OPEN LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP

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To:    President Donald Trump
President of the United States of America
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Re:       Ethiopia-US relations:

Mr. President,

I find it difficult to identify the type of language and style of communication that appeal to your Excellency’s taste. I recognize though how a straight shooter you are who uses diplomatically unusual vocabularies. I also acknowledge that trying to appease your presidency with diplomatic jargons would be hypocritical. Hence, please allow me to be candid and straight forward, and sometimes harsh, in this communique. I apologize in advance if you find the letter unpalatable to you and your administration.

It is inconceivable that your presidency is clocking three solid years since you swore into office uttering, under Oath, “so help me God” to serve the United States of America. Whatever your oath of office means to you, however, the internationally community still remains confused by the decision of the American people voting you in to occupy the august office-the White House. Shakespeare said “…people get the government they deserve”. So long as America believes in democracy, Americans deserve to have your government. There are no regrets to the consequences of democracy.

Over the past three and half years your foreign policy, international diplomacy and domestic measures have been judged as ill-advised and short-sighted. Your inability to govern which is canvassed by ignorance and bullish behaviors of your presidency has tarnished America’s global might and image. Your statements and actions nosedived the respect that America used to enjoy as a superpower. America is heading towards a path of a weak nation of invalidity.

You may not understand that the onus of global supremacy is shifting from the US to emerging powers of China, Russia and Iran. Unfortunately, the short sightedness of your administration is costing not only your country but also your closest and likeminded allies such as Canada, EU and NATO member countries. For example, your unwarranted economic and political raw with China and Huawei of China has endangered Canada’s social, economic and technological future by putting Canada at loggerheads with the economic giant, China.

Recent accusations of China on the Corona Virus led you to believe Taiwan as an independent nation. You don’t seem to realize that President Nixon had ratified Taiwan as one of China’s provinces when he declared a one China policy in 1979.

I am not sure whether you are fully aware that US, as a member of the United Nations, recognizes Taiwan as an integral part of China. It is this ignorance of bliss that led you to clash with the World Health Organization (WHO) where you cutoff US funding to the multilateral organization at a critical time of a global pandemic. It is sad to see and hear that your ill thought decisions have no bounds.

Recently, you have also decided to intervene on the Ethiopia and Egypt row over the hydropower dam that Ethiopia is building on Abbay (Nile). You hijacked the tripartite discussions and stick your-self and your Secretary of Treasury.  Surprisingly, far from the diplomatic norms of negotiation, your Treasury Secretary and you have tried to dictate the terms and conditions of the negotiations by twisting Ethiopia’s hands to accept an agreement which was favorable to Egypt. Please note that Ethiopia has never caved into any European colonial ambition during the 19th century scramble for Africa and it won’t be cowed by America’ neo-colonialism mentality in the 21st century either.

Thanks to the African Union that brought the first phase of the tripartite political negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan to amicable conclusion a couple of weeks ago. While the three countries continue detailing the technical aspects of the agreement, Ethiopia has successfully completed the 1st filling of its Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), a lynch pin of economic and social transformation two weeks ago. Following the filling of the dam, jubilation engulfed the over 110 million Ethiopians igniting their hopes for a better future.

Mr. President,

As Ethiopians are engulfed in jubilation, your administration is threatening to cut off economic aid to Ethiopia https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/07/22/trump-administration-africa-aid-ethiopia-egypt-gerd-nile-sudan-dispute-negotiations/ similar to that of the WHO. This could be a true testament of your administration’s wickedness and desire to halt Ethiopia’s effort of fighting poverty and underdevelopment. Mr. president, we urge you in earnest to stop meddling in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. Any roadblock envisaged against Ethiopia’s aspirations of defeating poverty has nothing to do with your mantra of “making America great again”.

I am one of the million Ethiopians who express concern on U.S.’s desire to cut off economic aid, and obstructing Ethiopia’s access to multilateral loans with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It is advisable for your presidency to refrain from hurting the long-standing Ethiopia-US relations that has been in stellar condition for 120 years now. At a time when the global community is joining hands to fight the deadly COVID-19 we need more cooperation and understanding among nations and not confrontation and coercion.

