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Sanctions Showdown With Ethiopia: The Wrath of Biden

Author’s Note:

The Biden administration is at the end of its wits in its policy towards Ethiopia.

Over the past two years, the Biden administration left no stones unturned to help the terrorist TPLF win an outright military victory against the Ethiopian Government in three campaigns. Failed!

The Biden administration mobilized the European Union, the United Nations and certain Western countries to pressure Ethiopia to submit to TPLF demands. Failed!

The Biden administration coordinated and organized the Western press-titute media to demonize, stigmatize, ostracize and dehumanize Ethiopians and their democratically elected government. Failed!

The Biden administration worked with key members of the US Congress to sponsor punitive legislation to impose crippling sanctions on Ethiopia. Failed!

The Biden administration terminated Ethiopia from participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act regime throwing out tens of thousands of thousands of poor Ethiopians out of work. Failed! (No doubt those factory workers, mostly women, were thrown into unemployment and poverty. Biden can chalk that up as his victory!)

Come hell or high water,

LET THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION KNOW, “ETHIOPIA IS NOT BUILT TO BREAK!”

PROSPERITY AWAITS THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY!

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Is the Ethiopian Government negotiating with terrorist TPLF or the Biden Administration?

Duplicity comes from the Late Latin word duplicitās, meaning “doubleness” or twofold.

Applied to Biden administration’s diplomacy (a/k/a “dumbplomacy”) in Ethiopia, it means pretending to play the role of concerned mediator and arbiter while secretly conspiring and working like the devil in hell to save the terrorist TPLF from military defeat and restore it to power in Ethiopia.

Since terrorist TPLF attacked Ethiopia’s Northern Command on November 4, 2022, and its defeat shortly thereafter, individuals soon-to-be top-level members of the incoming Biden administration (including Susan Rice, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan) have been using the language of diplomatic duplicity to enable the TPLF to murder, plunder and gain military victory in Ethiopia and gain international legitimacy.

I have documented that meticulously in previous commentaries.

Almost two years to the week of the initial TPLF terrorist attack on November 4, 2020, it is now showtime and showdown time.

On October 21, 2022, three days before the start of peace talks between the Ethiopian Government and representatives of the terrorist organization in South Africa, a black woman, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield was given the dirty job of throwing down the gauntlet to Ethiopia. (Reminds me of the duping of Gen. Colin Powell with his UN statement on the bogus weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.)

Thomas-Greenfield fired a shot across the bow threatening “the US is prepared to take appropriate measures” if the Ethiopian Government and terrorist TPLF do not reach a resolution to the conflict.”

In her October 21, 2022 statement, Thomas-Greenfield hectored:

The situation in Ethiopia is spiraling out of control. The social fabric is being ripped apart, and civilians are paying a horrific price. Thousands of Ethiopian, Eritrean, and TPLF forces are engaged in active combat. The scale of the fighting and deaths rival what we’re seeing in Ukraine, and innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire. Over two years of conflict, as many as half a million – half a million – people have died…

She concluded, “The United States remains prepared to take appropriate measures against those who obstruct a resolution of this conflict, and we are determined to have those who commit human rights abuses held to account.”

The Ethiopian Government’s core demands in the peace talks are the demands of any reasonable sovereign government in the world facing the scourge of terrorism.

Before formal peace talks can begin, the Ethiopian government insists the TPLF must 1) disarm, 2) demobilize, 3) demilitarize and 4) end all armed resistance by itself and its proxy terrorists throughout the country.

Kindeya Gebrehiwot, terrorist TPLFspokesman stated three demands: 1) immediate cessation of hostilities, 2) unrestricted humanitarian access and 3) withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray.

Unstated for public consumption but likely are demands for general amnesty for its leaders and fighters, safe passage out of Ethiopia and decertification of TPLF as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian Government.

Not surprisingly, the three demands of the terrorist TPLF are also the exact same demands of the Biden administration.

Both the TPLF and Biden administration are using the same playbook and coordinating behind the scenes to pressure Ethiopia into accepting those conditions.

On October 12, 2022, in a “Joint Statement on Resumption of Hostilities in Northern Ethiopia”, Australia, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, called for an end to

military offensives, agree to a cessation of hostilities, allow for unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated settlement through peace talks and withdrawal of Eritrean forces.

The aforementioned three TPLF conditions are also core elements of bills introduced in the US Congress:  S.3199  and S.Res 97 in the US Senate and HR 6600 in the US House of Representatives.

The cynical selection of Linda Thomas-Greenfield to deliver the sanctions ultimatum

Why was Thomas-Greenfield chosen to throw the sanctions gauntlet at Ethiopia?

