I am a US citizen who has advised Ethiopia’s anti-TPLF opposition on an unpaid basis since 1991 and am probably the TPLF’s most outspoken foreign critic. My partisan perspective on the Tigray conflict is surely distinct from a career diplomat’s such as yours. Yet I take the liberty of sharing this feedback on your Nov. 2 speech at the United States Institute of Peace, inasmuch as it reflected US, AU, and, more generally, western policy, in the hope you will consider my different point of view.
Your remarks expressed dismay at Ethiopians erroneously holding your Meles eulogy against you, frustration at the GoE’s refusal to heed the West’s call for a ceasefire, and, especially, admirable concern over humanitarian access and war crimes. You deny any American bias in favor of the TPLF.
I laud your goals but, based on my thirty years of experience in this field, fear their underlying strategy is proving counterproductive because it is based on several interrelated misapprehensions.
The first is a failure to properly appreciate the terroristic character of the TPLF. Already on the Global Terrorism Database, the TPLF has for decades unquestionably committed acts that only semantics or legalistic hairsplitting could relabel as something other than terror. They were certainly terrifying to their countless Ethiopian victims. Mere American acknowledgement of past TPLF “human rights violations” sounds perfunctory to them.
Unless one allows for the TPLF’s terrorist character, it will be hard to understand the degree to which Ethiopians take offense at calls for talks with that group and still begrudge your praise of Meles. Imagine some diplomat who had once given a speech extolling Bin Laden sought to advise Washington on the conflict between America and Al Qaeda. Would you trust that advice? For that matter, how would America respond to an ally calling for a ceasefire and talks between the United States and Al Qaeda? That’s what western and UN prescriptions sound like to most Ethiopians.
Another characteristic of the TPLF that American diplomats don’t seem to grasp is its intent to regain control of Ethiopia through a TPLF-controlled “transitional government” or “coalition” in order to resume its place at the national-level corruption trough. As you must know, the TPLF pursued that strategy while it was in power and afterward by exacerbating tribal tensions in a divide-and-conquer scheme. This national destabilization operation, linked to the other tribal tensions to which you referred and covertly supported by Egypt, will persist until the TPLF is decisively defeated or decapitated. Talks are unlikely to resolve anything because the TPLF’s history shows that its senior leaders see negotiations—facilitated by what they deem “useful idiots”—as stepping stones to domination instead of a means of finding a just and sustainable modus vivendi with the rest of the country.
Unless some mechanism can be proposed that renders the TPLF destabilization campaign physically impossible, peace talks, which would preserve such dangerous TPLF capability, will continue to be seen as a threat to “Ethiopia’s unity, territorial integrity, and stability” instead of a path to them. The conspicuous sidestepping by foreign diplomats of this reality in their calls for a ceasefire reinforces Ethiopians’ perception of American, European, and UN bias in favor of the TPLF.
Blaming the TPLF’s expansion of the war on the government cutting off humanitarian relief and access in Tigray instead of seeing that expansion as an opportunistic manifestation of the TPLF’s pre-existing plans for re-conquest of the country also sounds to Ethiopians like an inexplicable failure to accept what the conflict is really about. Since the TPLF’s intentions should be obvious to anyone who knows modern Ethiopian history, it is easy for Ethiopians to see pro-TPLF bias as the only possible explanation.
Mistrust and bitterness lead Ethiopians to find dark significance in western diplomats’ word choices. The term “western Tigray” sounds to many like the adoption of a TPLF-authored interpretation of history and approval of an illegal annexation by a criminal regime at gunpoint. US rhetoric frames discussion of Ethiopian international crimes as if they began with the fighting in 2020. This failure to give adequate weight to the longer history of TPLF atrocities, including genocide, and to recognize that the TPLF’s ostensible, regionally “stabilizing” former role was just the opposite, also make Ethiopians see America as strangely blind to the real issues at stake.
Even your implication that Ethiopian human rights are “parochial” matters in contrast to “lofty” UN principles is likely to dismay many. Ethiopians found nothing lofty about your or Sec. Guterres’ normalization of an unelected, homicidal kleptocracy when it was killing and torturing them. To Ethiopians, such language indicated either gross insensitivity or a craven abandonment of democratic values, either of which forever rendered the source unreliable.
