I met Ahmed Rami in Marbella, Andalusia, Spain, in the home of the exiled then 82-year-old Major General Otto Ernst Remer.
On first impression their friendship seemed to rest on contradictions. On the one hand there was the tall old German World War Two officer, highly decorated (Knights Cross with Oak Leaves) - wounded eleven times, 48 close combats - the professional German soldier, raised in the Prussian tradition, who had put down the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt on his head of state, Adolf Hitler.
On the other hand, there was former tank lieutenant of the Moroccan army, Ahmed Rami, son of a proud but poor Berber sheik, who as a young officer wished to depose his head of state, King Hassan of Morocco, in the spirit of Swiss folk hero William Tell.
A closer comparison of these so different personalities reveals their similarity: Resistant to all temptations, both are incorruptible idealists who have no understanding for the material rules of the "western consumer society" game. Chivalrous, and at all times prepared to serve the good as did once Don Quichotte, they are prepared to sacrifice themselves for their people's cause.
A strong code of honour marked their actions and both wished to serve their people, the one in 1944 and the other in 1972.
Remer knew that on 20 July 1944 the majority of Germans supported Hitler, that is, his regime was legitimate.
Ahmed Rami was convinced that the King of Morocco was a puppet of the Jewish power and of the CIA who unashamedly exercised power against his people. State power was therefore illegitimate.
Remer defended his head of state as he was attacked, and Rami attacked his head of state whom he was called on to defend. Both were motivated by a love for their countries and the loyalty for their peoples.
It is the first of two messages in this book.
There are situations where the soldier must make a choise betwen duty to defend the head of stat and the duty to defend his peuple.
A soldier, like any citizen, is bound to serve his people (democracy), and so also to the executive power of his state, as long as this power's legitimacy emanates from the sovereignty of the people. If, however, the government acts against the will of its people, then it is every soldier's duty to resist such power.
Wherever an illigimate regime which harms its people by retaining power through violence and oppression, cunning and deception, then it is the duty of the armed forces of that country to oppose such government. Such a criminal form of government needs to be arrested by the armed forces and put before the country's courts of law.
And this is the second message of the book: At a time in which the "American" world order has declared war against the self determination of peoples, and by means of its international monetary system and media hegemony, prevents the peoples of Africa, Europe and Asia, to achieve unison within their national boundaries respective peoples. Each country cannot alone liberate itself. The global threat to nations, their people (democracy) can only be realized globally.
The rights, for instance, of the Albanians, Hutus, Tutsis, and Palestinians: all need to be a part of all humanity´s struggle. All resistant peoples should see each other as natural allies.
Hatred, force and ethnic cleansing never originate where self-determination, freedom and justice are guaranteed.
The Jewish power´s empire has during a past one hundred-year war period opposed national self-determination. With its controlled U.S. government it has totally dominated and oppressed the people of the United States. Through its international monetary system, with the aid of the media hegemony, it has now become a deadly danger for all peoples through the world.
This danger, which in its own nature is a global one, can thus only be defeated globally.
The white man, the black man, the yellow man and the red man must unite globally against the international Jewish money power.
A Moroccan from the Atlas Mountains who fights for the self-determination of Palestinians as well as for the free speech of Germans, is our teacher, if he attacks those who put themselves above peoples.
Ahmed Rami will always fight for the rights of political prisoners and the persecuted, such as Faurisson, Remer, Walendy, Deckert, Kemper, Lachout and countless others.
The artistic nature of Rami's language is that of the Koran itself. After all, as a child from Atlas Mountains, he was steeped in it.
Listen to the story of the barefooted boy who emerged from the valleys of the high Atlas Mountains, assured of his message, then onto the road for Casablanca, there to learn to read and write.
From poverty to become an incorruptible freedom fighter, and whose exiled voice gives hope to his people. And now I invite Ahmed Rami to speak.
The most common reaction to the events of la July 1971 was one of surprise. Even If the Morrocan monarchy did not appear to be any more protected from an attack than the other Arab monarchies, the attack, when it came, was from an unexpected area. It was known that Mohamed V, then Hassan II had done their utmost to keep the armed forces under their direct control and to avoid giving them any ground for complaint. It is also supposed that they kept careful watch over the allegiance of their officials. Surprise actions may of course have arisen from this area: these would have been expected from the lower ranks and not from the senior officers. The revolutions In Egypt, Iraq and in Libya were brought about by the captains and not the generals. These same captains, coming from and remaining close to the people thanks to their modest salaries, were inspired by an Islamic ideology. What possible ideology could have roused those generals and colonels of 10 July, pampered by the regime?
On the 10 July 1971 some units from the Moroccan army, shattered the calm of a garden-party being given by King Hassan II in the outskirts of Rabat by suddenly appearing and machine-gunning some of the guests, occupied the main radio station and proclaimed the republic. However, after a series of episodes, the soldiers gave up arid those in charge of the incident: officers, generals and officials, were shot.
These sated men bore daily witness to a luxuary infinitely surpassing that which they were granted. Did these men, decorated but under the thumb of one who exercised absolute authority, rear up in retaliation? Did they want more than wealth and honours in imitation of a great many officers from the Arab countries? The answer to these questions lies perhaps in the file on the Interrogations which preceded the executions. The answer will be brought to light before long.
If the secret concerning the leaders of the conspiracy is to remain so for the time being, could not the motivatIons of those involved and their helpers be re-enacted? By "helpers" we take here to mean those who indirectly took part by the very fact that they remained silent. For a great deal of silence or tacit complicity would be required for this armed column to reach Ahermoumou In Skhirat, crossing Fès, Meknès and Rabat, without the king, at any time, being warned of this. The attitude of those Involved was explained by King Hassan II in two contradictory ways: They were said to be drugged; their commanding officers were also said to have persuaded them into believing that a plot was afoot to overthrow the king and that it was their duty to protect or rescue him.
We do not believe In drugs. These doubtlessly enable a person to ignore danger and not to act contrary to his deep feelings. The witnesses who testified concerning this were of course trustworthy, but based their case solely on the abnormal elation which made them appear as marauders in their behaviour. This is to forget that an outburst of extreme violence, hate, rebellion or pain can create the same effects as drugs. Those who saw the hysterical crowd at Nasser's funeral could also have believed in the power of drugs.
On the other hand, difficult though it may be not Imagine, these young people were taken for conspirators reunited with hostile Intentions against the king and the group of high-ranking civil servants, ambassadors and foreigners who with champagne-filled glasses or plates of smoked salmon in hand, filled the palace of Skhirat. Even supposing that some of them had been fooled, the others, i.e. those who had then gone to proclaim the republic on Radio Morocco, had certainly not been fooled. It is the state of mind of this group of people which it would appear interesting to understand.
When such a coup hits a regime it is only normal to look for its cause In the opposition group. Here, nobody would have expected a military coup and Hassan II himself, while establishing a tenuous link between the criticisms levelled against the opposition and the attempted military coup, has publicly declared that the opposition (and even the friends of those accused in Marrakesh) were responsible neither for its conception nor for its planning.
It is known that the Istiqlal party remained monarchist. The standpoint of the UNFP is somewhat more complex: If It Is officially monarchist (how could It publicly profess to be otherwise?). It is convinced that the monarchy constitutes the safest defence of the "Islamic Feudal System" which one wishes to quash and the main obstacle to the coming of the "socialist" regime where "the sole solution" to the economic and social problems facing the country is seen. The other "legal" political parties are only the King's marionettes and play the role of opposition.
This badly organized and weak opposition represents but a small part of the real opposition In Morocco. All those who have some contact with young people at school, students and secondary school pupils, know just what are the feelings of this age group regarding not only the system but also to the person of the king himself. It cannot be ignored that the investigators of the Skhirat incident were young people, and, if not intellectuals, could at least have been men of a certain academic ability. (The level of the school at Ahermoumou is obviously far from that of the level required at the University.)
What then thinks the youth of Morocco? It would take too long to describe this in its entirety. However, even there, unanimity is not the order of the day. Some see the solution in an Islamic order while others aspire to an "Arabic Socialism". However, all have misgivings about their future and are deeply vexed by the contrast existing between the affluence of a few and the poverty of the greater number.
One suspects that the cadets of Ahermoumou, who carried out the Skhirat coup (and the rebels of the coup of 16 August 1972) were moved by an exact Ideology. Their radio reporters have as yet not presented their programme. Even if they had uttered the word socialism, this would not have meant very much. Was not the first governing party in the first Moroccan parliament called the "Socialist Democratic Party"? But one does not, without being moved by powerful emotions, give oneself up to acts of violence such as were demonstrated at Skhirat.
Among the details reported by the eye-witnesses concerning the scenes of 10 July, one in particular struck us. The soldiers who were searching the king's guests did not take money, however snatched luxury goods such as jewellery and golden lighters, threw them onto the ground and stamped on them as If possessed by a certain frenzy.
This small detail may be linked to a larger one, so large that it is spoken of from Algiers to Tunis, to Paris and as far away as Washington and one is unable to go to Morocco without hearing it spoken of many times a day by Moroccans and by foreigners alike. The "It" refers to corruption (cf. speech by the King on 4 August 1971). "The Bakchich Empire" is universal and the underdevelopment gives it more favourable ground than elsewhere. In a poor country, power has often been the single and most sure source of wealth. But Morocco seems to have broken some sort of record here, If not on a world scale - at least by Maghrebi and perhaps even Arab standards. (In the vastness of Asia everything Is on a much larger scale.) In the first half of 1971 scandals proliferated. Just as the monarch was about to leave the country on an official visit things were to go further before the U S Government expressed the wish for the trip to be postponed due to corruption Involving so many high-ranking Moroccan individuals that the affair had to be covered up. And was not It General Madbouh who brought back from Washington this unhappy piece of news, with, It Is reported, "proof of guilt" in hand.
The same Madbouh was a privileged among privileged according to Hassan II himself. But who had done such a thing to him and his accomplices of the 10 July 1971 and all the other privileged? Nobody thought that in Morocco these atrocities could be committed unbeknown to the King and against his will. One gained moreover the impression that despite a few rare and spectacular sanctions against the "atrocities wIthin the atrocity" that it was a question of a system of government aimed at alIgning Itself to the ruling class and levelling by its seductions, people of worth especially young people whom the opposition risked inveigling.
Such an outstanding Morrocan student, Trotskyist or Maoist though he may have been, when attending the University of Paris or Stockholm, was found to be an able top civil servant, complete with villa in Souissl (the select residential of Rabat), and complete with a bank account in Zürich. Yes, it's true. And how were the large union powers and leaders of the working masses able to bring about the revolution while driving about in palace-given cars? Yes, that's also true.
However, disadvantages as well as advantages were part and parcel of the system. Those men who had a wealth of experience about Morocco and in front of whom, before the 10 July, we confessed our doubts concerning the effectiveness of this policy and the future of the regime to which we had entrusted ourselves, repelled to us that this had lasted for centuries and that the average Moroccan continued to link in his mind strength and wealth and that those who themselves had become incensed at the corrüption were at the same time ready to give in to this temptation should it ever come their way.
Two historical errors, it seemed to us, weakened this argument. First of all this argument failed to take note of the most ancient Islamic traditions, viz. the contempt for possessions which exemplify the riches of this world. Down through the ages, reformers rose up to denounce the rich and powerful (the two being synonymous) and from time to time involved the indigent masses in a sort of revolutionary crusade. The history of the Moslem World is not without its Savonarolas. Their role, if equally marked, at the time when the works concerning religious purification were about to make their re-appearance and whose authors did not delay in yielding to the same temptations which had been the undoing of their predecessors. Even in Morocco these reformers came from the South, for the most part a country of drought and poverty:
Almoravides, Almohades and even in the twentieth century El-Hiba etc. Today these southern men, Berbers or Arabs (of what significance is race here?), make camp at the gates of the towns: they populate almost a third of the shanty towns of the larger communities.
The second error fails to take note of the serious changes which have affected modern Morocco. This year there are a million and a half children in our schools almost all of whom learn French. For these ancient civilisations there exist no "Great Wall of China" for their protection. The old man, of course, has not entirely disappeared and Skhirat, while assuming a Maghrebl air, no longer remains what it once was. The poverty stricken peasant-become-sultan of traditional folklore was the only conceivable representation of poverty overcome. Today it is known, even in the shanty towns, that other methods of overcoming poverty exist, examples of which have been provided by entire nations. In former times, of the rich man it was said: "God for him has provided". Nowadays this is no longer the case of all the rich. Indeed, some quite simply see themselves as equated with thieves. Young impoverished school leavers who can neither hope for a post in the administration (because 7096 of the employees are under 40 years of age) nor can they hope for work in the private sector because a hundred to a hundred and ten posts were created during the years of plenty, when, actually, double this would have been required simply to come to terms with the demographic explosion. How could they nurture a sentiment other than hate for the recipients of such wanton and doubtfully acquired luxury?
March 1965 saw the inhabitants of Casablanca's shanty towns take action. Such was the repression of their actions, according to a witness "that they will never take action so hastily again". Unemployment amongst academics together with rebellion by graduates produced a danger more insidious and an explosive potential of an even greater magnitude. Was there nothing they could do against armoured vehicles? And herein lies the reasons why the revolutions of the Third World did not have their origin in the suburbs as did those in the Europe of the XIX century but rather had their inception in military camps.
One further element seems worthy of mention in the illogical train of events of that mad day when acts of violence were aimed against foreigners which is a singular occurrence in Morocco, nationals of which display a keenly developed sense of hospitality although it has otherwise been stated. When these acts of violence were perpetrated for example in 1907, 1912 and from 1953-55, they took the form of struggles, all be they threatened or opposed, In a bid for Independence. Think of the visitors to Skhirat; ambassadors, doctors, businessmen etc. who had been treated in a like fashion, nay verily, slain by a hail of machine-gun fire. This would not have been made known and certainly not justified but would be explained in a manner devoid of any feeling however brief or powerful.
For a full understanding, some method of recapitulation is required. Political independence does not automatically guarantee economic independence, especially when modern industry, which is the key to development, remains in the hands of the onetime colonialist who brought or instigated the aforementioned industry. Socialistic countries have solved the problem by nationalization. in Morocco, a country which has chosen the Liberal option (in the economic sense of the term), it was necessary in order to guarantee this independence that the national upper classes replaced the foreign capitalists. It is a known fact that the upper classes did not wish to or could not carry this out. Unlike their European predecessors of the XVIII century these rare and mighty merchants did not change into "capitalist entrepreneurs". With regard to long-term investment in industry, they preferred to invest in the short term and to speculate on the markets or certain "stakes" such as land, property, gold, jewellery and leaving foreign investors the benefits but also the risks of industrial expansion. So flagrant was the slackness that this "Liberal" but "nationalistic" state had to intervene itself, to an ever increasing extent in the industrial investments which without the state's intervention, would almost if not entirely have been consumed by foreign capitalists. At the inception of the NBID (the National Bank for Industrial Development), whose name clearly defines its aims, with capital furnished partly by the state, partly by foreign groups, it was understood that 10% of all shares would be placed at the disposal of the national capitalists. The latter's policy of non-involvment was so effective that the foreign groups also had to underwrite their 1096.
The programme to Moroccanize the tertiary sector announced last year adequately satisfied the wishes of the Moroccan upper classes, comfortably installed in the shade of a secondary sector whose responsibility and risks are shared between the state and foreigners alike. The programme developed swiftly in a Guizot-like whirlwind (money is gained and quicker at that by publicity than by the making of pig iron) however the absence of those smiths who forged the industry of the France of Louis Philippe was noticeable.
The top civil servants (many of whom were themselves products of the upper classes or who were related to them through marriage) were caught in the grip of this same whirlwind. Those remaining were the ones who chose to study and consequently found their degree to be the "Open Sesame" to a veritable Aladdin's cave. The would-be Louis Philippe type upper classes hoarded their money avariciously and painstakinqly avoided any outward sign of wealth. This Bedoum tendency to vaunt, between the two extremes of starvation and wanton profligacy, is making its comeback among the nouveau riche Morrocans: in certain milieu of the capital it is considered indelicate, nay shameful, to entertain when one does not aspire to the modest possession of a swimming-pool in the garden of their villa.
Those residing hard by the gates of splendour were subjected to an ostentatious display on the part of the redolently-opulent guests. Such people tended to confuse their envious desires with their profound contempt for those, nationals and expatriates alike, who partook of this grandeur cum splendour so far removed from the poverty of the greater number and the mediocrity of the aspiring middle classes. Given a little more instruction and information, local profiteers of the tertiary sector will come to be treated as servants of the foreign lords of the second sector. This provides Moroccan progressive magazines with a seemingly constant supply of material. The intellectuals who edit the aforementioned magazines are familiar with Marx and they denounce the upper classes, stalwarts of the regime, as compliant stooges of "Western capitalism".
The cadets of Ahermoümou have read neither Marx~ nor would they subscribe to such progressive magazines. However, they are well aware of the fact that the profits from the more eminent among the upper classes and of the dishonest civil servants are carefully deposited in the banks of capitalist countries. The ideological phase has, as yet, not been attained but remains at one of moral indignation and nationalistic reaction. These two factors were all that was necessary to place the regime on the verge of ruin thus highlighting what we believed to be one of its main weaknesses.
A Frenchman living at the same time in Morocco informed us that while at the house of some Moroccan friends, hourly reports concerning the events at Skhirat were broadcast on the radio. Joy preceded sadness and everyone took it in turns to pledge their loyalty.
A regime is labelled archaic when it does not accomodate the soclo-psychological features of the people for whom it is responsible. It is not the monarchy such as it is which is In question: archaic republics actually do exist. However, a XX century country however resilient its former strength cannot be governed as in days of yore. A Moroccan stated concerning Hassan II: "He claims to be a modern king while he at the same time rules the country in the same way as Moulay Ismail (former sultan in 1672-1727). This is not possible." The "government" in Morocco of today does not consist of "ministers" in the modern sense of the word but of slaves for the king "by Divine Right" whose will and order must be obeyed and cannot be called in question.
