Aklog Birara (Dr)
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head.”
The Bible, in the spirit of King David
Whenever I ask my close relatives and friends in Ethiopia how they are, they always express their gratitude to the Almighty God. God has always sided with Ethiopia at times of its greatest need. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its strategic ally the Oromo Liberation Army/Shinne are godless and soulless. Death and destruction are in their genes.
The Government of the United States must make a choice: side with Ethiopia now or allow terrorists to cause implosion in Ethiopia, the Horn and Eastern Africa. If implosion occurs, there is no military force that can contain its devastating impacts throughout the region.
For decades, including when it was in power, I was aware that the TPLF used its intelligence network, military engineers, and specialized companies to import and hide armaments in numerous underground silos and bunkers throughout Tigray and in occupied Amhara lands.
I will leave aside the ethical and or moral question of whether the Tigrean poor were given the option by the TPLF to access adequate water, shelters and food or the acquisition of armaments that will fuel perpetual war? What occurred is the later. If you opt for war that you cannot win; then you impoverish your people.
I propose this. The Government of the United States must be alarmed by the recent discovery of huge quantities of arms buried underground near the border with Eritrea. It is understood that armament caches are hidden in numerous places including Ethiopia’s heartlands, towns, and cities. I commend the Eritrean army for this discovery.
In the light of the above and given the tens of billions of dollars siphoned off from the Ethiopian poor by the TPLF over three decades, “Why is the Biden Administration reluctant to acknowledge that the warmongering TPLF and its strategic ally the OLA/Shinne are terrorists?”
Is it not contradictory and hypocritical to fight Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, or other terrorist cells on the one hand; and give a clean slate to the TPLF/OLA/Shinne that have committed horrendous crimes against humanity?
If they are terrorists, there will not be peace, stability or human security in Ethiopia, the Horn or Eastern Africa as long as these incurable cancers are allowed to exist and persist. This is the reason why the Biden Administration must now abandon the TPLF/OLA Shinne and side with Ethiopia.
I understand fully why the Biden Administration is “Sabre rattling” by deploying a significant military contingent from Kentucky and Virginia to the Horn of Africa. It may be because the USA does not wish to see Ethiopia implode. It may be because the Cold War in Africa (the China and US interface) is intensifying at a faster pace than anyone thought possible. It may be that there are forces that we do not know that are ready to trigger an all-out civil war in Ethiopia. There are too many unknowns here. Let me give the benefit of the doubt to the Biden Africa team that the USA will not allow Ethiopia to implode. The proof is in doing the right thing for the right reason. The right thing to do is to abandon the TPLF and side with Ethiopia.
What ever the reasons behind the buffeting of US forces in Djibouti, there is one significant social and human factor that must not be underestimated. For the first time since the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopians are united against the TPLF/OLA/Shinne and their foreign benefactors and enablers. Tens of millions across the spectrum agree that Ethiopia’s survival is at stake.
This is another reason the Biden Administration must be bold enough to abandon the TPLF/OLF/Shinne and side with the Ethiopian people. In the long-term. Ethiopians united offer the best alternative to defeat terrorism and extremism. The Biden Administration must recognize that Ethiopian girls, mothers, and youth have a personal stake in fighting terrorism and in saving Ethiopia from implosion. Saving Ethiopia from implosion and from the destructive assault by terrorists is no longer an Amhara or Oromo or Tigrean or Somali matter. It is shared responsibility or an all-Ethiopian matter.
Why Western media is shameful and shameless
I find it shameful that so called democratic and Christian West is equally shameless, reckless, and sinfully sinister. I say this with sadness because their affinity to the TPLF is no longer debatable. They have adopted its misinformation in toto. By all measurements, they are as determined as the TPLF to unseat the duly elected Government of Ethiopia. They have dismissed TPLF’s treasonous act and its acts of terrorism.
I propose firmly that Ethiopia is fighting Africa’s war against neocolonialism and imperialism. This is a Pan-African hybrid war for which Ethiopians are paying with their lives and expending immense financial and material resources. It is up to the Government of the United States to be firm and declare that it does not support a hybrid war against Ethiopia.
