Regime Change and Restoration of the TPLF to Power by “Dialogue”, “Negotiation” or “Any Means Necessary” (Part II)
By Alemayehu G. Mariam
January 31, 2021
Susan Rice and Meles Zenawi, Peas in a Pod
The very idea of negotiating with the TPLF is simply laughable. It is like hyenas negotiating with antelopes about dinner. Total win for hyenas, total loss for antelopes. For the TPLF negotiation means playing a “zero-sum game”. They win all the time, everybody else loses every time. They have two negotiating strategies: “Might makes right. My way or the highway, jail or death!” The T-TPLF will negotiate in earnest only and only if they are guaranteed they will remain the only dominant political and economic force in the country. Alemayehu G. Mariam, December 22, 2009 and November 16, 2020
Susan Rice’s plan for REGIME CHANGE in Ethiopia, I believe, is to assemble the ragtag dregs of the TPLF in the U.S. and Europe and pull another Herman Cohen-type of powerplay in Ethiopia. In 1991, then Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Herman Cohen staged a “dialogue” and “negotiations” for the TPLF in London and facilitated their swift seizure of power. Susan Rice is today’s Herman Cohen and believes she can pull off a repeat of 1991 in 2021.
Author’s Note: I refer to my Author’s Note in my last commentary, “Speaking Truth to President Joe Biden: Undeclare the Diplomatic War Your Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Declared on Ethiopia! (Part I)”.
In that commentary, I expressed my extremely pessimistic view of Ethiopia-U.S. relations under the Biden Administration supported by compelling arguments and evidence. In this commentary, I shall discuss what I believe will be the first pillar of U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden Administration: Regime change and restoration of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) or its ragtag dregs to power in Ethiopia through “dialogue”, “negotiation” and “by any means necessary”. Special Note: During his confirmation hearing, Anthony Blinken answering Senator Chris Coons question said, the “issues that caused the [Tigray] conflict can actually be discussed and litigated as opposed to dealt with through violence.” (Italics added.) I accept Blinken’s offer to “litigate” any matter concerning Ethiopia, and so in this commentary, I provide my ex parte answer to Blinken’s “litigation”. Ethiopia today is at the crossroads and in the crosshairs. Ethiopia stands at the fork in the road leading to either prosperity or the abyss of poverty and harmonious national unity or the destructive politics of ethnic identity. At the crossroad, Ethiopians must decide to live as brothers and sisters in peace and security in their common bond of humanity or perish like fools in a conflagration of ethnic enmity. Ethiopia is also in the crosshairs of the U.S. and the European Union (EU). The fix is in to crush a rising Ethiopia!
But they will fail in their intrigue and machinations. Regardless, in the paraphrased words of the old typing drill, “Now is the time for all good Ethiopian men and women to come to the aid of their country.” REGIME CHANGE: How Susan Rice, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan plan to restore the TPLF to power in EthiopiaThe writing is on the wall.
During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made it clear he has put Ethiopia in the crosshair of U.S. foreign policy in Ethiopia and is itching to pull the trigger.
Blinken testified Ethiopia will be one of three countries (Uganda, Cameroon that have suffered under the thumbs of decades-long dictatorships) in Africa that will be a special target of the U.S. policy of “active engagement”, a strategy historically reserved for America’s real or imagined enemies including North Korea, Russia, China and Vietnam.
Ethiopia has been under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since April 2, 2018, 2 years and ten months! In his first year in office, PM Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize!
Today, Blinken has officially classified Ethiopia as one of the triplet African problem children. Reduced to its bare essential, Blinken’s diplomatic gobbledygook about “active engagement” in Ethiopia simply means REGIME CHANGE. Susan Rice’s mission in the next four years is to do everything she can to bring about REGIME CHANGE in Ethiopia and restore the dregs of the TPLF to power.
No doubt, some may be shocked by the audacity of my assertions, but “I calls ’em like I sees ’em”. My motto is, “Speaking truth to power!”
Let me make three things perfectly clear from the outset:
1) U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden Administration will be driven by Susan Rice, NOT Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan or anyone else. 2) U.S. policy in Ethiopia will be, directly or indirectly, guided by the objective of restoring the TPLF to power in the short or long term by “dialogue”, “negotiations” or “by any means necessary”. 3) Saving the TPLF is personal do-or-die mission for Susan Rice.
