Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Spain sells vehicles, boats to Morocco

The government of Spain sold 12000 Humvee-like vehicles (pictured) to the Moroccan government this month, along with 800 military trucks and 10 patrol boats. The price of Spanish complicity in the Western Saharan occupation? 200 million Euros.

Since Morocco isn't fighting any wars, these vehicles will go towards policing the Western Sahara. Given recent events, it wouldn't be surprising if some of these vehicles were used to assault peaceful protests in the territory.

It would be one thing if Morocco were getting its goods from another African country, or another member of the European Union (France probably wouldn't have any qualms). That the vehicles are coming from Spain is surprising both because of the government's ambiguous relation to its former colony and because Spanish public opinion seems to support a referendum.

I hope this doesn't signal a sea change on Madrid' Western Sahara policy. Even if it isn't, I sent a letter to the Spanish ambassador in Washington. Join me? He's has the tremendous last name "Westendorp y Cabeza," so he'll be sympathetic to our concerns.

14 comments:

  1. ridicoulus, so now Morocco is forbidden to purchase material to control and protect borders and shores... ?!
    Algeria too is not in war, and they signed several billion dollar contracts with Russia for MIG fighters and submarines.

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  2. Xoussef,

    The problem is not that Morocco is purchasing weapons per se, but that it is purchasing weapons which will only be used to perpetuate an illegal occupation. It's further odd that Spain would sell Morocco weapons for this occupation, as Morocco initially invaded Spanish Sahara when it was a province of Spain.

    Will, for what it's worth, I e-mailed the ambassador. We'll see...

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  3. Thanks for emailing him, Justin. This is such an odd thing that Spain's done, it will require only a little light on the misdeed to discourage them from doing it in the future.

    Xoussef, Morocco, like any sovereign state, has the right to arm itself. Like Justin said, though, the problem is that the weapons are going to be used to oppress the Sahrawis, and that they're from the former colonial administrator of Western Sahara.

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  4. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Hey Will,

    And what about Polisario? Where do they get their arms from? Who finances them?

    @Justin: You should know that Morocco is a peaceful State. It never invaded the Sahara, because the Sahara has always been Moroccan. In the past, under Spanish occupation, and today moroccan. The Polisario guerilla is occupying Tifariti a city belonging to the provinve of Smara. Any other Sovereign State would have attacked the guerilla backed by the algerian army. But Morocco didn't. That's the Moroccan way of doing politics Mr Justin.

    A moroccan citizen

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  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Justin and Will are saying that these purchases will be used to perpetuate the so called occupation. Morocco and the Polisario are not in war. Does any one of you gentelmen have any inside information that that is about to change? please let this naive american know.

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  6. They are at war, but there is a cease-fire. It probably will not change soon, but if it does, this will matter a lot.

    Also, the kinds of vehicles sold (Humvee-style armored jeeps) are being used to put down Sahrawi dissent in Western Sahara today, even without a 'hot' war.

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  7. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Hi,
    maybe guys you want Morocco to sit back and watch Algeria tear it to pieces with its brand new migs and sukhoys it spent billions of dollars on instead of feeding its people. Come on! Can you stop seeing evil whenever Morocco does something? You know what? Take a day off from Morocco and seriously follow what's happening in Algeria and what your favorite mercenaries are doing in the camps. By the way, the spanish human rights league is gonna sue them for spreading lies about its mission in the Moroccan Sahara. Will, your demonstration in front of the Moroccan Embassy: 3 people? maybe 4? Great!!!!!!!!!!! Keep trying!
    El Tiburon

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  8. Anonymous10:39 AM

    I do not think anybody here is "seeing evil everytime Morocco does something". As a matter of fact, it is Spain which is criticised in this article (and as a Spaniard I feel ashamed).
    "El Tiburón", I SEE evil when a Moroccan policeman (who should not be there in the first place) hits people who want the best for themselves (U.N´s self-determination).
    I am an editor for www.afapredesa.org

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  9. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Greetings

    I met someone on the plain to Stockholm few years back. He new about the conflict in the south of Morocco and what was happening on an international scale. He believed that if anyone wishes to solve any conflict one should never begin from the middle of it or even worse from its current happenings. Very often people who do that always make bad judgements. And if they shout loudly enough they only make things worse not only for one side of the two conflicted parties but for both parties. Very often those people are already biased towards one particular party. I asked him which party he thought was on the right. He said:’’ I am a writer. I read quite a lot and I travel quite a lot. I visited Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, the Western Sahara and most of Africa. If you study historical events and read through the facts you will find that even part of what is now current Mauritania ought to be under Moroccan sovereignty. So it is needles to ask whether the Sahara should be or not. It is quite clear there should be no argument over that matter. I said I couldn’t see what the problem about the land was. He said:’’ the problem isn’t the territory Sir. The problem is the people who live in it. Getting the land back is the least of the Moroccan worries. If the people who inhabit that land are reluctant to be ruled by Morocco then that is a hard shell to crack. Unless of course all the trouble and money makers (Individuals and states) cease causing trouble then Morocco will not hesitate to take his land back regardless of any consequences.