In this regard, I commend Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed for leading the military effort to save Ethiopia from implosion. In the process he has the chance to lay a solid foundation for the current and future generations of Black Africans to say “NO MORE” to Neo colonialism and Imperialism. This battle cry initiated by Ethiopians abroad and at home is taking roots across Black Africa. Pan-African youth are providing it intellectual fodder and institutionalizing it across the continent and in the Caribbean.
Many Ethiopians in the Diaspora are contributing their part. I applaud patriotic Ethiopians Tamagne Beyene, Neamin Zeleke and others for meeting their obligations to their Motherland through direct engagement and personal sacrifice.
The rest of us in the Diaspora who enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can no longer afford to critique those at home who are making the ultimate sacrifice. Our obligation is to set aside non-strategic differences for now; and to coordinate what we do abroad with priorities in the home front.
For example, we can start identifying African American, immigrants from Black Africa and the Caribbean, Americans who have served in Ethiopia in various capacities etc. and begin a grassroots level campaign and expose what their government is doing in Ethiopia.
Talking Points to Consider
I shall highlight critical talking points not yet conveyed to the American people.
Start with the Biden Administration’s misapplication of America’s democratic values.
If the West led by the USA is committed to democracy “Why would it sponsor and support the overthrow of an elected Government in Ethiopia?”
I join Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Karen Bass of California and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, both democrats for condemning the widely held view among black people of a US Government led effort to topple the duly elected Government of Ethiopia. Representative Karen Bass issued the following statement:
“I denounce the threat to ‘oust Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – through political negotiation or military force if necessary – and install a transitional government’ made by the alliance of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front with the Oromo Liberation Army and other opposition groups throughout Ethiopia. I cannot emphasize in any greater terms that there is no military solution to this conflict, which threatens not only the territorial integrity and governance of Ethiopia, but also, also significantly weakens the safety and security of the entire region.”
Why the Biden Administration’s pro-TPLF position must change?
The Biden Administration is supportive of theTPLF. The reasons behind this policy are primarily geopolitical. I emphasize the following:
- Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia are strategic countries that affect trade flow through the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Middle East. The small country of Djibouti hosts American, Chinese, French, Saudi and other naval bases. The USA has a large army contingent that is ready to assert American’s security interests in the region. The announcement during the Thanksgiving Holiday Season that the US plans to deploy an army contingent from Virginia and Kentucky to the Horn is an indicator of the escalation of conflict in Africa. The only major conflict in the Horn is the one initiated by the TPLF with a nod from the Biden Administration.
- Behind huge investments in Djibouti is the desire of superpowers to dominate the Red Sea area at any cost. Growing friendship and collaboration among Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia is part of Western strategic calculation. This growing alliance considered as an opportunity by some and as a threat by others is a source of tension. It should not be. The US would benefit from growing economic and social collaboration among these three countries.
- Ethiopia hosts the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, and other multilateral bodies. It plays a pivotal role in hosting and facilitating Africa-wide forums, including regional trade and the war against terrorism. The US feels that Black African countries must side with it in the fight against rising China. The USA must recognize that Ethiopia serves the global community by playing an anchor role.
- By opening the Ethiopian economy to globalization, the current Government of Ethiopia has created favorable conditions to make Ethiopia a preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), 60 percent of which comes from China. China is a strategic competitor of the USA. Chinese penetration in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa is a source of concern for the United States and for Western Europe. However, Ethiopia’s liberalization scheme offers an opportunity for the US private sector to compete on a level playing field. Therefore, the USA must reconsider its suspension of Ethiopia from AGOA.
- The Ethiopian state evolved over thousands of years through internal migration, intermarriages, trade, conflicts and rivalries for resources and power. This unfinished evolution of Ethiopia into a viable multiethnic, democratic and prosperous state is still contested by ethnic elites. Instead of strengthening the common threads that bound Ethiopians, the TPLF committed treason and murdered non-Tigrean soldiers and officers. It then slaughtered more than one thousand Amhara farmers and daily laborers in Mai Kadra. It invaded the Afar and Amhara regions and advanced towards Addis Ababa. None of these insurgent steps was condemned by the Biden Administration. It is time for the Biden Administration to do the right thing and condemn the TPLF/OLA Shinne. They are both anti-democratic and anti-inclusive prosperity.
