It is a big international secret that Ethiopia today is in the middle of a Biblical famine.
Last week, the Global Post headlined an article posing the question:
Ethiopia is facing its worst drought in 30 years. Can the government stop famine this time?
The “government” of Ethiopia Global Post is asking if it can stop the famine is a thugtatorship known as the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Back in 1984-85, the TPLF was a terrorist group in Ethiopia.
Today, the TPLF is still classified as a terrorist group by the Global Terrorism Database.
The question precisely framed is: Can the T-TPLF stop the famine in Ethiopia? (The “T-” signifies thugtatorship. A “thugtatorship” is a “government” of thugs, for thugs, by thugs.)
The answer is: Can the T-TPLF stop begging, panhandling the world for food?
For the past 24 years, the T-TPLF has dealt with the problem of famine in Ethiopia by begging international food aid and handouts every single year.
There is little difference between the T-TPLF international food aid and alms addicts and the crystal meth addicts lurking in downtown street alleys in America.
They both gotta have it.
The only difference is that the T-TPLF addicts wear ill-fitting designer suits, often one or two sizes too big.
How can anyone be so devoid of self-dignity that they have made begging a profession, a way of life?
How can anyone make an industry out of begging?
The T-TPLF beggars remind me of fitting verse in Shakespeare’s King John:
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail,
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
To say there is no vice but beggary.
The T-TPLF leaders have made a virtue of beggary.
They see no vice in beggary even after they have become filthy rich from corruption and aid-profiteering.
The evidence of T-TPLF beggary over the past eight years provides conclusive proof that the T-TPLF is a regime of beggars.
In February 2014, it was reported that “Ethiopia finds itself in critical need of donors’ assistance, in order to feed 2.7 million people.” That was for early 2014. U.S. tax payers shelled out $218 million.
In 2013, Ethiopia received nearly $700m in humanitarian aid to feed over 4 million people. U.S. tax payers shelled out $236 million.
In September 2012, “The Ethiopian government announced 3.7 million of its citizens will require humanitarian assistance between August and December of this year, up from 3.2 million in January.” U.S. taxpayers shelled out $307 million.
In 2011, international humanitarian food aid to Ethiopia amounted to nearly $500 million. U.S taxpayers shelled out $313 million.
In August 2010, UN FAO reported, “An estimated 5.2 million [Ethiopians] still depend on emergency food assistance and agencies agree on a severe situation of high hunger in the long term.”
In a 2010 Report, Human Rights Watch documented the cynical and deadly games the T-TPLF has played using donor-financed fertilizer, seeds, food aid and jobs to build an extensive network of local officials, militias and spies to control who gets what, when and how. The T-TPLF snagged $588 million in international humanitarian aid.
In 2010, the Office of the Inspector General of the State Department concluded that there is no way to tell what USAID is doing with hundreds of millions of American tax dollars in Ethiopia:
While USAID/Ethiopia is contributing to the achievement of market-led economic growth and the improved resilience of farmers, pastoralists, and other beneficiaries in Ethiopia, it is not possible to determine the extent of that contribution because of weakness in the mission’s performance management and reporting system.
In August 2009, The Independent, the British national paper reported, “Millions of impoverished Ethiopians face the threat of malnutrition and possibly starvation this winter in what is shaping up to be the country’s worst food crisis for decades. Estimates of the number of people who need emergency food aid have risen steadily this year from 4.9 million in January to 5.3 million in May and 6.2 million in June.”
In 2008, the T-TPLF pocketed $479 million in American tax dollars in the name of “humanitarian assistance”.
Last week, the New York Times reported, “The Ethiopian government announced that about 8.2 million people are in need of food assistance, up from the 4.55 million estimated in August.”
The report wondered if Ethiopia is going to be once more “a poster child for humanitarian aid”.
The T-TPLF has made Ethiopia the international “poster land” for the Black Horseman (famine) of the Apocalypse.
In two months, the T-TPLF estimate of Ethiopians facing famine doubled from 4.5 million to 8.2 million people.
That’s the stupid numbers game the T-TPLF is playing.
The T-TPLF will not tell the truth all at once. They will throw in the numbers casually in bits and pieces hoping no one notices.
Following the current trend line, is there any question that by the end of the year the T-TPLF will announce the famine is affecting 12 million Ethiopians.
By summer 2016, when Mr. El Nino arrives in full regalia, 25 million Ethiopians will be looking at the Black Horseman straight in the eye.
Courtesy of the T-TPLF.
The T-TPLF thinks they are outsmarting and confusing everyone. They are fooling only themselves.
The fact of the matter is that every single year for the past twenty-four years, the T-TPLF has been begging for emergency food assistance and slurping up hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. and other Western donors.
The T-TPLF has refined the art of begging to such an exquisite level that I coined a new phrase to describe it, the “baksheesh (beggar) state.”
In October 2014, I introduced the concept of the “baksheesh state” to analyze regimes and states that sustain themselves primarily through international alms (aid + loans) and engage in aid/loan racketeering (use of legitimate organizations for illegal purposes) through a variety of corrupt practices.