Resurrecting and restoring the TPLF to power
Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor and now Biden’s Domestic Policy Advisor, is the invisible hand that will surely guide and direct U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden administration.
No doubt, Blinken and Sullivan, swamped by the hot mess Trump has created for U.S. foreign policy over the past years, will be talking the talk on Ethiopia but the words they speak will be Susan Rice’s.
Susan Rice will bend over backwards or forwards to save her TPLF friends and restore them to power. Rice’s strategy for REGIME CHNAGE and restoration of the TPLF to power is mindbogglingly simple: Force the Ethiopian Government to “negotiate”, “dialogue” and hold “discussions” with the dregs of the TPLF and secure a POWER SHARING agreement and and total immunity from prosecution for any crimes the TPLF leaders and their supporters have committed for the past 27 years!
Behind the scenes, Rice would coordinate “peace roundtables” in which the U.S. will play a mediating role, just like the “Washington Talks” in which the Trump Administration tried to arm twist Ethiopia into signing away its birthright to use the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Once the “peace roundtables” are set up, the only item on the agenda will be POWER SHARING and immunity from prosecution.
The agenda will not include TPLF accountability for its attack on the Northern Command, the Mai Kadra Massacres, the destruction of infrastructure, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Of course, the TPLF as we knew it does not exist.
Many of the top TPLF leaders have surrendered and are facing charges. Other top leaders have been killed resisting arrest by Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF). A few remain holed up in the bushes and canyons.
So, it is not clear with whom the Ethiopian Government will be “dialoguing” or “negotiating” if such a possibility should arise.
On the other hand, the TPLF is decertified as a political party in Ethiopia because of its treasonous attack on the Northern Command.
As I have demonstrated time and again, the TPLF is a terrorist organization listed in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and Terror Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).
There is no reason why the Ethiopian Government should not classify the TPLF as a domestic terrorist organization and sanction it.
To be sure, the U.S. classifies white supremacist extremists such as Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan and Proud Boys as domestic terrorist groups. The U.S. Government does not “dialogue” with them; it prosecutes them.
The TPLF is a terrorist organization and a criminal enterprise and ethnic supremacist group responsible for the creation of an ethnic apartheid system called “kilil” in Ethiopia.
The U.S. does not “dialogue” or “negotiate” with terrorists, neither should Ethiopia.
In much the same way as the U.S. is prosecuting the terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol (Congress), the Ethiopian Government is today prosecuting those TPLF leaders and operatives involved in the Northern Command attack.
Having said that, Susan Rice’s plan for REGIME CHANGE in Ethiopia is to assemble the ragtag dregs of the TPLF in the U.S. and Europe and pull another Herman Cohen-type of powerplay in Ethiopia.
In 1991, then Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Herman Cohen staged a “dialogue” and “negotiations” for the TPLF in London and facilitated their swift seizure of power. Susan Rice is today’s Herman Cohen and believes she can pull off a repeat of 1991 in 2021.
It is to that end, the TPLF dregs in America and Europe — terrorists in designer suits –are busily orchestrating armies of lobbyists, public relations firms, planted bureaucrats in international organizations, think tanks and Western media nabobs of negativism – perpetuate lies to demonize Ethiopia.
Susan Rice’s grand strategy is to use the leverage of US aid, multilateral loans from the World Bank, restrictions on U.S. investments, U.S. and U.N. sanctions to bring the Ethiopian government to its knees begging, “Please uncle… Uncle Sam.”
If that does not work, Susan Rice will resort to her ace in the hole, “by any means necessary.” That means she will set in motion the process that will coordinate with the European Union in the destabilization of Ethiopia by mobilizing Ethiopia’s domestic and foreign enemies and pave the way for the return of the TPLF, Version 2.0.
Susan Rice’s grand strategy will fail!
Saving the TPLF for Susan Rice & Co. is personal
Susan Rice and her friend Gayle Smith, Obama’s USAID Administrator, have been dyed-in-the-wool TPLF supporters from the days in the bush.