- During three decades of brutal and corruption-ridden rule of Ethiopia, the TPLF stole at least $30 billion (Bloomberg), all of it received by the Government of Ethiopia from the USA. American taxpayers deserve to know why this massive theft was uncontested by their Federal Government under Presidents Clinton, Obama, and Biden?
Many Ethiopian Americans often question the potential conflict of interest that emanates from cozy relationship between the leadership of the TPLF and American officials under Presidents Clinton, Obama and Biden deserve scrutiny. For example, one of the founders of the TPLF, a critique now expounded at length the diversionary role of the Relief Agency of Tigray with which MS. Gayle Smith was associated at one time. There are other top US officials whose affiliation to and support of the TPLF suggest conflict of interest. Opponents of the TPLF suggest that Congress or the Office of Accountability ought to consider investigating personal ties to determine impartiality among decision makers of US policy towards Ethiopia.
Before the TPLF took power in 1991, this TPLF engineered relief agency to which Gayle Smith offered her services was notorious for diverting aid from legitimate beneficiaries to TPLF fighters. The same thing happened repeatedly during the period November 2020 to today. The TPLF captured hundreds of UN relief vehicles and used them for its war drive.
- The Biden Africa team is unable or unwilling to differentiate a submissive and subordinate TPLF that responds to orders from its external benefactors and extracts rent from the Ethiopian poor in contrast to a strong Ethiopian national Government that asserts an independent foreign policy and that empowers Ethiopian citizens to become self-sufficient. An independent and self-reliant Ethiopia is much more credible in collaborating with the USA than the treasonous, terrorist and corrupt TPLF and its brute ally, the OLA/Shinne.
The American people ought to know that Western media, policy and decision-makers speak from the same script as that of the TPLF. For example, on ethnic cleansing, genocide, famine and the like the media is a mirror image of the TPLF. On the preposterous idea of a transitional government, the script is the same. Some members of the Biden Africa team utter “overthrow the duly elected Government of Ethiopia” with the same passion as that of the TPLF. I urge them to keep their fake news within their own national borders. I ask them not to infect Africa’s body politics with ethnicity and or faith or income-based bias, innuendo and divide and rule.
- Ethiopia sits on one of the most precious natural resources on the planet, water. It supplies 86 percent of the waters of the Nile River while more than 60 percent of Ethiopians lack access to electricity; millions lack adequate supplies of water; and tens of millions suffer from food insecurity.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) financed entirely by Ethiopians offers the chance to change these huge gaps. Egypt conducts a proxy war against Ethiopia to make sure that the GERD remains a dream. Tragically, the Arab League, members of the UN as well as a few Western countries give only a leap service to the noble idea that the Nile Waters issue is an African matter; and that tripartite negotiations among Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan must resolve the impasse.
I contend here that the Nile Waters issue affects all eleven riparian nations. The solution is not to abort the GERD. The solution is an all-party conference under the auspices of the African Union with the goal of arriving at a water sharing agreement of the Nile. The GERD is a project. It is also an internal or sovereign and Ethiopian matter that has no relevance to the Nile Waters sharing matter.
I urge the Biden Administration, and more important, the American people who are reasonable and fair to support equitable share of Nile waters.
- The raging war in Ethiopia begun more than one year ago. It was initiated deliberately by the TPLF when it committed treason in the wee hours of November 4, 2020. The crimes of war, the destruction in lives and property is too massive to enumerate here. I would only underscore one overarching theme that all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia must accept. The TPLF has once again sided with Ethiopia’s mortal external enemies and posed an existential threat to Ethiopia. This treason is impossible to accept or to erase regardless of who shouts the loudest. Western media, policy and decision makers shout loud and constantly not so much out of concern for the poor and destitute in Tigray; but because of the geopolitical opportunity that the war entails.
Treason means poking hard at the heart of Ethiopia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in alliance with Ethiopia’s external enemies, especially Egypt. Evidence shows that Western media, Western Governments, Egypt and other supporters and beneficiaries are part of the problem.
- From its inception, the TPLF has declared that the Amhara population is a mortal enemy of the Tigrean people. There is no parallel that I can find in the rest of Black Africa for this animus. I find it troubling that the West led by the USA does not find this ideology repugnant and repulsive. You cannot expect peace, stability and security when an ethnic elite is determined to annihilate you altogether.
