Anglo-American Elite Continue Threats to Break-up Ethiopia

Ethno-nationalism is Ethiopia’s most serious security threat (map courtesy of Wikipedia)

April 16, 2024

The publication of Alex da Waal’s article, Ethiopia Back on the Brink, in Foreign Affairs, on April 8, is a clear indication that the Anglo American Establishment intends to continue the destabilization of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. (Foreign Affairs/ Da Waal)

How Do I Know?

I come to this conclusion as one who comprehends strategic global dynamics, which elevates my thinking above those who live in the world of empiricism. It is elementary for me, who understands the world view of those indoctrinated in the “geopolitical zero-sum” ideology, to know what is intended for Ethiopia.

I know two crucial pieces of evidence.

One, Alex da Waal supported the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in their treasonous endeavor to overthrow the government of Ethiopia. It was a military attempt at regime change in a destructive war that lasted for two years. He was an active supporter in the war to destroy the Ethiopian nation. When Da Waal writes or talks about Ethiopia, his hatred and rage against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, gushes out.

Two, Foreign Affairs is a quarterly publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most prominent and influential think tank in the United States that has direct impact on all branches of the United States  government.The CFR was founded in 1921, as the American branch of the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, which was created two years earlier. Chatham House was created by Lord Alfred Milner, then acting as Secretary of State for the British Empire’s colonies, through a vast trust funded by the estate of race-patriot Cecil Rhodes.

One should ask him or herself: why would the most prestigious U.S. establishment magazine publish an article on Ethiopia by someone who not only hates the current government of Ethiopia, but actively supported its attempted overthrow.

Da Waal is no ordinary academic. He is an advocate for the geopolitical establishment that believes they have the authority to decide who is an acceptable leader of a nation. That is, one that is acceptable to their rules-based international order, which does not respect the legitimacy of decisions made by the citizens of sovereign African nations.

The intent of the continuous destabilization of Ethiopia in the eighteen months following the negotiated end of the war in November 2022, is to produce a weakened, fractured, or balkanized nation. One can grasp the significance of the type of evidence I am presenting, providing one has not become a victim of ethno-nationalism ideology. Given Ethiopia’s political and economic dominance, along with its sheer size, if these efforts were to succeed, the Horn of Africa would be thrust into decades of war and chaos.

Before I was shunned by the Ethiopian diaspora, I was praised for my insightful assessment that the intent of the TPLF instigated war was regime change. Unfortunately, many of my former allies, who know well of Alex da Waal’s nefarious role in Ethiopia’s destructive war, reject my analysis today. Nor do I have any direct indication that leaders in Ethiopia understand who is waging war against Ethiopia, and why. However, it would serve the best interest of Ethiopia and the continent, for people to heed and understand my analysis.

Ethno-nationalism Weaponized

The Council on Foreign Relations, dominated by their geopolitical outlook that the world is composed of victors and victims, disregards the significance of the concept of a sovereign nation state. Instead, they see countries as mere pawns to be manipulated to accomplish their goal of western hegemony. Poor Alex da Waal is simply a tool whose erroneous academic analysis is used against African nations. He serves the interests of his master, the rules-based international order.

Da Waal shows his contempt for a unified sovereign nation of Ethiopia through his constant support of ethno-nationalism, which remains today, the most serious threat to the existence of the Ethiopian nation. He fails to understand that the most important objective of a “national dialogue” is to affirm the superiority of Ethiopian citizenship over ethno-nationalism. This will also require major alterations in the flawed Ethiopian constitution, rather than perpetuating it . He praises the decades of rule by the TPLF that is responsible for dividing the nation into ethnic conclaves, which he claims was undone by Prime Minister Abiy.

Ethiopia’s failed Constitution, which promotes ethno-nationalism, is in urgent need significant change.

Da Waal writes:     

Under the previous regime, Ethiopia’s various regions have been held together by a federal formula that aimed to maintain the country’s complete complicated ethnic mosaic…this federal system undergirded a quarter century of stability.