Western diplomats and policymakers also don’t seem to realize the extent to which Ethiopians blame them for today’s state of affairs. As most Ethiopians see it, after helping make the Frankenstein monster at their gates, now the West wants them to treat it as a partner for peace and give it a chance to continue tearing their country apart and murdering them.
This attitude is rooted in Ethiopians’ painful memories of how the West, especially the United States, propped the TPLF up for decades with security and financial aid, diplomatic and moral support, and by refusing to react in a meaningful way to its crimes against humanity. They ask, where were the West’s moral outrage and sanctions during the twenty-seven years that the TPLF inflicted its ethnic-based violence on us?
Ethiopians remember Susan Rice’s grotesquely complimentary eulogy of Meles and her laughter over the 2015 TPLF’s 100% election “victory.” They remember President Obama’s cynical descriptions of the TPLF dictatorship as democratic. They remember American diplomats urging them to swallow the stolen 2005 election. The recent endorsement of Tedros Adhanom for director-general of the WHO is seen as another example of US indifference to Ethiopian lives.
No amount of humanitarian aid will wash away these stains on America’s reputation in Ethiopia. But I have never heard a single State Department representative convey the slightest regret for them.
I agree that the US does not want to see the TPLF re-take Addis. But Washington does appear to seek strategic balance between the warring parties. If so, that choice underestimates the existential danger to Ethiopia that the TPLF’s simple survival under its current leadership represents. It ascribes moral equivalency to a quasi-democracy and authoritarian forces. It legitimizes and discounts the TPLF’s prior history and unceasing aggression. And it belies your claim to understand that Ethiopia can’t tolerate an insurgency. These factors undermine Ethiopians’ confidence in what they already regard as a perfidious American ally.
Even the very evidence you offer of US impartiality, that the United States “consistently condemned the TPLF’s expansion of the war outside of Tigray and continue[s] to call on the TPLF to withdraw from Afar and Amhara,” deepens Ethiopian distrust by suggesting that a reversion to the prewar status quo ante would be a viable stage on the road to peace. No explanation is presented as to why Ethiopians should not view such a development as merely postponing the need to confront and end the TPLF’s destabilization efforts. Most fear that the ceasefire urged upon them by their duplicitous or, at best, naïve, American partner, already tainted by decades of collusion with the TPLF, will only facilitate the terror group’s resumption of its deadly subversion.
Failing to address squarely such popular anxieties and resentments hampers your ability to achieve America’s goals in this conflict. Even worse, these policy lapses and linguistic signals have fueled the conflict by encouraging the TPLF. America’s continued insistence on a ceasefire under these conditions wastes time, gives aid and comfort to the TPLF insurgency, mitigates against US foreign policy objectives, and creates regional opportunities for US adversaries.
In light of the foregoing, I urge you to give thought to a new policy that takes these facts into account and better aligns western and Ethiopian interests. First, and with all due deference to your illustrious credentials, contemplate stepping down as Special Envoy and allowing another diplomat without your baggage to take your place.
Second, the US should repair its credibility by acknowledging and apologizing to the Ethiopian people for its former complicity with the TPLF.
Most importantly, try the carrot instead of the stick. America should abandon its apparent goal of promoting a strategic GoE-TPLF balance which prolongs the combat by emboldening the insurgency. Offer instead to side resolutely with Addis Ababa and provide it with all the military, diplomatic, financial, and moral support it needs to put down the counterrevolution (except, of course, boots on the ground)—but only in return for greater, measurable Ethiopian cooperation on humanitarian access, human rights enforcement, GERD negotiations, new parliamentary elections in areas where intimidation by Prosperity Party supporters likely skewed the results, and the freeing of opposition leaders like Eskinder Nega whose charges are clearly unsupported by evidence.
