Alemayehu G. Mariam
“It is time to stop hating Ethiopia.”
In November 2006, in her farewell cable to her replacement Donald Yamamoto and the Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Fraser, former Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Vicky Huddleston warned: “It is time to stop hating Ethiopia.”
In November 2007, in a N.Y. Times op-ed piece, Huddleston sternly admonished the U.S. Congress: “Do not turn on Ethiopia.” She lectured Congress that “by singling out Ethiopia for public embarrassment, the bill puts Congress unwittingly on the side of Islamic jihadists and insurgents.” She sought to alarm Congress by raising the specter of “enemies that have besieged Ethiopia from within and without.” She advised Congress to discard H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act) “and instead use creative diplomacy to deal with the combined threat of insurgency and war.” She said if the U.S. does not support the ruling regime in Ethiopia, the U.S. could “lose Ethiopia” and “cede our influence” to China and Russia.
In October 2007, Samuel Assefa, the former ambassador of the ruling regime in Ethiopia to the U.S. complained: “The U.S. House of Representatives today approved irresponsible legislation that, if it becomes law, would create fresh obstacles to Ethiopia’s bold efforts towards comprehensive democratic reforms. The legislation also would undermine regional stability in the Horn of Africa by jeopardizing vital security cooperation between the United States and Ethiopia.” Assefa later told the Washington Post, “We are very disappointed because the House did not pursue an agenda that is recognizably that of the U.S., Ethiopia or friends of democracy.”
If the names of the two ambassadors had been withheld, even the most sophisticated reader would have difficulty recognizing which one of the two ambassadors is the actual representative of the ruling regime in Ethiopia. But Huddleston’s rhetorical pyrotechnics on behalf of a host country is rare for the guileful world of diplomacy, and certainly disproves the old saying is that “An ambassador is an honest man (woman) sent to lie abroad for the good of his (her) country (not the other country).”
But Huddleston’s defense of Zenawi’s regime would put many a silver-tonged American trial lawyer to shame. Reading Huddleston’s farewell cable, one is confused about which country she represents. Her zeal and passion in defending Zenawi’s regime is so bizzare, one has to wonder if she had indeed “gone native” (a phrase sometimes used to describe U.S. diplomats who work so fully inside a foreign culture that their policy recommendations become those of the host country). In her cable, she pleads with her bosses that Zenawi is “the ideal partner” and America’s buffer “from terrorism and radical Islam” in the Horn. She argues that Zenawi is the only one who can keep together the “old and fragile Ethiopian empire”. She paints Zenawi as a man of reason and as evidence of that she claims he has listened to her and dropped “charges against VOA reporters and 14 others.” She says by having “conversations with Meles and the EPRDF”, she has “effectively encouraged Meles and the GOE to deepen their commitment to Ethiopia’s democracy and development.” She believes H.R. 2003 is a “hubristic” manifestation of American arrogance, imperiousness, condescension and disrespect for Zenawi. For all the things temporal Zenawi can do, Huddleston forgot to mention that he can also walk on water.
But Huddleston has no respect or use for Zenawi’s opposition. She advises that the “goal” of the “nay-sayers” who oppose Zenawi “is neither democracy nor development, but regime change.” To help the naysayers is to “unwittingly contribute to the break-up of the nation.” She reserves her special antipathy for the jingoistic and chauvinistic “hard-line supporters [of the CUD] in the Diaspora [who] are unwilling to engage in the democratic process.” She warns that if the U.S. acts “aggressively to appease the Diaspora, some members of Congress and some civil society groups, we will lose Ethiopia.”
In Defense of Zenawi
In her defense of Zenawi, Huddleston pulls out all the stops and uses every trick in the diplomatic pouch to steer the new ambassador to fully support Zenawi. She pleads and coaxes, warns and charges, vilifies and condemns just to sustain unflagging American support for Zenawi.
