I agree — his analysis makes sense. In the ways he describes, Go and Through the Desert have little to do with each other. However, I still feel a lot like playing Go when I play Through the Desert. So much so, that if I want to describe the feeling I get when playing Through the Desert, it’s simply easiest for me to say “it’s like multiplayer Go”.
Why is that? While the territory play is nothing like in Go, I still feel the game develops in a similar way, as your initial camel placements become actual territory. That mental connection is pretty strong for me, thus making Through the Desert feel enough like Go for me to make the comparison.