Saturday, March 01, 2008

Western Sahara checkpoint woes

Four Americans traveling around the world came to Western Sahara and discovered an unfortunate fact of life for visitors there: checkpoints. According to our intrepid explorers, they were pulled over eight times in one day, and learned that if you don't make friends with the guards they'll let you through faster. Good to remember for my eventual, oft-thwarted trip to the southern provinces.

Check out this dynamite picture from one of their involuntary pitstops. 4 Americans, a Moroccan soldier who looks so serious I thought he was kidding, a portrait of MVI, and a riot baton hidden behind the picture.

I'm surprised they made it through the checkpoints alive considering how little they seem to have no idea about Western Sahara:
Here in the Western Sahara semi-autonomous, free administered territory UN controlled Moroccan owned rebel occupied landmine danger zone surf resort area of the globe, it is really difficult to really tell what is going on.
I don't know what "free administered" means, but (besides Erik Jensen's warlord phase) I don't think Western Sahara has ever been UN occupied.


  1. Laroussi7:08 AM

    Western Sahara has never been run by the UN. And surely not during what you call "Erik Jensen's warlord phase". Hey, Minurso were not even in control of the process of register the voters.

    You fellow Americans seem to be completely without knowledge about the territory and its past and current history, hence I assume the complete mixed-up presentation.

    Now I know since before that you are fond of irony, but maybe you could stress your irony better? How should otherwise people know that you are not serious when you write about "the southern provinces"?

    About the road-blocks, they are there to control citizens or at least give the appearance of control. The same behaviour as in any other territory controlled by a totalitarian state.

    Curiously enough you do not find the same amount of road-blocks in Morocco as in Western Sahara.

    All in all just another power-trip by his silliness MVI.

  2. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Isn't the Moroccan soldier who appear in the picture suitable for a role in a Borat' film? Perhaps under the tile "Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Kingdom of Morocco"!

  3. I think it's pretty obvious that I'm kidding on both Erik Jensen and the southern provinces. You know Erik couldn't stand up to Morocco.

    Good point Laroussi on the checkpoints. People who've been to WS know more about this than I would, but I feel like they aren't that necessary. There's no terrorism in WS, and it's not like Polisario is invading.

    Excellent, Anonymous. I imagine a checkpoint guard asking all the Americans who come through about their country, then reporting back to the king.

  4. Their description of Western Sahara seems to include most possible options, so perhaps they're just covering their backs ;-)

    As for the picture, that's never a Moroccan soldier. It's surely Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat). [OK - I see someone got their first on that comment, but, well, yes].

  5. Laroussi12:35 PM

    "Their description of Western Sahara seems to include most possible options, so perhaps they're just covering their backs"

    Maybe they are just being ironic and assume as Will that everyone knows that they are not serious.

    Nick's use of the widely accepted irony marker ";-)" is highly recommended...