Smith is a longtime associate of Susan Rice.
Smith co-authored a pamphlet extolling the TPLF’s “hidden revolution”.
Indeed, Smith was an employee of the TPLF in the mid-1980s.
According to a May 1991 Christian Science Monitor report, “One of the few Westerners who speaks the Tigre language and has had many contacts with Zenawi over a nine-year period, is Gayle Smith, an American who worked for Tigre’s relief agency, REST, during the 1985-6 drought.”
Rice and Smith have been staunch supporters and defenders of the TPLF and bosom friends of the late TPLF uber boss Meles Zenawi.
Smith and Rice played the role of mediators for Meles Zenawi during the Ethio-Eritrea war in the late 1990s.
Rice’s attempt to “dialogue” and “negotiate” (which was a bullying session for Ertirean President Isaias) an end to that war ended in total failure and earned Rice President Isaias ire.
Peter Rosenblum, the respected human rights lawyer and professor at Columbia Law School in 2002wrote:
The United States dispatched Rice and Smith to the region soon after fighting began. [Mediation] talks broke down quickly. What is publicly known is that Rice announced the terms of a plan agreed to by Ethiopia, suggesting that Eritrea would have to accept it before Isaias had given his approval. He responded angrily…
Such is the “dialogue” and “negotiation” style of Susan Rice.
Fall on the sword for her beloved TPLF!
But here is the kicker!
When Susan Rice became U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. on January 26, 2009, she had Eritrea in her crosshairs.
On December 23, 2009, Rice engineered the United Nations Security Council into adopting Resolution 1907 imposing an arms embargo on Eritrea and other sanctions accusing the Eritrean government of aiding Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Resolution 1907 was a hit job on President Isaias by Susan Rice on behalf of her “friend” Meles Zenawi!
That was Susan Rice’s payback to President Isaias Afeworki for not bowing down to her when she “mediated” the Ethio-Eritrean war of the late 1990s.
At the time Susan Rice said, “the council acted ‘not hastily, not aggressively,’ but with the aim of seeking constructive dialogue with the Eritrean government. She said members of the Security Council have repeatedly urged Eritrea ‘not to continue actions which destabilize Somalia’ and to ‘resolve peacefully’ the border skirmish with Djibouti.” (Italics added.) “Constructive dialogue” with the Eritrean Government and “Active Engagement” with the Ethiopian Government! How convenient! Working behind the scenes to get the U.N. to impose sanctions is one of the many things Susan Rice will try to do if the Ethiopian Government is unwilling to “dialogue” or “negotiate” with the TPLF dregs. Paraphrasing a line form William Congreve verse, “Hell hath no fury like Susan Rice scorned.”
Hypothetically, if the Ethiopian Government were to consider “dialogue” or “negotiation”, Susan Rice would deliver the TPLF’s ultimatum and demand PM Abiy Ahmed, as she did to President Isaias, accept it.
Susan Rice, the “Messenger of the TPLF” will fare no better in Ethiopia than she did in Eritrea when she tried to arm twist President Isaias.
In 2012, Susan Rice delivered a nauseating funeral oration for Meles Zenawi, one of the most bloodthirsty dictators of Africa.
Susan Rice and TPLF Mastermind Meles Zenawi
Rice said Meles was “an uncommon leader, a rare visionary, and a true friend to me and many.” He “was disarmingly regular, unpretentious, and direct. For, among Prime Minister Meles’ many admirable qualities, above all was his world-class mind… He wasn’t just brilliant… But was uncommonly wise – able to see the big picture and the long game, even when others would allow immediate pressures to overwhelm sound judgment… He was both a son of Ethiopia and a father to its rebirth… Prime Minister Meles was an uncommon leader, a rare visionary, and a true friend to me and many… The legacy Meles leaves will long endure. (Italics added.) The fact is Meles Zenawi was a ruthless thug who murdered as he smiled and smiled as he murdered, to borrow a line from Shakespeare. The bottom line is this: Saving the “enduring Meles legacy” is Susan Rice’s do-or-die mission in Ethiopia and continue his “long game” which was to keep the TPLF in power for at least “100 years”.
