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  1. #1
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Eritrea: catch all

    Here's a piece from the BBC web site.
    US moves to shut Eritrean mission

    The United States has ordered the closure of Eritrea's consulate in California, in a sign of worsening diplomatic relations.
    US embassy officials in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, say the decision is due to a string of restrictions imposed on its embassy.
    One would think a super power would be above such petty squabbling.

  2. #2
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Heh. Diplomacy IS petty squabbling.

    Nuance and stupidity countered by nuance and stupidity are the name of the game -- and that's what, generally, it is...

  3. #3
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Nuance? I think it's plain stupidity. This is the nation to nation equivalent of 2toddlers in a sandbox.

    In fact, on Sunday I was at the park and my toddler, let's call him US and another toddler, let's call him Eritrea, were in the sandbox together. Let's call the sandbox the Horn of Africa. While US was busy building a huge castle in the Ethiopia corner, Eritrea was burying US' toys in the Somalia corner. US came over to Somalia and started digging with his shovel in Somalia and uncovered the stolen contraband, I mean toys. US shoved Eritrea. Eritrea threw sand in US' eye. I (let's call me the UN) stood by and pointed out that the US really shouldn't be in Somalia, anyway and why won't Ethiopia and Eritrea play along together. I suggested that Ethiopia, now actively playing the Somalia corner, give Eritrea back the hand full of sand it had taken from Eritrea. Both the US, Ethiopia and Eritrea ignored me and went about their business...

  4. #4
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default From all that I take it that we agree it's stupid

    -- diplomacy as currently practiced, that is -- and that my sarcastic 'nuance' (a cover word for refusal to honestly state ones concerns and take care of ones interests) was perhaps itself too nuanced or too diplomatic. I also note that you (at least in that situation) and the UN (most always) seem to be equally ineffective?

    In short, I agree. Pity about the Foreign Office, the State Department and Turtle Bay living in a world that seem to have passed them by...

  5. #5
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default How to win allies and influence nations--Not!

    Shouldn't the next step from the US be to use the force at Camp Lemonier to conduct some punitive cross border ops into Eritrea? Let's not forget to bring an AC-130 strike into downtown Asmara and maybe use some standoff ALCMs, launched from a B-52 loitering over, say, Libya, in violation of its air space. To ice it all, there needs to be a US press release with intimate details about the ALCM strike so that the rest of the Islamic world can join in the outrage over the Crusaders "invasion" of Libya or wherever the aircraft happened to be tracking at launch time.

  6. #6
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That sounds like the typical

    FSOs reaction to the suggestion, no more, from a military guy that his approach to diplomacy is just a tiny bit too conciliatory and thus is unlikely to achieve his aims.

    There is a middle way...

  7. #7
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default US Considering Terror Label for Eritrea

    US Considering Terror Label for Eritrea
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/s...857205,00.html

    It's posturing and negotiation, but to me, this is poor diplomacy. Is the U.S. at the "diplomatic death sentence" stage yet with Eritrea?

    Afewerki is no diplomat and is likely to either not respond or respond with anger. Does the US gov. really want to continue this pissing match and is it ready to slap the terror label on Eritrea, causing more unecessary suffering for ordinary people?

    If anyone can explain the logic behind this move, I would appreciate it. From where I'm sitting, this is asinine.

  8. #8
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Is this part of a secret US plan for a return of Eritrea to Ethopia, as a reward for the great efforts of the Ethiopian forces combatting terror in Somalia?

  9. #9
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default

    Perhaps this idea came from the same people who fed the UN the line about Somalis fighting alongside Hizbullah in 2006?

  10. #10
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    I take all of this as more of the same let's put a white hat on one side and a black hat on the other, when neither side is what it appears to be. What I don't get is the eager attitude to jump into this particular mud pit and wallow around with the players, all of whom love mud, feces, and blood.

    Stay out of it. Contain. Offer hiumantarian assistance.

