[dehai-news] Ethiopia and Joseph Griebosky-A match made in hell


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From: Sophia Tesfamariam (sophia_tesfamariam@hotmail.com)
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 09:53:08 EST


There are some stories that are reported that make your head turn and the latest unsubstantiated report by Joseph Grieboski, another Zenawi-phyle takes the cake. The 8 December 2008 report, “Iran deploys Troops, Ballistic Missiles to Eritrea”, is transparent in its motives Those of us who have received the Press Statement released by ENOUGH know that Jendayi E. Frazer and the US State Department are hell bent on placing Eritrea on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism and this latest flurry of news items by Greiboski and the minority regime in Ethiopia, is part and parcel of that deceptive and dangerous, not to mention irresponsible misinformation campaign.
 
Greibosky’s record shows that he may have a lot in common with the regime in Ethiopia-a propensity for lies, deceptions and distortions. Before I get to Griebosky’s distortion of the truth, allow me to present the Press Statement released by ENOUGH on 9 December 2008 which will shed some light on the Greibosky-Jendayi Frazer-Meles Zenawi latest campaign. According to ENOUGH:
 
“…As the Bush administration prepares to leave office, it is taking three ill-considered actions that threaten to exacerbate the already catastrophic situation in Somalia and tie the hands of the incoming Obama Administration. The Bush administration is: 1) urging Ethiopia to keep its armed forces in Somalia until after the administration leaves office; 2) pushing for authorization of a U.N. peacekeeping mission to protect the fractious and impotent Transitional Federal Government after Ethiopia’s departure; and 3) moving to place Ethiopia’s arch-rival Eritrea on the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. There is little indication that the Bush Administration has thought through the implications of these major steps that would not only prolong the violence on the ground, but would hijack the incoming Obama Administration’s policy prerogatives while leaving it with an even more intractable crisis in the troubled Horn of Africa…”
 
We will have to wait and find out if Condoleezza Rice’s trip to Ethiopia to learn more.
 
Let me get back to Griebosky.
 
His report is also a perfect example of how these individuals and groups disseminate information through the internet (he didn’t get coverage by mainstream media), without ever verifying them, only because they came from “inside sources”. There is a lot that needs to be known about Joseph Grieboski, the lucrative Institute for Religion and Public Policy which he founded. His record is quite clear to Eritrean Americans who have followed his anti-Eritrea campaigns at the US State Department, to place Eritrea on the “List of Countries of particular Concern” for religious freedom. I will not detail his record and those of his associates just yet. Suffice it to mention that his latest “project” is Eritrean refugees, and sooner or later, I knew he would take the bait and he did. In a future article, I will detail Griebosky’s record and allow the readers to judge for themselves.
 
Greibosky has been working to put Eritrea on various US State Department lists for quite sometime now, something his Ethiopian handlers want desperately. So he attempts to deliver with this wild story, even for a fanatic like him, this is far reaching. Here is what he wrote in Cutting Edge on 8 December 2008:
 
“….Local sources have reported that Iran recently sent soldiers and a large number of long-range and ballistic missiles. The military basing came after Iran signed an accord with Eritrea to revamp the Russian-built refinery used by the Eritrean Oil Company, also known as Assab Oil Company. As the world’s second largest import of gasoline, Iran is sensitive to a Western plan to obstruct its access to refined product as a part of broad sanctions provoked by Teheran’s nuclear activities. Iran needs nearby oil refining ability. Using protection of the Eritrean refinery as a pretext, Iran has set up its military operation there, and has been patrolling with unmanned surveillance drones…”
 
There is a saying in Tigrinya that says something like “dhri adgi ziKede, tirat adgi lemede”-meaning, those who chase behind donkeys, fart like donkeys… and Grieboski fits that description perfectly. The mercenary information launderers fed him erroneous information received through their own “networks”, and that stuff about the donkeys applies to them too…
 
First of all, if he had any decency he would go ahead and let his readers know that the sources are the same individuals and groups, mercenaries hired by the minority regime in Ethiopia to fabricate and launder information about Eritrea and that the “diplomats” are none other than the Ethiopian Embassy, who were his guests at a 23 November 2008 event he hosted in his hometown, Scranton Pennsylvania. He also neglected to mention his close ties to the regime in Ethiopia and that he functions as a lobbyist on their behalf…when he is not globe trotting to find “religious hot spots”.
 
His story is designed to divert attention away from the real story in the Horn of Africa which is the illegal US-backed Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia and the quagmire created by the ill-advised policy for Somalia executed by Jendayi E. Frazer and her Horn confidante Meles Zenawi, the genocidal leader of the minority regime in Ethiopia. Greiboski has undermined his Institute and the many think tanks and groups in US Government who have relied, and paid handsomely, for his research and reports. The corrupt minority regime in Ethiopia is now engaged in their own version of “pay to play” politics in Washington.
 
