Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Empire’s Fifth Column in Africa: Morocco

Dublin.

In 1984 Morocco turned it’s back on Africa because the Organisation of African Unity refused to support it’s 1975 conquest of Western Sahara. For the next few decades Morocco followed the example of apartheid Israel and looked only towards Europe and America. Morocco, for example, applied (and failed) to join the European Economic Community in 1987. While today (since 2008) it is considered an “advanced” EU neighbour. And militarily it became a NATO partner in 1994 and a major non-NATO US ally in 2004.

Morocco in other words did everything it could to be an honorary white man: it shamelessly raped part of Africa and looked down on the black man. And the white man rewarded it by investing in it.

A few weeks ago however (January 31, 2017) Morocco suddenly rejoined Africa. In Addis Ababa the African Union decided to accept Morocco as a member, even though Western Sahara remains in Moroccan hands. Why the sudden change of policy in Morocco and in the African Union? In a word: the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

The present scramble for Africa is the overall reason. But Gaddafi was the last pan African barrier to Western imperialism 2.0 in Africa. His removal opened the floodgates to 21st century Western power in Africa. The French are now back in Mali. AFRICOM (the US military) is all over the place. And now Morocco wants to be African again.

Morocco’s new found interest in Africa complements NATO’s attack on Africa. The Dubai based Al Arabia website reported as much a month before the killing of Gaddafi (October 2011).

“…..When Libyan rebels announced their victory towards the end of August [2011], Morocco was one of the first countries to send its foreign minister, Taeib Fassi Fihri, to Benghazi to express support for the new regime.

“….In this context, NATO’s intervention in Libya and the active role of France in the collapse of Qaddafi’s regime could change the regional situation. It may lead the international community to press for a rapid solution to the Western Sahara conflict.

“The cards will be reshuffled, and in terms of the requests the countries of the south could make on the north, Morocco could include the Western Sahara,” said Khadija Mohsen-Finan, a researcher at Paris-VIII University

“Now, a new partner [for Morocco] has come out of the woods: NATO,” Finan, a specialist in north African affairs, added….”

Today, six years later, the “reshuffled” deck of cards is being played. With the support of NATO quietly behind it, Morocco is confidently presenting itself as a born again believer in African unity. This despite the fact that it’s colonisation of Western Sahara continues.

And the African Union’s ability to resist Morocco’s deviant arrogance – after the killing of Gaddafi – is minimal. Gaddafi gave the African Union (AU) a backbone. The AU today however is under siege by the West. And without Gaddafi it has no vision of a way out. In the words of TIME:

“….Gaddafi’s vision for Africa crystallized in a proposal for a United States of Africa, complete with a single currency, a united military and one common passport. That call for African unity was also the theme of his time as chair of the African Union in 2009…”

NATO’s destruction of Libya completely humiliated the African Union. It tore the heart out of an alternative African future. And left Africa seriously exposed once again to the Western imperial virus: a virus contemporary Morocco carries.

The proof of Morocco’s contaminated status is to be found in Yemen. In this war torn land Morocco is part of the royalist invasion led by Saudi Arabia. The fact is that Morocco isn’t just a NATO partner but is also a partner of the GCC (the Gulf Cooperation Council) which is tearing Yemen apart. Of course NATO and the GCC are themselves strategic partners. And caught in the middle – a plaything of both – is Morocco.

Further evidence of Morocco’s duplicitous identity is the part it played in the infamous “Safari Club” in the 1970s. This secret “club” was a CIA inspired organisation that aimed to “protect” Africa from communism. Morocco’s “partners” that time included the usual suspects Saudi Arabia, Israel and France. Plus ça change.

Morocco’s body may be in Africa but it’s mind is in the North Atlantic and the Persian Gulf. In the scramble for Africa it is a significant bridgehead for imperial investors and invaders. From the brand new giant port in Tangier to the plan for pipelines connecting Marrakesh to the Sahara and the recent deals made with Rwanda: Morocco and it’s “partners” are ready to plunder. The rape of Western Sahara is just a foretaste.

The Morocco we speak of however is just one man: it’s billionaire king – Mohammed VI (and before him it was his father Hassan II). Moroccan power rotates around him. And he rotates around Paris and Riyadh. The Moroccan people, in truth, are as voiceless as those in Western Sahara – the Sahrawi. Poverty is their prison while the king plays.

The Moroccans though can learn from the Sahrawi (a people Gaddafi aided). Their resistance to colonialism is a model for resistance to royalism. Indeed – as Chomsky says – it was the protests of the Sahrawi in October and November 2010 which started the Arab Spring.

In fact the great Moroccan people themselves have already produced the answer to their jailers: Mohammed VI and Western imperialism. That answer is Ben Barka. This Moroccan (perhaps the greatest of them all) was as important as Patrice Lumumba. In the 1960s Barka was so close to Cuba that it was he who organised the 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana. But Barka was murdered before seeing his vision materialise: Third World Solidarity. In 1965 he was “disappeared” in Paris.

The Empire and it’s kings can kill and bribe as many Africans as it wants. But Africa and the Third World will win. Time and truth is theirs. The Empire and it’s kings can wear an African mask. But their skull and bones are clearly visible. Their neoliberal lies have been exposed. For these reasons: there is no alternative to the visions of the Sahrawi, Gaddafi and Ben Barka.

 

More articles by:

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail