Protecting Ethiopia? By Donald Levine

January 19th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Living in the Ethiopian countryside in the late 1950s, I heard festive youths chant the following words – proudly. (more…)

Living in the Ethiopian countryside in the late 1950s, I heard festive youths chant the following words – proudly.

“Min ale teqel min ale? ‘Agarén le-sew agarén le-sew – alsetem’ ale”; literally translated as “What did Teqel [horse name of Emperor Haile Selassie] say, what did he say? ‘I’ll not hand my country’s land to foreigners,’ he said.”

They symbolized the deep Ethiopian aversion to letting outsiders grab land belonging to Behere Etyopiya. Of many expressions of this sentiment over the centuries, my favorite is that of Emperor Tewodros IV, who reportedly told his troops to make sure that when British visitors departed they should have their boots cleaned: “Far more valuable than gold is a particle of Ethiopia’s earth.”

With the notable exception of the Aksumite conquest of portions of present-day Yemen in the sixth century, Ethiopia has not invaded foreign countries. Rather, it has repeatedly been a victim of such incursions -from Turkey and Turk-supported Adalis; from the Sudan; and from Italy. And in spite of EPRDF’s initial acquiescence in the cession of Assab to Eritrea, and then of Western borderlands to Sudan, the present regime boldly, if not tragically, repulsed the Eritrean invaders of 1998 and maintains a strong force committed to the protection of Ethiopian territory.

It is in this age-old spirit that some Ethiopians warn today of new dangers of encroachment in their country and in Africa generally. This fear may well be exacerbated by recent leases of expanses of land to Saudi Arabia, India, and Egypt, and by published reports that some 50pc of Chinese businesses reportedly operate in Ethiopia illegally.Fear of outsiders spills over into anxiety about undue dependence on them.

Ethiopians were historically proud of their self-sufficient lifestyle. In a renowned Amharic novel of the 1940s, Enda Wetach Qiretch by Assafā Gabra Māryām,perhaps the most poignant scene is when one protagonist laments the erosion of Ethiopianself-sufficiency by importing so many things from abroad. The relatively self-sufficient geberé or pastoralist remains a model that a majority of Ethiopians continue to embrace.

Most problematic of all, perhaps, stands the anxiety about foreign influence in Ethiopian domestic affairs. Emperor Haile Selassie was famous for not permitting any one country to get a monopoly of influence in any national sector, especially the defense forces, by letting Swedes influence the Air Force, Norwegians the Navy, Americans the Army, and Israel the intelligence and officer training sectors.

But of course, Ethiopia has imported culture from abroad continuously for more than 2,000 years: from Sabaeans, Hebrews, Greeks, Syrian and Egyptian Christians, and Muslims. So much cannot be denied. Even so, it never absorbed this influence slavishly. Ethiopia’s variants of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam exhibit distinctive Ethiopian coloration.

As I suggested in Tiliqwa Etyopia (Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society), Ethiopian tradition has typically evinced a style of “creative incorporation,” that is, a process whereby elements from foreign cultures have
regularly been taken in but then reworked to fit Ethiopian culture to exemplify a distinctive homeland style. This was true even up to the Ethiopian Constitution of 1957, which incorporated substantial references to the Fetha Nagast. (This pattern was not so evident, I believe, with the wholesale importation of Marxist-Leninism in the 1970s and 80s.)

With these points in mind, let us consider the vexed question of the legislation on charities and civil society organizations, a.k.a. CSO laws, and, related, recent statements protesting against foreign influence.

The CSO laws have been greeted by many Ethiopians as well as by Euro-American donors with alarm, as an instance of repression against benign organizations. Although when implemented that may indeed sometimes be the case, perhaps the most detrimental feature of this legislation rides on the negative perception of what that they signify. On the other hand, consider some constructive features of the CSO legislation.

For one thing, it gives Ethiopians confidence that whatever wrongful interference they found in foreign NGOs in 2005 will not be repeated. It affords them access to funds that might legitimately be claimed from donors. To my mind, the most positive thing about this legislation is that it might send a wake-up call to relatively well-off Ethiopians: If you are interested in protecting children, women, and human rights, engage in these programs yourself. Like nearly all countries outside the United States, Ethiopia has many customs of mutual aid at the local level, but lacks a national tradition of organized philanthropy.

