A Small Object Lesson

What is distressing in the Moroccan-Spanish crisis is that the Spaniards are clumsily pretending to be the victims of a crisis situation for which they are not responsible. Ridiculous! By Khalil Hachimi Idrissi What is distressing in the Moroccan-Spanish crisis is that the Spaniards are clumsily pretending to be the victims of a crisis situation for which they are not responsible. Ridiculous! They host, for humanitarian reasons they say, a war criminal – Brahim Ghali leader of a polisario at war with Morocco – who acts on behalf of Algeria to attack the territorial integrity of Morocco, and moreover is requested by their own jurisdictions. This is still exceptional. With the complicity of Algeria, the war criminal in question was brought in with a false Algerian passport in the name of Mohamed Ben Batouche, put in the hospital of Logroño and was expected to be kept secret, especially from the Moroccans. This is confoundingly naive. Our Spanish friends must at least explain to us the intelligence of this strategy. Its geopolitical soundness. Its diplomatic subtlety. Its quintessence in terms of partnership, friendship and well understood interests. Since we are calculating the interests that push each other to act in a cold way, – a real betrayal as far as we are concerned – are the Spanish gas contracts with a dying Algerian military regime worth the effort to destabilize the Western Mediterranean permanently and to throw this region into an explosive unknown? Is the quantity – as our Iberian friends say – of security relations between Morocco and Spain so insignificant as to be written off and put on the back burner to host Mohamed Ben Batouche? We need to find the distinguished strategist who came up with this idea to award him the medal of the useful idiot of the year. It is appalling. Let’s get down to business! We are supposed to be the zealous gendarmes of illegal migration, the loyal partners in the fight against terrorism, the enthusiastic economic partners who have, voluntarily, put Spain at the head of our clients-suppliers in 20 years, the attentive and understanding neighbors to an incongruous colonial fact in the 21st century, outdated that excites the most backward factions of the extreme right to the extreme left in Spain. But what do they want from Morocco? To be a state without charisma, without legitimacy, without interests, without national pride or without history. To say yes to Madrid and its ridiculous lies, to say yes to Brussels and its subsidies, to say yes to Berlin and its aborted neo-colonial complex and then what? There is clearly a mistake on the whole line. The time for clarification has come, especially after the US recognition of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara. What will you do? Align with the US and give peace in the region a chance? Or will you continue to play one against the other and keep the Maghreb – your worst nightmare if it is united – in servility, sterile division and false antagonisms? Are you going to support the solution of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, as you sometimes let believe so much the idea of the creation of a 6th “fail-state” in the region under Algerian domination seems irresponsible to you? What are you going to do, tell us? The new geopolitical reality imposes either a responsible and pragmatic reformulation of alliances and strategic relations with our traditional partners or, bluntly, the Spanish mistakes pushing towards this, change partners and build new alliances more loyal, more credible, less mingled with colonial contempt of the 19th century, and, especially less hypocritical. God’s earth is vast. And Europe is dying. No economic and financial cohesion. No capacity to really protect its borders, neither in the East nor in the West. No army capable of taking up a challenge or imposing values. A calamitous enlargement that killed the dream of the founding fathers. Member States on a drip of euros without any awareness of a shared destiny. And childish rantings towards third countries. Your charm is broken. This Europe defends in solidarity, to the detriment of its founding values, the illegal presence of a war criminal, wanted by justice in Spain and ignores the humanitarian cases of millions of migrants on the move for their survival! What flour is this humanism made of? Yes, God’s earth is vast and if our face to face with this disoriented, weakened Europe, stuffed with its euros and lost in the century without shared values and without a gratifying model does not suit us anymore, why then insist on living together. It would be suicidal for us to continue to go along with people who are not loyal, who are hypocrites, liars, who stab you in the back at the first opportunity, who are incapable of building a balanced strategic alliance based on well understood interests. There is nothing to be done. It appears now that this path is blocked. The issue of Ceuta is a return of reality in a fantasized relationship. It is the intrusion of the everyday reality in a sordid and false intellectual construction. The current leaders of Madrid in their proven incompetence – destroy the Moroccan-Spanish relationship for Mohamed Ben Batouche! – have forgotten the fundamental parameters that durably structure the Moroccan-Spanish neighborhood relationship. The recall of Ceuta does not hurt them. They should quickly return to realpolitik and get out of the “Batouchian” misguidance that has ridiculed the executive, humiliated the judiciary and plunged the legislature into prostration. Governments of honor, in the past, have resigned for less than that. But here, it is the reign of amateurism, the time of honor is over. The mise en abyme is perfect when the Spaniards talk about the territorial integrity of Spain when it comes to Ceuta. Their tremors in the voice are touching. And the patriotic fiber is confusing. Even the most democrat of them all get involved in defending a caricatured colonial reality. But let’s move on! What about the territorial integrity of the Kingdom and its sovereignty over its southern provinces? No! no parallelism in sight, no similarities, no convergence or approximation of ideas. The schizophrenia is total. What applies to one, does not apply to the other. The consequences of this major political and diplomatic crisis will no doubt be multiple and calamitous. Not only do they effectively cancel 15 years of progress, together, to build a solid bilateral partnership, but they will open Pandora’s box with all its old demons, old bitterness and old resentments. The current infantile and counterproductive joy of the far-right parties in Spain is the best testimony that the poor government of Pedro Sanchez is driving straight into the wall by honking its horn.