THE CENTRAL REPORT OF THE NINTH REGIONAL CONGRESS
Between the Eighth Regional Congress —January 1974, and the Ninth Regional Congress— June 1982, the Arab Baath Socialist Party and its Revolution in Iraq passed through a long stage full of notable events and great achievements.
The phase preceding the Eighth Regional Congress was mainly devoted to establishing the revolutionary government, maintaining national unity, waging battles of steadfastly against the conspiracies of colonialist and reactionary forces and advancing, though with difficulty, along the path of defining the identity of the Party and Revolution after a long period of setbacks, disintegration, deviation, and distortions.
However, the phase that had followed the Eighth Regional Congress was, for the Revolution, a phase of stability, continuity and achievement in all fields.
The Eighth Regional Congress has been truly distinguished among the central Party conferences that preceded it. One of its most important characteristics is that it produced a comprehensive analysis for the phase that had preceded it, and laid down a comprehensive programme for the following one. In all this, the congress has sought to create a relation based on consciousness and interaction between the revolutionary principles and the concrete objective reality. It was also concerned to be fair and precise in its analysis of the previous phase.
Although this may seem natural, it had not been so in the past. In the experience of the movement of Arab Revolution and in those of previous experiments of the Party, conferences and similar activities had failed to act with such revolutionary and realistic precision and fairness. For, these aspects combined demand an extraordinary effort, a genuine adherence to principles, level-headedness, appropriate subjective conditions inside the Party and appropriate objective conditions as well. To make a comprehensive analysis of a preceding phase is not that easy for two basic considerations. The first is that such a process is very complicated since it involves so many ideological, economic, social and psychological elements that it is not easy to encompass them, or to deduct from them correct conclusions which are convincing to the masses and the Party and constitute a factor of integration among their ranks.
The second is the great difficulty in (a) striking a balance between criticism of mistakes and drawbacks within the preceding course without drifting into a disruptive or destructive trend with all subjective purposes that are sometime involved; and (b) extracting elements of positiveness and strength from that course, keeping the flame of revolutionary work burning, maintaining optimism, and opening up bright prospects before the members of the Party and the people as a whole.
In this, the Eighth Regional Congress has attained prominent success. The congress itself has contributed to making the following phase distinguished by, among other aspects, stability, unity and clarity in the ideological, political and organisational fields as never before in the life of the Party. The congress has given the Party a comprehensive, precise, fair and unanimous analysis for the preceding phase, as well as a comprehensive, revolutionary, realistic and unanimous programme for the following one.
With the central political report of that congress, the Party and the people had a central document defining the programme of action in all fields. Hence, the Party members and the people had become more able than before to pursue the Revolution’s aims.
The citizen, who believes in the principles of the Party and Revolution and feels that they fulfill his aspirations and interests, has become more capable of interaction with the Party and of contribution to the revolutionary process which it is initiating.
This is a great achievement in revolutionary action. When the will and efforts of the revolutionary men of struggle get together in the framework of a clear and convincing programme, and when this programme is understood and supported by the people, great achievements will be quite possible. This had been exactly the case in the phase between the Eighth and Ninth Congresses.
The preceding phase had been distinguished by Comrade Saddam Hussein’s assumption of the official forward position in the Party and State on July 16, 1979. Ever since the beginning, it had become increasingly known among the people that it is Comrade Saddam Hussein who leads the Party and Revolution, defines its main directions, solves its difficulties and faces the serious dangers besetting it. However, this had been done within a party and constitutional formula involving many difficulties and complications. Therefore, the last part of the preceding phase, beginning with President Hussein’s official assumption of the forward responsibility up to the convocation of this congress was characterised by more clarity in defining objectives and concepts and with a higher capacity for decision-making, decisive action, facing dangers and conspiracies, and with the ability to push forward the course (of Revolution). In this period, we can objectively and sincerely say that the true face of the Party and its revolutionary experiment in Iraq has become totally clear on the largest scale. The experiment itself has started to move forward in accordance with its natural course possessing the highest ability to face external and internal dangers.
Today the Ninth Regional Congress is held amid a general feeling within the Party as well as among the people that the Revolution’s permanent motto launched by Comrade Saddam Hussein, «let us move forward* has been achieved and has become a reality in the life of the Party and the people in every field and in every part of the society.
The prevailing general feeling is one of strength, determination, optimism, and great confidence in the future, but not because the present situation does not hold dangers and difficulties. On the contrary, it has been full of the gravest dangers and sensitive issues, in the forefront of which are the aggression of the Iranian regime against the homeland, and the escalation of the Zionist entity’s aggression to a very grave level demonstrated by its raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor on June 7, 1981 and its invasion of Lebanon in June 1982.
Rather, this feeling is the outcome of profound and realistic confidence that the Party and the Revolution have become so powerful that they have become able to face every danger and difficulty and have become highly capable of achieving their aims.
The Party members and the people are now called upon to work meticulously and earnestly and to fight courageously under the banner of the Party, Revolution and the leadership of President Saddam Hussein.
The Party members and the people look at the Ninth Regional Congress as a new and vigorous starting point within the course of the Revolution and the Party. The essential task of this Congress was to define the main aspects of the preceding phase, to analyse it in a comprehensive, precise and fair manner, and to lay down a revolutionary, realistic and comprehensive programme that responds to both the present circumstances with all their dangers and complications, and the following phase which we are anticipating.
There is nothing new or surprising in many aspects of the analysis made by the Congress. For, the preceding phase between the Eighth Congress and this one had been distinguished from past phases by the flourishing ideological activity especially by Comrade Saddam Hussein and with his constant endeavour to analyse basic phenomena, lay down solutions for new problems, treat existing difficulties, face dangers in all its forms, and develop the Ba’athist Theory of Action in various fields of life.
The Congress has, therefore, devoted most of its efforts to sum up the process of definition and analysis of the previous phase and formulating it in a central Party document with the addition of new elements derived from the experiment itself as well as from life.