Her diplomatic involvement in the conflict is negligible, not much more than reading prepared speeches for her at the UN and tweeting from time to time.

Mike Hammer taking selfies with top terrorist TPLF leaders

The man who should have delivered the ultimate was Mike Hammer, the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.

Thomas-Greenfield was saddled to deliver the sanctions ultimatum because the Biden administration wanted a black face to deliver the bad news to a black African population.

Thomas-Greenfield was given the task of doing the dirty job of issuing the ultimatum that Mike Hammer, Samantha Power and Susan Rice and Antony Blinken should be giving since they are the architects of the entire conflict.

When sanctions are imposed and the ***t hits the fan in Ethiopia, it is going to be Thomas-Greenfield’s black mug that is going to be splashed all over the Ethiopian media and global social media.

Thomas-Greenfield will be the object of hate, derision, contempt, ridicule, scorn, outrage and insult.

Thomas-Greenfield will be the scapegoat released into the cyber wilderness to atone for the sins of the Biden administration.

Thomas-Greenfield will be the lightning rod for the complete failure of Biden’s policy in the Horn of Africa.

Hammer, Power, Rice and Blinken will sit and chuckle having made Thomas-Greenfield a sucker.

What is behind the Biden administration/TPLF demand for immediate cessation of hostilities?

The Biden administration insists on an immediate cessation of hostilities because the TPLF is getting hammered on the battlefield and is losing on all fronts. Its command and control has been vanquished and the mostly child soldiers troops of the TPLF are totally destroyed.

Unless there is an immediate ceasefire, the TPLF will go the way of the dinosaurs, become permanently extinct. If the TPLF becomes extinct, the Biden administration loses its most potent weapon to destabilize and destroy Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

On June 28, 2021, the Ethiopian Government declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew from Tigray region.

The Biden administration did NOT call or pressure the TPLF to join in the unilateral ceasefire.

Instead, the Biden administration worked behind the scenes to legitimize the cause of the terrorist TPLF using the Western press-titute media, think tankers and members of Congress.

The TPLF took the unilateral ceasefire declaration to regroup, rearm itself and launch a second devastating attack on Ethiopia.

By November 2021, the TPLF had “pushed to within a day’s drive of the capital Addis Ababa and were threatening to march on the city of 5 million people.”

In March 2022, the Ethiopian Government agreed to a ceasefire in the form of a “humanitarian truce” to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid to the region. The TPLF broke that ceasefire by launching a third attack on Ethiopia in late August 2022.

The Biden administration NEVER put any meaningful pressure on the TPLF to abide by a ceasefire or to agree to peace talks.

Indeed, TPLF leaders described peace talks and negotiations with the Ethiopian Government as a “sick joke.”

The top military leader of the TPLF opined, “The war is finished. The conflict is getting finished in war. It is being finished in the war. With whom are we going to negotiate?”

When the TPLF forcibly looted over one-half million liters of fuel set for humanitarian purposes, USAID boss Samantha Power tweeted “we strongly condemn the TPLF theft” and will they please “return the fuel and respect humanitarian operations.”

If the fuel had been looted by the Ethiopian Government, all hell would have broken loose and they would have mobilized the Western press-titute media into a frenzy proclaiming bloody murder.

The Biden administration’s con game of “ceasefire” and “peace talks” has clear strategic objectives:

1) Legitimize the TPLF (and strip off its designation as a terrorist organization) as a sovereign or semi-sovereign entity and affirm its capacity to negotiate.

2) Rehabilitate the image of the TPLF from a terrorist organization to a legitimate political opposition through a ceasefire/peace negotiation.

3) Buy time for the TPLF to rearm and regroup by dragging out ceasefire negotiations.

4) Use ceasefire negotiations and inclusive dialogue as conditions to open international borders in the name of accessing humanitarian aid and enable the TPLF to resupply itself with weapons from outside sources, specifically from Sudan, Egypt and the European Union.

5) Use ceasefire negotiations and inclusive dialogue as a first step towards restoration of terrorist TPLF to power.

6) Create an opportunity for the Biden administration to play kingmaker and legitimize its role as a “neutral mediator” in the ceasefire negotiations by offering financial and other incentives. In doing so, the U.S. gains unfettered power to meddle in internal Ethiopian politics and dictate terms of surrender to the Ethiopian Government.

7) By forcing PM Abiy’s government to the negotiating table with the TPLF, the Biden administration aims to show the people of Ethiopia PM Abiy is a weak and ineffective leader thereby turning the population against him.

8) By forcing the Ethiopian government to ceasefire and peace negotiations, show the world PM Abiy’s government is the aggressor and the TPLF victim.

