By John W. Amos II
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Additional resources for Arab–Israeli Military/Political Relations. Arab Perceptions and the Politics of Escalation
The Syrian/Israeli border had for years been the scene of t i t for t a t exchanges and fire fights. Israeli leaders had equally been openly bellicose in their u t t e r a n c e s on the subject of these exchanges. In this c a s e , both the old and neo-Ba'th advocated an i m m e d i a t e , and extensive, war of popular liberation against Israel. In line with this goal, the Ba'thists sponsored and organized a number of Palestinian The S t r u c t u r e of Escalation 37 groups, t h e most well known of which was F a t a h , F a t a h raids, in turn, led to Israeli reprisals.
Second, t h e air force was itself t h e symbol of t h e neo-Ba'thist revolution; if t h e air force were ineffective, clearly the Ba'th was also. The a r t i c l e itself called for a c o m p l e t e rejection of everything Islamic. Islam, t h e author argued, had been t h e chief enemy of progress in Syria. As such, Islam should be replaced by a secular belief system, one in which traditional Islamic fatalism would be superseded by a belief in man's ability to m a s t e r his environment. This m e a n t , said t h e author, t h a t t h e Syrian government should d e d i c a t e itself t o t h e creation of a society of "new Arab men," a society organized along Marxist or even Maoist lines.
49) As Michael Hudson points out, Arab governments in general lack legitimacy, a disposition on t h e part of their citizens t o support governments and t o obey governmental e d i c t s without being physically compelled t o do so. (50) This lack of legitimacy is a phenomenon of t h e change from a traditional political order to a "modern" political order. (31) In any e v e n t , it adds a political dimension t o existing social and cultural conflicts. Each Arab government is acutely sensitive, t h e r e f o r e , t o the possibility of internal subversion.
Arab–Israeli Military/Political Relations. Arab Perceptions and the Politics of Escalation by John W. Amos II