“We must strengthen our partnership”
“As I prepare to turn over my responsibilities to my good friend and respected colleague, Ambassador Don Yamamoto, I urge the USG to maintain and strengthen our partnership with Ethiopia. Ethiopia is moving in the right direction — despite the nay-sayers — on democracy, development, and protecting the region from terrorism and radical Islam. If we fail to consolidate and support Ethiopia, we could unwittingly contribute to the break-up of the nation, and fuel a Christian – Muslim conflict in the Horn…
CUD leaders could cause Ethiopia’s national disintegration
Ethiopia is an old empire but a fragile one. Political and religious divisions could potentially tear away parts of Oromiya, Gambella, and the Somali region from the uneasy federation. Even Tigray, where the Abyssinian empire began, is at risk because the jailed CUD leaders want a unitary state that includes Eritrea, and Tigrean and Eritreans alike will resist Amahara domination.
The CUD defendants and Diaspora supporters are extremist hardliners
The prosecution has recently argued somewhat more persuasively through ongoing witness testimony that some of the defendants called for armed uprising and protest to overthrow the government. Some of the CUD detained leaders as well as their vocal, hard-line supporters in the Diaspora are unwilling to engage in the democratic process, whether by joining Parliament or by agreeing to disavow street action.
Ethiopia as the “only democratic nation” and “bulwark against radical Islam”
Ethiopia, with its 77 million Christian and Muslims — the second most populus country in Africa — would seem to be the ideal partner… It is the only democratic nation that can project power throughout the Horn. It is also the remaining bulwark against the expansion of radical Islam throughout Somalia and beyond.
We are part of Zenawi’s “inner circle”
Because we built a relationship of trust with the Prime Minister and his inner circle as well as with the opposition… Our conversations with Meles and the EPRDF hierarchy have effectively encouraged Meles and the GOE to deepen their commitment to Ethiopia’s democracy and development. Dialogue between the ruling EPRDF party and all the opposition parties resulted in the overwhelming adoption of modified Parliamentary rules that reflect international standards and permit the opposition to question Minister and propose laws. The on-going dialogue among the ruling party and opposition has already addressed rule of law issues in the Oromia and Amhara regions and will now publicly review a new media law and capacity building at the National Electoral Board.
Ethiopian Democracy and Accountability Act HR 2003) is Bad
The democratic trend is positive. But the partnership will not be strengthened if we bend to demands to pass legislation that puts Ethiopia in the same category as countries on our terrorist list, or make public our private concerns about human rights and governance. Ethiopia — as I have learned — will not act from weakness or because of public threats or even loss of aid. If we stay the course — continue the partnership, and build the trust — not only do we stand a good chance of getting the prisoners pardons, but we will reinforce good governance, economic reform and defense against terrorism in the Horn.
“The right and wrong way to persuade” Zenawi
If we aggressively and publicly press Meles in order to appease the Diaspora, some members of Congress and some civil society groups, we will lose Ethiopia. We will cede our influence, leaving the field to China, Russia and others who have little interest in helping to create a multi-party democracy.
Putting pressure on Zenawi is helping the enemies of “democracy and development”
Ethiopia is neither — as its critics like to claim — a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, nor is it a multi-party democracy that strictly adheres to open market principles. But if hubris demands that partnership be based on our standards, then we will find ourselves helping those whose principal goal is neither democracy nor development, but regime change.
“Meles will turn to China as a more reliable partner”
Meles has already turned to China as a more reliable partner than Europe, even though EU assistance levels have been restored. Today we have a strong relationship with Meles and the inner circle, but it is a wary one. It is not yet a full partnership because Washington remains hesitant over Ethiopia’s human rights record, despite significant improvements over last year. As Ethiopia faces – almost alone — a radical Islamist challenge to its existence and the region’s stability, it is time to put aside our hesitations and make Ethiopia a full partner of the US.
The Enemies of Ethiopia
At the same time, insurgents from Oromiya (the OLF) and the Ogaden (the ONLF), backed by Eritrea, will move east into Ethiopia. The ONLF intends to break off Ethiopia’s Somali region, uniting it with a Greater Somali state. The OLF will either ensure that there is regime change in Addis Ababa or separate Oromiya from Ethiopia. In the end, Ethiopia’s enemies — most notably Eritrea — would be successful in breaking up Ethiopia and ousting Meles.