9) Make Ethiopia the whipping bad boy of Africa. If any African country tries to buck the U.S. or refuses to kiss the Biden administration’s rear end, it will be crushed with sanctions the world has never seen.

10) Prolong the ceasefire negotiations as an effective weapon of attrition. Bleed Ethiopia financially. Trap and bog the Ethiopian Government in a ceasefire/dialogue negotiation and drag them out indefinitely thereby frustrating the Ethiopia Government and the people of Ethiopia. The longer the ceasefire negotiations take, the more legitimacy and public support the Ethiopian Government will lose among the Ethiopian people.

11) Use the ceasefire negotiations and inclusive dialogue to secure full amnesty and immunity from prosecution for all TPLF leaders and exonerate them from the crimes of humanity they committed.

12) Use ceasefire and peace negotiations to create the opportunity for the deployment of a UN chapter VII force tasked with a variety of duties allowing maximum foreign intervention in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.

13) Use  ceasefire/peace negotiations to reintegrate the TPLF terrorist forces into the Ethiopian armed forces.

14) Use ceasefire and peace negotiations to force the Ethiopian Government to share power with the terrorist TPLF.

15) Ultimately restore the TPLF to power through the clever use of ceasefire and peace negotiations.

The tactical approaches to achieve the strategic goals are to:

1) Give lip service to African Union mediation between the Government of Ethiopia and the terrorist TPLF.

2) Buy off African leaders to apply pressure on Ethiopia.

3) Use the AU as a weapon to pressure Ethiopia.

4) Seek observer and facilitator status during the ceasefire and peace negotiations.

5) Offer to underwrite the entire ceasefire/peace negotiations and dominate the process.

6) Outright hijack the AU mediation process.

The most important reason for the ceasefire demand is obvious: To give terrorist TPLF a fourth chance to attack, murder and plunder. Nothing else!

What is behind the Biden administration/TPLF demand for unrestricted humanitarian access?

Between March and August 2022 when the TPLF attacked, there was unfettered humanitarian access to Tigray. The World Food Program reported, “the humanitarian truce has allowed WFP and our partners to reach almost 5 million people in Tigray.”

Despite full cooperation by the Ethiopian Government, the Biden administration has turned a blind eye and deaf ears to acts of robbery and burglary of USAID grain warehouse.

USAID mission Director in Ethiopia Sean Jones stated:

What we do have proof of is that several of our warehouses have been looted and completely emptied in the areas, particularly Amhara where the TPLF soldiers have gone into. Yes, we know that is a fact.

On August 25, 2022, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme reported,

a group of armed men entered WFP’s compound in Mekelle and forcibly seized 12 tankers filled with over half a million litres of fuel.  This fuel had recently been purchased by WFP and arrived just days before it was stolen.

The strategic importance of “unfettered access “has been clear to the Ethiopian Government and other independent observers.

It is through “unfettered access” that the Biden administration has sought to supply and reinforce the TPLF forces with food and weapons.

The Biden administration, in concert with Egypt and Sudan, has been airlifting weapons to the TPLF for some time. On August 24, 2022, one of those planes was shot down by the Ethiopian Airforce.

What is the demand behind the Biden administration/TPLF demand behind the withdrawal of Eritrean forces from Tigray?

The Biden administration will traverse the universe to demonize, stigmatize and ostracize Eritrea.

On December 3, 2009, Susan Rice, the Princess of Darkness and Biden’s current domestic policy advisor, masterfully hoodwinked the United Nations Security Council into adopting Resolution 1907 imposing an arms embargo and other sanctions on Eritrea accusing the Eritrean Government of aiding Al-Shabaab terrorism in Somalia.

On May 25, 1999, Rice testifying before the House Subcommittee on Africa falsely and without a shred of evidence accused Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki as a “sponsor of state terrorism”.

Rice, a dyed-in-the-wool terrorist TPLF groupie (“American woyane”) is a longtime supporter of the terrorist TPLF. She coordinated the hit on Eritrea in 2009 as a personal favor for the late TPLF thugmaster Meles Zenawi.

What the Biden administration is demanding of Eritrea is simple. The TPLF can attack, murder and plunder in Eritrea but Eritreans are forbidden to defend themselves against terrorist TPLF. .

The Biden administration is telling Eritrea Article 51 of the UN Charter ( “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”) does not apply to it because a terrorist group has superior rights than a UN member state.

The Biden administration is telling Eritrea Resolution 1373 (2001) does not apply to Eritrea because terrorist TPLF has superior rights than Eritrea.

