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The Coup and the Civil War

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Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 5/29/2014 8:21:04 PM

I feel these two events should be more closely studied. Especially any involvement of the West, the 'Communists' or the Muslims. Who funded them etc? Fire Brimstone and Judgement on the DERG....baggawire.

Two wicked men:

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 5/30/2014 12:44:50 PM

From book "The Lion of Judah in the New World"

CHAPTER 9 1960, The Annus Horribilis of Haile Selassie

At the end of the Eisenhower administration, the United States was caught off guard by the speed of decolonization in Africa. Most of the European colonies received little attention from the United States because they were in the sphere of influence of allies. Suddenly, U.S. policy makers had to pay increased attention to sub-Saharan Africa as 16 new independent nations came into being there between 1958 and 1960, and Africa replaced the Middle East as the primary Cold War arena. The State Department belatedly had created an African Bureau in 1959, finally taking Ethiopia out of a “Middle Eastern” category in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. That year there were more foreign service personnel in West Germany than in all of Africa. In the Horn of Africa, the termination of British and Italian colonial rule over lands neighboring Ethiopia would result in a redrawn political map. The area was inhabited by an almost homogeneous Muslim population, seething with ardor for a new united nation under the banner of Greater Somalia and harboring a long history of antagonism towards its predominantly Christian neighbor. As early as 1957, Emperor Haile Selassie had suffered from Somali angst. As the day of independence in 1960 neared for the possibly threatening Somali people living to the east, HIM’s symptoms grew more pronounced, and building up the IEG military became his obsession. The anachronistic feudal kingdom of Ethiopia continued in its traditional ways—with a veneer of progress. The emperor had proclaimed a new constitution in 1955, emphasizing the religious origins of imperial power and providing for the continuing centralization of government power. The bicameral parliament featured an appointed Senate, but the Chamber of Deputies was elected by popular vote in 1957. In Addis Ababa, James P. Richards, special assistant to President Eisenhower, described this as a “façade of parliamentary government” but with ultimate power resting with the emperor. 1 Richards noted that Haile Selassie “did not exercise authority despotically but by working out compromises among special interest groups: the Coptic Church, nobles, land-owners, tribal elements, and now, a younger group of educated Ethiopians.” Ethiopia took stands on world issues against the Eastern Bloc motivated by friendship with the United States rather than by a fear of communism—as seen by the IEG’s cozier relations with the soviets and their offer of financial aid. More worrisome to the Americans was the “neutralist imperialism” led by Nasser’s Egypt and abetted by Nehru’s India, which were trying to force Ethiopia to join the neutralist camp. An unaligned, neutralist Ethiopia would have been to the soviets’ liking too, rather than continuing the close U.S. ties to the country. The emperor continued to be a leading supporter of United Nations collective security, as demonstrated by his sending Ethiopian troops to help quell the Congo Crisis in 1960. State Department historians called the Congo Crisis “the single most important issue in U.S. policy in the period.” In July 1960, acting under a United Nations Security Council Resolution, the UN dispatched a peacekeeping force to bring order to the Congo (present-day Zaire). From 1960– to 1964, some 3,000 Imperial Bodyguard personnel—about 10 percent of the Ethiopian army’s entire strength at that time—and part of an air force squadron served with the UN peacekeepers in the Congo. Kagnew Station remained the driving force behind U.S. policy towards the IEG. Technological innovations made the listening post ever more important to the Americans—especially after the 1957 soviet launch of Sputnik and the U.S. deployment of Polaris submarines in the Indian Ocean. 2 The U.S. Army’s worldwide communications system used Kagnew as a major link, and Washington’s diplomatic corps in Africa used it extensively to send and receive messages. The National Security Agency—the government’s cryptologic experts—and the CIA used intelligence intercepted there. Eisenhower noted “the importance of maintaining an atmosphere in Ethiopia which would assure continued unimpaired use of the key facilities at Kagnew.” 