Spotlight On President Barack Obama’s official visit to Ethiopia (Part one)

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Awramba Times is a US based online journal providing up-to-date news and analysis about Ethiopia email us: editor@awrambatimes.com

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3 Responses

  1. Tatek says:

    I think the President’s historic visit to Ethiopia went so terrific and I saw the hospitality of the hosts as mesmerizing. I was quite impressed by the joint Press Conference given by President Obama and PM Hailemariam. To his credit, the PM was so clear that his country had a lot more to do and the democratic institutions his nation has been building are far from perfect; but that he thought his Govt was in the right track in building the institutions of democracy. I’m not sure the country was on the right track but the honesty helps bridge the gap of mistrust between Ethiopia and the United States in this area. The PM was impressive, honest and straightforward in admitting that there remains a lot of work to do in all areas of Ethiopian transformation as an African giant; and this makes me proud of the man who many still think was struggling to gain a solid political footing. President Obama, a gifted orator always at ease with a friendly crowd and enjoying his second term not tarnished by the toxic Washington scandals his predecessors had gone through, was so clear that the United States wanted a democratic and prosperous Ethiopia that was at peace with itself and its neighbors. Lacking in any popular legitimacy, many African nations, Ethiopia included, often feel the need to grandstand and play-off populist passions; and they are addicted to throwing the United States under the bus to cheer their street crowd or blaming the Colonial Masters for all the ills plaguing the continent. And it is for this reason that those in the extreme right keep insisting that the President didn’t believe in the most revered American ideal — the idea of American exceptionalism. The premise of this belief is that America never apologizes for what it values dear and what it does in the wake of its standing up to corruption, lack of transparency, terrorism, Communism, Nazism and a crackdown on human freedom. But the President had plainly said what he should actually say, though there is no denying that oftentimes it seemed that preaching democracy and human rights to African leaders was like preaching to the choir — and not to the congregation. Obama just hoped that while Ethiopia’s internal dynamism kept boiling under Addis Ababa’s tight lid, the EPRDF rulers would gradually let off some steam. He was so direct that Ethiopia’s ability to capitalize on the industriousness and innovation of its people could help it to ascend to higher levels of the global economy, but only if the nation was ready to make far-reaching transformations in both economic and democratic fronts. I was both surprised and impressed by the PM’s open remarks that Ethiopia needed a strong, reliable, well-informed and critical media that was in absolute contrast to the ‘developmental press’ whose sole duty was praising whatever the Govt does, which helps neither the Govt nor the information-starved Ethiopian public. The President’s remarks were clear that while he believed the bond between the two nations and a century-old friendship is solid enough to assuage any fears that relations between the two nations could be damaged irreparably, the two countries needed to throw straight with each other and he always had his own ways of reading the political tea leaves of the moment.

    In the absence of the ghosts that keep haunting his predecessors ( Nixon’s Watergate, Reagan’s Iran-Contra, Clinton’s endless sexual transgressions and Bush’s controversial War in Iraq and Katrina), President Obama seems to be enjoying his second term that is free from any scandal so far; and the Almighty might have helped the President, who many had thought was a complete Washington stranger, to smoothly navigate Washington’s rocky shoals and calmed the political water when it got rough — and surely, he is just eighteen months away from leaving the White House with his reputation intact.

  2. Benyam Yohannes says:

    The Presidential candidate of USA 2016 Mr. Donald Trump said “When Mexico (meaning the Mexican Government) sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you (pointing to the audience). They’re not sending you (pointing again). They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs.They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.”.
    As long as the Ethiopia (meaning the Ethiopian government) is sending people with no problems as the ones listed above, the USA government will continue to praise Ethiopia’s government nomatter what the violation of human rights records are within Ethiopia. If we start hearing the arrival of many Ethiopians with problems from Ethiopia migrating to USA the view of the government of USA will change . The diasporas in USA need to start to think about what they can do to pressure the USA to stop the denial and face the truth about the current Ethiopia regime so USA will start speaking against the current government of Ethiopia..