Thank you,

Semaneh T. Jemere
Ottawa, ON K1H 6H8, Canada
Email: stjtamrat@hotmail.com
Tel: +1-613-796-6196

Cc:       Michael R. Pence

Vice President of the United States
Secretary Steven Mnuchin
United States Department of the Treasury
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo
United States Department of State
Mr. Gedu Andargachew
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia

28 Comments

  1. Trump is going down in November. Make sure you register to vote. Joe Biden will defeat Donald Trump, but he needs your help to do it. It doesn’t cost anything to be on Team Joe, but when you donate, it sends the message that you are ready to change the course of history. Will you chip in today?

    Go Biden. Make America Trump free again!

  2. እዉነቱን ለመናገር ያህል፣ ነጻነት የለመደ ሰዉ እንዳሻዉ/ እንዳሻት ቢጽፍ/ ብትጽፍ ኃጥያቱ እምኑላይ ነዉ???

  3. Trump’s ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be that he is a fraud. That’s the word of Mary L. Trump, Trump’s own niece in her fascinating new book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” He withdraws to comfort zones such as Twitter and Fox News because “he is and always will be a terrified little boy.” And she contends that Trump has been “institutionalized” for most of his adult life, in that he has been shielded from his shortcomings — whether by his father bailing him out of terrible investments or by a federal government now deployed to protect his ego. “Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he’ll never sit for,” Mary Trump concludes. More memorable than any such details are this book’s insights and declarations. Mary describes her grandfather as a “high-functioning sociopath,” a condition that can include abusiveness, ease with deceit and indifference to right and wrong.” Sounds familiar? Just like our hippos a walking madness.

  4. Well intentioned (the author should be commended for his patriotism and motivation) but hardly the language I would use in addressing the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth especially this one brimming with super ego. For example, it is irrelevant to dangle an adversary’s name such as China’s which can only pique the president.

    In situations like this better to defer to the professionals who can accomplish the same but in much more nuanced and effective way.

    Regards!

  5. Well, the language is fine there is no such thing as professional in the Trump era. The leader of the most powerful nation is so completely at odds with every institution in America and so completely at odds with anything that even the Republican Party allegedly stood for: the rule of law, constitutional fealty, institutions, norms, traditions, all of those things are out the window, Says Rick Wilson, a prominent Republican Never Trumper and co-founder of The Lincoln Project whose highly organized plans for November to preserving the union and drive Trump out of office by driving him nuts” is getting huge reception across America. There is no right or wrong language when the house is burning..

    The Lincoln Project, which has become a favorite of conservative/evangelical Ethiopians on social media, says: “So you’re either going to make a choice between Trump or this country. We made the choice for the country, even if it doesn’t immediately seem to fit with all of our ideological or political priors.” News reports indicate “their viral videos and tweets mocking his leadership, his intelligence and his patriotism — aimed both at Republican voters who are wavering and Trump himself — have attracted millions of dollars, via donors from both parties. More than 10,000 people attended a virtual town hall last month and another 80,000 watched it on a live stream. Lifelong Democrats (including Ethiopian Americans) are organizing fundraisers for the project. The “Mourning in America” ad attacks Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus outbreak. “#TrumpIsNotWell” questions his mental and physical fitness. “Bounty” asks why Trump won’t confront Vladimir Putin about U.S. intelligence reports that Russia offered bounties for the killing of American soldiers in Afghanistan. The ads are slick, scathing and more shocking than anything Joe Biden’s official campaign has produced. The newest release, “Wake Up,” is a dark comic satire about a coma victim hearing about Trump’s last three years. “Republicans, we need to wake up. This guy was in a coma. What’s your excuse?”

    Just like the henchmen in the diaspora behind the fake names such as Belay, Bakri Bazara (a.k.a. TDAL woyane henchman, Teshome Debalke, AM) hippo “Trump is a narcissist and he cannot help but react to threats to his delicate psyche,” explains Conway. “He is a very sensitive, weak human being who cannot take criticism.” The other factor, he adds, is that “he can’t think ahead. He merely reacts to things. And what we do is take advantage of both of those psychological defects.”

