Wednesday, 1 August 2007

1974 Iraqi Baath political report


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[left: front cover of 1974 Iraqi Baath pamphlet]


REVOLUTIONARY IRAQ 1968-1973

THE EIGHTH REGIONAL CONGRESS OF THE ARAB BA'TH SOCIALIST
PARTY IN IRAQ WAS HELD IN BAGHDAD BETWEEN THE EIGHTH AND
TWELFTH OF JANUARY 1974. FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF THE
POLITICAL REPORT ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY AND DELIVERED BY
COMRADE AHMAD HASSAN AL-BAKR, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE
REGIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE ARAB BA'TH SOCIALIST PARTY AND
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC. DELIVERY TOOK PLACE ON THE 5TH,
6TH, 7TH OF MARCH 1974. INTRODUCTION

The Eighth Regional Congress of the Arab Ba'th Socialist
Party was held five years after the revolution launched by
the Party between the 17th and the 30th of July 1968 in
Iraq. The epoch has been one of democratic and progressive
achievements. It has also been rich in experience relating
to the handling of difficult, delicate and complicated
problems such as the consolidation of the Party's rule and
the Revolution's authority, and dealing with the execution
of patriotic, democratic, socialist and other tasks of
revolutionary transformation and struggle against
imperialism, Zionism and reaction.

Our Congress therefore has been characterized by new
special features differing from those of the Seventh
Regional Congress of five years ago, which was held in
Baghdad on the 24th of November 1968 right after the
breakout of revolution and the assumption of power by the
Party and before the enrichment of Party experience and the
strengthening of the Revolution's arm.

Our Eighth Congress had to avoid generalities in patterns
which provide no concrete guide for work. It had to exert
the greatest possible effort to formulate a realistic and
clear revolutionary programme which would unify the will of
the Party and the masses, leaving no room for possibly
conflicting interpretations.

It should now be possible, after five and a half years at'
the helm of political power and acquaintance with the
problems of revolutionary democratic and socialist
transformation, to know exactly where we stand.

The Party, having passed through sensitive and sometimes
even bitter experiences on both the regional and national
levels, finds it incumbent to define what must and could be
done over the next five years.

Inexperience can no longer be a justification for failure
or an apology. The masses in our country and the Arab
Homeland can no longer find any excuses of revolutionary
inexperience for us and must now look to us as qualified
leaders. In order to live up to expectations, we must
re-evaluate the past phase starting from July 17th 1968
until now, in an objective, frank and revolutionary spirit.
We must be able to find out the positive as well as the
negative aspects and errors. Everything must come out to
light now which may not have come to light so far because
of the sensitive circumstances.

What in fact are the characteristics and peculiarities of
the phase between 17-30 July 1968 and the congregation of
this Congress ? The problems and issues which faced the
Arab Ba'th Socialist Party and the popular revolutionary
movement during that phase?

It's a well known fact that the Revolution of July 17th was
not the first one in Iraq. Ten years earlier, the 14th of
July 1958 Revolution took place and was basically
progressive, democratic and inspired. In power, however,
the revolutionary regime deviated and changed course into a
dictatorial, rightist and regional mentality while keeping
the outward signs of nationalism. A daring attempt was made
by the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party on the 8th of February
1963 to re-establish a revolutionary, democratic and
popular regime which would work for Arab Unity. The
attempt, unfortunately, soon failed in achieving the
objective.

It was during the black Novemberist (1963) regression, that
the most backward rightist and dictatorial forces reached
power. Never since July 14th 1958 had there been in
authority people more inclined to make peace with
imperialism and open for reactionary infiltration and
opposition to democratic thought and progressive
application. The net result was a grave threat of
encirclement and compromise of the two revolutions of July
14th 1958 and February 8th 1963 and all their revolutionary
gains and achievements. The progressive forces of the
masses, the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party at the fore, were
exposed to all sorts of terrorism and repression. The
Revolution of July 17th 1968, aiming by nature at
liberation, democracy, socialism and national integration,
was beset by the failures of July 14th 1958 and February
8th 1963 and the special peculiarities of Iraq. It had to
face, therefore, additional burdens, extremely complex and
delicate. The errors and deviations of the preceding phase
had engulfed all aspects of life with grave implications.
So the Revolution had to deal with all of this while at the
same time working for its immediate targets and strategic
aims of Arab Unity, liberty and socialism.

The Revolution had to establish immediately revolutionary
power and Party leadership and to realise the progressive
and democratic tasks which the two previous revolutions
failed to realise. It had to carry out new tasks required
by the new phase of revolutionary development and ensure
all possible prerequisites of socialist transformation
while making an effective contribution to the Arab struggle
against imperialist Zionist aggression and the ever
increasing dangers of reactionary connivance in the Arab
world.

These were the central preoccupations and problems facing
the Party and the people on the state, national and
international levels, during the past five and a half
years. They had to meet the required conditions to face
those tasks and to make all possible efforts to achieve the
immediate targets and move hence forward toward realising
the strategic aims of the Arab Revolution for unity,
freedom and socialism.

In the following chapters of this report, the Regional
leadership explains frankly, accurately and in detail, the
circumstances and factors accompanying the progress of the
Party and the Revolution during the past phase. It deals
with the internal as well as the local, Arab and
international conditions and their effects on the abilities
of the Party and the people in facing the tasks and
realising the objectives.

The past phase has had its ups and downs, triumphs and
failures. It was rich with many achievements and many
essential gains. It was not, however, free from some
negative aspects and partial failures.

We strongly feel, as we pass from one phase into another,
that all things considered, the march of the Revolution has
been one of success and triumph. Indeed, it has been able
to pave a new course for the revolutionary movement in our
country and in the Arab revolutionary movement. It has been
able to lay the basic foundations for a revolutionary
experiment which is popular, national, democratic,
socialist and ideally suited for the Arab world and the
Third World. Now as in future, it can play an ever
increasing bright and prominent role in the Arab and
international revolutionary movement. This is a part of
what the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party has stood and struggled
for during thirty years. The masses in our country and the
Arab world made sacrifices and gave martyrs for it.

[Full document here]

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