By Elias Kifle
President Barack Obama has been a terrible disappointment for many Ethiopians and freedom loving people who supported him and voted for him in 2008. It is unforgivable that the Obama Administration had befriended, supported and praised the late Ethiopian dictator, Meles Zenawi, a genocidal tyrant whose hands were soaked with the blood of thousands innocent Ethiopians. Obama’s own State Department accused Meles of gross human rights violations. And yet Obama’s envoy referred to him as a ‘dear friend’ and a wise man. How can any Ethiopian who cares for Ethiopia and stands for freedom supports such an administration that financed and encouraged a genocidal dictator and a thief?
It is said that people deserve their government. In Ethiopia, we do not have the freedom to elect our government. The country is ruled by blood thirsty tyranny that is bankrolled by the Obama Administration and European Union to the tune of $3 billion per year. What excuse do those of us in the U.S. have for supporting Obama, a “dear friend” of the dictator who spilled the blood of so many of our brothers and sisters? By supporting Obama, we are encouraging him and other presidents after him to continue bankrolling tyrants in Ethiopia and other countries around the world.
The Obama foreign policy is one of the many areas where he didn’t keep his promise. He betrayed freedom loving people around the world by keeping in place the U.S. foreign policy that supported some of the most brutal and corrupt tyrants around the world. In fact, Obama took it the next level. Other U.S. presidents before him were holding their noses when they dealt with dictators. Obama made them his ‘dear’ friends. In the case of Ethiopia, dictator Meles Zenawi was accused by international human rights groups of committing genocide and war crimes. Let me ask you this: Would the Jewish community in the U.S. support a president who is friendly toward Nazi Germany. Meles is our Hitler. If we support Obama, we deserve to be ruled by a Hitlerian like Meles.
Another reason not to vote for Obama is not to repeat the mistake of the African-American community. For the past 40 yeas, the overwhelming majority of the African-American community has been supporting the Democratic Party. What have they benefited from such loyalty? Nothing. The African-American community is the most neglected voting group in the United States because of its loyalty to one party, even though the social values of a large majority of African-Americans are contrary to the Democratic Party. When Obama went on a ‘job tour’ in October last ear, he didn’t visit any African-American neighborhood. But the jobless rate among blacks (14.3%) is almost double that of the national rate (7.9%). When Obama won the presidency in 2008, the jobless rate among blacks was 9.1%, according to the Department of Labor.
Unlike the Jewish, Asian and other communities, the African-Americans relegated themselves to irrelevancy in the U.S. elections by blindly supporting one party. If the growing Ethiopian-American community wants to have voice, it must not allow itself to be taken for granted like the African-Americans. Vote for candidates who share your values, and you will see both parties competing for your votes.
Tomorrow, vote for Romney because many of his values are closer to ours, and if we support him, we may have a leverage with him when it comes to the U.S. policy toward Ethiopia. (What we want the U.S. to do is to stop funding murderous dictators.) Right now we have zero leverage because our vote is taken for granted by Obama.
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