The Divine Right of Kings has never been without its risk and disadvantages. In the complexity of the modern world, one doubts the practicality of such Divine Right. The man who reigns alone is condemned to a position of greater isolation to the point of becoming the prisoner rendered helpless by his isolation. He longer listens to a single person and the truth can no longer be told to him." This plaint from faithful advisers has existed since time immemorial. Only a short time ago did it resound in the corridors of Morrocan palaces.
There exist "charismatic" leaders who equate the isolation of absolute power to a sort of mystical communion with their people. In the absence of highly individual gifts of native ability the ancient kings of France were given the holy unction, the Alaouite sultans were given the traditional Moroccan blessing "La Baraka". Would this have been enough in the Morocco of 1971 to guarantee a means of communication between the monarch and his people?
During the course of the days of 10 July 1971 and of 16 August 1972, onlookers were struck by near absolute passiveness of the Moroccan people. No signs of any help could be found either to support the King or to help the band of marauders. All that took place seemed to happen in a sort of ethereal vacuum far above the heads of ordinary mortals who had neither wish nor ability to give in to it. So swift was the train of events that it hardly left any time, let it be said, for the ordinary mortals to react. However, the relief brought about by the certain knowledge of the king's safety and the aborted coup ought to have ignited an explosion of elation in the "faithful people". The absence of any spontaneous reaction demonstrates once more, should there be a need for such, the cruel solitude of power absolute and corrupt.
A further, not to be ignored, aspect of the putsch exists even if its understanding might occasion some small difficulty.
This is its aspect of berber "siba". It is an open secret that the royal armed forces contained many Berbers. Berber not only in the majority of the "second class" but also in the upper echelons of the army; the greater part of those generals shot down on 13 July 1971 were originally from the Berber people. Of course this explains itself through quite natural reasons. The lust after arms and military career remained most virulent amongst the rough mountain tribes, who are for the greater part speakers of the Berber dialect. To represent the putsch as an insurrection against the Arabs by the Berber people would be ludicrously inexact. What one is simply aiming at establishing is that Hassan II, sensing the escalation of danger, had, it seems, reacted in a like manner to that of the threatened protectorate placed his confidence in the Berbers who were considered as the most steadfast because they were the most traditionalist and less contaminated by the poisons of modernicstic theory and modern society. Without a shadow of a doubt the "Myth of the Good Berber" has a hard life and always contains the same disappointments for those who place their trust in it.
Rarely has it been known for the Berbers to present a united front: violent clashes have always been the characteristic of clans and tribes. The King's aides-de-camp, massacred at Skhirat, were they themselves Berber. Madbouh and the ringleaders of the rebellion were not only Berber but also Riffians. It is known that the Riff tribe was roused in 1958 by the FAR (Forces Armées Royales, moroccan Royal Forces), whose prince, Moulay Hassan (Hassan II), was also the chief of staff. The repression led by the FAR caused the Riffs to suffer a period of hardship. What possible role could this memory have played, deeply entrenched but nevertheless alive, in the decisions made by the chief marauders? To determine this is all but impossible. On the other hand, what can be established with certainty is that these proud mountain tribes whose generals, decorated with military honours,were the pride and hope of their tribes who will not readily forget the image of their bodies riddled with bullets and spat upon by the riff-raff. Vendetta is a well known Berber speciality. It is however served cold.
The Riffians in "siba" (dissidence) of 1958 announced with competitive relish: "We have had enough of Fassis' goverment. The numerous inhabitants of Fès, if the truth be told, those in the corridors of power, played a simply symbolic involvment in this affair: a symbol of the town with its accumulation of wealth and luxury items, which at one and the same time raises up the desire to plunder, to hate poverty and all puritanical reprobation. Once again we come across the factors which have already been brought to light in the mysterious Skhirat affair and which allow us without any shadow of doubt to put into its correct place the detail of "sib. Berber". These Berbers are perhaps but the tip of the iceberg of this Moroccan peasant army, an army which has been raised up through the centuries against luxury and oppression in the cities and which knows furthermore that poverty is not a fatalistic decree from Allah. The instinct of these simple people is here confirmed by economic analyses: the statistics show that the increase in living standards amongst city dwellers, or let us say to be more precise, certain city dwellers, has risen at the expense of those living in rural areas.
It is often useful in understanding the origins of a political movement to consider what consequently became of it. In the case of a failure, as in this case we do not have this resource, Howover, it is not forbidden to ask oneself what the putsch would have achieved had it succeeded. This is reminiscent of the regime of the colonels in Greece. We ought to have however, for our part, given some thought to the Islamic Nasserian system. Had the bullet which killed Madboüh sped a few centimetres farther on, the Morocco of today might have been governed by a group of Islamic Nasserian officers.
Regarding the revolution at the Palace, the putsch of 10 July 1971 failed by all accounts. The reality concerning the matter, we believe, is quite different. What come to light from the stammerings of some scruffy soldiers equipped with arms and ideas were these large problems which seize Third world countries by the throat and which Morocco delayed too long in facing.
It is true that for centuries the people of Morocco have often lived both in poverty and misery, however Death periodically swept away the excesses of her people. Today this excess is some what around 3.296 per year, which means that the population is doubling every twenty years. And these men who are no longer dying and who are no longer eating, go to school and listen to the radio: there are transistors in every tent and in the "nouala" (poor people's habitation). The era of submissiveness is at an end.
The system which collapsed politically on 10 July 1971 and on 16 August 1972 was that of the old Makhzen order, and had lasted anachronistically even as far as the middle of the XX century, during 45 years of the protectorate and 30 years of independence, consisted of directl~g the country's wealth to those in power and the "vultures" who remained close on their heals.
The economic theory which concerns development is at the same time both very intricate and very simple. In order to produce more one must invest; to invest one must save; to save on must consume less than one produces, that is to say; to deprive oneself. Throughout the centuries the only ones to deprive themselves, and at the same time tacitly accept this, have been the poor for the most part. Today, however, they will not accept this: they accept this even less when they see a minority of privileged plunge themselves into decadence which does not even have the merit of being gainfully earned. The equability concerning this deprivation is perhaps no more than a fantastic dream. It is necessary, nevertheless, for this inequality to be less objectionable and for the poorer for they themselves to benefit from their sacrifices which are the more hard to make.
The answer is simple but demands no less than a revolution. When revolutions are not carried out in a peaceful manner (such have existed), they are carried out amidst a surrounding of blood and destruction, where the great suffer less than the small. But the Moroccan people have no choice. For Morocco it is a question of life or death. Either the Moroccans go ahead by overthrowing the corrupted monarchy or they will succumb as an independent and free Islamic nation. In the Koran it is said that "where kings govern there corruption comes into existence and turn free people into slaveIu. Islam is originally a revolutionary ideology and movement against tyranny and hereditary monarchy.
The gateway to the future is still open. The rumblings of 10 July 1971 and of 16 August 1972 are a sure indication that the ball has been set in motion. Hassan II and his menials will not be able to stop the course of time. The destiny that the Shah of Iran was struck by would have served as a lesson to Hassan II and to all Moroccans and foreign powers who profit by his regime.
Box 316, 101 26 Stockholm. Sweden. Tel:+46.70-812 1240
Together with Oufkir, the lieutenant of the Moroccan Royal Forces, Ahmed Rami, prepured a series of attempts on the life of Hassan II of which the last was the machine-gunning while in flight of the king's Boeing. on the 16th of August 1972. The former alde-de-camp of Oufklr, Ahmed Rami, escaped from Morocco where he is under sentence of death. A refugee in Sweden, he lives in Stockholm where he told about his extra ordinary adventure.
CONCERNING THE COUP D'ÉTAT ATTEMPTS IN MOROCCO
(Published in the French magazine "Le Liberal", Nov. 1973)
Prior to being one of the most promising and outstanding officers in the Military Royal Academy, he was one of the leaders of the Union Nationale des Forces Populaires (UNFP), created by Ben Barka. A young teacher of the Mohamed V senior secondary school in Casablanca, Ahmed Rami became an officer in an attempt to destroy the monarchy. It was with this aim that he accepted the post of aide-de-camp to general Oufkir. Here follows his account and his startling revelations concerning Skhirat and the death of Oufkir:
I was born in the village of Aït Mar in Tafraoute, in the province of Agadir. I belong to the Tahala tribe.
My grandfather was the chief of the Aït Rami tribe. Aït Rami means "the family of the shooter". Before being colonized by France the royal power had no influence on our region where the tribal leaders were the law makers and fought amongst themselves. In 1935, the men of Tafraoute made a last struggle against the French soldiers who beat them at Alt Abdala.
My father, who was a simple land worker, went to look for work in Casablanca and left my mother and the five children in the village. While still quite young, I helped my mother to cultivate the difficult soil of Tafraoute. My chief task was to take pebbles from the fields in order to make it easier for the plough to pass through the soil, a simple wooden plough hardened by fire. We were so poor that I was sent away from the mosque by the "Fquih", the village teacher of the Coran, because I did not give him the customary present.
After the pacification ended, the French built a school a few kilometres from my village. The women in my village refused to send their children to the school fearing that their children would be stolen from them. And so my mother sent me to Casablanca. My arrival in this city was somewhere between 1950 and 1952. I spoke only the Berber language. I was lucky enough to find a job as a general assistant in a grocer's where I was fed and given accomodation. I slept on the floor in front of the shop counter. Two years later I was delivering newspapers and milk in the Racine quarter, an area inhabited by the French. In 1952, I went on strike to protest about the assassination of a Tunisian leader. During 1955, in Casablanca, incidents of revolt and rebellion amongst Moroccan nationalists were on the increase. I did not want to remain inactive and so with a bottle of petrol I burned a car. This fire which I had lit in the district burned for a long time during the night. I had become a freedom fighter.
At the end of 1955, like all other Moroccans, I was awaiting the return of the Sultan. The French police forces knowing that they would soon leave the country, left the way open to resistance organizations. Anarchy prevailed in Casablanca. My grocer's shop was robbed by three thugs who threatened me with a revolver.
After the declaration of independence, I became a street salesman of shirts for a Jewish business man whose daughter, who was the same age as me, taught me French.
In 1958, I returned to my village and went to the school in Tafraoute. Studying al night by the light of a candle, I obtained my certificate of studies, in Arabic and in French. Two years later, after some time spent at Tiznlt secondary school, I began studies at the Ecole Normale Sup~rieure in Casablanca. Disappointed by this independence which had put the people under the yoke of a feudal monarchy, I joined the UNFP created by Ben Barka, and I quickly became one of its leaders. After making a revolutionary speech at a meeting of the opposition, I was arrested and kept in prison for five days at Casablanca central police station.
In June 1963, I graduated from the Ecole Normale Superieure as a secondary school teacher. Appointed as a teacher of history and geography at a senior secondary school for girls in Casablanca, I was also teaching French and Arabic at the Mohamed V senior secondary school. On 23 March 1965, a student demonstration brought about a riot in Casablanca. Our main enemy Oufklr, the minister of the Interior, was directing the repressivecontrol aboard a helicopter. The army shot at the demonstrators. The dead numbered about 400.
The next day1 police in civilian clothing arrested me at the Ecole normale. They put handcuffs on me, blindfolded me and took me in a car to a deserted place far from the noise of the town. For four days and four nights they tortured me using electricity. A week later I was freed.
"I chose to be an officer in order to bring about an effective revolution"
I realized how ineffective my struggle was. 400 of my friends had paid with their lives in their opposition to the feudal regime. I decided to enter the army and to become an officer. As a leader of a division of soldiers I would be more dangerous and more useful than simply campaigning with empty-handed students. The normal pathway to a military career of an officer goes through the Royal Military Academy in Meknès. I enrolled there in the autumn of 1965, and a few days later Ben Barka was arrested in central Paris. The disappearance of Morocco's leading freedom fighter confirmed me in my destiny: to enter the system in order to destroy it.
At the Military Academy, I discovered that I required the agreement of the Ministry of national education in order to undertake a military career. Permission was refused and for a year I continued working at my school with great impatience. At the end of the academic year, I tried once more to be granted entry to the officers school. I went to see Ahrdan, the minister for National Defence, but with no success.
And so I went to the Royal Palace where I asked for an interview with the director of the royal military staff. I succeeded in convincing him of my serious vocational intentions regarding a military career. Six years later the general who granted me entry to the Military Academy organized, along with colonel Ababou, the Skhirat attempt. When he saw me at the Royal Palace, had the general guessed that I was a revolutionary? I often asked myself this question after Skhirat where I arrived at the front of my tank brigade a few minutes after his death.
For two years I had been the model training officer which allowed me to be elected president of the magazine of the Royal Academy. In 1968, I was an officer cadet. During my time in Meknès my only fault had been to refuse along with all of my friends to undertake a night march. As a punishment for this act of rebellion we were transferred to Ahermoumou to the school of non-commissioned officers~ called the Cadets of the royal army. Lieutenant colonel Ababou was in charge of the school. For a second time destiny brought me into contact with one of the men who was going to distinguish himself in the struggle against the monarchy. Unfortunately, neither colonel Ababou nor general Madbouh informed me of the Skhirat plot.
My first meeting with Oufkir
On 10 July 1971, the two above-mentioned officers leading the cadets of the Ahermoumou school besieged Skhirat. Miraculously the King and Oufkir escaped death. General Madbouh was killed. Colonel Ababou was executed the next day. A bloody purge decimated the army.
On this day, the 10 July, I was in my officers' room at the Moulay Ismail camp in Rabat. As commander of an armoured tank division engaged in the protection of the Royal Palace I was awaiting the opportunity which would soon perhaps be given to me to take part in overthrowing the monarchy. I was engrossed in my reading of "How to bring about a coup d'Etat" when the supervising officer, captain Mazour, arrived half-crazed, and informed me that a state of alert had been announced. I quickly put on my uniform, gathered my men together and ordered them to get into their EBR tanks. It was 3 p m. I had the metal door of the ammunitions depot broken down in order to equip the 17 tanks which formed my unit.
Just when leaving the camp I caught sight of lieutenant colonel Saâad, chief of staff of the armoured tank division. He was accompanied by Abaroudi, commander of the Royal Marines. Their clothes were torn and spattered with blood stains. In their state of panic they shouted to me: "The Royal Palace has been attacked by civilians armed with rocket guns and mortars. There are many casualities. Advance towards the Palace! Go by the main road and shoot at anyone who is armed!"
Leading my line of tanks with my turret door open I left the camp. I was glad at the thought that civilians had dared to attack the sanctuary of the despot but was ashamed at having remained inactive while my country's fate was perhaps being decided.
Having fully decided not to obey orders and to lend a powerful hand to the rebels I decided to progress towards the Palace by the coastal road. By taking this unfortunate decision I in fact saved the king. While my line of tanks was progressing along the coastal road the trucks filled with lieutenant colonel Ababou's cadets were coming back from Skhirat by the main road. If I had taken that route, I would have met up with the rebel soldiers and with the support of my 17 tanks the failed attempt at Skhirat could easily have been transformed into a victory.
During that summer afternoon the approaches to the coastal road were filled with people looking and walking who came in front of my tanks. Did they already know that a tragedy had ended at the Royal Palace?
I reached Skhirat by a small bridge at the end of which five policemen were diverting the traffic. Churning up the green lawns of the golf course, my line of tanks came to rest in front of the Palace. I gave the order to stop and I lumped to the ground. I made my way to the main entrance where there was a group of excited men. Amongst them I noticed the king accompanied by Oufkir and the generals Bachir and Driss Ben Omar. The arrival of 17 tanks had clearly not been expected. The ambulances. the wounded and the dead, and the panic which prevailed did not take away my calm. I went up to this group. "Where have you come from, lieutenant?", Hassan II asked me. "From Moulay Ismail camp", I said. I added:
"Where is general Gharbaoul ?", curious to know what had become of the commander of the tank division.
"He has been wounded", Oufkir replied. Oufkir asked me for a cigarette (but in vain, because I have never smoked) and then asked what was happening in Rabat.
I told him I did not know and asked him what had happened at the Palace. I learned from Oufkir that lieutenant colonel Ababou, my former boss, and general Madbouh (to whom I owed the fact that I had become an officer), had attacked the Palace leading the cadets, my former friends. I pointed out to Oufkir that lieutenent colonel Ababou was considered the best officer in the royal forces. I was completely astounded. Oufkir, clearly troubled, did not reply. The king then asked me to put myself at Oufkir's disposal. Oufkir got into my tank In order to get back to Rabat. In the turret of my EBR tank I was standing next to the King's right-hand man, the man whom I detested most in the world after Hassan II. A few days later, he would ask me to be his aide-decamp and soon he would make me his accomplice in overthrowing the king.
Having arrived at Moulay Ismall camp, Oufkir congratulated me on my cool-headedness and asked me to telephone him because he wanted to see me again. Next he went to the post of the commander (PC) of the tank division and called the commanders of the divisions. Ababou had had it announced on radio that the king was dead and that the republic had been proclaimed. But he was already a lone man in his defeat.
A common grave for the rebel officers
The reprisals levelled against the rebels were of a savagery hitherto unknown. Wounded cadets were buried alive in a common grave. At the Moulay Ismall camp Hassan II gave the order for the destruction of the army headquarters which were occupied by Ababou's rebels. I believe that Oufkir dissuaded him from this.
I subsequently learned that Oufkir had but a passive role in the hunting of the rebels. On the other hand Dlimi, the chief of the police, displayed cruelty and ruthlessness. He had two trucks of instruments of torture brought to the military camp. The king himself took part in scenes of the utmost cruelty. Colonel Chebuati, who was tied to a chair. blindfolded, with feet and hands tied, was several times struck by Hassan.
- Who is this coward who strikes me while I am tied?, he asked.
- Take off the blindfold, Hassan ordered Dlimi.
Chebuati spat in the king's face before many blows rained down on him.
- Tomorrow your dead body will be spat on, promised Hassan
On 13 July, the shooting range at Temara was transformed into a slaughter-house. Tied to poles, 13 offIcers were executed by 13 firing squads each comprising of 13 soldiers. The king was present at this massacre accompanied by King Hussein of Jordan. Laraki, the Prime Minister, was the first one to spit on the dead bodies. Commander Salmi cut off the hand of one of the executed officers with a knife in order to recover a pair of handcuffs. A bulldozer ran over the bodies crushing them into a common grave.