Such a transactional policy shift will not sanitize or immediately end this nightmarish war, but that’s not going to happen anyway. At least, rationalizing conflicting American and Ethiopian aims in this manner will reduce the harm to Ethiopia’s people as much as realistically possible. It will foster regional stability by hindering TPLF destabilization plans and show the US finally takes that menace seriously. It will demonstrate to Ethiopia’s militant opposition that violence doesn’t pay. It will de-incentivize Egypt’s unhelpful behind-the-scenes role and lower overarching GERD tensions which endanger African security even more than the present crisis.
America’s policy is reminiscent of European colonialists of earlier times who thought they could make Africans understand them by shouting louder. It’s time to listen to Ethiopia’s people instead and inject more creativity and agility into the diplomatic process. Smarter policy can still help turn this war into an opportunity for long-term peace.
Nov. 8, 2021
88 thoughts on “An Open Letter to US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman”
Thank you for explaining the pain the Ethiopian people are feeling and the illformed message the US is presenting with no clear goal for what the US is trying to achieve. To the Ethiopians it feels like the bad actors are being rewarded and the ones who are thriving to do their best are being punished. It is confusing not to mention the frustration and the pain.
Thank you for presenting Ethiopia’s position so clearly. We need more Westerners to understand our grievances.
As an Ethiopian, watching this endless conflict and all the heartbreaking repercussions has been and continues to be unbearable. I hope your letter will have the impact it merits.
At last. We Ethiopians got one person that understand us. I wonder why American’s turn their back on us while the know how much we hate TPLF and we sacrifice a lot of youths to see TPLF end their terror against Ethiopians. Right now there are a lot of Ethiopians that are ready to fight TPLF like they did 3 years ago and before that. If America want the real solution in Ethiopia they must hear Ethiopians. If they don’t know it this letter is expression of most of Ethiopians. Thank you David your work will help Ethiopians a lot so keep the work!!
Yes! Thank you very much for sending this letter. Cressida Marcus
Dear David, just to express my deepest gratitude for being the voice of voiceless and frustrated millions of Ethiopians. If only Feltman could listen.
Thank you for your commitment to tell the truth! My massage for US and Europe is hands off from Ethiopia!! Ethiopia elected it’s own leader! You need to respect and accept that!
Excellent article, Mr. Steinman. You have so accurately described the Ethiopian sentiment in regards to western seemingly biased strategy to have GOE negotiate with a terrorist group. This is indeed a non starter for majority of Ethiopians who still can’t believe US is asking them to forgive and forget what TPLF has been doing for the last 30 years as well as the more recent atrocities and killings of civilians in Afar and Amhara. Who is really behind this US strategy is beyond me. Feltman should indeed step down as Ethiopians will never trust him. US should indeed apologize to the Ethiopian people and chart a new policy supporting the Ethiopian people. Anything else will worsen the situation until it gets better when TPLF is neutralized permanently which is sure to happen now in matter of weeks. But by then it’d have been too late and US will have permanently damaged its ties with Ethiopia. China and Russia will be seen as true friends for standing by Ethiopia. Moreover, Ethiopian Americans will surely vote against democrats in upcoming elections just as they did in Virginia. Democrats will be the losers for sure in 2022 and beyond. This doesn’t have to be. Biden should reverse course now or it’ll be too late in just a few weeks time. Thank you for putting into words our thoughts even better than I could have.
This letter should be sent to every US Congress men and women and to every Senator; also the same should be sent to Heads of states of the EU. Part of the problem is Ethiopia does not seem to Use the media to fight back; more importantly to galvanize its supporters
We appreciate your courage and honesty
I for one am Grateful for your effort
Well said. Thank you, David Steinman for your advice on foreign policy as a responsible citizen regarding Ethiopia and USA relationship. The truth shall prevail. “Seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, hold the truth and defend the truth until death”.
An excellent analysis of the US and West’s lack of expertise when dealing on matters in Africa vis-a-vis Ethiopia’s war against the TPLF terrorist ambitions.
Pingback: An Open Letter to US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman - Eritrean Express
Wow. Grateful for this.
Thank you David. Such a thoughtful piece.
Thank you David.
