By Tecola W Hagos, 6 March 2020
Let me start by reminding the people of the United States that the leader of the terrorist group that blew up the New York Twin Towers and the Pentagon and murdered thousands of
American Citizens was the Egyptian Mohamed Atta. The following terrorist Saudis and Emirates were also the causes of that destruction: Abdulaziz al-Omari (Saudi Arabian), Wail al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Waleed al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Satam al-Suqami (Saudi Arabian) and Marwan al-Shehhi (United Arab Emirates), Fayez Banihammad (United Arab Emirates), Mohand al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Hamza al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian), Ahmed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian). The Second Commander next to Bin Laden of the terrorist group called Al Qaida is an Egyptian terrorist called Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri. By contrast, Ethiopia supported America in the Korean War by sending its warriors to fight under America’s Military Command and political Leadership. Why in God’s blessed world is Donald Trump (hereafter “Trump” for brevity) supporting Egypt, the home country of deadly terrorists, against and over Ethiopia?
In my opinion, in case of the dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia, Trump chose the wrong side of history in supporting Egypt, for some personal gain and not in the best interest of the United States of America [hereafter ‘America’ for brevity] long-term or short-term foreign policy. Most commentators have written that Trump’s motive in sacrificing Ethiopia in favor of Egypt is to win the Nobel for Peace by brokering lasting peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis. I hold the Nobel is a secondary point of interest for Trump and Family. Trump’s interest and focus is access to the immense Sovereign wealth of Saudi Arabia and the wealth of the other Gulf Countries. When Jared Kushner, the senior White House Advisor and Son-in-law of Trump, run into a problem paying the mortgage on his Family owned 1.8 Billion dollar 666 Fifth Avenue skyscraper, it is Arab fund that he sought foremost. Finally, Brookfield bailed him out of an embarrassing situation by leasing that property for 99 years. Furthermore, the entanglement of Kushner with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Salman is a troubling situation. It was reported sometimes back that Mohammad Salman had said that Jared Kushner is in his pocket.
I could easily draw a parallel narrative between Trump’s recent manipulative involvement as a sort of conjuror/joker impartial broker in the negotiation between Egypt and Ethiopia (with Sudan, a favorably disposed participant) and the impeachment record of Trump’s abuse of power charge. The Trump impeachment charge is about abuse of power of holding back military aid to Ukraine, allegedly trying to force Ukraine Leader to conduct some kind of investigation against presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, for Trump’s own political personal advantages. It was obvious over the years that Egypt has sought the entanglement of America in its unattainable childish dream to conquer and subjugate Ethiopia and control the Tikur Abay (Blue Nile Basin) with Lake Tana.
There are several historical events that we Ethiopians should be aware of, especially the many tragic facts of involvement of past American Presidents, such as Civil-War-era Johnson (mercenaries), Truman (Kagnew), Eisenhour (Point Four), Nixon (coup d’état), Carter (withholding weapons), Clinton (secession), Bush (commission), and now Trump (GERD), in Ethiopian internal affairs. They have tried without success to subjugate us and destroy our pride and sovereignty. But they have inflicted on us in the guise of friendship and handouts tremendous moral decay and economic setbacks. Look at the Chinese who have financed and constructed in less than a couple of decades tremendous infrastructure allover Ethiopia that American Presidents did not do a fraction as much in their one-hundred years so called friendly relationship with Ethiopia. America’s Presidential ultimate betrayal is now personified in Donald Trump who is trying to force Ethiopia into signing a revitalized colonial period treaty that Ethiopia is fighting off by building the GERD with its own money and within its sovereign territory harnessing the vital force of its own mighty Tikur Abiay (Blue Nile River).
The Objective and the Whys of the GERD
Egypt falsely is casting the dispute about the filling of the GERD as a national security issue. The fact is totally far from such warmongering but deals with down to earth economic issues of equitable use of a river’s natural resource that originate in Ethiopia with almost one hundred percent water-asset thereof and traverses both Sudan and Egypt. Ethiopia is building the GERD in order to generate electric power, i.e. hydropower generated by gravitation cascading water turning turbans to produce electric power. The water of the Blue Nile will simply flow into its traditional water course and join the White Nile at Khartoum without significant loss of water. There is no farming and/or irrigation project that will reduce the flow of the river significantly. In fact it saves loss of significant amount of water loss by evaporation in the lake formed by the GERD. The Dam could be easily filled in three to seven years without causing harm to Sudan or Egypt. It will act as a great control system from the recurring flooding of the Nile River low land areas in both Sudan and Egypt. The benefit for all Riparian states is immense.
