The Fifth Reform Principle

Formation of strong armed forces which will be effective in determining the destiny of the country and the nation.

In international competition of national interests, national right is recognized only to the extent it is supported by the power of the nation. The vital interests of a nation in this struggle cannot be protected except by force in its material and intellectual aspects. Force is the decisive factor in affirming or denying national rights.

By the armed forces we understand the army, the navy and the air force. The art of war has reached such an advanced level that it is incumbent upon us to be always in a state complete military preparedness. The whole Syrian nation must be well armed and prepared. We have witnessed with distress parts of our country taken away and annexed to foreign countries because we have lost our military power. We are resolved not to let this state of helplessness continue. We are determined to turn the tide so that we may regain all our territory and recover the sources of our strength and vitality.

It is on our own strength that we wish to depend in securing our rights and protecting our interests. We are mobilizing and preparing for our survival and preeminence in the struggle for existence. Survival and victory shall inevitably be our lot.

The promulgation of a principle related to military preparedness may at first glance appear unusual in a document that presents a doctrine of national renaissance. The absence of such a principle, however, would have been a serious flaw. The modern history of Syria is the clearest indication for the need for such a principle. The loss of Alpxandretta, Palestine and other Syria territories would have been averted had the Syrian nation had military power guided by a nationally sound government. It is important to remember that Saadeh is not talking about armed forces in a separate sense, but of armed forces in the service of the Syrian nation and its cause. An armed Syrian populace without the guidance and discipline of Social Nationalism is a curse on Syria as the armed civil conflicts of recent years attest. Linking the formation of strong armed forces to a general military preparedness of the Syrian nation, implies that the armed forces envisaged are intensely linked with the nation. In a sense there no separateness in direction and aim between the armed forces and the nation struggling for survival and prosperity. The armed forces are a specialized organ of the nation.

It is useful at this juncture to examine the national anthem that Saadeh wrote during his imprisonment in the 1930s. Distinctly from other anthems that extol aggression (the French La Marseillaise and the US Star Spangled Banner), the Social Nationalist anthem is directed at the peace of Syria and centers on the beautiful elements of its land and people and the sublime principles that the SSNP brings. The SSNP thus seeks peace for Syria, but it is the peace of a liberated unified and prosperous Syria where a Social Nationalist order prevails. The establishment and protection of such a peace is the function of the Syrian armed forces.