If you cannot effect regime change and restore the TPLF to power by war, try restoring it by “dialogue” and “negotiation” and ensure Meles Zenawi’s “legacy will long endure”
I believe the TPLF attacked the Northern Command on November 3, 2020 with three strategic calculations:
1) defeat the Ethiopian Government outright militarily in a coordinated “blitzkreieg” nation-wide attack and swiftly seize power;
2) secretly coordinate with Egypt and Sudan to launch an attack on disputed Ethio-Sudan territory to splinter and weaken Ethiopian forces with the knowledge and implicit approval of the Trump Administration; and
3) in the highly unlikely event the military plan fails, negotiate a power sharing deal by using the U.S. and European Union to pressure the Ethiopian Government.
The TPLF attacked the Northern Front on November 3, 2020, the day of the American presidential election.
The strategy, as the TPLF leader Sekou Toure Getachew explained, was to conduct a “blitzkrieg” assault on Ethiopian federal forces and swiftly capture the major cities in the country and coordinate terrorist attacks.
In the confusion and chaos, the TPLF would sneak back to power, declare a state of emergency and reestablish itself in its former position.
The TPLF selected the November 3rd date because they were so sure they will succeed militarily and that any international reaction to their attack will be distracted by the American election.
What better strategy than to attack when everyone is watching the American election tragicomedy?
Following the attack, current WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom and former TPLF central committee member, launched a global diplomatic offensive to drum up military and material support for the TPLF, including a trip to Egypt.
After November 3, it was clear Joe Biden had won the election despite Trump’s moaning and groaning about a “stolen election”.
Fugitive-from-justice TPLF leaders in America and Europe went into overdrive mobilizing their old Obama-days networks with Susan Rice in the lead. (Word on the street said TPLF representatives, Susan Rice and others were having regular strategy meetings.)
A few days after the TPLF leaders launched their attack on the Northern Command, they had a rude awakening. They are DOOMED!
ENDF troops were going through TPLF lines like a hot knife through butter. The TPLF became the mouse Robert Burns poetically described:
The best-laid schemes of Mice and Men
Go oft awry
and leave us only grief and pain,
for promised joy!
The TPLF mouse was crushed in less than three weeks and left with nothing but grief and pain!
“Dialogue!” squealed TPLF leaders and supporters.
“Dialogue”, my foot!
Let us examine the evidence on Susan Rice’s behind the scenes orchestration and choreography to return the TPLF to power by “dialogue” and “negotiation”
On November 4, 2020, the ENDF mobilized to defend against the TPLF attack on the Northern Command.
By November 6, ENDF forces and militia from the Amhara region had mounted a devastating counterattack and put TPLF forces into full retreat.
The poorly trained TPLF militia, including teenage soldiers, itself a war crime, dropped their weapons and surrendered. When the TPLF leaders realized they could start a war but could not finish it, they frantically started calling for negotiations.
On November 8, 2020, TPLF boss and Tigray regional government head Debretsion Gebremichael declared, “it would be good to try to stop the fighting with federal troops and negotiate.”
On November 9, 2020, Debretsion called for a ceasefire and wrote a letter to the African Union begging for intervention. Debretsion knew the TPLF was toast!
The TPLF’s Western supporters who were convinced the TPLF would wipe out the ENDF were stunned by TPLF’s reversal of fortune, its leaders killed, captured or in hiding.
I can only imagine how Susan Rice was freaking out. Her beloved TPLF bit the dust in less than three weeks. The TPLF’s planned a blitzkrieg on the ENDF backfired and the TPLF was itself blitzkrieged. Aye! Aye!
After November 10, many top TPLF leaders were scattered in the countryside with ENDF troops in hot pursuit. The TPLF head honchos in Mekele and their representatives and supporters in the U.S. and Ethiopia were in complete panic and despair. But they continued to issue public statements bragging about how they had defeated divisions of ENDF forces and were winning the war.
On November 12, 2020, Amnesty International “confirmed that scores, and likely hundreds, of people were stabbed or hacked to death in Mai-Kadra.” Amnesty International reported it had “spoken to witnesses who said forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) were responsible for the mass killings.”
That was the worst news for the TPLF’s public relations offensive.
