Ambassador Susan Rice Conspires With African Tyrants against the Rights of American Citizens
By Amanuel Biedemariam
President Obama undermined US diplomatic protocol, longstanding US diplomatic process and the State Department when he moved-up the UN Ambassadorship of Susan Rice to a cabinet level position. The move is a serious blunder that will undermine US diplomatic structures and processes and its negative effects to be felt for decades to come. There are many examples of these colossal failures.
Ambassador Rice has a horrific record as US point person of Africa during the Clinton Administration in which she stood by as a bystander and witnessed the Rwanda Holocaust unfold. And as a UN Ambassador, Susan Rice is doing serious damages to US political and moral high ground by undercutting US diplomatic leverages and, infringing upon American citizen’s rights by conspiring with some of the most atrocious human rights violators and genocidal tyrants of Africa.
Moreover, Ambassador Rice or President Obama are denying the American people congressional oversight by outsourcing US political agendas to international organizations like the Arab League, African Union and other regional organizations in Africa such as IGAD and ECOWAS. This is a convenient shortcut of pursuing US interests. It only requires pressuring tyrants and leaders of client states to echo US agendas. This approach gives Rice cover to push resolutions and decisions that have long-term implications with a lightning speed.
The problem with this approach is multi-pronged. Firstly, the process excludes the American people and congress. Secondly, and absent of informed public, US congressional representatives are less likely to be inquisitive and as a result not as invested as they should be. This approach avoids open discussions of US diplomatic endeavors and, in this interconnected global environment, to negate the American people and congress opportunities to meaningful understanding of world politics and engagement is serious abrogation of responsibilities.
In addition, the approach renders the State Department impotent at worst or, diminishes its influence greatly. Because regardless, of the communications that take place between the State Department and the US Mission at the UN, the focus of world leaders will be UN and the UNSC. This empowers the UN greatly while diminishing US diplomatic upper hand globally and reduces the US State Department to a mere bureaucratic shell.
Case in point, the recent Sanction measure against Eritrea Resolution 2023 adopted by the UNSC December 5, that passed with thirteen “yes” votes and two abstentions Russia and China. A simple glance at the votes makes the sanction measure look successful. However, upon digging deeper we can uncover layers of disturbing patterns that ought to concern every American.
One of the basic tenets of the American way of life is the jurisprudence based on US constitution that observes certain inalienable rights such as the ability to defend oneself and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. While that is not-always forthcoming and apparent in foreign policy matters, there are certain precedents and protocols as well as rules the US is expected to follow. These norms, values and laws, even if they are not adhered-to as they should they are universally accepted principles. And for the US, the standards are higher.
However, in this case, everything was thrown out the window. Ambassador Rice failed to bring a credible case against Eritrea. Rice failed to embrace fairness and American values. Rice presented fabrications to the UNSC to make a case in order to pass sanction measures against Eritrea. She pressed the measure in unprecedented fashion to catch the members of UNSC by surprise into voting without deliberation at 5pm on Tuesday Nov 29, to be voted on the next morning shocking all. She usurped the UN process and gave the matter unwarranted urgency in order to pass the measure. She put the measure in Blue prematurely as if the situation is dire, of utmost urgency and importance.
The members reacted negatively and denied the vote with Russia threatening to veto the measure. China said that President Isaias Afwerki has requested to come and address the UNSC in October and, according to UN charter that is the right of every UN member-country and demanded President Isaias address the council. Of course she did not want President Isaias to appear in front of the council. Her remarks were unbecoming of a diplomat. It was a shameful act and display of utter arrogance that future generation American diplomats cannot model after. She disrespected the Eritrean people by saying I have met the Eritrean delegation in July, we do not want a “circus and is not to my taste.” Her comments are an example that the US needs to seriously reevaluate its diplomatic approaches. Because, Rice acted as if she is above a president and undermined the UN process by disregarding concerns of other members and abused the privileges of being a host nation by using the issuance of a visa as part of her maneuvers. The circus that followed was a must see TV for the whole world to laugh at.
