What Senator Inhofe Did Not Tell Us

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What Senator Inhofe Did Not Tell Us

Selam Nur

29 May 2021

Senator James M. Inhofe, (R Oklahoma), it is true compared to US congressional leaders has travelled the most to Ethiopia. I met him on several faith focused as well politically motivated missions in Ethiopia. Claiming that he is the most travelled to Ethiopia does not, however, qualify him as the expert, particularly on ethnic relations in Ethiopia. And he amply demonstrated his shortcomings during his defense of Abiy Ahmed’s government because of the Biden Administration visa restrictions on Ethiopian officials.

The Senator’s argument and dispute of what led to the travel restrictions are based on carefully selected narratives that were started by the government owned Ethiopian media during the communication blackout in Tigrai. Instrumental to Abiy’s dictatorial success has been the Washington, DC based Diaspora. Senator Inhofe does not shy away on identifying the root of this group…they were the Derg officers, officials and their children who had to flee when Mengistu’s military junta came to an end.

He starts out by labeling TPLF as a terrorist group without revealing the source of that label and attempts to make a point on the unfairness of asking Abiy’s government to seat with a terrorist group to make peace. The astonishing omission by the Senator is the fact that Abiy got the Addis Ababa parliament approval last month; after what the world had accused him of the most heinous war crimes committed in recent memory. In the minds of objective calculators Abiy’s terror on Tigrai easily surpasses the most horrific war related destructions and never come close to be compared with the atrocities in Tigrai. If the Senator’s objective to rise in the Halls of Congress was to echo TPLF’s indictment by Abiy and those who are fueling hate to stay supreme, TPLF should be the one to refuse to seat with Abiy for a dialogue.

Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia and Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea joined forces to terrorize and brutalize Tegaru civilians, women, children, even priests and sheiks did not escape this assault and extermination. As we say in Ethiopia, ‘the Senator is robbing us of our cries’. Imagine what he would have said had the shoes been on the other side, i.e. TPLF had actually committed these crimes?

The Honorable Senator tells us that the Abiy government has stated that “any atrocities are not condoned” and perpetrators will be brought to justice. Really? It has been over 7 months since eyewitnesses and victims of the atrocities told their stories. They were mocked and Abiy’s Prosperity Party members danced and celebrated the destruction of a state and dehumanization of its people.

There were other serious omissions that exposed the Senator’s bias. He spoke about Meles Zenawi with certain constraints because he was going to contradict what his Diaspora supporters want to hear. He gave Meles credit for booting out” communism; “a guy named Meles of the Tigrayan Party” what he omitted to say was that Meles was none other than the Chair of the TPLF, yes the very organization he blasted as a terrorist and unworthy of seating on the same table with Abiy for a dialogue on peace. Several years before, Senator Inhofe had praised PM Meles and w/o Azeb, the first lady to the same level…he found them faultless and were nothing but symbols of progress and development.

By the way, the reforms that usurpers pile on Abiy are mostly what had been envisioned or started during EPRDF, Meles’ reign. And yes, Meles was the Chair of TPLF, the liberator of Ethiopia that senator Inhofe tried very hard to label as a terrorist organization. Abiy and Isayas cannot be angels, especially when you line them up against achievers who had kept Ethiopia peaceful and globally recognized economic growth. ps: TPLF was the dominant member of EPRDF, but no one should forget that it handed over power peacefully unlike regimes before it and certainly after it when the Isayas-mentored Abiy is done throwing out the constitution and federation; get elected as a unitary president for life.

 Senator Inhofe’s description of the federated states of Ethiopia left me aghast because he referred to them as provinces and tribes that were “all fighting” until the prayer group on a second round ‘miraculously’ had them to embrace each other. All “nine provinces” attended a prayer meeting via Skype. “They did not like one another”. The prayer meeting “worked”. Guess who was in attendance of this meeting…Abiy Ahmed Ali. Senator Inhofe could not say enough about this guy.

If he was to get away with this, it would be tantamount to fooling us times three. He just touched the works of the evangelical movement to seize the opportunity and expand evangelism in what appears to be their preferred target, Ethiopia. The name of Abiy Ahmed’s party the Prosperity Party, which is named after the Prosperity Gospel, gives that away. But the plotters look down upon Ethiopians nowadays that it hardly matters. As Abiy Ahmed would fondly say, everyone has a price and those who believe that citizens will sacrifice for a cause are fools.

