Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search

Condoleezza Rice Misleading Congress

Issue 302
Front Page
Index
Headlines

“Somaliland Does not Need Our Permission To Capture Las Anod,” Ethiopian Ambassador

Government Shuts Down ‘Shuronet’ Hargeysa Head Office

President Rayale Receives Norwegian Delegation

Minister of Civil Aviation: Jet Planes Will Be Able to Land at Hargeysa Airport Next Year

Somalia Premier Quits as Colleagues Cheer

Fresh Gun Battles Break Out in Somali Capital

Lack of AU troops hindering Ethiopian withdrawal from Somalia - Condoleezza Rice

Somalia's President Names New Premier

Wahhabism: a history

''Somaliland Moves To Close Its Borders And Is Caught In A Web Of Conflict''

Somaliland Police Force celebrates its 14th anniversary

Regional Affairs

President Rayale meets a delegation from Norway

UN Court To Start Hearings Next Year In French Dispute On Witnesses

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Wahhabism: A Deadly Scripture

Sharon Beshenivksy Suspect Is Captured In Somalia And Flown To Britain

Condoleezza Rice Misleading Congress

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The End Of Warlord Government In Somalia

Against the Saudization of Somaliland

The True Face of “Dr” Muhammad Shamsadin Megalomatis – Part Three

How the Saudis used oil money to export a hardline ideology that fuels Islamist terror

Just In Time For Halloween: The World's Scariest Animals

Food for thought

Opinions

LONDON CALLING

Rating The UDUB Record

Somali-Week Festival

Somaliland: Our Nation’s Hidden Treasure

UDUB And KULMIYE: Bilking Their Creditor (SL Public)

What Is The Good Governance?

Time For Kenya & Ethiopia To Recognize Somaliland Independence

Constitutionalism First For Shuro-Net Members

 

October 29, 2007

By Sam B.

In a testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Middle East Policy US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provided a disingenuous and misleading testimony in her reply to a question from Congressman Payne regarding the Eritrea Ethiopia conflict.

Congressman Payne asked; “the Ethiopia-Eritrean situation, and bottoming the demarcation of the borders had not been accepted by Ethiopia, our big ally in Africa … And I wonder if our administration is urging.

Ethiopia to accept the agreement that they said they would accept from The Hague as relates to the border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia.”

Condoleezza Rice gave a two part misleading statement, if not an outright lie when she stated:

“It has been difficult to talk to Eritrea, frankly. We've had trouble getting them to talk to us. And I sent our assistant secretary to talk with Mr. Isaias, and he didn't see her.”

And went on to add;

“So while we are saying to the Ethiopians that certain things need to be done, it would be very helpful if the Eritreans would show a little bit more interest in what the United States has to say.”

Of course their “big ally in Africa”, Ethiopia, has refused to accept and implement the “final and binding” ruling from The Hague. The agreement that lead to The Hague ruling was an agreement the United States authored to major part and signed as a witness and guarantor. Their “big ally in Africa” would have acquiesced if the United States had pressured it to honor its treaty obligation. After all, as Ignacio Ramonet in Le Monde Diplomatique article, ‘Servile States’ writes:

  • “An empire does not have allies-it has only vassals. This is a fact of history that most governments … seem to have forgotten. As they come under pressure from Washington … we see nominally sovereign countries allowing themselves to be reduced to the demeaning status of satellites.”

Unfortunately, it has been quite sometime since US’s “big ally in Africa”, Ethiopia, has been “reduced to the demeaning status of satellites.” A “vassal” that is told what it does and obeys without reservation, as its existence is directly linked to the alms that it receives from its benefactor, the United States. The notion that the US has asked Ethiopia to abide by international law and Ethiopia somehow managed to refuse, if the situation that might culminate into yet another war was not so serious, is laughable.

That said Condoleezza Rice’s statement that she sent her “assistant secretary to talk with Mr. Isaias, and he didn't see her” is either a lie, or, she does not know what she speaks of. Either way is unbecoming of a person of her position. Rice’s assistant secretary, Jendayi Frazer, statements contradicts hers.

When a reporter asked Jendayi Frazer if the Government of Eritrea refused her visa to inter the country in 2005 or since, or if they have refused to see her, she answered:

  • “No, I wasn't denied a visa then either. What the Eritrean Government said was that they did not want me to go to the border. My plan was to go to the border through Asmara and then to go to Ethiopia. The Eritreans gave me a visa and said, you're welcome to come to the country, but do not go to the border. I said, the only purpose of coming is to go to the border. And so I went through Ethiopia instead of Eritrea. So I have not sought a visa since that time.”

