Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New book promotes Moroccan autonomy plan

Nick Brooks, last known for exposing MINURSO graffiti, writes about Saharan Conflict, a soon-to-be-published pro-autonomy book by Moroccan professor Abdelhamid El Ouali:
From the publisher’s description, it seems pretty clear that this book represents an attempt to give Rabat’s “autonomy plan” some academic legitimacy and produce a “respectable” work to which policy makers can refer when making the case for supporting Morocco’s consolidation, and possible extension, of is occupation of Western Sahara. As such it appears to be part of Morocco’s increasingly sophisticated and well-resourced propaganda and PR campaign (more on this in future posts). One purpose of the book is, no doubt, to give the appearance that “objective” academic analysis favours Morocco’s position.
More as this develops. I've requested a review copy from the publisher, so hopefully soon all will be revealed about


  1. Anonymous12:21 PM

    What do you expect from a Moroccan so called academic?

    It is worth noting that in the writer’s country, Morocco, he can't question what is called "territorial integrity" or the annexation of the "southern provinces" or else he ends up in Jail. Because that would be a violation of the Kingdom's constitution!

    I would be surprised if that this book or more likely (propaganda booklet) is not sponsored by the Moroccan government. They would have "requested" the writer to write the book, provided exactly what should be in it and then started promoting it.

    All of this would have been backed by a significant amount of money that was borrowed from the Gulf States.

    This is part of the PR/lobbying campaign that Morocco is undertaking.

    Polisario needs to brush up on lobbying efforts

  2. No kidding. Time to start seeing some Algerian hydrocarbons flowing on K Street.

  3. Anonymous12:31 PM

    Yes. Algeria should put money where mouth is.

    Algeria is justified to help the Saharawis. If Morocco is getting money from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, why can't Polisario get money from Algeria.

    The Saharawis need help and they need it now.

  4. My beloved UAE is kicking back Morocco? That ought to stop.

    Anon, if you had unlimited Algerian gold, what would you do first to help Western Sahara's PR?

  5. Anonymous12:58 PM

    One could think of a lot of things but where is the Gold?

  6. Well, metaphorically speaking. What would you? I'm interested in hearing from everyone on this.

  7. The conflict needs to be put in the international spotlight. I'm not sure what could achieve this short of

    (i) a major terrorist incident, which would probably need be placed at the door of the Polisario or some other Sahrawi group in order to generate attention of Western Sahara rather than Morocco, and would only favour Morocco - so I'm not advocating this, kids!

    (ii) some major league celebrity being blown up in a landmine, caught in a shooting incident, or getting arrested and interred/roughed up in Morocco for supporting independence. Maybe we could hire a popular international figure with widespread appeal to get themselves into trouble near a royal palace?

    These sound glib, but the serious point is that you need either a huge, protracted lobbying campaign operated by PR people who know what they're doing, or major coverage associated with some sort of event.

    Maybe next time I'm in the field I could deliberately get just a little too close to the berm. Not sure what university health and safety regs would have to say about that though. Might invalidate my public liability insurance....

  8. That celebrity thing isn't that bad of an idea. Javier Bardem, get to it.

  9. I agree with Nick, but you don't need celebrities but some ppl from different nationalities to demonstrate for sahrawi and, of course, to be arrested.

    Any of you want to come?


    AX 23:23h.

  10. Getting arrested in the town famous for its "black" prison? Great idea...

  11. Laroussi5:59 PM

    "Getting arrested in the town famous for its "black" prison? Great idea..."

    There is no way Moroccan authorities would send you to jail. They will arrest you, hustle you during interrogations and throw you out, but that's about it.

    Ever hear of any non-Arabic people being put in Moroccan jails for for supporting independence for Western Sahara?

  12. Laroussi answered the same way I'd do.

    AX 1:28h.

  13. I was just kidding, Ax. Really though, has there never been a case of a foreigner from the West getting tossed in jail in Western Sahara for a long time?

  14. no never,if you support the separatists, in the worst case you will never have the right to come back to morocco.
    you must know that morocco even if it s far from being a very democratic country , it's the most moderate and safe arabe country, thats why we have more than 7.5 millions tourists per year.
    there is concerts and festivals everywhere even in dakhla and laayoune and you can go everywhere and being SAFE.
    that's the key for growth : look at what have morocco done in Dakhla :
    Sahraoui won't let this for terrorists (algerian) puppets.

    You must also know that moroccan love their sahara, and they can dye for it, you must kill 30 million people to give a country to 200 thousand, do the maths, it's a false cause

  15. Saad: Morocco may be "the most moderate and safe arabe country" but we also know the name Morocco, which comes from "Marrakech", is only used in European languages. "Morocco" is the name of a young and modern country only some 50 years old. But the Moroccan King does not call himself Moroccan!

    In Arabic, his own language, the name is "the Western Islamic Empire" and as such I don't think it is not moderate and safe at all.

    And don't forget Morocco is only half Arabic for the rest is Amazigh: Nador, Midar, Imzouren, Houceima, Tanger, Oujda, Ben Taib, Driouch, Taza, Tiztoutine etc. To my mind this is not a stable nation.

  16. Terrorist: a person who terrorizes or frightens others

    I've been terrorised (and safely rubbed) by Moroccan policemen and gendarmes, while I've had pleasants breakfasts with algerian and polisario representatives...

    Dakhla is plenty of garbage, empty of life (unless the port where Moroccans wait for a job and Moroccan children wait for the loaded trucks to steal fish risking their lives).

