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Author: Elias Kifle

Report TPLF spy chief Debretsion Gebremichael to the U.S. Homeland Security’s War Crimes Unit

DebretsionI have been informed that the TPLF spy chief Debretsion Gebremichael, who has recently been promoted as deputy prime minister, will come to the U.S. in the coming few weeks. An American friend who is a regular reader of Ethiopian Review suggested to me that Ethiopians who reside in U.S. can try to prevent him from coming to the U.S. or if he comes, he may be placed under arrest, if the U.S. officials follow the law.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit (HRVWCU), and it says the following on its website:

The unit conducts investigations focused on human rights violations in an effort to prevent the United States from becoming a safe haven to those individuals who engage in the commission of war crimes, genocide, torture and other forms of serious human rights abuses from conflicts around the globe. When foreign war crimes suspects, persecutors and human rights abusers are identified within U.S. borders, the unit utilizes its powers and authorities to the fullest extent of the law to investigate, prosecute and, whenever possible, remove any such offenders from the United States.

Debretsion is responsible for carrying out the TPLF regime’s assassinations and he has been fully immersed in the Ogaden and Gambella genocidal war. As head of the regime’s security commission, he is also responsible for the savage beatings, torture and murder of peaceful protesters and innocent civilians.

If Debretsion is allowed to enter the U.S. and he is not arrested, the U.S. authorities will be violating the law, and we can take our case to the U.S. Congress.

Here is what we can do: As soon as he is observed at any location in the U.S., please contact ICE HSI at 866-DHS-2-ICE or send email to [email protected]
You can remain anonymous.

Well-known patriot Shambel Zewdu Ayalew joins ENTC

A great Ethiopian patriot Shambel Zewdu Ayalew joins the Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) as an adviser.

Shambel Zewdu was elected as a member of Ethiopian parliament representing Gondar in 2005, but when the Woyanne junta stole the election, he refused to join the parliament and went into the bushes to fight for the Ethiopian people’s right to choose their own government through the ballot box. In that regard, he is an authentic Ethiopian hero and patriot who stood firm on his principles and paid enormous personal sacrifices while others betrayed their people for crumbs.

Last month, Shambel Zewdu arrived in Uganda and he is now assisting ENTC with building its organizational structure inside Ethiopia and neighboring countries, according to the ENCT leadership.

ENTC has also revealed that it will convene its second general assembly in the first week of this coming February and that preparations are currently underway.

Susan Rice’s love affair with genocidal dictators in Africa (Michael Hirsh)

By Michael Hirsh | National Journal

For a president who rarely shows emotion, Barack Obama’s surprisingly personal blast at Republican critics of Susan Rice, his U.N ambassador, suggested two things. One, Obama genuinely admires Rice and thinks she’s being unfairly criticized for giving a controversial explanation of the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack that later didn’t hold up. And two, he may well intend to name her his second-term secretary of State, as some reports indicate.

Obama made a fair point when he said Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received.” All Rice did was to carefully articulate on the Sunday TV talk shows what the administration knew at the time, “based on the best information we have to date,” as she put it.

But there are other issues with Rice’s record, both as U.N. ambassador and earlier as a senior Clinton administration official, that are all but certain to come out at any confirmation hearing, many of them concerning her performance in Africa. Critics say that since her failure to advocate an intervention in the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994 — Bill Clinton later said his administration’s unwillingness to act was the worst mistake of his presidency — she has conducted a dubious and naïve policy of looking the other way at allies who commit atrocities, reflecting to some degree the stark and emotionless realpolitik sometimes associated with Obama, who is traveling this week to another formerly isolated dictatorship: Burma.

Most recently, critics say, Rice held up publication of a U.N. report that concluded that the government of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, with whom she has a long and close relationship, was supplying and financing a brutal Congolese rebel force known as the M23 Movement. M23’s leader, Bosco Ntaganda, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for recruiting child soldiers and is accused of committing atrocities. She has even wrangled with Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and others in the department, who all have been more critical of the Rwandans, according to some human-rights activists who speak with State’s Africa team frequently.

Rice claimed she wanted Rwanda to get a fair hearing and examine the report first, and her spokesman, Payton Knopf, says that “it’s patently incorrect to say she slowed [it] down.” But Jason Stearns, a Yale scholar who worked for 10 years in the Congo and wrote a book called Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, says “that is not common practice with these reports. Even when Rwanda did get a hearing, all they did was to use it to smear the report and say how wrong it was.” The report has since been published.