On November 13, 2020, Reuters (a/k/a Reuters-Woyane Mouthpiece) was shedding crocodile tears for “Ethiopia’s military fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region” as other Western media repeated this nonsense in their echo chambers.
On November 14, 2020, Susan Rice knowing the public relations disaster the Mai Kadra massacres had created for the TPLF, launched a distracting counteroffensive tweet seeking to capture the narrative for the TPLF (see Exhibit A, below), “We need principled leadership on this @StateDept. @AsstSecStateAF Please and fast.”
Susan Rice’s primary concern for fast action was to save the TPLF.
I would have expected at least crocodile words of compassion and consolation from Susan Rice to do something fast and demonstrate principled leadership to hold those who committed the Mai Kadra atrocities!
I am not surprised.
The fact of the matter is that Susan Rice has no soul or heart.
In April 1994, when the Clinton Administration pretended to be ignorant of the unspeakable terror and massacres in Rwanda, Susan Rice unconcerned about taking immediate action to stop the killings. Rather, she fretted about the political consequences of calling the Rwandan tragedy a “genocide”. Rice casually inquired of her colleagues, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”
If Susan Rice did not give a damn when nearly a million Rwandans perished in a genocide in 1994, should we expect her to be concerned about hundreds of massacre victims in Mai Kadra?
Four days after Susan Rice’s tweet, on November 18, 2020, Anthony Blinken tweeted (see Exhibit B, below), “Deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, reports of targeted ethnic violence, and the risk to regional peace and security. The TPLF and Ethiopian authorities should take urgent steps to end the conflict, enable humanitarian access, and protect civilians.”
On November 18, 2020, Susan Rice retweeted (see Exhibit C, below) Blinken’s tweet with 3 emoji fingers pointing at Blinken’s tweet.
On November 24, 2020, Jake Sullivan tweeted (See Exhibit D, below), “I’m deeply concerned about the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes, in the fighting around Mekelle in Ethiopia. Civilians must be protected and humanitarian access must be opened. Both sides should immediately begin dialogue facilitated by the AU.”
=============================================================== Exhibit A: November 14, 2020, Ricetweet:
It is manifest the twitter barrage was well-coordinated by Susan Rice.
The Trump administration was not listening to Susan Rice.
On November 4, 2020, the day after the TPLF attack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had made the U.S. position clear:
The United States is deeply concerned by reports that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front carried out attacks on Ethiopian National Defense Force bases in Ethiopia’s Tigray region on November 3… The United States stands with the people of Ethiopia and will work with all who are committed to peace, prosperity, democracy, and the rule of law.
Pompeo was demonstrably principled and unequivocal. No U.S. support for terrorists!
On November 15, 2020, Assistant Secretary Tibor Nagy tweeted, “The United States strongly condemns the TPLF’s unjustifiable attacks against Eritrea on November 14 and its efforts to internationalize the conflict in Tigray.”
On December 1, 2020, Nagy gave an interview to the BBC and laid it all out:
It is important to remember here there is not equivalency. There are not two states which have been belligerent with each other. You have a sovereign government on the one hand Ethiopia, and on the other you have a region of Ethiopia the leadership of which basically started a conflict against the government. And interestingly enough, the Ethiopia Constitution has provisions for a region to secede from Ethiopia but, you know, the best evidence is that the Tigrean leadership did not want to secede from Ethiopia. They wanted to use the opportunity basically to overthrow the prime minister and return to the type of privilege that they had enjoyed within the Ethiopian state for the last 27 years…
The coordinated message: Save the TPLF by forcing the Ethiopian Government to “dialogue” and “negotiate”
When Susan Rice tweeted “We need principled leadership on this @StateDept. @AsstSecStateAF Please and fast.” on November 14, she knew exactly what she had to do to save her TPLF darlings: Get the Ethiopian Government into “negotiation”, “discussion” or “dialogue” with the TPLF. She knew the curtain was closing fast on the TPLF and if talks did not start immediately, the TPLF would be doomed.
Blinken’s and Sullivan’s tweets reinforced the urgency of Rice’s message of dialogue by providing an overarching justification of humanitarian crisis and regional instability.