The programme of the Party and Revolution in the next phase is certainly an extension to their permanent programme which is based on principles. However, it will be interacting with new conditions; present and future dangers besetting the homeland, Party and Revolution; and newly discovered facts. It will also sincerely and scientifically try to interact with the ever forward-moving tempo of life.
The pattern of this report is:
a) To give a general picture of the internal life of the Party and the subjective conditions of the Revolution in the last phase and to review the main aspects of the historic role of the Leadership of President Saddam Hussein in the process of building up the Party after the 1963 November apostasy (against the Ba’ath Party), in the launching of the Revolution on July 17-30, 1968 and in its steadfastness and growth up to the present remarkable level.
b) To review the political, economic, social and other aims drawn out by the Political Report of the Eighth Regional Congress, define what had been and what had not been achieved and explain relevant reasons and circumstances.
c) To review the ideas and trends contained in the Political Report of the Eighth Congress in the light of the experience acquired by the Party throughout its past course and the theoretical and practical discoveries it has made.
d) To define the ideas, trends, and the basic aims of the next phase in the light of the principles of the Party, its conditions, its present capabilities, the present capabilities of the Revolution and the people, its lively and rich experience, the newly discovered facts of life, the grave dangers besetting the homeland, the Party and the Revolution, and the present objective conditions on the local, national Arab and international levels.
Between the 24th and the 27th of June 1982, the Ninth Regional Congress was held in Baghdad.
Comrade Saddam Hussein, the Regional Command Secretary, opened the congress with an instructive address to the members of the congress. He said: «In this session, and because of the special circumstances through which the Revolution and great Iraq are living and because of the testing time through which you have passed, you can be rightly considered as the vanguard of the Party, the heroes of our great people, its living conscience, its ever vigilant eyes and its voice to show the way ahead which should never fall silent when a sincere word is needed and which should not grow weak when a clear and vigorous voice is needed».
He added: «On the occasion of holding this congress I would like to greet the comrades, members of the Regional Congress, and express my pleasure at holding this congress. I would like also to extend my cordial congratulations to the comrades who won the confidence of their comrades in lower Party ranks so as to represent the Party in its conscience and ideology through this congress. I hope and am fully confident that you will be worthy of the high opinion held of you, and of the confidence in which you are held, through which you are shouldering great direct and indirect responsibility. Such responsibility has rightly taken its course, which is to pave the way for future aspirations and tasks in a manner suggesting confidence and security through your practice of your proper duties».
On choosing leaders through election, Comrade Hussein said: «The choice should be made among Party members who are better qualified in terms of struggle and absolute faith in principles and people». He defined the conditions he considered necessary for choosing Regional Command members as: (1) Greater courage in confronting crises than that required in ordinary conditions. The most important factor in the courage I mean is the courageous decision based on absolute faith in the cause of the struggle of the Party and people, despite all changes and confusion.
(2) Absolute honesty towards whatever may be in excess of the need of balanced life and the legitimate future requirements of the Baathist member and his family.
(3) The candidate’s desire to work meticulously to put into practice the Party’s principles from his own position in the Party, State and society. Therefore, traditional supervision and control is necessary for the Party ranks below that of the highest leadership and not for the members of this leadership. The basis in the adherence of the members of the leadership to these rules is not therefore supposed to result from the supervision of the Regional Secretary. Rather, the Baathist conscience and the honour and responsibility of leadership should be the main supervisor on the Regional Command members at all times and conditions. Then the Regional Secretary can fully practice his directing, leading and educational role besides his other tasks.
(4) Absolute faith in the importance and necessity of the independence of Iraq and the Party in a manner that would immunise our revolutionary experiment against interference and mischief of external foreign and Arab trends.
(5) Firmness of faith and character in the attitude towards international ideological trends as well as retrogressive trends, considering the Party’s ideology of the Party as the only one capable of paving for the Baathist the way he believes in, and in accordance with which all things should be assessed.*
Comrade Hussein added in his address to the congress members: «Dear Comrades, Your Party and Revolution has offered the people, the homeland and the nation what no other experiment has been able to do within such a relatively short period. However, we have to say that the most acute defect which we have to warn against is that the enemies of the Revolution and the Party managed in the past stage to influence and recruit a few young Iraqis —some of whom are of poor families with which the Revolution had been very generous. I know the size of the international and regional forces acting against the Revolution and I know the reasons behind their fervent endeavour as well.
Moreover, I know that when we reconsider these reasons we shall abandon our principled attitudes and the interests of our great people —which it will never occur to us to do even partially.
However, I think, if we had worked and thought in the Party on all levels as we had to, we would have foiled all hostile plans in this field. The enemies would have won less devious elements from among social sections which are supposed to support the Party and the Revolution.
The Revolution and its leader-Party have offered the people what it never dreamt of attaining in such a short time. Therefore, what can hostile forces say to certain sections of the population to win them over, however small the number of recruited elements may be? Can they say «Join us to work against the Revolution which has fed the hungry, clothed the poor and provided social security for all; pensions for the family which lost its father, orphans, widows, the handicapped, the mentally ill and the aged?»
The Revolution and its Leadership have scrutinised the smallest aspects of social life and living conditions of the people. It enacted laws; the most prominent among them is the Social Security Law. Human vision has characterized its treatment of issues related to the workers; the peasants; the military; the Women and their social and legal position, and the family, motherhood, and childhood with all their requirements.
The Revolution has built up a vigorous and prosperous Iraq which has acquired a high standing on the Arab and international levels.
It has made great achievements: the oil nationalisation, the autonomy (to the Iraqi Kurds in Northern Iraq), the National Front and a considerable progress in culture, education and all other fields.
If such is the case —and it is actually so to a great extent— the enemies’ success in winning over certain groups which, in terms of revolutionary technical assessment are considered part of the people, testifies to a defect for which the Party, in the areas and levels concerned, bears responsibility.
The most prominent aspect of this defect is the deficiency in the principled and ideological immunity of certain Party officials or their lack of ability and efficiency in expressing the Party’s principles in procedure and methods, as well as their failure to discover the enemies’ methods and nature and to provide the necessary means of educating the members of the public and the Party lower ranks.
