Obama and Meles Zenawi’s Ticket

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MAY 21, 2012 |

Meles’ presence at the G8 meeting represented not only his failed and hunger-stricken country but also for a God-forsaken dictator that money can buy

By Amanuel Biedemariam,

For decades, the West fed the people of Africa lies about democracy, the rule of law, standing for the rights of people, freedom of the press, etc., ad nausea. However, contrary to these grandiose’ ideals, Western nations have served Africans tyranny with all its vice on a bloody platter.

The Bush administration, Tony Blair, and their Western allies were notorious for cuddling African tyrants like Meles Zenawi.  When President Obama ran for the White House, he appeared different. His slogan was,

Change We Can Believe In.”  

Africans believed in President Obama and envisioned a change that they could themselves believe in through him.  However, President Obama did not bring change. Instead, he embraced former President Bush’s approach of cuddling tyrants for strategic gains.

In the 2008 Presidential election campaign, President Obama motivated the democrat base and managed to bring a new voter base. President Obama energized the youth that is traditionally hard to inspire and added the new voter group generation, which was more significant during the US presidential election.

In Virginia, this demographic group is made up of emigrants from the Far East, Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.  This demographic group includes Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans, and others from the Horn of Africa that reside in large numbers in Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria counties. During the 2008 presidential election race, this group voted heavily democratic and gave President Obama a decisive victory by 6-7 percentage points. For the first time since 1964, Democrat, a Black Democrat, won the State of Virginia overwhelmingly. The numbers are revealing.  In Arlington, out of 108,870 total votes, 72% of the ballots totaling 78,994, in Alexandria 72% (50,473) votes, and Fairfax, out of 511,353 votes 60% totaling 310,359 people voted for Obama. Of these numbers, chunks of the populations represent those mentioned above demographic. These heavily populated areas decided the 2008 Virginia presidential race.

More than the actual votes, the energy that Obama aroused was historic. President Obama motivated nontraditional voting groups in ways no one has done in the past. He turned his rallies into a political euphoria for the ages. Kids were holding on to his every word. Parents wanted President Obama to be the role model and took his rise as proof that in life, all is possible, including becoming a President if one does all the right things. People spent hours glued to the TV, yearning to hear his powerful words.

They wanted to trust him, believe in him and, his messages for “Change.” Kids campaigned for him, sold his agendas door to door, and made substantial contributions to his campaign. In recent presidential elections history, American s have never witnessed young blacks around the country actively participate with that level of excitement.

Will that be the case in the 2012 election?  

Will Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans, and others from the Horn of Africa vote with the same enthusiasm again? The answer is a big NO. President Obama will have a severe problem recapturing their votes, let alone exciting them to campaign for him as they have. The Obama campaign will face severe repercussions for continuing Bush’s policies, for betraying their trusts, and for misleading them into believing his message of “change.”

In May 18, 2012, President Obama invited Meles Zenawi to the G8 meeting in Washington and the Global Conference on food security. The reasons President Obama invited Meles Zenawi to this high-level global meeting are consistent with that of George W. Bush’s.

President Obama invited tyrant Meles Zenawi to give him exposure, raise his status as a global player, and use him as a voice in his quest to sell his Africa plan that aims to exploit the strategic importance and riches of Africa. Meles Zenawi happens to be the mercenary agent that fits the qualifications perfectly. Meles is brut, unashamed to lie and, he happens to be ruling a country that houses the African Union. Meles Zenawi also assists the US military in the Horn of Africa. So, he is an indispensable tool of US Africa policy. Hence, President Barack Obama’s inviting Meles is no different from Bush’s, just pursuing US national interests with flawed, unsustainable, and damaging policies.

President Obama is knowledgeable about the kind of leader Meles Zenawi is and his track record of repression and brutality. President Obama is fully aware of the current state of the region and particularly Ethiopia. The people of Ethiopia and the region are desperate for peace, stability, and opportunities to develop. And Meles represents none of that.

What President Obama did is a slap to the face of Africans and particularly the people of Ethiopia because; it is hypocritical to bring Meles Zenawi to a conference on food security when he is selling fertile land to multinationals by uprooting people from their homes. It is a shameful reminder of the hypocrisy of the West to invite a ruler as a spokesperson on food security when he has consistently starved people for decades.

Concerned Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, said on this matter,

“Several years ago, I introduced legislation to sanction the Ethiopian government for the killing of peaceful protesters in 2005 and its broader violations of human rights,”

Congressman Smith further noted,

“Not only do human rights violations continue in Ethiopia, but the government has now added the element of displacing their own people in favor of foreign interests farming Ethiopian land instead of their own citizens. Having Ethiopia at the table to discuss food security is counter-productive based on their land policies.”

CONCLUDING REMARKS

President Obama is no different than George W. Bush!

Ethiopians need to know and understand what President Obama did. Ethiopia is significant to Obama because he wanted to sell his food security plans for Africa using Ethiopia. Obama chose a tyrant in Chief Meles Zenawi to sell it.

By inviting Meles Zenawi, President Obama made it clear to the people of Africa and specifically the people of Ethiopia that he doesn’t care about the country.  Obama showed to the world Meles Zenawi is more important than Ethiopia and Africa.

By his brazen disregard to the people of Ethiopia and Africans, President Barack Obama inadvertently advertised, in the election of 2012, a vote for Obama is a vote for Meles Zenawi.  By inviting Meles Zenawi to the G8 meetings, President Obama affirmed his continuous support for Meles. Hence, voting for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election is tantamount to voting for Obama and Meles Zenawi’s Ticket. That is what all voters need to keep in mind when voting.

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