The CSO restrictions might, just might, provide some incentive in that direction. A related set of concerns has been voiced by Ethiopians inside and outside the government -the concern that outside agents are telling Ethiopians what to do. “Who are they to tell us how we should handle our own problems?”

The plaint reminds me of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam’s outburst when a Newsweek article once accused him of importing the Red Terror from the Russians: “We do not need to borrow the idea of a Red Terror from anyone else, we are perfectly able to create one on our own!” Similar sentiments have been voiced by patriotic Ethiopians who complain that I have no business writing about Ethiopian affairs and offering suggestions.

But the point here demands thoughtful attention. When what appears to be a rejectionist sentiment is expressed by so distinguished a writer, Tesfaye Habisso, former ambassador and speaker of the Parliament, it deserves to be taken seriously. I refer to a recent article of his, “Free Elections for Democracy or Creating Client Regimes?”

The heart of Tesfaye’s article jumps out from his opening paragraph: “The experience of many developing countries since the onset of the ‘third wave of democratization’ . . . throughout the world has unambiguously shown that these countries have faced numerous and serious difficulties in conducting free and credible elections not only because of weak democratic institutions and processes, negative political culture and the democratic deficit, lack of independence and capacity of the election management bodies and the judiciary, etc. but largely and detrimentally because of the arrogant and destructive interference of foreign powers bent on creating pliant governments and client regimes amenable to their national interests, without any regard for the sovereignty of these countries and their peoples as well as for the consolidation of democracy and democratic culture that they publicly and loudly ‘preach’ at international forums. . . . The bloody chaos and disruptions that occurred after the May 2005 national and regional elections in Ethiopia were undoubtedly . . . the outcome of such Western interference and attempt bent on ousting the current nationalist and populist developmental regime and replacing it with a client government in Ethiopia that would serve the interests of the West and its multi-national/ trans-national corporations, and not Ethiopia and the Ethiopians.”

This sort of claim reminds me of statements from the government of Emperor Haile Selassie, following the abortive coup d’état of the Neway brothers in 1960, which insisted that there were no problems under the government then in power and blamed the whole rebellion on Chinese Communist influence. To his credit, Tesfaye does name a indigenous factors that contributed to the mayhem, such as “negative political culture and the democratic deficit [and] lack of independence and capacity of the election management bodies and the judiciary.”

And he cannot be faulted for alluding, albeit vaguely, to incidents in which foreign actors certainly did intervene in inappropriate and harmful ways into Ethiopia’s own domestic political process in 2005. What concerns me most about this claim is its disregard of the numerous positive contributions that foreign powers have made in protecting Ethiopia’s independence and treasures; and its support -unintentional, I suspect – to a mindset in which Ethiopians can claim that outside concerns about human rights violations and modern electoral standards represent an illegitimate abrogation of its sovereign rights.

The historic threats to Ethiopia’s sovereignty came from Turkey, Adal, Sudan, and Fascist Italy – none of them, at the time, a Western democratic power.

On the other hand, consider how Portuguese helped save Ethiopia from the Adalis; how the United States opposed the Fascist conquest and its war-time President gave support to Ethiopia’s ruler; and how British troops led the campaign that ousted the Italians in 1941.

Perhaps no less weighty, consider the protection of Ethiopia’s historical treasures provided by the German expedition under Enno Littmann; historic discoveries by French, Italian, and American archaeologists; the protection of priceless manuscripts in the British Museum; and the work of museological expeditions from the United States and its gift of housing the most complete library of Ethiopic manuscripts in the world.

At the moment, however, the chief issue before us concerns the conduct of free democratic elections. Knowing Tesfaye as I do, I believe that he personally is as devoted to the ideals of electoral justice as any one an earth. Yet the effect of his article may be to discredit the efforts of international players in seeking to promote a free and fair electoral process. I invite the good former Ambassador to bring forth his evidence regarding what he calls the “dirty tricks and tactics of Western state agencies and their NGOs together with their servile local media agents and NGOs in the country who unashamedly orchestrated those foul and sinister games during and after the third national elections in Ethiopia.”

