Neutrality, supreme form of cowardice? By Abdelahad Idrissi Kaitouni

When King Mohamed VI gives a speech, he never lets his emotions show. He manages to control everything: no explicit hand gestures, no frowning of the forehead or eyebrows, no variations in the tone of speech, nothing that betrays the slightest effect of his remarks on himself.

In short, nothing theatrical, everything is smooth, the opposite of the majority of other heads of state for whom each word must be dramatized, because they are looking for com effects. Her Majesty doesn’t need any publicity effects, because she is free from all election worries. It is in the words that we will have to look for the Sovereign’s “states of mind”.

The words may well belong to the well-oiled diplomatic lexicon, but they end up betraying what he feels. Commenting on his last Speech from the Throne, I had underlined in my column all the suffering he felt by inviting his Subjects to be more leniency with regard to Algeria. Because he knows what it costs the pride of Moroccans to turn a blind eye to the unspeakable actions of their neighbors. His pain was clear from his words.

As for the speech of last August 20, its words let perceive a cry of stifled anger against the duplicity of many countries which seek to shelter behind this infamous notion of neutrality.

The King used a vocabulary befitting his rank and the circumstances. It is up to the Moroccan intelligentsia to descend into the arena, to be more explicit and to qualify things crudely, to amplify its cry of anger and carry it urbi et orbi.

Thus we have the duty to qualify as cowards all those countries which delight in the comfort of chiaroscuro. It is not without reason that I entitle this column, neutrality is the supreme form of cowardice. What harm is there in being a partisan when the evidence of history wants to impose an outmoded eclecticism on you?

In defiance of all the values ​​it has conveyed in the past, France delights in a shameful posture of impossible neutrality, which leads it to tell Moroccans that they are right, while whispering in the ears of Algerians that they are not wrong.

She thus claims to avoid confrontation, but forgets that she only perpetuates injustice. What credibility can it have, when under the fallacious pretext of neutrality, it cultivates inequity making any outcome of the conflict difficult, if not impossible. Has she forgotten that she robbed Morocco of vast territories which she handed over to her official receiver, Algeria?

What neutrality can she claim to hide her imposture? Invented for the needs of the cause, this neutrality is blessed bread for the squad of Algerian generals who oppress their people, and block the completion of our unity, while fiercely thwarting our development. So France brings significant help to the oppressor to the detriment of the victims!

We join here the words of the South African Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, who would have said that: to be neutral in situations of injustice, is to put oneself on the side of oppression. Way of saying that, beyond the selfish interests that incline to more or less leniency for the oppressor, there is first of all humanity!

I often recall in my chronicles that it goes from Nations to Humans. What is more natural in man than to make judgments, even if he is careful not to formulate them openly? The biases of the heart are also there to remind us that neutrality is an intellectual construction that wants to borrow from morality a few reasons to appear less shocking.

Judgments, founded or not, and biases, are often the basis of friendships that are sometimes woven from early childhood. Can you imagine a friend who doesn’t try to bear even a tiny part of your misfortunes? Will you continue to call him a friend if he walks away while you’re in serious trouble?

I have made this long digression to say that France cannot be a friendly country, even if it tacks skillfully to avoid appearing as a declared enemy. For her, neutrality is a concept with variable geometry, which can range from a more or less virtuous attitude to extreme spinelessness. We have experienced it in several countries where the duty to interfere has been applied with violence and the devastation that we know.

Developed by chaos theorists such as Bernard-Henry Lévy or Bernard Kouchner, the duty to interfere has become an official doctrine under which it has intervened in all theaters of operations over the past two decades, to speak only of recent events. (Balkan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Sahel….)

The heroism of France is to declare itself neutral where it wants to perpetuate injustice, and to free itself from neutrality where it can strike with impunity. When I started this writing, I did not imagine my column with such a hard fall for the French. It is just as hard for Moroccans who have loved and still love France!

Bouznika on September 15, 2022

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