    Tom

  11. #11
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to promoting stablility? This is provoking instability. Frazer strikes me as someone who should know better. Of course, that's with the caveat that she is actually thinking and acting on her own....

    The Europeans apparently see no problem in dealing with Eritrea, even embracing Eritrea as a "Key partner". It's almost like they do it just to cheese the USG off...

    EU embraces Eritrea in search for Horn peace
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L04519421.htm

  12. #12
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Congress for Liberation And Reconstitution Opens in Asmara

    Speaking of Eritrea and the UIC, I wonder how this Congress is playing with the State Department...

    Congress for Liberation And Reconstitution Opens in Asmara


    Shabait.com (Asmara)


    NEWS
    6 September 2007
    Posted to the web 6 September 2007
    Asmara

    The Somali Congress for Liberation and Reconstitution opened in Asmara today. More than 350 people representing different social groups of Somali society, including leaders of the Union of Islamic Courts, clan heads, intellectuals, community elders and religious leaders are taking part in the Congress.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200709061086.html

  13. #13
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    Default

    After posting yesterday I read this today on the UN boundary commission's frustration re Ethiopia/Eritrea
    Warning of new Horn of Africa war : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6982244.stm
    and note from a Guardian ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/st...164165,00.html ) post that both Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys & Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed are in attendance at the Asmara congress.

    While I am posting links here are a few more that may be of interest to those following this area.
    Good map of oil producing areas in Sudan
    http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/sudan1103/2.htm
    and more data on oil production
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Sudan/pdf.pdf
    Juba Post comments on referendum (NB this is in english so most of the comments - predominantly pro independance - are from the diaspora and may not be representative of the population as a whole)
    http://www.k2-media.org/jubapost/go/...6&recordID=116
    and this article on concerns re an impending north/south demarcation dispute
    http://www.k2-media.org/jubapost/go/...=6&recordID=93
    Sudan Interim constitution in english
    http://www.mpil.de/shared/data/pdf/i...ic_version.pdf

  14. #14
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    Default ALS warns Ethiopian troops withdraw in 1 week

    New Somali alliance threatens war

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6990928.stm

    "We have two-track options - first is the liberation of Somalia through military struggle, the second is through diplomatic efforts," said Zakariya Mahamud Abdi, spokesman for the Somali Congress
    "We warn Ethiopia to withdraw immediately. It is now or never and in a few weeks they will not have a route to withdraw," Abdi said.

  15. #15
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default Shifting Terrain: Dissidence versus Terrorism in Eritrea, by Ruth Iyob

    I just found this small article in the USIP Special Report on "Terrorism in the Horn of Africa" dated January 2004. A bit dated, but interesting given recent events between the USG and Eritrea and overall US Policy in the GWOT.

    Eritrea’s inclusion in the “coalition of the willing” threatens to widen the gap between moderate and radical Eritrean Muslims due to the regime’s use of the “war against terrorism” to eliminate all dissent.
    and...

    Outlook and Recommendations

    The United States fostered democratization and constitutional rule in Eritrea from 1991 to 2001. In 2001, when democratizing Eritreans demanded constitutional governance, the U.S. decision to refrain from taking an unequivocal stand against the systematic elimination of pro-democracy advocates sent the message that only acts of violence and terror—not democratic reform—will bring about change. Current U.S. policy in Eritrea vacillates between two poles: unconditional support for a regime that joined
    the “war on terror” and episodic signals of disapproval for the regime’s crackdown on dissent.

    U.S. policy should disengage from the increasing authoritarianism of the current regime which has alienated the majority of its civilian—secular and non-secular population. Failure to do so may lead to growing support for more militant elements within EIJM and the ENA.

  16. #16
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default CIA psychological warfare in Eritrea

    Eritrea's president Afwerki accuses CIA of funding operations to lure youth away from Eritrea. I'd like to see his "evidence"...Baywatch? It may be our countrie's single most successful psychological operation....

    The quotes about holding an election are priceless, too. Man, there's losing touch and then there's touching losers...okay, that doesn't really make sense, but you get the point.

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