But let me be clear: I seek here not to best my brother Tesfaye in an argument
game but to direct the attention of Ethiopians to the fact that they have for a long time been beholden in some ways to the moral pressures of the Western world. The most dramatic instances of this concern the practice and trade of slaves, which was rampant throughout Ethiopia in the early decades of the last century. It was the pressure of members of the League of Nations that prodded Ras Tafari to sign a proclamation ending slave trading in Ethiopia in 1923. And it was cognate pressure from other countries, including the United States, that forced the Imperial Ethiopian government to pass laws outlawing slavery as a condition for joining–indeed, as the only African country to be a Founding Member of – the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. And that took some doing. I can report interviews with a number of Ethiopians in the 1950s who even then regretted that outside powers had forced them to give up their slaves.

At present, we live in a world in which it is no longer possible for any country ¬not least the United States, Egypt, Arabia, Israel, Iran, and China -to hide behind walls of national sovereignty in order to defend practices that do not hold up to standards that were to be sure indeed Western in origin but have now become universal. Foremost among these are the universal codes that respect human rights, codes that have been inscribed so eloquently in Ethiopia’s Constitution– and which, be it recalled, Ethiopia championed when she voted for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

In mustering support for those codes, Ethiopia should welcome, not defend against, support from whatever quarter to advance those rights, just as it welcomes food from Western quarters to help feed its starving millions. Needless to say, in both domains the assistance should be given with tact, respect, and the full support of Ethiopian authorities, and that in turn requires a process of learning about Ethiopian sensibilities that often has failed to take place.

  1. EthioSun
    | #1

    Did you read the article before posting it? Hope you may find time to read it.

  2. True
    | #2

    Dear Sir Donald Levine,

    I am so proud and impressed about your deep knowledge about Ethiopia. We the true Ethiopians inside or outside are struggling today for the democratic Ethiopia. Mr. Tesfaye obviously is defending the ethnic regime that is abusing Ethiopian people. Our Ethiopia is very volatile because of the current regime not because of the West. The regime is leading to the destruction of Ethiopia by ethnic apartheid. In the past, we all lived in peace and harmony among any ethnic groups and religions even though there has been some inequality that could have been solved during democratic Ethiopia. It is the current regime that is selling our land to hostile neighbors. The current regime did a good job for 19 years dividing us to continue to rule through pro ethnic means. You must know that the current government is anti Ethiopia. How can a pro Ethiopia makes us land-locked, give away our land to Sudan, landlease to our hostile neighbors and for that matter, lease land without the knowledge of the people, so on. We are hoping our ally West will support us by any means to bring change to Ethiopia by replacing this regime, instead a regime that unifies people, that recognizes as before any ethnic groups are equal, that brings democracy, that restores moderate Islam instead of changing our brother and sister Muslims into extremeism. The regime is doing this to bring animosity among the people. If you have heard, this regime, as TPLF regime is planning Tigray to secede and controlling all of Ethiopia’s economy under EFFORT. I believe the West is being manipulated by current regime.

  3. Mola
    | #3

    Well balanced article

  4. Azeb
    | #4

    Any political organization that is organized by ethnicity is the enemy of that country.TPLF was poison that attacked and killed thousands of Ethiopians.The EPRDF another form of TPLF is impliment the same agenda but in different ways.I don’t have any hope that another party would win and and lead Ethiopia. Their divide and rule plan is working.The Ethiopian people have been fearful and lack of self confident. Mengistu killed the moral and guts of the people. Meles and his gangs are totally look down at the people.Ethiopians should learn from their mistakes and get together and get rid of these yechaka murderers.

  5. Ashenafi
    | #5

    “At present, we live in a world in which it is no longer possible for any country ¬not least the United States, Egypt, Arabia, Israel, Iran, and China -to hide behind walls of national sovereignty in order to defend practices that do not hold up to standards…In mustering support for those codes, Ethiopia should welcome, not defend against, support from whatever quarter to advance those rights, just as it welcomes food from Western quarters to help feed its starving millions.”