This “mosaic” that promoted ethnicity over citizenship of a nation, has made Ethiopia vulnerable to external intervention, and is the root cause of Ethiopia’s recent war and violent conflicts today.

Da Waal consciously refuses to acknowledge that the TPLF initiated the war with an armed attack on the nation’s military defense force in Mekelle, Tigray. He supports the legitimacy for a province to initiate armed conflict against the central government. (An act that President Lincoln did not tolerate). He can barely conceal his enthusiasm for the TPLF’s march to capture Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital, in 2021. He praises the existence of ethnic armies and complains that FANO was not given a seat at the peace talks in South Africa. Why should they be there? FANO, nor any ethnic militia does not represent the nation of Ethiopia and is not a substitute for the elected  government.

War Mongering in the Horn of Africa

Da Waal joins the war mongering chorus working overtime to instigate armed conflict in the Horn of Africa. Displaying his ignorance or disdain for physical economic growth, he dismisses Ethiopia’s need for port access to the Red Sea and Gulf of Eden. Da Waal shows no concern for improving the living standards of millions of people residing in the Horn of Africa. Insisting that Prime Minister Abiy is only interested in the prestige of building a navy. Similarly, he exposes his lack of concern for improving the lives of Ethiopians and its neighbors by demeaning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He complains that it is 95 percent complete, despite opposition from Egypt. What kind of an “Africanist” does not support the injection of 5,150 megawatts of power, generated by the GERD, into a continent dying from lack of electricity? Conspicuously, Da Waal never discusses the critical need for economic development of the region.

In his Foreign Affairs’ essay, Da Waal asserts without any evidence that “the standoff between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu threatens to develop into a larger conflagration. There will be no conflagration unless Da Waal and his ilk deliberately ignite one, intending to set the East African region ablaze.

Da Waal blames the crisis in the Horn of Africa on Prime Minister Abiy’s so called expansionist plans and predicts a future that would lead to the  disintegration of Ethiopia. His scenario includes the Sudanese armed forces threatening the GERD, while the insurgency in Amara escalates. Da Waal has fantasies of an uprising that will threaten Prime Minister Abiy’s control of Addis Ababa, this time succeeding, unlike the TPLF’s earlier failed attempt. He then predicts that: In the coming year, Ethiopians could also face food riots, mass hunger-induced migration, and a broader social and security breakdown. That is quite a prophecy or is it his aspiration for the future of Ethiopia. If any of Da Waal’s evil imagination were to become true, hundreds of millions of Africans living in Eastern Africa and across the continent would suffer unspeakable hardship.

We should judge this ominous prediction by da Waal, to be a desired outcome, or at the very least, a threat to Ethiopia and the existing government of Prime Minister Abiy.

Da Waal’s solution is having the rules-based international order intervene, to tell yet another African nation how to behave. According to him, the United States and its partners should curb Prime Minister Abiy’s authority and maintain the structure of zones of ethno-nationalism. This would ensure that Ethiopia will be permanently fractured, instead of becoming a unified nation-state. Thus, deliberately leaving the second most populace nation in Africa, open to future destabilizations.

Hence, the significance of the publication of this article by an institution such as Foreign Affairs.

Read all my earlier posts on Ethiopia: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com/analysis/Ethiopia/

Soon I will be publishing from lawrencefreeman.substack.com

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

U.S. Geopolitics Exposes Itself in CFR report on China’s Belt and Road-Will Africa benefit?

China’s Belt and Road Initiative- BRI (Courtesy of dailysabah.com)

February12, 2022

Lawrence Freeman

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) March 2021 report: China’s Belt and Road: Implications for the United States, would be humorous, if it was not so pitiful. In the course of almost 200 pages, the CFR, the premiere think tank of the U.S. Establishment, maligns China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but admits that the success of the BRI is the result of a failure of U.S. policy. The entire analysis is inherently flawed from the beginning because it proceeds from the axioms of the diseased doctrine of geo-politics, which views the world as a zero-sum game. Rather than understanding that the world is composed of human beings and sovereign nations who share a common interest, Anglo-American devotees of geopolitics only see two sides. In this case, China, and the U.S., where “an advantage to one side is a loss to the other.”   