Egypt’s Rabid Behavior
Egypt has been for the last couple of centuries a horrible neighbor to Ethiopia. Egypt throughout its history after its semi-independence was asserted in 1805 by the Ottoman ruler Mohammad Ali Pasha of Albanian/Greek origin, it launched its military aggression against Ethiopia without any provocation on the Ethiopian side. Modern Egypt is a byproduct of the Ottoman masters, who employing Mameluke non-Arab mostly Slavic slave soldiers, dominated the leadership of Egyptian military and government to this day. The current power structure of Egypt has no connection whatsoever with the original people of Pharonic Kemet. Ethiopians have always been generous to Egyptians through out the thousand years connections. The foreign Slavic origin of the Khedives and most current military commanders such as el-Sisi have inherited such a legacy that they taunt as something to be proud of. Don’t forget the facts that for centuries Egypt was ruled by Alexander’s General forming the Ptolemaic Dynasty that included Cleopatra, after that the Egyptians were ruled by the Romans, followed by the Ottomans. The French too subjugated Egypt during the Napoleonic wars. In the 19th Century they became a British Protectorate. Such is the legacy of Egypt that is now using the idiotic Trump and the greedy Kushner to challenge Ethiopia to forego its God given Sovereignty over its own resources.
The few Egyptians I met in College were erratic with serious identity problems. I found them to be racist and emotionally immature like most Arabs I have met. I believe that Engineer Simegnew Bekele was murdered by Egyptian agents. The ridiculous report of the Ethiopian Federal Police that Engineer Simegnew Bekele committed suicide should be discarded and a new investigation must be conducted in collaboration with internationally recognized experts on such types of violence. I believe several current TPLF Leaders, in an effort to hide their looting of billions of dollar value from Ethiopia, the OLF in toto, and Jawar Mohammed are in the service of Egypt/Arabs and are fully engaged in the Egyptian grand project of causing instability, violence, and ethnic cleansing on a massive scale in Oromo, Somali, Amhara, and Gambela Kilils.
Support PM Abiy Ahmed is an Imperative
There is no room for political games now, especially during a time that Ethiopia is being attacked by both the United States and Egypt. All Ethiopians irrespective of their political differences with the current Ethiopian Government must rally around our leader PM Abiy Ahmed. We must ensure that election takes place as scheduled. It is a fact that I had highly criticized PM Abiy Ahmed’s too frequent international activities flying off to Arab, European, and Asian countries during a time of instability, violence, and ethnic cleansing taking place on a massive scale in Oromo, Somali, Amhara, Gambela et cetera Kilils, inappropriate and wasteful of hard currency. However, at times I have pointed out about a number of activities of Abiy Ahmed as patriotic and admirable. Now, that Abiy Ahmed is making bold decisions in protecting Ethiopia’s Sovereignty and dignity in read to American and Egyptian arrogance, I am committed to support him in his patriotic stand against injustice and bullies. I want him to know that I am proud of him beyond measure. God always protects a hero, and never backdown.
I urge Abiy Ahmed to disclose all communications and draft agreements, letters of understanding to the Ethiopian public on time without delay. A well-informed public is the best defender of the interest of Ethiopia. I urge Abiy Ahmed to make sure that his disagreement with TPLF, OLF, and/or Jawar Mohammad is fully disclosed to Oromos and Tigrai people et cetera. He must heal the caustic relationships between the leaderships of Amhara and Tigrai Kilils. I urge Abiy Ahmed to include the great Ethiopian Somali Kilil leader, Mustafa Omer, to prominence. Provide him with additional funding and military hardware.
Trump Reincarnated Andrew Johnson
In particular, Trump reminds me of another American President Andrew Johnson, who was elected as Vice President of Abraham Lincoln and succeeded to the Presidency after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. Just like Trump, Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1868 on eleven charges one of which seems to me similar to that charge of abuse of power Trump was impeached for. Andrew Johnson was a blatantly racist degenerate poorly educated rustic unelected one-term president who championed Egypt against Ethiopia for no cause involving America. Herein below I quoted from Miller Center studies as reported by Ethiopedia a parallel history illustrative of what Trump is trying to do following in the footsteps of Andrew Johnson who approved former Civil War General Sherman to recruit American mercenaries to lead Egyptian military to attack Ethiopia and occupy the Blue Nile basin and Lake Tana.