Ambassador Rice went on a two day negotiation spree in which she was forced to say we are obligated to grant a visa to President Isaias and his delegation on Friday Dec 2, 48 hours before the measure was to be voted on. According to Rice, the visas were granted on Saturday and the vote was scheduled for Monday. The president was slated to address the council and make a case for his country in a matter that could determine the fate of his people on Monday morning December 5after travelling 16 hours from Africa.
On Christmas Eve in 2009, Ambassador Rice passed a similar measure in a stealthy manner and placed an arms embargo against Eritrea a nation at war with Ethiopia denying Eritrea a right to self-defense. This was based on fabrications by using Somalia and a border dispute with Djibouti while ignoring Ethiopia that is occupying Eritrean territories illegally. She called this an African initiative and used Africa to pressure China and Russia to pass a sanction measure.
In July of 2011, the African Union (AU) rejected for lack of evidence, Ethiopia’s plea to send yet another bogus statement to the UNSC against Eritrea. The accusations came from Ethiopia and alleged that Eritrea was caught trying to bomb Addis Ababa during the AU gatherings. Ethiopia is at war with Eritrea and the accusations came from a country that is party to the conflict. Gabon, a country that has no connection to Eritrea, tabled the measure at the urging of the US to give it an African cover. The evidence provided to the UNSC is laughable. It is absurd that Rice tried to convince the UNSC, Eritrea, a nation that is capable to wage full scale wars and have successfully defeated Africa’s strongest army to gain independence, can resort to this joke of terrorist act fabricated by a genocidal regime that is using terrorism as a cover to quell decent and make money from the West.
The Russian Ambassador to the United Nations said as follows… "The text of the resolution contains a range of provisions that lack adequate foundation, and the role of the group of experts has been expanded beyond measure. In that respect, we refer in particular to the “planned terrorist attack” in Addis Ababa during the African Union summit there. The Russian Federation is categorically against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. However, in this case, the Security Council was not presented with convincing proof of Eritrea’s involvement in that incident. We have not seen the results of any investigation of that incident, if indeed there was one.”
This is diplo-speak that means the accusations are fabrications, in other words lies. The barrage of accusations and allegations Eritrea faced was designed to put maximum pressure on China and Russia to pass punitive measures by using Africans. Kenya accused Eritrea of flying arms to Al Shabab in Kisamyo South Somalia. All one has to do is observe the map of the Horn of Africa and observe in order to reach Kisamyou, Eritrea must fly through hostile air space of Ethiopia and above heavily monitored Indian Ocean Waters. The Djibouti case was also a farce since Djibouti has already agreed and signed to allow Qatar to mediate the “dispute.” Ambassador Rice created a circus by having the accusers address the UNSC from Addis via satellite in order to put more pressure and failed. By doing that, Rice empowered the UNSC over the US.
The reality, Djibouti is a client state of the US that hosts over 3,000 US soldiers stationed in Camp Lemonier Djibouti. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta just visited Djibouti to highlight the importance. Ethiopia and Kenya are in the same boat. The Transitional Government of Somalia is very dependent on the US and Ethiopian soldiers for its very survival. In other words, they are all parties to the conflict.
The US used The Somali Monitoring Group, a group formed by the US to give recommendations on Somalia related issues. In this case, the Monitoring Group presented to the UN everything Ethiopia gave them including names of Eritreans that support their birth country. These law-abiding Eritrean American citizens have resided in the US for decades. The Sanction recommendation the Monitoring Group gave targeted remittances these citizens send to their homeland. The monitoring group gave specific sanction measures to decapitate Eritrea from existence prompting the Russians to react and rightfully say…,
“We also have doubts with respect to the provision in the resolution that gives the Sanctions Committee a mandate to draft, with the support of the expert group, guiding principles for States on maintaining vigilance in their cooperation with Eritrea in the mining sector. When it comes to guiding United Nations Members, guidance should be provided by a resolution of the Security Council and not by the preliminary work of subsidiary bodies, as that can lead to various interpretations of resolutions that have been adopted."
