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Maghreb union

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theManwhocouldntcry View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31 Mar 2010 at 20:10
On the plausibility of a maghreb union in the near future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2010 at 22:33

Maghreb union
 plausible!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2010 at 22:36
It might be beneficial for a discussion to be opened with more than one short sentence.  One sentence doesn't really illicit a response or a discussion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2010 at 22:46
Think of it more or less in the same vein as the the long-gone, little lamented UAR. We will not go into the implications of the 1989 Maghreb Union fostered by Qaddafi, and then list the political and economic illusions--not to mention social ones--that make it far more probable for Morocco and Tunisia to turn to Europe before relinquishing any degree of sovereignty to such a chimera.

Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Mar 2010 at 22:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2010 at 22:55

Pipe dreams of idealists that are detached from reality. There hasn't been a single incident in history where two countries voluntarily went into enosis to use the greek term. Russia has been trying this with Belorus for 20 years and still the regime their sells talk but no action and these are countries that share 500 yearsof common history and language. The Berber of Tunisia don't speak the same language as those in Algeria and Two Berber tribes from different sides of the Atlas have two completely different cultures and history. 

If anything the trend is for states to disintegrate not unite.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 00:10
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Think of it more or less in the same vein as the the long-gone, little lamented UAR. We will not go into the implications of the 1989 Maghreb Union fostered by Qaddafi, and then list the political and economic illusions--not to mention social ones--that make it far more probable for Morocco and Tunisia to turn to Europe before relinquishing any degree of sovereignty to such a chimera.
I disagree. Egypt and Syria have spent rought about 2000 of the last 2500 years as the same country. It is far more normal for those two countries to be united than disunited.
On the other hand Morroco, Algeria, and Tunisia, are much clearer distinct countries. Only being united under (West) Roman and Ummayid rule.
 
A UAR and Maghrib Union are not in the same vein at all, the UAR is much more viable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 03:32
Omar, have you been drinking!?! What next, the United Arab States as a portrait of political harmony? Interestingly though perhaps the brief interlude of the UAR (1958-1961) deserves a thread of its own since those were rather interesting years in the Near East cauldron.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 05:47
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Omar, have you been drinking!?! What next, the United Arab States as a portrait of political harmony? Interestingly though perhaps the brief interlude of the UAR (1958-1961) deserves a thread of its own since those were rather interesting years in the Near East cauldron.
Don't confuse the current mess with what has historically been the case, and is therefore likely to be the future. The current ME states are either artifical, badly governed, or both. They can't last forever. So what would a strong popular ME state look like? Probably like the Ottomans, Mamlukes, Ayyubids, Abbasids, Umayyids, Romans, Successor Kingdoms or Achemaeids. And in those Empires, only the Macdonians had Egypt and Syria divided.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 13:35
Mr. Hashim I will personally ensure that your name appear on the latest "No Fly" list after the listing of such blatant pan-terrorist neo-kalifa ranting. Remember that Australia did have its beginnings as a penal colony and can one day be returned to its roots! Come to think of it, I will bring it up with the Security Council...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 14:02
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

It might be beneficial for a discussion to be opened with more than one short sentence.  One sentence doesn't really illicit a response or a discussion.
Oh, I disagree. Sometimes one word can provide much more entertainment. Instead of a lengthy dissertation, just insult your fellow forumers. Time and effort is saved this way.
http://xkcd.com/15/



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 14:29
United Maghreb:
 
Likely scenario: 
 
1.  Conflict begins immediately over who (which elite interest) will run it. 
 
2.  It becomes clear the economic resources cannot support the population. 
 
3.  Criminal activity offers the best prospect of survival. 
 
4.  Opposing interest groups  compete for control of criminal income.
 
5.  The united Maghreb becomes another failed state - on the southern flank of Europe.
 
Defense ministries theorize over such scenarios and try to plan for them.  These days the United States looks at Mexico (which is a comparatively wealthy country) and sees the possibility of a failed state whose governmental structures seek security under the influence of competing criminal interests.  The next security concern for the United States is likely to be on it's own southern border where the national security forces of the Mexican government seem incapable of responding to the ongoing threat to their integrity.
 
