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Mr. Donald Trump, Ignorance is a curse!

Does Donald Trump do what he does because of ignorance or because of his other vices including racism, xenophobia and narcissism? The answer would require thorough evaluation of his activities and statements. During the 1916 Presidential Campaign with Hillary Clinton, I submitted to Addis Ababa University Press a revised version of a book entitled “The Bitter Honey” in which I stated that “Donald Trump seems uninformed and ignorant of most issues facing America and the world at large. Without sufficient knowledge and information about problems at hand, you cannot solve them. “His recommendation to blow up the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a glaring example of his ignorance of what is involved; blowing up the dam would have disastrous consequences for both Sudan and Egypt.

The ignorance of Donald Trump is boundless and it is hard to believe that the leader of the free world and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of America can be that ignorant. His own former National Security Advisor, Mr John Bolton said that Donald Trump did not know the fact that the United kingdom is a nuclear power. He did not know whether Belgium is a country or a city. He talked of Belgium “as a beautiful city” some of his ignorance can be ignored. But as a leader of the only super power, his ignorance and viciousness can cause so much damage to the international order and relations.

It is unimaginable that the President of the United States of America would recommend a country to declare war on another country. This cannot be a trend in the 21st century. He made his irresponsible recommendation out of place. He was talking to the leaders of Israel and Sudan about normalizing their diplomatic relations; Egypt and Ethiopia were not in the picture. In other words, they were not part of the issue at all. In his recommendation of violence between two countries, the contribution of racism and ignorance cannot be ruled out.

He said that Ethiopia will never see the 130 million dollar aid unless she accepts his proposal. He does not know that Ethiopia would never bow to outside pressure in regard to her independence, whether it comes from poor or rich countries. Donald Trump should very carefully learn that Ethiopia is not for sale.

Let me confess that during the last four years of his Presidency, Donald Trump’s mental health was in question for me; now it is more and more so. His anti-Ethiopia stand should not surprise anyone. We should only remember what he said about African countries in the past. His statement cannot he repeated by any decent person only his neo natzi and white supremacist supporters could repeat those words.

Donald Trump’s denunciation of the world health organization has a lot to do with the fact that Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, a highly qualified African, is at the helm of the organization. It makes him sick to see a black person leading an important international organization.

I have pointed out in the book mentioned above that Donald Trump’s criticism of Barack Obama was based on who he is rather than what he does. Almost every time he speaks, he tries to find opportunity to condemn Barack Obama. I will not be surprised if one of these days he blames Barack Obama for causing floods and earth quakes.

Donald Trump talks about the low I.Q of immigrants, however, his own should be under evaluation. Donald Trump has problems speaking his own native tongue – English. During the debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, he said that he is the least racist in the room. He definitely wanted to say that he is not racist. However, his statement would only mean that all the persons in the room are racist, but he is the least racist of them all. According to his own sister, someone took the college entrance examination on his behalf, which means he cheated to be admitted to college. How many times he had cheated since then, only God knows. These things do not reflect positively on his I.Q. His irresponsible lies and unfounded statements about many things made him a laughing stock both in the United States and internationally. In the past, statements of American Presidents were taken seriously, but with Donald Trump, it is different. But the damage he can cause cannot be underestimated.

Ethiopia will never accept unfair and unjust threat and intimidation from anyone at anytime. Donald Trump has to learn our heroic and proud history including the battle of Gute Dili against the mahdists and the battle of Adwa against the Italians as well as our struggles thereafter. I had the opportunity to watch a video clip of Mussolini awkwardly moving here and there on a balcony in Rome boasting how he subdued Ethiopia, but later on he was hanged upside down because of what he did to Ethiopians and Italians. Trump’s verbal and non-verbal communication is very similar to that of Mussolini except that he was awkwardly sitting on a chair. We do not wish for him to be hanged, but he might end up in a federal prison for tax evasion and other crimes.

Regarding the use of the Nile water, reasonable Egyptian leadership will cooperate with Ethiopia in many ways. I would like to mention only two of realms of cooperation that would help maintain a healthy volume of the Nile water. First, it would be reforestation which would help rain to be more abundant; secondly, there is a dangerous weed at present in Ethiopian called water hyacinth with its scientific name Eichhornia crassipes, locally known as “Enboch”, which is reducing the water of Lake Tana with the potential of drying it up. As the lake is one of the main sources of the Nile water, active cooperation would help ensure the mutual benefit of the two countries. Some rivers which are tributaries of the Nile are also being affected by the weed; therefore, it is wise for Egypt and Ethiopia to cooperate in reforestation and the elimination of the weed.

Finally, all stakeholders should know that it is only fair and just that Ethiopia has all the right to use her own water in her own land.   

Ed.’s Note: The writer, Mulugeta Eteffa (PhD), served as an Ethiopian Ambassador to the UN between 1992 and 1996. He then became Ethiopian Ambassador to France, and accredited Ambassador of Ethiopia to Spain and Portugal at the same time. He also served as Dean of Adult Education and Extension at the Addis Ababa University. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter.  

Contributed by Mulugeta Eteffa (PhD)