chapter  3
22 Pages

The Lingering Debate

ByIlana Kass

The period November 1966-February 1967 witnessed a substantial development of Soviet-Syrian relations on both the interparty and interstate levels. The campaign, which was initiated by the Soviet Union immediately after the February coup d’etat and which claimed that the existence of the Syrian “progressive” regime was in danger, gathered momentum by the beginning of 1967. The outbreak of the Six-Day War brought an unprecedented proliferation of Soviet commentaries on the subject. The foregoing analysis appears to attest to a lingering debate in the Soviet leadership. The Soviet military press appeared to be the most preoccupied with analyzing the military showdown and providing the rationale for continuing and enlarging the military assistance program. In striving to establish the Soviet Union as the sole champion of the Arab cause, Soviet propaganda depended upon two main techniques: amplification to enormous proportions of favorable facts and minimization of un-flattering data or the complete omission thereof.