Shamelessly, all three completely and totally ignored the criminal insurrection of the TPLF. They express “deep concern” (of the crocodile type) for the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia. It is like the U.S. Government expressing deep concern for the terrorists that attacked Congress on January 6, 2021 without mentioning a word about their terrorist acts.
Blinken focuses on “targeted ethnic violence, and the risk to regional peace and security.” The responsible party for the humanitarian crisis and targeted ethnic violence is the TPLF, but Blinken and Sullivan tried to create a narrative that the Ethiopia Government is to blame.
Sullivan is “deeply concerned” about ethnic violence against civilians and suggest war crimes in the fighting around Mekelle in Ethiopia. He does not mention the war crimes committed in Mai Kadra. Both Blinken and Sullivan, guided by Susan Rice, had one and only one solution: The Ethiopian Government and the TPLF “should immediately begin dialogue facilitated by the AU.” =================================================== Exhibit A: November 14, 2020, Ricetweet:
Exhibit B: November 18, 2020, Blinkentweet: C: November 18, 2020, Riceretweet:
TPLF’s weaponization of “dialogue” and “negotiations” to acquire, maintain and perpetuate power
Fighting in the bush decades ago, the TPLF leaders perfected their negotiation strategy: Weaponize “dialogue/negotiations” to annihilate your enemies.
In the bush, the TPLF would invite leaders of opposition elements, dissidents within its ranks and others. It suspects of disloyalty to a “negotiation”, wine and dine them and literally slaughter them overnight. On November 4, 2020, that is exactly what the TPLF did to the leadership of the Ethiopian Northern Command. They invited them to a discussion over dinner and overnight slaughtered them.
Hours before the slaughter in the Northern Command headquarters, TPLF junta leader Debretsion Gebremichael had a dialogue with PM Abiy and negotiated delivery of 1.2 billion birr to the region. Few seem to appreciate the TPLF strategic use of “dialogue” and “negotiations” to seize and remain in power for 27 years! I. In 1991, the TPLF used “negotiations” in London to swiftly install itself in power. What a “negotiation” that was!
The TPLF hoodwinked Herman Cohen, then Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, at the negotiating table into announcing “the rebel leadership has assured us that they plan for a broadly based provisional government leading to a democratic constitution for Ethiopia.”
That plan proved to be an apartheid state totally dominated by the TPLF.
For decades, every time the TPLF found its rear end in the ringer and boxed in, it cried out, “We are ready to negotiate! We are ready to talk!”
For the TPLF, negotiations, discussions, elections, etc. are all games.
Deadly games. Zero-sum games.
That means the TPLF always wins 100 percent of the time and everybody else loses 100 percent of the time. II. In 1984-85, when Tigray was undergoing severe famine, TPLF set up a scam organization called “Relief Society of Tigray” (REST) and negotiated with international NGOs for food distribution. TPLF leaders diverted $95 million of that aid for weapons purchases and other activities unrelated to famine relief. III. In 2000, the TPLF negotiated to settle the dispute over Badme in a “final and binding” international arbitration. When Badme was awarded to Eritrea, the TPLF reneged and demanded further negotiations. IV. In 2006, TPLF leader Zenawi negotiated in “a handshake” with US General John Abizaid to wipe out Al Shabab in Somalia. That handshake led to billions of dollars in U.S. military and other aid to the TPLF regime. What is less known is the fact that Zenawi had also negotiated with Al Shabab to continue minimal military presence. So that Zenawi could use them as a boogeyman to milk the U.S. aid cash cow. V. In August 2007, the late TPLF leader Meles Zenawi “pardoned” 38 opposition political leaders to “give impetus to political negotiations in Ethiopia after more than two years’ crisis and stalemate.” VI. In October 2007, “in spite of continuing negotiations between the government and the opposition, the political situation continued to deteriorate.” In the “negotiations”, the TPLF validated the 38 railroaded opposition leaders were actually criminals because they accepted a “pardon”, and 2) forced them publicly to “admit” crimes they never committed to receive a pardon. VII. In 2009, the T-TPLF engaged in “negotiations” for the release of political prisoners, only after the political prisoners “had signed a paper admitting they tried to overthrow the