Terror reigned in Morocco. It was rare that any officer or non-commissioned officers had not lost one or several friends during this repression. My friends at the camp and I hardly dared to speak. Everyone was suspicious of everyone else.
The next week the commanding officer of the brigade informed me that I was expected by Oufkir at his residence in Souissi. Feeling only half-sure I made my way towards the villa of the one I considered to be the assassin of Ben Barka.
Dressed in civilian clothes, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses which he never took off, Oufkir treated me in a friendly way. He congratulated me on the self-control amd coolness I had shown during the day of the 10 July and he asked me questions about my childhood and my military career. He introduced me to his children and to his little lion cub, called Skhirat.
He questioned me closely regarding the state of mInd amongst my fellow-officers and in order to save time I offered to give him a detailed report on the subject in three days.
Oufkir used all his charm in order to Inveigle the young officers coming from the rank I did. Morocco is entering a period of difficulty, he assured me. If the king does not undertake serious reforms I feel the army will prepare more revolts.
In spite of the bad reputation of my host I was gradually losing my distrust of him. "A number of generals and ministers are corrupted, he assured me. The king is SIETOWded by CorriiF~ tion and It is also to be found amongst the army staff." I then mentioned to him the name of a colonel who was well known for stealing money from the army's finance and supplies department. "He is a thug to be eliminated", added Oufkir.
I left the general and his sumptuous villa more than ever resolved to align myself with the devil if this was necessary in order to overthrow the potentate whose hands were red with blood. The revolt at Skhirat had transformed Oufkir but of this I was as yet ignorant.
Four days later I entered for the second time the residence of my new ally carrying a 30 page inflammatory report. In this report I denounced the corruption amongst the officers and the promotion due to favouritism and bribery. After having read it carefully Oufkir locked the report in the safe hidden in the living-room wall.
Oufkir describes to me Hassan's despotism
After dinner, the general told me several stories about the court which illustrated the servitude of the ministers and the despotism of Hassan. My host smoked one cigarette after another while launching into a violent tirade against the regime. He told me that at a recent meeting of the council of ministers Snoussi, the black-skinned minister, replied to a remark made by the king: "I am yoor slave". In a rage Hassan declared: "it's not enough to say it, you must be it: this is how my dvflusty has always considered its servants."
During the dessert the second man in the kingdom asked me to be his aide-de-camp and the teacher of one of his sons. I accepted on condition that I could retain command of my tank division. This was granted me. From that moment onwards I lived at the general's villa and I became his confidant. Ministers and generals were in turn present at the table of the one whom the world called "the General". The dreaded Dlimi became director of Security and never came to the General's house. I believed, however, that they were friends.
Oufkir made a habit of telling me important secrets when I accompanied him in his car. In the month of September at 3 o'clock in the morning the general was recalling details of the Skhirat plot:
- 1,000 trainee non-commissioned officers could have changed the history of Morocco and made the country advance by a century. They have shown us the way. We must get rid of the monarchy. Hassan has retained all the traditions of a dynasty which had led Morocco to disaster from the beginning of the 20th century. At this very moment instead of being busy with the affairs of the kingdom, he is at Fès with his prostitutes. He has a harem of 150 women, some of whom were kidnapped by the King's private mafia. Our king is a drug addict. His Palace has become a centre for hashish. His son, who is 7 years old, is chairman of the meetings and men kiss his hand; it's worse than under the reign of Louis XIV.
The general who spoke rather bad Arabic expressed himself in French which was not understood by the body guard who accompanied us.
I, as a simple lieutenant, was quite overcome at hearing these secrets. Not concealing my emotion, I stuttered: "You have done me a great honour in telling me these secrets. I will never let you down. I am ready to execute the king." -"No I myself shall take responsibility for that because I will leave to no one else the honor of executing the tyrant of my country."
From that moment onwards a pact was established between myself and the man who had led the repression against my political friends, and I have never before said to anybody the secrets told to me that night.
I had a room in Oufkir's villa where I slept and each morning I would go to the Moulay Ismail camp where I had retained command of my tank brigade. My powerful ally could be very talkative or very silent. He spoke to me at length about Nasser and his national charter which he knew about in great detail. He wanted the American bases removed from Morocco: "the largest of which is the Royal Palace itself", he would say.
Only once did he speak to me about the Ben Barka affair:
"I had nothing to do with his disappearance. Hassan is the only one responsible for the assassination of Ben Barka."
I was not convinced about Oufkir's innocence in the Ben Barka affair but I had to be realistic. Perhaps I had formed an alliance with the devil, but when my country would be liberated from the monarchy, then there would always be time, I thought, to separate from Oufkir and to oppose him if necessary.
"Hassan became suspicious of his "protector"
The preparations for our first attack began three months after Skhirat. The general explained his plan to me during a car journey. His plan seemed simple and effective to me.
- Hassan comes to the staff headquarters almost every Thursday to chair the meetings of the commanding officers. In the conference room there is a safe in the wall. I will lock a machine-gun in the safe. After Hassan arrives, I will need only to take hold of this gun and fire at him.
He drew a plan of the room for me showing the position of the safe and indicating by crosses the seats occupied by the commanding officers and the chief clerks of the headquarters. - After executing Hassan I would tell the officers that I have acted in the name of the people. Then I would play a tape recording of a communiqué which you have recorded. Next I would telephone to Driss, the minister of the PTT (national post office company), to ask him to place himself at my disposal. He will accept this gladly' I would telephone to Moulay Abdallah and under any kind of pretext I will have him brought to the headquarters where I will have him arrested. Finally I would call together all the division commanders. You will wait for me in the office adjacent to the conference room. I will send for you and you would go to the radio station with the prerecorded tapes.
Using a tape recorder bought in a shop in Rabat I recorded in Arabic a declaration which I had had read to the general who approved it after making some changes. He asked me to emphasize the word Revolution, the army serving the people
Here is a summary of it:
The Islamic Republic of Morocco.
"Liberty - political and economic democracy - Islamic unity."
"In the name of Allah, in the name of our martyrs, in the name of the people, in the name of justice and right, and in the name of the will of the people to choose the regime which suits them and to determine their own destiny, we proclaim an Islamic republic, the abolition of the monarchy which the Koran forbids. We announce that the tyrant, the dictator, the madman Hassan II has been condemned to death and executed by the the provisional council of the commander of the revolution for all his crimes and murders against our people. A temporary revolutionary council is temporarily going to direct the affairs of the country until a revolutionary concil has been elected by a general election."
"The king has been liquidated by the army in order to give power to the general will of the people. We who initiated the revolution have no magic wand for bringing about the general desire of the people. We have eliminated the king. It is now up to the people to put an end to the domination and exploitation perpetrated by the other little kings who are to be found throughout the country. We have acted in the capacity of citizens and not in the capacity of soldiers. Henceforth, we will direct our bayonets not to wards the people but against tyranny."
Everything was ready for the great day. One Wednesday in November Oufkir placed the machine-gun and the tape recorder in the safe in the army headquarters. The next day both of us got into a black DS driven by a chief sergeant. Vie drove into the courtyard of the army headquarters saluted by the guard of honour. I was worried and anxious and Oufkir's calm greatly impressed me: He shook hands with me and went into the conference room.
Shut in the adjacent office I waited for perhaps 30 minutes or perhaps an hour. Finally the door opened, the general came up to me and said: "We failed. The King has Just telephoned me to say that he would not be coming."
For seven long days I waited for the following Thursday. Once more the king did not come to the fatal rendez-vous. Oufkir informed me that in future the conferences would take place at the Royal Palace. "Let's execute him thure then", I suggested to the general. "It's too risky, he replied. We must find some other way".
At the end of the year Oufkir asked the king to visit the barracks which holds the BLS security division. Hassan foiled the scheme and did not come.
On another occasion we were expecting him at the Moulay Ismail barracks. It was the time of the most important Islamic festival (the festival of the sacrifice of the sheep). However, we waited in vain because this was another rendez-vous which the king did not appear at.
We thought we could succeed in March. Hassan was to be present at a conference in the officers' mess. In the conference room, which is also a projection room, Oufkir hid his machine-gun. However, becoming more and more suspicious, the king did not appear at this meeting.
A short while later, Oufkir narrowly escaped a helicopter accident in Agadir. He assured me that "Hassan had the helicopter sabotaged".
Before the meeting of the African summit the king demanded that all divisions be placed on a state of alert, the officers themselves not being allowed to return to their homes. I suggested to Oufkir that we make the attempt on 10 July, the day of Hassan's birthday. One year after the carnage of Skhirat, the celebrations at the Summer Palace were taking place with the usual guests and the scandalous luxury. The general rejected my proposals. Nevertheless, I went to the Palace for the celebra tions. For a second time I found myself face to face with the king and noticed his ravage visage. Dressed as a cow-boy, his majesty, who was babbling with his obsequious guests, asked for a few minutes' silence in memory of the victims of the sedition. The following day Oufkir was present at the reception called "The night of the women". When he returned he told me, sickened, how the king was kissing his courtesans before throwing them a handful of diamonds. The guests rushed forward jostling one another to pick up the precious stones thrown on the ground.
The machin-gunning of the Boeing with blank shots
In August, Hassan left for France. We had to arrange something for his return.
I suggested occupying SaI~ airport using trustworthy men and shooting at the king while he came off the plane. Oufkir informed me that he had decided to attack Hassan's Boeing using F 5 fighter planes. He said to me that he himself would be in one of the planes and would participate in the machine-gunning. After a quick visit to his family, who were on holiday In Tétouan, my accomplice was back in Rabat on 10 August.
The next day he met with lieutenant colonel Amkrane and asked him to machine-gun the Royal Boeing. Hassan's return was scheduled for 16August. On the evening of the 15th of August Amkrane, who was extremely ill, informed us that he would not be able to pilot the plane and suggested Kouira as a substitute pilot, a man of his confidence.
- You're the boss, he said to Oufkir, you can inform him.
A meeting was arranged by telephone In Casablanca, in a bar in Hassan II avenue. At 3.30 a m, the general returned. He woke me up to tell me: "Everything is ready, we are in the hands of God". He wanted to hear one last time the recording which I had prepared before our first attempt.
That night he did not go to bed. On the morning of 16 August, he went to Temara for a mysterious meeting and came back about 11 o'clock. "Three F 5 fighters will attack the king's plane - soon as it flies over Moroccan soil. This time he will not escape", he assured me.
At 4 p m the general telephoned colonel Hatimi, commander of the tank brigade, and asked him to go to the airport. A little while later I left him and went back to Moulay Ismall camp.
"Wait for me there, and I will contact you."
At 4.30 p m, Oufkir ordered the tank brigade to go on a state of alert. At 5 p m, my 17 tanks were armed. A few moments later the general came into the barracks' yard, in a 403, driven by a commander of the marines. Thirty minutes earlier he had heard in the control tower a message transmitted by the Boeing's radio "stop firing, the King has been fatally wounded".
At the commanding officers' post he was talking with three officers of the tank brigade when someone called him on the telephone "on behalf of the king". I will never know what the king said to him because I was never again to see him alive. He left the camp in an R 16 driven by a captain. I learned that he had subsequently gone to the army headquarters and to the airport where the king had disappeared.
Responsibility for the failure of the operation lay with commander Kouira who had equipped the machine-guns in three fighter lets with blank training bullets instead of using explosive bullets. He had mistaken the ammunition boxes. As a further piece of bad luck Kouira's machine-gun had failed to work correctly. He attempted to make his fighter jet collide with the Boeing and escape by parachute. The two other pilots, lieutenant Zyad and lieutenant Boükhalif, had used up all their ammunition supplies. They touched down at Kenitra, loaded their machine-guns and went on to Salé airport which they machine-gunned. Commander Kouira landed by parachute at Oulad-Khallfa, near Kenitra, where police arrived in a helicopter and captured him.
A suicide victim riddled with bullets
Without receiving any news I remained with my tanks at the tank camp where I waited for a part of the night. At 3 o'clock in the morning, a foreign radio announced that Oufkir had left from the air-base in Kenitra. At 5 a m, France-Inter announced: "General Oufklr has committed suicide". In spite of this fearful piece of news I did not despair, suspecting that in these moments of madness false pieces of news were quite common. He had told me that if anything should happen to him, I was to put the recordings in a safe place, the recordings which announced the fall of the monarchy.
At daybreak, around 6 a m, I left the camp by the infirmary exit and in my car, which had been parked in a neighbouring street, I made my way towards the general's residence. I stopped my car behind the villa and with my revolver hidden in my jacket N approached a soldier in combat uniform who was standing on guard.
- Has the general come back?
- Which general?
- He is dead. Go in, you can see him.
Oufkir's brother led me to the body of my chief which was covered with a blanket. I lifted the blanket and looked carefully at the body riddled with bullets. The chest, the stomach, and a portion of the face had been blown off. The bullets had been shot from behind. So he had not committed suicide.
The brief-case, which was so incriminating for me, could not be found. I had to flee. I abandoned my car in the centre of the town after exchanging my officers' uniform for beach wear I had found on the back seat. I got rid of my automatic 11 mm pistol which Oufkir had given me. At each cross-roads armed soldiers were checking the occupants of cars. Behind the station I got into an old taxi which took me to Yaakoub El Mansour, Rabat's shanty town. I walked towards the sea and took off my clothes keeping on only a pair of bathing trunks and made my way southwards, towards Casablanca. Before arriving at Skhirat I decided to move inland and to make a long detour. At Fedalah, I bought a djellabah (typical Moroccan style of dress) and a wig. N arrived in Casablanca at night where I learnt from a friend that the police were searching for me.
My escape to Sweden
For two and a half months I wandered all over, sleeping anywhere. After living for a month in a hippie camp near Mogador, I made my way into the Middle Atlas Mountains, where I lived in a nomad camp amongst the sheep and the goats. For eight months 1 looked after the flocks and completely lost contact with the world. In March, a mokhazin (the police in the countryside) post, forces of the Ministry of Interior were attacked by some peasants not far from my nomad's camp. The army, using helicopters, was combing the region. I had to flee.
After a great many precautions, I arrived in Sweden in August 1973. One of the few documents which I managed to retain was waiting for me poste restante in Stockholm. It was signed by the commander of the Military Royal Academy and it stated:
"Officer cadet Rami is a graduate teacher of the Ecole Normale Superieure and was a teacher of Arabic at the Mohamed V senior secondary school. Because of his loyalty to his country he gave up his position as a lecturer in the lecture theatres for the post of leading men on the battlefield. He is a trainee officer possessing the quality of absolute sacrifice and a keenly developed sense of orgnization; furthermore, by his sense of honour and service, officer cadet Rami has done much for the Ecole. Honest, reliable and trustworthy and enjoying the sense of danger and filled with unquestionable physical and moral courage, officer cadet Rami possesses all the qualities which have always made great officers."
The Moroccan Revolution
(AUGUST 16. 1972)
(Published in the magazine "Afrique-Asie", December 1975)
A: To summarize, one might say that he was going to take on the role of Naguib and Spinola. But it was the young officers who planned and carried out the operation of August 16. They benefitted from Oufkir's complicity. But he - and these are his own words - "only wanted to take on the role of Naguib". He was aware of his reputation. his limits and of the exact role he was able to take on.
Q: Did he play any part whatsoever in the Skhirat affair of 1971
A: He was aware that plans were afoot. And he agreed to them. However, he was not aware of the details concerning the place and time of the coupd'Etat. He, like everyone else, was surprised by the events of Skhirat. So discrete had the officers planning the event been, that only a handful of officers knew about it.
Q: And the assassination of Ben Barka?
A: During the course of events in 1965, I myself held a teaching post in Casablanca and was a member of the UNFP. I was arrested and tortured three times: 1962, 1964 and on March 23, 1965. Consequently when myself and other young men became officers we spoke at great length of the Ben Barka affair with Oufkir, when the opportunity arose. The question as to who killed Ben Barka, was for us not the most important one. But is was the symbol of Ben Barka which was of interest to us. This had been a political assassination. Ben Barka was a political mixture of Lenin and Edgar Faure (i.e. left or right), and like Oufkir, fell victim to the regime and to the king whom he himself had helped set up in Morocco. A tyrant, like a scorpion, acts by instinct and does not make a distinction between "friends" and enemies. The abduction and assassination of Ben Barka was not Hassan II's first criminal deed; nor was it his last. Dozens upon hundreds of militants were, like Ben Barka, physically eliminated. Since the Ben Barka affair took place in France, and because it had also became a matter for the French police, this political and criminal assassination assumed international dimensions. This affair ought therefore to be placed within the general political framework of Morocco, i.e. the savage terrorism of Hassan II against the people of Morocco.
It is within this framework which we spoke to Oufkir about it. Here is what he said:
"The king has created a special police force (SSS) which answers directly to him and which has the task of supervising the army and Oufkir and Dlimi himself. This system was devised by three experts from the CIA. Neither Oufkir, who was Minister for Domestic Affairs, nor anyone else knew the whole system. It was based on the do~le model of the Mafia and of the CIA. The king had given the order (recorded by Oufkir) that he wanted Ben Barka 'dead or alive'." Oufkir told me this and I am revealing for the first time that when Hassan II learned that Ben Barka had been killed by the crooks, he asked for Ben Barka's head or his entire corpse. Oufkir also told me that "Ben Barka is hurled under the Palace Wall: between the Palace and the Faculty of Law". Ben Barka's body was therefore taken back to Morocco on the command of Hassan II to be buried in the tradition of the Alaouite kings who thus behaved towards all their enemies.
Oufkir made us compile a dossier to institute genuine legal proceedings concerning the Ben Barka affair after the success of the coup d'Etat in August 1972. He himself stated that he was ready to take his share of the responsibility. He was, as it happened, well-informed. However, he told us that he had warned Ben Barka. He stated that when Ben Barka was in Morocco, he had warned him of Hassan II's plans of having him killed and advised him to leave the country.