Very great analysis and dip understanding of Ethiopian political problem. If USA diplomate listen to your advise, the Ethiopian war againest on Terrorist TPLF would be less casualties.
Dear Mr. Steinman,
First and foremost, I thank you for taking your time to write a letter to Ambassador Feltman. However your letter did not fully address the root causes for political problems in Ethiopia which ultimately led to Civil War. Your letter explained in detail how TPLF is worthless to Ethiopia. I fully agree with that. My question for you “How about Abiy’s regime which has the same political ideology and programs?”. You might have the continuous killing of ethnic Amharas in Oromia Region ever since Abiy came to power and he did nothing to stop it. You might have already heard that peaceful opposition political party leaders such as Eskindir Nega are imprisoned. I could write a thousand pages book if I started writing about how Abiy’s regime is taking the country into chaos and disintegration. So Sir, I kindly request you to gather enough information about Ethiopian politics and polish your letter and send it back to Ambassador Feltman.
Pingback: American Economist publishes open letter critical of US policy on Tigray War – GlobeNewswire (Press Release) 08:50
Thank you for sharing this wonderful and eloquently written piece that renders America’s support for TPLF obsolete and without merit. I take my hats off for Mr. David Steinman for presenting Ethiopia case against TPLF.
Thank you, David!!!!
Thank you! more truth to be told! … if the Biden Admin had not revived #TPLF … by now it was history! we have a story of “Wolqite” that has not been told! and TPLF still calls it west Tigray!
The article/letter is realistic, well articulated and wonderful. Thank you David Steinman.
I wish if they listen, they have an agenda. Egypt interest is their agenda. So they will not listen.
Thank You and God bless You! I can not express better the agony of my people. The political stand of the US and it’s western allies against Ethiopia is abusing and shooting at every Ethiopian child’s hope for living in a united and democratic country, there citizens will be protected and defended equally by law. That has been impossible in the colonial fashion ethnically designed divide and rule regime of the TPLF or its likes. It’s unbelievable to witness that the US and it’s allies taking such firm stands against democracy and unity, for terrorism and disintegration. It is like a nightmare. How long is it going?
No more ethnic politics in Ethiopia
We need peace with out Tplf
We don’t know where the United States stands. We’d like to know how the US plans to collaborate with sovereign nations like Ethiopia to maintain the rules and values that promote international peace. Please assist us in rebuilding our country, burying our dead families, and recovering the raped, sick, and injured. It is critical that America collaborates with Ethiopia to combat terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Dear David Steinman, thank you for standing up and speaking the truth.
Thank you Mr. Steinman for your timely wise advise. I hope someone listens.
David’s thought is realistic and has to be addressed.Ethiopian ,especially Amhara intellectuals must support David’s Ideas to govern the international diplomatic community.
This person is talking about the pain of more than Hundred million Ethiopian’s!!!
Peace and unity to 🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹🇪🇹
Very nice statement
Dear David, Thank you for your humanly words
I can not believe an economist can openly understand and lambast TPLF to this level.Really astounding!! TPLF is so nefarious that no words powerful enough to describe its heinous act of gang rape, robbery of its rape-victim females, killing of animals, gassing and burning of innocent Amharas.But here comes intelligent economist that unravels the decades-long mystery of TPLF and its underworld acts while Felt man and his likes are sabotaging to crush the best interest of over 115 million Ethiopian people.
Pingback: An Open Letter to US Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman – Ethiopian Tribune
Thank you so much David Steinman for being a voice for the 110M voiceless Ethiopians. You very precisely stated the truth behind the current conflict in Ethiopia and that is what we really want all Americans and Westerners to know!! God bless you!!
Best put! Thank you for speaking everything that is in most Ethiopians mind David Steinman. Exactly…asking Ethiopians to negotiate with the terrorist TPLF is like asking United States to sit and talk with Al Qaeda.
It is really wonderful articulation. The writer has well internalized the degree of Ethiopians’ feeling. He also has put himself in the foot steps of Ethiopians who sufferers from TPLF ‘s merciless acts for a generation.
Great! You spelt it very well what we feel at heart. I salute!