government in an ‘unconstitutional’ manner.” Double zero-sum game win for the TPLF again. VIII. In 2009, Zenawi led the African climate change negotiators to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen and delivered an extortion ultimatum: Fork over $40 billion or we will “delegitimize you!”, Zenawi blustered. IX. In 2010, the TPLF “negotiated” for the release of Birtukan Midekssa, the first female Ethiopian political party leader and current head of the Ethiopian Elections Commission, after she “apologized for denying being granted a pardon in 2007” and “imploring the prime minister to grant her a second pardon for her to be able to see her aging mother and child.” X. In 2010, the TPLF engaged donors in “negotiations” to allow them to send election observers and called their election report “useless trash that deserves to be thrown in the garbage”. XI. In 2016, after the Addis Ababa Masterplan faced popular opposition, the TPLF said they wanted to negotiate the plan. XII. In 2016, when the TPLF’s first state of emergency failed to control the popular uprising, the TPLF again said they want to negotiate. XIII. InOctober 2016, the TPLF showed their entire negotiating strategy when they massacred 800 plus people celebrating the Irrecha Festival in the town of Bishoftu, some 45 miles southeast of the capital Addis Ababa. XIV. In 2017, when the second state of emergency failed to control the popular uprising, the TPLF pleaded they want to negotiate.
TPLF’s tried and tested ESCAPE HATCH: “Negotiations, dialogue, discussions…”
For the TPLF, dialogue/negotiation is an elaborate strategic game.
It is political drama as well as a deadly strategy that has enabled them to destroy their opposition time and again.
The TPLF has weaponized the words “dialogue” and “negotiation” to seize power and keep it for 27 years. Now that the TPLF is dead, Susan Rice and TPLF’s army lobbyists and public relations firms want to restore it to power through “dialogue” and “negotiation”.
The TPLF has used negotiations as a strategy to:
divide and make a separate peace with Oromos, Amharas and other ethnic groups to keep itself in power.
wage a war of attrition against their opposition.
neutralize and delegitimize their opposition and publicly make them their lackeys.
stall for time until they can cook up new tricks.
hoodwink the donors and loaners because the word “negotiation” perks up their ears.
blunt legislative efforts in the U.S. House and Senate aimed at sanctioning them.
bring the international community and opinion to their side.
Clean up their international image put on a kinder and gentler face and conceal their blood-soaked hands in a white glove.
Remain in power for one more day. One more week. 1 more month. One more year.
And NOW, Susan Rice and the TPLF’s army of lobbyists, public relations firms, etc. are promoting “dialogue” and “negotiations” to enable TPLF leaders to
1) return to power in full,
2) alternatively enter into a power sharing agreement, and
3) ensure they weasel their way out of criminal prosecution for treason, crimes against humanity, war crimes and a host of other charges and
4) preserve the long enduring legacy of Meles Zenawi by any means necessary. The fact of the matter is that the TPLF does not believe in a non-zero-sum, win game in negotiations. They must win 100 percent of the time.
They sneer at good faith bargaining, negotiation, compromise and conciliation. Negotiation for the TPLF is about one-upmanship. It is about hoodwinking and crushing their adversaries.
They negotiate with zero-think mindset.
They have a mindset of losers with a deeply ingrained conviction in their collective psyche that political opponents committed to democratic principles are mortal enemies, not merely political competitors.
I have discussed in detail the TPLF’s 11 doctrines of “dialogue” and “negotiations:
Negotiate without negotiating.
NEVER engage in real negotiations, only make-believe ones.
Negotiations should be used to bait and trap.
Throw crumbs at the opposition and watch them fight like dogs.
Negotiations are weapons of mass public distraction and confusion.
Negotiations are for suckers (fools).
Negotiation is a competitive blood sport.
The purpose of negotiation is to cut down your opponent, not to cut a deal.
In negotiations, use them and lose them.
Always, always negotiate from a position of strength and victory is assured.
What is there for the Ethiopian government to dialogue/negotiate with the TPLF now?
The U.S. Government does not dialogue/negotiate with racial supremacist terrorist.
Why should the Ethiopian Government dialogue/negotiate with domestic ethnic supremacists?