Under the doctrine of “ state responsibility”  in international law, a government has an obligation not to allow its territory to be used by non-state actors or terrorist organization to carry out armed attacks against its neighbors. But Eritrea does not have that right!

As the Biden administration criticizes Eritrea, it overlooks the US’ dubious history of going after those it considers terrorist throughout the world.

In the 1980s, the U.S. backed a right-wing ragtag political group/army called “Contras” opposed to the Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction Government in Nicaragua (based in Honduras and Costa Rica) which came to power in 1979 after the Nicaraguan Revolution.

The hallmark of the Contra war against the Nicaraguan government was massive human rights violations and use of terrorist tactics.

The Reagan administration pumped up a massive campaign of white propaganda to alter public opinion in favor of the contras in the U.S. and in Nicaragua while secretly encouraging the Contras to attack civilian targets.

From day 1, the Contras received financial and military support from the United States government, without which they could not survive. After US support was banned by Congress, the Reagan administration covertly continued it.

These illegal activities culminated in the Iran–Contra affair.

The Contras killed thousands of innocent Nicaraguans but they did not win their war against the Nicaraguan government.

That is how the U.S. managed and directed the civil war in Nicaragua for over 10 years!

In 1984, Nicaragua won its case against the US for its support of a terrorist insurgency at the International Court of Justice.

Though the U.S. refused to participate in the merits phase of the proceedings, the ICJ determined the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the Contras in their terrorist actions against the government of Nicaragua and by mining that country’s  harbors.

Nicaragua was awarded reparations.

However, the U.S. blocked enforcement of the judgment by the United Nations Security Council using its veto power and prevented Nicaragua from obtaining compensation.

There are countless other documented instances of U.S. intervention to instigate coups and chaos throughout the world.

The US has struck terrorist safe houses in Syria under the doctrine of “hot pursuit” in international law.

The US has deployed Special Forces to pursue foreign jihadis fleeing from Iraq and elsewhere into Syria and others from crossing into Iraq and carrying out attacks against U.S. troops.

Obama as part of US counterterrorism strategy used drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere on more than 540 occasions vastly expanding and normalizing the use of armed drones for counterterrorism and close air support operations in non-battlefield setting.

Since the 1967 War, Israel has used the doctrine of “pre-emptive attack” in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories asserting a right to strike at will, indeed with the full support of the US. Israel’s strategic pre-emptive doctrine aims to 1) to deter attacks, and 2) to deliver an irrecoverable defeat against its enemies should deterrence fail.

The US maintained a substantial naval military presence in The Philippine since it captured the islands from Spain in 1898.

Despite demands by successive Philippine administrations and popular protests, the US did not withdraw from the Subic Bay naval base until 1992, almost a century later.

The fact of the matter is that for the Biden administration, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

When Eritrea tries to defend itself from terrorists, the Biden administration applies a double standard!

But the Trump administration got it right from day 1.

When terrorist TPLF attacked Eritrea with missiles on November 15, 2020, Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs,  tweeted:

Nagy clearly explained the motive of the TPLF attack:

 

Audio Player

 

…It is important to remember here there is no equivalency.  There are not two states which have been belligerent with each other. You have a sovereign government on the one hand Ethiopia, and on the other you have the region hope which the basically started a conflict against the government.  It is interesting the Ethiopia Constitution has provisions for a region to secede from Ethiopia but, you know, the best evidence is the Tigrean leadership did not want to secede from Ethiopia. They wanted to use the opportunity basically to overthrow the prime minister and return to the type of privilege that they had enjoyed within the Ethiopian state for the last 27 years…

Sanctions Showtime/Showdown: Time to fish or cut bait!

The ceasefire/peace negotiations ain’t going nowhere fast!

It was a DOA (dead on arrival) ceasefire/peace negotiations.

It will be a DOD (dead on departure) ceasefire/peace negotiations.

The threat of “appropriate measures” was directly and squarely focused on the Ethiopian Government as the TPLF does not have a pot to piss in let along become the object of sanctions. Tracing the $30 plus billion it stole from Ethiopia over nearly three decades will be an impossible task.

During the heydays of nineteenth-century imperialism, the US and certain European powers would bully and coerce smaller nations by displaying their superior military prowess parading their fleet of warships off the coast.

The mere display of awesome firepower would intimidate smaller nations into giving in to their demands. That was called “gunboat diplomacy.”

In the twenty-first century, the US, the European Union and certain European powers have replaced gunboat diplomacy with sanctions diplomacy.

Sanctions diplomacy has three basic objective: 1) change behavior and decision-making calculus of a targeted government/entity; 2) limit/prevent the targeted government/entity from engaging in disapproved activities and policies, and 3) to stigmatize, demonize and ostracize targeted governments/entities by imposing travel bans, freezing assets, etc.