Our enemies’ method at this stage is based on promoting backward and retrogressive religious and social concepts and habits. They resort to arousing instincts along these lines with a view to facilitating counter-revolutionary action. Their methods are coloured with deceit, humbug, swindling and lies in view of the requirements of psychological warfare and its aims.
The basis of our confrontation of the enemies lies in maintaining a genuinely close relationship with the people; uncovering the enemies’ methods; defining the information and facts and making them available to the people; and exposing these methods and their ends with the most effective methods directly or indirectly.
Primarily and as a basic task of struggle, we have to begin with immunising our families, friends and acquaintances against the effect of counter-trends. Consequently, we shall turn this section of the people not only to a position beyond the negative influence of the counter forces, but also to a group actively involved in educating and fortifying the people on the largest scale so as to ward off the enemies’ counter-revolutionary methods and propaganda.
The members of the Party organisation which has now covered every part of the country must be actually believing in principles and expressing them in practice without weakness or hesitation.
To ensure such a level, our basic yardsticks in assessing sincerity in work and thinking should take into consideration that Party members assuming State responsibilities should work objectively, efficiently and justly. They should sincerely apply whatever programmes, laws and instructions they have to apply. The assessment should also be based on the consideration that the number of hostile, disloyal and lazy elements in the areas of their work or in their offices should diminish with time; and that the rate of sincerity and efficiency in the quarter where those Party members work should increase with time.
If this cannot be achieved, we have to consider those Party members insincere or at least unqualified for their jobs —which demand, in the least, a change of their responsibilities and a replacement by more efficient elements. If they are insincere, there shall be a different way of dealing with them.
In Party responsibilities, we have to measure the sincerity and efficiency of Party members in the provinces and other administrative divisions on the basis of the decrease in the number of the enemies of the Revolution and the Party, and the shrinking of the negative circle among the people in every province; as well as on the basis of the increase in the support of the masses to the Revolution and the Party and in their consciousness and ideological and moral immunity in accordance with the Party’s principles and standards in every stage.
In these concepts, we proceed from our precise knowledge that the Iraqis have now become more homogenous socially and psychologically, or more close to each other.
If differences increase between one area and another, in terms of loyalty to the Party and the Revolution’s course, the defect must be within the Party’s organisation itself. In the light of these concepts, we have to watch the various phenomena; to undertake our revolutionary duties in building up the state, Party and society; to confront the enemies and to assess Party members, the people and friends. In accordance with these concepts, I will deal with the comrades, each by his own responsibility.
Comrades, the difficulties confronting the Revolution may seem to you extraordinary ones. This is quite true and expected because the Revolution led by the Party is not considered ordinary by many people. Equally, the men assuming the honour and responsibility of leadership in this Revolution have to be of extraordinary nature. We are called upon to compete for such a high honour through sacrifice, meticulous work and inexhaustible patience. The Revolution which does not confront serious difficulties cannot prepare its men who are eager to maintain its flourishing contribution and who are capable of defending it in all stages and under all circumstances.
Comrades, if your revolution had not faced the difficulties it had actually faced, can you theoretically imagine what sort of a relationship you would have with the people, yourselves and your principles? Your Revolution would have turned into a regime alienating you as well as the people; disappointment would have prevailed; hopes would have been lost; those believing in the necessity of the Revolution’s continuity in accordance with its original standards and concepts would have become a minority, while those corrupted with worn-out modes of life —which are full of deceit, flabbiness and social corruption— would have become the majority. Such a regime would have its own men while the Revolution’s men would have been divided into two groups: those who would have sought to protect their Revolution and reject the alternative regime, and those who would have failed to have the appropriate vision and behaviour, consequently surrendering to and joining such a regime. Thus, the Revolution would have lost its historic role; the people would have lost their great hopes; and he who would have wanted to continue along the path of Revolution would have been forced to start struggle anew whether through our Party or another.
If our Party had not faced hard conditions of struggle in the early phases of its rise, would it have been able to make a revolution such as the July Revolution, or would it rather have turned into another Party quite different from the Party we have known and joined?
Thus, Comrades, the wide base of Baathists and other citizens who can meet the conditions of underground struggle has expanded. The number of Party members has now become thousands of thousands, while in the past there were only hundreds of them. The difficulties which have faced the Revolution, in the forefront of which is the Second Qadissiya battle, have solved the problem of making a choice between the desire to expand the base of the Party and the fear that expansion in recruitment might create a burden to the Party and open the door for its enemies to infiltrate its structure with a view to destroying it from within. In terms of education and struggle, these hard conditions played a special role in building up the Party and people in a most reliable manner that ensures both the present and the future.
Among the ranks of the people, there was an increase in the number of fighters and builders who have gained through such difficult conditions more experience, firmness, awareness and extraordinary potential for work and sacrifice.
Had not been for this, the Party’s main body which, had grown after the Revolution would have collapsed or deviated.
After the Revolution, and especially in recent years, the Party was faced with an extremely difficult condition. There were two alternatives, the first being that the Party should remain a small organisation with only limited additions from among the people. In such a case, the Party would be isolated from the people who would be for various reasons an easy prey for hostile forces. This is obviously a suicide for the reasons we have already mentioned as well as for other reasons concerning the expansion in the tasks of the Party in the State and society and human need for renovation. These needs demand an expansion in the Party’s organisation. The other alternative is to open the Party for the people and expand its organisation without the presence of the conditions, tasks and difficulties of underground struggle which enrich the standards of sincerity, speed the building-up of the member’s character and strengthen and deepen the basis of new traditions. In such a case, the Party would sustain a cancer tumor and commit a special form of suicide.
Hence, the war which is one of the hardest conditions confronting the Revolution has turned, in one of its side effects, to a need and an indispensable means not only to defend Iraq against invaders but also to build up great Iraq in accordance with the concepts of the Party and the Revolution, expand the base if the Baathist struggle, deepen the awareness of the people of its historic responsibilities, and enhance its patience and faith in the Revolution’s course after it had spilled its blood in defence of the Revolution and its principles.