“A Plan of action for Ethiopia”
I have met with Meles biweekly on average and I have never had a meeting with him in which I did not raise the issues of governance and human rights. As a result, I have been able to visit the prisoners three times and am working with concerned Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans on a process that may lead to pardons. The point here is that Meles — and the inner circle — listen to our advice if it is given in private and as a partner. Therefore I would suggest that we lay out a series of bench marks which can be used by Washington to gauge Ethiopia’s progress…
Huddleston’s “series of bench marks to gauge Ethiopia’s progress”
Parliament passes a media law and anti-terrorism laws that meet international standards;
The opposition is consulted on the appointment of a new, neutral National Electoral Board;
Parliament approves public financing for political parties;
GOE engages successfully with donors on the governance matrix;
The Government pursues the investigations recommended by the Independent Inquiry Commission;
Offices of legal opposition parties that have not been reopened are opened;
All legal parties are permitted to participate in the Spring elections;
The judicial process is completed and a verdict determined for all CUD detainees [and pardon given to those] who agree not to engage in illegal activities or civil disobedience are pardoned;
Preparations for local elections are done in consultation with the opposition; and local elections are successfully held.
The Evidence of Huddleston’s “Benchmarks”
The so-called anti-terrorism proclamation, with its vague and broad definition of terrorist acts, is now the principal tool of crushing all dissent in the country. It has been condemned by international rights groups as one of the most repressive laws of its kind in the world. There is no neutral “National Electoral Board”. In 2010, the largest coalition of opposition parties received the equivalent of USD$176 (3,000 birr) according to one major opposition leader. Human Rights Watch reported in 2010 that “donor-supported programs” have been used to “control the population, punish dissent, and undermine political opponents.” Zenawi’s handpicked Inquiry Commission determined after a meticulous investigation that 193 unarmed demonstrators were massacred in 2005 and 763 wounded. 237 of the killers still roam the streets free. In the past few weeks, leaders and members of opposition political parties, journalists and others have been jailed and many others continue to face intimidation, harassment and persecution. The first female leader of a political party in the history of Ethiopia, Birtukan Midekssa, was jailed for nearly two years on bogus charges of denying a pardon. The 2010 U.S. Human Rights report stated, “criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to significant political intervention and influence.” In the 2008 local elections, Zenawi’s party “won all but a handful of 3.6 million seats.” In May 2010, Zenawi’s party won the election by 99.6 percent.
It is regrettable that Huddleston did not read or ignored the findings and evidence in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Ethiopia for the years 2005 and 2006.
It is time to love Ethiopia!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN ETHIOPIA!
***Vicki Huddleston is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Previous commentaries by the author are available at: www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/
Alemayehu G. Mariam
The Tangled Web of Lies
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” said Sir Walter Scott, the English novelist and poet. It looks like the U.S. of A is really in a pickle tangled in a web of lies, deceit and diplomatic chicanery about its role and involvement in the 2006 invasion of Somalia by the dictator in Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. The truth about the “fantastic Somalia job” (invasion), as the crown prince of Abu Dhabi called it, is now coming to light in the diplomatic cables acquired by Wikileaks, the organization dedicated to publishing sensitive documents from anonymous sources and whistleblowers. David Axe (Wired.com) citing Wikileaks cables last week argued that the U.S. had actually hired Zenawi to “do its dirty work” in Somalia. Axe wrote:
It was an off-hand compliment during a January 2007 dinner [the month following Zenawi’s full scale invasion of Somalia] meeting between Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, plus staff, and then-U.S. Central Commander boss General John Abizaid…. ‘The Somalia job was fantastic,’ Al Nahyan interjected… At the time of Al Nahyan’s comment, the dust was just settling from Ethiopia’s Blitzkrieg-style assault toward Mogadishu. Some 50,000 Ethiopian troops… had cut a bloody swath through the lightly-armed forces of the Islamic Courts Union…. Washington certainly had a motive to get involved in Somalia… Already with two escalating wars on its own plate, the U.S. was in no position to openly lead its own large-scale attack on Somalia. It’d have been far simpler to simply sponsor somebody else to do the dirty work. Enter Ethiopia…. All the same, evidence was mounting that the U.S. had played a leading role in the Ethiopian invasion. Journalists only strongly suspected it, but Abu Dhabi prince Al Nayhan apparently knew it for certain, if his praise of “the Somalia job” was any indication…. Today, U.S. Special Forces continue to target terrorists in Somalia. There are arguably more of them than ever, thanks in part to the botched Ethiopian invasion. ‘We’ve made a lot of mistakes and Ethiopia’s entry in 2006 was not a really good idea,’ U.S. diplomat Donald Yamamoto said in March.