Mark Lagon, a former assistant secretary of State under George W. Bush and a human-rights specialist at Georgetown, has generally positive things to say about Rice’s tenure as U.N. ambassador, especially her leadership in the intervention in Libya against Muammar el-Qaddafi and her revival of the administration’s failing policy on Darfur. But he too says she has fallen short on Africa. “In recent months, there is documentary evidence of atrocities in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo], and their umbilical cord is back in Rwanda. These issues have not been raised in the Security Council, and Susan has fought the U.N. raising them in the Security Council,” Lagon says.

In September, Rice also delivered a glowing eulogy for the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, whom many rights activists considered to have been a repressive dictator.

Recently, during a meeting at the U.N. mission of France, after the French ambassador told Rice that the U.N. needed to do more to intervene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rice was said to have replied: “It’s the eastern DRC. If it’s not M23, it’s going to be some other group,” according to an account given by a human-rights worker who spoke with several people in the room. (Rice’s spokesman said he was familiar with the meeting but did not know if she made the comment.)

If true, that rather jaded observation would appear to echo a Rice remark that Howard French, a long-time New York Times correspondent in Africa, related in an essay in the New York Review of Books in 2009, which was highly critical of Rice. In the article, headlined “Kagame’s Secret War in the Congo,” in which French calls the largely ignored conflict “one of the most destructive wars in modern history,” he suggests that Rice either naïvely or callously trusted new African leaders such as Kagame and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to stop any future genocide, saying, “They know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.” Stearns, the author, says that during Rice’s time in the Clinton administration “they were complicit to the extent that they turned a blind eye and took at face value Rwandan assurances that Rwanda was looking only after its own security interests.”

Knopf, Rice’s spokesman, says “she clearly has relationships, some of which are very close, with African leaders, and Kagame is one of them. Her view and our view is that these relationships have given her an opportunity to influence events.”

At the same time, however, Knopf says Rice has been tough and forthright in criticizing Rwandan abuses, and backed a “very strong statement out of the Security Council in August about M23.” (The statement, though, did not refer to Rwandan support directly.)

In a speech she gave at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in November 2011, Rice took Kagame’s government to task for a political culture that “remains comparatively closed. Press restrictions persist. Civil-society activists, journalists, and political opponents of the government often fear organizing peacefully and speaking out. Some have been harassed. Some have been intimidated by late-night callers. Some have simply disappeared.”

The long conflict in Congo has sometimes been called “Africa’s World War,” because it has led to a staggering 5.4 million deaths — far more than any war anywhere since World War II. Throughout it, Kagame has appeared to play a clever game of pretending to intervene to impose peace and deliver Western-friendly policies, while in fact carving out a sphere of influence by which he can control parts of Congo’s mineral wealth.

Ironically, much of the controversy that surrounds Rice’s relationship with Kagame and other African leaders goes back to the event that Rice herself has admitted was personally wrenching for her, and influenced much of her later views: her failure to stop the Rwandan genocide.

At the time, under National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, Rice was in charge of advising Clinton’s National Security Council on peacekeeping and international organizations such as the United Nations. “Essentially, they wanted [Rwanda] to go away,” scholar Michael Barnett, who worked at the U.S. mission to the United Nations then and later wrote the book Eyewitness to Genocide, told me in an interview in 2008. “There was little interest by Rice or Lake in trying to stir up any action in Washington.”

Both Lake and Rice later said they were haunted by their inaction. In an interview in 2008, Rice told me that she was too “junior”at the time to have affected decision-making then, but that “everyone who lived through that feels profoundly remorseful and bothered by it.”

“I will never forget the horror of walking through a church and an adjacent schoolyard where one of the massacres had occurred,” Rice said in her 2011 speech in Kigali. “Six months later, the decomposing bodies of those who had been so cruelly murdered still lay strewn around what should have been a place of peace. For me, the memory of stepping around and over those corpses will remain the most searing reminder imaginable of what humans can do to one another.”

Rice’s relationship with Kagame began with her efforts to form a new African leaders group in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Among them were Museveni and Ethiopia’s Zenawi. The Clinton administration “believed in an African renaissance,” says Stearns. “She backed this somewhat naïvely, because they were forward-looking leaders who spoke a different language. They spoke about markets.”

