Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sweating bullets (and AK47s) over HR 5680

This blog will be back in full swing next week. In the meantime, make sure you contact your representative to urge the passage of HR 5680. There is an all out public relations offense against it by the EPRDF. D’unt know why. What part HR 5680 is making the Ethiopian government sweat like a whore on a slow Saturday night? Ohhhh… yeah…. The part that denies entry visas to the US for those involved in the killing of unarmed citizenry. Hmm. we can see now how passage of HR 5680 will xnay many a top Ethiopian official from shopping excursions to the Marshalls in City Place Mall. No wonder it’s gotten them grinding down their patent leather shoes.

Other than that though, what part of HR 5680 is so objectionable to the Ethiopian government? Oh. The “democracy” and “human rights” part. It’s a dilemma.

We have been trying to imagine the conversation between the new, new Ethiopian ambassador in DC and Addis Abeba about how to best quash HR 5680. (My, my. Have we really gone through the intellectual anorexia of two, count ‘em, two Ethiopian ambassadors who wore themselves out trying to ‘splain how Melesocracy is democracy to people who, um, have IQs… Ato Kassahun and Ato Fesseha … den’t we miss ‘em?)

New New Ambassador: Well, no, Sir. We can’t charge Congressman Chris Smith with genocide.

Addis Abeba: Blah… blah… constitution… dither… dither..

Ambassador: Hm. Well, I will try to point out to Mr. Smith that he is “usurping the Ethiopian constitution.”

Addis Abeba: Harrumph… hurumph… dollar… lots… cash is king, so am I (haha…)

Ambassador: I think it is illegal to bribe a congressman…

Addis Abeba: Bleep-bleep-bleep … fuckinbullshitgoddambullshit…

Ambassador: You make a salient point, Mr. Prime Minister.

Addis Abeba: …. Blah?

Ambassador: Salient. Meaning, outstanding. Brilliant. Beyond reproach.

Addis Abeba: Blah! Nurummph… numph… don’t let me down. I know where your family lives… hurumph-hurumph… kidding. Not really kidding. Nawwwww. Kidding. Huffpuff-huffpuff.

Ambassador: Your wish is my command.

Addis Abeba: Yadda… yadda… kissmyass. Chop chop…

Christ. This was an easy account for DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary … it is charging the Ethiopian government bukos to help lobby congress to vote against something as lovely as the “Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006.” Tsk. Tsk.

The bill passed subcommittee with bipartisan support. It is being scheduled for a vote in the house.

Please contact your representative to help pass this bill. It is the least we can do for a country besieged.

Some good reading:

From Ethiomedia: Zenawi's lobbying firm campaigns to derail HR 5680.

Awakening Giant: (Bonus: Prof. Al Mariam… so looks like Billy Dee Williams.)

The Ethiopian-American Council has, as our president would put it delicately if he were talking to Blair about the EAC, their shit together in rallying the Diaspora to action.

As does Advocacy Ethiopia. Get involved. Ask how you can help.

Find your representative, and write him/her a short letter. Follow up with a phone call.


We’ll resume our regularly scheduled program sometime next week. Vigilance.