Blowback and Plausible Deniability
There appear to be two parallel cover stories invented from the beginning to explain U.S. involvement (and alternatively, non-involvement) in Zenawi’s invasion of Somalia. The first story is that Zenawi presented the U.S. a fait accompli (done deal) to invade Somalia. The U.S. advised against such an invasion but reluctantly supported it after it became clear that Zenawi’s decision was irreversible. The second is what may be called “throw-Zenawi-under-the-bus” story. If there is a blowback on the U.S. from Zenawi’s invasion because of high civilian casualties, other humanitarian disasters or prolonged stalemate, the U.S. could simply dump the entire blame on Zenawi and claim plausible deniability. In other words, “Zenawi did it on his own. The U.S. had nothing to do with it. The U.S. advised him not to invade. Blame Zenawi.” The straight story is that the U.S. not only supported the invasion but was actually snagged into supporting the invasion by the clever, calculating and cunning Zenawi.
The available evidence suggests that Zenawi had been spinning his own web of deceit and lies to entangle the U.S. in a Horn war in 2006 for two purposes: 1) to ingratiate himself with the U.S. and panhandle for more aid handouts, and 2) effectively deflect criticism of his miserable human rights record in the aftermath of the stolen May 2005 elections. In the run up to the Somali invasion, Zenawi was facing withering criticism and condemnation for his massive repression, massacres of hundreds of unarmed protesters and jailing of nearly all the opposition leaders, independent newspaper publishers, civic society leaders and human rights advocates in the country. By the Spring of 2006, an unprecedented bill was introduced in the U.S. Congress to cut off aid to Zenawi unless he improved his human rights record. Zenawi clearly understood that significant American support was essential for the very survival of his repressive regime. Zenawi was also keenly aware of American obsession, fixation and preoccupation with Al Qaeda in the Horn. Zenawi calculated that if he could seduce and snag the U.S. in an invasion of Somalia by presenting himself as an “Al Qaeda Hunter in the Horn”, he could have the best of all possible worlds. He could make best friends for life with the U.S. and forever forestall any actions that could result in a cutoff of U.S. aid to his regime or other unpleasant diplomatic pressure.
The evidence suggests that to accomplish this objective Zenawi concocted “false intelligence” to entice the U.S. into supporting his invasion of Somalia by essentially sounding the siren call that will always catch America’s attention: “The Jihadists are coming!!!” On June 6, 2006, six months before the full-scale invasion that led to the siege of Mogadishu and one month before a small contingent of Zenawi’s troops were sent to defend the Somali “Transitional Federal Government” (TGF) in Baidoa, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Herman Cohen, who incidentally facilitated Zenawi’s takeover of power in Ethiopia in May 1991, shared an illuminating and well-informed insight:
Also, there are friends in the region, like the Ethiopians, who probably are feeding false intelligence about terrorists being hidden and that sort of thing, because the Ethiopians are deadly afraid of Moslem control and also they have their own Moslem problem among the Oromo ethnic group in Ethiopia. So they want to keep the Islamists out of power, and they will bring the U.S. into it, if they can.
By early Summer of 2006, former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, who advised the U.S. Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs on African matters, was quietly working behind the scenes to facilitate the invasion of Somalia and spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal the nature of U.S. involvement. By mid-July 2006, the die had been cast and the initial invasion of Somalia had occurred when Zenawi deployed a contingent of his troops to prop up the TGF. In the preceding weeks, Frazer was priming the diplomatic circles and mollifying world public opinion by claiming that while the U.S. does not support an invasion of Somalia, it will not allow the “disintegration” of the TGF by jihadists and will “rally” to support Zenawi if he were to invade.:
A confidential UN cable obtained by Human Rights Watch indicates that in a conversation with UN officials in June 2006, US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer noted that the situation in Somalia was ‘uncertain.’ According to the notes, she presented the view that Eritrea had stepped over the line and that Ethiopia viewed Eritrean action in Somalia ‘as tantamount to opening a second front against Ethiopia.’ Dr. Frazer’s best-case scenario was that the ICU and TFG would engage in dialogue; the worst-case scenario was the expansion of the ICU throughout Somalia and the disintegration of the TFG. Dr. Frazer noted that the latter scenario would have a major negative impact in the Horn and that the US and IGAD would not allow it. She allegedly expressed the view that while the US feared an Ethiopian intervention could rally ‘foreign elements,’ the US would rally with Ethiopia if the ‘Jihadists’ took over.