  3. Bruk says:

    Obama came and gone. His presidency together his promises and rhetoric will end within 17 months. But the real issues are remaining telling us don’t be stupid and ignorant as you have been for the last centuries. It is very essential looking the whole situations and issues from all sides with its daily behavior and activities rather than being blind and stupid by these kind approaches acting as if things are open, clean, clear, perfect and innocents while we know they are not when it comes from that direction (so called west).

    What they tell you is what they think you want to hear or get from them. What they don’t tell you is what they have in mind to achieve based on their own agenda and plan in your country including putting the nation existence in a very great danger.

    Read and learn more how things are happening worldwide because of them where Ethiopia is part of it and could be one of their next …… if we are not totally and fully controlling all the matters under our own rights and responsibilities being totally free from any bad and dangerous foreign power or individual while forming allies and working very closely with useful and trustworthy nations as Ethiopia is doing in the east where the rising sun is coming daily towards her.

    Obama is genuine to us. But those behind him……? Don’t forget what is going on in USA against the blacks despite he is a president. He is not in the position to do what he is looking and wanting to do even for his own people let alone to us. Don’t forget, him leaving the office soon.

    So, any agreement made by him, will serve those are using him in Africa as many medias, so called right groups, politicians and so on are talking lots about using blacks in Africa is the best strategy to achieve their goals and agendas against the Africans where Ethiopia is their main target because of the people are not confronting them knowing how evils, liars and racist they are deeply while laughing and hiding behind using the kinds words in order to deceive and cheat.

    ____

    “Destroying Syria to make it safe for American values

    12 July 2015
    “THE Turks have passed by here; all is in ruins and mourning.” So wrote France’s great writer, Victor Hugo, of the horrors he had witnessed during the Balkan liberation wars of the 1880’s. If Hugo were alive today, he might well have used the same haunting lines to describe the smoking wreckage of the Middle East. Except this time it was the United States, France and Britain who wrought havoc in the Arab world, assisted by modern Turkey.
    The UN’s refugee czar, Antonio Guterres, just asserted that there are now 4,013,000 Syrian refugees outside their homeland, and another 7.6 million as internal refugees from the war raging there since 2011.
    That total’s some 11.6 million refugees – a staggering 50% of Syria’s population. Over a quarter million are refugees in Europe; the rest spread across the Middle East with the largest numbers in Lebanon and Jordan.

    This flood of displaced people is the largest number of refugees in the past 25 years, according to the UN’s Guterres. In fact, Syria’s refugees now exceed in number the 5.5 million Palestinian refugees. At least the Syrians may one day return home; by contrast, Palestinians, stateless for over six decades, have no realistic hope of returning to their former homes in what is today Israel.
    Before the 2011 war, Syria used to be a vibrant, growing nation with beautiful old cities and a rich, ancient culture going back over 2,500 years. Damascus is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited city in the world.

    Syria was always regarded as the beating heart of the Arab world and its intellectual epicentre. It was also the progenitor of Arab nationalism, a long-time defender of the Palestinians, and a determined foe of Israel – though in recent years the Israeli-Syrian border has been very quiet. Damascus, two generations behind Israel in military strength, dared not confront the powerful Jewish state directly.
    For the past four decades, Syria has been ruled by its Alawi minority, an offshoot of Islam’s Shia faith. Alawi, like their fellow Shia in Lebanon, were the nation’s poorest, most marginalised people. The only work many could get was in the military. Eventually, an iron-fisted Alawi air force general, Hafez al-Assad, seized power. After Assad’s death, his second son Bashar took charge of the regime, backed by a strong army and ruthless security organs.

    The Bush administration, prompted by Israel, toyed with the idea of toppling Syria’s Assad regime but it backed down when a few smart minds in Washington asked who would the US get to replace the existing government? Syria’s main opposition came from the outlawed, underground Muslim Brotherhood that spoke for Syria’s long-repressed Sunni majority. Washington wanted no part of the Muslim Brothers. Better the Assads, who quietly cooperated with Washington in spite of being backed by Iran.