While Rice was serving — and despite her later denials before Congress — the Clinton administration appeared to back an invasion of the troubled Congo by Rwanda and Uganda, according to a 2002 article in the journal Current History by Columbia University scholar Peter Rosenblum. In the article, titled “Irrational Exuberance: The Clinton Administration in Africa,” Rosenblum called the invasion “a public relations disaster from which the United States has not recovered.”

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

As Ethiopian-Americans join all Americans in celebrating Thanksgiving this week, here is an interesting perspective by radio host Rush Limbaugh on one of America’s biggest holidays:

RUSH: Time now, ladies and gentlemen, for The Real Story of Thanksgiving, as written by I — by me — in my second book, See, I Told You So. It’s page 70 in the hardcover version. “On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work.”

Now, you know the usual story of Thanksgiving: They landed. They had no clue where they were, no idea how to feed themselves. The Indians came out, showed ’em how to pop popcorn, fed ’em turkey, saved ’em basically — and then white European settlers after that basically wiped out the Indian population. It’s a horrible example. Not only is that not true, here is the part that’s been omitted from what is still today taught as the traditional Thanksgiving story in many schools. “The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store,’ when they got here, ‘and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well.

“They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. … [William] Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. … Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism,’ and it had failed” miserably because when every one put things in the common store, some people didn’t have to put things in for there to be, people that didn’t produce anything were taking things out, and it caused resentment just as it does today. So Bradford had to change it.

“What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild’s history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering,” that happens today and will happen “in the future. ‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,’ Bradford wrote.

“‘For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without [being paid] that was thought injustice.’ … The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?”

Here’s what Bradford wrote, the governor of the Massachusetts colony. “‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’ Bradford doesn’t sound like much of a Clintonite, does he?” or an Obamaite, if I can update it. “Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? … Anyway, the pilgrims found “In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. … So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.'”

Very few people have heard this story or have had it taught to them — and the “thanks” was to God for showing them the way. In later parts of the chapter, I quote John Adams and George Washington on their reminisces and their thoughts on the first Thanksgiving and the notion it was thanks to God. It was an entirely different story than is being taught in the schools. It’s been muddied down, watered down all these years — and now it’s been hijacked by the multicultural community — to the point that the story of Thanksgiving is the Pilgrims were a bunch of incompetents and were saved only by the goodness of the Indians, who then were wiped out. And that’s what kids are being taught today — ’cause, of course, you can’t mention the Bible in school, and that’s fundamental to the real story of Thanksgiving.

Some of the poor in Addis Ababa survive on restaurant leftovers

While members of the ruling Woyanne junta and their families plunder the country and buy properties in Western capitals, over one million people in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa are left homeless and many of them depend on restaurant leftovers to survive. Addis Fortune reports the following:

(ADDIS FORTUNE) — Fekadu Petros, 24, moved to Addis Abeba from his native Wolayta, 390km south of the capital following the death of his father, who was survived by seven children and his wife. The short and skinny young man has worked in the city for the past four years, sending whatever money he can save to his mother and siblings.

He is attached to a scrap metal store in Menallesh Terra, Merkato, which pays him 250 Br a month. But, he also carries stuff for a lot of people visiting Merkato to do their shopping. On good days he can make as much as 60 Br from these people, he says.

The money may seem significant, but living on a day-to-day basis, people like Fekadu hardly think of their incomes on a monthly basis. They pay 10 Br just for a sleeping space on a mat. For 300 Br a month, they could get a better place, but they do not have enough money at any given time to pay for it upfront. They live on a daily basis.

A proper meal costs about 15 Br in that part of Merkato. Many of these people, including day labourers, shoeshine boys, snack vendors, and beggars, eat gursha, handfuls of restaurant leftovers served from plastic bags.

Gursha, under normal circumstances, is a small roll of enjera and stew that one person puts into the mouth of another as an act of intimacy or hospitality, a tradition in Ethiopia.

However, in Merkato, daily labourers buy their meals in gurshas, and these gurshas are so big that one cannot help but be amazed at seeing that much food finding enough space in one person’s mouth.

Gursha has become a business for people with access to restaurant leftovers, serving people who cannot afford a proper meal. A veteran gursha vendor, a middle-aged woman who declined to give her name, as well as her friends first came up with the idea of selling gursha in 1989 in Teklehaimnot area, she said. They later moved into Menallesh Terra in 1992. Another group of young people started such a business near Ras Theatre in Merkato, and they called the place where they settled Fews Terra, translated remedy area.

