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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The missing D in Mrs. Clinton's speech at USAID

Tedla Asfaw

USA Secretary of States Mrs. Clinton in her recent United States  Agency for International Development(USAID) office appearance put the bench mark for the foreign engagement in the Obama administration.  Development, Diplomacy and Defense and are these really new  ? Not at all, the USAID has been for years functioning as a Development institution and if we saw the last USA administration it in fact talks more than the above three D's  adding D,  "Democracy" which I call the missing D in Mrs. Clinton speech.

Development assistance and  Diplomacy was used by President Clinton to pop up undemocratic government of Ethiopia in the 1980s. After September 11, 2001 the Bush administration gave priority for Defense and invested heavily on the tyrants in Ethiopia to conduct its own defensive war in Somalia. Development assistance better we call it  Food Aid  and war has been the trademark of our region for more than eighteen years.

The Defense Mrs. Clinton is talking about was also used by the Bush administration to kill democracy in Ethiopia and conducting a devastating war in  Eastern Ethiopia, Ogaden. The Defense and  Diplomacy was the major involvement of the past administration and if Mrs. Clinton is to follow the same track she is surely will fail.

The human right, the question of Democracy should be the benchmark for African USA policy. If Diplomacy is the code word to keep undemocratic regimes like that of Ethiopia by staging a make-believe election for foreign consumption it is not going to be new but the same old failed USA policy.

If Americans succeeded in electing the first African American president for the first time our continent should not be denied the fruit of free and fair election. Africans which some racists openly argue incapable to exercise these democratic rights have been proven wrong many times. The three D's Mrs. Clinton mentioned without Democracy the big D nothing will change for millions of Ethiopians. The recent election in Ghana should be a model for Obama administration and hiding this reality with a Diplomacy jargon is not helpful because Ethiopians have  tested democracy in 2005 and no diplomacy will force them to retreat and live under the tyranny that is using  Development/Food Aid efficiently to stay in power forever.

A free society is the engine of change be it Development, Defense and Diplomacy. In a tyranny these same Ds are used as a means to rule their subjects with the help of the taxpayers money of the West. Our struggle is to put the missing D in Mrs. Clinton speech, Democracy,  on the front and fight for our people right to live in a free society under the rule of law. That is the ultimate defense for USA and our people too.