By mid-December 2006, less than two weeks before Zenawi fully unleashed his “blitzkrieg” on Somalia and rumbled into Mogadishu, Fraser was setting the propaganda stage to convince the world that jihadists were provoking an Ethiopian attack. The N.Y. Times reported on December 14, 2006, that Frazer “said that diplomatic and intelligence officials believed that the Islamists could be trying to provoke an Ethiopian attack as a ‘rallying cry for support’ to their side.” On December 27, 2006, just as Zenawi’s troops were storming through the desert to Mogadishu after capturing the strategic town of Jowhar ninety miles to the north, the U.S. State Department endorsed the invasion by declaring that Islamist forces were creating “genuine security concerns” for Ethiopia. U.S. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said: “Ethiopia has genuine security concerns with regard to developments in Somalia and has provided support at the request of the legitimate governing authority, the Transitional Federal institutions.”
All along, the U.S. had been working quietly with Zenawi providing training and military aid in manifest anticipation of the Somalia invasion. The invasion deal was sealed on December 4, 2006, when General John Abizaid, Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), met with Zenawi in Addis Ababa on what was billed as a “courtesy call to an ally”. Following Zenawi’s invasion of Somalia three weeks later, it became clear that the “courtesy call” was actually “the final handshake” to go forward with a full scale invasion. On January 8, 2007, a little over a week after Zenawi’s troops had triumphantly captured Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, U.S.A. TODAY reported :
The U.S. and Ethiopian militaries have ‘a close working relationship,’ Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said. The ties include intelligence sharing, arms aid and training that gives the Ethiopians ‘the capacity to defend their borders and intercept terrorists and weapons of mass destruction,‘ he said. There are about 100 U.S. military personnel currently working in Ethiopia, Carpenter said.
Two weeks earlier on December 24, 2006, as heavy shelling and air strikes were directed at “jihadist” forces in border areas and the town of Beledweyne was being bombarded, Zenawi had described his decision to invade Somalia using almost the same words as the Pentagon. In a televised address Zenawi said, “Ethiopian defense forces were forced to enter into war to the protect the sovereignty of the nation and to blunt repeated attacks by Islamic courts terrorists and anti-Ethiopian elements they are supporting.”
By August 2007, Zenawi’s troops were bogged down in Somalia and the human cost was proving to be horrendous: Tens of thousands of civilians had died and over 870,000 Somalis had been forced to flee their homes in Mogadishu alone. By then, Somalia could only be described as “as one of the worst humanitarian situations in Africa.” The U.S. could see a huge blowback heading its way; it was time to take cover. Fraser did not blink once when she threw Zenawi under the bus. She said it was all Zenawi’s fault. On September 6, 2007, TIME Magazine reported:
But, as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer has said, Washington opposed the invasion of Somalia. ‘We urged the Ethiopian military not to go into Somalia,’ said Frazer last month. ‘They did so because of their own national-security interests.’ This version of events, contrary to a common perception that the invasion was backed or even initiated by the U.S., is supported by accounts of a November 2006 meeting in Addis between Meles and the then head of U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid. Sources from both sides relate that Abizaid told Meles he was ‘not allowed’ to invade Somalia, adding Somalia would become ‘Ethiopia’s Iraq.’ (An official in Washington disputes the precise language, but confirms the essence of the discussion.
Fraser repeated the same story line on February 12, 2008, when she told Newsweek Magazine:
We told them [Ethiopia] that they should not go in. Once they went in absolutely we had to try to assist them and the [Somali] transitional federal government, which had invited them in. We support the transitional federal government and its decision to ask the Ethiopians to assist them.
The web of lies and deception had come to a complete circle in late 2007, and the “fantastic Somalia job” had managed to create a grotesque theater of death and destruction throughout Somalia.
The Jihadists Are Coming!
