Friday, September 15, 2006

Morocco wasn't always so insistent about Greater Morocco

It's weird after reading mainly pro-Saharawi works to be confronted by the fact that a lot of ordinary Moroccans people want Western Sahara to stay with Morocco. The most obvious example of this that I can remember was reading a comment on Western Sahara Endgame by a pro-occupation writer. It was vitriolic and the commenter's anger was palpable. He was insistent that Western Sahara, as a part of Greater Morocco, wouldn't be compromised.

The Greater Morocco idea has surfaced earlier, in the Green March. Besides higher wages, Moroccans were also induced to cross over into Western Sahara by the idea of achieving Greater Morocco, which they believe to be Morocco in its pre-colonial size.

But Western Sahara's not the only part of Greater Morocco that wouldn't go along with the nationalists in Rabat. From 1960 to 1969, Morocco claimed a portion of its sometimes-ally Mauritania for their own Manifest Destiny. That Morocco dropped its claim on Mauritania and ended up working with them to divide Saharawi land demonstrates Greater Morocco's flimsy real-world grounding.

That info came from Tony Hodges's Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War, which I'm reading.

As for things that don't have anything to do with Mauritania: if you're reading this because you got one of my homemade business cards at the reception, awesome! Lest people think I'm too much of a bigshot now to give shout-outs to my new friends, I'm going to prove them wrong. Hey, Terry T. Campo, energy lawyer. I also respect the Western Sahara love shown by Mikael Simble and Lindsey M. Plumley.

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