I followed the March 11, 2008 one hour hearing on Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee in Washington D.C. thanks to ethiomedia.com live cast. The testimony of Theresa Whelan the Secretary of Defense summarized the USA close alliance and unconditional support for Melese Zenawi's TPLF which is to be increased on the coming 2009 budget by seven times.
Seven Times of What? Mind you few months before TPLF's soldiers crossed the Somali boarder on that infamous invasion of Christmas 2006 there was an American high military official who gave the blessing and now surely the first down payment for that war.
Melese Zenawi was boasting in his parliament that no one pays for this war and we know his sleepy parliament has no power to see the book of this war unless they come to Pentagon and now they are surprised to find out that the budget for the war will be multiplied by seven times for the next year budget after Bush leaves office.
This is an incentive for the Ethiopian regime to kill more Somalis in the name of fighting Islamic terrorism and also to conscript young unemployed youths to join the Ethiopian National Defense Force(ENDF) that will be paying good thanks to the promised budget increase.
Ms. Theresa Whelan told the Ethiopian people the best kept secret of the ENDF's number that is 200,000 and she did not tell us how many of those are now engaged in the occupation of Somalia. VOA Amharic yesterday concetrates on this increased budget and disclose that it is for the first time USA gave military information about Ethiopian army.
The so called capacity building to reorganize the army is a very dangerous militarization which in the long run our people and the African Continent tol be ruled by military strongmen financed and trained by USA. That indeed the core objective of Africom which is rejected by many African countries.
Democracy for Africa is now turned to capacity building to train soldiers to rule Africa by force and for that you do not need to put a Musharraf like General who recently took off his clothes rather put stooges like Melese Zenawi with no military training and built a strong army to protect him.
We have known this all along but it is good to come out straight from USA defense force. The USA policy makers wrongly believed that USA army is doing a good job in Africa. I heard one congressman who recently visited Djibouti said on yesterday's hearing that local people support the army because the army is building projects that benefits the community.
The French armed forces who has been there in Djibouti since Independence should be ashamed of themselves for not drilling wells for the inhabitants while the USA army in less than three years did the job right. But one thing is sure. French went there to protect their former colony while USA went to find new real state to fight its war on terror and no free countries will like to see foreign armies in their land no matter what good do to them.
The irony is that Ethiopia the symbol of independence that repelled colonialists in her long history is now ruled by collaboration of home grown tyrants and Pentagon. Those who are fighting for freedom and democracy should not be discouraged when the money for the tyranny in Ethiopia is increased by seven times rather energized and coordinate their struggle to match the challenge.