Senator Inhofe went on to trace Abiy Ahmed’s academic achievement and concluded that he is the “most educated African in the continent”; he is the smartest leader…he started out with “he had faith in Jesus”. The Senator then took a leap in faith to basically anoint him as a prophet or perhaps a messiah. ‘Dr.’ Abiy’s blazing trail through various lower and higher institutions of learning was planned to adorn his bio and nothing else.  He is the least educated.

Senator Inhofe should therefore apologize to African leaders, scholars, and institutions for this insult. Abiy Ahmed Ali is far from qualifying as ‘educated’. He has not completed standard lower and higher education courses that we know of.  He never tasted the learning culture of a university and therefore lacks the humility to refrain when the subject is much more complex than his mental capacity.

Abiy Ahmed knows better than anyone else what he lacks. The breadth of his education is seen when he is among scholars and experts. His language drops to that of an elementary student which he then tries to complement through plagiarism. He speaks without principles and values and constantly contradicts himself because the purpose of his speech is never anchored in fundamentals. He has no integrity and frequently resorts to narcistic tendencies of exaggerations.

Before he concluded his floor speech, Senator Inhofe spoke very briefly about EPRDF to help him make his case that TPLF predominated the group and then pointed out how TPLF “attacked government military base”. This too is a narrative of convenience fed to the government media at a time when there was a news blackout in Tigrai. Very few journalists have gone back to address this issue after that.

Hailemariam’s contribution during his 6 years of premiership was the establishment of the Independent Human Rights Committee”. He could have been forgiven if he had that right. The commission was established during Meles’ reign, 4 July 2000 as an autonomous body accountable to the House of Representatives.

I do not expect the Senator to sift through the thrash to find a good contribution by Hailemariam. This is a guy who stepped down when the going got too tough because he could not govern but then blamed others for obstruction. Bottom line: “where there is no leadership, people perish”. Hailemariam brought Ethiopia to the brink and Abiy pushed it over the cliff with the help of Ethiopia’s arch enemy Isayas Afewerki

The war was planned and executed by Isayas Afewerki and Abiy Ahmed. They planned it over two years when they exchanged military information. Two weeks before the war, Isayas toured the army in Ethiopia and the Airforce in Bishoftu. Isayas had already categorically stated that to stabilize the Horn, he will have to “dismantle Ethiopia and then exterminate Tegaru” and then rebuild it. Abiy should be brought on treason for supporting a nation at war against his own country. (Fits the definition of Treason). People who know Isayas closely know that his ambition is to reign over the Horn of Africa.

The war, as corroborated by members of Abiy’s administration, it started before November 2, 2020. The scripted war to destroy Tigrai was launched the night of November 3, 2020, when two Boeing 373 full of commandos were dispatched from Asmara. Their mission was to capture and kill the TPLF leaders. The disguise was that the two planes were delivering new currency to Tigrai. Why did management choose the night? Unclear!

What became clear was that the Isayas-Abiy planned surprise was no surprise to TPLF who met the full brant of the oncoming commandos and foiled the attack but at a tremendous cost to life on both sides. The commandos from Asmara were losers once their surprise attack was exposed.

Abiy found the perfect cover: He accused TPLF of attacking the Northern Command and stole military weapons and supplies. That is what we heard from Senator Inhofe today.  That officers in the Norther Command, political leaders knew about the above story has since been evident. A Colonel from the Northern command and the Amhara police commissioner corroborated the story that there was no surprise attack by TPLF. The government knew and was ready for it. The Amhara police commissioner has since mysteriously died which the case in Ethiopia…prominent people dying, and the public is told nothing.

“Brother, I am with you” concludes the Senator. I wish, somewhere in his speech, he had included the people of Tigrai. What the Biden Administration has done is act against war crimes like rape and blocking aid from reaching the starving. They are acting because Abiy failed to protect his people. The crimes against Humanity will be fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

In the meantime, Abiy has denigrated Ethiopia; tremendously lowered its standing in the world, particularly Africa. Many may argue that there is no such thing as one person or a group dragging a national image unless it already had the susceptibility. The celebration of Addis Ababans and Amhara elites when they heard the news that Tigrai was being destroyed left me with shivers which soon changed into resolve, a phenomenon that has happened with Tegaru the world over.

This too shall pass. Tigrai will prevail. As we honor those who gave their todays to assure Tegaru’s tomorrows, I am reminded of “what counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog”, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The war, this time around, will be concluded militarily.

Tegarus the world over will never forget the price paid for the freedom and self-determination and pledge to always defend the survival of their race and its liberty.

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