The T-TPLF baksheesh state is exactly the kind of beggar state the noted Nigerian nationalist, author and statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, warned Africans to beware.
In 1967, at the 4th Summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity, Chief Awo sternly and prophetically warned:
Today, Africa is a Continent of COMPETING BEGGAR NATIONS. We vie with one another for favours from our former colonial masters; and we deliberately fall over one another to invite neocolonialists to come to our different territories to preside over our economic fortunes…
… We may continue and indeed we will be right to continue to use the power and influence which sovereignty confers, as well as the tactics and manoeuvres which international diplomacy legitimatises, to extract more and more alms from our benefactors. But the inherent evil remains—and it remains with us and with no one else: unless a beggar shakes off and irrevocably turns his back on, his begging habit, he will forever remain a beggar. For, the more he begs the more he develops the beggar characteristics of lack of initiative, courage, drive and self-reliance.’” (Emphasis added.)
Nearly one-half century after Chief Awolowo’s warning, the T-TPLF has become the shining example, the poster boys for African beggars.
Can the T-TPLF feed 9 million Ethiopians facing famine today?
By begging the world for food?
Beg. Beg. Beg. Beg…
No country in history ever beat famine by panhandling and begging.
How could Ethiopia?
It is well-established that Ethiopia has been and remains Africa’s largest recipient of foreign aid.
Foreign aid is a fancy word for alms on a grand scale. It is given to beggar regimes in the name of their countries.
According to Global Humanitarian Assistance, “in 2012, Ethiopia received US$484 million in international humanitarian assistance, making it the seventh largest recipient. Initial estimates for 2013 total US$550 million.” It further reported, “Ethiopia has been in the top 10 recipients of humanitarian assistance in all of the last 10 years. Humanitarian assistance peaked at US$937 million in 2008, when it was the second largest recipient.”
In other words, under the T-TPLF, Ethiopia has been the largest beggar nation in all of Africa and in the top ten beggar countries in the world for over a decade.
According to the Development Assistance Group ETHIOPIA, Official Development Assistance given to Ethiopia for 2008 was $3.819 billion, $3,525 billion in 2010 and $3,563 billion in 2011.
In 2011, “Britain chose Ethiopia to be its biggest recipient of development aid during the next four years.”
The U.S. increased its aid to the TPLF regime from nearly $1.8 billion in 2005 to nearly $3.5 billion in 2008.
The T-TPLF has been in overdrive nearly doubling the alms it got from American taxpayers in three years.
The U.S. Government administers its food aid program in Ethiopia chiefly in partnership with the Relief Society of Tigray (REST).
Last year, USAID said, “REST is one of four NGO partners that implement the PSNP throughout Ethiopia with USAID support. Other partners include Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, and Save the Children.”
Now, who do you think gets the lion’s share (excuse me, hyena’s share) of the U.S. aid money?
What is REST?
REST is the same racketeering organization that stole international food aid in 1984-85 and converted it to military and private use of T-TPLF leaders.
I documented REST’s racketeering activities in my May 2010 commentary “Licensed to Steal” in the Huffington Post.
REST’s racketeering activity with famine aid over three decades ago was simply breathtaking in its demonic ingenuity.
At the onset of the food aid scam in 1984, REST used a three-staged process of deception.
In stage one, one group of TPLF/REST officials masquerading as legitimate grain merchants would approach the myriad NGOs involved in the distribution of food aid and offer to sell them substantial quantities of grain for quick delivery to the famine victims.
At the time, the TPLF had acquired and stashed in secret warehouses grains from various sources, including NGOs, for use by its fighters. These secretly stashed grain stockpiles were in fact being offered for sale to the NGOs. The TPLF/REST “grain dealers” would complete the sale transaction and return back to their hideouts with the payment from the NGOs.
In stage two, another group of TPLF/REST operatives would take over the responsibility of delivering the relief aid inside Tigrai. To inspire confidence in the NGO’s, TPLF/REST officials would facilitate spot checks of grain stockpiles in their own secret warehouses. But the warehouses were tricked out. According to a TPLF member who witnessed the scam, “if you go there, half of the warehouse was stacked full of sand.” The NGO representatives would perform visual inspections of the stockpiles, give their approval and cross back into the Sudan to conduct additional grain purchases.
In the third stage, the same or different group of TPLF/REST officials would go back to the NGOs and make a pitch for additional sales of grains for delivery in a different part of Tigrai. These offers did not involve any new or fresh supplies of grain. Instead, stockpiles of grain already in secret storage facilities in various locations throughout Tigrai were trucked around to new locations, giving the appearance to the NGOs that fresh supplies of grain were being bought in and delivered. Since the aid workers have no means of independently verifying the grain that is being shuttled from one location to another from completely fresh shipments, they would perform cursory inspections and make payments.
In that manner, TPLF/REST was able to sell and resell multiple times the same previously acquired stockpile of grain (and sand) to the NGOs generating millions of dollars in revenue. TPLF/REST used various ways and techniques in 1985 to maximize its business transactions with the NGOs and in selling grain shipments sent by donor countries.