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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Samuel Assefa on Foreign Affairs

Samuel Assefa, Ethiopia's ambassador in Washington, is a brilliant political philosopher unlike the self-congratulatory G.E. Gorfu. Yet defending a flagrantly unjust and abusive government is impossible even to this bright man. My advice for Samuel is to leave the post. Be truthful to yourself, man; just like the philosopher you love, Socrates. You are becoming a disgrace to your other self and your great family.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Samuel Assefa is another hipocrite who is terrified of losing such a lucrative job, a job so nice he gets to meet so many officials in Washington DC. In the name of Ethiopia thru Weyane he gets to be invited to attend dinners, which job can get him close to powers? No other job can get him to do what he does with Weyane's post. This is not about loving a philosopher, it is about opportunity to rob shoulders with his bosses finaciers and to have the previlages to be driven around town. That is the best of all jobs, why would you (EZ) think he leaves that job for the sake of his philosophical beliefs? He would rather dance at the expense of Ethiopians than think about the damages he is causing.

Anonymous said...

He is a pathological lier.He can not love Socrates. Claiming to loave Socrates and serve TPLF is an oxymoron. It is just loving those those who had been sent to jail while being loyal to the masters in Arat Kilo. For your information, please visit http://ethiosun.com ; http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=135112174;

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=189512936

From EthioSun

Anonymous said...

He is simply inarticulate. He lured over the important points raised not because of the impossible task of defending a tyrant, but because of his poor English language skill(FPTV interview).

I particularly thought his response to the allegation of detention of journalist and opposition in Ethiopia quite laughable. He defends his government by trashing Eritrea.(In effect, he was saying, at least we are better than Eritrea) - Pathetic!!.

His family? How much do you really know about his family, besides what is widely known?.

Anyway, a person who chose a tyrant over his "other self" couldn't have been a "brilliant political philosopher"

Anonymous said...

In the above comment, "He lured over..." should be replaced by "He slurred over...".

Anonymous said...

Who is this man samual assfa ?Is there any one with an information about his back ground He and his wife are sayed to be close friends of Meles family.From the interview one can easly notice his lack of capacity to communicate in english. By the way ethiopias minster of information brhan hailu should go for ESL classes

Anonymous said...

I actually think his english is quite good.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Eritrea was the benchmark for Ethiopia. How low can this government go? Are they still competing with Eritrea? Infact according to the same Foriegn Policy Megazine's failed state index, Eritrea is much more stable than most countries in Africa. But it has got its own reasons. Mr. Ambassador, Ethiopia and Eritrea are incomparable in many aspect. Population size, demography, geographical size, diversity etc etc. Atleast I never heard people getting killed on the streets in Eritrea, or any kind of civil war like the one we see in Ogaden. Mr Ambassador, my question to you is that why is the Tplf lead government obsessed with Eritrea? The question was about Ethiopia, but you quickly picked Eritrea and blabbered nonsense. What a shame. Next time please focus on Ethiopia and answer the burning issues in our country. Let the Eritreans talk about thier own country.

Anonymous said...

Why mention Engineer Gorfu at all? I think we can agree that his philosophical rants hardly qualify him as a philosopher, except by his own designation.

Anonymous said...

Studying a subject and getting a degree with it alone does not make you a philosopher....Dr. Samuel is one of the oppotunists, who does not care about humanity, or human right....do not expect something good from this guy....he knows what he is doing...he has deliberately decided to serve Meles...he is as bad as Meles

Anonymous said...

He is simply inarticulate.

Yup, that's about right. And not much of his diplomat, either.

His terribly embarrassing rant at a CFR event a few months ago, during which he would not stop despite the moderator's repeated warnings, put an end to any illusions that the EPRDF had sent a competent diplomat this time.

For the casual observer, as time goes, the gap between 'mainstream' and Ethiopian 'intellectuals' seems to be getting wider and wider.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know Dr. Sami from his days at AAU. He used to be an okay guy, save his drinking and smoking addictions and his explosive shot temper. Remember, a couple of years back he was arrested by the police for insulting and trying to attack police officer, until his God father, the drunk Andreas bailed him out!

What is sad is that samuel has some brilliant lawyers working for him.

more soon

tokechawu

Anonymous said...

Please help me! Who is G.E. Gorfu. I read part I of his nonsense comments on aigaforum for curosity. Is he or she a familar person for us?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

A very articulate and brilliant AAU prof became a worest ambasador I ever seen for woyane! you can't articulate a lie.please come to the truth, leave your post and follow your instinict. you know this is not right ambassador!

shame on me for my thought once in the past that woyane had choosen a smart guy as an ambassador for covering up his evil deeds.

