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Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Ethiopia



  12:16:51 am, by admin   , 1080 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Ethiopia

Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Ethiopia

By Eskinder Nega

Dear Secretary Clinton, Unlike the almost annoyingly fussy, routinely dead-beat and robotically mechanical welcome of the government, I extend to you the simple, warm welcome of Ethiopia’s oppressed tens of millions:
Welcome to our ramshackle of a city, the embodiment of four wasted decades and barely over a century old, though, as Henry Kissinger usually likes to point out, the history of the Ethiopian state is older than even that of China.
Be sure to enjoy authentic servings of injera and wat, slightly different than what you would have tasted in Washington. I personally recommend the vegetarian dishes. And while improbable, a short sojourn in Axum and Lalibela would be a much needed respite to your busy schedule. The massive monolithic stone carvings are unlike anything you would find elsewhere. And for those in your entourage who favor art, there are marvelous 16th and 17th paintings in Gonder.

The story of Hilary Rodham Clinton is stirring, to say the least. I would be hard pressed to class it amongst conventional rags to riches narratives. While not classically rich, your father, Hugh Rodham, was neither a pauper in any sense of the word. I think the chronicle of your phenomenal rise to fame and prominence rather stands for the ideal absent in far too many countries, but not in the US: the early recognition of merit, its cultivation, and ultimate reward.

Indeed, as is frequently intoned, only in the USA could a wife overcome the huge shadow cast by a life-long over-achieving husband. But even in the US only an exceptional person could have done it. I suspect that it is this dazzling aspect of your public profile that particularly irks your paparazzi-like critics.
Two episodes strike me as uniquely remarkable from the young-Hilary-years.
The first lies, perhaps much too predictably, in your commencement address at Wellesley. While many savor and endlessly debate about your rebuke of Senator Brooke, who had preceded you as a speaker, I tend to single-mindedly cling to one line from your wonderful speech, “the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appear to be impossible, possible.”

Madam Secretary, if only you knew how much those words still resonate with those of us who believe, hoping against hope, that it is possible to bring democracy peacefully to an Ethiopia run harshly by despotic EPRDF; admittedly, a valuable tactical, but by no means a strategic, ally of the US.
The second is how you abruptly approached your future husband, the young Bill Clinton, hand extended, and calmly introduced yourself: “If you keep looking at me, and I am going to keep looking back, we might as well be introduced. I am Hilary Rodham”

Woooow! That took some guts, integrity and confidence. When I first read these words I remember thinking how this ought to be the one person Americans should trust to take that 3 AM phone call. No wonder your Commander-in-Chief potential was never questioned. And somewhat coincidentally, guts, integrity and confidence are exactly the values Ethiopians need to nurture more to realize the much longed for peaceful transition to democracy. Democracy activists could learn much from your example.

But your image amongst democracy activists, to some extent here in Ethiopia but more so in the Middle East, has suffered since the outbreak of protests against Mubarak in Egypt. The word on the street, unfairly I believe, is that Hilary favors old, violent autocrats over young, peaceful democrats. This would have had dire consequences for America’s already precarious reputation if not for the personal popularity of President Obama.
There is widespread recognition that there was rational behind your initial cautioned response to the Egyptian protests. Reasonable people do not expect the US to abandon allies summarily, particularly in a region as vital and sensitive as the Middle East. Neither U.S. interests nor world stability would be served if such was the case. What has annoyed democracy activists is the perceived policy transformation from that of caution to that of defender of the status-quo. Indeed, the US was distressingly late to champion the values of human rights and democracy forcefully. And once again, as had happened in Iran some 30 years ago, American policy makers were curtly upstaged by events in the streets.

This policy slip-up must be avoided in Ethiopia.

Balancing idealism and realism is easier said than done in foreign policy. The dilemma that you face as Secretary of State is palpable. But more often than not realism is confused for cynicism by too many
professional diplomats, many of them veterans of your State Department. I fear this in part explains the Egyptian slip. And when Ambassador Donald Booth, the US Ambassador to Ethiopia, told journalists of an imagined link between per capita income and democracy, we have had our brush with that cynicism. (For the record, America was democratic way before becoming rich and urban.)