The CFR report is replete with a compilation of:

  • Contradictions
  • Speculation that BRI nations debt to China “might” or “could” lead to economic distress
  • China is not playing by the international rules imposed by Western international financial institutions
  • Recommendations that do not address the reasons for the success of the BRI, but instead propose new forms of political-economic warfare to undermine China.

The report’s Executive Summary bluntly states:

“U.S. inaction as much as Chinese assertiveness is responsible for the economic and strategic predicament in which the United States finds itself. U.S. withdrawal helped create the vacuum that China filled with BRI…it [the U.S.] has not met the inherent needs of the region.” (emphasis added)  

US Infrastructure Investment?

US stopped loaning money to Africa for infrastructure for several decades

It is well known that beginning in the 1970s, the U.S. moved away from investing in hard infrastructure. Hard infrastructure is essential to the growth of the physical economy. It is irreplaceable in providing a platform that is the foundation of a healthy economy. The U.S. abandoned the needs of the majority of the nations of the world and foolishly sabotaged the U.S. economy as well.

According to estimates by the World Bank sited in this report:

“…$97 trillion needs to be spent on infrastructure globally by 2040 in order to maintain economic growth and to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but an $18 trillion gap exists.”

The report acknowledges that Western financial institutions and governments do not fund hard infrastructure.

Should BRI nations be punished for trying to improve the lives of their population by accepting China’s financing help? The African continent, which has the largest infrastructure deficit in the world, encounters a gap upwards of $100 billion a year for essential infrastructure investment.

The report itself admits the global benefits of the BRI:

“Since BRI’s launch in 2013, Chinese banks and companies have financed and built everything from power plants, railways, highways, and ports to telecommunications infrastructure, fiber-optic cables, and smart cities around the world…BRI has the potential to meet long-standing developing country needs and spur global economic growth.” (emphasis added)

 Geopolitics Governs Western Thinking

If the CFR were genuinely concerned about addressing the huge lack of hard infrastructure that is keeping nations underdeveloped and forcing  billions of people around the world to live in poverty, they would propose the U.S. collaborate with the BRI. However, they are more concerned in trying to maintain U.S. unipolar dominance.

For those of you who do not know, the Council on Foreign Relations is a 100 year old arm of the Anglo-American establishment. Founded in 1921 as the American branch of the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, which was createdtwo years earlier. Chatham House was created by Lord Alfred Milner, then acting as Secretary of State for the British Empire’s colonies, through a vast trust funded by the estate of race-patriot Cecil Rhodes.

(Courtesy of slideshare.net)

The CFR report makes clear their fear of China usurping the U.S. as the one and only world superpower when they write that the BRI will “enable China to lock countries into Chinese ecosystems…“The report attacks China for the crime of violating the so called free-trade system by subsidizing “state-owned and non–market oriented Chinese companies” and that the BRI is “undermining world macroeconomic stability.”

Nevertheless, the report states: The United States, even if not formally part of BRI, would likely benefit in some ways if BRI builds infrastructure that accelerates global economic growth.” (emphasis added)

The actual threat for the Western financial system, overburdened with quadrillions of dollars of derivatives and unpayable debts, is that it will be outperformed by China, dislodging the U.S. from its perch as the sole economic superpower.

No Debt Trap, Debt Crisis Instead

The CFR report is forced to admit there is no Chinese debt-trap, and no asset seizure.

“Although not setting explicit debt traps, China’s lending practices contribute to debt crisis along BRI.” However, “there has yet to be a case in which China has taken control of other countries’ infrastructure.”

Revealing their real concern, the report speculates, “the risk is clear that countries unable to repay their debts to China could become clients of China, deferring to it on political or strategic issues.”

