Syria’s Baath Party Tries to Reform Itself

Quoted by the Associated Press

“That Baath Party went to the bank [should read: with a bang]. This Baath Party is going down with a shy whimper,” said Ammar Abdulhamid, a novelist and social analyst. “It’s ineffectual, so stop looking at it for leadership and stop looking at it as a source of change and reform.” …

Reform-minded Syrians say an authoritarian party cannot appeal to young people – a problem since half the population is now under 20. They also say the key is not in the recommendations but in their implementation.

“The president has issued hundreds of decrees that have not been implemented,” said Abdulhamid, the novelist. “He’s depending on the same old institutions and bureaucrats who will not cooperate because the bureaucracy is just too corrupt.

“How can such a party be expected to provide solutions? How can those who charted our way into the quagmire be able to chart a way out,” he said.

Reformists criticize the congress’ recommendations as half-measures.