  6. Joseph
    | #6

    Mr Levine,

    I question you in that you have you known this regime very well, why you’ve compromised your bold style of standing up for democracy and freedom? I think you’ve become a corrupt person like the Woyanes. This can be one of the reasons as to why you walk around the truth, hit left and right with no substance. Honestly speaking, this piece here has no value to add to our awareness and hence a waste of time reading it.

    I pray to God for the return of the true Levine we have known: the guy who challenged the mercenary regime in Addis and its system in the past.

    Stick to the American values of democracy, freedom, liberty etc, that is the only way we can love you!!!

  7. yiba
    | #7

    Dear Donald,

    I know that you know very well the Ethiopian ins and outs and I would like to ask you a question. My question concerns the actual land leasing operation of the Ethiopian government. Is there any way to cancel out this deal once the government changes or we have to look as simple observers the pillage of our land till the end of the contract, if there is an end ? Is there any international law which governs this kind of deal ?

  8. jj
    | #8

    Donald Levine,

    You have been the voice of Ethiopia for sometime and you very well know the conditions in Ethiopia, but I wonder why,
    1. You took Tesfaye so serious, you know he is a zomby molded by Meles and Meles in turn is a mercinary installed by West to serve their interest and sell out Ethiopia and its people’s interest.

    2. You defenitly know what British did to Ethiopia unless you want the fact to be hidden under the ruggs. To be frank British harmed Ethiopia more than it helped. You told us that British led the army to remove Italy from Ethiopia. Who endorsed the invasion in the first place? Italy, Japan and Germen were already defeted, what was the fate of Italy after that? don’t forget British transported all materials including construction machines left behind by Italy to Kenya. Was that to help Ethiopia and Ethiopians?
    3. You know all agreements British engaged in East Africa, was it to benefit East Africans, Ethiopia??
    Please next time comeup with the truth so that it does not come back and haunt you.

  9. Mr Levine
    | #9

    Dr. Levine,

    You defended the Government of Ethiopia and the “Election” of 2005 in Ethiopia as a lost chance and blamed everybody except the Government during the townhall meeting at George Washington in DC last year. I was surprised in that so called academic area , a gentleman like you could utter to claim the election of 2005 in Ethiopia was more or less ‘fair’.

    Now what happened? Are you upset because Ethiopian Government is tightening up more with the East? You can not compete with the Chinese or Indians in Ethiopia ? do you want Ethiopian Government reserve some investments “ONLY FOR THE WEST”?

    Counting on the West’s favors in the past for Ethiopia or Africa I think is the worst card that one can play with. Ethiopian slavery if it could be called one, is completely different in its quantity and quality than what the west practiced on Africans for centuries. So please don’t go into that direction; anything but that. United States and Britain supported Mussolini for the invasion of Ethiopia, that ecclipses all what you said.

    Anyways, I think the Ethiopian Government has come closest to the west as what an Ethiopian Government could ever come, and the west should use this opportunity to advance its trade and investment interests in Ethiopia. Its not a good time now for US or the West to scare African nations as the emerging economies of the world will take advantage of that gap and embrace the west-traumatized poor nations.

    wuhibus@yahoo.com

  10. Mr Levine
    | #10

    Now what happened? Are you upset because Ethiopian Government is tightening up more with the East? You can not compete with the Chinese or Indians in Ethiopia ? do you want Ethiopian Government reserve some investments “ONLY FOR THE WEST”?
    Counting on the West’s favors in the past for Ethiopia or Africa I think is the worst card that one can play with. Ethiopian slavery if it could be called one, is completely different in its quantity and quality than what the west practiced on Africans for centuries. So please don’t go into that direction; anything but that. United States and Britain supported Mussolini for the invasion of Ethiopia, that ecclipses all what you said.
    Anyways, I think the Ethiopian Government has come closest to the west as what an Ethiopian Government could ever come, and the west should use this opportunity to advance its trade and investment interests in Ethiopia. Its not a good time now for US or the West to scare African nations as the emerging economies of the world will take advantage of that gap and embrace the west-traumatized poor nations.
    wuhibus@yahoo.com