    But in 2009-2010, Washington changed its policy. As anti-Iranian war fever in the US mounted, the White House demanded that Syria renounce its alliance with Iran, or else. The plan was to isolate Iran before it was attacked. But Syria refused to cut its vital ties to Tehran.
    So Syria was marked for regime change. Washington was fed up with Arab leaders who defied the writ of the American Raj. The Assads would meet the same grisly fate as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadaffi.

    In spring, 2011, anti-Assad guerillas, armed and trained in Jordan by CIA, infiltrated from Lebanon into southern Syria at Derna. This was the squalid little town in which Lawrence of Arabia was captured by the Turks. Derna was a hotbed of anti-government agitation. Soon, more US proxy rebels infiltrated across the Lebanese border. British and French special forces joined the rebels. Saudi Arabia provided the financing.

    France, former colonial ruler of Syria and Lebanon, was particularly interested in re-asserting its influence in the Levant and the oil-rich Gulf states. Israel was convinced that overthrowing the Assad regime in Damascus would isolate its two main enemies, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, leaving the latter vulnerable to a new Israel attack.

    A propaganda blitz was unleashed against Syria’s President Assad, branding him the butcher of the Middle East. This was nonsense. The mild-mannered Assad was a former London-trained ophthalmologist who became Syria’s leader when his older brother Basil was killed in a car crash. The Assad regime had some very tough, nasty senior figures, but certainly no worse or more brutal than many other American Middle East allies like Egypt, Iraq, Algeria or Morocco.
    No matter. Bashar Assad became America’s new Middle East devil and the object of western-engineered regime change. The means was to be a replay of the 1980’s Afghanistan jihad against the Soviets that this writer had covered.

    An Arab army of young man ranging from idealists to malcontents was formed by western intelligence services. But unlike Afghanistan, the new Arab force was mostly composed of fanatical, Salafist jihadists created by Saudi Arabia and aided by Turkey and Jordan to pass into Syria.
    “America’s Salafists” were the cutting edge of Washington’s grand Middle East strategy, developed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to divided and rule by turning Sunni Muslims and Shia against one another. Results in Iraq were spectacular. The idea was to do the same again in Syria, where a minority Shia regime ruled a sullen, restive Sunni majority.

    The result, as we have seen, is the relentless destruction of Syria by civil war. The entire nation has become a patchwork of warring groups similar to Germany during the 30 Year’s War of the 1600’s. Salafist jihadis fight Al-Qaeda-aligned jihadis who fight IS forces who fight Kurdish militias, French, Turkish and British special forces are deep in the fray.

    Syria’s Christians, about 10% of the population, are backing the Assad government. They saw the destruction of Iraq’s ancient Christian communities, that had been formerly protected by President Saddam Hussein, after the US invasion of 2003 unleashed fanatical Salafists.

    The massacres and butchery in Syria is unprecedented in the Middle East. The carnage even exceeds the many horrors of the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war. Street fighting is destroying many of Syria’s villages, towns and cities. Beautiful Aleppo, a world heritage site, is being blown apart.
    Syria’s anti-regime groups could not continue fighting without arms, munitions, medical supplies, radios and cash from the western powers. Washington’s fatuous claims it is deploying “moderate” jihads is a sour joke. The US is fully backing the region’s extremists against one of its oldest secular regimes. Who will finally win this multi-faceted civil war remains unclear.

    But it is clear that Syria has been largely destroyed. It joins Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia in ruins and mourning – all examples of states that defied the American Raj. The plight of some 11 million Syrian refugees huddled in tents, drowning in the Mediterranean, or fleeing for their lives must be laid directly on Washington’s doorstep.

    The nation of the Statue of Liberty is supposed to welcome and shelter huddled masses fleeing hunger and danger, not cause millions of refugees because of its ruinous Middle East policies”

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