Take this open letter as a message from the streets of Addis Ababa, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious city, from where the sentiment and aspiration of the nation’s majority reverberate.
Ethiopians covet the dignity of real citizenship possible only in a democracy. Ethiopians are adamant about voting in their first democratically elected government. Ethiopians would finally like to be free from the network of prosecutors, incarcerators and executioners who have for long made life hell for them. Ethiopians demand freedom
of expression and association. Ethiopians desire an independent judiciary; a transparent, honest electoral system; and separation of powers between the three branches of government. Ethiopians insist on accountability for the unbridled corruption that has undermined the nation’s moral fabric. Ethiopians expect recovery of their stolen 8.4 billion dollars from Western banks.

Peaceful change is inevitable. It’s a question of when not if. And whatever your underlings maybe telling you, doubt not that it will come well before a significant rise in per capita income.
We hope to hear from you, Secretary Clinton. We hope to hear you tell the EPRDF that it is time to change, that the status-quo is not sustainable. But most of all, taking in to account that this short visit is in a city that is the seat of the African Union, we hope to hear you reaffirm President Obama’s pledge that the U.S. will not tolerate the killing of peaceful demonstrators. Stand up for democracy.
Fight tyranny form your PC. Keep posting articles on your facebook pages.
The writer could be reached at


Comment from: tamirat [Visitor]  

dear eskinder,what u said is right,but our people in and out are silent,i mean the majority,you can tell Ms Clinton whatever you like about the Pm Meles and his 20(Twenty ) years of iron rule.What i think about is Its time for all Ethiopians to stand up against this government,before more lands are sold to many countries such china ,india,North korea,Saudis txtra…..

06/13/11 @ 00:29
Comment from: mengistu haile [Visitor]
mengistu haile

This is not Hillary Clinton’s country, do you think she cares less?
America needs servants and security guards to be able exploit the Horn of Africa. It is her govt. who put our current leaders in place not for Ethiopias sake but that for America.
A reliable servants were needed and they got it. The master needs to visit his underdogs and that is what she did, I dont know why it took 20 years.

06/13/11 @ 00:37
Comment from: [Member]


A couple of months ago, you were confident that the North African Tsunami was inevitable. I was eagerly waiting to witness the precision of your prediction. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian people gave you a deaf ear (or told you “hell no"?).

Now, you are attempting to beg Hilary to turn your wild dream in to reality. Is it ignorance or arrogance?

Simple question to you: Why aren’t you burn yourself up in Maskal Square so that the world could watch you die, which in effect would trigger the revolution (if there is potential uprising)?

Yes, you were in prison. Let’s not forget that it was not because you attempted to help the people. It is only because you were thirsty of money, and published every crazy thing on your news paper, just to sell your divisive, explosive and unbiased news.

Eskindir…, speak less and do some thing tangible.

06/13/11 @ 00:42
Comment from: [Member]

–"eyugn eyugn yalle debiqugn debiqugn maletu ayiqerem”

This writer belongs at Amanuel mental institution. They need to put him down ASAP. He is dying for attention. Sizegutim ayawqim ende?

06/13/11 @ 00:47
Comment from: negasi [Visitor]

Eskinder, you’re wasting your time trying to suck up to and give a lecture to the lady who’s not interested one little bit in the misery of our people. Do you she gives a damn if Meles slaughters a thousand demonstrators in broad daylight? Don’t waste your breath, yewahu wondime.

06/13/11 @ 01:02
Comment from: Addiiss [Visitor]

What’ a kiss ass! Hey Eskinder, that job is already taken, we have the old dude - president Girma to welcome degnitaris.
Are you a journalist or an activist?

06/13/11 @ 02:08
Comment from: feyesa [Visitor]

cry weyane!cry weyane!peoples revolution will come to africa, she says.just like Iskender said.READ REUTERS NEWS!