Jendayi Frazer on may occasions made it clear that she had no intention to speak to the President Isaias Afwerki. In fact she made it abundantly clear that she was “welcome to come to the country” and hold talks with anyone. However, as the assistant secretary stated, her “only purpose of coming [to Eritrea] is to go to the border” and not to see the President as Condoleezza Rice falsely claimed in Congress.

Condoleezza Rice’s other false claim is that that the US “had trouble getting them [ Eritrea] to talk to us”.

Here again the record shows otherwise. For instance a New York Times October 5, 2007 report by Jeffrey Gettleman states:

“American diplomats have been quietly working with the Eritreans to push Darfur’s ever expanding galaxy of rebel groups to peace talks scheduled for the end of October in Libya.”

The fact that “American diplomats have been quietly working with the Eritrean” is not controversial at all. Even Condoleezza Rice’s assistant secretary, Jendayi Frazer, has said that she has communicated with Eritrea “through private channels” and “through diplomatic means -- talking to their ambassador here and our ambassador talking to the government officials in Eritrea”.

Condoleezza Rice’s statement; “It has been difficult to talk to Eritrea”, makes little sense when one considers that not only have “American diplomats have been quietly working” and communicating with Eritrea   “through private channels” and “through diplomatic means”, but also US Congressmen such as Donald Payne and US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, have both visited Eritrea and held talks not only with the President of Eritrea but also Eritrean Defense Minister, General Sebhat Ephrem, and others.

It is even more bizarre when one considers not only the diplomatic access the United States enjoyed in Eritrea but also the unfettered access the US Defense Department has enjoyed in Eritrea, from US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, to the multiple visits of General Tommy Franks, commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM). Even Visiting US Navy commanders have been able to freely meet all levels of Eritrean military command. Ensign Lauren A. Kent, a US Navy Ship, USS Hopper, Public Affairs writes:

  • “The Hopper crew hosted a luncheon Oct. 8 and provided a ship tour for Eritrean Minister of Defense Gen. Sebhat Ephrem, U.S. Ambassador to Eritrea Scott Delisi, and Commander, Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa Marine Maj. Gen. Samuel T. Helland, as well as other Eritrean military officials and U.S. embassy personnel.”

USS Juneau, a US Navy Ship, followed the visit by USS Hopper and again it was welcomed by Eritrean military commanders such as chief of staff of the Eritrean naval force, Brig-Gen Fitsum Gebrehiwet, Maj-Gen Haile Samuel, as well as, the American ambassador to Eritrea, Mr. Scott H DeLisi.

At that visit “the Eritrean navy chief of staff, Brig-Gen Fitsum Gebrehiwet, disclosed Eritrea’s readiness to cooperate with the US naval force in maintaining peace and security in the Red Sea region and that it will continue its fight against terrorism. He added that the visit of the USS Juneau will promote further bilateral relations of both countries’ naval forces.” (ERINA)

One could go on elaborating the unimpeded access the US administration had to all levels of Eritrean Government and Military. It is absolutely bizarre for Condoleezza Rice to claim that “it has been difficult to talk to Eritrea” and that she “had trouble getting [ Eritrea] to talk to [her]”. Eritrea has shown more than “a little bit...interest in what the United States has to say.” This is not to say that US Eritrea relations are at their best. To the contrary, it is to make the point that the issue is not US’s “difficulty to talk to Eritrea.” The problem lies in United State’s negative meddling in the region, from Somalia to Sudan, all over the Horn of Africa and beyond.

Any relations between Eritrea and the US (or any other country) can only be “based on mutual interests of the two countries”, as President Isaias Afwerki stated. What Condoleezza Rice has “trouble” with and finds “difficult” to understand is why Eritrea is not willing to slavishly be “reduced to the demeaning status of satellites” and “vassal” and behave accordingly, just like the US “big ally in Africa”, Ethiopia. It might help her to recall what Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu said. Unlike the US “big ally in Africa”, Eritreans as a result of their sacrifice, resourcefulness and hard work, “don’t live on their (the US) handouts” or anybody else’s handouts for that matter. As such Eritrea has no need for masters but mutual partners.

SAM B.

Blog Page   www.natna.blogspot.com

Email    menkemaki@gmail.com

 


Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search