chapter  4
Pages 24

MOVEMENT” The Ba’thist faction Hafiz al-Asad brought to power in 1970 was initially indistinguishable in social composition from his radical rivals: both were petit bourgeois, cross-sectarian, civil-military coalitions led by Alawi political generals. But each was supported by distinct segments of society: the radicals by leftist intellectuals and trade unionists, Asad by senior army officers and the bourgeoisie. In fact, Asad’s rise marked the victory of the military over the radical intelligentsia. Asad’s aim was to consolidate the unstable Ba’th state and mobilize Syria for a war to recover the lost territories. In the process, he turned the Ba’th state from an instrument of class revolution into a machinery of power in the service of raison d’etat.