In North Africa, it will be far cheaper in the long run for the Mediterranean European states, and the EU collectively, to funnel money to the separate established political units to bribe them to stay independent of one another.
 
Not very optimistic, I am afraid. 
 
     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 14:42
The UAR was a joke pure and simple. The goal of this joke was to liberate Palestine and establish an Arab utopia with Syrian capital and Egyptian hands. The problem is once this fuedal lord from upper Egypt took Syria he turned it to his own tribal fiefdom sacking all the upper echelon civil service and putting his cousins in charge of a country they know diddlysquat about.
 
What is worse the Israeli "enemy" was the last thing on his mind because it is the fifth column (i.e every freeborn well educated middle class syrian who thinks for himself). While Israel was comfertably building itself and strengthening its industry and economy he was systematically distroying it as well as distroying the state (he sacked most upper rank Syrian officers). The Syrians realised that this guy was a delusional maniac who will be the end of them so they got rid of him in the only bloodless coup in Syria, a coup nobody stopped in a country that saw its people just 2 years ago raising Nasser's car over their shoulders in celebration.
 
as for Syria and Egypt being one and the same well the answer is no they were never the same. They were part of the same empire but culturally and administratively they were two separate entities. Now Lebanon and Syria that is another matter altogether but not Egypt and Syria.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 14:45
I think it is important to point out that neither Egypt nor Syria are part of the Maghreb.  Smile
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 14:48
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

It might be beneficial for a discussion to be opened with more than one short sentence.  One sentence doesn't really illicit a response or a discussion.
Oh, I disagree. Sometimes one word can provide much more entertainment. Instead of a lengthy dissertation, just insult your fellow forumers. Time and effort is saved this way.
 
Parnell need I quote a certain famous prologue?
 
Whan that aprill with his shoures soote 
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
 
That opening should give hint as to what is really going on here. Nevertheless, I was more than fascinated by Omar's appeal to Ramses II and his chariots as a projection of the unity between Cairo and DamascusWink!


Edited by drgonzaga - 01 Apr 2010 at 14:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 15:04
Hello Pike
 
Describing NA as a collection of failed states is extremely unfair. NA is poor but they are far from being failed states (not even Algeria with all their problems).
 
There is a big difference between being poor and being a failed state. The main reason why NA states are poor is because they are so close to the EU and in a competitive world this is a huge disadvantage. Without EU help Portugal, Greece, Spain and Cyprus would have not been much better than NA countries. Indeed before they joined the EU and it spent hundreds of billions on them they were at the same economic level as NA states. The other reason for being poor is of course the brutal legacy of colonisation in those parts and this subject is too complex for a single discussion.
 
Currently all NA states are stable states with few crimes and civil distrubances and a highly efficient government with some of the highest transparency records in the developing world. Population growth is actually under control and is close to international standards and they are attractive to capital. The problem is not enough capital flows into them to help solve their problems and a political union is not going to help either.
 
On the other hand an economic union can help the NA countries but the problem is that the EU refuses to negotiate a collective deal and wants separate deals because individual deals will be benefitial to the EU while a collective one will help NA countries much more.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 01 Apr 2010 at 15:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 15:25
Thank you Al Jassas for detailing the realities here, first with respect to the brief interlude of the UAR [whose formation is a critical point in distinguishing between the rhetoric of pan-Arabism and the realities of regionalism--not to mention the impact on the politics of the Near East in the subsequent decade] and second on the economic realities of the Western Mediterranean, although I believe that you are being too hard on the Brussels' bureaucrats and not cognizant enough of the continued interests of individual EU states such as Spain, France, and Italy and their business conglomerates.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2010 at 16:53
Hi Al,
 
I understand that the various states in the Maghreb are not at this time failed states.  They all seem relatively stable as constituted, and smaller political entities are frequently able to accomodate different interests and are easier to administer.  Bigger is not always better, and the advantages of a geographical mega state seem to me to be confined to how it would look on a map. 
 
The Euros obviously see disadvantages to their own interests.  As a bunch of markets the Maghreb states are fine, but one state with 35 or 40,000,000 population, and with such a long coastline to influence strategic considerations in the Mediterranean is another matter.  A "united" Maghreb might be a significant security concern to southern Europe, and to the EU, if it did become a failed state.
 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 01 Apr 2010 at 22:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 03:37
Al Jassus: in re: "If anything the trend is for states to disintegrate not unite."

