By Tedla Asfaw | 24 November 2011 |
I’d like to thank former U.S. President George W. Bush for giving fund during his presidency to fight HIV/AIDS. The $50 billion saved many lives and Ethiopians are grateful to him as one of the beneficiaries of that program. Even though George Bush was known as a President of the “War on Terror,” his contribution to Africa’s health has never been matched by any president including President Obama who is known in delivering good words on freedom and democracy in Africa but with little result to show for. George Bush was an ally of dictators like Meles Zenawi because of that many Ethiopians in the Diaspora were against his policy even if we commend him for his health policy towards Africa.
The news of George Bush going to Africa early next month to promote his health agenda again as a US citizen is interesting. Yes Africans will benefit from his breast, cervical cancer initiative and awareness. But the “War on Terror” that started under his presidency is now elevated by President Obama and the Ethiopian dictator, Meles Zenawi is ripping that relationship to cover his crimes against humanity. George Bush should be an ally of Ethiopians at this time. Ethiopians under Meles Zenawi have been living under terror. An ally of “the war on terror” is terrorizing Ethiopians and we are condemning the Obama Administration for standing with our Mubarak and Saleh’s. I hope Bush to deliver a message to Meles Zenawi if President Obama has anything to say in private as was promised many times.
Mr and Mrs. Bush should make it clear that a regime that is terrorizing its own people should not get any political support from a US administration. Yes Bush was an ally of Meles Zenawi but avoided visiting Ethiopia when he was in power. As a free man he should tell Meles Zenawi it is time for him to stop terrorizing the people or his fate wouldn’t be any different from Mubarak or Saleh. Egyptians and Yemenis are on the road to freedom because USA stopped standing with its former allies due to popular revolt. Ethiopians revolted against Meles Zenawi in 2005 when Bush was in White House and we know that Bush stood then with the terrorist regime of Ethiopia and we condemned him for that policy.
It is good time for Bush to correct his past mistakes and come in public and call for political persecution to stop in Ethiopia immediately. Recognize in public the young martyr, Yenesew Gebre who burnt himself on Nov 11 denouncing the terrorist regime of Meles Zenawi. Call for the release of all political prisoners. A society that is denied basic freedoms of speech and organizations can not be a healthy society. Young people whose lives are saved from AIDS have been killed by USA supplied guns and bullets. Health issue can not stand itself alone. Only free society can tackle this problem by bringing its medical staffs at all levels.
Meles Zenawi hates educated people whose eyes color he does not like. Ethiopian medical doctors are now leaving Ethiopia to pursue their career in foreign countries. You can see them in all parts of the world. Such regime will never bring any health benefit for its people because it has no educated manpower to run a health care. The claim that Ethiopia is a model for health care service is not different from Ethiopia as “model for democracy”. Dictatorship in Libya and Egypt gave a much better health service than Meles Zenawi but that did not stop the dictators from being toppled by popular revolt.
The people of Ethiopia are angry and whatever support the Obama and other Western countries are giving the Ethiopian regime will not stop them to come out to streets defying the killing squads of Meles Zenawi. We are demanding once again for Obama Administration to stand with the Ethiopian people or with the Terrorist regime of Meles Zenawi. Stop playing both sides like the Pakistan regime, with the Terrorist and with the USA. The Bush visit to Ethiopia by ignoring the injustice Ethiopians endure and only focus on health issue will not be acceptable. Ethiopia is now a giant jail. One key under Meles Zenawi and the copy is in the USA Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth’s pocket.
Donald Booth never said a word in public about the human rights violations, torture going on under his watch in Ethiopia. The US Ambassador to Syria was shown talking to Syrian dictator opponents. We saw also eggs thrown at him by regime supporters and finally abandoned Damascus for his own safety. Let me tell you if Ethiopians had a chance to meet Ambassador Donald Booth he would have gotten tons of expensive eggs saved from poor children’s breakfast. It is disheartening to see two Ambassadors behaving totally differently. One standing with the people, the other one as a spokesperson for a tyrant. Until such double standard is stopped, we will speak up.
I can assure that no one will throw eggs at George Bush because an egg is now an expensive commodity for poor Ethiopians. Ethiopian children are fed in shifts even if Ethiopia has been under food assistance for two decades. Underfed young people are exposed to all diseases. The reason for all this is because Ethiopia has been in the clutches of a ruthless regime since since 1991, and is determined to remain in power indefinitely. George Bush has to speak up or else his health initiative may not make any difference at all. It is only a free society that is capable to tackle all societal problems, including health