The unemployment rate in Addis Abeba is 19pc, but that has not deterred the 55,000 additional people who migrate from other regions each year in search of job and better life, the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) reports. Fekadu had to drop out of high school to join this flood of poorly educated people who mostly end up as day labourers.

Now, twice a day, he lines up at Fews Terra for a trio of giant gurshas, which costs three Birr in all and fills his stomach, leaving him happy and satisfied. Although they used to pay only 50 cents for the same amount just a few years back, they do not complain. He often tries to get to Fews Terra early, when the line is short, in order to get the better food. Besides, as the hands of the sellers get tired, the size of their gurshas get smaller.

One of these culinary businessmen is Mehreteab Tewelde, a young man from the Abenet area in his early 20s, who quit school after eighth grade. He has been selling gursha for about a year now. He buys four large plastic bags full of leftover food, known as bulle, left over in the local vernacular, from restaurant employees for 30 Br each. When all of his customers have had their gurshas, his profit might be 70 Br to 90 Br per day. His mother only knows that he is a plumber. If she discovered his real job, she would be embarrassed, he says, even though he gives her all the money he makes from it.

Another such person works as a cleaner at a restaurant, which gives him bags of food to give away for free. But he sells it at Fews Terra, instead.

These gurshas do not only save money but also time for people who need to rush back to look for more work.

‘‘The only thing that matters is to save some money from what I earn, no matter what I eat or where I sleep,’’ Fekadu said, echoing the opinions of many of the people in the line.

In the competitive business of supplying gursha, having water for hand washing and drinking is an advantage. The Fews Terra sellers benefit from the local Total gas station, whose owner, Bereka Delil, has given free access to water for the beggars, shoe shiners, day labourers, and anyone else who needs a drink or wash.

This business has recently spread to many areas of Addis Abeba. Merkato has at least three places. There are others in Piazza and Sidist Kilo areas. The Sidist Kilo sellers get their leftovers from Addis Abeba University’s campus for free. ‘‘I am so happy that I get to eat and sleep everyday,’’ Tariku Kebede, 30, one of the sellers there says.

This is the sentiment shared by almost all of the vendors and customers of the gursha markets. These youngsters only think about how to get through their daily hustle and bustle.

Officials of Addis Ketema District, of which Merkato is a part, has followed neither the market nor the health risks involved in eating leftover food, according to Hussien Kelifa, expert at the Wereda 18 Health Office, which monitors Menallesh Terra.

The way the food is carried, served, and eaten looks very unhygienic, says Abenet Tekle, a researcher in food science and nutrition at the Pasteur Institute.

“I have never fallen ill because of a meal I have eaten from bulle,” Fekadu says.

His family, he says, are happy with the money he regularly sends to them, thinking that he is working in a good place and eating good food.

Obama’s adviser on human rights accuses Susan Rice of being a bystander to genocide

In a 2001 article, Samantha Power, currently a Special Assistant to President Barack Obama, referred to Ambassador Susan Rice and her colleagues as “Bystanders to Genocide” for failing to intervene and try to stop the Rwanda genocide. Samantha writes:

At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the National Security Council (NSC) who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”

This one sentence crystallizes the nature of Susan Rice as a morally bankrupt person bereft of human decency. Therefore, when she heaps praise on Meles Zenawi, a genocidal dictator who burned entire villages in Ogaden and slaughtered the Anuak ethnic group in western Ethiopia, to mention just two of his countless crimes, no body should be surprised.

Samantha goes on to write:

Susan Rice… feels that she has a debt to repay. “There was such a huge disconnect between the logic of each of the decisions we took along the way during the genocide and the moral consequences of the decisions taken collectively,” Rice says. “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.” Rice was subsequently appointed NSC Africa director and, later, assistant secretary of state for African affairs…

Susan is repaying a debt by sharing a stage with an ICC-indicted war criminal, Al Bashir, in calling a mass murderer, Meles Zenawi, a wise man with a world class mind.

Susan Rice was a bystander to genocide during the Clinton Administration, and currently in the Obama Administration, she is a cheerleader to genocide. If Obama is elected for another term and she becomes a secretary of state, who knows what she will become.

Watch Susan Rice’s speech below. Read the full text of Samantha’s article here.