  11. Anonymous
    | #11

    I support most of the points raised by Donald Levine. However most of Ethiopia’s problems emnate from her past history and her rich resources. I might as well add to Mr. Levine that the Sabeans are the Ethiopians themselves. It is very hard for westerners to accept the sabeans or even the ancient egyptians are Ethiopians. The west never had its hands on Ethiopia until this regime and will not let it go even for the price of democracy. The west allows democracy only when all oppositions are under its feet, which you know this will not be real democracy for progress. Subserviance is a source of regression. Through this sale out regime, they almost can do whatever they want until the day the unbelievable happens (their paranoid slave Meles turns against their orders).

  12. aha!
    | #12

    To compare and/or equate the Ex-Amabassaodors statements to His Majesty’s statement about foreign influence, one has to know from which party platform, TPLF/eprdf regime’s or the alternates with ethnic agenda is he making those statements. His majesty Emperor Haile Sellassie, famous for incisive and prohetic statements has made that statement from the point of view of maintaining the Unity, Territorial Integrity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    At the time of the peak of the socialist revolution, before he was deposed and sendt to solitary confinement, he was asked and agreed to govern the people by way of constitutional Monarchy in the likes of Britain, I presume, but the Military Faction and or the socialist factions rejected it by saying “Gulcha Bikyeyer Wot Aytafitim”. That was I believe his way of averting foreign influence and maintaining stability and territorial integrity, Soverignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians as one of the great nations intact.

    Lo and behold, instead of the taking the path of democratic revolution to engage the government for the class struggle, the elites took the path of socialist revolution for the oppression of the nationalities which blew up in their face today, politics of ethnicism and seccessionism, which became a negative force for the disintegration of Ethiopia into ethnic enclaves by langauges, instead of leaving the original provinces intact and advancing the the languages, the traditions, the cultures, in their respective regions and developing the country according to ecological zones, for Ethiopians to continue to enjoy the mosaic and diversity of their cultures as an Ethiopian and enjoy the freedom of movement to own property and prosper anywhere in Ethiopia.

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    This article, in the end, is intended to show western supremacy and ridicule Ethiopia. It clearly states..”u like our grains…so u must like our system of governance too.” I guess Esayas Afeworki is right! Self reliance!…

  14. Leykun
    | #14

    You called the British destruction and looting of those historical manuscripts and artifacts “the protection of priceless manuscripts in the British Museum…”? You know how it end up in the Museum and how many more have been destroyed.
    “Ethiopia should welcome…support from whatever quarter to advance those rights, just as it welcomes food from Western quarters to help feed its starving millions”. What a concluding argument?
    I don’t approve of what the current Ethiopian government is doing. But I don’t agree with most of Donald Levin’s ideas as well. With all due respect to Mr Levin, though.

  15. True
    | #15

    Dear Levine,

    Ethiopia is no longer the era of Haile Selassie, as you probably guessed. Thanks to Mengistu his oppression lead to OLF, TPLF and Shaebia. Never the less, I am always a believer of self reliance that what ever happened to Ethiopia is the fault of ours. When Meles said I will cut Ethiopia into pieces, that was the time the people should have risen against the regime. So, I don’t blame the West. My only wish is that why, the West knowing dictatorship symptom continue to perpetuate the oppression by providing arms and training to continue to oppress the people. I really don’t understand why the West is doing that knowing that Meles is not a good man and landlocked Ethiopia as well as ethno centrist. The West have always known, Ethiopia who ever takes power is ally of the West and it is in their interest really to support democracy in Ethiopia. Apart from that, please don’t listen the jjs, Mr. Levines, etc. These people are TPLF supporters, Shaebia and OLF trying to cause rift between Ethiopians and the West. After all, it is in the best interest of Ethiopia as well, to support the West. The above group I mentioned are war mongers, hateful, want the destruction of Ethiopia supported by the extremist Islam Wahabism that is threatening our country. I do believe you are the one when TPLF was ready to give up Eritrea, who said, why Meles would allow this knowing that Ethiopia would be land-locked. Thank you for this! We will not forget you spoke for Ethiopia while the so called Meles Ethiopian in fact hurts Ethiopia.

