Friday, August 24, 2007

Ato Samuel Goes to Washington....Part 1

We will ask this question knowing the answer: does everything/everyone that comes into contact with the EPRDF immediately dissolve into immitigable mediocrity?

(This is the part where you say, “yes”.)

So we are watching this horrifying video of the current Ethiopian ambassador to the United States and … seriously? Even given the generous provision that defending Ato Meles and his ghetto fabulous approach to public policy is as near an impossible undertaking as you can get, Ato Samuel Assefa, considered to be Ato Meles’ Karl Rove (how do you say ‘Turd Blossom’ in Amharic?) seems not to be trying at all.

Now, we at Weichegud… we are simple people. We don’t relish jumping all over opportunist ersatz intellectuals… no. Wait. We do relish that.

And so enters one Ambassador Samuel Assefa into our lives. He took over from our previous friend, the besottingly crazy Kassahun Ayele who routinely castrated himself whenever he had to … what’s that thing called when an ambassador has to negotiate difficult diplomatic terrains… talk. He is sorely missed—in that we miss the cerebral sores he gave us.

Soooo…. some know-it-alls at Foreign Policy, what with their fancy graphs and fancy indices, put Ethiopia in their “Failed States” list, the 2007 version. Big woop. Then they send someone to interview the ambassador so he could ‘splaine himself. And that’s when things start unraveling.

Okay. So we are hoping that this shit was very, very unfairly edited and that Ato Samuel really did not say these things because, if he did, we have to slit our wrists.

Question number 1:

Is Ethiopia a failed state?

Simple enough. How can anyone fuck that one up? Throw out your own bullshit statistics, hover in never-never-land, blame the weather and the vast right wing conspiracy and, bara-bing. Out of the park Yeah?

Answer: [Preceded by a good impression of a dumb look.]

What exactly does it mean to be a failed state? [Look around as if the answer might be on your desk.] Uh… whatever it is it, is not a failed state.

Waa? Hold right there, cowboy. Did you… could you… have you… Dude, c’mon! You had an Ivy League education! What the hell kind of a defense is "Ethiopia is not a failed state because I don’t know what a failed state is?" That's like saying, “I don’t know what that is, but whatever it is, it is not.” You see how that doesn't work... at all?

(But we will try it at work. “Why is my report late? I don't know what you mean by late. Since I don't know the meaning of late, how can it be late?)

Oh, no. He is still talking.

But I am not so sure that we know what it means to be a failed state according to this model. I believe the indices themselves are radically insufficient to give us a sense of what is going on in Ethiopia. It is a huge political experiment. Incredibly complex society. A very old, OLD country, huh… whose claim to being one of the cradles of civilization should be taken seriously.

Uh. Yeah. We have a question:… Whaaaat?

Which brings up the point: What the hell kind of indices did those magniloquent boobs at FP use to come to such a grand conclusion, and did they take into consideration just how OLD a civilization Ethiopia is? What, they think they can judge us by their “refugees and displaced persons” index; their “public service” index, their “human rights” index; their whatever the hell “factionalized elites” index is? Where is the “Do you claim Sheba and Solomon fornicated and thus a king was born” index, huh, you elitist bastards?! Good day, sirs. No, we said good day!

We want to tell you it is uphill from there, but---

Question number 2:

Why is there such a gap between the rich and poor in Ethiopia?

Okay, phew. Easy question to deflect. Redeem yourself, Mr. Ambassador. Make Princeton proud.

Blah.. blah…

… the nation is composed of small landholders … uh… and that 85% that are on the land control the land. There isn’t strict property over the land but… use of [something] right, [something] of tenure is also provided. The mainstay of the agrarian economy are the small farmers…

Sammy, Sammy, Sam-mi! You have got be shittin’ us!

Ahhh, the nation is composed of landholders who- ehem- don’t have strict ownership of the land? What's that? Is that the crazy way of saying that the government of Ethiopia strictly owns ALL the land in Ethiopia, and 85% of the population are its serfs? Boo, you disappoint us.

Or was Ato Samuel being smarter than we are dumb and subtly indicting the EPRDF’s own deranged policy: there is poverty because we don’t let anyone own their own land, he is saying in nuanced sem-inna-werq. If so, he should be expecting a very irate call from Ato Meles which will start with something like, “Hey, Ivy League boy. What are we paying you for?”

