The Wikileaks cables seem to now indicate that the United States pressed its vassal, Ethiopia into the latter’s invasion of Somalia in 2006. This vindicates Eritrea and its position that the collapse of the Union of Islamic Courts that had stabilized Somalia, and brought some semblance of power-sharing between moderates and other Islamists to Somalia was encouraged by external actors.
In fact this may even push staunch supporters of the United States policy in the region to admit that this policy may have caused more damage to the already sullied reputation of the United States in the region. Consider Rob Prince of the Colorado Progressive Jewish News, “… the generally more moderate Union of Islamic Courts was weakened, [and] soon replaced in Somalia by far more radical and militant Islamic groups with a more openly anti-American agenda …”1 This was precisely the fear of that Eritrea voiced before the invasion to the regional organization and the African Union.
All in all, if anything the cable is a damning indictment of the former Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer and hopefully upon review of these cables prior to his determination of policy choices, current Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson has changed his tune. It seems that he may have but not turned the ship around. Hopefully, the realization that these cables may come to light sooner rather than later he will take more care in his policy recommendations. On the other hand, it may lead to a reduction in the use of diplomacy which would similarly harm the region. In the end the Hague should consider the consequence of Jendayi Frazer’s recommendation and arm-twisting and determine whether or not she ought to be prosecuted.
The irony of such a prosecution is that her recommendations which may amount to conspiracy to commit acts of genocide (against Somali civilians) pale in comparison to her suggestions that Eritrea was a state sponsor of terrorism. If anything these cables seem to point to the principle of state sponsor of stability in Somalia by Eritrea. Eventually it seems, the truth comes to light. But we can ferret out more.
It seems as though the United States, or at the very least the peons at the periphery of empire, manning the posts at the frontier consider Eritrea a target for elimination. As Thomas Keneally suggested in his book, To Asmara, “… [Eritrea] is a threat of a good example to Africa …” In fact it seems now that the State Department has been attempting to cultivate the land for a coup2. Ironically the writer seems to have either a myopic view on history in the region or purely ignorant as s/he implies that Eritrea has no sense of the inherent consequences of terrorism. I imagine this is based on the idea that America has little to learn from such a new country (a view clearly not shared by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld).
Finally, it that same cable it seems that the Ambassador in Asmara at the time could not see the benefit of a resolution to the Eritrean-Ethiopian border dispute (or rather he did, but ignored it3 ) in reducing tensions and overall violence in the region. In fact, this points to either gross negligence in consideration or worse, ignorance. I think more of the Diplomatic Corps so I leave it to the reader to choose which is the better option.
Of course buried between the disparaging remarks about Eritrean society, culture and institutions as well as the useless plots against Eritrea, one wonderful note exists, ” … In the face of deprivation … Eritreans remain fiercely patriotic.”4 Indeed, Eritrea as a whole, its Government, its military, its domestic citizenry and diaspora remain fiercely patriotic.