Reading Time: 8minutesBy Alemayehu G. MariamOn October 6, 2019
Last week, Susan Elizabeth Rice, President Obama’s former National Security Advisor and top confidant was ragging on President Donald Trump as the “destroyer of American democracy from within” as she hawked her book “Tough Love” on a talk show. Rice indignantly protested:
… For the first time I can remember, our democracy is under assault. Our country is in effect under attack. That attack is coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…. You’re thinking this man is not predictable, he’s not stable, he’s not playing with a full deck… And for all of the security threats I saw as national security advisor, I never thought I’d see that…
They [Trump and his people] don’t care. They don’t seem to care about the integrity of our elections, the integrity of our democracy and what makes us Americans…”
According to Susan Rice, Donald Trump has either made America a banana republic or turned it into Dante’s Inferno: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”, the U.S. of A.
Run! Run for your lives, compatriots! Trump the Barbarian is attacking American democracy from his garrison at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
It is amusing for me to see Susan E. Rice shedding crocodile tears for American democracy and singing requiem hymns for the death of electoral integrity by the bludgeoning hands of Donald Trump.
Aaah! How quickly we forget!
Susan Rice, you may have forgotten it, but I have not.
There is an old Ethiopian saying, “If he who spears (stabs) forgets, he who is speared (stabbed) does not forget.
Susan Rice speared me in the heart on July 27, 2015 with a villainous laughter and piercing words.
As Susan Rice rises to accuse Donald Trump of democricide in America, I rise to accuse, once again, Susan E. Rice of democricide in Ethiopia.
Susan Rice has no moral authority or standing to accuse President Trump of assault and murder of democracy in America because she herself was an accomplice and aider and abettor in the assault on and murder of democracy in Ethiopia.
I accused Susan E. Rice of democricide in Ethiopia in my July 31, 2015 commentary, “Susan Rice Laughing at Ethiopia’s 2015 Elektion”.
At a press conference during Obama’s trip to Kenya and Ethiopia in July 2015, Susan E. Rice busted out laughing immediately after she stated that the election of the “Prime Minister of Ethiopia [Hailemariam Desalegn]” is “absolutely – 100 percent democratic”. That election took a few weeks before Obama and Rice arrived in Ethiopia for a state visit.
For those who cannot access the video, this was Susan Rice’s response:
Reporter Isaac: Does the President consider the presidents of Kenya and Ethiopia democratically elected Presidents?
Susan Rice: I think the Prime Minister of Ethiopia was just elected with 100 percent of the vote, which I think suggests, as we have stated in our public statements, some concern for the integrity of the electoral process — at least if not in the outcomes then in some of the mechanisms that supported the process, the freedom for the opposition to campaign.
Reporter Isaac: But does he [President Obama] think it was a democratic election?
Susan Rice: Absolutely – 100 percent. [Busts out laughing uncontrollably.]
Human Rights Watch commenting on the 2015 “100 percent election” victory wrote:
According to Ethiopia’s National Electoral Board, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition won 546 parliamentary seats (with the 547th seat still to be announced).
The results shouldn’t be seen as a stamp of approval for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government – rather they are the inevitable outcome of a political system in which opposition parties face extraordinary challenges and nearly all avenues for citizens to engage in political debate are closed.
The theft of democracy and elections in Ethiopia was masterminded by the late brutal Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi, a man Susan Rice described as my “true friend”.
Meles Zenawi was a serial election thief, among other things.
He stole the 2005 Ethiopian election.
The European Union Election Observation Mission – Ethiopia 2005 in its final report stated, “The 2005 elections fell short of international principles for genuine democratic elections.” That is diplomatic speak for stolen election.
Meles Zenawi, following the 2005 election, jailed “several dozen opposition politicians, journalists, editors and civil society activists. Ethiopian authorities have indicated that several among them are likely to face charges of treason, which carries a potential sentence of death under Ethiopian law.”
In 2010, Susan Rice’s “true friend” claimed to have won 99.6 percent of the seats in the Ethiopian parliament.
The European Union Election Observation Mission – Ethiopia 2010 in its final report stated “the electoral process fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.” Again, stolen election.
In 2015, Meles Zenawi’s TPLF party, following Zenawi’s playbook, won 100 percent of the seats in parliament. It was theft of an election in broad daylight.
Susan Rice’s “true friend”, Meles Zenawi, was an enemy of democracy, a notorious and brazen election thief and persecutor and jailer of political opponents who trounced him in a democratic election.
The fact of the matter is that Susan E. Rice is a fake defender of democracy, a dissembler of democracy.
Susan Rice worshiped Africans tyrants and enemies of democracy at the altar of dictatorship.
Susan Rice was BFF (best friends for life) with some of the most brutal African dictators who not only stole elections but also changed their constitutions to become presidents-for-life. Susan Rice never met a dictator she did not like.
Of course, her favorite dictator was her “true friend” Meles Zenawi who ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist and lug-soled boots for over two decades.
Susan Rice’s eulogy of Meles Zenawi in 2012 could best be described as a canonization for sainthood:
Meles was a friend both to my country and to me personally… He was selfless, tireless and totally dedicated to his work and family… In the toughest times, he retained that twinkle in his eye, his roiling laugh, his ready smile and his wicked sense of humor. True, he never lacked confidence in his judgement. He wasn’t just brilliant, a relentless negotiator, and consumer of knowledge. He was uncommonly wise, able to see the big picture and long game. He was tough, unsentimental and sometimes and yielding. He had little patience for fools or as liked to call them idiots. From among many of his admirable qualities was his world class mind. He was consistently reasoned in his judgment and thoughtful in his decisions. He was both a son and father of Ethiopia 43 birth… He is a true friend to me and many…
But Saint Meles Zenawi not only had a wicked sense of humor, he was also a villainous and wicked shapeshifting dictator “who smiled as he murdered and murdered as he smiled”, to paraphrase Shakespeare.
