Monday, April 30, 2007

Western Sahara Smackdown: Western Sahara Online vs Western Sahara Online

If you type "Western Sahara Online" into a search engine, your top two results will have dramatically different views on the dispute. Yet both site are called Western Sahara Online. Today, I'll pit Western Sahara (pro-Morocco) against (pro-SADR) and settle definitively which is most deserving of the Western Sahara name.

For ease of use, I'll call the pro-Morocco one and the pro-SADR one Wsahara.

Round 1: Banner image
A picture of tents in the desert. They might be in Tindouf or they might be in Western Sahara. people and a camel being chased across sand dunes by a map of Morocco and the Moroccan flag. Weirdly, the Earth is in the sky above them.
Winner: Points were given for the surreal anthropomorphizing of Moroccan imperialism, as well as the suggestion that Western Sahara is on another planet.

Round 2: Content
Western Sahara Online has an exhaustive store of information about the conflict. I've been reading about the Western Sahara for almost a year now, but I'd never heard of the Ain Ben Tili Conference until I looked at Wsahara. Also, a ridiculous amount of PDF reports on Western Sahara.
A lot of information in the Speak for Sahrawis vein. If you thought Speak for Sahrawis was a reasonable look at Polisario's abuses, then you'll probably like If you thought Speak for Sahrawis makes a farce out of international human rights activism, though, you'll be less disposed to it.
It has so much information, plus the rocking Western Sahara cartoons.

Round 3: Do I know the site's owner?
I met Khatry Beirouk at the Abdelaziz dinner. He was delightful!
I've met Ambassador Aziz Mekouar and Robert Holley, so pretty much yeah.
Winner- A tie!

Round 4: Does the site prominently feature Representative Lincoln-Diaz Balart (R-FL)?
Definitely. As Morocco's closest hombre in Congress, it'd be foolish for not to roll with him.
Lincoln Diaz-Balart is bad web design.

Results: WSahara wins, 2-1. Congratulations to Khatry and the aspiring Western Sahara scam artists (check sidebar)


  1. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Appreciate your sense of humor in these blog posts, Will. I know we agree that the issue is a serious one and that the tens of thousands of Sahrawis who have been separated by this conflict for more than three decades deserve better opportunities than the conflict has given them to date. Let's hope together that direct talks between Morocco and the Polisario Front will produce a result that everyone can feel proud of. Keep up the humor. Thanks. Bob Holley

  2. Anonymous4:18 PM

    Hi Will
    Very interested comparison

    Could any know who win the” battle” of the UN council today
    Every side said he has win it


  3. Dear Mr. Holley,

    While the issue is indeed "serious," anyone who reproduces a map of Morocco on his website (MACP's)that no country in the world recognizes can hardly be considered "serious." We can do without YOUR "humor."



  4. has been up and running for years, but was registered long after that, to try to confuse people about the name. It's like when Morocco started the organisation "AOSARIO" in the 70s, a supposedly independent "front of Sahrawi activists" comprising much the same people as the Corcas today.

    Btw, I love how Mr. Holley tries to come off as a slightly sentimental, disinterested humanitarian observer. He does this because he really CARES, and don't you try to tell me his paycheck from the Moroccan government has anything to do with it!

  5. Anonymous9:26 AM

    In a way or another, everybody receives a paycheck in this story.

  6. Where's my paycheck? I gotta talk to my union rep.

  7. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I have been looking for the pic of that beautiful Moroccan Sahrawi. The one where she is being squeezed by the Norwegian guy with his arm around her waist. I found only her picture with a young group of ladies; I think they call themselves the Norwegian Christian youth. Could you please put it back on the page again? You all heard that Norwegians are mocking the prophet of Islam in their News Papers and I just wanted the world to see the type of Muslims Abdelaziz Mourrakshi and his money mongers group are doing to Muslim Girls in the Sahara. I don't want to use the term pimping them for the sake of Money and status, so please don't accuse me of racism.

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