Therefore, the sacrifices we have made in this valiant battle are a small price compared with what Iraq and the Revolution’s course of progress would have lost had we surrendered to the state of flabbiness, humiliation and hesitation to meet hard challenges.*
The Leader Saddam Hussein concluded by saying:
«Comrades, I believe that the faithful human being who enjoys a conscious and firm will, can do everything outside the range of God’s tasks. Hence, I see that we will inevitably achieve our aims, God willing, that the enemies will no doubt fall one after another, that all conspiracies hatched against Iraq and its progress would be smashed as were former ones, and that our great people led by our Party of struggle would be victorious in this as well as in all future battles for new life, God willing.
In the end, I hope every success for your honest task of struggle in your historic role in this Congress. I also trust that you, each from his own position, will continue your tasks of struggle after this Congress with vigour, faith, patience, and a high-principled attitude. May God make your efforts a success. Thank you.»
The Congress has dwelt upon the Central Report put forward for discussion by the Regional Command, and enriched it with recommendations and notes. The Congress had asked the Regional Command to prepare the Report for publication in the light of its recommendations, notes and any developments that may take place between the Congress’ meetings and its publication.
The Party’s Regional Command is pleased to present the Central Report approved by the Ninth Regional Congress to the members of the Party, the people and the nation.
The Regional Command
THE INTERNAL LIFE AND SUBJECTIVE
CONDITIONS IN THE PARTY
The Party’s internal life and the Revolution’s subjective conditions constitute an essential factor in defining their ability to perform their tasks and in shaping the features of the stage which they are leading. It may not be always possible to talk in public about the internal life and subjective conditions of the Party and the Revolution. The Leadership may sometimes be forced to close certain chapters or not to reveal certain aspects even in terms of internal dealings with the Party and its main leading bodies. In so doing, it is not prompted by a desire to retain the right of withholding certain facts which it does not want the Party base to be informed about.
To raise an issue at the wrong time and the untimely revelation of a certain fact may cause harmful consequences to the progress of the Party and Revolution —of which the enemies may unwarrantedly make use. This method in dealing with the internal life of the Party and the subjective conditions of the Revolution with all patience —which may sometimes reach a degree of bitterness— involved, stems from the Party’s bitter experiences before the Revolution of July 17-30, 1968. In such experiences, when the Party members and leaders in particular, could not handle the realities of the internal life and the subjective conditions of the Revolution, squabbles were created, crises intensified with no objective reason in most cases, and conflicts erupted. Hostile forces made great use of this in dealing a blow to the whole Party and to the whole Revolution. This was exactly what happened on November 18, 1963 in Iraq, and to a certain extent on February 23, 1966 in Syria.
The Central Report of the Ninth Regional Congress
Of all past experiments of power by the Baath Party in Iraq and Syria, those of the movement of Arab revolution in particular and those of the movement of revolution in the Third World at large, the experiment of July 17-30, 1968 Revolution is distinguished by its remarkable success in realising continuity, maturity and progress. However, this does not mean that it has not suffered from bitter, even serious difficult subjective conditions. Indeed, it has suffered from all of this, yet it has stood up to the challenge, continued, gained maturity and kept moving forward.
Our own experience for scores of years in the Party, also other revolutionary experiences in the world, have shown us that such an achievement must not only have its own objective conditions and prerequisites. The leaders themselves may play a decisive role, whether in helping conditions to drift into crisis then on to dispute and open conflict, or in facing difficulties with perseverance and patience and dealing with complicated cases with wisdom, high morality, great courage and systematic effectiveness with a view to protecting the progress of the experiment from collapse or weaknesses and to maintaining and constantly enhancing its advance. This was exactly the case with the experiment of the July 17-30, 1968 Revolution where the historic role of leader Saddam Hussein lies.
Objectivity and sincerity towards the Party and Revolution, the people, and the whole movement of Arab revolution, demand at this stage that we should deal with this fact. This is not only because of our desire to be fair to history only —though this is necessary by itself— but also to understand the essence of the past course of the Party and Revolution; to solve certain puzzles in our minds as members of the Party; and to apprehend many complications which had baffled us. Above all, this will help us move forward with more clarity, depth and ability to achieve the aims of our Party and Revolution and to serve our people and nation.
As men of struggle, we remember those dark and hazardous days which the Party endured in the aftermath of November 18, 1963 conspiracy and the state of confusion, loss and shaken confidence in which we lived. We had at the time, and sometimes conflicting evaluations of the reasons for the setback. About this, a great deal was written by the Party, and many documents were centrally published. However, despite confusion and differences in interpretation and evaluation, we, as men of struggle, feel that one —or even the most— important reason behind the setback, is the Party’s lack, at the time, of a Baathist leader with inter-related qualities —adherence to principles, wisdom, courage, morality, patience, strategic mind, tactical ability— who can rally the Baathists, mobilise their tremendous potentialities, make use of their remarkable preparedness for meticulous action and sacrifice, solve differences and contradictions, define priorities, explain difficulties and confront enemies at the right time and place.
This is what we had been all agreed to at the time. In those complex conditions, we, as Party members, felt the dire and profound need for such and indispensable factor.
Amid those bitter, difficult and complex conditions «the leader — necessity» had emerged. Comrade Saddam Hussein is not of the sort of leader who emerges all of a sudden as is the case with military coups; nor is he of the sort of leader who is built up throughout a very long process and gets known before assuming power, as is the case with parties and movements which operate in public or semi-public conditions.
He is a unique model who emerged and developed in unique conditions. The Party’s activity and organisation were under-ground because any form of public activity would prompt a crushing, oppressive blow to its organisation. Internal life in the Party was then very limited. Time was very short and fast running out.
The conspiracy of November 18, 1963 was accompanied and followed by dissension in Iraq’s party organisation. Within weeks, dissension hit the Party’s national organisation (in the Arab homeland). Less than a year later, an extensive blow was dealt to the Party on September 4, 1964, and Comrade Saddam Hussein was arrested. In February 1966, an apostate coup overthrew the Party’s government in Syria.