Anonymous said...

Please! Some of you guys can't even spell correctly let alone judge his English.

Metazeb neo

Anonymous said...

Isnt he a son of SINIDU GEBRU /the prominent intellectual,the first female journalist and member of parlament/?

Anonymous said...

I am mystified here. What is the fuss about the family background of Dr. Samuel? Was his father not also an ambassador (at least an ambassador in Germany), for another oppressive regime in the past? If one could go by that,like father, like a son! If the father was a feudal aristocrat representing an oppressive regime,I do not see why you are venerating the family. I could be corrected, if you come up with a specific good deeds of his father for the country in his capacity as an ambassador. Or are we just being nostalgic about everything of the past? Just like TPLF would be better than our next government? Let us have an objective spectacle through which we analyze the history of all regimes, past and present.

On the other hand, Dr. Samuel is not one that could be called inarticulate. As a matter of fact, I have attended one of the academic conferences in which he was a commentator. From the way he criticized the paper presented by a German Professor on something that has to do with Federalism one could tell his caliber. Actually, I remember John Markakis in response to the incident,during a break, saying something like, "let us console the German Professor he must be feeling like sh**it". Anyway, his students may have alot better to say.

But, I think, both him and Andreas, are either too naive or have given up hope, and just want to retire in their homeland. Who could continue to put up against all that shi'''t in America? Let us be honest, wouldn't you want to return home if TPLF gives you some cut? You should know, however, that if you do not align you would be condemned to die destitute.

Another thing, both Andreas and him, being from the feudal aristocrat families, they have a vested interest in the continuation of Abyssinia.

EZ, emulating Socrates is too much a price to pay! Sami, won't go for the gallows. That is old fashioned. You should have known better!

As for the short temper, yeah perhaps that is a trait he shares with his mentor, Andreas. Don't blame them on that, it is because of the short-circuit that sometimes occurs on some people who are too reliant on crack!

Anonymous said...

Ohhh please, who really cares whether another 'yes' man of the barbaric TPLF is embarrassing himself and his regime...? You know, they are all cut from the same cloth. Like the rest before him, this poor opportunist is just being himself; i.e., a team player to the wreteched regime.

I think we should ignore this pathetic guy and this episode and concentrate more on how best to unseat the 'team' from its core.

Anonymous said...

I knew this guy during his tenure at Addis Ababa University more so for his obnoxious behaviour than his academic ability - During his last three years at Addis Ababa Universityhe had a custom designed portfolio - his official position was first Special Advisor to the President with a rank of a Vice President - that gave him to meddle in all university affairs including Vice Presidenct for Academic affairs and Vice President for Business and Development - Although Andreas has the Presidency, Samuel has a mysterious power over him (Samuel can reverse any decision Andreas makes) - which appears and reinforced my suspicion that there relationship goes beyond colleagiality. After his one year tenure he assumed another new portfolio as Vice President for University Reform. To put things in perspective - during the AAU academic staff three week discusion forum with the PM, Meles always refered to Samuel as "Sammy" - his closeness to the PM is known to everybody - and he does and acts as he pleases - He and his wife are very close to the PM and his wife that most people I talked to claim he was sent here to facilitate the looting of ETHIOPIA as a MONEY LAUNDERING AGENT for Meles and family!

Another dimension to this low life is that, during his tenure at AAU Samuel controlled all foreign research and other project funds, good example is a sixteen million birr Norweigan fund given to AAU to establish a structured program to train people who can end up building Democratic Institutions - like professionals who conduct local, regional and national elections; people who can help create press freedom with the strict responsibilities that come with it; people who can narrow the gaps in the use of the information technology to name a few - but the money was appropriated mainly for Andreas and Samuel's trip to the US and Europe mainly - the leftover money was used by the establishment of the school of Journalism - and most of the money was squandered by Samuel and Andreas.

Samuel is the son of the late Major Assefa Lemma ( a well known bully) - who was Ambassador to Germany and at other times Minister of Mines during the reign of the emperor. Major Assefa's contemporaries claim that the Major is an illegitimate son of a Sudanese (Arab) businessman who later married Samuel's mother, a well known figure W/o Sinidu Gebru, the reason why his father rose to prominence. During Samuel's leadership of the universiy - nepotism also led to honorary Doctorate to his mother together with Ala Amoudi - it is simply disgusting. People who were awarded honorary Doctorate are hand picked by Samuel and Andreas - which they just announce at the Senate meeting - no voting and no consultation - SO NOTHING SURPRISES ME ABOUT THIS GUY!

