This tone is new to Syrian officials, who during many years of secular Baathism
, steered clear of referring to Quranic verses.
is seen in Washington as a particularly odious form of authoritarianism, decades of Baath government have fostered a sense of peaceful coexistence and even mutual tolerance among Syria's diverse population.
The arrival of Arab jihadists in Afghanistan was the first step and migration from these Arab nations who rode the wave of Marxism, Baathism
, Arab Nationalism and capitalism and have failed.
is a movement that grew out of Arab rejection of European manipulation and domination, especially in Syria and Iraq.
Now secularism has retreated in reaction to the evident bankruptcy of Baathism
, but also in response to the regime's manipulation of religion to sustain its own legitimacy.
This being the case, Washington would have three objectives through regime change in Syria: (1) to end the Hanoi status of Damascus; (2) to kill Baathism
in the Middle East once and for all, thus demonstrating the failure of any ideology that differentiates itself from that of the US; and (3) to bring in democratisation and an open market in Syria, to follow up on a similar set of objectives in Iraq.
In Syria and Iraq, ruling minorities drew on Baathism
to detract from their status by positing a larger Arab identity to which all had to bend.
In the 1950s and 1960s, most Arab states were already trapped in minority sectarian regimes, which Nasserism and Baathism
attempted to bypass through "holistic" pan-Arab ideologies.
It is difficult to gauge the extent of the support that Baathism
as an ideology may still enjoy in Iraq.
In Iraq, where Baathism
is rapidly being superceded by Islamism in the vanguard of resistance to the occupation, we may be witnessing its death throes.
is a fusion of Arab nationalism with fascist ideas created by two Syrian students studying in the Sorbonne: Salahal-Din Bittar and Michel Aflaq.
Existing ideologies that continue to have some residual appeal include Arab nationalism, which remains relevant mainly to the older generation of both rulers and ruled - and Baathism
which is a combination of modernism, socialism and nationalism that had a notable impact only on Syria and Iraq.