Despite those conditions, the Baathists who were closely attached lo Party’s internal life were quite aware of the role of Comrade Saddam Hussein at that stage. Indeed, they remember the picture of that courageous Baathist youth who carried out the Party’s orders, took up a rifle and shot at dictator Abdul Karim Qassim. They knew him in exile in Egypt as a committed, courageous and serious Baathist. Moreover they remember him as the bright Baathist who used to speak the truth with all clarity, courage and frankness in the Party’s Regional and National conferences, during the experiment of the February Revolution 1963. They had just seen him shouldering the responsibility of reorganising the Party in a courageous, meticulous and faithful manner. Further, they were aware that he had taken the basic role in preparing a plan of revolution and all its requirements in the hope of striking at Abdul Salam Arif’s regime in September 1964; and they knew how he courageously fought off the attempt to arrest him.
These are all signs of birth. After his escape from prison on July 23, 1966, the Baathists felt that his presence again among them in the Party had given them more strength and ability to confront the new dissension resulting from the February conspiracy (in Syria) as well as in rebuilding the Party and xpanding its base.
Indeed, the Party warded off the danger of dissension, restored its unity and expanded its organisational base. It has, in effect, become the prime leader of the people’s struggle in Iraq and the prime candidate for a revolutionary change much waited for.
However, launching a revolution against the Arif regime and assuming power were much more complicated than the Party’s internal life and its means of struggle. They had different needs and conditions and involved stages and difficulties which had to be overcome.
The Eighth Regional Congress has dealt with some aspects of the conditions and needs emerging in that phase, but it has not tackled them with necessary clarity, especially with regard to the Party’s internal life and the Revolution’s subjective conditions.
In talking today about the Revolution, 14 years after its launching, we are prompted by a sense of precision as well as by faithfulness to the Party and history to say that July 17 was a Revolution in essence and intentions. However, from a practical point of view, it was a «draft revolution”, and July 30 itself was the «revolution» under which we are today living and whose course we are pursuing.
Had it not been for the operation of July 30, 1968, the change of July 17, 1968 would have been a military coup of a rightist and reformist nature rather than being a comprehensive and radical revolution. If the counter-revolutionary elements (Abdul Razzak al-Naief, Abdul Rahman al-Dawood and others) had managed to control the situation, the change of July 17, 1968 would have in effect turned into a counter-revolution; the Party would have suffered a crackdown; and all the people’s aspirations for freedom, progress, independence and revival would have suffered a fatal blow.
In preparing for July 17, Comrade Saddam Hussein was the mind that had planned organised and taken precautions. In the morning of July 17, he, a civilian Baathist, had driven the first tank and stormed the Republican Palace, thus triggering off the Revolution.
However, on July 30, Saddam Hussein was indeed the Revolution’s Leader. It was he who insisted on liquidating the counter-revolutionary forces and that very soon. It was he who devised the plan, chose the time of execution, designated the roles of participants and himself dealt the decisive blow. Hence the true birth of the Revolution —which brought forth the course through which we are living today.
The Arab Baath Socialist Party, especially in Iraq and Syria, has proved more than once, within the context of long experience, its capability of assuming power. This was not an acute problem for the Party as was the case with some Arab parties which have grown old without assuming power. The Party has always had courageous civilian and military members capable of striking at this or that regime and assuming power partly or totally. But, for the Party, the essential and historical problem had always been how to remain in office, and how to protect the Baathist identity of its government and its forward movement along the path of continuity, maturity and influence on the movement of Arab Revolution.
If Comrade Saddam Hussein had a leading and strategic role in the Party’s assumption of power on July 17-30,1968, he, since July 30, 1968, has been in effect, the first leader in the process of maintaining power, confirming the Baathist identity of the Revolution’s government and progressing along the path of continuity, maturity and influence.
The prime revolutionary and historic achievement which has been realised, thanks to Comrade Hussein’s leadership and the awareness of the Party and its senior cadres is that, through a revolutionary, semi-peaceful, intelligent, complex and patient though firmly principled process, he was able to prevent the predominance of the military coup phenomenon over the Revolution even after July 30, and to maintain the identity of the Revolution as one led by our Party.
Some senior military Party members, or those who were so considered as a result of their personal ambition and their lack of Party and revolutionary awareness had no idea in historical, popular and Baathist terms for the process and role of a revolution led by the Party in an individual Arab country as a base for the movement of Arab revolution. For them, the Revolution was mainly an act of revenge against those who has usurped power from the Party of November 18, 1963. For them, it was also an upper change of a reformist and superficial nature which, in the Arab homeland experiments, and those of the Third World, always results in a rightist regime incapable of achieving the aims of the radical, democratic, social and cultural revolution and of maintaining the necessary requirements of confronting imperialism, Zionism and reactionary forces.
Such an option (the reformist and superficial political change) was of course impossible with the Party participating in power in one form or another. It is totally rejected by the Party. Had it not been for the historic leadership which had led the process of ensuring the Party, Baathist and revolutionary identity of the government, as we have just mentioned, a divorce and an explosion would have certainly taken place between the Party and those military men; the Party might have disintegrated into many conflicting and contradictory trends; most Baathists would have been deeply disappointed and driven to despair; the whole experiment with all its components might have fallen; and the black counter-revolution would have returned, as was the case on November 18, 1963.
The second historic achievement which was secured, thanks to Comrade Saddam Hussein’s leadership and to the courage and vigilance of the Party members, was the total success in crushing all conspiracies hatched against the Party by colonialist and reactionary forces, adventurers, rancorous political groups, the Syrian regime, the Communist Party, the Shah’s regime and its local agents, as well as those conspiracies hatched from within the Party itself.
This is in no way an ordinary achievement. Rather, it is a historic one in view of Iraq’s difficult and complex conditions: political fragmentation resulting from the conflicts which started with July 14, 1958 and continued up to the Revolution of July 17, 1968; the insurgency in the north; the proximity to Iran; the monopolistic companies’ control over our basic resources; the growing foreign ambitions in our country; and the demographic and social multiplicity. Indeed, it is a great achievement, especially considering that it was made within the framework of the continuing revolutionary process, its progress and maturity as well as within the widest possible democratic practice and developing relationship with the people.