Anonymous said...

Another issue of nipotism;

a number of TPLFtes associated with the AAU's Andreas Oligarchy have ended up on scholarship to Harvard and Oxford, among others. Who funded those scholarships? Go figure!

It has been cited manytimes that, Samuel was a tutor to Meles's kid's. We will see, if those kids grow up to become Alexander the Great!

Anonymous said...

he is smart to graduate from Princeton University. but he got the woyane flu.

Anonymous said...

Who is G.E. Gorfu?

Anonymous said...

Amb. Samuel Assefa, if you are reading this comment by any chance, I would like to tell you how sorry I felt for Ethiopia, you and your family. Your english was average however you failed to answer the questions. Is it true you are a Doctor let alone a former teacher? Who assigned you to your new post in Washington D.C? I must say, there seems to be must be something wrong you. You seemed confused by the questions. Were you lying? How much is Meles paying you to defend the brutal government in Addis? Maybe you need a smoke break buddy. Be honest and answer the questions. Ethiopia deserves better than the clown on the video. God help us.

Anonymous said...

anon @10:06 AM,

That is funny. The 'woyane flu' has not only 'tongue-tied' him, but also clouded his judgment as well. This development is nothing new as we have witnessed time and time again in the last 16 years or so. Those who betray the public trust/faith always can't stand tall and articulate even their lies, as shame & deceit is embedded in them.

This guy may have been smart to graduate from Princeton, however, he lost his sanity the day he joined lairs and crooks the likes of Meles and company.

I second "God help us" by anon @10:44 AM

Anonymous said...

First of all, 99% of college educated Ethiopians (myself included) speak what would be considered "bad English" by native speakers of the language. If we accept this fact, the Ambassador's English is much better than that of most Ethiopians and there is no point in dwelling on this kind of trivial matter.

The major question is why such a well-informed citizen chose to side with the most evil group of people who are determined to destroy our country? If the likes of Samual Assefa and Andreas Eshete - who fancy themselves as graduates of the Ivy Leagues - try to defend TPLF actions, how do we blame a poor peasant somewhere in the dark corner of our country for voting to a TPLF/EPRDF cadre?

The sad reality about Ethiopia and the so called "Educated Ethiopians" is that we are too selfish to think about others and too lazzy to earn an honest living thru hardwork. I don't know the Ambassador & Andreas closely, but I read a lot about them. It is my understanding that they both lack the prodigous work habit that success in academia requires and hence wouldn't have survived the competition in the American academia. Other than their alleged diploma from America's premiere higher learning institutions, and words of praise from their own friends and relatives, the rest of us haven't seen any significant scholarly work in their names. Therefore, I am not surprised if they chose to return to Ethiopia and do the dirty job that TPLF gladly assigned them to do to finance their drinking, smoking and other low life things rumored about them.

We have been told over and over again that these individuals are from "respected families". Now I have got a question to you EZ! What is the definition of a "respected family"? Those of us who are born to "menati deha" Ethiopians are the ones who are screaming for Ethiopia and the freedom of every single person in Ethiopia. We never got anything from the past regimes and stood firm to fight back the evil regime of Meles Zenawi and his cronies regardless of their continued attempt to corrupt us like they did with Samuel Assefa & Andreas Eshete. So, stop telling us that "egele" is from a "respected family" as we know what that means in an Ethiopian context.

If the world is going to come to an end as we know it, that would most likely happen because of human greed. I have tried to find an answer as to why rational people stop using their mind and defend the ugly actions of the TPLF regime? A simple answer could be GREED - in the case of Samuel Assefa & Co - it is greed to finance bad personal habits. Shame on you!

I have seen former Derg officials trying to blame Mengistu Hailemariam for everything as if they were not part of all the wrong doings of that regime. I hope I will be alive to see what the likes of Samuel Assefa, Andeas Eshete, Mulugeta Asrate, Abadula Gemeda, etc, are going to say about the wicked TPLF and its "gisangis" policies when the regime is gone.

Peace & Freedom to all Ethiopians!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon @12:13 PM above,

I totally agree with everything you said, with one exception. I don't think EZ said or implied Samuels's "respected family" roots/background is tantamount to anything from what I read in the exchange or the original post of the author of this blog. Some may have expanded on his family, as a point of reference, but I personally don't see any problem with that.

The main point is this 'educated' individual failed the 'litmus test'.

