This article on imperialism’s attacks on Ethiopia was written by Tatyu Bitul and was originally published on Medium.
Folks, having spent much time navigating my way through the twilight zone that is American Foreign Policy, I feel compelled to share with you all how the cynical (but very real) game of sabotaging and undermining a large African country is played while loudly proclaiming that Black Lives Matter. Here is the international playbook. Note, this playbook requires meticulous alignment and careful coordination amongst vicious terrorist groups, their trolls, paid Washington DC lobbyists, US and European Union (EU) government officials, major western media outlets, UN agencies, and Amnesty International. It seems impossible to achieve this level of coordination, but apparently it can be done ! In fact this playbook is being executed right now as we speak.
Ok back up, a bit of background first. If you thought colonialism was over think again, the game simply morphed into an even more sinister and dangerous form. It is no longer about white colonialists seeking to rule over the darker skinned natives so as to loot their resources … no no no … how would that look in today’s evolved and racially sensitive society where “ Black Lives Matter”?!? Decent people of all races would be on the streets to protest and that would not do at all. No silly …. today you play a more nuanced game and you recruit Black politicians and Black terrorist groups who are willing to play along. Obfuscate, confuse, confound, so as to hide your true intentions, that is how you play the game in this day and age .
Think about it, when Italy invaded Ethiopia back in 1935, African Americans were lining up to enlist to fight for the lone independent African country. In Jamaica 1,400 men tried to enlist to fight on Ethiopia’s behalf. The African America pilot John Robinson (aka “The Brown Condor”) actually went to Ethiopia to train pilots and fight on behalf of Ethiopia, he was named Commander of the Ethiopian Air Force by then Emperor Haile Selassie. Who wants that kind of global black solidarity in the age of Black Lives Matter?! No it would not do at all. You need to be more sophisticated this time and enlist Black people on your side, the better to obfuscate and confuse what is actually happening.
So let’s take a look at the new more sophisticated playbook :
Step 1- Find yourself a local group in your target country (preferably a “Liberation Front” that is organized, has boundless capacity for violence and corruption and great potential to be a de- stabilizing force in the nation.
Step 2- Throw all your support behind them, and get them to the seat of power by hook or by crook. Regardless of how unpopular, corrupt or incompetent they may be prop them up by pumping in your tax-payers money and load them up with loans too (the better to undermine the country in the long-term).
Step 3- Ensure all your media fall in line with your narrative on how wonderful this group is and what promising new leaders they are, the more they loot, kill and destroy, the more you talk them up in your press. As long as they do your bidding you have their back .
Step 4- If by some miracle some years down the road this group is unseated ( despite your best efforts ) through a popular uprising or some such inconvenient event, you fight like hell to get them re-installed back in power (of course under the guise of concern for human rights, finding some sort of Weapons of Mass Destruction etc, be creative).
Let’s see the ( tragic but true) details on how this cynical game plays out in target country # 1 — Ethiopia. As an Ethiopian American woman I am well- informed of the West’s shenanigans when it comes to the country of my birth, but no doubt some of these tricks have been played ( and are being played) on other countries as well. Why Ethiopia you may ask? Well I can’t say for sure but perhaps undermining, destabilizing and maybe even dismantling the oldest independent African country, the only one that defeated all colonial attempts would be a lesson to any and all Black countries and people who dare entertain radical ideas around controlling their own destiny and such nonsense. It’s kinda like how the French wrecked Haiti by burying them in “independence debt” for for over 100 years to punish them for the nerve of having fought for and won their independence from France in 1804. Oh and in case you are wondering, it doesn’t matter if Washington DC is running Blue or Red, it’s irrelevant when it comes to countries like Ethiopia. In fact as much as it pains me to admit it (as one who has voted Democrat and only Democrat), the Democrats are actually worse than the Republicans when it comes to countries like Ethiopia.
Well are you ready? Then let’s go on a trip through the twilight zone that is American Foreign Policy. It’s gonna be a rough ride folks, but this is reality for millions so buckle up and stick with me!