Whether the Biden Administration accepts it or not, America’s support to the TPLF and OLA and its hybrid war against Ethiopia is no longer rumor or gossip. We need to name it properly. Intense hybrid war and punitive economic sanctions constitute a form of coup d’état against an elected Black African Government. I urge disengagement with the TPLF/OLF Shinne and salvage relations between the USA and Ethiopia.
I urge ordinary Americans as well as other members of the US House and Senate to express outrage at the preposterous idea of regime change in Ethiopia. I ask Ethiopian Americans and friends of Ethiopia to embrace the slogan, “No More.” This battle cry has gone viral in protests across the globe.
Outraged by recurring misinformation by Western media and secret Zoom meetings, Ethiopians came out in droves and protested in front of the US and British Embassies in Addis Ababa. I urge young folks who care to repeat these protests at least once a month until peace and stability are restored in Ethiopia.
Talk less and do more
More importantly, it is time for Ethiopia’s huge Diaspora to invest in saving Ethiopia from implosion by contributing a monthly amount of $50 minimum with no maximum limitation for the next 3 years. The criteria on end use, accountability and transparency must be worked out by a competent group of stakeholders.
The Government of the United States and members of the European Union have determined that the Abiy Government that was just elected in a landslide is illegitimate. Forget the arguments used to buttress this dangerous and irresponsible intervention in Ethiopia. The TPLF and the OLA/Shinne are inimical to peace, stability, and security in Ethiopia, the Horn and Eastern Africa.
I keep asking the same question “Why does the Biden Administration place the blame on the Governments of Eritrea and Ethiopia” for wars and atrocities perpetrated largely by the TPLF?” Eritrea entered the war after the TPLF launched rocket attacks at the city of Asmara. The Biden Administration must blame the TPLF for its reckless attacks.
It is hard to believe what they say!
In his lecture before leaving for his latest consultation mission to Ethiopia, U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn, Jeff Feltman, spoke convincingly about the “rumor mill in Addis Ababa” that he had heard during the Meles Zenawi burial ceremony at which he was among the keynote speakers. He reminded us that the rumor mill is back in business.
This time, however, the avalanche of rumor, and the tsunami and gossip like misinformation and innuendo intended to reinforce fear and mistrust in Ethiopian society is fed singularly by Western media: the BBC, CNN, Sky News, Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Reuters. Had their unbelievable misinformation, including the Post’s Editorial Opinion been accurate, Ethiopia would have imploded by now.
In a similar vein, the Biden Administration Africa team has been relentless in spreading panic, fear, a sense of terrorism and desperation in Ethiopia, especially the capital city, Addis Ababa. The question is why and to what end?
The media has failed to tell the truth. Its partisan and pro-TPLF narratives have contributed to immense suffering, death, and destruction in Tigray, in Afar and Amhara regions. The genesis of the problem is the TPLF. Thus far at least, its insurgency and the destructions it caused are shielded by both Western media and high decision makers in the USA, the UK and other nations.
I contend that the barrage of emotive, partisan, anti-Black African unity and pro-TPLF opinion-making by Western media described best as non-trustworthy by his Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya sums up what Black folks are facing. Citing “Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN” etc. as culprits, President Kenyatta said that he no longer watched them. “They are talking about something that is happening in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia” and as far as Nigeria.” The hired hand affiliated with these media outlets has the audacity to identify himself as “John White reporting from Nairobi.”
The core question I would pose to the above media outlets and their powerful Western Government bosses is “Whose truth are you disseminating? If you are discussing the war in Ethiopia, why would you not seek authentic information from Ethiopian sources by being there physically and by vetting what you disclose to the international community?
The heart of the problem in Western media coverage is lack of honesty and integrity in reporting. This is what the entire Black African continent is facing today. The colonial and imperial mindset that governs their reporting diminishes their relevance and value to Africans. I stopped watching Western media concerning Black Africa for the same reasons that prompted President Kenyatta from not watching.
Increasingly, Black Africans, especially youth, recognize that Ethiopia is fighting Africa’s war too. Its survival in its capacity as the pacesetter of African independence and as the seat of the African Union is essential for Black Africa’s resurgence and its peoples’ humanity.