We remember those days when Comrade Saddam Hussein was modestly, relentlessly, patiently working behind the scenes within the framework of an establishment of whose name or position a very few had heard, i.e., the Bureau of Public Relations, while he was in effect leading the revolutionary process with all its complications. While officially occupying the position of Deputy Secretary of the Party’s Regional Command, he was, in effect, the Vice-Chairman of the Revolution Command Council. In those days, through very simple means and with the participation of few courageous Baathists, the Revolution’s security was attended to under the supervision of Comrade Saddam Hussein. Hence the foiling of one conspiracy after another, and the extensive liquidation of Zionist, American, British and Iranian espionage rings as well as those linked to covetous forces with ambitions in Iraq, Masonic cells, and the groups of adventurous and power-thirsty army officers who were collaborating with this or that State.
Much of that active, delicate and dangerous work was done secretly. Nothing was declared except when the Revolution’s interests so demanded, as was the case with the foiling of the reactionary conspiracy in 1970, and other attempts of which the public was informed. Ever since the beginning, all enemies of the Party and all hostile intelligence services have identified the role of Comrade Saddam Hussein in defending the Revolution. Indeed, they have taken into consideration that no plot can succeed without aiming at the leader Saddam Hussein.
When direct foreign attempts on the Revolution failed, hostile forces started to hatch conspiracies against the Party and Revolution from within. Hence, Comrade Saddam Hussein was target No. 1 in such conspiracies. In confronting such a dangerous and delicate type of conspiracy, he was also in the forefront. We all remember those delicate hours of 1973 June conspiracy which was hatched by a number of members of the leadership with a view to imposing their hegemony over the Party and Revolution and forcing on them an ideologically and morally alien conduct with all the connections with hostile colonialist forces, the Shah regime, forces of reaction and the Syrian regime involved.
The Party, thus, was in a historic need of an iron hand to strike swiftly and with no hesitation whatsoever. It also needed a more delicate scalpel to distinguish between tiny vessels of conspiracy and those of confusion which involved a number of members who had certain links with the conspirators and might have taken part in some of their activities but did not share their ends. At those moments, the Party was in need of a leader of a special type who could cut out a cancer but keep the body alive, strong and capable of growth and work. Indeed, Comrade Saddam Hussein was this leader who has performed this task with a remarkable success. Had it not been for such treatment, the Party would have sunk in an internal war of liquidation. Dark clouds would have overwhelmed it and alien standards prevailed in its ranks, while its revolutionary experiment would have reached the brink of collapse or perhaps total collapse.
This was what happened in July 1979 when the treasonous and conspiratorial attitude of a group of members of the leadership and some senior cadres surfaced.
At those moments, the Party and its Revolution were at a serious crossroads. The aim of the conspirators was to obstruct the assumption by Comrade Saddam Hussein of his legitimate responsibilities in the forward position of leadership of the Party and Revolution and to throw the Party and Revolution into a state of confusion and disintegration so as to make the Revolution and consequently the whole country an easy prey for the shady Assad regime, the spiteful Iranian regime, foreign powers and the forces of reaction in the region. This would lead to the destruction of the Party and the Revolution as well as to the shattering of all those good and honest hopes entertained by the Party members and honest patriots through decades of building up a national, revolutionary, fully independent, strong and democratic experiment which can become a liberated base for the movement of Arab revolution and a centre of influence and support for it.
It is necessary to dwell a little upon this evil attempt which, of all the long series of evil conspiracies and attempts on the Party and Revolution and on the leader Saddam Hussein and his historic role, was the severest blow ever dealt to them.
We have first to refer to the fact that in the aftermath of the 1973 June conspiracy, the Leadership was sincerely eager not to prosecute some Party members who had links with the conspirators, so as to create a positive atmosphere and offer positive opportunities to all in order that they can serve the Party and Revolution regardless of the complexes and circumstances of the past phase. This however had not cured all of them. Some had stored certain spiteful feelings and lived in personal complexes thus making themselves a medium for the evil conspiracy which was discovered in 1979.
Involved in this conspiracy were some members of the Leadership who had no right to claim as far as the leadership of the Party and Revolution is concerned. All of them have been offered chances to go up the ladder of leadership more than what they deserved, whether in terms of their history and role in the Party or their individual efficiency. Yet, they formed a ring which hid itself inside the Party and used means of distortion, deceit, machination, liquidation and intrigue with a view to defaming members of the Party and causing conflicts inside the Leadership and among senior cadres as a step towards controlling the Party and government through full coordination with the puppet regime of Syria and numerous foreign circles. All these parties have unanimously agreed on striking at the independent national, true socialist and incorruptible Baathist trend of which Comrade Saddam Hussein has been a bright and firm symbol. They were aiming at substituting for this trend, a state of affairs similar to those in Syria and certain other regimes where corruption reign in the highest circles of the State, and power centres with by foreign connections predominate. Prevailing these regimes also are slogans which are devoid of any real content and of any firm grounds on which Iraq and consequently the Arab nation can rest in confronting Imperialism, Zionism and all foreign powers with certain territorial ambitions in Iraq and the Arab nation.
The Party has succeeded in discovering and smashing that malicious conspiracy and in punishing the conspirators for their conspiracy, treason and dishonesty, and rightly so.
At those moments too, Comrade Saddam Hussein has managed through his brilliant qualities of leadership and his high sense of morality to cut out cancer while keeping the body alive and strong.
Despite the bitterness of the conspiracy, a sense of strength and optimism has prevailed in the Party. Thus we are living today in conditions remarkably unique, not only in the history of our “special” experiments, but also in that of the movement of revolution in the Arab homeland and the Third World.
Throughout the whole course of the Revolution and at all crossroads it has passed and in all its great achievements, Comrade Saddam Hussein has been in the foremost position: taking the initiative, planning, confronting difficulties and devising solutions.
In the peaceful and democratic settlement of the Kurdish question —which we shall dwell upon in a special chapter—
Comrade Saddam Hussein took the initiative in putting forward a theoretic and political formula and in making contacts with Barzani’s group at the time. On his own initiative, it was possible to make the March 11, 1980 Declaration which constituted the principled and political basis of the national settlement of the Kurdish question.
