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Clinton on the Sahara

November 4, 2009
by

Annouss has been keeping track of Hillary Clinton’s visit in Morocco. During a press conference, she stated clearly that US policy has not changed on the Western Sahara. There had been some speculation, with US rhetoric having changed a bit, but this answer was straightforward enough:

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, change of subject, if I may.  During the past few years, the United States, just like other members of the Security Council, have characterized the Moroccan initiative for autonomy in the Sahara as being serious and credible.  My question is:  Does the Obama Administration stand by that position?  Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.  Our policy has not changed, and I thank you for asking the question because I think it’s important for me to reaffirm here in the Morocco that there has been no change in policy.

The Hillary Clinton might want to reconsider her anachronistic-sounding use of definite articles, though.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Laroussi permalink
    November 6, 2009 21:55

    Clinton is old-school but MVI is contemporary and so much more fun.

    In his latest speech about the Hollywood styled invasion (aka Green march) of Western Sahara he set up some goals for the year to come.

    The fourth goal was the funniest. He said that the competence of “the Agency for the Development of the Southern Provinces” (Morocco is a modern imperialistic state, it even has provinces) should be reviewed and that it should focus on “the implementation of human development projects, and on local programs that create jobs for young people and enhance social justice”. Cool no? There will be even more jobs for the Moroccan settlers.

    Now here comes the really funny part. The Agency should “facilitate the homecoming of all those who repent and who want to return to their motherland from the Tindouf camps, make sure they are properly welcomed and facilitate their social insertion.”

    I don’t know if you all noticed but everyone from the camps in Algeria is welcome “who repent” (sic!).

    Those who have been “sequestrated” by Polisario should “repent”? What are we talking about here? Tens of thousands of people who together suffer from the Stockholm syndrome? In Algeria? Come on, Mohammed! What are you talking about? If you have been kidnapped you can not be asked to repent, can you???

    Seriously speaking, what MVI actually did in his speech (without really meaning to I suppose) was to reveal the traditional Moroccan propaganda about kidnapped Saharawis in the camps in Tindouf for what it really is – a complete lie.

    BRAVO M VI !!! You are now officially the speaker of the year !!! *

    *lol

  2. Laroussi permalink
    November 6, 2009 22:02

    Ps. You should really read/listen to the speech if you missed it. It’s completely hilarious.

    “I shall see to it that Morocco remains committed to the rule of law and the advancement of democratic values. “

    Dude! MVI! You’re really such a comedian.

    And he said it all with a completely straight face. Wow! That is truly amazing.

  3. November 7, 2009 00:17

    The interview is accessible here:

    http://www.map.ma/mapfr/interview-hillary-map/hillary-map-video.htm

    Peace

  4. tidinit permalink
    November 7, 2009 03:07

    Alle,

    This is a bit rough. Expecting an analysis from you. Has this has anything with the recent declaration of Ms. Clinton? Went back to the two reports from the International Crisis Group on Sahara to refresh my mind. What is the solution?

    http://www.lemonde.fr/web/depeches/0,14-0,39-40842051@7-60,0.html

  5. November 7, 2009 05:10

    The King’s declarations I interpret basically as giving the green light to clamping down on open Sahrawi-POLISARIO contacts, in the context of the Sahrawi delegation visits to Tindouf, which obviously crossed a known red line. Clinton’s comments were on the autonomy plan, tailored for local consumption. I don’t think she has commented on the recent arrests at all, and I’m sure that’s the way she likes it. If pressed to take a stand, there’s no way the State Dep could publicly applaud Morocco’s actions, but they’re not going to embarrass M6 intentionally either.

    As for solutions to the WS conflict, well, I’d be up for a Nobel Prize if I had one, wouldn’t I? Especially given their slipping standards of late.

    The ICG reports were excellent in many ways, but as for solutions, they offered nothing except vague think-outside-the-box rhetoric, when the real problem is that outsiders (US, EU) aren’t acting either in- or outside of that damned box. There’s just no way of rephrasing away that imperative, and pretending otherwise makes you part of the problem.

    What’s basically needed is outside pressure and face-saving mechanisms, to enable some sort of self-determination process to run its course and preferably end in a pre-negotiated consensual solution, fuzzy enough to ratified by a legitimate referendum with the encouragement of both sides. Whoever loses, should lose as little as possible and be publicly compensated in other ways. The goal should be to get everyone to declare victory and a-peace-of-the-brave, go home, and leave Sahrawis to their own devices, regardless of which flag(s!) they ended up flying.

    But right now there’s no pressure at all, and hence no movement. Given the type of regimes involved and their common inability to achieve decisive victory, the political status quo could run forever, although the social and economic strains might snap a lot sooner.

    • tidinit permalink
      November 7, 2009 10:15

      Thank you Alle. As you rightly said, this is for the long haul. 30 years or more already!

      Thank you Analitikis for the link re: Ms. Clinton and I personally appreciated hearing her on Maghreb. She was speaking like she is addressing campaign voters home. But she is a great Lady.

  6. November 17, 2009 21:54

    According to Carne Ross in the Huffington Post there must have been a misunderstanding somewhere. See also FPIF.

    Laroussi is right for MVI is a fruitcake indeed, the man makes no sense. But his logic is rule. He must be taken very seriously.

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