Why we should care if Ethiopia stops loving us

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Stuart Grover is a former News Tribune reader columnist. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler The News Tribune

BY STUART GROVER

Tacoma, WA  — I recently returned from three weeks in Ethiopia, an abysmally poor, highly primitive nation of more than 100 million people on the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is also the cradle of civilization, from which humanoids migrated to Europe and beyond.

It was also probably the first nation to adopt Christianity and boasts ancient ties to Judaism stemming from the liaison between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. It houses the Ark of the Covenant in a monastery in Axum, as well as extraordinary churches hewn from solid rock.

Ethiopia remains a multicultural nation, comprising Ethiopian Orthodox, Muslim, Catholic and animist populations, which coexist harmoniously. Intermarriage carries no stigma, people accept differences and strife reflects tribal rather than religious divisions.

Ethiopians are not shy about expressing feelings. They show their disdain for the Chinese who are building roads and rail lines (not very well); their hatred of the Eritreans, with whom they have territorial disputes; and their unabashed love for America.

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People were genuinely happy to meet us and (literally) embraced us. They see the U.S. as a promised land that welcomes newcomers.

Ethiopia participates in the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan to help prevent the spread of terrorism in the region, and maintains cordial relations with Israel. We have had a long-term Peace Corps operation there, provided them foreign aid and offer humanitarian support through such nonprofits as Federal Way’s World Vision.

Ethiopians admire America’s openness and the welcome it has offered to refugees and immigrants. Large populations of Ethiopians reside in the Northwest (including the Puget Sound region), Washington, D.C., and the upper Midwest.

They have been made to feel welcome and found jobs that fill important niches. They pay taxes, obey laws and fit into their adopted communities. They feel safe under our system of law.

President Donald Trump has probably neither visited Ethiopia nor given it much thought. While I toured this extraordinary nation, he was taking actions and adopting policies that will alienate Ethiopia and lose America an important ally.

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We stand in danger of losing the love and friendship of a country that offers a moderating voice in Africa and a lengthy history of cooperation with the U.S. The ban on Muslim immigration from seven countries was front-page news and under discussion by Ethiopia’s citizens. Even though Ethiopia wasn’t among the disfavored seven countries, they were shocked and disappointed, and America’s standing fell precipitously.

Proposed sharp cuts in foreign aid threaten our long-term policy of using “soft power” to maintain their friendship at a relatively low cost. They appreciate this support and would prefer to maintain these ties rather than accept Chinese investment.

However, budget cuts would leave Ethiopia to rely on aid (and pillaging of commodities) by our Asian rival. While Trump has torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership and threatens to withdraw aid from Africa, China is working with a 62-nation group to expand its influence.

Ethiopians suddenly see America expressing dislike and disdain for immigrants and foreigners. The nationalist policies of Trump adviser Steve Bannon frighten and confuse Ethiopians

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“How could they change this way? Aren’t all Americans immigrants?” one young man asked me.

Retreat from an open, receptive society, a decrease in economic trade and aid, a rejection of multinationalism, and the withdrawal of a welcome mat offered to nations long our friends and allies will not come without cost to the U.S. All undermine the regard that Ethiopia and other African nations hold for us.

They presage the loss of the trust, economic benefits and geopolitical advantages conferred by our historic relationships.

Stuart Grover of Tacoma was a 2016 News Tribune reader columnist. He holds a doctorate in history, has traveled extensively and maintains a strong interest in American foreign policy.

Source: The News Tribune

13 Comments

  1. I hope Mr. Donald Trump will stop supporting TPLF ( The sub human creature of 21 centurie). I wish he will support the poor ethiopian people to dismantel this unwanted creature from earth and to build a beautifull, healthy ethiopia for all.

  2. That is complete rubbish. America can be rich in overall picture but there are millions desperately poor people living in the so called rich country. Your description of Ethiopian poverty and primitiveness reflects your shallow view of life in different parts of the World.

    America has never been a genuine friends of African. We don’t want your aid because it’s a poison coated in honey. Your ban of Muslim mostly from poor African countries with no proven record of terrorism reflects your arrogance and racism. I think the hay day of America is over. Africa doesn’t want your vulgar nation, it’s time to start a new relation with the east.