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    Donal Levine,

    How dare you insult our intelligence with your self-righteous article. Do you think Ethiopians forget western conspiracy in the invasion of Ethiopia by fascist Italy? Do you honestly believe Napier looted Ethiopia’s precious treasures for a safe keep in Britain? You are a delusional neocolonialist Ethiopians want nothing to do with. Stay away from Ethiopia and Ethiopian affairs.

  17. Aymro
    | #17

    With all due respect for Mr Levine’s age and deep wisdom.

    I do not agree with the comments that the current regime defended the country,(it defended itself and used popular patriotism for its own ends) and Ato Tesfaye’s quote which describes it as populist/developmental is mis-leading.

    In practice, elections are stolen, huge tracts of land (thousands of square kilometers) are handed over to Sudan, and Belgium size lands are taken away by MNC’s in a country unable to feed significant sections of the population. By contrast, Badme was just the tail of the elephant.

    In retrospect, I would personally prefer our brothers, from Akele Guzay, Badme etc to take over all the said borderlands and farms than Sudan or the MNC’s. You see, they are poor and I still consider them Ethiopian, without wishing to annexe them back.

    Moreover, the western democracies never desired the downfall of the regime, Ato Tesfaye’s unwarranted suspicions aside.

  18. አዲስ አበባ
    | #18

    Donald Levine ?

    This jewish American agent who knew Ethiopian elites from the time of Mengistu Neway till today ? As an individual this guy could be the foreigner who inflicted the greatest damage on Ethiopia.
    We remember that US foreign policy toward Ethiopia from the 1960 ies till today was among that country’s worst policies toward other countries. Compared to Ethiopia maybe US foreign policy toward South Africa and DR Congo were worse, i am not sure.
    But we can call USA the greatest enemy of Ethiopia in history, and the jews were crucial in formulating and advancing US foreign policy toward Ethiopia beginning from the 1960ies till today, and this jew was an important part of it.

    By the way i did not read the trash he wrote,it would have been a waste of time because whatever he writes i dont trust the guy.

    But I am amazed that some are worshipping this man.It does not matter what a good Ethiopian expert he is, he collected the knowledge for the purpose of doing us harm. His active years were the years of US’s destructive, white supremacist and racist foreign policy toward Ethiopia.
    And with all his knowledge and former contacts this foreigner was no doubt an American agent. Imagine his jewishness benefited this man while doing his job as an American agent in Ethiopia.

    With Meles Zenawi the Americans installed the worst regime in Ethiopian history, and that alone shows how diabolical and destructive US’s policy was toward Ethiopia.

    But this article by Levine is maybe an indication that the Americans are now considering to correct the destructive nature of their Ethiopia policy of the last 40 or more years. They maybe thinking that they would better advance their interest that way.
    Well it was a very great misfortune for Ethiopia that the USA was a superpower (lately the lone superpower) in the last several decades.
    Ethiopia would have been better off without the US as a superpower where jews play key roles.

    Fortunately things are changing now,the west will never again regain its position of the last decades and centuries.The USA is no longer considered a superpower and is increasingly becoming weaker and weaker and as a result will no longer have the power and influence to inflict the kind of damage on Ethiopia it did in the past.

    So because the USA is the one that installed the worst regime in Ethiopian history,the Meles Zenawi regime,it has the responsibility to contribute its share to its removal, also for its own sake.

  19. anon from Nashville
    | #19

    Donald Levine,
    I am amazed by your knowledge of Ethiopia, its history and its people. Your article is very educative and intellegient. We can learn a lot from it. I know http://www.aigaforum.com and the so called Woyane sites like the http://www.Ethiopiafirst.com are gone to give you grief because you wrote an honest article. Do not listen to them and please give them a deaf ear. The same goes to Tesfaye Habbiso. I know Tesfaye Habbiso when he was personnel at the Ethiopian Water and Sewerage Authority during the Mengistu regime. It is the Woyane government who gave him the job of Ambassador and that is why is he is trying to protect his master as much as he can. I can understand that as our saying goes – Wusha Bebelabet Yechohal. That is what he is doing. Keep up the good work, Mr. Levine.