I pray for the peace of Ethiopia!
Well said. These are savages with no human values. No shame when lying, massacring civilian based on their ethic identifies, looting from the beginningto end. No words can describe their all round evil nature. Thank you sir.
It is an interesting letter though it lacks some clear strategy on how to cease the war and transfer into peace.
A senseable American! Long over due that someone like you, with 30 years of Ethiopian politics and well informed on Tplf’s history, advises the US foriegn policy teams on the current Ethiopian situations. Good advise!
Thank you Dave. It is regrettable that the State Department Officials of the day have failed to understand the intricacies of Ethiopian politics as you dol. Since they are blindfolded by their neocolonialist agenda and ego they side with TPLF terrorists. No doubt the US is on the wrong side of history. Ignoring the interests if 110million Ethiopians and supporting TPLF bandits is without a doubt standing with fascism. God save the USA. Thank you again for standing with truth.
Thank you Mr Steinmann!
Western politics, especially towards Ethiopia is not only biased against its people but it is illogical and foolish. I am not a supporter of the regime in Ethiopia but what the US gov‘t does is beyond immagination.
Supporting TPLF means like supporting IS or Alkaida or NAZIs. What a shame!
Wow! Somebody spoke and stood for us in the most descriptive way covering every aspect that needed to be addressed! Hoping this will not fall on deaf ears. This letter represents 99% of Ethiopians
Tplf is terrorist
Dear Mr. Steinman,
I thank you for your unbiased truthful assessment,” tell it like it is” mentality.
Again Ethiopians appreciate your sincere open letter.
Thank you for telling the truth
Truth always prevails with some sacrifice
Not being paid from anyone your bravery is paramount and appreciated
Hopefully, you’ll keep on finding truth and telling to the world about the war in Ethiopia
Powerful, eloquent, factual, well researched and well written. It is also a letter written by a someone who knows the history of the region better than the western diplomats and policy makers.
I tip my hat to Mr. Steinman for producing such a high-caliber letter at the perfect time.
Much respect to you Sir.
Thank you ,Mr David Steinman ,You explaind our many major points.
Lastly They Biden Administration should the Ethiopian people Pschychology of ” Better Dieying tha Kneel Down to other foreign Agression
Hands off Ethiopia
Thank you, Mr Steinman, for the sound advice you gave to the American envoy J. Feltman. One of the main offers you made him for a better outcome of the conflict is for him to resign, which the majority of Ethiopians wish to see for real. That, coupled with the change of approach to the situation in Ethiopia by the Biden administration, could give a ray of hope not only in relation to the war but to the deeply damaged bilateral relations between the two countries.
Superb!!!! Thank you so much
A friend in need is a friend indeed. God bless your effort. Thank you. I read it thru you have said it all.
Sir, thank you for sharing your thoughts and telling the truth about Ethiopia.
I am Ethiopian American who voted supportrd Democratic Party and President Biden, who is betraying me when it comes to Ethiopia.
Thank you so much Mr. Steinman!
You should be part of the new envoy, should he listen to your feedback and you are willing and able to join. Only delegates with such deep understanding of the very complex issues of Ethiopia should attempt to advise and help resolve it, if the intention really is to resolve and not dissolve.
Ethiopia has existed for centuries and gone through so many adversities. Having existed for centuries together it cannot be impossible to resolve our issues if we can remove the culprit that TPLF is. With TPLF aside, then a true resolution for all Ethiopians can be established. We pray that you are listened to by the US Government because they certainly are not listening to the Ethiopian people. Thank you again so much for speaking the truth!
You have a deeper understanding of the narrative of the current situation in Ethiopia, thank you Sir, for standing by the truth. Much respect.
It is time to listen the ethiopian people to curb z worst!
Thank you for your honest deliberation. But I am afraid the US is not a defender of human rights and civil liberty as it portrays itself. It is all about what is in it for them.
