Monday, April 4, 2011

Charles in Morocco

The Daily Telegraph is supposed to be a "conservative" paper, whatever that means. But that doesn't stop this article, which is supposed to be a report of the news and not an editorial, from casually labeling in the headline the late King Hassan II of Morocco (1929-1999) a "tyrant" and uncritically regurgitating Moroccan dissidents' view that it was inappropriate for the Prince of Wales to lay a wreath at his tomb during an official visit. The article's own examples of Hassan's alleged misdeeds (over the course of a mostly stable 38-year reign) sound positively mild by Middle Eastern or African standards.

Apparently in the myopic Democracy-worshiping worldview virtually dominant in the West today, any monarch who actually rules his country and has not been reduced to a ceremonial figurehead is ipso facto a "tyrant." Whatever one's opinion of King Hassan or the Moroccan monarchy, there is no excuse for such blatant bias masquerading as objective journalism. For Prince Charles to courteously pay his respects to his host's deceased father and predecessor while on a official visit (the purpose of which was presumably to improve diplomatic relations between Britain and Morocco) can hardly be considered controversial. But as the similar furor in Sweden a few years ago over King Carl XVI Gustaf's polite remarks to the Sultan of Brunei when visiting that country suggested, Monarchy's enemies are not really interested in diplomacy or courtesy.

1 comment:

David Votoupal said...

In fairness, this was the case during the 60s and 70s (before Western Sahara), but in the last decade of Hassan II's reign there was a definite liberalisation of the system. Morocco ranks as one of the few Arab nations (Lebanon and Algeria being the others) which holds elections that can be considered free and fair. Notice that Algeria and Morocco have largely been spared the unrest seen further east.