So, to re-cap, what is to blame for the gap between rich and poor in Ethiopia? Those piddling, non-land holding landowner freaks who are bringing all of us down.

And as if that response was not in itself spectacularly inane, Ato Smauel pushes the envelope ever so gently further into Crazy EPRDF Land. You were saying, Mr. Ambassador…

Maybe you can think of, I dunno, Iowa. Of course the farms in Iowa are far larger, more technological. But it is… the state it is, what, is populated by small farmers. That’s the ideal. So, I don’t think inequality in that sense is intended because still we have now put in place a market economy, but still, it has not developed in such a way that huge inequities, huge inequities of the kind that you mention exist.

So… you know how when you watch a really bad horror movie—there is always some self righteous, dumb blonde who decides to go to the basement alone to confront the monster, and she is all like “Hello. Is anyone there?” and you are like, “Anchi qebeT. Yibelish!”

Rigggght? So, the blonde in this scenario is played by Ato Samuel, and may we say, what a performance.

And why we gotta drag the poor people of Iowa into this, anyway, what with their technological farms? Never mind that according to the US Census of 2005, Iowa is ranked smack in the middle (27th) of states with people living below the poverty level. Those bastard farmers in Iowa. Do they actually own their own land or are they tenured, um, statistic dragger-downers? And what “radically insufficient” indices are used to determine these rankings anyway?

Now we realize being perched in Washington DC and projectile vomiting platitudes is a cushy position we one day hope to aspire to, but, insane talk aside, has the Ambassador ventured out to Ethiopia recently, ‘coz we gotta tell him, there is a HUGE gap between rich and poor thanks to the wondrously incompetent cleptocracy run by Ato Meles and his dingbat man Fridays. But, we ain’t no philosophy majors.

Coming up in Part 2… Rodney King has a three-way with Eritrea: The Good Ambassador ups the ante on insanity.

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Anonymous ivyWasted said...

This might be shallow, but I'm just hang up on one thing - how did the fool go to Princeton AND Swarthmore and come out sounding like that? Is that even possible? I find it offensive.

Why is he talking about Eritrea? Why? He even feigned surprise (I nominate him for Razzie Awards) when he mentioned human rights records.

Painful. Too painful.

3:08 AM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous state_school_welgada said...

You missed the v. awkward, v. embarrassing 'show and tell' when asked Q #2... Miskeen nachew esachew dokteru.

4:19 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger mesfin said...

Way to go Ambassador Extra ordinaire Samuel!. Expose these idiot Woyanes while being on their payrol. I was impressed with your genuine and quick confession about Ethiopian farmers not owning their lands which may explain why we are where we are today! It was entertaining to hear you talk about Eritrea (out of the blue). I only hope you were bulshitting because you have second thoughts about serving the murderous regime of Meles Totaw or you were in some psychotic drug.

4:28 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger mesfin said...

the esteemed Ambassador was also saying Ethiopia is an old old Country. Well said, Hatsir Meles thinks otherwise. Dear Ambassador the next time you are on the phone with the prime murderer, politely tell him that defending his regime is Dingay teshekimo endemewagnet new. Your honor, Good luck with this insane adventure of yours!

4:45 AM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous gud fella zendro said...

i loved all his facial expressions. scoff, contempt, cough, scoff, contempt cough. ewiy ewiy-ewiy. yemindineshiyeeeeeeeeeee.

7:48 AM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous Gooch said...

Having a really bad day or faking it - there can't be any other explanation, can there?!

Well, how about this rather embarrassing episode, when rambled on and on under the guise of asking a question, and had to be stopped - thrice - by the moderator:

10:53 AM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you are picking someone your own size. yu don't knowwww how much i needed this today!

1:47 PM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first question should have been are you the Ethiopian Ambassador? What is scary is this guy was a VP at AAU before his wife got the embassy post in DC.

2:14 PM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This fool is out of this world.The way i see it, since all the killers,book burners,informants,jailers torturers,thieves,embezlers, opportunists and outright liers of the past gotaway with what they did with no consequence for thier action ,people like this guy ,i hate to call his name,will continue to soil the Ethiopian political picture with their filth.Let's not be forgetful.because people like him bank on our short term memory.