31960, The Annus Horribilis of Haile Selassie 107 To maintain the proper atmosphere in Ethiopia, in August 1960, a secret executive agreement between the globalist-oriented Eisenhower administration and the IEG was approved. The agreement, still a quid pro quo, laid out an enhanced security framework for cooperation. In exchange for continued access to Ethiopian military facilities, the United States was to train and equip an imperial army of 40,000. U.S. military aid to Ethiopia was to be increased to $10 million annually over the next 15 years (more than double the average per year funding for the previous eight years). Washington reaffirmed its “continued interest in the security of Ethiopia and its opposition to any activities threatening the territorial integrity of Ethiopia.” 4 The agreement ensured continued access to Kagnew without committing the U.S. MAP to a fixed timetable to complete its military mission in Ethiopia. The operation of Kagnew Station had become indispensable to the United States, and by the end of August 1960, Haile Selassie had achieved the three political and military objectives he had sought since the early 1950s: the training and equipping of an Ethiopian Army of four divisions, support for a modern Imperial Air Force, and what he considered to be an explicit U.S. security guarantee. This strengthened Ethiopia at the very time that the independent nation of Somalia came into being, posing what Haile Selassie was sure would be a threat to his country of hostile Muslim encirclement and subversion. GREATER SOMALIA Throughout most of its history, present-day Somalia consisted of Arab and Indian trading ports along the coast while the interior was populated by scores of Somali clans. During the colonial era of the 19th century, Egypt became the dominant foreign power in the region, but in 1886 it was replaced by Britain in northern Somalia and in 1889 by Italy in the south. The French occupied the strategic port of Djibouti and surrounding lands. Ethiopia remained independent and partook in its own scramble for Africa by conquering and annexing neighboring territories. including those abutting lands. Independently minded Somalis have never been welcoming to foreigners attempting to occupy their lands, and this animosity was demonstrated by the war of resistance against colonialists that raged from 1899 to 1920. The scourge of the colonial era to Ethiopian, British, and Italian forces alike was the “Mad Mullah,” Mahammad Abdille Hasan, the religious and military leader of the Somalis who terrorized the region. Hasan lead the dervishes in one of the longest and bloodiest 108 The Lion of Judah in the New World conflicts in the annals of sub-Saharan resistance to alien encroachment. The dervish uprising devastated the Somali Peninsula and resulted in the death of an estimated one-third of northern Somalia’s population and the near destruction of its economy. The struggle was not quelled until 1920 with the death of Hasan, who became a hero of Somali nationalism. 5 During World War II, the British military occupation of Ethiopia and neighboring areas from 1941 to 1952 contributed to the start of major problems in other areas of the Horn. In 1946, the British encouraged the idea of a “Greater Somalia” composed of British and Italian Somaliland and the Ogaden area of Ethiopia inhabited by Somali people—under a British trusteeship (the Somali areas of Northern Kenya were seldom included in such British plans). 6 Eisenhower complained that the British had made “a mess of it” in handling Ethiopia-Somalia situation. 7 To the Americans and soviets, the idea of a Greater Somalia appeared as military expansion of the British Empire. There was no way that the British could convince the world at large, especially the Russians, of the purity of British motives in Somalia. 8 The possibility of oil in Italian Somaliland kept alive British interest in gaining a trusteeship of Greater Somalia, but international circumstances would not permit the establishment of a British regime. 