Thank you, Sir David Steinman. I deeply appreciate your detailed, factual and critical reflection of the current unfortunate situation of Ethiopia, the misguided foreign policy of the United States of America and the Western World. I also would like to thank you for the moral values you have in terms of humanity in general and the right justice to be served in our globe. You are truly a man of true words and who put an excellent analysis of facts on the ground. You gave people an opportunity to open up their blinded eyes unless they wish continue with their ignorance and arrogance. Once more, thank you on myself and the poor people of Ethiopia for standing on our side.
Please respect the decision of Ethiopians
An advise that should be taken seriously by the Biden administration.
Thank you! From Ethiopians!
I’ve been wondering if the US was robbed of its intellectuals until I read your excellent analysis of the conflict bin Ethiopia. I hope policy makers heed to your advice. The alternative is too ghastly to think about.
Thank Sir, for your honesty, integrity and concern in a dire situation that Ethiopia needs a voice that speaks the truth, which is rare.
Mf.Steinman may God bless you and keep you for standing for the truth and become a voice for Ethiopia against all odds ,I have no words enough to express my gratitude .
Thank you for telling the truth. Please keep going
This great American noble prize nominee economist telling the truth to the US officials and d they listening about terrorist organization TPLF. He is also giving evidence that TPLF is committing atrocities against humanity in Ethiopia for the last 4 decades and US should be able to denounce this act instead of standing with this oppressive group.
You said it all.Thank you!!
How could you forget the Ethiopian fighters along Americans in Korea? Did you forget His Imperial Majesty’s visit to America and his attendance at President Kennedy’s funeral along with various world leaders. Why did you turn against the Ethiopian people and ligitimately elected government? Please review and amend your present policies about Ethiopia and its ligitimate government vs the terrorist TPLF Junta. I hope you will arrive at a meaningful and mutually beneficial decision not only about Ethiopia but also the whole of Africa.
Thank you we ethiopian put you in our glorious history your contribution
It is a shoke and sad to know that the number one country USA works in support of a Terrorist TPLF which is out to dismantle Ethiopia. I support David Stelman’s letter. God is on Ethiopia’s side. Ethiopia shall over come.
It is nice to see and hear from some one who is truthful and knowledgeable.I agree with you 200%, we need more honest and wise people like you, so the world will be a safer place.
I hope America gets it. Perfect explanation of the current situation and how we Ethiopians feel about USA and TPLF:
Your knowledge of Ethiopian politics and culture is thorough and well grounded. These attributes were apparent in “Money, Blood & Conscience” which I, my family and friends enjoyed very much and on which I did an Amazon book review. American officials would benefit from your insight and suggestions.
Nowadays most of the western media is corrupt and deficient, morally and intellectually. The UN is now, as the saying goes, a fish starts to rot/stink from its head.
Thank you for stating the TRUTH with remarkable truth.
tplf from the time its ex instance was and is to disrupt the true face of ETHIOPIA. You have made the truth to Feltman and I hope this will be officially come to the American public as well.
Ethiopia will come a winner under the leadership of the Democratically elected
P M Dr. Abi Ahmed.
this is critical message how TPLF is harming our country Ethiopia and US government deny the reality
Thank you David Stainman
Well said and a pragmatic conclusion, the international community need to listen to and understand the Ethiopian People.
Ethiopia is NOT and will never be Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq or Libya.
Dear Sir thank you for the truth and for standing with Ethiopia in this difficult time!
The TPLF REGIME in2018 has collapsed under its own weight!
The mass Ethiopian resistance movement against the corrupt regime
cumulated to bring down the regime!
The OROMO KERO youth resistance and the AMHARA FANO youth resistance movement for several years had to bring down TPLF to its knees!!The corrupt land theft especially in the OROMO REGION was particularly galvanizing for the OROMO YOUTH!The lack of any kind democratic policies nor any meaningful development in the AMHARA REGION was devastating economically and socially !There was no any employment opportunities,no infrastructure ,housing ,hospitals, schools or for that matter nor any sign of industrialization hope!The Amhara Fano youth were demoralized like most of the rest of Ethiopia country sides population!The TPLF REGIME federal Languge based system was only artificial and cosmetic and a tool to divide and conquer and facilitate corruption!
