Syria: A Party Affair

In long-turbulent Syria, no one has yet been able to topple the ruling Baath (Renaissance) Party. To be sure, there has been a dizzying chain of uprisings within the governing hierarchy itself, but they always left the top man intact: Strongman Amin Hafez, 43. Last week the party went through its 15th major reshuffle since seizing power in 1963. Only this time, Hafez himself was shuffled right out.

The coup grew out of a split between the party's leftist moderates, led by Hafez, and a powerful, pro-Peking group of officers led by General Salah Jadid. Where Hafez sought closer ties...

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