Totten visits Western Sahara, ‘administered’ by Morocco, parts of it run by the renegade communist Polisario. The region’s become a sort-of proxy for tension between Morocco and the deeply repressive, authoritarian regime in Algeria and various conflicting interests:
“The Polisario wanted to impose a communist structure on nomadic populations,” she said. “I don’t believe that has changed. The same people are the leaders today as when I was young. There are still Sahrawi children in Cuba right now.”
Imagine going to Cuba for ‘education’…
.The entire Sahara-Sahel region is unstable. Egypt is ruled again by a military dictatorship. Libya is on the verge of total disintegration a la Somalia. Algeria is mired in a Soviet time warp. Northern Mali was recently taken over by Taliban-style terrorists so vicious they prompted the French to invade. At the time of this writing, US troops are hunting Nigeria’s Al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram across the border in Chad.
This blog thinks Totten’s at his best while travel-writing, weaving observation, journalism, politics and his experiences together.
Has the spread of Western liberal democracy involved socialist, communist, ‘social democratic,’ and even broadly humanist influences within a larger Western spectrum? You bet, and some of these influences have produced repressive and totalitarian hybrids still hanging-on.
On This Site See: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty” …The End Of History?: Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’
In other news…
If you’re the Kurds, you defend your turf, play it cool, gain valuable territory and bide your time:
From The Daily Beast: ‘Iraqi Kurds Declare Plans For Breakaway State:’
‘But it isn’t clear that Washington can rely on either the Turkish or Israeli governments to rebuff the Kurds. Officials from both countries argue that events are fast overtaking the Obama administration.’
Vice is embedding a reporter with the Kurds, because that’s probably the only semi-safe option amidst such instability:
In his book Where The West Ends, Totten describes visiting Northern Iraq briefly as a tourist with a friend, and the general feeling of pro-Americanism in Kurdish Northern Iraq that generally one can only feel in Poland, parts of the former Yugoslavia etc.
Related On This Site: Longer odds, lots of risk: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest’s Via Media: “The Rise Of Independent Kurdistan?”…From Reuters: ‘Analysis: Syrian Kurds Sense Freedom, Power Struggle Awaits’