✚ General Patton, Hassan II's Vizier

General Patton, Hassan II's Vizier

Moroccans will appreciate this little nugget unearthed by Michael Collins Dunn here:

Patton's attitudes toward the local Arab population were not particularly enlightened, and I may write about that later, but he seems to have enjoyed his interaction with royalty. He noted that when the Sultan gave him the Grand Cross of Morocco, it was an award "he had never seen a Frenchman wear"; when he had a display of weapons for the Sultan and invited him to ride in his armored car, he noted that "he insisted that I sit beside him ... the first time a Sultan has ever let any foreigner sit beside him." (Patton Papers II, 151). The Sultan had never let the French sit next to him? How would Patton know this? But clearly he felt flattered. He noted of the same occasion that the Prince (the future Hassan II) "told me that when he is Sultan, I am to be his Grand Vizier and we will go everywhere in  a tank."

King Hassan of Morocco and the Queen

I found this video fascinating, and a reminder that, far from what remains prevalent thinking of Morocco, King Hassan was neither particularly sophisticated nor charming (he could be on occasion, perhaps) and little more than a tinpot despot who enriched himself on the back of his country. Not to mention, of course, his disastrous Sahara policy, his human rights abuses, his debasement of politics, etc.