Oh I know I said I wasn’t going to bore you with a detailed analysis of Edward M. Gabriel’s article in National Interest supporting
“I stand by the content of my article,” writes Mr. Gabriel.
Here are some of the statements he stands by (his words in bold):
“For centuries, nomadic tribes of the Sahara–known collectively as Sahrawis—subsisted in the vast expanse of the
I’m a little confused here. If the Sahrawi tribes subsisting in the “vast expanse of the Sahara (across present-day Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Mali)” all pledged allegiance to the Sultanate of Morocco and if these pledges really constituted bonds of sovereignty that justify Morocco’s invasion and occupation of the Western Sahara, then why isn’t Morocco trying to recover their Algerian, Mauritanian, and Malian Saharas also. Actually, after
“During the Cold War, following
I wonder whether that is “separatist revolutionary” as in the thirteen colonies. In any event, I have discussed the erroneous use of “separatist” elsewhere. No country recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the WS, so there is nothing to separate from. In his attempt to place the Polisario on the wrong side in the Cold War, Mr. Gabriel includes the
“A United Nations ceasefire was established in 1991, but since that time various efforts to reach a political solution to the issue have failed.”
The 1991 cease-fire agreement that was signed by both parties and which, among other things, called for a referendum on independence or inclusion in Morocco WAS a “political solution.” If
“The impasse reflected the Polisario Front’s firm stance that only independence will suffice, while
This is just wrong. The Polisario has NEVER taken a “stance,” and certainly never a “firm” one, that “only independence will suffice.” The Polisario has always said they would abide by whatever the inhabitants of the territory voted for in a referendum – be it inclusion in
In assessing this article, the sections that I have put under the microscope constitute only the edge of the Sahara of Mr. Gabriel’s dishonesty. As is usually the case with this kind of writing, all the facts and points of international law that that don’t fit into or that contradict his pro-Moroccan line are just left out.
And so, having fabricated a totally misleading and bogus history of the conflict, Mr. Gabriel moves on to make his case for
I find his case far from convincing, but here I will really truly refrain from delving into the minutia of his arguments. Mr. Gabriel can blather on all he wants about how Western Saharan autonomy is the best solution for all the ills of
The Polisario has already rejected
I thank Mr. Gabriel again for making his comment on my blog. His excuse that he divulged his affiliation with the Moroccan government with National Interest and they refrained to mention it with his article is I think rather lame. In published opinion pieces, authors who have a financial interest in the propagation of a particular point of view have an ethical obligation to divulge that interest – either in the article or in a biographical note. Mention of Mr. Gabriel’s paid relationship with the