  3. The writer is a self-centered American who uttered about the national interest of his country and praising the regime as a loyal ally in Africa. He did not utter a word about the grave violation of the plight of the Amharas and Oromos under the brutal dictatorship of a regime based on ethnicity. Ethiopians have been eager to migrate not only to the US but also to unknown territories in the Middle East to save their lives. The writer of the article is one of the most ignorant American who are ignorant of African politics.

  4. Mr Grover,

    I think your perception of Ethiopians towards the post cold war America is inaccurate. Post cold war America has engaged itself in the systematic disintegration of Ethiopia. America is responsible for the human misery and national humiliation due to TPLF.

    If America isn’t correcting its causes towards Ethiopia, Ethiopians shall join the outraged Muslim world to fight against America and against its arrogant allies.

  5. This is very not good article at all. No mention of human right abuses committed by the minority Tigrian Apartheid regime on Ethiopian People.
    Bad Article who missed the target.

    In Fact Ethiopians welcome Trumps action of not supporting this dictator regime.

    The relation between Ethiopian people and America will be sore not because of the cutting of the aids given to the dictatorial regime of Ethiopia..

    America will lose its dignity and love from Ethiopian people when America stands with the dictatorial regime of Ethiopia and kept silent on the ongoing abuse of human rights on Ethiopian people by the current minority Tigrian Apartheid regime.

  6. Perhaps a Woyanne lobbyist? I did not see a foreign aid taking us anywhere other than emboldening this blood sucker regime. What I see is Woyanne using American sniper aiming at the head of our little children. Immigration to us is not our immediate issue. The immediate issue is the cause of immigration – brutal woyanne regime. Let us get rid of this parasite.

  7. A dog barks in defence of whomsoever feeds him, so goes the Ethiopian saying. This writer best exemplifies the meaning of what is meant by our proverb. We do not know how much he meat he has been provided by the TPLF, but the putative writer has gone far to stand guard and lobby hard for the killer regime, the ruthless butchers on Earth, the TPLF ruling dictators. Patent lie with a veneer of some sporadicallyvappkied concern and apparent truths. But the end is evil. Do not insult the Ethiopians Mr. Stuart. Please.