Before meD Oufkir swore that he had not killed Ben Barka. He said that Ben Barka was his natural ally. Oufkir's wife, who is still alive, can testify to this. Ben Barka was their personal friend. Once, during the Resistance against colonialism, Oufkir's wife had hidden Ben Barka and had helped him to escape by hiding him in the boot of her car, while he was being looked for by the French police. I must make things quite clear. I am not out to exonerate Oufkir. I am simply repeating what Oufkir told me.
It is my opinion that this affair should not be turned into some sort of shady affair. It is a political assassination. Hassan II had sentenced Ben Barka to death. And he executed him. In reality Hassan II himself was only carrying out orders. According to Oufkir, the date of Ben Barka's abduction had been moved forward under pressure from the CIA and the Israeli Mossad because Ben Barka, in his role as secretary general, was preparing the conference in Havana of the three continents by initiative of Nasser.
In Morocco, Hassan II was objectively only the CIA's agent, an agent of the USA. It is in this role that he assassinated Ben Barka. Those really responsible for the assassination of Ben Barka are the CIA, the Israeli Mossad, and the USA. Hassan II was simply their agent in this affair. Before Independence, the Moroccan monarchy was not a hereditary one (from father to son). The 1'Ouléma" (religious scholars) chose the sultan. It was Ben Barka who, at the beginning of the independence, in his role as president of the "Council of Advisers"1 officially asked Mohamed V to designate Hassan as "crown prince"! Ben Barka was Hassan's mathematics teacher. The post of "crown prince" had not existed before the official suggestion of Ben Barka! Mohamed V was the "Trolan Horse" of French colonialism and Hassan is the "Trojan Horse" of neo-colonialist American-Zionism! Son of the traitor Giaoul who offered Hassan's mother, pregnant, to Mohamed V. Hassan, like Kabousse, consequently seized power by a commonplace coup d'Etat by assassinating his own father during a minor surgical operation on 26 February 1961.
Q: What could have brought Oufkir and Hassan II into conflict?
A: The same thing that brought the officers and Hassan into conflict: symbol of corruption and decadence. Oufkir was perhaps the only officer of his rank and generation who was not corrupted. He left nothing behind in personal fortune. The corruption scandalized and revolted him. The mentality of a king who treated Morocco as his own personal property and the exploitation of the people all revolted him. Officers of his generation had had a French training and Oufkir himself believed that this had given him a certain amount of officer's dignity. For example, kissing the hand of the Chief of State was, to his eyes, both incompatible and humiliating. Hassan II treated his officers like slaves. In general, the officers of the army were indignant and scandalized by the fact that Hassan used the army as a strike force against the people and as a watch-dog of the monarchy.
The corps of Moslem officers, in general, can not be used indefinitely to maintain the status quo. The soldiers of the Islamic world have come from the people and stay by them.
Q: Had the coup d'Etat succeeded, what sort of regime would you have instituted?
A: We wanted to institute Liberty as method and not as content. The rules of the democratic "game" and not the "game" itself. It was not up to us young officers to make decisions, but for the whole of the people of Morocco in a democratic regime. A propos the political content and the orientation cf the regime, Oufkir left us young officers to take the initiative. We had prepared a plan, a political charter and a provisional programme. Oufkir's aim was above all to ally himself with us to eliminate the monarchy as the first necessary step. Afterwards it would be up to the people to decide the kind of regime they wanted. We, the young officers, had a programme but it was a programme among others, meant as a suggestion to the people as opposed to an imposition. The summary of our intentions was published by the Western press. In the proclamation, which was going to be broadcast on August 16 1972 (see "Paris Match", 29.9 1973), we spoke of the Islamic Republic of Morocco. Our aims were liberty, democracy and unity: unity both national and Arab ("In the name of Allah, in the name of the people, etc ...), liberty of the citizen, democracy, social justice, ownership of every means of production by the people through democratic and decentralized self-government and respect for non-exploitative private property. Social democracy and Arab unity. We do not conceive a Morocco isolated from the Islamic and Arab nation. We do not recognize artificial borders created by imperialism and colonialism. Borders created to divide the Moslems and Arabs and to rule them. Islamic and Arab unity is no romantic dream but a vital necessity. A question of life or death for the Islamic and Arab nation and for all Moslems and Arabs. Economically1 politically and militarily it is only an Islamic and Arab unity which can take us out of the present serious deadlock which lead to the division. Towards and in Islamic and Arab unity there are problems but these problems can and must be overcome. However, the problems of the present catastrophic division will only lead to death as an Islamic nation and an Arab independency. The existence and strength of the Jewish usurper and bandit state Israel is only built on our schism and weakness.
Q: So the main objective was to eliminate the monarchy?
A: Yes. The monarchy is a personal power. The king is "boss". In Morocco the monarchy Is not, strictly speaking, a national "institution" but rather a Mafia. Only one man is in charge. Everything comes from him. He "manages" Morocco as his private property and the Moroccans as slaves and between the king and the people are a band of bandits and bastards. One can not move forward a single step today in Morocco without the fall of the king. One can therefore not go forward, realize objectives in development and in democracy, without abolishing the monarchy, without abolishing the regime of Hassan II, and without proclaiming an Islamic republic1 a democratic state. Hassan II symbolizes and personalizes corruption and moral, political and economical decadence. "He is the state" In Morocco and it is by his physical elimination that a change is possible. All attempts at camouflaging and reshuffling of his rotten regime have failed. The politicians in true "Edgar Faure" style, i.e. the opportunists, have made us lose a great deal of time and made the people feel contempt for the "politicians".
Q: It was your intention to proclaim an Islamic republic. You are aware that western "specialists" on Morocco have often mentioned Berber attempts to seize power.
A: First of all, for us, an Islamic or Arab republic does not mean an ethnic or racial republic. To our eyes it was a definition of the political content of the regime we had in mind. For example, it is a totally superflous fact to know whether Nasser, who himself is a symbol of Arabism, was, racially or ethnically speaking, an Arab or not. He is a Moslem.For us Arabism refers to a nation united by history, culture and also by the religion of Islam. Today it is also an Islamic nation which struggles and which the Islamic revolution unites. In Morocco, the man in the street does not understand that it is possible to distinguish between Moslem and Arab. For him, every Moslem is an Arab and every Arab, a Moslem. At the level of the people it is impossible to have this "division" or this "antagonism" of which the imperialistic "specialists" and French or American colonialists speak and which they themselves created. In the Arab World Islam is the soul of Arabism, the Islamic culture is the Arab culture. For us, Arabism is Islam and every Moroccan is a Moslem and all our citizens are Moroccans; equal and united. The Koran is our true constitution and its language our national language. Our problems are political ones!
Q: The "specialists", however, presented Oufkir as a Berber nationalist.
A: The word "Berber" is of European origin. Those you call "Berber" call themselves "imazighn" or "chlouh" and not "Berber". "Amazigh" means "free" while "Berber" comes from "Barbare", a qualifier the Romans used to refer to the inhabitants of their colonies and their non Roman slaves.
Myself, I am "amazigh" and "chalh", born at Tafraoute, a Soussi from the Tahala tribe in the Souss Mountains; but I do not regard myself as a "Berber"! Every Arab, every Moslem is "lmazighn", that is to say a free man born free. All moroccans are "imazighn". ("Amazigh" is the opposite of "Ahrdan" which means slave. Mahjoubi Ahrdan is a slave of the king and not an "amazigh"!) Oufklr was a Moroccan! A Moslem that is to say an amazigh Arab!
The division of Moroccans into "Berbers" and "Arabs" is an old colonialist dream which has undergone a total failure since the infamous fiasco of the "Dahir Berber" attempt. Our problems are not ethnical ones!
Q: But Oufkir was the kingdom's no. citizen. Why was it that he did not try to show his opposition for the king at an earlier stage?
A: From the outset of independence all the political parties and political élites of the country paid allegiance to the king and gave absolute power to the monarchy. Oufkir was a soldier and not a politician!
Oufkir never had the means of overthrowing the king. There you have another legend which must be destroyed: since Independence Oufkir had never been in the army. And the army is the only strength which could overthrow the king. Not one political party called the monarchy into question. Oufklr was at the Palace and the Ministry of the Interior. However, in this position as Minister of the Interior, he did have one corps under his command: the humble "Auxiliary Forces". He confided to us that he had prepared a plan to overthrow the king by using the Auxiliary Forces, together with Colonel Chebuati. We ourselves asked Oufklr your same question. From the outset we did not want to involve ourselves with him at any price.
Oufkir also said that he had never politically supported the regime of Hassan II, contrary to the politicians who continue to do so. He worked for the State as a soldier, while at Independence, all the political officers, all the leaders entered the services of Mohamed V. It was them who chose him as Chief of State. It was even Ben Barka in his position of president of the Council of Advisers who proposed Hassan as "crown prince". Oufkir suffered from the reputation which the people had of him. He was hoping for the chance to show his true face. And it was for this reason that he allied with us young officers when he could have allied himself with the generals and other corrupt high-ranking officers. The army is but the mirror of Moroccan society. When, in 1971, the king handed over charge of the army to Oufkir, he instinctively drew closer to those elements of the army exhibiting revolutionary tendencies, and he also opposed the corrupt elements as well as the "monarchists". (ln the army there are no monarchists by conviction, but only through interest.) Oufkir enjoyed the same bad reputation from the young officers as he did from the people. The army is not a separate body of Moroccan society. When, in July 1971, the radio announced that the king had given charge of the army to Oufkir, the young officers received the news angrily and obiectionably. However, very soon, Oufkir achieved an immense popularity in the heart of the army. We, therefore, discovered that we had misjudged him. We learned that many of the things previously attributed to him were simply made up.
Q: Sometimes it has been said that Oufkir was the mun of the foreign powers; France, the United States and even Israel. What was he?
A: In Morocco, Hassan II is the first agent of imperialism.
So instead of criticizing Hassan II, who is the head, those involved are critized: Oufkir, Dlimi, Benhima and Gdira.
When Gdira was Minister of the Interior, the press only critized him. But the people were not deceived by this; in the streets it was said: Gdra, not Gdira, is to be critized. If Oufkir had the importance the legends attributed him with, if it was he who marked out the politics, the regime would, of course, have changed after his disappearance. What does one see today? If there has been any change whatsoever, the regime is worse than it was. The Royal Palace is Morocco's largest American base. We are governed by a traitor and a drugged villain. Should this villain fall, his entire regime would fall.
Q: Yes, but even so, when he was under sentence of death in France, the French Government did allow Oufkir to come to Lyons to receive treatment for his eyes.
A: France knows that Hassan II is the "master" of Morocco. It was the French and the Americans who put him there. Hassan II is no marionette, it is the others, his "ministers" and his slaves who are the marionettes. Yes, he is a marionette of the French, the Americans and the Zionists but not of his collaborateurs. De Gaulle himself had said that the man responsible for the abduction of Ben Barka was Hassan II. Hassan is the agent of the Americans.
Q: When Oufkir was in power one often spoke of relations between the Israeli and Moroccan secret services.
A: Firstly, the Moroccan monarchy (like all Arab monarchies) and Israel have the same enemies: the Islamic revolution.
Every victory of the Islamic revolution is a threat both against Israel and the Arab monarchies. Hussein of Jordan and Hassan of Morocco are the objective allies of Israel. These allies share common relations and interests. Israel, for example, sold 100 tanks (AMX 13 tonnes) to Morocco after the 1967 war. This story caused enormous scandal in the army. In the tanks the soldiers found Israeli coins and newspapers. Sometimes the insignia of the Israeli army could be seen through the peeling paintwork. Furthermore, the tanks were in bad condition. French officers from the armoured division (60 technicians) came to repair these tanks. Only 60 of the tanks could be repaired. The repairs, when it came down to it, cost more than if Morocco were to have purchased new tanks. Oufkir was not in the army at that time. Moreover, he himself told me that Mohamed V, this "Trojan Horse" of imperialism and colonialism, had, upon Independence, appointed Dr Benzakin, a notorious Zionist, as minister of postal and telecommunication systems, to allow the transfer from Morocco towards Israel of Moroccan Jews who were encouraged to emigrate to Israel. We of the capital. in the Souss Mountains, have always called the sultan nAglid yiromein", that is to say "the king of the colonialists". Hassan II is the king of the Jews and the Americans.
Q: So after the disappearance of Oufkir, Hassan II was able to completely reestablish the situation?
A: The two coups d'Etat weakened the regime but the repression and the dictatorship were only increased. Fascism " à la Hassan II" and the Moroccan feudal system still survive. But Hassan II realizes that Time is not on his side; he knows that he is unable to stop the direction of History. He is doing what he can to play for time. We have a proverb: when a fire is just about to go out, it makes a lot of smoke. At this moment Hassan II is making a lot of noise, he is leaving a lot of smoke
Q: Was the attempted planting of a guerilla in Morocco in March, 1973, a serious one?
A: The people's struggle has never stopped. All armed attempts figure in the framework of the Moroccan revolution. The attempt of 3 March 1973 is an episode of this revolution which is still going on. It was a deed of courage which had been prepared at length. Every revolution has had its temporary and brief failures. We learn a lot from our failures.
Q: Is there a revolutionary situation in Morocco?
A: Objectively, there is a revolutionary situation in Morocco. The regime is anachronistic: feudalism in the middle of the 20th century. Were it to disappear tomorrow, no one would be surprised. The regime is historically condemned. Hassan II is very well aware of this. It is a matter of a few more years at the most. We have, in Morocco, all the objective conditions of a radical and Islamic revolution. If we are still neo-colonized, it is because we are still neo-colonisable.
Q: Where could the next alert come from?
A: Hassan II forbids any opposition or political party which does not recognize the present monarchial regime. This means that only monarchist political parties are tolerated. Any criticism of the king or of his politics is forbidden while it is the king who is responsible for the regime and the politics of the governing party.
So where could the next alert come from? Not from any of the present parties. The parties have condemned themselves. They are playing the regime "game". They take part in the regime's camouflage strategy. The divisions between the parties are moreover artificial; they do not reflect the country's real social forces. It is Hassan II who creates and decides the limits: the existence or not of these parties as well as the party leaders and the elimination of those who are not tolerated. It was he who subdued the political, marketing and professional 4lite. Whether they be in the Government or belong to the "opposition", these partisans are simply playing the roles given them by Hassan II. The Shah of Iran had also created an opposition party to his regime: "The opposition of His Majesty". The parties betrayed the Moroccan revolution. They only make deals with the Palace in order to have a share In the power. The only way they enter the Palace is on all fours. The two attempts made by the army and the attempt of 3 March 1973 to overthrow the regime which resulted in the deaths of martyrs, were shamefully exploited by professional politicians to turn the outcomes to their political spoils. After the uprising in Casablanca in 1965, which resulted in thousands of victims, and which was totally spontaneous, Hassan II called upon those men who had played no part in them. They wait until Hassan II offers them ministers and also to become his servants and share his crumbs. They claim to represent the will of the people. In reality, these puppet leaders do not represent their "parties" at the Palace, but rather the Palace in their "parties". Revolutionary struggles sort out the men: opportunists are always discovered in the end. The professional politicians are those who wait for the revolution to create an atmosphere of fear, steal this and use this to take power and "harvest" its fruits! In the army, we, too, have our "Portuguese", that is to say, revolutionary officers and soldiers. Had these officers "attempted a coup" and succeeded, they would not have kept power themselves but would certainly not have given it to the political parties at that time. If we were to start up a revolution this would in no way benefit those men who are members of Hassan's regime. The present parties play an integral part in the regime and it is our intention to overthrow the whole regime. It is Hassan who imposes on the "legal" parties, men who have the "ability" to lead them, men who must be ousted, what they may write in their "newspapers" what they can or what they can't say etc ... It is the duty of the revolutionaires to condemn these men who have betrayed and who participate objectively in Hassan II's masquerade. The only way to put an end to the exploitation is to institute a political, social and economic democracy, called "shora" in Islam. For this, Hassan II must be eliminated politically because he will not eliminate himself. Only a revolution can abolish this regime. We must organize a united front to carry on the Islarnic struggle. There is but one armed struggle which could wipe out the regime. Experience from Hassan II's regime must convince us all that only by an act of armed and political resistance will his dictatorship be overthrown. Only the re-institution of revolutionary and pure Islam can save our country from the abyss and death.
Abdelkrim Al Khattabi, in the darkest night of colonialism, fought in the name of Islam, weapons in hand, in the Rif, against two armies; the French and the Spanish. This is the only man never to have betraved. He lived and died with honour. The example of Abdelkrim must guide us. This is the lesson which we must take after 30 years of the present regime.
Those who do not wish to understand must be left behind and the fight continued despite them. Our sadness is due to the fact that many of our political leaders who knew how to begin their career in politics (for independence) with honour, did not know how to terminate them with honour. Arab leaders are not acquainted with an honourable "retirement"!
The army alone should not be expected to provide the revolutionary fight. The entire people ought to provide it. What is the army anyway? It is an integral part of Moroccan society. It is the unemployed who become soldiers. It is secondary school pupils, out of work students, who experience the same misery as the people, who became officers. They are fully aware of all the problems facing the people. There exists no antagonism between the people and the Moroccan army. In Morocco, our army is not of the Latin American or European type. Our army is a young one without traditions or military caste. Servicemen and civilians organized in an avant-garde party can carry out a true revolution, not a revolution of centurions but a popular revolution. The example of the Nasserlan revolution shows us that Arab and Islamic officers and soldiers can only be natural allies of every popular revolution and without some action against the despot Hassan II by the Moroccan army, the deadly immobilism pervading in Morocco could last for many years to come.
And when I speak of Islam, I mean the enlightened and tolerant Islam.
Q: What state is the army in after Skhirat?
A: The officers are, at present, all young. The old guard was done away with in various ways. Therefore the officers have the same state of mind as the rest of the youth in Morocco. It is of course understood that within the body of officers, all the divisions of society exist. The coups of 1971 and 1972 have proved this. Besides, these young officers bear daily witness to the exploitation of the people and the rottenness of the regime. They see every scandal. Their anger is aroused by the fact that they realize that the regime is using them to terrorize the people and to protect the monarchy from the anger of the people. Their dignity is held up to ridicule because they know that they are acting as guard dogs for the protection of corruption anddecadence. Today's army is like a corps of teachers, a corps of engineers and a corps of doctors. But in the army the difference lies in discipline and a keener pragmatic sense more inclined to action than to words. In any case, objectively, the mood prevalent in the army is one of revolution. Hassan has practically lost his grip on the army. For a regime without popular legitimacy and which is founded solely upon police strength and repression, it is the end.
