Since the last congress of the Baath Party, held in the year 2000, many important political developments have occurred in the world that have made the Arabs reflect about their ideas and convictions. This has plunged us into a state of uncertainty and confusion for it has taken place amidst a wave of information and ideas that have reached us through the new communication technologies. Such a revolution has influenced the theories, life styles and cultural identities of the Arabs. It has sown a feeling of unease in our youngsters.
The forces moving behind these developments have created a virtual reality that leads us to a direction chosen by others. It leads to the removal of the Arab identity as far as culture, politics and morals are concerned. We have been defeated even before the fight. The aim is to destroy the Arab identity, which is the basis of our unity. As members of the Baath Party, we should redouble our intellectual efforts to consolidate our national existence and to protect our cultural identity by speeding up our development. These objectives are not contradictory.

The Independent (U.K.)

"’Our enemies aim at the destruction of Arab identity’ ", by Bachar El Assad, The Independent, June 8, 2005. This text has been adapted from the opening speech at the 10th Congress of the Syrian Baath Party, held in Damascus.