It’s the late 1980’s and Communism is teetering. Ethiopia has the most leftist government in Africa. What is America to do? Why not throw your support behind the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF — a registered terrorist group) to overthrow the leftist Ethiopian government. What ? What did you say? TPLF itself used to be an Albanian style communist group? They believe in the superiority of the 6% Tigrean population ? They have documented in their manifesto that ethnic Amhara’s are their enemies? Their narrow ethnic focus will certainly destabilize a large multi- ethnic country? They have have shown themselves to be brutal and corrupt and have misappropriated food aid and used the money to buy guns? Well so what… this is Africa ain’t it…. who cares ….we just want them commies outta there. Go on and give them TPLF people what they need to kick the Commies out.
May 1991: The leftist government in Ethiopia has been overthrown and “peace talks” are being held in London to chart the path forward, enter Herman Cohen, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. TPLF, he says, this is your chance go on and take over. Ahem, say the rest, what of the “peace conference” and consensus and a representative Transitional Government and all that? Baloney says Cohen, you got your conference didn’t you what more do you want? But one slight glitch, these TPLF’s, their name is so unsavory I mean Tigrean People’s Liberation Front? How would it look for these guys to run a nation where Tigreans represent only 6% of the population. Ah but these TPLF guys are a suitably devious lot, they have thrown on a veneer of inclusiveness by cobbling together a coalition of hand-picked ethnic groups (mostly hastily formed by TPLF itself) and called it EPRDF (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front). But of course all power resides solely with TPLF … ah now that looks more presentable says Cohen, we can work with that, full steam ahead!
In 1992 just months after seizing power TPLF rushes to re-draw the map of Ethiopia along ethnic lines. The map bore a suspicious resemblance to one drafted by Italian would-be colonialists when they sought a divide-and rule strategy to conquer Ethiopia. Soon a new constitution followed that legalizes the right of each ethnic region to secede from the nation (thus becoming the only constitution in the world that paves the way for the disintegration of the nation). Now this is a plan to behold, I mean how else can a group that seeks the advancement of 6% of the population and the brutal subjugation of the remaining 94% succeed if not for a divide and rule strategy? How brilliant these guys are, they must immediately be endorsed as Africa’s “Renaissance Leaders” (Bill Clinton, March 1998). What’s that you say? Ethiopians are complaining that these guys operate more like a mafia mob than a government? Well so what who asked for their opinion anyway? We declare them Renaissance Leaders so that is who they are. And what are they whining about now? Ethnic-based apartheid style governance is tearing the fabric of this multi-ethnic society? Well we say its a bold experiment… not one we would ever try in our own country mind you (are you nuts?!) but what is Africa good for if not for experimenting ? Just keep the cash flowing to TPLF those guys are doing great.
By 2017 an estimated $30 billion has been stolen by TPLF, it’s leader Meles Zenawi was worth over $3 billion by the time he died in 2012, his wife is worth even more. Coincidentally total American aid to the TPLF regime by then had been … you guessed it $30 Billion! Pretty much every former TPLF rebel is now a multi-millionaire. The economy is completely controlled by TPLF and almost all military top-brass are Tigrean. Even the head of the Orthodox Church has been (illegally) replaced by a Tigrean.Ethnic-based massacres target the Anuak (whose land is then seized and handed over to foreign and TPLF investors), Amharas (well because they are Amhara and therefore the enemy), Somalis, Oromos, and many more.
A good chunk of the stolen loot is diverted to hire fat cat lobbyists in Washington (to polish up their image and keep the money flowing), bribe western journalists, UN officials etc. TPLF members and sympathizers are placed in key UN agencies and human rights organizations including the current head of the UN World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom , a high-ranking TPLF official (which is why Teddy is now too busy lobbying for the TPLF to do his day job fighting the global pandemic).
