Sat, Nov 12, 2016
The United States needs Morocco in its fight against terrorism in Africa and elsewhere and also needs it, somewhat, as a stepping-stone for trade and exchange in Africa.
The election of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016 came as a numbing shock to the whole world and the word shock is truly weak, because while all the opinion polls were giving Hillary Clinton as the winner of the elections, Donald Trump won the day, very big. While Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Trump won the Electoral College: a screaming anomaly of the American political system, which in, many ways, does not look democratic since one man, one vote does not hold water, at all.
Donald Trump did not rely, in the least, on the “marginal” vote of the minorities: Jewish, Black, Mexican, Latino, or other, he derided continuously. He counted, instead, on white America to which he appealed greatly by avowing to “make America great again,” if not greater than ever. The Midwest states brought up on “beef and Bible” apparently played a major role in his stunning win and pollsters were unable to see the strength of mercurial swing states: voting was a last minute business and decision and it went the Trump way.
The shock that Trump’s win elicited did not affect Wall Street and Dow Jones; on the contrary it is giving stimulus to the stock exchange because of the huge investments the new president will be making to modernize the aging American infrastructure. Did not he say during his campaign that American airports look like those of Third World countries compared to the ultra-modern Middle Eastern ones?
Many head of States are scared to death by the US President-elect doctrine by which he wants to make America great again, as if it is not great enough, now. Politicians are afraid that “great” would mean aggressive and militaristic, very similar to what Ronald Reagan did on arrival to the Oval Office. But, if that is what his doctrine means why is he making friends with Putin to the extent that the Russians are bragging that they have actively helped him win, according to the Daily Beast?
“Russian officials have said they were in contact with many of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign team during the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. Despite the fact that Trump’s team has repeatedly denied this assertion, Russia on Thursday confirmed it. “There were contacts” before the election, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reportedly said Thursday.”
Trump is contesting strongly the foundations on which American foreign policy was built on since the Second World War, which was in principle extending the American nuclear umbrella to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Trump has belittled NATO and has called for the free-riders on security to take care of their own defense, meaning they ought to get their own nuclear weapons and this applies to Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Gulf States. If this is implemented it would mean nuclear proliferation that official America has always combated aggressively. While he is throwing his allies in the open, he is extending a friendly hand to the Russians allowing them to get away with their brutal interventions in Ukraine and Syria.
Not only Trump wants to put hold on Muslims coming to America, but, also, vet officials and in addition he is considering fighting Islamism worldwide starting immediately with ISIS. As such, he will go back on the nuclear agreement with Iran, a prospect which will probably open the door for an Israeli-American combined military strike of the nuclear facilities of the former.
Nevertheless, according to Jane Kinninmont of the Guardian, many Middle Eastern people see Trump in a good light:
“Despite Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, talk of banning Muslims from America, and open hostility towards Syrian refugees, he has some supporters in the Middle East. Authoritarian governments see him as a strongman figure who will make deals with other strongmen like themselves.Some of the Gulf elites hope that, as a tough-talking Republican, he will be harder on Iran than Barack Obama. Trump called the deal struck by Obama on Iran’s nuclear programe a 'disaster' and 'the worst deal ever negotiated'.”
In anticipation of the coming of Trump to the White House, the Mexican Peso plummeted dangerously. The President-elect wants to build a wall to stop Mexican migration to the US and what is more he wants the Mexican government to pay for it. So in a word he wants his cake and wants to eat it, too, and by so doing humiliate the Mexican people, one and all. In addition, he wants to pull out of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and would probably soon be negotiating that with Canada and Mexico. His election has led, subsequently, to street protests in cities where there is a high concentration of Mexican-Americans and Latinos and elsewhere.
He has, also, made a promise to the voters that he would rescind many executive orders of President Obama as soon as he arrives to the White House, on such issues as Obamacare, climate change, etc. He is, likewise, poised to bring back home all American manufacturing business in Mexico, China, etc.
For the CEO of the Chinese business conglomerate Alibaba, interviewed on CNN on November 10, 2016, he pointed out, with much confidence, that Trump’s pragmatism will overweigh his electoral promises and declared intentions. Hopefully, there might be lots of truth and wisdom in that. Trump on his electoral win speech spoke rather nicely of his defeated opponent Hillary and even thanked her for services rendered to the nation and has, thus, struck a conciliatory note that reverberated around the planet.
Trump and his ex-wife visited Morocco during the reign of the late King Hassan II and he received and treated well in his royal palace.
Immediately, after Trump’s electoral win, King Mohammed VI sent a warm message of congratulations to the president-elect:
“Your election as President of the United States of America attests to the American people’s trust in you and the high esteem in which they hold you, thanks to your true commitment to serving their lofty interests and your extensive professional experience.”
The monarch went on to highlight the continuing dialogue and consultation between, Morocco and the US:
“I am also keen to enhance dialogue, coordination and consultation between our two countries on all issues of common interest, particularly with regard to the growing challenges posed to world peace and security, in order to counter all forms of extremism, violence and terrorism and to help find just and peaceful solutions to conflicts and tensions around the globe.”
On the other hand, the head of the government Abdelilah Benkirane made an unfortunate statement while been interviewed by the American Arabic Channel al-Hurra in which he said that Donald Trump “scares him.”
Fortunately, the next Moroccan ambassador to the United Stated is the Sherifa Lalla Joumala Alaoui, cousin of the monarch, previously Ambassador to the United kingdom and an experienced and seasoned diplomat, who will soon join her post in Washington DC to work towards strengthening further the excellent relations that have always existed between Morocco and the US since 1777, when Sultan Mohammed III officially recognized the independence of the young American republic and extended protection to American vessels in the Mediterranean Sea infested by piracy, then.
The United States needs Morocco in its fight against terrorism in Africa and elsewhere and also needs it, somewhat, as a stepping-stone for trade and exchange in Africa. Morocco has, also, being a good example to follow in interfaith dialogue and inter-cultural communication. So, the relations with the President-elect and the US can only be excellent and promising for the peoples of the two countries in the future.
Let us just hope that the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation sends along to the Moroccan Embassy in Washington DC experts on American politics rather than just functionaries who push paper and indulge in red tape. Moroccan officials and decision makers have to rise to the occasion and show much-need sense of responsibility instead of nepotism.
Header Image Credit: Moroccoworldnews
Dr. Mohamed Chtatou is a Professor of education at Mohammed V University in Rabat. He is a political and cultural analyst in the Middle East.