The CFR report, while explicitly acknowledging multiple times that there is no debt-trap, argues that Chinese BRI loans are driving the “emerging debt crisis,” threatening todisruptthe global financial system. They write: “When these emerging debt crises in BRI countries materialize, they will undermine global economic growth and macroeconomic stability…”

They also allege that: “BRI participants [will be forced] to choose between meeting debt-service requirements to China or funding local economic recovery and critical medical services at a moment of historic crisis.” Isn’t that precisely what the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been demanding of developing nations for the last several decades?

China dwarfs the West in infrastructure investment

Gyude More, the former Minister of Infrastructure in Liberia, has on multiple occasions pointed out the fallacies of claiming that China is causing debt distress in African nations. He estimates that Africa’s debt to China is between 20-23%, with a handful of African nations responsible for the majority of the debt. Approximately 80% of the continent’s debt is owed to multilateral Western financial institutions, the private sector, and hedge funds.

Moore cogently points out that prior to China’s involvement in the continent, African nations were forced to pay debt service and arrears on unpayable Western loans. Africans also received no benefit from multi-billion dollar Western extractive mining interests that looted Africa’s resources, contributing little or nothing to improving the conditions of life for Africans. With China there is a new “win-win” model. Moore explains that natural resources are instead used to secure loans from China to actually build vitally needed infrastructure that benefits the lives of Africans. Why should African nations reject this arrangement, which also comes with no demands for political of financial reform of the host nation? The West “doth protest too much, methinks.”

CFR Proposals: Impotent or Geopolitical?

The recommendations of the CFR report are a combination of impotency and geopolitical idiocy, arrogantly displaying no respect for the sovereignty of BRI nations. However, the report itself affirms that China’s BRI is a reality across the globe, and it is here to stay. All of the recommendations in this report avoid addressing what the BRI is providing; government subsidized credit for the construction of hard infrastructure. Instead, they recommend for the U.S. to menacingly wage geopolitical propaganda war against China and the BRI. Their suggestions include for the U.S. to; raise awareness of BRI risks, fund investigative journalism in BRI countries, champion anticorruption, work with IMF and World Bank to assess debt sustainability for BRI nations, and prepare for a conflict with BRI countries.

Notice the glaring absence of a positive development policy that promotes real economic growth around the world, demonstrating the bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy, as well as the CFR.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Biden’s Economic Warfare Only Hurts Ethiopians–Who Benefits?

President Biden is losing patience with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and U.S. President Joe Biden (courtesy of Afrinotescom)

Lawrence Freeman, November 9, 2021

President Biden and his administration have launched a new round of economic and political warfare against the people of Ethiopia, on the one year anniversary of the conflict initiated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Biden Uses Trade as A Weapon Against Ethiopia

On November 2, President Biden threatened, “I intend to  terminate the designation of Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali as beneficiary sub-Saharan African [SSA]countries under AGOA as of January 1, 2022.” AGOA-the African Growth and Opportunity Act established over twenty years ago, is designed to allow SSA nations easier access to American markets, in an effort to promote economic growth. Conservative estimates are that 200,000 workers in Ethiopia, mostly women, directly benefit from AGOA provisions plus another 800,000 employed indirectly. Thus, Biden would be pushing one million Ethiopians into poverty. In addition to the already existing sanctions, it is despicable that a sitting American President would stoop to the level of using trade agreements to impoverish an African nation. To punish the people (predominantly women) of a developing nation, an ally, by deepening their impoverishment is virtually unheard of in American foreign policy. Yet the “liberal Democratic” Biden administration intends to impose these hardships within two months, if the duly elected Prime Minister of Ethiopia , Abiy Ahmed, does not bow to the demands of the U.S.

Let us be clear. President Biden’s economic/trade warfare will only impact the government and people of Ethiopia, it will have no effect on the warring rebels. In effect, the revoking of AGOA, existing U.S. sanctions, and threatening additional sanctions only encourages the insurrectionists to continue waging war in anticipation that it will weaken the government of Prime Minister Abiy. Cui bono? In other words, who benefits from U.S. anti-Ethiopian measures.