06/13/11 @ 08:45
Comment from: desta [Visitor]

i recommend kitfo with mitmita not vegetable dishes….and if she really has guts TIRE SEGA

06/13/11 @ 09:43
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]

Its more like


By Eskinder Nega

Find your own native solution bro…stop begging for juridiction of the west. IT IS UN-ETHIOPIAN!

06/13/11 @ 11:30
Comment from: ethioman [Visitor]

The oppositions are begging Hilary Clinton to bring regime change in Ethiopia

For the last many decades, external powers like America are becoming the main actors and decisive players among the oppositions of various colors. American and European powers are become the gods and salvations to the oppositions. The news that Hilary Clinton is coming to Ethiopia is triggering avalanche of appeals, cries, lobbing and petitions to reprimand and if possible to change the constitutions and the government of Ethiopia. Eskinder Nega, Medrek and collections of despicable oppositions here and abroad begging the American Secretary of State to bring regime changes and alter the constitutional order of Ethiopia. Medrek whose peaceful struggle is just a false cover has no confidence on the Ethiopian public and believes the western powers and particularly America is the real power broker and the ultimate force that bring changes in Ethiopia.

“Medrek would like to appeal to the US Secretary of State to persuade the Ethiopian government: to repeal or substantially amend the Charities and Civil Societies Proclamations; the Proclamations on Elections, Political parties and the Mass Media…”

Eskinder Nega writes, “We hope to hear from you, Secretary Clinton. We hope to hear you tell the EPRDF that it is time to change”

And other oppositions demand that “The US must seek an alternative to the EPRDF regime…New elections to be held within one year.”

These are some of outrageous demands Ethiopian oppositions making to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Who is Hilary Clinton to tell the government of Ethiopia to go away or change the constitutions and the laws of the country? Is Ethiopia the colony of America? The question is why sane, proud and independent Ethiopians beg a foreign representative for interference in the internal affairs of the country? Why on earth they are addressing sovereign and core national issues to an American? Ethiopian constitution, democracy, laws and politics are sovereign jurisdictions only for Ethiopians. Have they sold their souls?

It is degrading, humiliating and a shameful act to make such demands to a foreign representative. No one, be it Medrek, Eskinder Nega, G7 and any others should be allowed to compromise our independence and sell out our sovereignty to Americans or any foreign power. If they want to be colonized, slaved or ordered by a foreign government Ethiopia is a wrong place and people. The Ethiopian oppositions must know that America or Western intervention will never bring peace to our country. As a matter of fact, America cannot tell Ethiopia what to do and not to do or change part of the constitution of the country. Regardless, Ethiopia is not the colony of America and no foreign power ever will bring solutions to our problems and categorically reject any kinds of calls to intervene in our internal affairs.

The oppositions must stop begging their white masters and instead focus and appeal to the people of Ethiopia. To gain the trust they must work hard, genuinely and boldly on the people’s agenda and become partners to address the legitimate grievances and concerns of the ordinary Ethiopians. They need to connect with the people to work for the people and gain trust and get mandate for change. Hilary Clinton would not serve as a short cut to power. Ethiopian sovereignty resides with the people of Ethiopia and never with America or Eritrea.

If America has the power to change government and the laws of Ethiopia, there is no meaning to our independence and sovereignty and certainly that is not our kind of Ethiopia. The willingness of the oppositions to undermine the independence and the sovereignty of the country for the sake of power and absolute hate of the government is alarming, indefensible and totally unacceptable. Short sighted, blind hate and slave mentality created a bad habit of begging and lobbing the white men and women for everything. In circle of the oppositions begging white men or women now days become acceptable norms that followed with religious zeal. In the comp of the oppositions government bashing at the cost of Ethiopian independence, sovereignty and interests are daily practices that harms the society and the people of Ethiopia.