Q: What influence did participation in the war of October 1973 have on the Moroccan army?
A: In 1967 and in 1973, the initiative for participation came from the officers themselves. They spontaneously put themselves down as volunteers. As for king Hassan II, he rather feared contact between the young Moroccan officers and the revolutionary Syrian and Egyptian officers. In 1967, 60 officers threatened to resign if they were not sent to the front. Hassan might have thought that in sending them far away, he would have rid himself of them. But the contact of the Moroccan army with the people of Syria again strengthened the revolutionary and unionist tendencies of the young Moroccan officers who are aware of Hassan's true objectives.
For Moroccans, and, in general all Arabs, the fight against Zionism, imperialism and Arab reaction is one and the same. The fight against Zionism and imperialism and the struggle against Hassan II are complimentary. For the army, the uprisings against Hassan and the participation in the war against Israel are of the same type. Hassan II and Zionism are enemies of the Moroccan people. In 1967-68, Moroccans in the south rose up against Spanish colonialism. It was Hassan II, at that time head of the army, who, together with the Spanish Army, quashed the uprising.
Q: Are Moroccans more to the Right or to the Left?
A: We are neither the one nor the other, but revolutionary Moslems. In our eyes there is no Right or Left but progressives and reactionaires.
"Left", "Right" are imported European notions. We have no need to import ideologies from either the East or the West. All we have to do is to apply the eternal principles of Islam found in the Koran.
The ideology of our people is Islam. We do not want to make a revolution with the people we dream of but with the people we have. If you import an ideology you must import a people and a nation, too! We are Moslem Arabs and each of our revolutions must spring from Islam. Evolution means evolving what we are towards what we want to be and not "aping" or imitating.
Only an Islamic, cultural, social, economic and political revolution can put an end to this moral and political decadence with which we are at present living.
As we see it, Islam and Arabism are one. I cannot envisage a deislamized Arabism or an anti-Arab Islam. Islam and Arabism are like mind and body, inseparable. The rise or decline of Islam always depends upon the strength or weakness of the Islamic Arab World.
Our people are Moslems and religious. But religion can perhaps be interpreted in different ways. Like ideologies. One must make distinctions between ideas and their applications, between religions and the applications men give them. One must distinguish between Islam and the Moslems. When revolutionaires talk of Islam they understand it to be a radical revolution which not contradicts the Islamic revolution but is the foundation and origin of it and is also an integral part. One cannot separate the revolution from Islam. Trying to separate Islam from the revolution in the Arab world is to create an obscurant "Islam" à la Saudi Arabia. One must understand that the people and the peasants in the Islamic feudal tyrannic monarchy in Morocco do not have the protection of religion as they did from the Catholic Church in the Europe of the Middle Ages. In our country there is no Church or caste of priests. On the contrary, in Morocco, every revolution was an Islamic one. The Algerian revolution was called the Moulahadirie revolution (the Marxists, on the other hand, were against it from the beginning as were the French Communist Party).
Islam is a revolution. All religions, at the beginning, are revolutions for social justice, human dignity and liberty.
Q: What do you think of the good relations which exist between Morocco on the one hand and the USSR and China.
A: It is sad that the world's two largest socialist countries, the Soviet Union and China, have betrayed their role in their domestic and foreign policies. They have become arms merchants. The Soviet Union, like the USA, sells weapons to most dictatorships, for example to Hassan II. It sells them to everyone. The "Moroccan Communist Party", whose strategy is dictated by the Soviet Union, has become an objective ally to Hassan II. These regimes have become large vulgar powers interested in great powers. The Islamic revolution is part of the world revolution. The pole of world revolution is no longer the Soviet Union or China but shows a tendency of going more and more towards the Third World. The Soviet Union and China are betraying their role, they are only fighting amongst themselves to increase their zones of influence in the Third World. Despite everything they are a part of the world revolution to counterbalance American imperialistic hegemony. They make mistakes but with "self-criticism" they can rectify and better help the repressed nations of the Third World. Let's hope so!
Q: When you say that the Moroccan revolution is a part of the world revolution you seem to liwist on the Moroccan revolution as belonging to the Arab revolution rather than the African revolution. What do you say to this ?
A: Geographically, Morocco is part of Africa but culturally we belong to the Islamic and Arab world. If you mean the black non-Islamic Africa it is cut off from us. It is called either English or French speaking, etc (why not African speaking?!). Africa, as Ren6 Dumont said, "is badly divided". In the North of Africa we have succeeded in safeguarding our personality and in freeing ourselves from intellectual colonialism. We are part of Africa but we are also a part of the Third World. But when I speak of Islamic and Arab unity, I am not speaking of something new which has to be created. I am speaking of a unity that existed, that exists in the popular awareness and which is only to be restored. But we would also like unity with Africa: but let us begin with cultural and linguistic unity. It is the tendency of the people to unite. But with Africa it is more a matter of creating something new. An effort must be made to abolish the cultural, political and geographical desert which separates us. Today, simply to fly from Dakar to Rabat one must often fly through Paris. Politically and culturally one must also often go through Paris. But a problem, even today, is the presence of cultural colonialism in Africa. Algeria has remained "French" for a hundred and fifty years, but it doesn't call itself French speaking. The borders between the Arab countries are artificial and cultural unity has existed for a long time now. I do not oppose Islamic and Arab unity against unity with Africa, I am only saying that in the former case there exists a unity to be restored, which has previously existed and which ideologically, linguistically, spiritually and politically exists between the Arab countries. We Arabs are only split by the present regimes to rule better over us. Any instituting of a democratic, legitimate and representative regime in an Arab or African country is a large step towards unity of the peoples. The present conflicts and animosities are the work of dictatorial and neo-colonialist regimes intent on division to make their ruling easier. They are non-representative and illegitimate regimes. They are regimes which represent neo-colonialism and all the interests that go with it.
When Morocco"s absolute monarch, King Hassan II, was tip-off that his only general was plotting a coup. he lost no time in silencing him, according to an officer in the underground movement interviewed by "Africa Now".
AN 'ACCIDENT'TO FORESTALL A COUP
(Published in the London magazine "Africa Now", in March 1983)
General Ahmed Dlimi, King Hassan's right-hand man and commander of the Moroccan army's southern forces did not die in a car accident as alleged by the regime. He was tortured and then shot after the CIA informed the King that Dlimi was planning a military coup to overthrow the monarchy in July this year and replace it with a democratic Arab Islamic Republic of Morocco.
At a secret hideout in Sweden, Lieutenant Ahmed Rami, a leader of "Le Mouvenent des Officiers Lilr'res", the under-ground movement of Moroccan army officers dedicated to overthrow the King, told "Africa Now" that General Dlimi was called to King Hassan's palace in Marrakesh at 11 o'clock at night on January 23, 1983. There, 10 security men escorted him to an underground interrogation room. At 1 a m, two American officers arrived with the King and went into the interrogation room for some hours. At 5 a m, Dlimi was shot. His body was later placed in his car which exploded out in a suburb, probably as the result of grenades planted inside. The police cordoned off the area, Dlimi's bullet-proof Mercedes was disposed of at once and no one was permitted to see the body, not even members of Dumi's own family.
The Moroccan Press has now come up with a story by a civilian called Lhrizi who said he was in Dlimi's car when the accident took place. But there are strong suspicions that Lhrizi, who has gone underground, is a member of the King's secret police.
Ahmed Rami is under sentence of death in Morocco for his part in a previous coup attempt on August 16 1972 when the "Officiers Libres" tried unsuccessfully to shoot down a Boeing let carrying King Hassan. He now lives in exile and is the external contact man for the revolutionary officers' movement. Rami explained: "Dlimi avoided direct contact with 'Officiers Libres' In Morocco. But he frequently travelled abroad and it was easy for me to be his link with the movement. We met about twice a year1 and more fre(paently last year to plan details of the July coup."
"Unknown to us, however, the CIA was investigating him. When the CIA handled over a dossier to King Hassan in January it contained videofllm of General Dlimi and I meeting In Stockholm last December. That was enough for Dlimi to be eliminated."
Already, on January 1 1983, B leading investment risk analysis firm in New York, Front and Sullivan, had produced Its "Political Risk from Territorial Disputes: A Global Survey", in which Morocco was rated a country with a high risk of violence and where prospects of a coup were on the increase. The firm had noted the opposition to the corruption within Hassan's regime; the consequences of the prolonged war in the Western Sahara; Polisario's capacity to score military victories over the Moroccan forces; the country's continued economic problems and growing poverty - all of which increased the likelihood of a military alternative to Hassan.
The CIA perceived Dlimi's favouring of French rather than US aid as a potential threat to American interests in the region. (There have been rumours that the King asked the US for marines to protect him. But the Americans are insisting that Hassan first get rid of his close confidants who are in favour of closer relations with France.)
Nevertheless, the King was informed of Dlimi's coup plans by American intelligence and Hassan acted immediately. Scores of senior officers were detained on January 17, 1983 and 12 of them interrogated. Almost simultaneously with Dlimi's liquidation, three colonels - Col. Bouarat, commander of the Royal Guard; Col. Ouazari, director of the gendarmerie and Colonel Doukall - were arrested and subsequently executed. The King placed the army on a state of alert on January 25 and 26 after the palace announced the "grevious death" of Dlimi in a "car accident".
According to an Algerian announcement, some young officers were arrested last month because of alleged contacts with "Officlers Libres".
Curiously, a news item released to the "New York Times" on January 26 described the emergence of Morocco as the US' closest Arab ally - but made no mention of the death of the country's only general and even as late as mid-February there was still no mention of it in the American Press despite numerous reports in Europe.
"I am a wanted man, dead or alive", maintains Lieutenant Rami. "The Swedish security police have already foiled one plot to kidnap me and I have to be very careful - of both King Hassan's men and even more of professional CIA agents."
Asked how he knew of the events in the palace, Rami said the ears and eyes of "Officers Libres" were everywhere. "And of course communications between, say, Cusablanca and Paris are far better than those between Rabat and Casablanca."
Ahmed Rami, who grew up in the Moroccan countryside amid poor Berber people, is recognized as an intellectual in Sweden. He often partakes in public debate in the newspapers and on television on issues related to the Middle East and to Afro-Arab relations. Among academics he is known as an acute political scientist who has written penetratingly about Nasserism, the sublect of his doctoral thesis.
What has not been known is his role as a Moroccan revolutionary, working steadily for the downfall of the monarchy in his homeland. At meetings in Paris, London and Stockholm last year General Dlimi and Ahmed Rami formulated the plans for this year's planned July coup. Ahmed Rami was to have been smuggled into Morocco in a military aircraft a week before the coup in readiness to take charge of a panzer regiment and seize control of the radio headquarters.
"In Stockholm last year we began drafting the communicto be broadcast to the nation once the 'Officiers Libres' had seized control. General Dlimi and I had planned to meet again in London last month - February - because he was going to accompany King Hassan on a visit to Britain together with a high-level Arab delegation. But then Dlimi was exposed and murdered."
The communiqué, Ahmed Rami told "Africa Now", would have read something like this:
"In the name of Allah, in the name of our martyrs, in the name of the people, in the name of justice and right, and in the name of the will of the people to choose the regime which suits them and to determine their own destiny, we proclaim an Islamic republic, the abolition of the monarchy which the Koran forbids. We announce that the tyrant, the dictator, the madman Hassan II has been condemned to death and executed by the the provisional council of the commander of the revolution for all his crimes and murders against our people. A temporary revolutionary council is temporarily going to direct the affairs of the country until a revolutionary concil has been elected by a general election."
"The king has been liquidated by the army in order to give power to the general will of the people. We who initiated the revolution have no magic wand for bringing about the general desire of the people. We have eliminated the king. It is now up to the people to put an end to the domination and exploitation perpetrated by the other little kings who are to be found throughout the country. We have acted in the capacity of citizens and not in the capacity of soldiers. Henceforth, we will direct our bayonets not towards the people but against tyranny."
Le Mouvement des Officiers Libres decided to move after Israel's invasion of Lebanon. We could not wait any longer while Israel continued with its humiliations of our brother peoples and Reagan was pressurising Arab leaders to recognize Israel. To recognize Israel is to legitimize colonialism and the death of the Palestinian people..."
About half of the communiqué was to be devoted to the need for Arab unity and the need to bring about the end of Israel´s occupation. It was also to announce that "Officiers Libres" would co-operate with young officers in the Algerian and Tunisian armies - with whom relations had already been established -to overthrow those North African regimes and together build an Islamic Arab Republic as a first step in building a federation in the Arab World.
Lastly the communiqué was to clarify that "Officiers Libres" did not plan to install a military regime, but, instead, a democratic government agreed upon by all political groups. There would be a constitution with legislated guarantees for all political parties and for Press freedom. The death sentence was to be abolished and asylum would be offered to Arabs anywhere living under repression.
Ahmed Rami said he decided to reveal all this information to "Africa Now" because he wanted to counter the official version that General Dlimi died loyal to the monarchy.
General Dlimi was extremely popular in the army, especially in the south. The King knew that if he had officially executed Dlimi without trial, he would have faced great opposition from the army. Furthermore, King Hassan wanted it to appear that Dlimi died in the service of the monarchy. He was well aware of Dlimi's great popularity among army officers and probably expects them to emulate Dlimi's loyalty.
There are more than 150,000 men in the army but only the underground group knew of Dlimi's real ambition to see an end to the monarchic system, so many could have been fooled by the King's version of what happened to him. "That's why I am revealing that Dlimi, a fine and great man, was working steadily for Hassan's downfall", explains Rami.
General Dlimi was a man who had undergone a metamorphosis. He had been trained as an officer by the French army and had absorbed its traditions of pride and dignity - which have their roots back in the French revolution. After Morocco achieved Independence in 1956 he was among the many officers who came back and formed the Moroccan army. For many it was an instant shock to discover that King Hassan intended using them as police against the people - this had never happened in France. Expecting to achieve even more dignity as defenders of their own land, they found themselves minions of a monarch whose will was not that of the people.
"Those with access to the King, like Dlimi, were appalled at his sexual excesses, his drug abise, his personal interests in the large~cale hashish traffic out of Morocco", said Ahmed Rami. "It is a scandal for the Arab world that such a person can be Head of State. Besides, Dlimi soon perceived that such an absolute monarchy was incompatible with the governing of a modern state. He said to me that no development was possible under such a system. So, because of his honest principles, Dlimi changed from an ordinary career officer into a politically conscious revolutionary. He told me he saw his duty as protecting the land and its people, not just the person of the "King"
"His hands were not free, as King Hassan demanded his almost continous presence, even to the extent of having him run around after him on the golf course and pick up his golf balls."
Ahmed Rami said General Dlimi had a greater vision than that of a Moroccan nationalist. Before Boumedienne took power in Algeria, General Dlimi had dreamed of an Arab maghreb ruled by Algeria's Ben Bella and comprising the present Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
It was important for world observers to see Dlimi's death
In its broad geo-polltlcal context and to understand why the CIA had acted once again in support of an Arab African regime favourable to the US. The CIA had clearly been shadowing Dlimi for a long time. Morocco has a very important strategic position in the Mediterranean, giving the Americans a grip on the Straits of Gibraltar. King Hassan is their watchdog in the area. Having lost the Shah in Iran, they stand to lose a great deal if Hassan falls. Reagan's so-called peace plan in the Middle East is dependent on his three building blocks:
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco. So they are very fearful of change in Morocco.
Ahmed Rami and his army associates believe that the only possibility for change in Morocco lies in a military coup. The legal political parties exist only by the grace of King Hassan and may not oppose the monarchy. The state repressive apparatus is so severe that few civilians dare to partake in political activity. To demonstrate against the state means almost certain death. The only underground opposition consists of two small groups of "left extremists" known as the "March 23 Movement" and "Illaal Amam" which have a membership of only a few hundred Marxist intellectuals. Then there is the illegal "L'Option revolutionaire", a small breakaway group from the "Union Nationale des Forces Populaires (UNFP)"; and an unco-ordinated group of "islamists". None of these groups has the potential to bring about change.
Rami says he became politically aware in the early 1960's when he was a teenager. People were talking about Nasser in Egypt who had deposed a king and carried out agricultural reforms and abolished the feudal system. "I was of that group of youngsters who had grown up in suffering, for whom there were no job opportunities and no legal means to express discontent. Nasser had shown 'us that it was possible to achieve social justice and economic democracy. On March 23 1965, I was with a group of demonstrating students and unemployed in Casablanca. The police and army fired upon us and about 100 people died."
"Many of us then realized that via the military lay the only way to bring about revolution in Morocco. This was why I entered the Military Academy in 1966. Today military opposition constitutes the strongest underground force in the country. Here lies the greatest threat to the King."
Speaking fluent Berber, Arabic and French and with an already brilliant student record, Ahmed Rami was a bright young star in the army. His rise was aided when he became personal tutor to the son of General Gharbouls, a simple officer whose only reading consisted of Donald Duck comics. In gratitude Rami was appointed head of a panzer regiment and was brought into the close circle surrounding King Hassan Already he had joined the group of young officers who planned to overthrow the King.
The first coup attempt was on July 10 1971, the King's birthday, and was masterminded by General Madbouh, then Hassan's closest military adviser. One hundred cadets were to storm the Palace and shoot the King. It was a disaster. The soldiers bore the same uniforms as the palace guards, everyone was shooting at each other and the King escaped by hiding in a toilet. Madbouh died in the crossfire.
Another French-trained officer, General Oufkir, was given the credit for aborting the coup and was immediately appointed Minister of Defence. He replaced Madbouh as the King's closest man, but, like his predecessor, came to hate all the King stood for. General Oufkir and Ahmed Rami became close friends and Rami was appointed the general's adjutant~ which made him in effect the deputy Minister of Defence.
