OCTOBER 9, 2014
Susan Rice has been waltzing with Africa’s slyest, slickest and meanest dictators for nearly two decades. She has been the acknowledged Guardian Angel, champion, apologist, promoter, advocate and matriarch of the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi. When it comes to Eritrea, however, her hate for President Isaias Afewerki and the people of Eritrea has clouded her judgment to the point where she cannot differentiate between American national interests and her personal vendetta.
By Amanuel Biedemariam,
It is hard to imagine but true. The hawkish Susan Rice wields tremendous power and influence on African matters in the White House and on the dictators of Africa that kowtow to her whims. Absent of solid US Africa policy, absent of mature, balanced approach and, absent of African experts with power in higher places; Susan Rice, as a security advisor, has the ears of trigger happy President in the White House.
In an interview with the Voice Of America Amharic, who at one time was United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1989 to 1993, Ambassador Herman Cohen, who mentored Ambassador, now Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, said,
“The sanctions on Eritrea are baseless, and they are pushed by vindictive individuals that have hatred towards President Isaias Afewerki. There is no proof that links Eritrea with extremist elements in Somalia. Furthermore, in order for peace and prosperity to reign in the Horn of Africa, there must be peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. That means Ethiopia must withdraw from Eritrean territories.“
The “vindictive person” Ambassador Cohen referred to is none other than Susan Rice. The latter and the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi designed and manipulated the illegal and unjustifiable sanctions and handed the people of Eritrea a gift on Christmas Eve in 2009. This development demonstrates, when and if individuals take total control of US policies, policy directions, and agendas, their personal feelings and biases could hold the US national interests hostage.
How can US National Interest be Served Best in the HOA Region?
US policies in this region have not brought about the changes that the people need to improve their living standards, which they can believe in. On the contrary, more divisions and pressures that can destabilize the region are mounting.
Can a destabilized region better serve US strategic interests?
Whether the Obama administration is intentionally seeking instability or not, that is what will happen if the administration continues on its current path.
The current state of affairs in the region is not sustainable. It can explode abruptly, sending the area into a catastrophic downward spiral that neither the US nor the region’s people can control.
On September 25, 2014, President Obama met with Ethiopian officials in New York City. Susan Rice and the current United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield were seated by his side.
The whole charade was a display of the Obama Administration’s failed moral standard in the international community’s eyes, particularly the people of the Horn of Africa and especially Ethiopians that hoped and believed to see positive changes pushed by the administration.
On the contrary, it was shameful to hear President Obama praise Ethiopia’s ruling clique for economic gains while Ethiopia stands as one of the poorest nations in the world. The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Index (OPHDI) reported, in 2014, Ethiopia to be the second poorest nation, with 72.3 % of the population in “severe poverty” (living on less than USD$1 a day) in the world. Human atrocities, genocides, and Human rights violations are reported widely by globally acclaimed experts daily.
Yet, the Obama administration found it convenient to promote and encourage the international acceptance of the TPLF regime.
The Obama Administration has no coherent Horn of Africa policy because Susan Rice is the policy. Susan Rice stirs the US policy directions. President Obama does not have to lift a finger or worry about US Africa policy because Susan Rice controls the African portfolio. She has for decades owned it. That is why she is front and center, as shown in this picture.
During Meles Zenawi’s burial services, the embattled Susan Rice eulogized the genocidal murderer Meles Zenawi. Her eulogy was disrespectful to the customs, cultural traditions of Ethiopia. It was calloused in the eyes of the millions of Ethiopians and people of the region that suffered horrific human rights violations in the hands of the late PM Meles Zenawi.
When it comes to Eritrea, her hate for President Isaias Afewerki and the people of Eritrea has clouded her judgment to the point where she cannot differentiate between American national interests and her personal feelings for Eritrea.
Her actions, inaction, and decisions have led to countless deaths and destruction in Africa. After the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia erupted in 1998, the then Secretary for Africa Affairs Rice went on the offensive against Eritrea by siding with Ethiopia. Ambassador Cohen is one of the African experts that told Rice that she should not lose her neutrality because that would negate the US from playing an effective future-diplomatic role. She ignored the advice, and her actions led to over 200,000 dead with problems lingering to date with her hands all over it.
Susan Rice’s reign as Secretary for African Affairs will forever be linked with The Rwanda Genocide. She is regarded as a calloused, irresponsible, and bloody government official. The litany of her failures is many. As the result of her failures, Africa paid a heavy price without any accountability.
Ironically, successive US administrations keep rewarding Rice by promoting her to higher positions. Today, she is serving as a Presidential advisor on President Obama’s cabinet.
US African policies have produced disastrous results in the Horn of Africa, and it continues unabated. Not surprisingly, Susan Rice is instrumental in driving every decision during the Clinton and Obama Administrations. The Obama administration appears to have no interest in changing the approach and the substance of US policy towards the region.
Furthermore, it is disappointing and hopeless to see first Ambassador Johnnie Carson and now Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield serving as messengers to Susan Rice’s crazy adventurism.
However, I would be remised to give all the USA’s Africa policy responsibilities, particularly the Horn of Africa. There are actors on the ground that spearheaded these failed policies. They are maneuvering US agendas of the region to date. For example, John Prendergast of Enough Project, Susan Rice, and Ted Dagne are the architects that broke up South Sudan from Sudan. According to the Reuter’s Special Report July 11, 2012, by Rebecca Hamilton, “The wonks who sold Washington on South Sudan (SS),” Ted Dagne, one of the architects, admitted that,
“I pushed the envelope quite a lot.”
“In 1993, for instance, Dagne drafted a congressional resolution stating that southern Sudanese had the right to self-determination. He passed his draft to Johnston, who reviewed it and then presented it to his colleagues in Congress. The resolution was not binding, but it passed unanimously. It was the first time any part of the US government had recognized the right of the southerners to determine their own relationship to the Sudanese government.”
The same actors responsible for the breakup of Sudan are behind every decision of the region. They are the force behind all the negotiations in the area. When the Secretary of State, John Kerry’s Visits Ethiopia to manipulate the negotiations between the various factions of South Sudan (SS) or the sanctions on the leaders of SS is stirred by these individuals. The current sad state of affairs of South Sudan is the result of their work and actions. Yet, they still lead the work to further US agendas in the region.
The irony is that the current global environment affords no time for Secretary Kerry, who is stretched thin by Ukraine, Palestine, Syria, ISIS, Hong Kong, etc., to focus on African matters. It provides the perfect opportunity for Susan Rice to reclaim some relevance on African issues and room to direct the State Department from inside the White House.
The recent State Department travel warning on Eritrea is undoubtedly a product of Susan Rice’s work. The lies, fabrications, and misrepresentations are designed to nurture Rice’s Eritrea agenda. It intends to isolate Eritrea and discourage investors from investing in Eritrea’s sizeable mining sector. It is no coincidence that the warning was released days before the Eritrean Mining Conference was to take place and the Japanese delegation’s visit.
Africans could only achieve the changes that Africans believe in. History should guide Africans that no solution will come for their problems from the west and its agents. What the likes of Rice push are further instability that cannot serve the regions’ interests. They care very little about the hungry crying children, the genocides, and the killings. Let Rwanda be the witness. What they care about is furthering their interests. For years, Susan Rice has done enough favors to many African despots to win her enough clients on her future lobbying activities. Hence, to expect positive change by the likes of Rice is a fool’s dream.