During the TPLF reign US, EU and most of the Western press were raving over Ethiopia’s “double digit” economic growth. An economy that can overnight convert an endless parade of rebel leaders and bush fighters with zero marketable skills into “business men” worth multi-million dollars is indeed a miraculous economy! One that must be celebrated! Never mind that after pumping billions of dollars into it the country food security remains elusive, quality of education has plummeted, and cost of living has sky-rocketed. Details details. Just make sure that every sham election with North Korean style 99% and 100% wins are endorsed by both the US and EU. Congratulations on your “democratic” election guys, I will honor your achievements with a Presidential visit (Barack Obama, July 2015). US National Security Advisor Susan Rice could not help but laugh uncontrollably when asked about the suspicious election results but now why would that stop her from endorsing it anyway?! The leader of TPLF and Prime Minister of Ethiopia (until his sudden death in 2012) Meles Zenawi was a close friend of hers.
By April 2018 TPLF’s 27 year rule of terror is overthrown after massive protest by Oromo and Amhara youth fed up of being brutalized by TPLF. Dr. Abiy Ahmed takes over as Prime Minister. TPLF retreats to it’s home-base, the Tigray region and refuses all offers for peaceful negotiation with Abiy’s government. In fact they use the sacks of cash they have stashed in their homes to arm and pay yet another horrific ethnic based terrorist group OLF-Shene, to hunt down and execute men, women, children, and babies in the most barbaric manner. Starting in mid 2020 and continuing to this very day, thousands of poor villagers were horrifically killed Al Qaeda style for the cardinal sin of being born Amhara. In addition to ethnic cleansing, the goal was to terrorize the nation into losing confidence in Abiy. This is ethnic politics for you.
On November 4 2020 after spending over 2 years rabidly building up and arming an insanely large regional army in Tigray, TPLF (by it’s own video-taped admission) launched simultaneous attacks on several bases of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in the Tigray region. After carefully separating out the Tigrean soldiers, they slaughtered hundreds of non-Tigrean soldiers, some deep in sleep after a hard day helping local Tigrean farmers fight a locust invasion of epic proportions. The Ethiopian government was finally forced to launch a military operation to control this horrific and unprecedented act of treason. Days later a TPLF “Youth Group” known as Samri went door to door singling out and massacring over 700 Amhara day laborers in Mai Kadra. Jemal Countess a journalist with Getty Images later conducted extensive interviews with the survivors and photographed them.
On the other hand the TPLF trolls were out all over Twitter and Facebook with their chests puffed out bragging about sure victory as war was their “national sport” . The Western press, nicely greased by 27 years of TPLF’s ill-gotten gains spins into action. Ignoring the heinous crimes of TPLF, the likes of New York Times, Washington Post and CNN cheer on the TPLF bandits from the side-lines as a “battle-hardened” lot and the aptly named International Crisis Group gleefully predicts Ethiopia’s descent into civil war.
