This is the draft version of the presentation I gave to the Ethiopiawinnet Zoom conference titled, “The Ramifications of Western Reactions to the Current Crises in Ethiopia” on April 17, 2021. With some very minor impromptu remarks in my delivery, it’s what I told the forum.

Thank you so much for your kind introduction, Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate and for the invitation to participate. And given the credentials and accomplishments of the other speakers, I feel like a gate crasher at a fancy dress ball. I’m out of my league in such esteemed company. …

The site of a former mass grave at Shilela Mocha, on the outskirts of Mai Kadra. All photos by Jemal Countess/Getty Images. Used with permission.

It’s more sinister than you thought. Put the pieces together, and it’s hard to escape the implication that the TPLF always intended to have a bloodbath, possibly one right across the country and in Addis if they had been more successful in battle. The clues are there. And evidence is waiting to be examined. Unfortunately, the top newspapers and TV networks of North America and Europe refuse to look, really look.

In early March, a certain correspondent defended the highly questionable allegations over Axum and told me in a Twitter direct message, “The notion that remote investigations don’t count is…

Alex de Waal is not getting enough fresh fruit in his diet. Neither is his radio sidekick, poor Mulugeta Gebrehiwot.

I guess that requires an explanation. De Waal has been having phone chats with his pal and colleague, Mulugeta, a former TPLF fighter also associated with the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University. …

The sculpture titled “Tito Minniti, Hero of Africa” by Arturo Martini.

I want to tell you about Tito Minniti. An Italian pilot during the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia.

The short version of the story goes like this: In late December of 1935, somewhere around the Harar region, Minniti’s plane went down in the desert. Some Ethiopians found and dragged him to a village called Bir, and then they tied him to a tree. They cut off his fingers, and as he endured this agony, they stripped and castrated him. Then they let him bleed to death, after which they cut up his body and put his head on a bayonet.


This image has floated around social media, and even though a white person is used for the “Ethiopians,” given how few Ethiopians manage to get their side across in Western media, I still think it’s fitting

If you’re an ally of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people, you might feel pretty frustrated about now. I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re wasting time on the wrong battles.

The TPLF has managed to play the Western media like a fiddle. It began the conflict, boasting through its sock puppets like Kjetil Tronvoll that “battle hardened troops” would make for a long fight. And the media ate that up. Those same troops were humiliated in a couple of months, but then the spin masters moved the conversation to “When would the Abiy government…

Today, there are news websites full of Debretsion Gebremichael’s statement from an audio recording — even without confirmation whether he’s still alive or when it was made — and I feel I have to say something.

That’s because I’ve seen even intelligent, reasonable people with good intentions and hearts sharing and retweeting this thing and passing it along, without thinking it through. And it is revolting to me that the headlines of the big media are “‘Genocidal war’ waged in Ethiopia region, says ex-leader” [BBC] and that he “vows extended resistance.” [Reuters]

Once again, despite the complexities of the situation…

A country’s soul is more than its borders, its current government, its debt and exports.

You won’t kill its soul with false narratives, academic journal articles and insults on social media.

Ethiopia is ancient, bigger than the whispers and the noise, replenished by its own resources and faiths, its people’s remarkable ingenuity and courage, its diversity and its unity.

Ethiopia goes on because its people believe in it.


I have now read my umpteenth article that pushes an alternative reality that one of the oldest nations in Africa is somehow a fiction.

You could fill up a whole day…

Evelyn Waugh would have a field day with what’s happening in Ethiopia right now. The talented author of Brideshead Revisited and Scoop was a racist little creep sent out by a rightwing, pro-Fascist newspaper in 1935 to cover Mussolini’s invasion. Just to give you an idea of the man, he wrote home to a friend, “I have got to hate the ethiopians more each day goodness they are lousy & i hope the organmen gas them to buggery [sic].”

Then as now, the government in Addis Ababa didn’t want the horror or embarrassment of a foreign correspondent getting killed at…

Ask folks who were there in the 1970s and managed to survive the ordeal about the Derg. Ask them about the horrible misery caused by a cult of Marxist psychopaths, the slaughter of innocents and the rapes committed. A British ambassador to Ethiopia was once asked who introduced Communism into Ethiopia, whether it was Chinese or Russian agents. “There was no need,” he replied. “The revolution was largely brought about by British and American Communist school teachers and university lecturers.”

It makes sense. It’s hard to convey just how powerful an influence Western teachers can have in the developing world…

If you want to know the history of modern journalism in Africa, it starts with “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” A news article about one white guy going off to find another white guy, a missionary, in what today is Tanzania. In the newspaper account, the Africans were pretty much scenery.

The situation did not get better with time. The correspondents who showed up to cover Ethiopia’s confrontation with Italy in 1935 were disappointed when talks at the League of Nations dragged on and the shooting wouldn’t start. They were pissed off that there was no spectacle, so most of them…

Jeff Pearce

Writer person. Books - Prevail, The Karma Booth, Gangs in Canada; in June 2021, Winged Bull, a bio of Henry Layard, the Victorian era’s Indiana Jones.

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