An excellent post by Michael Young on Reason.com
In Iraq, we're witnessing the consequences of this daily. In Syria, Alawites can no longer purport to be as one with Sunnis under the great Baathist tent, since the levers of power are not only in Alawite hands, but actually in the hands of the Assad family. In Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Shiites remain second-class citizens, despite halting efforts to give them some rights. In fact, in many parts of the Arab world the nation-state format offers few convincing solutions to the myriad social and political cleavages.
Lebanon alone, while suffering from the same problems as elsewhere, acknowledged this reality by creating a sectarian system. Though much maligned by Arab nationalists and their cheerleaders, it may be a way for the future.
As Tony funnily but rightfully said on Accross the Bay:
One could add the recent clashes in Syria between Alawis and Ismailis. No wonder Buthaina Shaaban's been screaming Arab nationalism like there's no tomorrow.
Now that's a model Aflak did not think of!
Arab society is divided by nature, along tribal or sectarian lines. It has been that way since always, even before Muhammad's times. The only way to take the path of development is to acknowledge that fact and go for some kind of federal system. Panarabists fail to see that simple evidence. A whole generation was build an this absurdity and they simply cannot see that the facts oppose their utopia.