In any event, I liked what you have to say in your comment and totally agree with you 100%.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of college you went to, anon 12:13, but I happen to know many Ethiopian college graduates with impeccable English.

Besides, the Ambassador's mediocrity wasn't limited just to his his poor command of the English language.

The likes of Ambassador Samuel belog to the womanizing, moneyed and connected breeds of foreign educated elites who once scandalized Addis Ababites with their lecherous pursuit.

I agree with anon 8:00, regarding the term "great family". I just can't seem to understand what constitutes a "great family".

Anonymous said...

In essence, I think we all (almost all:) seem to agree and are saying pretty much the same thing, it just happened some have their own way of expressing things a bit different. I don't think there is anything wrong in presenting our comments with little variations from the person before us. That shows maturity and should be considered a plus and a strength in any discourse.

All in all, our collective ideas/comments 'boil' down to one one thing: Liars & crooks can't talk with a straight face. No matter how you slice it, that is a fact.

One thing is for sure though. At this juncture in our history, anyone with a clear conscious(eductated or uneducated) who is associated with the woyannes, is ultimately bound to fail.

Anonymous said...

I know neither Samuel nor his family so I am not in a position to comment about hem as a philosopher or about his family greatness. However, jugging him on his performance during this interview, he is simply a failed, incompetent and ineffectual Ambassador.

In this occasion he was clearly failed even to articulate the official line or dogma. I am not sure if it is because of his either non-fluency in the English language or a lack of understanding of the subject matter. From his facial expression, it seems that he was conscious of his shortcoming in communicating his idea in simple words. To overcome this inadequacy, though in vain and sometime to a point of despair, he tried to use other communication means such as: body gesture, hand sign and written communications aid (book).

Anonymous said...

Wendim Anon 1:44 PM,

I went the one college that used to be the pride of our poor country, though I admit to you that the two "English courses" I took there were among the worst. Don't be defensive about your "impeccable English". All I was trying to say in my previous comment was let us not waste our time on the Ambassador's language (which I still insist is much better than that of most Ethiopians) and focus on the substance of his misguided attempt to defend the evil regime in Ethiopia.

Anon 12:13 PM.

Anonymous said...

The ambasador and Endrias are being blackmailed by Meles regime. One day history will pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Until I watched this interview I had some degree of respect for this guy and Andreas. I had two courses from Andreas at AAU and he is really a genius academician . The impression I had for this "ambassador" was also like that of Andreas. I hate both of them for selling themselves to this butcher govt. Now, from the interview, I see this "ambassador" is one of the good-for-nothing and meathead people around Zenawi. He doesn't seem an average intellectual let alone genius philosopher, disciple of Socrates. He is trash. Hate to say this but can't help it.

Ye-Tenkir-1st-Cousin said...

FACTS:
1. Dr. Samuel Assefa is an official representative of the Ethiopian government. HE IS CALLED A BRILLIANT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER.
2. G.E. Gorfu is a PRIVATE citizen and he is called a morally bankrupt self-congratulatory person.

Such a biased analysis is only attributable to one Issue: One is an AMARA and the other is not.

EZ, YOU BIAS IS TELLING.

AT LEAST, INADVERTENTLY, YOU HAVE GIVEN THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CREDIT--FOR HIRING A BRILLIANT POLITICAL PHILOSOPHER AS OUR AMBASSADOR.

EZ--GINBOT HAYA ANCHI LAYE NEWE YEMETABISHE!

Anonymous said...

It is nice to read such a discussion on the two individuals, whom I used to know during my stay at AAU, but at a distance. I always wondered what motive could possibly hold them so tightly close to the inhuman regime. Indeed, their English proficiency is much better than an average professor in AAU in my view. But, as one commentator put it clearly above, language proficiency is not a determining factor for most disciplines, even though law and philosophy could be considered exceptions. What is to be doubted is instead their moral integrity and even their professional rank and qualification, which some try to inflate. Does anybody know, for instance, that Andreas has indeed earned the title of professor? What did these guys do in their respective academic career while in the US? I know of nothing of an academic contribution during their stay here in Ethiopia. I would be glad to be enlightened. As to their relatioship with the AAU faculty, I remember it was realy pathetic and I believe it can only be worse presently. There are only few, who rub shoulders with them - those with lack of self confidence. The majority treats them like \\\"kaka yenekaw enchet.\\\" Five years after they toppled the previous administration of AAU and took over power with the blessing of the big man at Menelik Palace, they did nothing to bring the university forward. As to the faculty, it is as the old adage goes: \\\"drom begele alech dimet.\\\" The guys are good fo nothing. If anyone expected Samuel to perform well in front of the US media, then he/she has lost reality.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of his intellect, title or family background , the guy is trying to defend an indefensible acts of a regime that is decaying from the bottom, although on the surface it looks viable.