    Moroccan colons live in public housing built with sahrawi money coming from the plundering while Sahrawi population lives in poor adobe houses separated from Moroccans. Dozens of houses are empty still waiting for never arrived new waves of colons. I really appreciate those pics, are the same I have done. The only beautiful thing is landscape, but dear Saad, I guess it wasn't made by your king, maybe just stolen by him!

    that's really saaaaaad

    AX 11:34h.

  17. Correction: where I said "I don't think it is not moderate and safe at all"
    I made a mistake and had to write: "I don't think it is moderate and safe at all."

    For an english example look
    here or here for a german version. It is an interesting story about a Berber-Jewish friendship organisation called "Association Addakira Almouchtraka" (Mémoire Collective) founded in Al Hoceima.

  18. van Kaas : i think i know my country a litle bit better than you ;) :

    1 The dynasty that rules morocco now was there for more than 400 years, and before this dynasty there were other dynasties, morocco was a kingdom for more than 1200 years.
    Just read a little bit about our
    history and geography ;).

    2: the name is not important and you said some mistakes in arabic the country is named "maghreb" : "the place where the sun set", there is no islam in the word, another mistake : almost all moroccan speak arabic, there are also some regional languages and dialects, but that does not mean the county is not stable.

    3: Moroccan is very stable the millions of europeeans tourists that come every year are the best witnesses :)

  19. mr sahraoui torino, you are repeating the same things again and again, the same lies. do you know how economic works?

    my father is friend of a big businessman from dakhla a sahraoui, he always repeats that business and politics must be appart, you know if sahraoui want to have a better way of life they must work harder and takes risk as any other moroccan, they have the same rights,
    the state is here just for the law and safety, i know a lot of sahroui that are richer than rich, everything is possible in morocco for people that want to work :)

  20. Saad: So what country is yours exactly? Could you outline the borders, please? What are you talking about? "The place where the sun set" with a dynasty that rules in a cruel way for more than 400 years?
    Modern Morocco founded in 1957? With respect for human rights and international law?

    Please be clear.

    By the way. I am disgusted to read about what happend to Sidi Mohammed Daddach Shame on Morocco!

  21. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Mordern Morocco is a creation of France.

    Morocco as it is now never really existed because no King has ever total control over the whole of Morocco.

    There has always existed Bilad al-Makhzan and Bilad al-Siba. This means Bilad al-Siba was perceived as the region of "anarchy and revolt" against the authority of the King while Bilad al-Makhzan was the area which was under the control of the King.

    For example Western Sahara far south of the Bilad Al-Siba, which is clearly an indication that was never under the control of Morocco. This was taken into consideration when the International Court of Justice considered the issue in 1975.

    It is a myth that Morocco was an empire.

  22. Interesting post about bilads, most recent anon. I haven't heard that before, although I never gave much credence to the idea that pre-colonial Moroccan kings ruled Western Sahara. International Court of Justice disagrees!

    Welcome to the blog, Saad, I hope you'll keep bringing your unique perspective to the comments. Shoot me an email if you want to talk more.

    I enjoyed the pictures of Dakhla, but I don't think opportunity is as equal in Morocco as you say. You just have to look at the article Van Kaas linked about the assault on Mohammed Daddach (very sad) to see that Moroccan forces don't treat Sahrawis and Moroccans equally.

    Anyway, the idea that economic success will buy off the politically active is a mistake autocrats like Mohammed VI and the Shah of Iran have been making for a long time. Even if Sahrawis could make money as easily as Moroccans, they wouldn't stop caring about independence. Would you live under Algerian occupation if it meant making more?

  23. Anonymous2:27 PM

    wow round table with finest pro-polisario expert now this is what i call a conspiracy , so what the plan bitching as usual.

    and what wrong with lobbying every country does it , some countries are good at it and some aren't.

    do you really see anything that gives you any slight idea that morocco one day it'll just pack up and leave cause polisario , pp , or some kid with loud mouth said so.

    (van kass)you so confused about the history you have a problem just which name to call the country , used to be called(AL Maghreb AL aqsa) and stay out of (weak-pidia) , and the country is safe and sound anyway who gives monkey what you think about my country.

    (sahara torrero) the only garbage
    is what coming up of your mouth , let face it you not that clever you just new to this conflict you have really no idea what the heck you talking about you're all over with your cheap , sluggy , sleazy comment , enough of your (paella)it means leftover .

    now learn some manners or do like they say dress conservative and talk diplomatic.

    ginger what's for dessert?

  24. There's nothing wrong with lobbying as long as it's conducted honestly. I have a problem with Morocco's because it isn't.

  25. Just Kitsch Kingers denying evidence... with no arguments!

    still saaaad,

    AX 12.17h.

  26. Bilad al-Makhzan (Country of the Treasury) and Bilad al-Siba (Country in Rebellion)
    seem to reflect European ideas from the past with Arabic names.
    Today we should use the English names: the Kingdom of Morocco, RASD, a non-decolonized territory, an occupied territory and liberated territory.

  27. Anonymous at 2:27 said to Sahara Torrero:

    "the only garbage is what coming up of your mouth , let face it you not that clever you just new to this conflict you have really no idea what the heck you talking about you're all over with your cheap , sluggy , sleazy comment , enough of your (paella)it means leftover."

    Then Anonymous (2:27) said

    "now learn some manners or do like they say dress conservative and talk diplomatic."

    Is it just me, or do these two comments seem somewhat contradictory? Or is it only pro-Sahrawi activists that should be obliged to be diplomatic? I'm confused ;-)