Toldeo, Ohio - ETHIOPIA has gone from being a developing country, focusing on economic improvement, with a fair record for honesty and an evolving, positive attitude toward democracy, to the sad mess it is now.
In recent years, Ethiopia, along with Uganda, Botswana, Mozambique, and a few other African countries, was among the favored ones of Africa in terms of prospects for the future.
It joined the reform-minded New Partnership for Africa's Development, retained the headquarters of the new African Union, and was working on becoming democratic in its political institutions.
Now it perpetuates hostilities with its neighbor Eritrea, which had the nerve to secede from it, to be accepted by the world. In December Ethiopia carried out the ultimate anti-social act among nations, invading another of its neighbors, Somalia, and replacing its government with one more favorable to it.
More recently Ethiopia has bought arms from North Korea, partly with American money. It is also currently holding and interrogating hundreds of supposed terrorists, including women and children, from 19 countries captured in Somalia and perhaps elsewhere, acting on behalf of the CIA and the FBI.
In objective terms, some of what Ethiopia has done should have brought it strong censure from the United States. Instead, much of what has been going on has been either at the instigation of the United States, or carried out with American support.
Notably, its invasion of Somalia was sustained by American attack aircraft and Special Forces advisers that provided Ethiopian forces assistance during their campaign against the previous government in Somalia.
An Islamic government was ousted, but it was replaced by a weak, transitional government, selected in Kenya. That government's forces and Ethiopian occupying forces are now under heavy military pressure from resurgent Somali Islamic military elements.
The current U.S. administration's attitude toward Ethiopia is that it is there to be used, and if its worst tendencies are compatible with America's own predispositions, whatever Ethiopia is willing to do on our behalf in the Horn of Africa is acceptable to the United States.
There was some thought that with the end of the Cold War in 1990, the United States would no longer work with scum-of-the-earth outlaw governments.
Ethiopia, we now can see, is proof to the contrary.