This takes me to the “whisper political culture” in Ethiopia that Feltman highlighted. Over the weeks, Western media has been adamant and sure that the TPLF and its surrogate the OLA/Shinne were advancing towards Addis Ababa; and that their victory was imminent.
The BBC opined forcefully that Ethiopia’s option was a) for Prime Minister Abiy to resign and seek asylum somewhere in the same way that Mengistu Hailemariam did in 1991 or b) to let the current war continue and let Ethiopia “implode.”
If a country about which you care is to implode, you do not add fuel to the fire. I was therefore appalled by the secret zoom conference on Ethiopia chaired by Professor Ephraim Isaac, a person whose distinctive Ethiopian dresses differ radically from his perpetual and opaque initiatives on Ethiopia. The most recent assembly of Western “Who is Who” ex-diplomats and preselected opponents to unseat the Government in Ethiopia included former Ethiopian diplomat Berhane Gebrekirstos, the top emissary for TPLF and spokesperson for the nine ethnic nationalist Alliance announced in Washington, DC. He champions a transitional government replacing a duly elected Government in Ethiopia.
Former diplomats included Yamamoto and Clark. In attendance to give the forum a semblance of representation was Eleni Mekonen and Tadesse Wuhib. Professor Isaac may have intended to address the core and systemic issues that prompted the TPLF to commit treason on November 4, 2020, and the genocide in Mai Kadra in the ensuring weeks. This did not happen.
The background information provided by Ambassador Berhane presented the setting. He presented a lop-sided and pro-TPLF discourse. He and the ex-diplomats coordinated their vitriolic and accused the Abiy Government of all the ills: war crimes, ethnic cleansing, genocide, blockade of the internet, telecommunications, food aid and medicine, banking, and other services. None demonstrated intellectual honesty by not stating that the TPLF executed treason, committed genocide in Mai Kadra, expanded the war to Afar and Amhara.
Good intentions shrouded in mystery and clouded by the absence of a counter argument from the pro-Ethiopia and pro-Abiy side mean that the forum served the only client for which the event is said to be organized: the TPLF and the intentions of Western Governments dominated by the USA. The avalanche of denials and the pleas for forgiveness in some cases will never erase the substantial damage inflicted on Ethiopia and its 120 million citizens.
I listened to the video in its entirety. In every instance, the foreign diplomats praised the TPLF representative. They assaulted the Government of Ethiopia for the sufferings inflicted principally by the treasonous TPLF. I found it disheartening that distinguished diplomats would sink to an unprecedented vitriolic against a Black African civilization and home of the African Union.
Imagine what they would have said had the Governor of the State of Texas conspired and prompted federal troops stationed in Austin, Texas to conspire and murder members of the US military there with the goal of taking over state power in Washington DC? Their testimony is unprecedented, utterly self-serving, and dangerous. It undermines US security interests while emboldening the TPLF to fight to the last man. It shatters the ethics and prudence embedded in the term diplomat. I know diplomats lie for their country and its cause. In this case, Ethiopia is not their country. Why lie and advance an ignoble cause narrated by damning savages that slaughter even cattle? Rape girls in front of their fathers and women in front of their spouses?
It is not because the diplomats do not know. It is because Ethiopia is not their cause to save; but rather, Ethiopia is their target to help implode. Their views are jaded for their own reasons.
Finally, I find it shameful that in his waning years on this earth, Ephraim Isaac had the audacity to sponsor and facilitate a forum of Western diplomats and the TPLF to decide Ethiopia’s fate without the benefit of Ethiopian counter views. I never thought he would go that low and provide detractors and imploders a venue to punish Ethiopia. I urge him to seek forgiveness from the Ethiopian people, especially from Ethiopia’s youth who are dying daily in defense of their country.
I urge the Biden Administration to make the right choice now. It must dissociate itself from the TPLF/OLF/Shinne and side with Ethiopia. This way, it will serve America’s long-term national security interests in the Horn, Eastern Africa and the Middle East.
Part V will follow soon
Ethiopia Shall Prevail
Please watch the following videos and educate yourself
Three videos you must open
- American officials with strong links to the TPLF—Susan Rice, Gayle Smith https://youtu.be/zGS-MkMhKe8
- https://youtu.be/e4A8Ot5zpgg (the plot)
- https://youtu.be/cENpFLMxPE4 (protests)
November 29, 2021