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Washington, DC, 07/27/2009 Morocco’s territorial integrity opponents must be at loss after their defeat in their latest attempt to draw Morocco’s into a spat with the United State Government. The floating of a “fake” news article claiming a change of the U.S. position on the ‘Western Sahara” conflict opposing Morocco to Algeria back fired on its “vendors”.
With all of the confusing surrounding the propaganda piece and the over reaction of some segments of the Moroccan community, the event tuned out to be a win-win situation for Moroccan-Americans in the United States.
The quick and “too quick” reactions of Moroccans and Moroccan-Americans to a potential, even tough not true, reversal of the American position on a critical issue to the community was impressive. In accepting to go on the record to clarify the State Department’s position on the Western Sahara, the Unites State government took notice of the pressure of the Moroccan community. In his statement to the U.S. based “elmuhajer” Television, a State Department spokesman was eager to calm the fears of the Moroccan community in America and assure them of President Obama’s unwavering support to the U.N. efforts to solve the conflict in question.
The State Department effort was significant and came about as a result of the Moroccan community’s successful attempts to convey to the U.S. government the importance of safeguarding Morocco’s southern provinces to Moroccan-Americans. More momentous is the implied message that was conveyed to career and political appointees at State: Moroccan-Americans are closely following the American position on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, be on notice!
As stated in my previous posts, the American administration never went on record in support of Morocco’s local autonomy plan, and was never asked by the Moroccans to do so publicly. So, how can the American administration change a position that never existed in the first place? Morocco “expects” from Washington a certain degree of understanding of its position vis-à-vis any potential unfriendly outcome of Mr. Ross’s efforts to resolve the Sahara conflict. The Obama administration is well aware of the vital regional significance of Morocco and the prospective political, military and humanitarian negative ramifications of an independent Saharan entity in North Africa. Therefore, since Washington’s position has not changed and remains in favor of a resolution that is acceptable to all parties without a time table, Rabat rests assured that the status quo stays in place until further notice. Indeed, a favor position for the Moroccans!
Well aware the diplomatic inferences of a passive American approach to the Western Sahara conflict, the Algerian government and its supporters had to stir up the pot by planting a fake news article hoping for a blow up. Such “childish’ maneuvers highlight the impotence of the Algerian foreign policy at a time when the Moroccans, at the governmental and grassroots levels, are more active than ever in their quest to seal this dossier forever. Unhappy with several correspondences between the White House and the Palace, Algiers manufactured a bogus political assay to muddle the waters between Washington and Rabat.
Not learning from this recent setback, the press in Algeria continued to dig deeper in this politically embarrassing hole. Several news outlets in Algeria reported on this fictional crisis as a fact. So desperate to get political mileage out of this non-event, “le quotidien d’oran” published an article alleging a split between King Mohammed VI and President Obama. The Algerian daily based its analysis on a letter sent by the American President to the Moroccan Monarch where Washington does not mention the Moroccan Plan.
In fact, the Algerians where envious of the mere fact that Mr. Obama sent a special message to the Moroccan King asking for help in pushing forward the Middle East peace process. Instead of looking for the positives, the anti-Moroccan clan within the Algerian Military tried, unsuccessfully, to divert the attention from the political significance of an American President sending a letter to the King of Moroccan asking for diplomatic assistance.
The aftermath of the efforts by the Moroccans of the USA has shown the importance of political arguments and the significance of citizenry lobbying. What few resolute Moroccan-Americans, including non-citizens, achieved is priceless and a “small” victory to the cause of the Moroccan Sahara. The Moroccan diplomacy should capitalize on this achievement by further cementing a clear American position favoring a resolution to the liking of Morocco.
While the Algerian press continues to rely on dejected Moroccan journalists and Spanish newspaper reporters as a source for political analysis, Morocco can rely on its proud citizens to keep the record straight. Let’s hope the American-Moroccans put some fire under the feet of the half asleep Moroccan foreign ministry. While the Moroccan diplomacy is limping around, the Algerian one turned to a 100 million Euros music festival to market for its Sahara supposition.