    Pick your motto: Politics makes strange bedfellows. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Desperate times call for desperate measures. “I’ll be really honest with you: My time horizon is the election,” says Charlie Sykes, a conservative political commentator who is not part of the Lincoln Project but wants to see Trump voted out. “I feel like the house is burning. I want to put out the fire. I’m going to worry about the redecorating later.”

    So the language is okay we will worry bout the grammar after the election.

  6. In a democracy, everyone has the right to write a letter. You don’t need a lawyer to do it. This is an excellent letter. It makes the point. Thank you.

  7. Trump is the most vindictive person I have ever known … he believes in pay backs, by tenfold. At the end of the day, this open letter will only hurt the writer, Ethiopia/ns in general –than it would bring any tangible change — it is wise to pick your battles! I advice the writer to look over your shoulder from now on, at least for a couple of years.
    One thing for sure, Trump was right that the current WHO Director General Tedros Adhonm was indeed one of the members of the highly corrupted brutal TPLF dictators that robbed the country and massacred unknown number of Ethiopians. Trump also correct that, it is highly likely that without the Chinese help, Tedros would have never becone the WHO Chairman on his own merits.

  8. Trump did not force Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew to sign saying “Ethiopia , Sudan and Egypt will reach an agreement by January the 15th , 2020” .

    Gedu Andargachew signed that without Trump forcing him to do so.
    Till this day agreement is not reached between Egypt , Sudan and Ethiopia. AU did not bring agreement between Sudan , Ethiopia and Egypt.

    Previous presidents of USA since 1991 indirectly had been buying bullets for EPRDF to kill us innocent Ethiopians , we innocent Ethiopian victims had been begging USA to cut aid for decades , finally it seems it will happen so Thank you Mr. Trump, please cut the aid soon ,by cutting aid Mr. Trump you should know you are letting the playing field be leveled in Ethiopia for all Ethiopians for the first time since 1991. Ethiopians will not forget Mr. Trump’s courage for cutting aid , aid until now usually ends up in pockets of the corrupt officials not the vulnerable Ethiopians the aid was intended for.

  9. Nessannett,

    You are right he is the most idiotic person you have ever known, but please do not try to intimidate anyone. The writer of this article, please ignore him and if you have any issues contact the Biden campaign or the Obama foundation. Got your back.

    In case you missed the news, Joe Biden is announcing his running mate soon! We don’t know exactly when he’ll share his choice, but we know we want to make sure she gets a warm Team Joe welcome right from the start! So we’re putting together a welcome card, and we want everyone on the team to sign it.

    Whoever Joe selects as his running mate, we know she will be our best pick to stand with Joe in the battle for the soul of this nation. And with our Democratic ticket set, we’ll be ready to charge full speed ahead into the final days of this election.

    And together, we’re going to defeat Trump and bring unity, empathy, and leadership back into our politics.

    So let’s make sure she gets a huge Team Joe welcome from day one! Will you add your name to welcome Joe’s running mate to the team?

    We don’t know when we’ll need to send her this card, but it could be very soon, so make sure to sign your name before midnight.

    Thanks,

    Team Joe

  10. Ethio American,
    Intimidation? That wasn’t my intentIon. Also, please, don’t put words in my mouth — Vindictive and idiotic have totally different meanings. I could have agreed with you, if you have said that Trump is the most mendacious president ever.
    Let’s hope that Biden doesn’t pick Susan Rice as his running mate, the very Susan Rice that supported dictator Meles and his TPLF cronies…, that also insulted 100 million Ethiopians as “fools and idiots”, at dictator Meles’ funeral.

  11. Nessannett,

    Mintesinot, This is election year so ተረጋጋ። የድሮው ያዙኝ ልቀቁኝ አይሠራም ዘንድሮ። Remember the proverb people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This means that you should not criticize other people for qualities in their character that you have yourself and plenty of unpleasant secrets. ምከረው ምከረው እምቢ ሲል መከራ ይምከረው።