It should be recalled that on 13 March 2007, Mr. Grieboski hosted a round table meeting with the Ethiopian figurehead President Girma Woldegiorgis and has worked hard to strengthen his relationship with the regime since. When Meles Zenawi’s Aggazi forces slaughtered innocent Ethiopians on the streets of Addis Ababa and killed over 200 people for protesting the regime’s stealing of their votes, slaughtered innocent men, women and children in the Gambela, Ogaden, and Oromia regions of Ethiopia, US lawmakers decided to take action. They introduced HR-2003, known as the Ethiopian Democracy and Human Rights Bill, besides Jendayi E. Frazer’s State Department and the regime’s group of no less than 12 lobbyists, led by Dick Army; it was Grieboski’s Institute that wrote to the United States Congress to kill the Bill. Here is what he wrote:
 
“…Ethiopia has made outstanding progress in democratic development, human rights, religious freedom, political and civil rights. Despite this improvement, the House of Representatives wishes to impose its own timeline and its own standards on Ethiopia's advance… H.R.2003 is a threat to American political and security interests in the Horn of Africa and in Africa as a whole and only serves to alienate yet another ally with a sticks-but-no-carrots approach to foreign policy…It is imperative that the United States Senate reexamines the merits of H.R. 2003 as currently drafted and amend the bill to provide the appropriate democratic tools and capacity-building agenda, before it causes undue harm to American interests…"
 
Congressman Smith would know more about Meles Zenawi’s history. Here is what he had to say then:
 
“…given the recent history of systematic human rights abuse by the Meles regime and the credible reports of rape and slaughter in Ogaden, it is hard for any reasonable person to trust the government or anything it might say without independent verification, fresh accountability, genuine transparency, and systemic reform…I believe that neither we nor the international community has pushed the Meles government hard enough on human rights issues because we have been satisfied it cooperates with us to some extent in the war on terror…Everything that has happened since 2005 has only made the need for our legislation more compelling…The war on terror is very important, but no regime that terrorizes its own citizens can be a reliable ally in the war on terror. Terrorism isn’t just a military issue. It is also a human rights issue. Terrorists come from countries where their governments fail to respect their human rights…”
 
Mr. Grieboski should stop regurgitating the regime’s spills and pay attention to what other credible sources have reported about the regime’s murderous reign. Allow me to remind him of human rights record of the regime he is shielding in order to advance his own personal agendas. These are well documented by those who are serious about human rights and are not using it to enrich themselves and those in their “networks” who shamelessly claim to be concerned about “religious persecution”.
 

Meles Zenawi's security and military apparatus massacred 44 University students in cold blood in Addis Ababa in 2001.
 

On May 2002, Meles Zenawi's forces massacred over 100 people in Awassa, his forces committed illegal acts against innocent citizens who were demonstrating against a change in the administrative status of Awassa. Security agents used machine guns mounted on armored vehicles to fire into a group of unarmed peasants, workers, women and children. Twelve of those killed were children.
 

In what was described then as "Africa's Kosovo", the shameless bigoted leader of the Tigrayan minority regime in Ethiopia, in 1998 and 1999 deported over 80,000 innocent Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin and confiscated over a billion dollars worth of their hard earned belongings right under the watchful eye of the African Union, UN and EU Ambassadors. Meles said, "The Ethiopian government has the unrestricted right to expel any foreigner from the country for any reason whatsoever. Any foreigner, whether Eritrean, Japanese, etc., lives in Ethiopia because of the goodwill of the government. If the Ethiopian government says 'Go, because we don't like the colour of your eyes,' they have to leave."
 

Dubbed “Operation Sunny Mountain” by Meles Zenawi and his minority regime, plans to procure Annuak territory, a zone coveted by corporate interests for its oil and gold, were laid out at a top-level cabinet meeting in Addis Ababa led by Meles Zenawi on September 2003. At that meeting, “the militant ethnic cleansing of the Anuaks” was openly discussed and a coordinated military operation to systematically eliminate Anuaks began on 13 December 2003. The minority regime in Ethiopia willfully burned villages, massacred hundreds of Anuaks and Nuers and caused over 15,000 inhabitants of Gambela to flee to neighboring Sudan and Kenya.
 

Meles Zenawi’s minority regime rigged the May 2005 Elections and stole the people’s votes igniting the nationwide protests. Having declared a “State of Emergency” on 16 May 2005, and after taking full command of the police, security and army apparatus, the genocidal regime detained all the opposition leaders, journalists, civil society leaders and opposition supporters on trumped up charges of treason and inciting violence, and detained over 40,000 Ethiopians all over the country while its military and security forces massacred over 100 people.
 

Misusing arms and equipment originally intended to boost Ethiopia's “antiterrorism efforts” along the country's border with Somalia, the US Ambassador to Ethiopia has acknowledged Meles Zenawi’s regime’s usage of “Humvees”, US military vehicles, to harass, intimidate and terrorize Ethiopians.
 