The monitoring group is not a legal body, an elected representation or a neutral and transparent investigative organ. It is political tool the US and Ethiopia use to further their agendas.
More than what is described above, the most disturbing aspect of Ambassador Rice’s adventures is what Wikileaks exposed. Ambassador Rice conspired with African leaders and discussed on how to impose restrictions on US citizens of Eritrean decent from sending remittances to their home country. Cables on May and August of 2009 reveal Rice talking to various Ethiopian officials in cable after another. This is what Ethiopian official recommended. Cable quote:
“ Tekeda said, cutting off the flow of money to Eritrea was essential. Particularly, remittances from the U.S. was a major source of funding for Eritrea, which used such funds for arms procurement and support for extremist elements.”
On August 17, 2009 Rice conferred with Ethiopian representative Tessema, cable quote:
“Ambassador Rice emphasized that any new sanctions Resolution should reflect the common ground between Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia.”
This is a pattern that shows Rice conspiring against American citizens with leaders of other countries. The list and detail is abundant for all to research. Rice called Eritrean Americans, “The Diaspora” and decided to infringe upon the rights of American citizens that she calls “Diaspora” in order to get at the country of their origin.
One of the most disturbing aspects of these developments is to know how easy it is to infringe upon US citizen rights without any congressional oversight and the citizenry finding out what is really taking place. Moreover, today, it is Eritrean Americans, who is next? It may be easy for the average American to overlook these developments because it is happening to obscure unfamiliar communities. However, these are outstanding law abiding American citizens most of whom arrived in the early to mid-80s. Their kids represent a first generation of Eritrean Americans that are brilliant excelling in many areas. There are many Eritrean doctors, engineers, army officials, athletes and successful exemplary Eritrean American citizens. It is criminal and libelous for Rice to incriminate entire communities of American citizens for foreign policy agendas in order to pass a flowed resolution based on fabrications.
Over the years, the US has showed the world the ways and, meanings of diplomacy in good and bad times. American diplomats epitomized patriotism and international legal savvy. Most importantly they knew the importance of keeping the political upper hand while retaining the moral high grounds. Above all, they placed the rights of American citizens above everything. They accorded it the dignity that it deserves. Howard Baker, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger to mention some. They always knew how to keep their eyes on the ball while keeping the long and short term goals of the nation intact.
Ambassador Rice is a departure from that. She represents street diplomacy of thug like bullying underhanded mischief; petty shortcut diplomacy, fabrications, obvious-threats and intimidation. Her approaches are gifts to Russia and China because due to her belligerence they are looking like saints. In this latest debacle, China and Russia came out with moral high ground because they were talking transparency and following the UN rules and laws. Susan Rice on the other hand, was always on the defensive and looked petty. Her tactics were a reach by any standard; the strategy she applied was flawed giving Russia and China opportunities to play her like a child.
The people of Africa are suffering terribly due to the incompetence of foreign officials Such as Susan Rice. This episode is likely to lead to more wars and bloodshed. Examples are aplenty. Susan Rice’s name is synonymous to The Genocide of Rwanda. The irony is, after a failure of that magnitude, her incompetence was rewarded by promotion to a much higher and significant position of high impact.
Susan Rice believes that she has picked a soft target to bully, misrepresent, fabricate harass and undermine the rights of Eritrean American citizens in order to pursue her feeble agendas. Certainly, Susan Rice will not try the same strategy on other American groups such as the Armenian or Jewish communities. She felt that Eritrean Americans are soft targets to stigmatize. This Eritrean American will not sit idle and watch American rights stripped brazenly.
All Eritreans and concerned citizens need to call for the firing of Susan Rice and hold her legally accountable for conspiring against American citizens with foreign nationals and governments.
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