5:26 PM, August 24, 2007  
Anonymous not anonymos said...

In defense of Sammy-the-great, who goes to Washington. Part I:

Sammy-Sammy-cho! Ayzon-ayzon! Inde?

These people spinning jokes out of your frailties like that, and with cruel relish too?! How were YOU to know there was more to this business of ambassador-ing than having your picture taken with the President? Shit!

I hate to hold a contrarian view here at wonqville (you know how it be), but I insist you’re acquitting yourself rather well as our Ambassador. Looking good may not be a great feat to accomplish while standing next to Mr. Bush, but you sho-nuff looked good in that photo with him. You represented!

I still say Meles did well by choosing you, Sammy, ‘cause I know how difficult it is to get the right mix of intelligence and charisma these days when the candidate pool is made up of generic “dingbats.” At least, YOU, have the charisma. I tell ya, it must be lonely over there among the ‘Deffers, mTs!

And then, this wonq person trying her damndest to compound the loneliness through this here scathing indictment. Abet cynicism-mmmm!? Besmab!

Sammy, ersatz-intellectual m’namin yelem, I bet you know what “immitigable mediocrity,” means. You just don’t know jack about inequities among some dispossessed masses. And, why should you? You ain’t no communist! And hey, if you don’t know what “immitigable mediocrity,” means, don’t sweat it, mn agebah! It couldn't possibly apply to you, because you don’t know what it means.

Lemanachewm, listen Sammy, unlike the “simple” folks of wonqville, I forgive you for appearing to be in a “failed state” that dreadful day the FP-girl stuck a mike in your face and wore you down like that. She must be some Kinijit-sympathizer! That FP-woman. I bet she ain’t no philosophy major. If she were, she would have seen the Ethiopian reality in its proper perspective. You see, Ethiopia is an old, old, old, old, old……

Anyway, Mr. Ambassador, just wanted you to know that your little blunder did not diminish you in my eyes.

It was hardly the humiliating climb-down from rubbing shoulders with the President that some sarcastic folks here made it out to be. I say, you were having a bad hair day (oops..)

3:58 PM, August 25, 2007  
Anonymous mTs said...

Did Dr. Raselas have an illegitimate son? Be'seme Ab! Demo, the Heritage Foundation considers us "a bit socialistic"? really?

Ima gonna go to Iowa and be a technological farmer!

7:15 PM, August 25, 2007  
Anonymous gonTe said...

I respectfully I disrespectfully demand Princeton take back its Ph.D. - Otherwise, I will return mine - or maybe start a petition to ban Princeton from the Ivy League....WTF?

7:54 PM, August 25, 2007  
Anonymous Ye mankusaw welafen said...


Temelishalehum yele enday?

Ere bakachu, bakachu. Kibur DOCTOR (minew be "Ato" tezereTeTu?) Samuel indet aynet sew nachew. Qerto'na andeet dmbajam ye ferenj'n inna esachew... ho-ho-ho... anegagerachew wetet wede irgo yaregal. Yeminawqew sew ale, eza... ke Maksegneet belai yemnor... be esachew leza biiicha ke brrd beshita yeterefe. silezih, bakachiu, DOCTOR Samuel'n leqeq.

Inne yemeseleN, yanE ke Ato Bush (endiyaw megaNa qeeTachewin be boosh yidfenew enna!)foto sinesu annnd afiz adenggiz neger syagabuabachew aqermmmmm enji, yeNa DOCTOR Samuel indih aym'mwazezum. Yetemarachihut temeramerubet.

Weizro Mintibawb ke Azezo diress heeda feyTo enna damakassE gezta yet lilakew eyalech newwwwww. be Bosta bEt enlakew weyyyyy?

8:02 AM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous Tazabi said...

I think it is time to reexamine the old adage..'YeteMare YigdeleGn..'
Abet Qlet!

2:29 PM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous not anonymous said...


bel, bel, aderahn! Mintiwabn indih bleh beliliN: "Indiaw bishegrish enji yene 'nat, feyTo qerto d'ngeteNas teyeh mech tefTo nurwalllll!"