A bit oversimplified, but certainly demonstrable in many cases. But then you have China, Korea, Spain, the U.K., etc. Of course, not all of these unifications have been totally voluntary, but they have endured.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 03:43
Al Jass, also, in re: "The other reason for being poor is of course the brutal legacy of colonisation in those parts..."

Yes, which is why that none of their citizens ever emigrate to France, Spain, or Italy. Or, perhaps, you were referring to the brutal legacy of Arab colonization?

ps, snark aside, I agree that it is unfair to call them failed states. They are certainly ahead of New Guinea and some of the really failed Pacific states. 


Edited by lirelou - 02 Apr 2010 at 03:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 08:28
Hello lirelou
 
When I said states disintegrate I meant the current trend (after 1918) not what happened in the middle ages.
 
As for the brutal legacy of colonisation, first of all Arab empires barely ruled Maghreb in an organised manner for more than 60 years. Duing that rule Arab tribes were prevented from migrating beyond Tunisia except towards Spain and since then (that is since the fall of the Ummayyads) Maghreb was practically independent from any Arab empires and ruled by indiginous dynasties till today.
 
The second point, have ever read about the colonial history of France in Algeria and Spain in Morocco? I suggest you read about it. Even in his whitewash called "A Savage war for peace" Alistair Horne could not hide what the French did for the Algerians. Those migrants who fill the French streets right now are almost all descendents from the traitors who fought for the French and France evacuated them with their citizens in the 60s or from the already 1 million Magharibis working in France for post-WWII reconstruction. Same thing applies for Morocco when it comes to Spain.
 
As for failed states, the HDI of NA states is actually better than several Latin American, SE Asian and former USSR states and those aren't failed states not are considered even close to being failures.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 02 Apr 2010 at 08:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote theManwhocouldntcry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 16:41
Poland-Lithuania?
France and Navarre?
Iriquois Confederacy?
The United States?
America and Texas?
Senegal and Mali (for a week)?
the UAR?
 
Not many, but it does happen.
 
A few of them even lasted!
Clap
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote theManwhocouldntcry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 16:42
Not to mention England and Scotland
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 17:16
Originally posted by theManwhocouldntcry theManwhocouldntcry wrote:

Poland-Lithuania?
France and Navarre?
Iriquois Confederacy?
The United States?
America and Texas?
Senegal and Mali (for a week)?
the UAR?
 
Not many, but it does happen.
 
A few of them even lasted!
Clap
 
 
 
How many of these happened after 1918?
 
Plus do you even have any idea about the nature of those unions and how did they happen?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2010 at 19:16

The period since 1918 has certainly marked the dissolution of empires and artificial states not based on feelings of close attachments of peoples to each other (though there was some inertia still around after 1918 in the way for instance Yugoslavia was created).

However, the existence of the EU itself also marks the more recent past as a period in which supranational feelings of communality have begun to extend other wider regions. So with any luck something better than the old way of forcing people to live together is emerging here and there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eventhorizon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 19:11
Is Egypt considered part of Maghreb Union? It is after all in North Africa. Does GCC and Magreb Union cover all countries in Arab league?

I know certain countries and people are nervous about Unions of other countries, specially Islamic or Muslim countries, but my question is if there is viability and precedent such as EU, they why should others not have the right to follow such an example, considering that benefits may outweigh the downsides.

To me a Maghreb Union makes sense, so does GCC and an eventual merger of the two, if the people and leadership there desire such Unions.

But then there is the question of Israel and its security and implications it may have on the future of the region, so it is natural that there will be forces working against such Unions to take shape.

Perhaps Israel could become part of this Union and provide some leadership, which this region needs. From enemies and aggressors to partners in progress, is it possible, me and my pipe dreams, but it does not cost me anything or others to dream up the impossible. So much could be done working together, instead we choose to fight and be territorial, to preserve a past for Historical continuity, what if we could keep and preserve our pasts, as it is our human need, and yet work side by side for our future.