    David

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  10. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Hi Will and his protesting force

    It is astonishing that these supporters are either Spaniards and or belonging to a seemingly Christian groups. I can understand why some Spaniard would get involved. Lets face it, some still feel sour about loosing a land (which never belonged to them in the first place) to what they regarded as savages-this is an expression that was used by their military elite when they were bombarding Moroccan civilians in the 1920s-

    I can also understand why a person who is religiously motivated-and this is you will-can get involved. After all, as you people put it-THE SOLDIERS OF GOD WILL BRING GLORY TO CHRIST. I wonder whether you see that glory or at least a part of it in tearing Muslim land apart. That is cutting them into little pieces. Ever so weak and helpless. Does this bring Joyce to your heart Will and to your Norwegian Christian Youth?

    I saw the picture of that innocent young girl from the Sahara in her beautiful Islamic outfit surrounded by a group of Christian youth. She looks absolutely marvellous. As trusting as she is thinking that you guys are there just to lend a hand. Just to help without having any hidden agendas what-so-ever. Or have you Will?

    Otherwise, what would a piece and Christ loving people do stirring dirt in a place far away both from Rome and Jerusalem? Lets not mention the Christians who are dying in Jerusalem shall we. Shshshsh.

    Christians are dying all over the world under the hands of tyrants who claim they are communists or even Christians. Or don’t claim anything but just expect that people like you should just serve their purpose without asking questions. Yet here you are pretending to do the work of the Lord. Offering help, graciously, to Muslims.

    So that they should never join anyone in unity.

    Will, Do that girl a favour, you the Christian youth, the God loving people. Make sure that her society don’t know of her being given support by a group of Christian youth or Christian elders. Take it a Christ loving man who would never lie to you. Her family and mainly the elders of her society will not forgive her. Because a few of them are descendant of the cousin of the Islamic prophet, Ali. He was approached by a leader of Rome when he was ruling in Iraq. The Roman Christian ruler offered him help and support in terms of guns and men to suppress another Muslim who Ali had a disagreement with. Ali’s response was: By the Lord of the universe and of all mankind. If you set foot on any part of Muslim land I shall come to you in a unified army with my adversary as one.

    May the Lord forgive you for you have sinned. Amen

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  11. Anonymous9:33 AM

    whastern sahara is morocco.iff nott then riff is a on contrey to.wi aer nott arabs.and they ocopaited as.rifinio

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  12. Anonymous8:35 AM

    i hope will get out of morocco it s better go to yr fucking country and live there moroccans are capable of solving their problems but when you get in you make the fuss so go live in yr country fuck off

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  13. Anonymous9:52 AM

    ALL OF YOU FORRGOT 1 MAJOR THINK RUSSIA THEY WANT TO HAVE A GATE TO USA SOIL SPECIALY NOW AS THE USA ALREADY CLOSING BY THEM(THE SHIELD) THER FOR RUSSIA SUPPLAYING ALGERIA WITH A NEW WEAPPON SO ALGERIA CAN BACK UP THE (POLIZARIO)ON THER BULLSHIT CLAMATION OF TAKING 1/4 OF MORROCAN SOIL STARTING FROM CITY OF AGADIR AND OF COURSE USA ALREADY AWARE ABOUT THIS THAT S WAY THEY PUT 1 NEW MARINES BASE IN CITY OF AL QASER AL KABIR AND A NEW ARE BASE IN SEMARA AND OF COURSE THEY WILL NOT BE DIRECTLY IN CONFLIT THIS BASE WILL SERVE AS A TRAINING BASE FOR THE RAAF OF MOROCCO AND ON THE SEEM TIME THEY WILL KEEP ON EYE ON RUSSIAN DREAM A DIRECT MISSILE RANGE TO USA AND ONE MORE THINK TOO HOWEVER CALL HIMSELF WILL IF YOU ARE REALY CONCERNE ABOUT THE MOROCCAN SAHARA GO AND SEE HOW THE MOROCCAN PRISONNER LIVE THERE AND DO NOT FORGET MOROCCO IS THE FIRST COUNTRY HOW APROUVE THE INDEPENDANCE OF USA FROM THE BRITISH COLONIALISME AND IF YOU DO NOT TRUST ME GO AND READ SOME HISTORY BOOCK.

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  14. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Give up Ceuta, Mellila, Giblartar (Jibl-Al-Tareq) and the Canary Islands. After that end the oppression of Catalonia and let them have their freedom. Before compeleting these easy steps, you have no moral authority what so ever to talk about the western-sahara, which historically belonged (just like Algeria) to Morocco.

    Al-Andalus was Moroccan for 900 years. Should the Moroccans claim it back? You're a hypocrite.

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