In 2008, Parade Magazine described Zenawi as one of “The World’s Worst Dictators”.
In 2012, The Economist described Zenawi as “The man who tried to make dictatorship acceptable.”
The Atlantic in 2012 described Zenawi as a “modern dictator who cracked down on civil society organizations and journalists”, and whose “rule was marked by a cynical divide-and-conquer strategy that excluded several of the country’s major ethnic groups from political and economic life, and that denied humanitarian aid to supposedly disloyal sectors of the country.”
Foreign Policy Magazine described Zenawi as “not your typical one-dimensional African strongman.”
It was Meles Zenawi, the man who killed democracy and untold numbers of innocent Ethiopians that Susan Rice described as “a true friend” and a “friend to me personally”.
Today, Susan Rice has the gall to accuse Donald Trump of mounting an “assault on American democracy” and destroying “the integrity of our elections”.
Is the pot calling the kettle black?
But hypocrisy runs in the bloodstream of the Obama extended political family.
In June 2013, Obama the hypocrite ripped into the late dictator Robert Mugabe who claimed to have won his election in Zimbabwe by 61 percent of the vote:
… So there is an opportunity to move forward — but only if there is an election that is free, and fair, and peaceful, so that Zimbabweans can determine their future without fear of intimidation and retribution. And after elections, there must be respect for the universal rights upon which democracy depends.
Obama and Rice accused Robert Mugabe of being an election thief when he won by 61 percent of the vote, but it was “absolutely 100 percent democratic” when Meles Zenawi claimed 100 percent electoral victory in Ethiopia.
A hypocrite is as a hypocrite does.
Legend has it that President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza that “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
I guess for Obama and Rice, “Zenawi may be an S.O.B, but he is their S.O.B.”
Despite lofty rhetoric in support of the advancement of democracy and protection of human rights in Africa, Susan Rice and Barack Obama continued to subsidize and coddle African dictatorships that are as bad as or even worse than Mugabe’s.
Obviously, in Susan Rice’s mind “stupid is as stupid does.” Africans have never known democracy; therefore dictatorship is democracy for them.
Apparently, a democracy that is good for the American goose is not good for the Ethiopian gander.
Fake and sham democracy for Ethiopia and Africa is just fine and dandy, according to Susan Rice.
For America, democracy is a sacrosanct institution to be enshrined and cherished in the Holy of Holies.
It must be defended tooth and nail against a man, to use Susan Rice’s phrase, “who is not playing with a full deck”.
When push comes to shove on American democracy, Susan Rice trumpets atop her moral high horse, “Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war!”
The fact of the matter is that for the Janus-faced Susan Rice democracy is a question of moral relativism.
Democratic elections are relative. Election integrity is relative.
For Susan Rice to call President Trump the assassin of American democracy is the height of hypocrisy.
Scripture teaches, “Don’t focus on the speck in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.”
Sister Susan, I say this to you from the bottom of my heart:
Look hard in the mirror. Everything you said about President Trump, I said about you in July 2015. You might just be talking about yourself when you accused President Trump of democricide in America.
Sister Susan, when you point one finger at President Trump for “assaulting democracy”, remember there are three fingers pointing back to you for your support of dictators all over Africa who murdered democracy in its infancy or made sure it was stillborn.
Sister Susan, when you come out swinging at Donald Trump as a holy roller crusader for American democracy, I laugh at you today just as you laughed at me and 100 million Ethiopians in 2015 after saying an election won 100 percent by one party is “100 percent democratic.”
Sister Susan, when I see you preaching morality, constitutionality and patriotism sanctimoniously to Donald Trump from your holier-than-thou pulpit of hypocrisy, I really pity you.
Sister Susan, shed your crocodile tears over the horrible death of American democracy at the hands of Donald Trump to Americans who do not know you.
I know you.
Ethiopians know who you really are.
When you told them the 2015 election was “100 percent democratic”, you not only disrespected them, you also insulted their intelligence.
Sister Susan, Africans know who you really are.
Might I ask you Sister Susan, did you shed a tear when 800 thousand Rwandans were murdered in 1994?
Did you not say in 1994, as a staffer on the National Security Council, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing in Rwanda, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”
Sister Susan, tell me, was the moral choice for you winning an election and losing 800 thousand Rwadans?
Sister Susan, let me assure you that Ethiopians do not suffer fools, idiots and those who insult their intelligence and undermine their heroic efforts to establish democracy for themselves and their posterity.
Ethiopians forgive but they never forget!
Whatever President Trump has committed or omitted in the performance of his presidential duties are now under scrutiny by the U.S. House of Representatives.
As a constitutional lawyer, I have had opportunity to study and teach Congress’ power of impeachment (U.S. Const. art.1, §2, cl.5.2; U.S. Const. art.1, §3, cl.6).
Whether an allegation of “assault on American democracy” by one who “does not play with a full deck” amounts to an impeachable “high crime and misdemeanor” remains to be seen.
Regarding impeachment, President Gerald Ford said it best, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
Sister Susan, tough love should begin with tough self-love.
As you dish out your “urgent appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy” in your book, try a taste of your own medicine which you push on others: Honesty, integrity, sincerity, veracity, probity and a little dash of humanity.
Sister Susan, you could “wet your cheeks with artificial tears of a dying American democracy and frame your face” to sell your book, to paraphrase Shakespeare, but be mindful you are in a tough spot to pontificate or hector Donald Trump or anyone else about democracy.
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