Baathism is socialist as much as it is pan-Arabist and Islamist. From Paul Berman as related in The Guardian:
Syria-Russia, Politics, 1/19/2005
Russian Communist Party Leader Gennadii Zyuganov said Tuesday peace in the Middle East will not be achieved as Israel still occupies the Syrian Golan."We can't talk about any peace process as the Israeli aggression still poses a threat on South Lebanon, and peace will not be comprehensive in the region without reaching a fair solution to the Palestinian issue," Zyuganov told SANA in Moscow.He added that the Syrian policy owns credibility in the international and regional arenas as well as having a firm and independent foreign policy and works for the liberation of all the occupied Arab lands.He described the upcoming visit of President Bashar al-Assad to Moscow as an important event not only regarding the Russian-Syria relations, but it also gains importance due to the international ongoing situation.He added the friendship relations which link the Syrian and Russian people are based on concrete basis, saying that both countries have great capabilities to enhance trade and economic relations between them."Pressures on Syria are baseless, they were fabricated as a result of Syria's adherence to the Arab just causes and its principled stances vis-a-vis peace process and the Palestinian cause," the Russian Party Leader added.
Berman draws similar links between fascism and Baathism, the Arab national socialism both of the fallen regime in Baghdad and of that which still rules neighbouring Syria. He quotes Sami al-Jundi, who helped found the Syrian Baath Party in the 1930s: 'We were racists, admiring Nazism, reading its books and the source of its thought, particularly Nietzsche.' So, paradoxically, the drive towards Muslim or Arab purity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has its roots in a European ideology promoting Aryan purity in the nineteenth century. 'The Baathists and the Islamists were two branches of a single impulse, which was Muslim totalitarianism - the Muslim variation of the European idea,' writes Berman.