Edited by eventhorizon - 06 Apr 2010 at 19:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 20:00
Culturally, the Arab world has always been divided into an "East Vs. West" situation. Egypt was always part of the east eventhough it is in NA while Maghreb countries plus Andalusia were part or the west. The reasons for this divide are numerous but should not be surprising. Egypt through all its history was an "Asian" country having little to do with the rest of Africa (except Sudan).
 
As for union, again it is a pipe dream as I explained in an earlier post. Those countries were never united before nor they can be now unless one country conquers the other which is not going to happen any time soon.
 
Now you did raise an important issue here and that is of the GCC countries. This is indeed a possible scenario. After oil runs out Saudi Arabia will find itself in trouble. The population of its second city is larger than all the natural citizens of the rest of the GCC countries combined. My neighbourhood in Riyadh has more people than Kuwaite and more schools than Kuwaite and Bahrain. With very few resources of its own taking those countries will be tempting. Saudi Arabia is already muscling those countries into an economic and currency union and forcing them to naturalise Yemenis and Saudis and I don't see anything stopping Saudi Arabia from total control in 25 years time. Of course one should except Oman of all this. Oman is a nation on its own since time immemorial. It has its own history, its own religion, its own culture that has nothing to do with the uniform cultures of the rest of the GCC.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2010 at 20:50
Al Jassas wrote:
 
Of course one should except Oman of all this. Oman is a nation on its own since time immemorial. It has its own history, its own religion, its own culture that has nothing to do with the uniform cultures of the rest of the GCC.
 
And an identical reservation has to be raised with regard to Morocco and any fancy of a Maghreb Union given that the tensions with Algeria of the last half-century are rooted to the distant past and the integrity of its very own Sharifate. Not to be chauvinistic here but the al-Mamlaka al-Magribiyya is the Land of God: Marakush/Morocco!Wink Yes, I do have a soft spot for the history of Morocco in the last 150 years and the moment of the Taourat al-malik wa-shaab since in terms of tradition and institutions Morcco was the sole North African state exhibitng historical continuity. 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 06 Apr 2010 at 20:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 15:58
Al J: In re:  "Those migrants who fill the French streets right now are almost all descendents from the traitors..."

I cordially, but not respectfully, disagree with that characterization. The Algerians who fought for France, in my view, were the true heroes of the War. Had they prevailed, Algeria would have had a far happier history over the past 50 years, and would still be an independent nation. Fifty years ago this month, was the singular event that put Algeria on the road to pre-mature independence: The General's Putsch. That was what really gave the FLN its victory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 16:27
Sorry Lirelou but do you even have the slightest idea of how Algerians lived under the French? If not read Mr. Horne's book. The guy who is clearly pro-French couldn't hide the ugly truth that Algerians weren't even third class citizens in their own country.
 
Add to that, lets look at French colonies which are still under the French, how happy are they? Reunion, french Caledonia, French Caribbean colonies etc. Nope, their population is still 2nd class poor citizens subject to Nuclear tests and sapping of their natural resources by French companies employing only blue blooded french people.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 11 Apr 2010 at 16:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 2010 at 16:58
Actually, I have read all of Horne's works. I've also known both pied-noires and the children of Harkis. Over the past forty years I've probably read a good twenty books on the war there (all in French), and thirty or forty articles in French history magazines. Though I studied Arabic informally, as my best friend in University was a Palestinian, I neither speak nor read it, and can do no more than pass pleasantries and order food in restaurants and cafes. My favorite book on that war is Jean Pouget's "Bataillon R.A.S.", though Henry-Jean Loustau has a good account of Harkis in action in his "Guerre en Kabylie". And my unit visitor's welcome packet from the 3rd Marine Parachute Infantry Regiment contains a encapsulated history of the unit which includes the names of its dead from that war and the Tunis operation, no small number of whom were Muslim Algerians, mostly former FLN.

You might find Pouget's description of what the Army was trying to achieve in 1958 highly instructive, particularly as regards their proposals for insuring that all Muslim Algerians be granted full French citizenship. The various 'classes' of French citizenship, perhaps more properly 'subjectship' was something that the Army viewed as key to obtaining the loyalty of all Algerians. 
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