The economic stagnation and lack of development and poverty is the result of this misguided economic,social and political ethnic policies !
The name of the game was pragmatism with repression and oppression was no national democratic agenda!!
Migration to the cities and neighboring countries were in droves looking for survival !TPLF economic policies were only to advance its political agenda not the well being of the masses of Ethiopians!The regime became more and more anti democratic and corrupt!Land was controlled by the government leaving no hope for middle class society to grow and become financially viable and create business opportunities!
It seems every day corruption was out of control!The TPLF regime nepotism and despotic rule has created a mafia likely governing style!The massive wealth and foreign currency flights to foreign banks were brought the government to bankruptcy or left with no reserve !The inter ethnic divisions became more and more dangerous!It was under this circumstances the TPLF RIGME came to a halt and was totally unable to control its power and finally it had accepted defeat under such people’s historical uprisings!It is surprising forTPLF regime to forget this demise and wanted to come back to power !Those who won’t learn from Ethiopia from history are doomed to fail and history will not be kind to them!!
What a great piece! This is the best advise the US gov. got from its own citizen on the way forward & correct its misguided Ethiopia policy.
God bless you
Mr. Steinman, thanks for this excellent, succinct yet quite detailed piece summarizing the other side of the coin. The “other side” of the coin is not even the other 50% of the story. It is more like 85% of the story and 95% of the voices ignored by Washington not for a year but 4 or 5 decades. The condescending tone, disparaging and accusatory tone Blinken and other state department officials and certain members of Congress used to address Ethiopia, referring to a non existent “Western Tigray” created by TPLF by annexation of land from Gondar (the original TPLF founder even has admitted to this and is on video documentary” angers Ethiopians, and US citizens of Ethiopian descent. American policy also is ether misinformed or willfully ignorant of the fact that Tigrians are not some other group but flesh and blood of Ethiopians. People of Tigraian descent were also part of the derg, who was the defense minister of Ethiopia, during the Mengistu era?
Blinken could have studied and familiarized himself more with Ethiopian history and the proud nations long standing history of being an ally to the US. It is a sad fact that he is blind sided with animosity and condescension, gives undue importance to Egypt’s interest and overinflated assessment of its role in Africa horn. In equating the terrorist ambitions of TPLF and insatiable demand for greed, power, and unequal representation and hegemony of 5% over 95%, over the legitimate cries of Ethiopians for inclusion, democracy, freedom, peace and aspirations of growth and development, the approach by team Blinken, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, the Biden administration etc, undermined American values, opened the doors wide for others to fill the void and also damaged the interests of the US in the region.
I totally agree with the change of personnel you suggested in the article. We need US experts who understand the history of Ethiopia very well. We need US experts who remember the vital role the US played in the creation and development of Ethiopia’s aviation sector in the 1940s, the establishment of Ethiopia’s higher education centers in the 1950s and 1960s. The US is actually in much better position to bring positive developments in the Horn of Africa, be seen as the true beacon of democracy and free trade. By being open minded, using its well trained and educated residents and US citizens of Ethiopian descent -first generation, second, or third, it can easily make what Blinken erroneously referred to as “adversary” as its old time friend, for Ethiopians were never an adversary to begin with, just a fiercely independent, resolute and courageous people, just disappointed in the digressions and miscalculations of an old friend on the wrong side of history and humanity owing to failures to not doing one’s homework diligently by misguided advisors at best, or with some hidden nefarious agenda at worst.
Thank you. Only history will remember you,dear writer of this .Ethiopia is the truth.Ethiopians will never give up on their country.We the ordinary people of Ethiopia ask; What does America really want from the people of Ethiopia? Does she want all of us including our Tigray people to perish?what did we do to deserve this?
l would rather say let Ethiopia and America discuss to narrow their differences rather than asking the Ethiopian government to negotiate with the terrorist.
We are free country and would like to remain free,peace loving country and redpectful for those who respect us.
Thank you David for standing for the truth when it is not popular. Feltman going to Ethiopia with carrot and stick is foolishness because they don’t know us. We would rather die free than live for carrots.
Comments are closed.