  12. Nessannett,

    I smell a stench of the same old sexism in your snarky comment about Dr. Susan Rice. Whoever Joe picks for VP I am with her. It could be Dr. Rice or someone else but whatever policy disagreement you may have had with her in the past unlike Trump for refusing to cut aid to Ethiopia during the prominence of Al-Qaeda in East Africa and for being a partner of Ethiopia’s regional security needs at the time and the country’s economic ambitions including building the nile dam. That does not mean she is free of criticism from nearly a decade ago, but to hold a grudge for so long against a public servants in American democracy is very Trumpian and un-American. Whatever your issue with Dr. Rice is she is one of the most accomplished patriotic American. And a brilliant women with an impressive s cv: Stanford, Rhodes scholar, assistant secretary of state at age 32, U.N. ambassador, not that many men can say they resume matches hers. Most insecure men have problem with her outspoken style as demonstrated in a recent interview in which she was asked about her view on the super Trump henchman Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina. “He’s been a piece of s—,” Dr. Rice declared. “I said it. I said it, finally, dammit. He’s a piece of s—t.” She smiled at the camera. Who disagrees with that? Not to mention if selected by Joe to be a VP, she will be the first Black person to be chosen as vice presidential candidate. But Joe also has several other equally phenomenal women to choose from. The point is please don’t be such a negative person.

  13. Sorry but this election about America not Ethiopia. In the end, the whole point of making the comparison is to illustrate: there is really no point in making the comparison.

  14. Meron for Biden,
    You have the right of your opinion and the right who to support or not — it is called Democracy — we have to agree to disagree. I just stated my opinion how I feel about Susan Rice — I never questioned her credentials and accomplishments, but at the sametime, I questioned her judgments and ethical decisions for standing by a massmurderer tyrant, that was also a leader of TPLF that has been listed in the Global Terrorism Blacklist. There is no doubt that CIA knew the atrocious crimes of TPLF and how deep Meles and his TPLF cronies were murdering Ethiopians and robbing Ethiopia — Susan Rice knew what CIA knew — besides the humanrights violations and massacre in Ethiopia under Meles, as smart as she is, she knew and knows that no one becomes a multibillionaire in a matter of a couple of years after taken power of a poor country.
    Obama and Susan Rice didn’t care how Ethiopians were mistreated and massacred, as long as Meles sacrificed poor Ethiopian soldiers in Somalia.
    As much as I dislike Susan Rice for supporting a brutal tyrant that tortured and massacred my relatives and unknown number of Ethiopians… if Biden picks Susan Rice, I just have to hold my nose and vote for Biden. Anyhow, my guess is that, Biden is going to pick Senator Kamala Harris.

  15. Nesssannett,

    AL, I don’t agree with your characterization, that’s your opinion. Each to his own.

    Peace

  16. Nesssannett,

    Feel free to vote for Trump…no reason to hold your nose. We know that you claimed to have voted for Obama too (highly doubtful, given your record) No one is holding a gun over your head. This is a voluntary exercise. And we intend to continue supporting Biden when he governs.

    Good Luck to you!

  17. Nesssannett,

    I don’t agree with your characterization, that’s your opinion. Each to his own.

    Peace

  18. We’re about two weeks away from the start of the Convention, so interest in who Joe Biden will choose as his running mate is nearing its peak.

    While can’t say when exactly he’ll announce (or who he’ll pick), what can tell you is this: There are a number of sharp, thoughtful, and, yes, ambitious women up to the task of working alongside him every day to win this race and unite our country. Our job over the next 92 days is to do everything we can to support them as they make the case to folks all across the country for their vision of empathy, equality, and fulfilling the promise of America for everyone.

    So the ask for you today could not be more urgent: calling on all of us to push harder every day to ensure that Joe Biden and his running mate win this November. That starts right here, right now.

  19. Thank you Team Joe! You guys are amazing! Love you!!!

    I am all fired up and ready to go!

  20. First of all, I don’t think the president will have the time to read this letter because the reaction of the writer and many like him/her I noticed here and other websites is based on rumors. Who is that reliable source from inside the administration that told the writer about the president’s plan to cut off the aid? This gossip has been circulating for a while now but no such measures have been confirmed or announced so far. Even if any cut is made it could be because the old country does not need it anymore or is it part of the overall trend of cutting back expenses. We have just noticed USA withdrawing troops from Germany. Somehow there will be moments when it is about time to wean countries of easy-come aid addictions.