New plans to overthrow King Hassan were already afoot. The King's private Boeing jet was to be shot down by defence force Phantom jets on Hassan's return from vacation in France. On August 16 1972, with General Oufkir in command at the military airfield control tower, the three Phantoms went in to attack. But their machine guns turned out to be loaded largely with practice ammunition and their missiles had not been activated. A few bullets hit the Boeing and Hassan's pilot fooled the plotters by announcing that the King had been shot. After an emergency landing, King Hassan was taken to safety in the French embassy.
One of the Phantom pilots who had tried in vain to crash his jet into Hassan's Boeing and jumped out in his parachute, was captured on landing and immediately interrogated under torture. He told of General Oufkir's role. Oufklr was summoned to one of Hassan's palaces, in Skhirat, tortured and shot. It was officially announced that he had committed suicide. Says Ahmed Rami: "I saw Oufkir's body before it was removed. He had been shot several times. One eye had been blown out by a shot in the back of the head."
Several of the ringleaders were arrested. Ahmed Rami knew that he would be uncovered, as the radio communiqé he had prepared for the coup was in General Oufkir's car. He went into hiding in the Atlas mountains and managed to evade a widespread manhunt. Three members of "Officiers Libres" fled to Gibraltar and asked the British for asylum. The British handed them over to King Hassan's men and, together with eight of the other officers, they were publicly executed on one of the holiest days of the Muslim faith: Aid el Kebir. The executions were televised to the nation.
After a year on the run, Ahmed Rami left Morocco. "General Ahmed Dlimi had, in fact, been with us since the beginning of 1971. I arrived in Sweden in August 1973 where I was given political asylum and I straightaway began working in exile against King Hassan. Soon after leaving Morocco I was granted personal interview with Colonel Khadlaffi In Libya and I secured an undertaking from him that Radio Libya. which constantly attacked Hassan's regime, would not personally critize General Dlimi. He kept his word."
"Le Mouvement des Officiers Libres" was crippled for a time after the second abortive coup. Hassan's spies and CIA agents were everywhere trying to uncover the unknown members. After lying low for a couple of years they began to regroup and gradually enlist new members. General Dlimi himself became King Hassan's closest adviser and re-established contact with Rami and the secret officers' movement.
"We in the opposition recognized that Morocco was the victim of the activities of foreign powers", explains Rami. "So, of course. we spent ncuch time discussing foreign policy to be pursued after our coup. We consider the war in Western Sahara to be absurd. It is maintained by the despicable regimes of Algeria and Morocco to occupy their citizens with a problem which has no reality. We consider Western Sahara to be part of Morocco, t~ the inhabitants there would be able to make their own choice under the democratic future we envisage. Algeria's support for POLISARIO is of course motivated by her wish for access to an Atlantic port."
"We expect Polisario, the peoples of the Western Sahara would want to join us in building a greater Arab unity."
Dlimi himself was the commander of the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara charged with its day to day control. Through the Saharan campaign, and particularly with "Operation Ouhoud", he had been able to consolidate his power within the military there. But he soon discovered that Morocco was in no position to suppress the Polisarlo. By last year, nine-tenths of the disputed territory had fallen under Polisarlo control and administration.Dlimi witnessed a steady loss of morale among his troops and they experienced a bitter defeat at Guelta Zemour. In January this year, the 15 attacks launched by the Poilsano inflicted casualties and equipment losses on the Moroccans. Dlimi saw the wave of economic deprivation inundate his country as the Saharan campaign consumed upwards of 4096 of the nation's Gross National Product. Over the eight years the Palace had spent more on the war effort than on health, education and welfare; the discrepancy between the wealthy few and the impoverished many widened, with 1 096 of the population exhausting 45% of the nation's wealth.
Rami contends: "we stand on the threshold of geat changes in North Africa, especially after what has now happened in Lebanon. Muslim integrationists everywhere are saying that it is not Israel that is strong, but Arab regimes that are weak. The King of Morocco is allied to America, which is allied to Israel. This is a shame for Muslim people and has to be brought to an end."
"Moroccan citizens, unorganized and relatively powerless against King Hassan's repression, would become his downfall", maintains Rami. The two coup attempts of the early 1970's were welcomed with jubilation until people realized that they had failed.
And what of the future? "Le Mouvement des Officiers Libres has suffered a tremendous setback with the death of General Dlimi. A great loss, but our ideals live on."
Hassan II has put a price on his head and ordered members of his secret service to bring him dead or alive. Ahmed Rami has the rank of lieutenant in the Moroccan Army and has been vice minister to general Oufkir. He took part in two plots against Hassan II and has been condemned to death as a sequence. He secretely left the country and now lives in Northern Europe. "lnterviu" met him in his secret refuge in Sweden.
The nearest witnesses spoke of several explosions in close succession. Like those produced by grenades. Some of them must also have seen the blue armoured Mercedes serving as fuel for the flames. But nobody provided concrete details of what took place. The gendarmerie immediately cordoned off the area and prevented people from approaching the scene. The burnt-out car was hurriedly removed and extreme care was taken to gather up any remains that might be left lying on the track. The time was 715 pm on January25, 1983. A short time afterwards a spokesman of the Royal Palace of Rabat communicated to the world "the horrible death of General Ahmed Dlimi in a car accident on the Marrakesh road". The news of the death of the man, second only to Hassan himself in the Moroccan regime, was greeted with astonishment and scepticism throughout Morocco. And a shiver of fear was felt in the spines of many.
It was subsequently explained that everything had been caused by a 'crazy truck' which had run into the car of the senior Moroccan commander and that Dlimi died more or less on the spot. But not even his nearest family ever managed to see the corpse. The body of the general, carefully enclosed in a metallic coffin, was delivered to his nearest and dearest just before the burial ceremony, which was performed in unusual haste. And the Army, breaking with established traditions, failed to send a message of condolence to the King for the accident. All troops remained on alert in the days following the general's disappearance. Political Plot
A week later, Roland Delcour, the veteran Le Monde correspondent, questioned the veracity of the official version of the accident, reported the detention of a dozen Army chiefs and insinuated the possibility of a political intrigue as the real cause of Dlimi's death. The Moroccan Secret Police arrested him immediately afterwards and subjected him to an exhaustive non-stop interrogation lasting forty-eight hours. lYThey only insisted on one thing", Delcour explained subsequently, "they wanted to know the source of my information. Of course I revealed nothing." The official Moroccan press started to speak of "the intoxication and provocation of certain journalists and reporters", and even went so far as to threaten him with five years' imprisonment. Finally after the mediation by telephone of Jean Louis Blanco, Secretary General of the Elysee, the French journalist is expelled from Morocco. The affair was laid to rest.
"The official version released by the Royal House concerning the death of Dlimi is the most momentous lie in the recent history of Morocco", states Ahmed Rami, dressed in the olive-green uniform of an officer of the Moroccan Army. This short, brown-skinned man is of Berber origin. He was born thirty-seven years ago in Agadir province, in southern Morocco, and has in his eye that strange look that marks indelibly the men who have chosen a path without return. Until 1972 Ahmed Rami was officer in an armoured regiment of the Royal Moroccan Army situated at Moulay Ismail in Rabat. Following the unsuccessful 'Putsch de Skhirat' (Skhirat putsch) he became vice minister to the powerful General Oufkir, the right arm of Hassan himself, and together with him took part in the attempt to get rid of the King when he returned by Boeing from France on August 16, 1972. After that he went into hiding and a year later left the country en route for Sweden, where he asked for political asylum. He now lives in Stockholm, under conditions of tight security. He is the only member of the "Free Officers' Movement", responsible for the 1972 coup attempt, who managed to escape abroad. King Hassan II is well aware of this and knows, too, that Ahmed Rami is an awkward witness of too many things. Dead or alive
"King Hassan II has given order for my capture dead or alive, and has put a price on my head. The Swedish Police have already foiled two kidnap attempts and 1 am obliged to reamin on constant alert~ not only on account of King Hassan's men, but also for the agents of the CIA itself. I am aware that I have become a terribly uncomfortable witness for his lntemsts."
After the official announcement of General Dlimi's death, Ahmed Rami was interviewed by Swedish television and utterly refuted the official version, stating that the Moroccan general had been murdered because he was preparing a new plot to overthrow the King the following July. The Royal House of Morocco trembled from head to toe and responded with silence.
"It is perfectly logical. They are unable to say anything. They know quite well that it is true and can't deny it. Dlimi didn't die as it was stated officially. He was murdered in the Royal Palace on the personal orders of Hassan II and in the presence of two CIA officers. I can now testify before the world that Dlimi was preparing a coup against the King in co-operation with our Movement of Free Officers, and that the operation should have taken place in July of this same year. It attempted the overthrow of the actual monarchy and its replacement by a democratic and popular regime. We had been preparing it for a long time. Dlimi avoided all direct contact with the Free Officers in Morocco, but as he often travelled abroad it was easy for him to get in contact with me. Lately we met two or three times a year in Paris, London or Stockholm. We always took the necessary precautions but we didn't know that the CIA was watching him closely. Last December, du'ring our last meeting here in Stockholm, an AmerIcan agent filmed him on video while he was speakIng with me. That, as we now know, meant his death sentence."
The American Sentence
"But, what really took place?"
"It all began ten days before Dlimi's death when a Colonel of the United States Army, who had arrived from Washington, asked for a private audience with Hassan and handed over a dossier which contained evidence accusing Dlimi of preparing a coup. Among the evidence was the video film of our meeting in Stockholm. We don't know the exact content of the conversation but we do know that the King viewed the film. From that moment Hassan II began to prepare the General's death. At eleven o'clock in the night on January 2LI, 1983, Dlimi was urgently called to the Royal Palace of Marrakesh. There he found that a dozen members of the Special Security Servicer the King's secret police, charged with ensuring the monarch's safety and headed by General Moulay Hafid Alaoui, were waiting for him. The SSS (Special Security Service) arrested Dlimi immediately and took him to an interrogation chamber situated under the Royal Palace itself. At one o'clock in the morning on the 25th of January the King arrived. He was accompanied by two American agents of the CIA, who carried two large suitcases filled with sophisticated instruments of torture. They all spent several hours there and at five o'clock in the morning Dlimi was already dead. They then determined to cover up the murder. Placing his body in the official Mercedes they took it to the outskirts of Marrakesh and had it blown up with explosives in order to leave no trace. The gendarmerie cordoned off the spot and removed any sign of what had happened. Nobody, not his widow nor the rest of the family was authorized to see the body of the general, and although in the official version provided reference was made to a 'tear-away' truck which careered into the general's car, it is by no means sure that such a vehicle even existed. The only civilian survivor of the 'accident', Lahrizi, who was said to have been travelling in the same car as Dlimi, is the owner of a small travel agency and is also well known for his close links with the SSS. After the 'accident' he hurriedly left on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and from here all trace of him has been lost."
"What about the first contact with Dlimi in order to prepare a new coup attempt?
"The contacts with Dlimi had been going on for a very long time. I was connected with him since 1973 when he helped me to flee from Morocco after the failure of the attempt to shoot down the Boeing in which the King was travelling. From 1974 onwards we started to meet in Paris or London and we discussed the future of the regime. For Dlimi I was a very representative officer, because I had been Oufkir's vice minister up until his death and one of the principal organizers of the "Free Officers' Movement" in the heart of the Moroccan Army. The only contact that Dlimi had with the movement was through me. My colleagues feared that he was being watched and never wished to risk a meeting with him inside the country. I was the one charged with acting as a hridge between the different people. The last time I saw him was in December of last year. He was staying at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm. He travelled without an escort, just one other person accompanied him, and he travelled under the passport of a lawyer. One day a Moroccan waiter happened to recognize him and he immediately changed his accomodatlon. It was in this city, too, that we began the drawing up of a communiqu~ to be read over the radio following the seizure of power. We began thus: "In the name of Allah and our martyrs, and in the name of the people, we abolish the monarchy and tyranny in Morocco and we replace it with the Democratic Arab Islamic Republic of Morocco."
"What did the plan to overthrow Hassan II comprise?"
"The technical plans of all coups are somewhat alike. Whether reactionary or progressive there are features in common. Like machine-gun, the general system of functioning is common to all, the supplementary techncical features matter less. In outline, the operation planned for July involved utilizing the paratroop units to occupy the Royal Palace, the Radio, the Ministry of the Interior, the Police headquarters, to arrest the King and to issue a communiqu~ announcing the proclamation of the Republic. The King would have been tried immediately. We intended to abolish the death penalty and institute a democratic regime, a regime of political liberties. The first communiqué to have been broadcast, was inspired on the one I myself drew up in 1972 when we tried to shoot down the Royal Boeing. I presented a rough draft to Dlimi, we discussed it and he accepted it. I was meant to have entered Morocco a week before the coup in order to take command of an armoured unit and, at the appropriate time, to seize the Communications Centre and the Royal Palace. It was arranged that I should arrive on board a military plane and I had all the necessary uniforms. Dlimi himself brought me them in Paris on one of his trips. At that time neither of us suspected that he was going to die before carrying out the operation." "What was the mistake that Dlimi made?"
"Dlimi's principal mistake was to be too sure of himself and he underestimated the King's intelligence services. He always used to say that they were useless. Dlimi was the chief of the counter-espionage service and believed that he held all the cards and that he had even infiltrated the SSS, but in fact what had happened was the reverse. Those working for the SSS had managed to get themselves taken into his most trusted circle, and when they believed it most suitable, they betrayed him to the King. At our last meeting in December, for example. he told me that he had noticed that the King was beginning to suspect him, that he was a bit anxious, but he put it down mainly to the shifting moods of Hassan II himself, due to his great liking for drugs. Dlimi didn't trust the Americans either, but he didn't believe they were watching him continually, even on his trips abroad. In actual fact things really started to move after the Israeli invasion in the Lebanon. At that time a certain resentment arose in the core of the Moroccan Army and the officers started to accuse Hassan II of serving lsraeli interests and of supporting American policy in Lebanon. That must have worried the CIA. After the fall of the Shah of Iran, above all following the coming to power of Reagan, the Americans don't want to lose the strategic position they enjoy in Morocco and are determined to forestall any possibility of change. They happened to find out that Dlimi was preparing a conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy and that he had contacts with the "Free Officers" through me. That was fatal for him."
The Plotting Goes On
"How did you find out about his death?"
"That I am unable to reveal. Our movement has ears and eyes everywhere, even inside the Royal Palace. In Morocco everyone is afraid to speak out; nobody trusts anybody else and information only circulates with difficulty. But let's say that the communications between Casablanca and Paris are much better than those that exist between Rabat and Casa blanca. Our movement is formed of military personnel trained in the use of military techniques for communications. We know that we are facing a powerful regime and we attempt to make use of all the technological resources that currently exist. Apart from the telephone. which is automatic for calls from Morocco to Europe? we tend to make use of coded telegrams. We utilize a code that is changed once a month. We have tested the methods and we know that they function well. For example, I knew of Dlimi's death only one hour after it happened, when nobody in Morocco yet knew what had taken place. It has been only subsequently, through me, that many have learnt the news. When I was informed of the news it was a tremendous shock and I thought at once of the misfortune that has accompanied all the attempts at overthrowing Hassan II.
"Following Dlimi's death there was talk, too, of a wave of arrests within the Royal Army..."
"Yes, there has been a new wave of repression in the ranks of the Army. The arrests are continuing even now. To begin with they arrested Major Tobji, the aide-de-camp to Dlimi, and his family were also hurriedly forced to leave the service appartement that had been assigned to them. All Dlimi's property was also confiscated and the house he had just built in the fashionable Souissi suburb in Rabat has been taken over by the police. They then finished by arresting all the family and I have recently received information that just two weeks ago Dlimi's own father died in prison as a result of the torture he was subjected to."
"After all this is what remains of the Free Officers' Movement ?"
"It is true that after Dlimi's death we of the "Free Officers' Movement" have been gravely weakened, but the truth is we continue to exist. The Movement of "Free Officers" is a secret organization, born from the initiative of a group of young men sprung from the masses, who attempted to channel within the Army itself all the discontent that exists in the country. We were a group of young officers who in 1972 tried to carry out, by means of a coup as the beginning of a revolution, the Moroccan people's dream of freedom and democracy. Dlimi's death this January has been a terrible blow for us, but the Movement is going to continue. Its existence is not in danger. Since 1972 the King has been unable to wholly dismantle it. He has tried to by every possible means, he has arrested many officers, has moved others from one command to another... but the fact is that there are cells of "Free Officers" in the majority of Army units and that these maintain their activity. On occasions leaflets are distributed in the barracks and among the units and communiqués from the exterior are reproduced. This interview, for example, will I am sure be distributed clandestinely among the units within a very short time."
Hassan is Afraid
"So the Moroccan monarchy continues to be threatened from the barracks?"
"Yes. the throne of Hassan II continues to be threatened. And it always shall be because it is not a legitime monarchy. In Islam there is no monarchy and the ideology of the people in Morocco is Islam. Besides, the true revolutionary Islam is opposed to the dictatorial monarchy which fails to respect the will of the people. Islam does not recognize the division of the Islamic world in puppet states created by colonialism. For this reason the Moroccan Army, which is not isolated from society, is continually looking for new ways to put an end to this decadence, to finish off this rotten regime. Now Hassan II does not know exactly what might happen in the Army and is afraid of everyone. Since 1972 he has not put a foot in a barracks and has never travelled to the Sahara to visit the military units. At present the Army is Hassan's enemy number one. The Armed Forces in Morocco are the vanguard of the opposition. So, despite the failures and setbacks that have occurred up till now, I am totally optimistic. Hassan's regime carries within itself the needs of its own destruction. It is a sick regime afflicted with the "gangrene" of corruption. A regime which will end up falling of its own accord."
"What are yow' tactics going to be after the abortive attempt planed for iuly 1983?"
"Our present tactic is to organize a popular revolution similar to that which toppled the Shah of Iran, in which soldiers, civilians, and all the Islamic movement shall take part. We young officers carefully analyzed the new situation and we agreed that, as Morrocco forms a part of the great Islamic nation, our revolution could never remain isolated from the Islamic revolution in general. It is true that the Islamic revolution finds itself today in a catastrophic situation due to the confrontation with states politically and militarily as arrogant as Israel and the United States, states which have an overwhelming superiority compared to us. All this creates a military inbalance to the disadvantage of the Islamic world, which lays us open to terrible military and political humiliations. Therefore we believe that the only solutions is to support the Palestinian people in a just and clear-out way, approaching the problem as a question of Israeli colonialism, a racist state to be removed in the future. For Moslems, Christians and all free people in the world this aim is only a question of time1 but needs a permanent struggle."