Comrade Saddam Hussein, ever since, and up to the achievement of the autonomy and the crushing of the reactionary insurgency, had been steering this complex process in all its theoretical, political, administrative, military security, economic and psychological aspects from his own position in the Leadership and in his capacity as Head of the Supreme Committee for North Affairs.
Comrade Saddam Hussein had led the process of establishing the National Front —which was explained in the Political Report of the Party’s Eighth Regional Congress, and is particularly tackled in this report. He led the Supreme Committee of the Front, supervised all its basic activities and made a precise diagnosis of its problems— which we will tackle in the chapter on the Front.
Comrade Saddam Hussein had been the leader of the process of oil nationalisation —which is one great historic national achievement— in both strategic and tactical terms. From his own position in the Leadership and in his capacity as Chairman of the Follow-up Committee for Oil and Agreements Implementation Affairs, he devised a plan to persuade the monopolistic oil companies to come to negotiations. During the ultimatum given to these companies between May 17 and June 1, 1972, the day of historic nationalisation decree, President Saddam Hussein himself led the psychological, press and popular mobilisation campaign which led to nationalisation. It was he who had patiently, wisely and firmly faced the state of vacillation and fear which had preceded the decree. For long years, such a state of affairs had remained a secret to all but a few members of the Leadership. It was he who had led the long and difficult course of successfully, bringing about the nationalisation, and supervising its political, economic, information, psychological and even technical aspects. Through the same course, oil companies were forced to kneel down. Further, it was he who concluded the agreement with France —which had at the time a great effect in bringing the nationalisation to success and in breaking the blockade of monopolies.
Moreover, it was he who had laid down the firm and sound bases of the Iraqi oil policy which is today a remarkable model of sound independent policy in this field. And it was he who attended to its implementation until it became an established policy.
Comrade Saddam Hussein has been the prime planner of comprehensive development in Iraq —which is considered today the most remarkable experiment of development in the Arab homeland and in many Third World countries. Through his direct chairmanship of the Board of Planning and his constant concern for devising and implementing plans, and thanks to his distinguished method of leadership, he has changed the Board from a merely technical body into a political, economic and ideological forum where theories and experiments are discussed, and ideas are put forward and interact so as to reach a mature result.
It is Comrade Saddam Hussein who had laid down the strategy of nuclear research in Iraq. For many years, he headed the Nuclear Energy Commission. It was he who devised its strategic and tactical plans, concluded the main agreements with France and attended to this experiment which is one of the greatest achievements of the Revolution.
Despite the fact that Comrade Saddam Hussein, through certain circumstances and reasons, had not practised direct supervision over the armed forces and the Party’s military organisation except for a short time in the early stages of the Revolution, he, from his own position in the Leadership and in the State had been urging, encouraging and sponsoring the process of developing the national armed forces through Party-related, patient, often difficult and complex methods. He showed a great concern for enhancing the combat efficiency of these forces; offering the necessary opportunities to efficient, bright and sincere officers; and promoting a sense of high appreciation for the role of the armed forces in protecting the Revolution, defending the homeland’s sovereignty and contributing to national (Arab) battles. All this process had been carried out through the context of conscious and firm commitment to the Revolution, the Party’s decisive leadership of the armed forces, respect for standards and traditions of Party work and their harmony with the necessary and right standards and traditions of the army. It was he who supervised the strategy of national military industrialisation and followed up its implementation.
In his capacity as Chairman of the Supreme Committee for North Affairs, Comrade Saddam Hussein had been —as we shall point out in the chapter on the Kurdish question— conducting, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, the general directions of the military operations against the reactionary insurgency. That was an excellent opportunity to promote the new ideas and methods in the Iraqi Army and in its battles. For it laid down general and important bases for building up the Iraqi armed forces under the Revolution, as an advanced and efficient force highly capable of discharging excellent combat duties under complex political conditions.
Comrade Saddam Hussein had been the leader and the educator in the field of thought, culture and information. He made the Party’s Bureau of Information and Culture, which he has been heading, a remarkable school for Baathists working in this domain. The sessions of this bureau have been, for the past years, first class ideological, political, cultural and information seminars.
Besides the leading officials in this field, many other senior cadres in the Party and State were attending these sessions —which helped develop them, deepen their experience and open up new and wide prospects for them.
Through such a formula, the Party’s bodies of culture and information have developed.
Comrade Saddam Hussein has been himself attending to the creative poets, artists, writers and all other creative figures in this field who, through him, were inspired by the Revolution’s thought and spirit and who expressed them through their own creations.
Comrade Saddam Hussein, who took the prime role in reorganising the Party before the Revolution, has continued this task ever since.
The revolutionary government’s preoccupations and the numerous tasks he assumed have not distracted him from following up the Party’s organisation affairs with a view to guarding its Baathist values and standards, providing the requirements of its ideological and practical development, protecting it from erroneous and devious trends and tendencies, establishing relations with the people on Baathist and democratic bases and expanding its popular base.
The Party members and senior cadres are very well aware of the high value of hundreds of meetings and seminars held by Comrade Saddam Hussein where he tackled all affairs of the Party and its organisation, by making instructions and explanations, outlining future prospects, and warning in a firm and principled manner against mistakes, drawbacks, bureaucracy and stagnation.
Throughout the past course with all its remarkable achievements and successes as well as its difficulties and bitterness, the Party members found in Comrade Saddam Hussein, a leader, a brother and a comrade who directs, sponsors, protects, salvages them from difficult and complex conditions and opens up for them the path of work, struggle and generous giving.
It was Comrade Saddam Hussein who, since the Revolution up to the present time, has been outlining the policy of the Party and Revolution in the national (Arab) and international fields. It was he who has always been taking the initiative in formulating the basic decisions in this domain.
He has precisely designed how to conduct relations with Arab countries while at the same time providing the appropriate conditions within the limits of available resources for the growth of the activity of the Party and the revolutionary people. At all national turning points, Comrade Saddam Hussein’s view, analysis and proposals occupied the foremost place in the Leadership’s activities and turned into strategic and tactical plans for the Party and State.