Andrew Johnson is described by the Miller Center as “the worst possible person to have been President at the end of the Civil War. His Secretary of State instigated and gave the green light to the Confederate General Sherman to recruit and ship the secret mercenaries to Egypt to kill the Ethiopians and capture the Nile Basin and Maritime lands of Ethiopia. Sherman was also commander-in-chief of the United States between 1865-1883 and his recruiting of confederate armies against Ethiopia took place at this time. [Dispatched] mercenaries to Egypt to kill the Ethiopians and capture the Nile Basin and Maritime lands of Ethiopia. In the end however almighty Ethiopia prevailed.” The Egyptian misadventure took place during the Reign of Emperor Yohannes IV and under the command of his illustrious Ras Alula Aba Nega at 1. Gundet, 16 November 1875 and 2. Gura , 8-9 March 1876 whereby the Civil War Generals leading the Egyptian Army along with their Egyptian counterparts including the Khedive’s son were totally destroyed and humiliated by Ethiopian Black Warriors who never been defeated by anybody.
Statements by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin
In my long adult life as a student of international law and as a devoted professional of international treaties, agreements, letters of intent, or drafts, I have never read such a deceitful, dishonest, and amateurish piece of writing by an official of any government in the world that compares to the statement issued by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. To begin with, first, Mnuchin’s demand that Ethiopia sign the draft “agreement” is insulting and beyond any diplomatic decorum. No Government will sign a document drafted even by its own appointed experts let alone by a third party without first reading such document to make sure the draft agreement reflects the interests of the parties accurately. Ethiopia has every legal and Sovereign right and power to walk away from any negotiation without signing any document. Period. The Second deceitful statement by the Secretary is the fact that he never addressed the document solely prepared by his employees as a draft. He wrote all over in his official statements referring to the draft document as “agreement”, with equivocation in meaning, even though there is only a draft “agreement”. Elementary lesson for Mnuchin and his deceitful experts is that an “agreement” happens in formal treaties or contracts after proper signing of the document. The signing of a draft agreement occurs after a document is read, reviewed, and corrections or additions made as needed. If there is cause for proper public consultations that too will be observed. No treaty or agreement of such magnitude can be rushed with set cut-off time to satisfy the time schedule of a third party in this case that of Donald Trump.
The responses of Gedu Andargachew and Seleshi Bekele effectively neutered both Egyptian and American Leaders’ effort to have Ethiopia sign a truly hotchpotch document. Both Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Trump, as well as Mnuchin, sound shallow, thuggish, and criminal conspirators in many of their public statements, It is an insult to try to force a sovereign and ancient country like Ethiopia to sign up a document with such urgency. What is all this urgency for by the American Government? It is really none of America’s business how slowly or when Ethiopia fills the Dam. In fact, I urge the Ethiopian Government to cut off America from the ongoing negotiation between the three primary riparian countries.
Recommendations for the Ethiopia of Abiy Ahmed
Step 1: Withdraw from the Washington Negotiation immediately. Make public all drafts, communications, from the American, Egyptian and Sudanese Governments concerning the GERD and the Blue Nile basin. Reinforce the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) (2010) by inviting all Nile Basin States for a new Conference.
America will meddle in Ethiopia’s Blue Nile basin issues endlessly if given an opening like the recent Trump’s effort to “moderate” talks/negotiations to reach an agreement on the filling of the GERD that showed the true face of American government ill intent toward Ethiopia. It is utterly sophomoric for anyone to assume that America to be an impartial moderator, considering the amount of leverage the Arab world has on America in billions of dollar assets, and trade value, and all forms of economic interests. By contrast, Ethiopia is involved in limited trade and business interactions with America. Even the balance of trade is in favor of America.
Step 2: Although I have no doubt about the patriotism of Minister Degu Andargachew, I do not think he is the right person to be the Minister for Foreign Affairs. I suggest either to appoint a special envoy for the Blue Nile/GERD dispute with Egypt or replace Degu Andargachew, for he does not have the right education, he does not command the necessary fluent English language ability, and he has no commanding presence and charisma to lead a Foreign Ministry or a delegation to negotiate any major treaty. Make sure to appoint either man or Woman who have physical presence. There is no personal animosity from my side toward Degu, he is simply not the right person for the job. He could be excellent Deputy Prime Minister. The current Minister for Water, Energy and Irrigation, Sileshi Bekele has an ideal physical presence, but must improve his English language skill with a professional trainer.
Step 3: Liquidate all subversive agents (foreigners or Ethiopians) promoting Egypt and the members of the Arab League within Ethiopia. Ethiopia must organize and reinforce existing counter-spy structures. Do not be shy about violence against subversive agents in the service of Egypt and its supporters within Ethiopia.
Step 4: Declare National military recruitment and create New Military Command for the Defense of GERD. Recruit a million young volunteers who will train as guerilla fighters.
