Image description: U.S. imperialist troops in Somalia with their former allies, the reactionary armed forces of Ethiopia.
ETHIOPIA: Yankee Armed Forces Threaten War of Aggression
The U.S. armed forces are threatening a war of aggression against the Ethiopian people. According to Major General William Zana, commander of the Joint Task Force of the U.S. armed forces in the Horn of Africa:
„The U.S. Army is ready to respond to the current conflict within the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.
The U.S. [is] no longer comfortable with the crisis […] the U.S. could respond through the military to avert the crisis.“
„It‘s a big concern to us and strategic partners. We might be forced to respond militarily or even force a political settlement. The most important thing, for now, is to evacuate vulnerable people before we take swift action […]“
„The reason we should not wait is that this conflict could make matters worse in Somalia or even South Sudan.“1
In the ongoing Ethiopian civil war between the big capitalist and landlord State on the one hand and Tigrayan nationalists on the other hand, the U.S. has been supporting the rebel forces of the so-called Tigray Defense Forces, while Chinese social-imperialism (meaning socialism in name but imperialism in actual deeds) and regional powers have been supporting the established government. As a result, the U.S. has recently issued sanctions against Eritrea, which supports the established government.2 The U.N., acting in the interest of U.S. imperialism, wanted to investigate war crimes committed by the Ethiopean reactionary armed forces. However, Russian imperialism and Chinese social-imperialism went against such an investigation, stating that the U.N. „should not interfere in Ethiopia‘s internal affairs“3 — clearly demonstrating their support for the reactionary government and opposition to the U.S.-backed Tigrayan nationalists.
The three imperialist superpowers, with support from different imperialist and expansionist powers, are supporting various sides in the Ethiopian civil war. With the presence of U.S. troops, this war would no longer have the character of a proxy war, but of an inter-imperialist war. Here, it should be emphasized that the position of U.S. imperialism in Ethiopia has been weakend in recent years, as Chinese social-imperialism — an emerging economic superpower — has invested more than 13,700,000,000 USD in the country between 2000 and 2018, with the enthusiastic support of the central reactionary government. Today, China accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia‘s external debt:
„China mainly invested in Ethiopian infrastructure. Railways, highways and metro-systems are financed by Chinese funds. The Ababa-Djibouti railway line is a perfect example showing Ethiopia‘s hope in economic growth. The international railway system links Ethiopia with Djibouti and guarantees Ethiopia access to Djiboutian ports. It provides a ‚major export and import connection‘ as it connects ‚land locked Ethiopia‘ with ‚the Red Sea‘s international shipping routes‘ (Mohapatra, 2017). It is expected to increase employment and revenue and thus shows Ethiopia‘s hope in economic development. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government expects Chinese investments to create an increase in employment. Several industries (as the textile industry) are planned to be further developed with the help of Chinese FDI (Breitegger, 2019). Ethiopia thus aspires to lift people out of poverty by insuring the creation of new jobs. Additionally, the government hopes that the increase in industrialization leads to a growth in the Ethiopian middle class (Breitegger, 2019). Another important aspect making Chinese FDI so attractive for Ethiopia is that China ‚disburses large sums of development aid to African countries‘ without making ‚assistance conditional on maintaining human rights standards or adhering to democratic norms and values‘ (Marks, 2020).“4
Therefore, it is in the interest of Chinese social-imperialism to support the existing reactionary government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. At the same time, it is in U.S. imperialism‘s interest to overthrow this government, which is why the Yankees are supporting the Tigrayan rebels.
Lenin pointed out a long time ago that the capitalism of today has reached enormous, monopolistic dimensions. It is no longer enough for the capitalists to exploit their own country‘s labor and resources — they have divided up the entire Earth between their monopolist investment funds, cartels and multinationals, as well as between the military of the various capitalist States. Therefore, the capitalism of today is more appropriately called imperialism — the highest and final stage of capitalism. Lenin pointed out that imperialism inevitably leads to wars of aggression to redivide the world among the imperialist powers:
„The contradiction of interests of the imperialist States is obvious to us all. Despite the declarations of their ministers that disputed questions are being regulated in a peaceful way, the fact is that the imperialist powers cannot take any serious step in any political question without falling out among themselves. The French need a powerful Poland and a powerful Russia of the tsarist type and are prepared to make any sacrifices to achieve this aim. But Great Britain, because of her geographical position, is striving for something else — to dismember Russia and to enfeeble Poland, so as to establish an equilibrium between France and Germany, which would assure the victorious imperialists the administration of the colonies they have secured by plundering Germany in the World War. The conflict of interests here is a crying one, and however much the representatives of the imperialist powers at San Remo assure us that complete unanimity prevails among the Allies, we know that there is no concord among them.“5
„Finance capital and the trusts do not diminish but increase the differences in the rate of growth of the various parts of the world economy. Once the relation of forces is changed, what other solution of the contradictions can be found under capitalism than that of force?“6
He also pointed out that this generates national wars of resistance:
„The imperialist war likewise contributed to the growth of the revolutionary movement, because the European imperialists had to enlist whole colonial regiments in their struggle. The imperialist war aroused the East also and drew its peoples into international politics. Britain and France armed colonial peoples and helped them to familiarize themselves with military technique and up-to-date machines. That knowledge they will use against the imperialist gentry. The period of awakening of the East in the contemporary revolution is being succeeded by a period in which all the Eastern peoples will participate in deciding the destiny of the whole world, so as not to be simply an object of enrichment of others. The peoples of the East are becoming alive to the need for practical action, for every nation to take part in shaping the destiny of all humanity.
