By Ali Bouzerda
Evil be to him who evil thinks. As a sovereign state, Morocco cannot accept being the target of political higher biddings and even less the punching bag of civil and military “hawks” in Madrid, Algiers and elsewhere …
A little historical reminder to those who have short memories or suddenly have become amnesic: the glorious Green March in 1975 forced the Spanish army to leave the Moroccan Sahara immediately with arms and packages and thus ended almost a century of colonial domination.
A situation that has only lasted too long because it dates back to a time when the colonial powers shared without scruples, like a cake, the lands of the African continent.
Spanish troops were forced to leave the Sahara once and for all on February 28, 1976 “with their tails between their legs,” said a retired Spanish general. This nostalgic of the time of the gunboats was not the only one to express his anger, there were also former colleagues, who decades later still have not digested the liberation of the Sahara nor turned this sad page of colonial history which they consider natural because it was part of the famous “civilizing mission” of the black continent by white people.
What a shame!
As for the other neighbour to the east, who benefited from the unconditional moral and material aid and support of the Moroccan people during the war of independence (1956 – 1962), the ingratitude of its leaders was unfortunately at the rendezvous of History.
A bloody and destructive war ended on the recognition of Algeria’s independence on July 3, 1962, during a televised address by General de Gaulle.
On July 3, 1962, France recognized the independence of Algeria. Despite the 2.3 million square kilometres recovered from the hands of French settlers, a year later and more precisely on September 25, 1963, the Algerian army decided to invade the oasis of Hassi Beida, on Moroccan soil.
Faced with this bellicose act, Morocco ordered the Royal Armed Forces to defend national sovereignty. A war broke out between the two neighbouring countries and brothers and which had continued until the ceasefire of February 20, 1964.
This sad border incident caused the defeat of the Algerian army, with loss of men and equipment and forced its military leaders to order a permanent withdrawal re-tracing thus their steps the “head bowed” and the “death in the soul”, remembered a retired senior Moroccan officer.
“The War of the Sands” of 1963 deeply marked the Algerian army, some of whose officers are now in power in Algiers. At the time, the Algerian establishment denied and has continued, since then, to deny its responsibility for the aggression and invasion of Moroccan lands. These officers continued to mope and still have not turned this unfortunate page in history like their Spanish colleagues.
These hawks or rather sad characters will be angry with Morocco until the end of time, that’s how it is, there is no cure …
This brief historical reminder was brought up to understand what is happening in 2020 and to try to understand what makes our neighbours sing in the East as in the West, in particular, their well-orchestrated media outings with the aim of a political strategy that targets Morocco, its evolution and its vision of the world.
Following a series of accusations of which Morocco has been the target by Algerian officials including the Head of State Abdelmajid Tebboune in person, and this, in this difficult period of Coronavirus where all the States deal only of their internal “harira (Soup)”.
It was in February, during an interview granted to Le Figaro, while he was addressing the tumultuous Franco-Algerian relations, Tebboune jumped from pillar to post to announce: “But there is another lobby (Morocco) whose entire policy is based on the containment of Algeria, and which is present in France. It is a lobby, with economic and social connections, which is afraid of Algeria. Even when Algeria intervenes to propose peaceful solutions to crises, this lobby tries to intrude on the pretext that it is also concerned. ”
In Rabat, we wonder what has bitten Tebboune? Let’s go on…
Then in June, the Algerian presidency publicly accused the Moroccan Consul in Oran of “spying”. A delirium in all its forms. And it’s not over.
In early July, the Algerian media magnified the story of a project to build a small barracks near Jerada, in eastern Morocco, to house troops. Military in Algiers see red, and without blinking, accused Morocco of wanting to spy on the eastern neighbour country by building “a military base 37 km from its border”.
After a scathing denial, Morocco in its response from the shepherd to the shepherdess unveiled satellite images showing a multitude of Algerian military bases erected along the Moroccan border including infantry barracks with S-300 air defence systems just 8 km from the border area (see Article19.ma of July 10).
The mass has been said and since then we have not heard from the Eastern neighbourg.
But it was in the West, more precisely in Madrid, that a retired General, an “analyst” in his spare time, who took over to sow confusion and target Morocco.
It is about the ex-general of division, Jesus Argumosa Pila who stepped up to the plate to accuse Morocco, neighbouring country and above all a solid partner, of “preparing to invade” the Rock of Al Hoceïma, the Rock de Vélez, or the islet of Leïla under Spanish occupation.
In a videotaped interview, given a few days ago, to “Infodefensa”, a Madrid news site specializing in defence and military intelligence issues, he even elaborates a scenario of the invasion of Ceuta and Melilla. In three words, pure science fiction.
To this story is added the overbid in Spain around the American military base of “Rota” (province of Cadiz) against that of Ksar Sghir, north of Morocco …
To sum up, Morocco regularly modernizes its military equipment with the acquisition of armaments and telecommunications satellites from its traditional allies like Washington and Paris and that makes sense. By the by, according to Chinese wisdom: “If you want peace, you have to prepare well for war.”
But among our neighbours in the East as in the West, there are manitous who do not appreciate the evolution of Morocco, its modernization, its political stance, its energy, industrial independence…
“With these people …”, as a diplomat said: “there is a blue fear of seeing a strong and autonomous Morocco …”. Their strategy is to cultivate confusion, suspicion and amalgam on a recurring basis and through different actors and vectors, she said.
The difference between the Spanish and the Algerians lies in the style or rather “the art and the manner” but the objective is the same, she added.
In short, in Morocco, we often remember this old saying of the Sahara: “The caravan passes …” and out of politeness we never talk about dogs barking …
Those who have ears should hear!