Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ethiopian Recycler

If you have not yet discovered it already, a keen observer of Ethiopian politics has been blogging his thoughts on Ethiopian Recycler since September 2008, and I highly recommend that you check him out regularly by bookmarking his blog or using the link provided on the right. Here is his take on Meles's attempt to adopt to the Obama Administration:

If you complained Ethiopian rulers lacked originality to a point of parroting the outgoing President Bush and his "war on terror," you haven't seen the half of it.

Here we go:

President Obama says, "Change we need. Change we can believe in."

PM Meles' response?: “At some time and at some stage things will be changed and we are ready for the changes to come.” [He is so eager to please the incoming Administration that he used the word “change” twice in the same sentence.] In the coming months be prepared to hear a lot of “soft power” [applied to Eritrea and Somalia with the exception of any opposition NOT tied to the ruling minority by ethnicity or loot; we will also be bored to tears by another round of ‘development’ or the ‘developmental state.’]

We are aware by now that government bailout of failing institutions in the West has replaced “war on terror” for authoritarian regimes; the ruling minority in Ethiopia is so audacious that it has effectively centralized major political, financial and civic activities [and enacting the Charities and Societies Law.] The World Bank would not dare to look authoritarian rulers in the eye and preach its gospel of “free market” or non-state intervention! It can’t get any better than this for those threatened by democracy and public accountability!

The Opposition in and outside Ethiopia [if ever it could muster a consensus] has a lot of grounds to cover.

1. Begin with Alamoudi. We now know Alamoudi's donation to Clinton Foundation to date is $5 million [not $20 million as we were led to believe, though the amount was pledged.]

2. Today Hillary Clinton was confirmed as the Secretary of State [don't believe for a moment there will not be a conflict of interest.] Hillary is already talking about development and 'soft power' to guide her department. And Bill Clinton's war on HIV/AIDS and poverty should go hand-in-hand like the husband and wife. Don't forget Clinton Foundation has operations in Ethiopia. Go figure.
You can read the rest here.

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