‘sun signs’ and other symbology scattered about. The SS used the ‘sig’ rune that meant ‘Sun’, but made it a mirror image and doubled it.

    “The SS sig runes design was created in 1931 when Walter Heck, a Sturmführer in the SS, drew two reversed and inverted sig runes side by side and noticed the similarity to the initials of the SS. Heck sold the rights of the sig runes to the SS for 2.5 Reichsmarks, and the runes were quickly adopted as the insignia of the Schutzstaffel and became one of the most commonly used forms of SS unit insignia.”

    “*Sowilō or *sæwelō is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the s-rune, meaning “sun”. The name is attested for the same rune in all three rune poems. It appears as Old Norse sōl, Old English sigel, and Gothic sugil.”

    Though in Elder Futhark it is naturally reversed as found, so I’d just suspect he knew about the oldest form and didn’t see a need to ‘reverse’ it.

    At any rate, sun symbology was one of their “hot items” and it does bug me that we’ve let them corrupt the symbology of the sun in perpetuity. As a semi-Drud by leaning, I rather like the sun and enjoy occasionally stopping in the garden to just soak in a bit and gain peace and perspective (along with a dose of Vit-D that causes folks to feel better too ;-)

    I wonder if we need to start watching out for other “sun signs” in radical Arab Socialist groups…

  27. Jason Calley says:

    “At any rate, sun symbology was one of their “hot items” and it does bug me that we’ve let them corrupt the symbology of the sun in perpetuity. ”

    Perpetuity is a long time… Who remembers now that the honeybee was the symbol of Napoleon?

  28. tckev says:

    There’s a nice write up in free republic website covering some of Syria’s problems.

    “Turkish media has published an interview with the Secretary-General of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood in which he makes comments highly critical of Iran and Hezbollah. The interview begins:”
    Which is at

  29. kuhnkat says:

    Jason and E.M.,

    it wasn’t just hardware we were after. Apparently a number of Nazis from THEIR intelligence services were coopted into ours. If you think Nazi beliefs are a problem in armnments and research, think of how this probably explains the CIA attacking Bush and his ME wars!!


  30. Pascvaks says:

    Someone of these ‘socialist’ types once said that ‘religion is the opiate of the people’ (or something like that;-). People like ‘opiates’, be they political, religious, social, economic, etc., they like them because they make life understandable and bearable. People like leaders who take the same opiates they do and who are up to taking on the problems of their world while they in turn are busy making a living and living their lives as best they can. During times of distress or conflict they automatically ‘give’ more power to these ‘leaders’ in order to ‘get it done so life can return to normal as soon as possible’. Some could rightly say that 100 years ago the world entered a period of World War that hasn’t stopped yet. One of the worst problems with a long war is that people tend to forget what life was like before the war started. Today there are too few who can tell you what the US was like in 1912. How do you demand a return to ‘normal’ if no one knows what normal is? I guess it’s the same with Muslims who only wanted control over their own countries a hundred years ago. I guess they subscribed to some ‘leaders’ during those long years that led them in to their current problems. Hummm.. just like we did;-)

    PS: always thought the first commie was a guy named saul, who changed his name to paul, but I’m probably 10,000 years off; think maybe his name was mug and he changed it to thug and lived in a cave in france?

  31. Jason Calley says:

    @ kuhnkat
    Quite an eye opener of a document!

    We humans are odd monkeys… We automatically seek out and form friendships with those who we have common traits with. (Especially if we have dangled participles with them.) Criminals hang out with criminals, drug users hang out with drug users, church goers with churchgoers, etc. Birds of a feather…

    This is not a bad thing, not intrinsically bad. But what do we do when politicians from the US hang out with politicians from France? Or bankers from Canada hang out with bankers from Greece? Or (even worse) CEOs from Goldman Sachs hang out with the Secretary of the Treasury? As an elected official, my first responsibility should be to my constituency (and the Constitution), but how do I keep myself from being more of a buddy to my fellow officials than to all those “little people” back home in “fly-over country?” If I am a soldier, how do I keep myself from being a buddy to my fellow soldiers when doing so means turning a blind eye to murder, rape or torture?

    There were reports that Marcus Wolf was given a consulting job with Homeland Security. In a more just world, he would have been shot. Sigh… Intelligence officers hang out with intelligence officers.

    “Your papers, please!”

  32. Pascvaks says:

    @Jason- “If I am a soldier, how do I keep myself from being a buddy to my fellow soldiers when doing so means turning a blind eye to murder, rape or torture?”

    Not a problem. Really! It’s a ‘family’ thing.

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