Anonymous said...

The interview is so telling of this bafoon and intellectually bankrupt individual - I remember Samuel was hired by the university after so much bending of rules by Dr Duri Mohammed one year after Woyane came to power. At the time he claimed to have a book in press to be appointed as Associate Professor rather than Assistant Professor. The book he claimed was never published as he was lying in the first place in anycase Dr Duri the then President appointed him Associate Professor. If I remember Andreas who never had a tenure Track position while in the US was also appointed Professor by Dr Duri. For those of you who know how Academic Ranks are bestowed on individuals - generally it goes through a series of Departmental, Faculty, Academic Vice President, Executive Committee and finally Senate Approval process - the two low lifes however shortchanged the rules and obtained the Academic Rank they didn't deserve. SO HIS DISMAL PERFORMANCE IS NO SURPRISE EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT SAMUEL AND HIS OTHER HALF. Those who speak of their ability failed to cite any book or even publication to their names. Contemporarey Ethiopia should have been the most fertile ground to write intelletual work along the studies of Social Science. NOTHING, Zero!!!

Anonymous said...

anon @12:26 PM,

That is quite a revelation indeed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

pleas tell this guy to learn english i am so embaresed he is the ambasader what a dick head!!!

Anonymous said...

No substance what so ever from the above posts besides insulting and trying to judge his english and his family. His english is not as bad as your stating. Some people can't even spell and state what they are thinking and yet they have the guts to call him D*** head how rude.

Anonymous said...

Amb. Samuel,

Please answer the question. Who asked you about Eritria or Rodny King? Is Ethiopia a failed state is the question.

Anonymous said...

hey,dick head ambasader are you smarter than the 5th drader?

Anonymous said...

"a number of TPLFtes associated with the AAU's Andreas Oligarchy have ended up on scholarship to Harvard and Oxford, among others. Who funded those scholarships? Go figure!"-> The fund is from AAU, which is granted from external donors for institutional development.

Anonymous said...

WHAT A STUPID BONE HEAD AMBASSADOR HE IS.

Anonymous said...

Amb Samuel,

Wake up Sami! Last night's drinking must have been rough on you. Did you know that she was going to ask you these kind of questions? My man, you messed up. Next time, we will make sure to give you the questions before the interview. I know you guys (EPRDF)are upset at the U.S congress, NY times, Washington Post and everyone that writes about the current situation in Ethiopia. Just imagine how upset they (the meles gang) are at you for not defending the regime. Meles thought you would do better than this. Sami, just forget it, lets just have a drink or two. EPRDF is on its last leg.

Anonymous said...

The above comment was so funny. Let us have a drink for that.

Dan said...

Listen to the other Ambassadors and reps. Go to FP page and compare/evaluate/rate this guy.
How articulate are they? Their response to the questions they are asked.
In other words judge them in their presentation and substance and clarity. Pick some of the Ambassadors of your choice. I listened to
Chadian Ambassador
Zimbabwean Ambassador
Pakistani Ambassador
and Somali representative
If you don’t know the problem and the issue you are faced with how can you be expected to contribute the solution?
As for me, it made me put my hands on my mouth.
And please Stop bragging that Ethiopians are this and that.

Dan said...

And one more thing. Those of you who comment, please come out of your shell and stop being "Anonymous said" You DO NOT have to identify yourself with your SS# and address etc., but at lease give name to your voice/opinion. NO need to get so Paranoid

Anonymous said...

Speaking about Samuel and his buddy Andreas Eshete, please read the latest news releaase at Ethiomedia:

http://ethiomedia.com/ace/demeke_tsehay_underground_reporter.html

There is more to come about these werada hodams.

Michael Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Fisher said...

I am not Ethiopian, I am African American.

I've known both Samuel Assefa and the late Amb. Assefa Lemma as well as Assefa Lemma's wife and Samuel's mother since Samuel was a teenager.

I can tell you that in all those years Samuel was and always has been an Ethiopian patriot. Period.

I can not remember a time when Samuel did not love his country and his people.

His allegiance has always been to his country and his people before any person or regime.

As the one African people that has managed to retain some semblance of independence despite hundreds of years of onslaught by white supremacy, you guys should stop showing off to the white folks how disunited you are.

You are making a laughing stock out of Ethiopians.

Resolve your differences quietly and go talk to Samuel.