Sadly for them Ethiopian Defense Forces crushed TPLF in under 4 weeks.Drat our guys got creamed ….time to re-spin the story. Out goes the “battle-hardened” TPLF narrative, in comes the “poor hapless victim TPLF” narrative which then quickly evolves into the “genocide in Tigray” narrative. Never mind that the only genocide was the one committed by the TPLF itself in Mai Kadra against Amharas, as well as the countless other genocides sponsored by TPLF and implemented by OLF-Shene all over the Oromia region and Benishangul-Gumuz. No no no that does not fit the Tigray genocide narrative so never ever mention this very inconvenient fact in any media. If you do at all mention it do try to confuse and obfuscate and imply that it was in fact the Amharas that killed innocent Tigreans in Mai Kadra. Sure sure that is flipping the story on it’s head and making the victims into the perpetrators but it fits in so much better with our narrative doesn’t it? Oh and don’t mention the TPLF attack on the ENDF bases either just go straight to the bombing of Tigray. If you must mention it hide it at the bottom of your article and call it an “alleged” attack. So what if TPLF had actually openly bragged about their preemptive attack on ENDF, how many of our readers would know about that? it just doesn’t go well with the victim narrative. Yes yes I know, this would be much akin to condemning the US campaign against Al Qaeda without mentioning that minor detail of what Al Qaeda had first done to the Twin Towers but you’re not expecting the same level of journalistic integrity as US news coverage are you? Silly you …. how many times do we need to remind you this is Africa we’re talking about. No need to be encumbered by facts, satellite images, data and such! All of us operate this way (when it comes to certain geographies) The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Reuters, AP, BBC, you’re gonna get the same story out of us all … it avoids confusion you see ….not to mention it sure makes our work easier if we can copy each other and not have to fact check and all that tedious stuff ! And by the way should any one submit Op Ed pieces or a Letter to the Editor that contradict this narrative, no need to fret … just delete delete delete, it’s simple really. We allow a “poor TPLF” narrative, and “genocide in Tigray” narrative and that’s it. No no … no evidence is required to publish stories that fall within the narrative, but if you so desire we will accept any “evidence” you may choose to provide including staged and rehearsed video testimonials by “witnesses”, mis-represented photos of Amhara victims of TPLF or even victims from other African countries (I mean they all look the same anyway). Our source of truth is Tigray Media House, so if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us! They have their trolls out there manufacturing all the evidence we need. In fact I hear they are out on Twitter right now busy cooking up allegations that the Ethiopian government used chemical weapons on Tigray, because those fake massacre stories just were not cutting it. Hey you never know it may stick, imaginary WMD’s were enough to get Iraq bombed so maybe we can get Ethiopia invaded just in time to save what remains of the TPLF. Oh we so wish they would come back! Keep at it DC lobbyists, earn your handsome paychecks (stolen by TPLF from the mouths of hungry kids, but hey why would that bother you?), distort and misinform as many Senators and Congress folks as you can so they sanction, bully and if necessary bomb Ethiopia into submission.
Not to be outdone, the UN is falling in line with this narrative, to the extent that they are threatening their staff in Ethiopia and pressuring them to falsify data so that it supports a “Tigray genocide” narrative. Don’t be surprised, of course the folks in the UN would want Ethiopia to be permanently locked in poverty and violence. If there are no war-torn and famine-stricken countries how would they justify their fancy salaries? Do you know what life looks like for these UN folks in Addis Abeba and the capital of every other developing nation? “Work” is in beautiful office buildings (well guarded) with manicured gardens, expensive SUV’s lining the parking lots. The job itself mostly entails attending conferences and cocktail parties in luxurious hotels, and it pays for the kids’ fancy schools. A staff of full time maids, gardener and chauffeur manage the home-front, leaving plenty of time and money to enjoy the lively night-life! Surely you’re not expecting them to give this all up ?!? So what if a few countries need to be permanently locked in war, poverty and despair to make it all happen, we say it’s worth it !
May 2021: Remember those viscous TPLF “youth groups” that went door to door hunting down and killing over 700 Amharas ? Well they had fled to Sudan and were posing as innocent little refugees where they happily fed western media with fictional stories of genocide against Tigreans (the better to cover up their horrendous crimes against Amharas). The “journalists” were only too happy to publish all this with zero evidence required of course! By Mid May of this year some 300 of these perpetrators of horrific genocide march in from Sudan into Ethiopia newly armed and trained with the goal of joining whatever surviving remnants of TPLF they could find so as to continue their mission of protracting the armed conflict and keeping the region unsafe and unstable. They were promptly decimated by Ethiopian forces. In most quarters the destruction of a terrorist group would be welcome news oh but remember the rules are different for Ethiopia. How dare you defend yourself against an armed terrorist group Ethiopia, this is an outrage, an outrage ! Damn it … ok plan B…. call those UN guys about smuggling in some weapons to the TPLF in their food-aid trucks. Hey it worked well in the ’80’s so why not?!