That is why I think that in the history of development of the world revolution — which, judging by its beginning, will continue for many years and will demand much effort — that in the revolutionary struggle, in the revolutionary movement, you will be called upon to play a big part and in this struggle merge with our struggle against international imperialism. Your participation in the international revolution will confront you with a complicated and difficult task, the accomplishment of which will serve as the foundation for our common success, because here the majority of the people are for the first time stirring into independent motion and will be an active factor in the struggle for the overthrow of international imperialism.“7
The U.S. perspective of a military occupation of Ethiopia in order to transform it into a colony under Tigrayan administration is doomed to fail — as is the Chinese effort to maintain the current semi-colonial government of Abiy Ahmed. The current civil war shows that the Ethiopian people are already rising up in wars of resistance against imperialist domination and reactionary national-chauvinist oppression. They will in no way accept U.S. colonization, just as they have never accepted the various reactionary governments imposed by the imperialists since the 2nd World War put national independence on the agenda of Ethiopian politics for the first time, as they fought Italian imperialism‘s attempts to colonize the country.
In 1938, analyzing how it was that Ethiopia could have fallen under Italian fascist rule, Chairman Mao Tse-tung pointed out:
„Why was Abyssinia [that is, Ethiopia] vanquished? First, it was not only weak but also small. Second, it was not as progressive as China; it was an old country passing from the slave to the serf system, a country without any capitalism or bourgeois political parties, let alone a Communist Party, and with no army such as the Chinese army, let alone one like the 8th Route Army. Third, it was unable to hold out and wait for international assistance and had to fight its war in isolation. Fourth, and most important of all, there were mistakes in the directorship of its war against Italy. Therefore Abyssinia was subjugated. But there is still quite extensive guerrilla warfare in Abyssinia, which, if persisted in, will enable the Abyssinians to recover their country when the world situation changes.“8
Later, in 1946, he also pointed out:
„All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful. In Russia, before the February Revolution in 1917, which side was really strong? On the surface the Tsar was strong but he was swept away by a single gust of wind in the February Revolution. In the final analysis, the strength in Russia was on the side of the councils of workers, peasants and soldiers. The Tsar was just a paper tiger. Wasn‘t Hitler once considered very strong? But history proved that he was a paper tiger. So was Mussolini, so was Japanese imperialism. On the contrary, the strength of the Soviet Union and of the people in all countries who loved democracy and freedom proved much greater than had been foreseen.
Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters, the U.S. reactionaries, are all paper tigers too. Speaking of U.S. imperialism, people seem to feel that it is terrifically strong. Chinese reactionaries are using the ‚strength‘ of the United States to frighten the Chinese people. But it will be proved that the U.S. reactionaries, like all the reactionaries in history, do not have much strength. In the United States there are others who are really strong — the American people.
Take the case of China. We have only millet plus rifles to rely on, but history will finally prove that our millet plus rifles is more powerful than Chiang Kai-shek‘s airplanes plus tanks. Although the Chinese people still face many difficulties and will long suffer hardships from the joint attacks of U.S. imperialism and the Chinese reactionaries, the day will come when these reactionaries are defeated and we are victorious. The reason is simply this: the reactionaries represent reaction, we represent progress.“9
What Chairman Mao pointed out for China‘s liberation also applies to the liberation of Ethiopia. U.S. imperialism, Chinese social-imperialism, Russian imperialism and the minor imperialist powers are bound to fail in their warmongering ambitions. The Ethiopian people will continue rebelling until a Communist Party is founded to take up the interests of the Ethiopian proletariat and direct a people‘s war against imperialism and all of the rotten old society which exploits and oppressed the Ethiopian people. Any amount of bombing, occupation, mass rape and killing of masses of people will only strengthen the national feelings of the people. Any amount of imperialist and bureaucratic-comprador capitalist exploitation will only generate a stronger proletarian movement. The end result will be the death of the imperialists and their collaborators and the final victory of the Ethiopian people.
For the rest, we hope that the murderous Yankees will meet the same fate in Ethiopia that they met in Somalia in 1993:
5V. I. Lenin: „Speech Delivered at a Joint Meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Moscow Council of Workers‘, Peasants‘ and Red Army Deputies, the Trade Unions and the Factory Committees“, 05.05.1920.
6V. I. Lenin: „Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism“, January-June 1916.
7V. I. Lenin: „Address to the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Communist Organizations of the Peoples of the East“, 22.11.1919.
8Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „On Protracted War“, May 1938.
9Chairman Mao Tse-tung: „Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong“, August 1946.