On September 17, 2021, Biden issued Executive Order 14046 “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.

On January 1, 2022, Biden “terminated Ethiopia from the AGOA trade preference program due to gross violations of internationally recognized human rights being perpetrated by the Government of Ethiopia.”

The Biden administration falsely claimed to have “delinked” Trump’s cutoff of US foreign aid to Ethiopia over Ethiopia’s refusal to sell its Grand Renaissance Dam to Egypt down the Nile River.

Today, there are some 40 countries under US sanctions.

Whether sanctions “work” is a debatable question. At best they “usually have only modest effects.”

So, what does the Biden administration, or more specifically Susan Rice, the Princess of Darkness have in mind for Ethiopia sanctions?

The list of crippling sanctions the Biden administration can impose in support of its proxy terrorist fighters in Ethiopia include any or all of the following:

Use its power to block/force international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to deny new loans, balance of payments, etc.  and renege on old ones (that was announced on (5/27/21) at a TPLF press conference-cum-Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing);

Ban private financing of trade and investment in Ethiopia (who cares? China remains the largest FDI in Ethiopia.)

Impose restrictions on international transport, personal travel, and communication.

Deny access to U.S. financial markets which presumably Ethiopia uses to conduct international transactions.

Deny access to the U.S. banking system.

Restrict foreign direct investment in Ethiopia.

Ban trade promotion activities and imposition of tariffs on current imports/exports (No big deal: Ethiopia primarily exports coffee, leather, and leather products to the United States. The vast majority of Ethiopia’s imports come from Asia (62.3%) followed by Europe (21.4%), the United States (10%).

Disrupt  access to U.S. and European Union-based financing institutions to  create shortages in the availability of credit for the Ethiopian Government and firms (announced (5/27/21) at the TPLF press conference-cum-Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Freeze any U.S. assets of Ethiopian businesses and officials linked to the conflict. (Not a problem. Only TPLF thieves have any money worth freezing in America. But more power to the U.S. freezing millions of Ethiopian dollars deposited in American dollars. Nothing will make the Ethiopian Government happier. American law says stolen money from national treasuries deposited in American banks goes back to the country of origin.)

Pressuring other countries to cutoff trade with Ethiopia.

Deny Ethiopia access to U.S. trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP);

Put an embargo on arms sales and pressure other countries to do the same (Ethiopia is not buying arms from the U.S. Remember! President Jimmy Carter claiming “human rights” refused to deliver arms paid for by Ethiopia. He ended up being a one term president. Biden will be a one-term president too and lose the 2022 midterm elections to the Republicans in a historic and crushing defeat.  That is a prophesy. (Which one of prophesies over the past 15 years has not come to pass?)

Deny export price subsidies and financial assistance to businesses, low interest loans, subsidized loan guarantees, or project insurance available from the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Commodity Credit (there ain’t much of that with Ethiopia).

Whatever!

Biden’s Sanctions could make life harder but it will not break Ethiopia

Ethiopia is not built to break!

Biden can do whatever the hell he wants with his sanctions.

I have made my personal position on sanctions crystal clear to Thomas-Greenfield in my October 27. 2022 tweet.

The fact of the matter is that no amount of sanctions by the Biden administration can break Ethiopia because Ethiopia is not built to break!

Paraphrasing the lyrics of the late great Whitney Houston’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”:

We had nowhere to turn, nowhere to go
Lost sight of our dreams
Thought it would be the end of us
With the US, EU, UN and terrorists breathing down our necks.

We thought we’d never make it through
We had no hope to hold on to
We, we thought we would break
It took us a while to learn Ethiopia was not built to break.

We didn’t know our own strength
And we clashed and crashed with TPLF terrorists and their paymasters
We faltered and staggered in the face of crippling sanctions
We tumbled but we did not crumble.

We got through all the pain of brothers and sisters we lost
We didn’t know our own strength
Survived our darkest hour
With our faith and our unity kept intact.

We picked ourselves back up
Held our bludgeoned heads up high
Stood tall and strong ‘cause We were not built to break
No! No! No! Ethiopia was not built to break.

We just didn’t know our own strength
Found hope in our hearts
We found the light to life and our way out of the dark
Found all that we need, here inside of our hearts, OUR ETHIOPIA.

History will show that’s how we survived Biden’s sanctions in our darkest hour
And they thought we’d break
Now they know we found our own strength
Let the world know, “Ethiopia is not built to break.”

LET BIDEN AND THE WORLD KNOW, “ETHIOPIA IS NOT BUILT TO BREAK!”

PROSPERITY AWAITS THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY!

 

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