In fact this latest defeat of TPLF pretty much unglued and unhinged US Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken who had been trying desperately to resuscitate a TPLF on life support. Known to be a protege of Susan Rice, Mr. Blinken seems to have inherited her inexplicable passion for this murderous mob. So following the latest decimation of armed TPLF troops, he immediately issued a stern warning (on May 15) to Ethiopia that Amhara troops be immediately withdrawn from “Western Tigray”. Errr.. Dear Secretary of State, Amharas are Ethiopian and they may be deployed wherever the government needs them to protect the country (it’s kinda like how the US deployed the Maryland National Guard to control the insurrection in DC in January, remember that one?). Also dear Sir, you are aware I hope that “Western Tigray” is in fact not part of the Tigray region at all. It was forcibly annexed by TPLF when it was in power (with no objection from the US) and the local Amhara population was brutalized and kicked off their land (again no objection from the US), so your current objection to Amharas returning to their own land, is itself highly objectionable !!
Well that pretty much brings us to today. Ethiopia will be holding elections on June 21. Not surprisingly the US and EU who had happily observed and endorsed the “democratic” elections that gave TPLF wins of 99% and 100% have been wringing their hands about this one. I mean it actually promises to resemble a real election and who wants that in Africa ! EU wanted to just outright delegitimize the election by withdrawing from it’s role as observer. Oh but what is a nuanced way to do that. Hmmm.. says the EU, let’s demand that we bring our own VSAT communication equipment that completely bypasses Ethiopia’s own telecom systems (never requested of TPLF’s sham elections). Oh oh and the EU must be the first to make a statement on the election even before Ethiopia’s own National Election Board. What ?! you object to these “standard” requirements? No nation on Earth would allow such infringement on it’s sovereignty you say ?! Well too bad, I say its grounds to withdraw from our observer role and declare your election a sham!
And so my friends this is a glimpse of life in the twilight zone. Lest you think this is a fictional account, I have listed some reference material below. Make no mistake, despite the best efforts of TPLF terrorists, it’s viscous trolls, paid lobbyists, western media and government , the UN, Amnesty etc Ethiopia WILL survive and yes even thrive. By the Grace of God, and the blood sweat and tears of her children, Ethiopia will survive, just as she has survived so many other existential threats over the last 3,000 years.
For the record I personally have done quite well for myself in America. I very much appreciate the opportunity I was given to work hard, get a great education and a very rewarding career. This however does not blind me to the deeply ingrained injustices against Black people in this country. But with all its faults, I believe America is still the land of opportunity and I am encouraged by the genuine efforts across this truly great nation to open up American Values of fairness, opportunity, and individual respect for all her people. American Values would cheer on an Ethiopia that is fighting ethnic terrorism tooth and nail so her multi-ethnic society can live in peace and harmony. American Values would support an Ethiopia that is toiling to build a self-financed dam on the Nile to provide clean electricity to pull the nation out of poverty. American Foreign Policy on the other hand does NOT. Why? Because you see my friends, few things on this planet are as Un-American as American Foreign Policy.
- TPLF $30 billion in/ $30 billion out: https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/03/03/ethiopias-cruel-con-game/?sh=4b2ed97429d0
- TPLF strategies of Deceit: https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2021/02/11/tplf-strategies-of-deceit-a-reminder/
- Susan Rice Laughing At (But Endorsing) TPLF Election: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXFXl4avLVw
- Misattribution of Crimes Against Humanity: https://gpethiopia.medium.com/concerning-misuse-abuse-and-deliberate-misattribution-of-evidences-of-crimes-against-humanity-in-3c06a0b4c771
- UN is Morally Bankrupt: https://jeffpearce.medium.com/a-morally-bankrupt-institution-how-the-un-is-betraying-ethiopia-1872ae8241b0
- Land Grab in Ethiopia Under TPLF: https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/we-say-land-not-yours-breaking-silence-against-forced-displacement-ethiopia
- Genocide in Ethiopia: https://borkena.com/2020/08/12/genocide-is-alive-and-well-in-africa/