  8. Dear Mr. Stuart Grover,

    I often admire people who venture into expressing their thoughts in writing frankly and quite positively. Nevertheless, as many as so courageous and just writers we have, we also suffer under the machinations and fact-twisting, glutton-loving writers. We Ethiopians have been independent and proud people for years millennia than you might imagine. Actually, many genuine writers and ethnographers have described us that we are innocent, peace-loving, independent people. Here you write as we are primitive, and I assure you we are indeed primitive for, among others, moral, spiritual, ethical, and human reasons. We live together as an extended family, we support each other so much, and we die for each other too. That you have grown up in cut-throat competition where the Darwinian principle is at large may give you quite a different impression of our ways of life, and failing to understand that, you have no other option but to describe people in the terms of imperialist expansionists, and twisted wage-bound writers. Yes you are right that we are primitive because we do not leave the poor to the vagaries of nature, we do not steal from the poor to accumulate wealth; we are primitive because we do not use social Darwinism, eugenics as a means of social Engineering as your most powerful elites do it to date to clean up what they called the “feeble minded’’. I believe you do not miss how immoral and lowly this crime has been!!!
    Yes, we are primitive because while we are under the fetters of tortures, dictatorship, and bloodshed, we beg mercy for our killers, we do not rise in vengeful blood. Yes, we are primitive because we do not fence our residences with all security features and let the other world go hell provided that we are safe. Your description of us as primitive is proper, and no objection at that.
    What is so infuriating, however, is your approach to speak to the Americans from the point of view of Ethiopians. There you go in your title: “Why do we care if Ethiopians stop to love us?”! First, we are not haters of our neighbours such as the beautiful Eritreans, or the benevolent Somalians. We love our neighbours because it is with them we live, we share waters and boarders, and we take safe retreat into their countries as they do in us too. We are made good neighbours ,and good siblings of a family. It is our far-off foes since the time of fascists and beyond who wanted us to remain in animosity for one another, to fight wars, and to wallow in bloodshed for boarders. It is the colonialists ambition and endless machination that the people of Africa, and all people of the world for that matter, suffer in interminable wars, live in hatred and fear, and fall victims of fratricide. Be proud as heir to that atrocity done not by your people, but by your power elite and the wealthy clique!!
    Many millions of poor Americans are victims like us, who work day and night to pay the monthly rents of condos owned by the real estate mogul,toil in the factories of the rich to put food for their families, and work their hands to the bones to cover consuming costs of healthcare, and to survive the next day under the heavy canopies of repression, obscurantism and imperialist control. .Please do not push us to get into the nitty-gritty and the harrowing lives of our good brothers and sisters, the millions of poor Americans. They are also victims of their own power elites! Or I am wrong?. How many Indians have you decimated, and how many blacks have you killed, sterilized, impoverished while you pile up wealth over wealth? Leave the figure to God and repent Mr.. Stuart!!!
    It is a public secret that most Americans are living under the soul-devouring repressions of the few powerful elite. We Ethiopians are also living, as you well know it, under the brutal repression and dictatorship of the ruling junta, the TPLF. Ninety-nine percent of Americans are our good friends and brothers who can feel and share our plights as most of them have experienced, quite in a lesser scale, the repressions and rapacious exploitations of rapacious imperialists in one way or the other. That we Ethiopians will stop loving the Americans is false. We even do not stop loving you, the guy from far-off, who came hunting for some fluke or fortune in playing a devilish game with the dictators around the Horn of Africa, and well, as you might have enough such experience, you have sided with the best dictators in Africa, the TPLF!!!
    Consequently, you have come up with an article to lobby for the TPLF dictatorial junta. Well you can lobby for the repressive junta, but why under the name and banner of “Ethiopians’? You are such an evil person primarily for trying collecting funds ( better called blood money) in return for your lobbying service for the dictatorial government, and second trying to deceive the astute and educated Americans appearing as a writer voicing the feelings of Ethiopians!!!. You well know that it is not easy to support a consummate dictatorial regime as the TPLF and got the message across to the intended audience, especially to the well-seasoned, widely read American public.
    How much money have the TPLF butchers paid you to lobby for them while they are busy in genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Amharas, Oromos, Somalis, and Agnuwaks? Why have you been so obdurate and insensate enough to stand paid-lobbyist at the plights, butchery and genocide of the Oromos and the Amharas? How much money, land, resources, and business shares have you won for that?
    Mr. Staurt, time and history will reveal whatever you have done to the just peoples of Ethiopia. Your machination is no less attempt than the Vatican Pope who blessed the fascist soldiers of Mussolini to butcher innocent Ethiopians, and the rock-hard hearts of Margaret Thatcher and her contemporary US high officers who, in a blind hatred for Mengistu Hailemariam, betrayed the Ethiopian people, and brought upon them untold suffering and misery. Our people, a nuclear family, have been divided as Eritreans and Ethiopians, and through the support of people like you, they have been into senseless bloodshed. Our people are dying in hundreds and thousands in the uncharted shores of the Mediterranean sea, the Saharan dessert, and the Arabian peninsula mainly because of the evil games of powerful people who live in your country and in Western Europe. We have come from the peaceful and haven days of His Majesty Haile Selassie I, God bless his soul, and keep him on His High Chair, to the untold miseries, migration and plights at home and abroad.
    By the direct yet clandestine orders of the powerful ruling classes of US and UK, it was Bob Guidolf, a guy like you in many respects, who brought all the money collected in 1984/5 from the whole world to arm an armed guerrilla group at the cost of millions of lives who have been struck hard by the worst famine ever. Michael Jackson and all other good-hearted fellows have sung crying to make the world aware of the grave Ethiopian famine and extend their hands for rescue missions. Journalists of kind and genuine hearts have come up with videos and other evidences of the famine to expose it to the world and thus to help us secure support during those calamitous days. And of all that huge money collected, not even 1% went to the cause of the victims of famine; you well know it went to the killer guerrillas, who now have come to power to expand the already began genocide to untold levels. Let the world know this, and while you are writing a patent lie to secure your money and kill more Ethiopians, we are busy documenting all evil that has been undergoing. Time will reveal all, and God overhead will revenge the cause of the poor, just, loving Ethiopians.
    So you have come to add salt to our wounds; and we will grew less by the day, we will die to the last man standing our just cause of human dignity an rights. We will stand clean and free of hatred, lies, prevarication, and bloodshed!!! Let you and the dictatorial TPLF survive to whatever longevity you wish, but then we will all stand in the court of the Highest Lord whose judgement never errs.
    I want to make clear that 99% of Americans and citizens of the West are our true brothers who, unlike you, do never want to make profits from our miseries. We love them, and we are primitive but knowledgeable to know how they are living each day. Poverty is not a block to knowledge as greed and mental prostitution are. We Ethiopians are also very supportive and happy about President Donald Trumps’ success to power and his entire administration. In fact we are quite happy about it whatever the other world says. It was President Obama who betrayed us when he declared in the African Union meeting that the TPLF was elected democratically by 99% of the votes. His high officer Ms.Condoleza rice could not control her laughter because of the patent lies that were at all costs not expected of a leader of the greatest nation on Earth, America! President Trump instead was quite supportive of the true cause of the Ethiopians and he felt it right to stand against dictatorship and stand on the side of the people. He has even went as far as excluding us from immigration bans despite the many thousands of our people flocking to the US. He is a great president America needs. He is true to his words, genuine, and outright frank. We support him. Not long before he was in office, he was the only just president who listened to the plights of the Ethiopian people, people who suffer each hour under the butchers of the TPLF junta, a regime you are unabashedly lobbying for.
    So you have come up under the veil of a concerned writer to enlighten the American public about how the Ethiopians feel about President Trump’s policies, while your hidden agenda is clearly working for the TPLF dictatorial junta simply because you are paid. Money has denied you your power of thinking, or at least twisted it and render it an open field for the evil players. We are praying you that you come to your senses and stand for your name, respect, and your true soul. Stand to the cause of truth, for money and gluttony will pass but names do remain. Imagine yourself running your life under shame and moral guilt, and die like that leaving your name in the black list. Please reconcile with yourself, and try to leave something good to your children who are heirs to tomorrow’s just America. Learn from history that greed and lies have impaled themselves and profited shame and indignity.
    May God bless you, and may he give you time to repent and live your remaining years reconciled with yourself and the just cause for humanity!!!