As many of my readers are aware, I have written extensively on the illegal invasion of Somalia on a number of occasions. I will reference three columns that I wrote on the issue. On November 28, 2006, a month before Zenawi’s tanks “blitzkrieged” their way into Mogadishu, I wrote a column entitled, “The Jihadists are Coming!”, arguing that Zenawi had fabricated the Somali jihadist threat to deflect attention from his dismal human rights record and repression and to buy the good will and diplomatic support of the U.S.:
But the whole jihadist business smacks of political fantasy. It’s surreal. Mr. Zenawi says the Somali jihadists and their Al Qaeda partners should be opposed and defeated because they are undemocratic, anti-democratic, oppressive and authoritarian. The jihadists don’t believe in human rights and do not allow political or social dissent. They are fanatics who want to impose one-party rule, and do not believe in a democracy where the people elect their representatives. Duh!!! Has Mr. Zenawi looked at the mirror lately?
On October 2, 2008, in a column entitled, “The End of Pax Zenawi in Somalia”, I questioned whether the military effort to impose “Zenawi’s Peace” on the Somali people had finally collapsed:
The situation in Somalia has turned Code Red. Things are deteriorating very fast for Zenawi’s troops. The Al-Shabaab “jihadists” have taken over Southern Somalia, and are ravenously eyeing Mogadishu. It is no longer “hit-and-run” guerrilla warfare. It is capture-and-stay…. Zenawi’s forces are in full “strategic retreat” to Mogadishu. After nearly two years of intervention and occupation of Somalia, there are no signs of success; and an anniversary of total failure in the quicksand of Somalia awaits Zenawi this coming December. Could this be the end of Pax Zenawi in Somalia?
On November 3, 2008, I followed up with another column entitled, “The 843-Day War”, based on a systematic content analysis of Zenawi’s public statements, and laid out the intricately fabricated sophistry Zenawi had used to justify his invasion of Somalia. I concluded:
It appears Zenawi completely underestimated the insurgents and the Somali people and overestimated the military prowess of his troops. He really did not know the Somalis as much as he thought he knew them. He underestimated their resolve to fight a force that had invaded and occupied their country.
Unmitigated Catastrophe in Somalia
Perhaps there is nothing surprising about disclosures of use of deceit and trumped-up intelligence by the Bush Administration to justify a proxy preemptive attack on a shattered nation that presented no credible threat to the United States. The tragedy is that by the time Zenawi had announced his decision to pull out his troops by December 2008, Somalia had become an “unmitigated catastrophe.” According to Human Rights Watch:
In 2008 the human rights and humanitarian situation in Somalia deteriorated into unmitigated catastrophe. Several thousand civilians have been killed in fighting. More than one million Somalis are now displaced from their homes and thousands flee across the country’s borders every month. Mogadishu, a bustling city of 1.2 million people in 2006, has seen more than 870,000 of its residents displaced by the armed conflict.
Someone, someday will be held accountable for all of the crimes against humanity, and the Almighty committed in Somalia.
The fact of the matter is that Zenawi would never invade Somalia except with the blessing and full support of the U.S. He is too cunning, too calculating and too sly to invade Somalia all by himself and at the explicit and strong disapproval of the U.S., as it has been claimed by Frazer. It is interesting to note that the U.S. has never condemned Zenawi’s invasion of Somalia, despite protestations that the U.S. had strongly advised against invasion and warned Zenawi that “Somalia would be Ethiopia’s Iraq.” Suffice it to say that the story of the Somali invasion of 2006 is akin to two spiders spinning their webs to entangle each other and suddenly found themselves in the middle of a hornet’s nest.
On March 12, 2010, former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamamoto said, “We’ve made a lot of mistakes and Ethiopia’s entry in 2006 was not a really good idea.” He did not clarify the nature of the “mistakes”. Could it be that it was “not a really good idea” because the U.S. was exposed as a not-so-silent partner in the outsourced invasion of Somalia? Or could it be that it was a mistake because the hired gun botched the Somalia job? Perhaps the U.S. still supports Zenawi to the hilt because he did and continues to do such a “fantastic job in Somalia”.
As they say, “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” Well, it looks like Wikileaks is slowly lifting the curtain on the funny business the U.S. and Zenawi have been doing in the dark all these years.
RELEASE ALL ETHIOPIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS.
 See “Shell-Shocked: Civilians Under Siege in Mogadishu,” Human Rights Watch, Vol. 19, 12(a), August 2007, p. 22, fn. 63.
 Human Rights Watch, “So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia,” December 2008, p.19