"And how is it going to work out in practice in Morocco?"
"With the fusion of a new movement of the Moujahidines, which we have called 'Almohadin' (the Unifiers), intended to regroup all the political forces in Morocco and which will carry out in the near future a series of resistance and terrorist operations which shall increase steadily. The person or regime that is an obstacle in the way of Islamic unity and the Palestinian liberation must be eliminated politically. If possible the elimination shall be carried out in a democratic way, but in cases of dictatorship we shall use terrorist violence if necessary. Tyrannical regimes such as that of Hassan II can only be combated using violence. In reality this type of decadent and corrupt regime only survives thanks to the passivity of the masses, to the fear that exists among the people and to the terrorism directed against defenceless citizens. From now on the crimes of the present Moroccan regime shall no more go unpunished. And in this sense the Movement of "Free Officers" shall be no more than a military arm of the political movement of Islam aiming to establish a just, democratic, and tolerant society in the Islamic world. A society consistent with the religious and ethnic minorities which retain their place as they always have done in the history of Islam.
He is a fearless man fighting to overthrow Hassan II. He was vice minister to General Oufkir, becoming his accomplice in the task of toppling the Moroccan monarch. Ahmed Rami is a marked man for his participation in plots and for all he knows about the crimes and corruption existing at the monarch's court, where sexual amusements, depravity and treachery are the order of the day. From his hideaway in Sweden he makes these surprising revelations.
CORRUPTION AND CRIME IN
(Published in the Spanish magazine "lnterviu", 8-14 June 1983)
"No, I am not afraid. I know I run risks of speaking out but I don't want to keep quiet. I have had to leuve my country leaving everything and the word is the only thing I retain. I shall not renounce that. One day I hope, not too distant, all Moroccans shall cease being afraid and they shall realize that fear is the real besls of Hassan II's power. A King whose only purpose is to sow terror arnong the people. The time has come for somebody to say what is really happening in Morocco."
Ahmed Rami fills the cups with mint tea. He does it frugally, as if obseving a ritual repeated a thousand and one times. "I have several flats which I occupy in alternation. All of these have been provided me by the Swedish police in order to make more difficult my localization, and as a security measure. I am not here all the time, I travel a lot. I continue the struggle to overthow Hassan II and that is not just achieved on the telephone. He laughs with a boyish grimace." He is a young man, but he has already lived through a lot. As we explained in an earlier article the story of this Moroccan officer is directly related to all the plots of the last few years to overthrow Hassan. Rami's story begins on July 10, 1971. Two senior commanding officers of the Moroccan Army attack the Skhirat palace, where a reception was being held, at the head of the military cadets of the Ahermoumou school. The King and his right arm, Oufkir, just manage to escape death. General Madbouh dies during this rash attempt. Colonel Ababou was executed the following day. Subsequent to this the Moroccan Army under-goes a bloody purge.
"On that day I was in officers' quarters in the Moulay Ismail camp in Rabat. I was in command of a unit of tanks assigned the protection of the Royal Palace and I awaited an opportunity to participate in the overthrow of the monarchy. Suddenly, Captain Mazouz, who was on duty, came up in a state of great excitement saying that the state of alert had been proclaimed. I put on my combat uniform, gathered my men together and ordered them to get in the EBR armoured vehicles. It was three in the afternoon, I had the door of the ammunition depot demolished to sup ply the seventeen tanks which made up my unit. On leaving the camp Lieutenant Colonel Saâad, Chief of Staff of the armoured brigade, approached and told me that the Royal Palace was being attacked by civilians armed with grenade launchers and gave me the order to advance along the main road, opening fire on any armed elements."
Ahmed Rami advanced mounted in the turret of his tank and affirms that he was d'etermined to disobey the order and to join the rebels "I headed towards the palace by the coast road without knowing that, at the same time, the trucks with Colonel Ababou's cadets were returning from Skhirat along the main road. If I had chosen that route I would have been able to join up with the rebel troops and owing to the reinforcement of my seventeen tanks, the abortive coup of Skhirat would have been transformed into victory."
On arriving at the golf course which is laid out in front of the Palace he finds dead and wounded everywhere. "There were ambulances everywhere. A tremendous confusion. I ordered the armoured column to halt, jumped down and approached the main entrance where there was a group of people in a visible state of shock. Among these was Hassan II, Oufkir and several other generals. The King asked me where I came from and told me to put myself under Oufkir's orders who immediately climbed onto my tank in order to return to Rabat. At that time I didn't know it but I was sharing the turret of my EBR with the eminence grise of the Palace itself, with the man who some days later would ask me to be his vice minister and very soon I myself would become his accomplice in the attempt to politically eliminate the King."
"The subsequent reprisals against the rebels can only be termed as savage. The cadets who were injured were buried alive in a common grave and the chief of the Police organized the transport of two' truck-loads of instruments of torture for the interrogation of the arrested, imprisoned at a military base. On July 13 the Temara shooting range became a slaughter-house. They tied thirteen officers to some posts and their execution was carried out by thirteen squads of thirteen soldiers each. The King was present at the spectacle in the company of King Hussein of Jordan. Laraki, the Prime Minister, Spit on the corpses. Then a bulldozer crushed the bodies and removed them to a common grave. There was a reign of terror in the following weeks in Morocco. Among my camp comrades practically nobody dared to mention the subject. Everybody distrusted everyone else. The following week I was informed that Oufkir was waiting for me at his residence of Souissi."
The omnipotent Defence Minister received him without a uniform and began by congratulating him for the cool he had shown during the 10th of July. He continued by asking him about his military career, interrogated him on the mood of his fellow officers and proposed that he draw up a detailed report on it. "He told me: Morocco is in a difficult period. Many generals and ministers are corrupted. The King and the General Staff are surrounded by decay." "Four days later I brought an incendiary report of thirty pages, in which I denounced all the corruption of the officers I knew. Oufkir kept it in the safe in his sitting-room and asked me to become his vice minister. I accepted on condition I could continue to command my tank unit. From that moment I lived in the general's house and I became his confident. He spoke Arabic very badly and generally used French as a language. moreover, which the bodyguard who always accompanied us did not understand. He told stories of the Court which illustrated the servility of the ministers and the despotism of Hassan."
"He spoke to you of the disappearance of Ben Barka, an affair in which he, as much as Dlimi, was involved?"
"Yes, of the Ben Barka affair he spoke to me only once, but he told me a version that a few months ago Dlimi himself also confirmed to me. Oufkir told me that the assassination of Ben Barka was an operation organized directly by the King and that he had utilized the Special Security Service (SSS) for the purpose. Some days before the event Hassan II summoned Oufkir and Dlimi to the Palace and ordered them to go to Paris to negotiate with Ben Barka as leader of the opposition. But, at the same time, the King had already given the order to kill Ben Barka, and therefore, when Oufklr and Dlimi arrived
at the French capital they found out that he had already been murdered by some French gangsters. Evidently the King was keen to implicate them in the whole affair. They returned furious to Morocco and had to bear the accusations of the French government of complicity in the murder. Oufkir told me that the body of Ben Barka was destroyed with chemical products, but that his head was sent to Rabat in the diplomatic bag and that he was burled below the walls of the Palace, very close to the Law Faculty. To cut off the head of the enemy and bury it next to the wall of your home is an old tradition of the Alaouite royal family, the family of Hassan II. Oufkir also said that the date of the kidnapping of Ben Barka was put forward under the pressure of the CIA and the Israeli Mossad, because the Moroccan leader was preparing at that time the Tricontinental Conference of La Havana, which was directed against the imperialist interests of those two powers."
"But don't you think that that is a version of the whole conft~ed affair too favourable to Oufkir and Dlimi?"
"Yes, but one should bear in mind that neither the one, nor the other, when they told me all that intended that it should be published. It was in confidence. And Oufkir was even prepared to draw up a dossier for the moment when legal proceedings on the Ben Barka affair should be opened, proceedings in which he had agreed to assume his responsibilities. On the other hand, it is no secret that Oufkir and Dlimi were people who had made career by repressing the enemies of Hassan II, and that we, the 'Free Officers' were quite clear that they couldn't play an important role in the future of Morocco; but there were occasions when we required them all the same. Oufkir and Dlimi were professional soldiers trained in France, who in a decent regime would themselves have been decent, but they ended up being the instruments of Hassan For them the political errors were the sole responsibility of the politicians but afterwards, when they realized that the King wanted them as mere guard dogs and that the Army was utilized as a police force, they began to change. The King turned them into a hammer of repression, but the hammer suffers as many blows as the nail and also ends up feeling the effects. When they saw to what depths of moral and sexual corruption Hassan II sank they determined to assume their responsibilIties and attempted to overthrow him."
"Oufkir prepared an attack against the King just three months after the abortive Skhirat attempt. He wanted to place a machine-pistol in the safe of the General Staff conference room and to take advantage of the meeting which Hassan held every Thursday with the Army chiefs to shoot him. Afterwards he would start a tape recording with a message which I had recorded earlier and which would be broadcast on the radio. He believed that once the King was eliminated all the unit commanders would place themselves at his orders. We prepared everything for the end of September, but on the chosen day Hassan called on the phone to say that he would not come to the conference. From that moment all meetings were held at the Royal Palace. Another time we waited for him to come on a visit to the Moulay Ismail barracks, also with the intention of killing him, but he didn't come this time either. Likewise in March he was to have presided a conference of officers and Oufkir camouflaged the machine-pistol using the projection room foor the purpose, thinking that this time would be decisive. The King, each time more suspicious changed the arrangement at the last moment. Finally we decided to act on the 16th of August, 1972, when he was returning by air from a trip to France."
"And there was another failure.?"
"Yes, because by mistake the three F 5-fighters which were to shoot down the Royal Boeing were loaded with blank warheads instead of explosive ones. The one responsible was Commander Kouira who made a mistake with the ammunition boxes. Moreover, while he was actually firing, the machine-gun jammed, so he tried to crash into the King's plane and bailed out. The other two pilots, lieutenants Zyad and Boukhalif, exhausted their ammunition without causing serious damage to the Boeing. Nevertheless, the King's pilot radioed a message saying that the King was fatally wounded and to stop firing. It was clearly a ruse, but Oufkir who was directing operations from the Kenitra control tower really believed it and returned to the barracks where I was waiting with the armoured carriers in state of alert. In the meantime the King was safely landing and when he arrived at his quarters he was already calling him on the phone. I had remained up in the tank turret and just glimpsed him going in and then quickly leaving. A soldier who was near him as he phoned heard him say simply: "Oh, your Majesty, it's not possible, the dogs, the bastards .." Then we didn't know it, but the gendarmerie had arrested Commander Kouira when he landed, and taken directly before the King he confessed that Oufkir was at the head of the plot. When he arrived at the Palace Moulay Hafid Alaoui, head of the SSS, and other high officers loyal to Hassan were awaiting him. He never left there alive."
"Who killed him?"
"It has never become known exactly, but at three o'clock in the morning when I heard the broadcasting station France-Inter give news of the suicide, I left the base by the infirmary door, took the car and drove to his private residence. I carried my regulation revolver under my jacket, but the soldier on duty let me enter without trouble. Oufkir lay covered by a sheet. I lifted it and saw his body totally riddled with bullets. He had a lot of bullet holes in the chest, in the stomach and part of his face was missing. The shots had come from behind. The suicide was only a lie. When I left there I left my car In the city, I discarded my officer's uniform and took a taxi to Yaakoub EI-Mansour a suburb on the outskirts of Rabat. From there I headed for 'Fedala where I bought a djellabah (loose hooded cloak worn by Arab men) and a wig. When that night I got to Casablanca I learnt that all the police were already after me."
However, during the whole year in which he remained clandestinely in Morocco, they never managed to capture him. "I passed myself off as a hippy and made my way into the Middle Atlas mountains where 1 joined a camp of nomads and lived among sheep and lambs. I was eight months in the Atlas mountains, and in March 1973 I took part in the attempt to establish a centre of guerilla activity in the Atlas mountains. We were a group of sixty people belonging to the UNFP, and I acted as military instructor. We attacked isolated police stations but the experience only lasted a month as the police broke us up at once There were some twenty deaths and the rest of us had to flee. The Moroccan people were still not ready for that. A little later I managed to leave the country and I came to Sweden. I brought nothing except a few language books of the Assimil method to learn English. I had heard that Sweden was a very liberal country and came to try out the terrain. I liked it so much that at once I asked for political asylum and thus I came to stay here."
"Hassan II is a lucky King or a well-protected monarch?"
"I think he is a well-protected monarch, very well protected, the SSS takes care of that, a super secret police force which depends directly on him and that controls the other intelligence services and the Army itself. The SSS is directed by General Moulay Hafid AIaoul, a member of the Royal family, and was organized by three experts of the CIA which is the body that really controls it. Nobody, with the exception of the King, knows its organization exactly. The SSS was responsible for the murder of Ben Barka, for the kidnapping of Chelkh Al-Arab in 196LI, for the seizure of Hussein El Manouzi when he was in Tunis in 1963, for the elimination of Omar Ben Jelloun, the chief editor of 'Moharir', for the deaths of Oufkir and Dlimi in the Royal Palace itself etc ... This elite secret service was set up by Hassan when he was still hereditary prince and he even used it to murder Mohamed V during a surgical operation which was carried out on February 26, 1961."
"Ar you then saying that Hassan II murdered Mohamed V, his own father?"
"Yes, but in fact Hassan is not the real son of Mohamed V. He is only a bastard. Until now nobody had revealed it because it comprised the few who knew of the secret, but after the elimination of Dlimi everything has changed. Now I can tell the truth about the origin of Hassan. Dlimi himself explained it to me some months before his death. In actual fact Hassan II is Glaoui's son, the man who was Pasha in Marrakesh and collaborator with the French at the time of the Protectorate. At the end of 1925 Glaoui offered to Mohamed V, who was Sultan, a beautiful slave but he didn't tell him she was already pregnant. Six months later that woman gave birth to a child who Mohamed V decided to adopt as if he were his own. It was Hassan II. The secret was always jealously guarded within the Court, in spite of the fact that Hassan Is the image of Glaoui, something one realizes by merely comparing their two photographs. The truth only became known many years later. In 1961, when Hassan, who was a very ambitious young man asked Ben Barka (at that time mathematics teacher in the Royal Palace and President of the Consultative Council) to persuade Mohamed V to name him hereditary prince, a title that until then didn't exist. That caused a family feud as Moulay Abdallah who was the King's real son ulso aspired to the throne. But Hassan finally got his way. The following step was to get rid of Mohamed V. He took the opportunity during a surgical operation and Dlimi told me exactly how it happened. The very day of the operation Hassan met with the four officers who formed the Army General Staff, the generals Gharbaoui, Madbouh, Oufkir and Dlimi, and told them he knew the King was preparing a coup d'Etat against the Army and that he planned to return power to a civilian government. He had therefore decided to act quickly. A doctor, specially brought from Switzerland, would administer special sedative during the operation and Mohamed V would never awake from the anaesthetic. "When the moment comes", he told them, "I will make sure that nobody enters the operating chamber and I myself shall disconnect the oxygen tubes. But don't believe I murder my own father, I am not Mohamed V's son1 my true father is Glaoui. If I act thus it is for love of the Army and only you will know the secret. If this should ever leak out I shall know with certainty that one of you has spoken."
"And so it was that after the doctors had begun the operation Hassan placed the SSS men on watch at all the doors. Then he came into the operating theatre alone and was there some five minutes disconnecting the oxygen tubes. After an hour he came back with the Swiss doctor and confirmed that Mohamed V was already dead and had seven doctors called to certify the death. Following this he proclaimed himself King. Now the four officers who took part in the preparatory meeting of the plot are dead. The four died at the same age, at 52, and were murdered inside the Royal Palace. It's all true but it seems a Shakespearian story."
"Is it true that Hassan II governs Morocco as if it were a private fled?"
"Yes it is, and there's an anecdote from his youth which serves to clarify his personality. Once, when he was still hereditary prince his geography tutor told him to point out certain countries on the map. When the future Hassan II put his finger on Morocco he said: 'This is my father's estate'. There's no difference in Morocco between the State budget and the budget of the Royal Household. Hassan II owns everything. He rules the country as if it were still the Middle Ages and even looks on his ministers as slaves. His power is absolute and total. Moreover he is a real profligate, a vulgar individual who is always drugged, as apart from the hashish habit he also takes daily doses of LSD. He is also depraved so far as sex is concerned. He likes young virgins and at times he has girls abducted from around Rabat who turn up later in the Royal Palace. When he leaves on a journey there are always fifty or sixty women in the cars of his escort and the Palace guards don't even have the right to look at them. They have to turn their backs when the cars pass the entrance. His sexual obsession is so enormous that even his ministers' wives have to go to bed with him. That is already a kind of tradition. Every time he arranges a party he invites the ministers and their wives, he then starts throwing handfuls of diamonds so that the guests fight over them. After that he invites the ladies to his private appartments and while their husbands wait outside he takes them to bed. And then the mininsters are proud to recount that the King has slept with their wives. It's even reached the point where there is a special service within the Palace entrusted with procuring him European girls. It is run by two former international ponces. One of them goes by the name of 'Doctor Robert' and the other is a Greek known as 'Boubou'. They have the status of 'peripatetic ambassadors' and even have the use of two private planes in order to bring girls from any part of Europe. Evidently one specializes in blondes and the other in brunettes. All of Hassan's court is equally corrupt. His brother, Moulay Abdallah, for example, is a notorious homosexual who tries the whole time to get off with the sons of the ministers. One day he took Oufkir's son to a country retreat and when the father got to know of it he raised an almighty row and was extremely angry about it. Recently he has even appointed one of his homosexual friends to be Rector of the Law Faculty."