    The writer also seems to belittle the capabilities and importance of USA’s presence on the world stage. Then there is the exaggeration of the might and capabilities of the commies in Beijing. The writer seems telling the president that he/she is ready to go to war defending those thugs in Beijing. I am not sure if the writer penned this letter in the calm state of mind. He/she may also think that the president will lose in the November election. All I can say is not too fast. I wish the writer did not bring up the case of Taiwan because Nixon was not the president in 1979, Carter was. I highly suggest to the writer to travel to Taiwan and see that country for him/herself. It is now the only beacon of democracy in that part of the region. It ain’t Hong Kong.

  21. Seni,

    You’re awesome! Thank you. Let us know if you need anything down in Michigan. Morning Consult Intelligence showing a 10-percentage-point lead for Joe in Michigan. Keep strong. 91 days to to go!

  22. To Ethiopian Americans, Message from Joe:

    I hope you and your family are well.

    Once again, I can say that the last few weeks have been intense and, at times, painful.

    The United States saw the largest drop in GDP since we began recording it. We passed 150,000 deaths from the coronavirus. And we lost two civil rights heroes, C.T. Vivian and John Lewis.

    It’s times like these when we are tested when it’s more important than ever that we keep the faith that things will get better.

    Jill and I were blessed to speak with our dear friend John Lewis one last time in his final days. Instead of answering our concerns for him, he asked about us. He asked us to stay focused on the work left undone to heal this nation.

    Throughout his life, John taught us that while the journey toward equality is not easy, we must be unafraid and never cower and never, ever give up. It’s up to all of us to carry on his mission.

    We’ve got to keep the faith, and we’ve got to keep marching. So that’s what I plan to do, and what I’m asking you to do with me.

    In just a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating the Democratic National Convention, and my running mate and I will humbly accept your formal nomination for President and Vice President of the United States. Then, it’s full steam ahead each and every day until November!

    When I say I’m honored to have you with me in this battle for the soul of the nation, I mean it. And I’m excited to share some of the things our campaign has been doing, and what we have in store.  

    Now, on to the fun part. Last week we passed a major marker for this campaign, and there are now less than 100 days until Election Day. To celebrate, my team kicked off a 100 Days, 100 Ways to Help Joe Win the White House series. Here’s one action that I hope you’ll do today, if you haven’t already: get the new Vote Joe app and talk with friends and family about why you’re supporting my campaign.

    And I couldn’t leave out mentioning a true highlight of these past few months: getting to sit down with my good friend President Barack Obama for a socially distanced conversation. It had been too long since we’ve been able to see each other and discuss the significant moment we’re in.

    We talked about who we are as a nation, the crises we are going through right now, and how we can build back better. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can see the full conversation here:

    President Obama and I also took a few minutes to surprise some of my campaign’s supporters to thank them for everything they’re doing. We called people like Craig, a doctor who fought the Ebola outbreak and is now fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and Arianna, who’s been organizing food drives for her community during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Calling supporters is one of my favorite things to do — especially since it’s one of the few ways I can speak with voters one-on-one right now. I’ll be calling even more people soon to thank them for their grassroots donations, and I’d love to see your name on the list.

    What’s Coming

    This month is a big one.

    I’ll be announcing my running mate very soon. We’ve got an incredible, diverse pool of candidates, and I can’t wait to share my historic choice with you. In fact, if you’ve made it this far into my newsletter, I want to make sure you’re one of the first people to know who my Vice President will be. If you sign up here, my team will make sure you get the news as soon as possible:

    Then, we’ll hold the Democratic National Convention. I’m so glad it will still be anchored in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while making sure that everyone can both participate and stay safe. We’ll showcase the strength and unity of our party, my Vice President and I will accept your official nomination, and we’ll formally kick off the general election.

    Friend,  August really is, as my coach used to say, “go time.” As you can see, we’ve got big plans for the month, but it’s going to take a lot of resources to pull them off.

    That’s all we’ve got for today.

    Thank you so much for your support, for taking the time to read this, and for believing in this campaign.

    We’ve got less than three months until Election Day, and voting in some states begins even sooner than that. So what we do today really matters.

    Every time you chip in a few bucks, make some calls, or talk to your friends about what we’re fighting for, you’re helping power us to victory in November.

    So thank you. I really mean it.

    Take care,

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