Friday, July 1

one year and counting ...

We will be back sometime after the 4th of July with a post called Constructive Engagement about the relevance for revolutionary democratic Ethiopia, of the 1980s corporate Sullivan Principles applied to apartheid South Africa. Recent European Union and American (link opens document, partial HTML update here) sanctions particularly targeted towards the dictatorship of Mugabe & Co in Zimbabwe will also be examined.

The argument that cutting or sanctioning Ethiopia would only hurt poor Ethiopians conveniently serves the interests of those who imprison them and keep them poor to begin with. Ethiopians thus become hostages to the supportive 'good behavior' of donors to a tiny revolutionary feudal elite.

Certainly food aid would never be cut but the EU / US plan with Mugabe & Co is to target particular elements of government, its inseperable ruling party and their associated enterprises who cooperate in violating human rights by freezing financial and business dealings with them. In addition, military sales and aid that are used for internal suppression and not for legitimate defense would be frozen.

Along with a version of the Sullivan Principles, codes of behaviour to make aid and business activities from abroad meet certain conditions in terms of not facilitating or rewarding those who violate human rights would be of value. The original Sullivan Principles were caused by security considerations regarding the Soviet Union that made America unlikely to impose outright sanctions on the whole of South Africa.

What the Principles tried to do was to reward good behaviour by companies while penalizing bad behavior regarding human rights. Interestingly enough when sanctions against South Africa were at issue, few ever brought up the fact that the poor would suffer and used it in defense of apartheid because the sacrifice was seen as worthy.

The EU / US /Sullivan approach neutralizes this argument either way and creates an effective alliance between friends of Ethiopia and Ethiopians that is not simply about who their rulers happen to be. The carefully engineered excuse of the Ethiopian government that instability will gain and the war on terror will suffer if it has to treat its own people decently for a change will also be neutralized by this approach.


The long planned post American Kebele about the threats to American sovereignity and security from Ethiopian government networks of agents, cadres and informers engaged in organized acts of intimidation and harassment on US soil is still in the works. This has to do with actions in the US and threats against family members of Americans in Ethiopia to ensure 'good behavior'.

Extendend consultations in some unexpected places have turned it into a growing shared project which will be published as an American magazine article. RICO laws apply if there is financial gain made thereby and it is all obviously against every sort of international and domestic law - diplomatic or otherwise. The loathsome notion is alive that the Ethiopian government has authority over the opinions of American citizens and American residents of Ethiopian ancestry and American aid helps to pay for this behavior.


Other posts about history, culture and particularly the history of the Ethiopian Air Force and Navy will continue. Our ongoing obsession with the inexorable linkage between human happiness, prosperity, economic and political freedom will go on. The only planned post of any size not written is one about hostitlity to investment and private enterprise that has made Ethiopia one of the lowest per capita destinations for foreign investment in the world.

We will fill out our index of subjects at ethio-info with the many sources not used in posts and will eventually include non-internet sources such as books (remember those?). We have really finished writing most of what we set out to do last year so in the future posts will be a whole lot shorter. We wanted to create a one stop shop for informed opinion about Ethiopia's current circumstances.

Essentially, for the past three decades, everything that it is possible to do wrong has been done wrong by successive Ethiopian governments whose commitment to Marxism and eternal rule has taken a terrible human toll. At Harvest 3,000 years and counting Ethiopians have certainly earned better.


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