"Some time back, the British police drew up a report in which he was accused of controlling a good part of the market in narcotics originating from Morocco.
"That's so and it's no secret in Morocco. There everyone, in the Army and in the Administration, knows that for years the Royal Palace has been an international drug centre and that the King himself owns all the land where its cultivation is carried out. The pupils of the Royal Lycee, all sons of officers of Hassan's personal guard, are nicknamed 'bahchouch', which means 'hashish children'. When I was instructor at the non-commissioned officers' shool a group of these pupils arrived and caused a great problem for the Army, as they came loaded with hashish which they began to hand out to all and sundry. At the King's private parties everyone takes drugs, and if there's a minister who refuses to take part he very soon arousessuspicion. Where the system itself is corrupt and decadent one must become part of it or one is against it. Hassan maintains frequent contacts with the international dealers. In this respect I remember that once a man who was known as 'Doctor Mehdi' came to see Oufkir. He introduced him to me as 'His Majesty's itinerant ambassador' and I realized that the Minister of Defence himself received him with fear. Afterwards, when he had left I found out that that title of his meant "narcotics ambassador", and that he was the person who organized the different international distribution networks. There he was, in the Palace, and with an official position. Morocco, nowadays. is a paradise for criminals. It is the only country where delinquents are approved of."
published an interview, here translated into English. September 1, 1994. The article
was partly republished in the French periodical "Courrier International".
participant in two attempted coups d'état, interviewed by Mustapha Tossa
Ahmed Rami:A combat with unequal weapons
Ahmed Rami was born in 1946 in Tafraout, Morocco. He was educated at a senior high school in Tiznit in southern Morocco. From 1963 to 1966 he was a teacher at secondary grammar schools in Casablanca. In 1966 he was admitted to the armed forces staff college in Meknès and two years later appointed a lieutenant at the armoured forces in Rabat.You are a political refugee in Sweden. Will you tell us about your activities in that country?
He took part in two attempted coups d'état, the one at Skhirat in 1971 and the one starting with an attack on the royal aeroplane in 1972. After disappearing for a year he reached Sweden, where he got a place of refuge and acquired Swedish citizenship. After being an active member of the UNFP (Union Nationale des Forces Populaires) he presents himself today as a militant Islamist, but as one who "bypasses the debate on the folklore and the rites". Being a self-taught person he has published numerous works in Swedish, the language of his new motherland, on the Palestinian question, the state of Israel and the conflicts between Muslims and Jews. Twenty years have changed Ahmed Rami. Today he believes in a peaceful political dialogue, provided that "all liberties are guaranteed in the bosom of a state governed by law".
Ahmed Rami: As an Islamist I must think globally and act locally. When I arrived in Sweden, I had soon noticed that our Moslem identity was always scoffed at. So I created "Radio Islam". I can tell you that in this radio I have never blackened my country, because I think we should not wash our dirty linen internationally in public. The themes dealt with in our radio are among other things the Palestinian problem, the Gulf war and the situation of Moslems all over the world.
As to the Palestinian problem I was drawn into a conflict with the Zionist lobby in Sweden and all over the world, and I have written some books in Swedish about it. The Jewish lobby managed to get me imprisoned for six months for "lack of respect for the Jewish people". This is in effect a combat with unequal weapons.
The royal statement of July 8, (in which political refugees are invited to return) do you feel it concerns you?
Ahmed Rami: I have a habit of only believing in deeds, not in words. If a statement is not followed by concrete action, it becomes meaningless. Of course I feel concerned about what is happening in my country. It might added that the Moroccan society is now passing through a decisive stage of its history. As to my personal situation, I am not an ordinary political refugee. I have directly or indirectly participated in two attempted coups d'état during the seventies (the attack on the royal palace in Skhirat July 10, 1971 and the attack on the aeroplane of Hassan II August 16, 1972), after being a militant of the UNFP. My case can only be treated at the highest level of military authority.
Your return to Morocco, is it imaginable under present conditions, and how?
Ahmed Rami: You must know that I do not make an imperative necessity of my return to Morocco. Of course it is my most ardent wish to be able to retrieve my people, particularly my mother and my brother, who fortunately have never been worried. Nor has my father, who incidentally had a quiet death in his home in Morocco two years ago. Because of my exile I was not able to see him a last time."
Are you determined to get back to your country?
Ahmed Rami: If you can guarantee my security and my freedom to express my opinions, I would take the first plane . You know, every exile is a suffering, but the suffering is less harsh, when the exiled is fighting for the realization of his ideals and convictions.
In other words, your return to Morocco still remains hypothetical?
Ahmed Rami: I repeat that I am not an ordinary political refugee, my case can only be treated at the highest level of military authority, meaning by the head of the State. My dream, however, is to be able to return - to a country ruled according to the principles of freedom and justice. If those in responsible positions so wish, Morocco could become a model for a mild and peaceful transition to democracy for the whole Arabic-Islamic community in the world.
The coups d'état are worse alternatives for a country. Today there is no sense in being grieved about what happened, it belongs to the past. But the conditions of oppression and corruption at that time were such that a coup d'état was the only way of effectively expressing dissatisfaction.
At that time, I was only 25 years old, thus young, impatient, dynamic and ardent. Like most youngsters of my generation I wanted to change the world, but how? Some people have tried to do it by way of ideological discussions, others, like me, by means of action. Don't forget that I was a part of the army, where one is more used to acting than to talking.
Then you did express yourselves by means of arms, was that a good solution?
Ahmed Rami: It was the worst solution. It is a sign of weakness on the part of our society, if there has been need for resorting to violence. But all this is history now. Don't force me to stir the past we have behind us. Now Islam represents to me a new moral engagement.
But these views, couldn't you always express them as a member of a political party in Morocco?
Ahmed Rami: The political parties in Morocco are hardly representative. There is a real rupture between these organizations and the Moroccan people. Besides, in Morocco one is not yet allowed to found The Party We like. This is not something I have fabricated but a real fact.
The problem has not so much to do with the form of the regime as with its nature and real intentions. The current political parties just exist for form's sake and constitute integral parts of the regime, which has produced them for the purpose of hiding its real nature. This regime - like all other Arabian regimes these days - has no legitimacy. That is the essential problem. Give us freedom of opinion, expression and organization (even for Islamists!), give us an authentic political pluralism, give us a real alternation - of any form - and call it whatever you like! And We'll find a proper Arabic word for it! We must define democracy as a method, a set of rules for the political game, rather than as a certain ideological content (Islam is our only ideology). Democracy is neutral method as mathematics and necessary for the good functioning of all human societies.
You are known for maintaining privileged relations with the Iranian regime...
Ahmed Rami: Quite right, at the end of my lawsuit, which attracted an important attention in the media, I was invited by the Iranians to go to Teheran. My cause was discussed at the highest level of the Islamic republic, and the parliament discussed the details of my sentence.
Has Iran financed your activities in Sweden?
Ahmed Rami: If I had ever received the smallest sum from the Iranians, believe me, the Jewish lobby in Sweden would not have hesitated to cry it from the house-tops. I have never received any donation from whoever. Radio Islam is financed by its listeners. My books have been printed by benevolent and wellknown Swedes. I have chosen this road so as not to be dependent on anyone and thus maintain my freedom of expression and criticism and my dignity as a free Moslem.
Do you keep up relations with Moroccan Islamists?
Ahmed Rami: I keep up relations with some of them, but I don't belong to any movement.
What keeps you from belonging to one Islamic movement or the other?
Ahmed Rami: My contact with them allows me to stay and listen to their thoughts. An Islamic revolution, enlightened and radical, is the only road to the salvation of our nation . The Islamistic movements are our only chance to realize this revolution. Today the Islamists seem to be the only ones, who offer resistance against cultural decadence . It cannot be denied, of course, that certain Islamic movements have not yet learned to occupy themselves with essentials first. If I am fighting for a re-awakening and renaissance of Islam and for the establishment of an Islamic state, then it is not for giving the power to stupid fanatics as some of those in Afghanistan and Kuwait, to intolerant people who do harm to Islam. Some of these "Islamists" know more about the seventh century than about the twentieth.
The goal of Islam is the liberation of human beings. In Islam freedom is the rule, prohibition the exception. In the ideal Islamic state that I recommend, the fundamental principle is that of a liberty warranting the pluralism of ideas, which is guided by the Koran, the Sunna and by common sense "Ijtihad". The Islamist movements still show a great lack of intelligent, enlightened and competent political cadres, capable of handling a real Islamic concern as well as the problems of our time. The only movement endowed with such a sturdy frame to a certain extent seems to be the Hezbollah in Lebanon. On three occasions I have met with its spiritual leader Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah , who shows the qualities of a great leader. In Lebanon there is a relatively democratic system, with a freedom of expression, which might be favourable to a sound political development and to the appearance of capable leaders. But this Lebanese democracy has not fallen down from the sky, it has been acquired in a heroic struggle.
There is a risk that some of the "Islamist" movements are carriers of the same malady they claim to combat. Incompetent and power-hungry "leaders" - produced by the current regimes - can easily infiltrate and use the secretiveness imposed on the movement to establish an internal dictatorship. To avoid this it is essential to allow the creation of various Islamist political parties and safeguard a free debate. The main enemies of our nations are the corrupt tyrannical regimes installed in our countries. Only the Islamists are capable of defying them, and by the experiences won in action the Islamists and their organizations will mature. The Islamic republic of Iran is a proof of this, being the only representative and legitimate state in the Moslem world.
Do you have political relations with other Moroccans in exile?
Ahmed Rami: I often come across such people, and I have friendly relations with Abdelmoumen Diouri . But my relations with Moroccans are not limited to exiles. On several occasions I have met Abderrahmane Youssoufi (the current prime minister) whom I estimate for his honesty.
What is your position as to the Sahara affair?
Ahmed Rami: My position has always been clear. I share the opinion of the people in Morocco concerning their rights in the Sahara. In my opinion even Mauritania and Algeria should unite with my homeland. If I were resident in Morocco, I would have been fighting side by side with my comrades for the unity of the Moslem countries and for the reunion of our provinces in the Sahara. I remember after leaving Morocco I was invited by president Boumedienne in Algeria. I was received with great pomp, and the president offered me a post as "military leader" of the "Polisario". My answer was this: "If I had wanted to prostitute myself for a state, I would never have left Morocco." In the course of events during my stay abroad I always refused to participate in meetings where there was a representative of the Polisario mercenaries .
was published in the Russian newspaper
Pravda, July 15, 1997:
Ahmed Rami's idealism
"It doesn't matter at all, what government the country has. In reality the power is held by those, who own and control the financial assets of the country and the mass media. All Medias are completely judaized."
- Ahmed Rami
After succeding in fleeing miraculously to Sweden, King Hassan II ordered that lieutenant Ahmed Rami was to be traced and brought back to Marocco. Rami had participated in at least two military coups aiming at abolishing the monarchy and founding an Islamic republic. The Moroccan secret service has not been able to execute the royal order.
Today this sympathetic, youthful and incredibly energetic man is one of the most popular persons in Sweden, but at the same time one of the most hated ones. His political views are discussed the Swedish parliament, and also - they tell us - in government circles.
Rami has written and published four thick books. In these he gives convincing reasons for his opinion that in Sweden - as well as everywhere else in the West - the bases of national life are undermined. The Western countries are in reality ruled by conspiring mafiosos, who have nothing in common with true democracy but are trying to carry into effect their malevolent aims, the introduction of a totalitarian "New World Order". Rami, who today is a Swedish citizen, never tires of repeating this in the transmissions of Radio Islam.
Naturally views of this kind are causing a noticeable irritation in the Establishment. A few years ago Rami, an (Arab and consequently himself a Semite) was prosecuted for antisemitism (!) and sentenced to prison, where he had to stay for six months. Curiously enough he has turned out to be the only political prisoner in Sweden.
In spite of all this Ahmed Rami is not a broken man and has in no way lost his spirit. The prison sentence has probably only strengthened his conviction of being right. The transmissions of Radio Islam continue, and the courageous Moroccan has no intention of giving up his struggle. To him it is important that "people in all countries should have the right of being independent and not having to submit to the oligarchy which has usurped the power for themselves".
What then is the basis of his conviction? What gives him the strength to say aloud what most people not even dare to think? Has he understood against whom he has lifted his hand, whom he has challenged? When I met Ahmed Rami, I could of course not refrain from asking these questions.
"Since my early youth I have stuck to my Islamic conviction. I have always been striving for equality and justice. For this reason I joined the Moroccan "People's Union", founded by Ben-Barka, who was later murdered by the secret police. King Hassan II is totally responsible for his death. He rules the country with medieval cruelty since several decades and is mainly a puppet of foreign powers, in the first place Israel and the USA, which is dominated by it.
You hear sometimes that Morocco is a "democratic monarchy". By that is meant - as usual today - in reality a judaeocracy. You can criticize whomever you want, only not those holding the real power. They always keep themselves hidden, and they must not be named at all.
The king cannot take a step without the Jew André Azoulay, a Zionist "adviser" from Canada. Azoulay - and people like him - now make the decisions in matters of state. Education, mass media and the whole of social life are regulated by these gentlemen, not by the Moroccans themselves. They decide upon the direction and upon what ideals the citizens should allow themselves to be guided by in their daily life. In this Arab country prevails the real Zionist censorship, which is called "democracy". The free will of the people and the free word simply does not exist. As a matter of fact, my life-experience has convinced me that the situation in other countries today is not much better.
In Sweden the brainwashing goes full speed ahead, and anti-Swedish valuations are forced upon people. Only the totally blind cannot notice this. The effect of Zionist intellectual terrorism and disinformation is that people deny the existence of a Jewish power at the same time as it scares them out of their wits! The Swedes can be proud of their high standard of living and rightly so, but they stubbornly refuse to realize what has been taken away from them.
The power over banks, mass media and commercial and industrial life is in the hands of a small group of "the chosen people". All education in schools and universities is carried on in a way, which is favourable to the "master race". In addition to this, the history of events not too far behind us is interpreted in the interest of "the peculiar people of the Lord". But the real truth is quite different from the one shown on TV or taught at school. And what kind of freedom, independence and democracy is this, when the power is in the hands of a few? Such is the situation in Sweden, too.
In the former government, the very important post of coordination minister was held by Jan Nygren, a representative of the Zionist mafia. In no way did he conceal that he felt like being the master of Sweden. In the "Jewish Chronicle" he published an article, in which he quite openly used the expression "my Jewish Sweden". This person had a lot of influence about who was to be in the government!
Now Nygren is out of the government, but in return they got another member of "the chosen people" as holder of the important post of assistant finance minister, Leif Pagrotsky. Today he is also minister of foreign commerce and as such an important representative of "the golden international"."
Under what government - social democratic or conservative - does the influence of this minority most assert itself?
"It doesn't matter at all, what government the country has. The difference between right and left is all a sham. In reality the power is held by those, who own and control the financial assets of the country and the mass media. I say this openly: In Sweden all political parties are completely judaized.
The actual battle is not between right and left, as people believe, but between different Zionist clans. They do not fight for the best of the country, but for their own personal gain."
Are there many in Sweden, who share your views?
"No, not so many. You see, under such a hard intellectual terrorism it is very difficult for most people to pick up courage. Probably it's their primitive instinct for self-preservation that works. Everybody is fond of good things to eat and drink and wants to be weighed down as little as possible by anxieties. But still many people react positively to the transmissions of Radio Islam. I get tens if not hundreds of letters, among them several from other countries. Thanks to Internet it has become easier to communicate and exchange information. I hope to be able to find people in Russia too who share my views. The new slave-owners continue to fear your country, even if they have managed to break it to pieces."
Wouldn't you like to travel to Russia?
"I think it would be extremely dangerous. In your country criminality today is worse than in the United States. According to the information I have, many anti-Zionists have died under mysterious circumstances. Either they have died during an ordinary medical examination (although they have never had any problem with their health), or they have been run into and killed by a car, and some have been found hanged. In no case the murderers have been caught, or rather they haven't been searched for.
Swedish newspapers (and you know who owns or controls them) constantly write about your country as a "menace". It is pictured as a paradise for the mafia and as a menace to Sweden. Russia has always been and will always remain the greatest menace to "the chosen people", which will always fear it, even if it now seems to be defeated and hardly capable of breathing after so many experiments by these elected superhumans.
I draw that conclusion when reading the anti-Russian articles, which keep cropping up in the Swedish press. Some of them are written by a goy ( a non-Jew and non-human according to Judaism), Israel's useful idiot in Sweden, Per Ahlmark. It is quite obviously no coincidence that Israel in his honour has called a newly-planted forest after him - on land stolen from the Palestinians. Later Ahlmark has also been appointed a human being ("Ben Adam") by the Jewish congregation in Denmark!"
Are you not afraid of living in Sweden?
"A believer has nothing to fear. I am used to threats, and just now a violent campaign is going on against me and Radio Islam. But in Stockholm you can still say what you think, even if you have not so many adherents. The maffiosos all over the world today regard themselves as victors. In their view the matter is already settled, and obviously you cannot feel safe anywhere, if you speak the truth.
Even today I have received a letter containing the following: "You dirty Arab swine, what do you want to accomplish? We laugh at your miserable efforts. We enjoy listening to your transmission after a bottle of vodka. We have the whole world in our hands. And when we want, you will disappear from the face of the earth like a fly, and nobody will say a thing, and not even notice your disappearance."
But what is it you are really striving for?
"I am striving for what in my opinion every man should be striving for, namely freedom and justice. In this world, created by Allah, nobody should have enormous privileges, and that includes the Zionist mafia, which has appropriated for itself immeasurable wealth through lies, insidiousness, fraud and trickery. Let Palestinians, Swedes, Russians, Arabs and other peoples be the equals of those, who have declared themselves to be the chosen ones and superior to all other peoples.!
I am a Muslim, and that means that I am against all privileges, particularly those which are solely built on power and the law of the jungle. I hope I have expressed myself simply and clearly, and that you understand what kind of people dislike my thinking and doings."
Ahmed Rami cannot be bought. For this reason he is hated and dangerous to all those who advocate "the New World Order", both in Sweden and elsewhere.
Valentin Prussakov, Pravda.