Ayyyy ye-Mankusaw, teweN bakih! teweN-NNN! Gudayu lela hono neyi g'ra yagabn, damakesse-s bihon molto terfo yele tedejachn? Engdema n'gerN talk...n'gereN talikmaaaa, gudayu indih new: eh, gudayumaaa? ayhayhay, "yaff welemta wegesha yelew!" honobn new-www.

9:43 PM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous z tawek said...

Leave it to habeshas to put someone down to make one-self feel more important. The sad thing is you all probably think you are the best and the brightest that Ethiopia has to offer. Whatever happened to let's organize, mobilize, review this book, etc... Oh, I forget, that requires hard work and commitment. Just admit it; it is so much easier and safer to make fun of other people. After all, what's an education for?

BTW, welcome back Wonqit. No need to explain your absence for some seven months. We all know that fighting for the oppressed is sooo hard when pressed with personal problems such as moving.

10:48 PM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous molla said...

endik, endik, endick...

who dareth bring up ye tekeberu ato dr. raselas into THIS fray?

butbutbut, i do remember, he used to talk about someone at "the university of the princeton in niwjerzy, US of A."

send DNA with the dingetegna.

8:36 AM, August 27, 2007  
Anonymous JB. said...

Hey Wonq,

I got a question for you, do you write "Worst Person In The Woooorld" shtick for Keith Olbermann? No? you should.


8:14 PM, August 27, 2007  
Anonymous ye mankusaw welafen said...

wud gEtaw lij not anonymous:

alsemuNm mesel.. weyiss DOKTER'achin'n indih miyamuwazizew beshita ye AZEZO dammakassE yemayfewissew newwwwww yemiluN? endessuma ayhonm! ayhonm biyalehu! bey'qedem, ya.. ye Ato Sebsibe Tuncha ras lij... bicha esu tnnish zar neger'm ayaTawum... andE bicha weizero Mintiwab be dammakaE sitaTnew.. sebhat le Abbbbb... Mariyam'n meslo quCH.

Tadiyamma, lesu yesera le DOKTER SAMUEL indEt ayseram? ere tewu. Esachew lerassachew DUKKKKKTRRRR yalu DOKTER.

10:16 AM, August 28, 2007  
Anonymous CPJ said...

Sorry to be commenting under a pseudonym, but I was at the CFR meeting and I would rather stay under the radar.

Someone sent me the link to your blog and I've enjoyed this entry on our friend Dr. Samuel. Despite this unfortunate incident, I would like you to know he is a well spoken fellow and finds it very hard to defend the government in private, for what that is worth- probably not a hill of beans.

But nice job capturing the essence.
I will continue reading.


10:22 AM, August 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must agree that this was so not the Ambassador's finest hour. But the things he said recall exactly the sort of stuff that was spouted during the famous televised debates at AA University some years ago and then prior to the 2005 elections. Except that then, the audience was the long suffering defenseless Ethiopian public, not (possibly) the entire planet like on this occasion. Old habits...

6:43 AM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Dan said...

I have read FP when it came out last week. Now I listen to the interviews of few of the other Ambassadors, including the Somali Representative. They all have a difficult mission representing their government, from dictators to BAD governments. Compare/evaluate them. How do you rate this guy sitting at the Ethio. Embassy.
Why are they smiling?
(BTW – people who had visited the embassy have told me that it must have cost a lot of $$$$,

Their response to the questions they have been asked.
In other words judge their response (presentation/language and substance/clarity etc
I picked some of these Ambassadors and I listened to their responses.
Chadian Ambassador
Zimbabwean Ambassador
Pakistani Ambassador
and Somali Representative too.
How do you rate this guy?
As for me, it made me put my hands on my mouth.
And please we should stop bragging that Ethiopians are this and that. May be 2000 years ago. And then we “slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, by whom we were forgotten”. We better get a big/loud BELL and RING it to wake us up all at the down of the Second Millennium. Somehow the tune of this music came to my mind
“Wake up everybody no more sleeping in bed
No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be so
there is so much hatred war and poverty
Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
By Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Wake Up Everybody

3:46 AM, August 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Part 2?! Blog readers have now been waiting for nearly two weeks. Not cool not to keep a promise.

2:44 PM, September 05, 2007  
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