During all prominent national (Arab) events, the plans devised by Comrade Saddam Hussein were up to the needs and circumstances of the phase, and eventually realised the desired ends. It was he who headed official delegations to most important conferences as well as heading similar delegations in important visits which laid down the basis of Iraq’s Arab relations after the Revolution.
It was Comrade Saddam Hussein who devised Iraq’s international relations and who has drawn attention at an earlier stage to the necessity of diversifying Iraq’s international relations, and to the interest of growing power centres in the world.
It was Comrade Saddam Hussein who headed main Iraqi delegations visiting foreign countries, during which the bases of relations with these countries were established. And it was he who was the main negotiator with foreign leaders.
Comrade Saddam Hussein’s role was not confined to the regional (Iraqi) domain, despite the fact that up to his assumption of the forward responsibility in the Party and Revolution in Iraq, he had not assumed an advanced position in the Party’s National Command. However, his aforementioned role has been reflected in the National Command too. In its) context, he was the one who takes the initiative, devises plans and makes analysis. Comrade Saddam Hussein has another great historic role: for the first time in the history of the Party he laid down the Baathist theory of action in various fields in a precise, creative and innovative manner.
Before assuming power on July 17-30, 1968, the Party has been basing its struggle and practical activity on its basics and general themes which had certainly proven its worth in their own phases.
However, the Party has been lacking a theory of action to implement in reality its own principles once it assumes power —which had been one important reason for the setback of the remarkable Party’s experiment in 1963 in Iraq, and partly for the Party’s setback in Syria.
Comrade Saddam Hussein has managed to crystallise the Baathist theory of action, through meticulous work; a precise and deep supervision of the development of the revolutionary process with all difficulties, complexes and ensuing new facts involved; a live contact with the Party members and the people; a creative ideological effort; and a high preparedness for dialogue and interaction with views and facts. This theory has guided the Party in the political economic, social and organisational fields as well as in its relations with the people and in its Arab and international relations in all past phases. It is today the prime source of guidance for the Party’s activity in all such fields. In this, Comrade Saddam Hussein has made a valuable achievement in the history of the Party and Revolution, and even in the course of the movements of the Arab and Third World revolutions.
This prime leading role in all fields had been carried out through the position of the second man in official and protocol terms in both Party and State.
Comrade Saddam Hussein had often attributed such roles and achievements to the comrade who was occupying the forward position or to the collective leadership, thus practising self-denial so as to preserve morality and protect the course of the Revolution from perilous grounds, crises and sensitivities. For many years, nothing of his roles and achievements had surfaced except what it was not possible to hide. However, the awareness by the Party and the people of this fact has been steadily growing.
This process of leadership, which is unique in history, has been a most difficult, complex, delicate, and sensitive process. It has demanded rare qualities which have never existed together except in this distinguished leader. Had it not been for these qualities, the Party and Revolution would have faced a state of affairs which might have pushed them into perilous grounds, crises or even to catastrophes.
However, despite all difficulties and dangers —including what was directly aimed at Comrade Saddam Hussein— he, with his comrades in the Leadership has preserved the high values of morality, fulfilled promises and maintained the unity of the Party, thus enabling the Party and Revolution to move forward along their course.
As previously mentioned, all the enemies of the Party, including internal ones, were aware of these facts. So they have on many occasions tried to sow internal conflict and intrigue. However, Comrade Saddam Hussein has managed to discover and clear all this out of the path of the Party and Revolution with patience involving much pain, and with a high sense of morality characterised with self-denial for the noble values and the basic interest of the Party, Revolution and country.
These facts explain the significance of Comrade Saddam Hussein’s assumption of the forward responsibility in the Party and Revolution. The past course and the essential interests of the Party, Revolution and country as a whole have underlined the importance and worth of this process which was performed within the context of full legitimacy in Party and constitutional terms, and with a high sense of morality and noble values. Comrade Saddam Hussein’s leadership of the Party and the Revolution’s course has been, since the beginning, a historical necessity advocated by every honest member of this Party; and with the passage of time, it has become a national necessity for all honest Iraqis who find in him the leader they have, hundreds of years been waiting for, and who they profoundly believe is leading them along the path of freedom, progress, dignity, pride and good.
Underlining such facts, particularly in this conference as the highest legal authority in the Party in Iraq and as a prominent historic occasion along its progress, does not stem from subjective motives or from the trend which was called in other experiments as the cult of personality.
Such a trend, which is rejected by Comrade Saddam Hussein himself before other comrades and which is incompatible with the traditions of the Arab nation throughout history and with the psychological nature of the Iraqi people, is totally different from the Leader-Necessity formula in terms of quality and living practice.
The Leader-Necessity is the man who at a certain stage represents the aspirations and basic interests of the Party and people. Therefore it is in the interest of the Party and the people to preserve this (Necessity) and adhere to it in a sincere and genuine manner and within the context of democratic practice, collective leadership and sound and genuine Party-related and national relations.
Rejecting such a (Necessity) or leaving its strategic line is not n individual stance or a special interpretation. Rather, it is an act aiming at inflicting direct and deliberate damage on the basic aspirations and interests of the Party and people.
Under the leadership of Comrade Saddam Hussein, the Party feels great pride and optimism, being much more unified than ever, and better able to discharge its tasks and confront dangers than any previous phase in its life. The same applies to Iraq as a whole.
Suffering, for long centuries, from foreign domination, humiliation, poverty, backwardness, injustice, corruption, Iraq has in fact been born anew. It is Iraq of freedom, dignity, strength, and hope in future.
For the first time in many centuries, Iraqi patriotism becomes the prime bond for all the children of this people, and a symbol of which the Iraqis are so proud that they are ready even for martyrdom. Equally, this deep, strong and creative Iraqi patriotism has for the first time been linked to the Arab nationalist bond constituting a living and abundant tributary of it and a steel base guarding it against the evil of enemies and covetous forces.
All of this is great achievement for the great Party, great people and great Leader Saddam Hussein.