On 24 December 2006, using various pretexts invaded and occupied sovereign Somali territories. Amnesty International reported that Ethiopian troops are killing civilians by slitting their throats and gang-raping women. Somali civilians were, according to witnesses, "slaughtered like goats." The illegal invasion and occupation of Somalia has resulted in the displacement of over one million internally displaced persons and nearly 3.5 million “on the verge of starvation”. It has been called the greatest humanitarian disaster in the history of Somalia.
 
So why is this human rights advocate palling around with Meles Zenawi’s mercenaries and looking the other way as Meles Zneawi and his clan commit horrendous international crimes and violate every human right of Ethiopians, Somalis and more? It’s “pay to play” season and Griebosky and his team have scored. This is what the mayor of Scranton said on 23 November 2008 during the event sponsored by Grieboski and the guest list included the Ethiopian ambassador to the United States:
 
“…This morning, Scranton will enter into a sister-city relationship between Scranton and Mekele, Ethiopia, a city of 169,000. Doherty said he first met officials from Ethiopia during the institute’s diplomatic dinner at the Scranton Cultural Center in July…”
 
But that is not all. This story also helps his information gathering on Iran. It seems Griebosky and another individual were paid well-$175000 worth- by the Smith Richardson Foundation to edit and produce:
 
“….The Iran Report, a weekly survey of political, economic, social, and geopolitical events concerning Iran…”
 
I suppose gathering bogus and fabricated stories is all part of the game…it worked in Iraq…now thousands are paying for that horrendous miscalculation…but who cares…after all its Moslems that are being slaughtered, not Christians.
 
Finally, on the Iran-Eritrea fabrication and distortion, instead of relying on his dubious “network” for his reports on Iran, he could have made a simple call to the Eritrean Embassy in Washington, DC. Eritrea has not provided any bases to Iran in Assab or anywhere else in Eritrea. In addition, if he had done a bit of homework, he would have known about the deceptive tactics used by the regime in Ethiopia for the last 17 years in which it constantly put out reports about “Eritrea providing bases for Israel”, all of which turned out to be pure propaganda and fabrications…something the regime and his handlers seem to have perfected. Today, it is Iran, next it will be…
 
By the way, why isn’t Griebosky questioning Ethiopia’s close ties to Iran? What about the many business agreements signed between the two countries? Is he afraid he will fall out of favor with his “network” of friends in high places? There used to be a time when he did call a spade a spade…Allow me to remind him of what he said about Ethiopia and Sudan in an article posted on Survivors International on 7 august 2001. In that Griebosky wrote about “oil revenues help fuel the Islamic government's war on the Christians and animists in Sudan's south” and this about Ethiopia:
 
“…Ethiopia was the first country in the region to reach an oil agreement with Sudan. A contract was signed June 15 for an annual supply to Addis Ababa of 120,000 tons of gasoline and 36,000 tons of kerosene.To speed up fuel delivery, in compliance with the contract, Ethiopia will build its own depot in Sudanese territory. Ethiopia has already begun using Port Sudan for its export-import traffic. This has enabled Ethiopia to sidestep Eritrea, which after the 1998-2000 border war, closed its ports to Ethiopia. This drawing closer between Ethiopia and Sudan comes after years of tension…Oil profits are used by Khartoum to increase its military potential. Recently, thanks to Chinese aid, three new arms and ammunitions factories were built near Khartoum…”
 
So what happened or should I be asking, who got to Griebosky?
 
Eritrea is a sovereign state and as such has certain rights that neither Griebosky nor his friends at the Ethiopian Embassy can dictate. Instead of sitting on his laurels and making “business deals” with criminal regimes and their mercenaries, he ought to spend a few minutes reflecting on the lives of thousands that are being destroyed by the failed, incoherent and Islamphobic foreign policies of the Administration that brought him the most lucrative agendas!
 
Allow me to end with an excerpt from ENOUGH’s latest statement:
 
“….placing Eritrea on the U.S. State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the Bush administration would push Eritrea into a corner precisely at a time when they are willing to demonstrate some flexibility. There may or may not be sufficient evidence to make the case against Eritrea, but such a strategically significant determination should not be made by a lame duck administration. This determination has the potential to spoil U.S. peacemaking efforts in Sudan and Somalia, and could deepen the crisis in the Horn of Africa by fueling already intense antipathies between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Designating Eritrea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism would have no purpose other than to shrink the Obama administration’s diplomatic room for maneuver in the region while possibly making the very real counter terrorism imperatives in Somalia more difficult to achieve…”
 
Hopefully the Barack Obama Administration will not fall prey to these kinds of evil and underhanded political games and intrigues and self serving information peddlers that have plagued the Bush Administration and undermined US credibility, integrity and reputation around the world and especially in the Horn of Africa region, not to mention the carnage and destruction it leaves behind.
 
The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle!
 
Sophia Tesfamariam
 
 
 
 
 
 


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