  20. True
    | #20

    Those of you criticizing Dr. Donald Levine,

    I know you are on payroll from Meles seemingly to protect Ethiopia when in fact you are putting the real Ethiopians at risk and as if you can challenge the West and the person who posted right above me. Your anti semitism is so obvious that is sickening. Ethiopia compared to the West is tiny and is no longer has the mighty patriots against Italy. I dare you to go and fight for Ethiopia instead of bluffing on Donald Levine. Whether we like it or not, what made Ethiopia protected from colonization is the West, the people and our kings. It is the coordinated effort. If it wasn’t for example the British (even though the betrayal) Ethiopia would not be freed today. If it wasn’t millions of united Ethiopians against the mighty Italy who exercised the first chemical weapons on Ethiopians, we would not be free. If it wasn’t for Kings Menilik, Theodore, Haile Selassie and Yohannes, Ethiopia would not be free. Of course there is love-hate relationship with the West because they have economic interest. However, our great kings had the ability to negotiate, had a great diplomacy that brought respect for Ethiopia from the West. That is the fact. Today however, times have changed, Meles now have become puppets of outsiders not just the West to make Ethiopia vulnerable because he was born a bandit, treacherous and insecure to rule Ethiopia. Of course with such person, outsiders take advantage. I am just hoping the West remembers our closer relationship in the past and really think twice about the Meles regime that is spreading Wahabism all around,dividing us along ethnic lines, corruption, selling our lands, etc.

    In fact, Dr. Levine criticizing Tesfaye who wrote against the pro Meles, you should be thankful. You guys are not helping but calling the West to see us as vulnerable like other poor nation and we are not. It is Meles and Co. who is doing this!

    So it is easy to criticize the outsiders but talk is cheap, go fight Meles and campaign in the diaspora to change Western policy on Ethiopia’s cause.

  21. Abraham
    | #21

    Ayya Liben,
    You know too much and few of the commenters here are threatened by it. Thank you for the provoking article and keep them coming.

  22. አዲስ አበባ
    | #22

    America has messed up with non-whites,in particular with Africa, and specially with Ethiopia, that is historical fact. And we dont know yet fully about the hair-raising crimes that country has committed against us,but we will find out more in the future.

    And this jewish American who lied to us,as that is his job, when he said America has been a friend since “world war 2″, when the truth is quite the opposite. The installation and continued support for the Meles regime,the worst in our history, alone proves otherwise.

    Read how the US worked to disintegrate Ethiopia.
    http://www.tecolahagos.com/Alem_Eshate_cia.htm

  23. Ras Knowledge
    | #23

    In summarization, our destiny is in the hands of God. Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God, 2000 years of history cannot be wiped away so easily (Bob Marley). Italy came, and they were driven away. And all enemies of Ethiopia shall be crushed and driven away. Political discussions are meaningless, Psalms 131: “Lord my heart is not haughty nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters or in things too high for me”. Directed prayers for our nation’s safety and independence is enough. In regards to the Jews? The Kebra Nagast states: “the foolish jews who are blinded in heart and the enemies of righteousness” (p.107) are referred to as the “man of inquity” throughout the Bible (p.211). We need to remain calm and reflective. We have been thru this so many times over the course of our existence and they have never conquered us. Both in body and soul. The geo-political discussions is prophecy being revealed, in current issues. It will all work for our good. The time of Janhoy is symbolic. From the words of His Imperial Majesty: “Our Armageddon is past (p.7 Lion Roars)” referring to the slave trade, and again, “undoubtedly the west must perish” (next submittal I will put the source). Stay calm Ethiopians, delve deep in your faith with its unlimited source…salam.

  24. Anonymous
    | #24

    Indeed,let us remain calm.This cloud shall pass.The clever ruse will not win the day.Workers of inequity shall fall.The Lord is on His throne of righteous judgment.Ethiopia shall prevail.Let us remain calm.

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