The oppositions lost complete faith on their people and looking for Americans and European powers to fix domestic and internal affairs. The oppositions are directly calling for colonialism and settle governing and fundamental constitutional issues in Ethiopia through direct foreign interventions. In effect, Eskinder Nega, Medrek and many others are begging Hilary Clinton to elect new government for Ethiopia. They want America to sponsor and implement their failed and unrealistic “boka” delusions. They want to be marshaled in front and seek audience with Hilary to cry, complain, mummer and of course to beg the secretary to bring down the government of Ethiopia.

06/13/11 @ 16:34
Comment from: [Member]

Hi Sirk or junk, you are a piece of confused human being. Why don’t you go home and do what you are trying to lecture Mrs. Clinton? Do you think revolution is ignited by a remote control? You will never enslave and rule that country as your father and grandfather did.

Ethiopians know when to rise against a despotic regime. They did it in 1974 against your family and in 1991 against the horror of Mengistu. They had done more than three decades ago what the Arabs are doing today. They will never say to you “girmawi hoy” again. Long live freedom and unity that all nationalities are enjoying now.

06/13/11 @ 20:25
Comment from: Eden1 [Visitor]

Dear Eskinder,
In case you happen to read this, you should find comfort in Secretary Clinton’s speech addressed to AU. The theme extensively conforms in the affirmative to your letter.

Your intro into welcoming her as a good citizen host is sweet: suggestion of local meal and historical places.

It is very clear how much you admire her. Not surprisingly, as you know, like you, she had been an activist since early on, although your challenge is more difficult, at times singular and in the face of danger.

06/14/11 @ 00:20
Comment from: Dagnew Hailu [Visitor]
Dagnew Hailu

You write good fiction Eskendir..! There is no sense of truth in the entire skin of your letter.

You never notice that Ethiopia has paid the blood of its handsome and beautful people to reach to such a remarkable stage of development. The fact is that you are giving blind eyes and deaf ears to the achievements. Although there are few others in your wave length, I am wondering why on earth you are trumping the drum on both sides when infact the peoples of Ethiopia are engaged in an alternative route.
You are wasting your time and energy .Don’t include me….!

06/14/11 @ 08:22
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Hey (Loongalee)Libebissu Kewlalaw ,nobody is as much confused as you and your thuggy bros .Blinded
by “Talaku Tigrai” evil ideology based on Ethnical hates .Ignorancy and racism .

06/14/11 @ 10:32
Comment from: ron [Visitor]

i found this randomly on the internet.i am surprised some people are against democracy.this must be the famous african tribalism.

06/15/11 @ 00:58
Comment from: afarman [Visitor]

Dear Eskinder Nega, I wonder which planet you are living at, you are far from the reality on the ground, you been day dreaming for two decades.
Your attempts to stirr trouble in Ethiopia has been failing one by one, ethiopians have given you a deaf ear to your propaganda. Our people are now busy trying to improve their living standards. We all know the soci0-economic and political situation in our country. What Ethiopia needs now is clear, we need peace and stability more than anything, the government and people of ethiopia are working hard to see a stable and democratic ethiopia. The farmers, daily labourers, doctors, engineers, agricultural workers, teachers, and people from other backgrounds are working hard to see a better Ethiopia, we have now began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I wonder what you are trying to say, finally when Ethiopians are working hard to develop their nation with the help of God, Eskindir has started to pray for Hillary Clinton. The so called journalist finally has given up on his talent as a mastermind of revolution.
Eskinder Nega, please grow up, you need to wake up and smell the coffee, the changes we see now are fruits of the 17 year struggle, its not some thing which will be allowed to be descredite and destroyed by vocal wanna be revolutionaries.
Be realistic, no prayer to US or UK ministers would enable you to march in the path of victory, for the time being enjoy complaining to all western officials. last but not least I want to tell you this, the political future of Ethiopia will be determined by ethiopians and ethiopians alone. No foreign interference will bring change in Ethiopia.
The so called opposition in Ethiopia have neither the skill nor the experience to challenge the EPRDF government. I expect change from the new generation, the old generation is contaminated by dergues propaganda and are still toxic. Some are changed and are working hand in hand with the government and people, others like Eskinder Nega are filled by hate and prejudice.

06/16/11 @ 12:29



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