Step 5: Form a Strategy Commission made up of Elders, Scholars, Community leaders, Young Ethiopian Association Leaders to assist in dealing with Egyptian Treat.
Step 6. Form Ethiopian Mothers and Children Associations. The Association will supplement all existing social services.
Step 7. Form Patriotic Youth Vanguard Associations. and create a Ministry of Ethiopian Youth in order to monitor, finance, guide, and direct the patriotism of all young Ethiopians.
Step 8: Establish in every village, town, and city a monthly held communal Lunch either on Saturday or Sunday to promote the defense of Ethiopia against Egyptian and American treats.
Step 9: Improve and expand agricultural production. Improve cattle, and other farm animals husbandry.
Step 10: Expand and improve health services. Increase the number of clinics and hospitals. Lobby all technologically advanced nations for support in health care for rural Ethiopia, mostly for pharmaceutical products/medicine.
I would like to quote the former Minister of Water, Energy and Irrigation, Alemayehu Tegenu, whom I admire immensely: “Ethiopia will never ask the consent of any country to undertake development projects. Ethiopia is an independent country and will never request the consent of any country. Ethiopia will undertake its development projects in a way that does not cause any significant harm to any country. Moreover, Ethiopia undertakes its development projects based on principles. It takes into consideration the benefits of the countries from the development projects as well as friendship and healthy relations with the countries.” [Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Water, Energy and Irrigation Minister of Water, Energy and Irrigation, interview, ‘Newstime Africa’, March 2, 2015] Alemayehu has captured the right attitude and spirit that all Ethiopian Officials should take to heart.
PM Abiy Ahmed should never again allow America to get involved in any capacity in the Blue Nile GERD issues with Egypt. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, or Minister of Water, Energy and Irrigation, inform the Governments of the United States, Egypt, and Sudan that the Ethiopian Government has no reason to continue the Washington Negotiation under open threat and one-sidedness of the United States. Once such cutting off letter is delivered to all Officials of the Ethiopian Government must speak in one voice and must not respond to calls or any form of personal contacts by such officials of the United States.
Egypt had lost every battle it ever fought in the last two hundred years. Its military is just puffed up paper-tiger, and no Ethiopian Government official should be worried about military attacks by Egyptians. They probably would use idiotic mercenaries from neighboring countries. Ethiopia’s response must always be fast and devastatingly violent. If Egypt tries to bomb the GERD directly or through third parties, Ethiopia should retaliate by hitting the Aswan Dam. If Egypt attempts to place military stations, its soldiers in any of the neighboring countries in South Sudan, Djibouti, North Sudan, or any part of Somalia Ethiopia should attack and destroy such outposts of Egypt. Considering the current constructive and extremely important reconciliation between Abiy’s Ethiopian Government and the Eritrean Government, and if Eritrea foolishly allows Egypt such beachhead, Ethiopia should attack such formations on Eritrean soil, Ethiopia ought to attack and neutralize such treat without delay. Of course, the main issue is where would Ethiopia get the military resources to launch such defensive attacks? The short answer is its own existing resources and by mobilizing millions of its young people. The temptation to connect with Iran must be avoided, rather connections with South Africa, South Korea, France, Germany, Ukraine, Spain, Italy must be enhanced and courted with proper incentives. Italy’s major Construction Company is the Contractor building the GERD. Mexico, and several South American countries are great supporters of Ethiopia. Such relationship must be enhanced and pursued vigorously.
I am very much aware of how people in the world thinks about Ethiopia or Ethiopians and our culture. The perception of other nations of Ethiopia is simply secondary and not be a decisive factor that would make me hide the truth, especially a type of truth helpful to build a healthy society based on justice and equality for all. I am not in any way bashful to state openly and bluntly that of all the histories of nations, communities, and societies I have studied, none has impressed me so positively as that of the history of the people of Ethiopia. I find in Ethiopians great nobility of spirit, great moral principles, and tremendous strength of character and surviving with great dignity against tremendous man-made and natural disastrous situation of recurring famine, civil war, inept leaders, et cetera.
I cannot see how a people from the West, or the East could give us any moral lesson when their history is drenched to its core with the blood of hundreds of millions of innocent victims. What is important to me, more than technological and industrial development, is the moral and ethical content of a society. Development without the corollary moral and ethical development leads to social disaster as evidenced in the death and destruction of the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf Wars et cetera. We need to focus on a single monumental treat to our independence and Sovereignty paused by Egypt and the America of Donald Trump. Long live Ethiopia, the land of Firsts.
Tecola W Hagos
6 March 2020