On the same day, November 2, U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, amplified President Biden’s threat in his speech in Washington DC. In his speech, Feltman only refers to “the growing crisis in Ethiopia’s northern state of Tigray,” conspicuously omitting that the conflict erupted after TPLF militarily attacked the Federal government’s army base in Mekele, Tigray. He laments the famine-like conditions in Tigray, and criticizes the use of food as a weapon, but then proceeds to endorse the U.S. use of AGOA as a weapon. He concludes that Ethiopia has only “days, not weeks” to obey the instructions from Washington. Only in parentheses does Feltman meekly comment that the U.S. also “insists TPLF stop its military advance.” However, no punishment or threats have been issued by the U.S. against the insurrectionists commensurate with those leveled against the government of Prime Minister Abiy .

Feltman, like the rest of the Biden administration, exposes his  disingenuousness, when he says, “We do not want Ethiopia to lose its AGOA trade benefits or international economic assistance,” but President Biden announced that is exactly what he intends. If Ethiopia yields to U.S. intimidation, the alleged concerns about Ethiopia violating AGOA “statutory eligibility” will magically disappear, making clear that  the revocation of AGOA is being used as a bludgeon to force Ethiopia to submit.

Regime Change on the Agenda?

Foreign Affairs magazine published on November 5, an article with the inflammatory title: Can Ethiopia Survive? It should be understood that this is the magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the premiere think-tank of the Anglo American Establishment. Every U.S. President has been advised by the CFR, and often accept personnel they recommend for cabinet positions. Only select articles are published by the CFR, and this one has qualified in part because it articulates possible scenarios for Ethiopia’s future that include regime change.

The authors, in typical patronizing language, question Ethiopia’s existence as a sovereign nation, and assert that if Ethiopia is to survive, it will have to produce “a reason for its existence.” They also falsely claim that Ethiopia’s national elections were “neither free nor fair,” contrary to all official observers.

The article continues, proposing four possible outcomes of the current conflict, all of which will weaken the Ethiopian nation-state and endanger the Horn of Africa.

First, a victory over the Ethiopian army, (which they allege is collapsing) by the TPLF and Oromo Liberation Army. Secondly, a negotiated settlement, which would not endure. Thirdly, a prolonged military stalemate between the government of Ethiopia and the two rebel forces.

Fourthly, under the subhead: Abiy could join the growing list of recently deposed African leaders, the authors speculate that “Abiy [would be] removed from his position, likely by his own military officers.”

Suggesting a palace coup of the elected Prime Minister of the second largest nation in Africa, with over 110 million people, the only SSA nation never colonized, is extremely dangerous and should be frightening to all Africans.

The authors propose a transitional government, which again includes the removal of Prime Minister Abiy. It also calls for greater ethnic autonomy, a hardening of ethnic identities, rather than forging a unified Ethiopian identity. They write:

“The only solution is to pursue a negotiated settlement that secures at least some buy-in from the leaders of the TPLF and the OLA…At a minimum, its leaders would hope to press their current military advantage and demand reinstatement as the regional government, greater autonomy for the region…If the TPLF ends up joining forces with the OLF…their demands are also likely to include the removal of Abiy himself and the formation of a transitional government.” (Emphasis added)

I have warned since the outbreak of this conflict about the intent of regime change, which devotees of geo-politically diseased thinking, believe will eliminate the resistance to their designs on the region.

We are now entering the second decade since the same cast of characters currently advising President Biden, previously in the Obama administration, implemented regime change in Libya, assassinating President Kaddafi. Hundreds of thousands of Africans, if not millions, living in the Sahel have suffered as a result of this geo-political adventurism. Obama said he was sorry, and it was a mistake. That is not an acceptable excuse.

We cannot let President Biden follow in the deadly footsteps of his predecessor. Let our voices resonate throughout the U.S., Africa, and around the world: no regime change in Ethiopia!

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.