  9. Man alive !! this man surely is paid for by the Junta (TPLF) to paint a rosy picture and cover up the misery of the nation under Tyranny. If you my friend as you have said have been in the country and did see the pain in the face of every individual you meet (with the exception of Weyanes) you will not in all honesty write this kind of garbage!
    Let me tell you what! Ethiopians always love and respect Foreigners including USA. You need not to worry about that! for that you can check your history Degree!! Let alone a person who has seen Ethiopia these days those who have not seen the nation and follow the daily news about the country, could be better witnesses about the suffering of Ethiopians on a daily basis.
    If the Junta has not paid you to write what you did write, and that you are one of their lobbyist, I can say you have made an honest mistake, for which we Ethiopians excuse you!!!

  10. Dear Mr. Groover,
    I read your disingenuous sort of article about Ethiopia. Your article reflects that you have no clue about Ethiopia and you wrote what you are paid to write. The poison you tried to inject goes far to mention how Ethiopians hate Eritreans. Not knowing you and just from the look of your picture, you needed money desperately and hired by TPLF to write this demeanor article. The fact is, we love our Eritrean brothers and sisters and many Ethiopians hate TPLF of Tigre origin. I don’t think you even went to Ethiopia, you just simply sold your identity and picture.

  11. Surafael, Thank You
    You well represented the feelings of most of us Ethiopians living here in USA.

    Stuart Grover says he has a Phd degree in history and has extensively traveled. What a miscarriage of academic competence, and failure to see into real facts. He may have thought that ” truth hides when money talks”. That may be right in the minds of soulless, superfluous people like you, Stuart. When you referred to Ethiopians as primitive, one can easily see that you either bought your Phd, not passing thorough any higher level of education or you failed to internalize what you read. It is the abc of an intellectual manner not to refer to any society as primitive. You are in the 21st century, but your mental tune is in the periods of hegemony, colonialism, and slavery. Please go to an elementary school near where you live. Kids would teach you what are and not to be said about other cultures.

    I am sorry that we have all given this guy the attention he doesn’t deserve. He is a person of little mind who scavenges dollars here and there, be it through blood or shit. Mr. Grover is the best example of a child borne and raised in a culture of greed.

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