9 Reluctantly, the British supported Italian trusteeship of its former colony—to solidify U.S., French, and Italian backing of British ambitions in Cyrenaica (a ploy muted by Libyan independence in 1948). The Italian trusteeship was a relatively peaceful 10-year period leading to independence for Italian Somaliland in 1960, when it was united with British Somaliland to form the new nation of Somalia. In 1948, the British Military Administration was evacuated from Ethiopian territories in the Ogaden, and the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1954 formally confirmed the return of the Ogaden to Ethiopia. The process of decolonizing Ethiopia, which was considered complete only with the restoration of its internationally recognized pre-1935 frontiers, had taken one and a half decades. Although the outlook for a new Somali nation was not promising because of the people’s lack of experience in governing and inadequacies of the economy, the United States supported the unification of British Somaliland and Italian Somalia after they achieved independence in 1960. This perturbed Haile Selassie, who was extremely sensitive to any derogation of Ethiopian sovereignty. The emperor became paranoid in his fear that the United Kingdom and United States were pushing for a Greater Somalia while neglecting the concerns of their long-time ally. 1960, The Annus Horribilis of Haile Selassie 109 The new Somali Republic fostered a Greater Somalia nationalism based upon reuniting all Somali people. The irredentist policy of the new nation was characterized by the national flag, a white five-pointed star on a blue field that symbolized the five supposed branches of the Somali nation—the peoples of British and Italian Somalilands and the Somalis still living in French Somaliland (Djibouti), Ethiopia, and Kenya. Hopes were high for Somali’s national cohesion. The people shared a common language, a sense of cultural identity, and a dominant religion—Islam. But competing clan and subclan allegiances were always potentially divisive to the society. Traditionally, clans were governed by experienced wise men who would need wisdom to keep national loyalties paramount over blood ties. Somalia’s independence exacerbated tensions with Ethiopia over the status of 350,000 Somali tribesmen living in the Ogaden and nearby areas, and several hundreds of thousands others who regularly sought water and forage in Ethiopia in the course of their seasonal migrations. The constitution of the Somali Republic proclaimed that all ethnic Somalis, no matter where they resided, were citizens of the republic. The new government demanded that Somalis living in adjacent territories be granted the right to self-determination. PanSomali nationalism was encouraged by virulent Egyptian propaganda directed at subverting the Somali people who were subjects of Ethiopia and inciting Somalia against colonial powers and Ethiopia. Recurrent border incidents kept Ethiopian police alert, but there were no major outbreaks of violence in Somali areas of the IEG immediately after the birth of the Somali Republic. THE COUP THAT FAILED While the threat of a Greater Somalia remained Haile Selassie’s idée fixe for the rest of his reign, he felt confident enough about his kingdom’s security to go on another series of state visits in the winter to West Africa and South America. During his absence, there was an attempted coup d’état led by the emperor’s body guard on December 14. Many of the educated elite of the country, returned from study in the United States and Europe, were critical of the lack of progressive reform in Ethiopia and influenced the body guard to attempt a coup. 10 Leading the insurrection were two brothers, Brigadier General Mengistu Neway, commander of the Imperial Guard, and Girmame Neway, a provincial governor and intellectual educated at Columbia University. The effort to depose the emperor was supported by 110 The Lion of Judah in the New World students and the educated classes and seemed to be succeeding early on. The conspirators proclaimed Haile Selassie’s eldest son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, as Emperor. The plotters attempted to win the collaboration of the army, air force, and police, but the outcome was still uncertain at the end of the first day. The coup attempt lacked broad popular support, however, and was denounced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. In Brazil, Haile Selassie had been made aware of the coup by his son, Prince Sahle Selassie’s use of his ham radio. Sahle was loyal to his brother the crown prince and was cognizant of the gap between the haves and the have-nots in Ethiopia, but nevertheless, he was persuaded to send the message by his mother, Empress Menen. His broadcast was picked up in several places around the world and made public in the press. 11 The recently arrived U.S. ambassador, Arthur L. Richards, feigned American neutrality but actually authorized the transmission of a message to Haile Selassie from forces loyal to the emperor. The embassy had concluded that the loyalists would prevail. 12 On the morning of the second day, U.S. military advisors moved to meet their agreement obligations and provide advice to loyalist government forces. 13 With most of the IEG military rallying to support the emperor, the rebels were crushed on the third day—but not before they slaughtered a host of leaders of the IEG in the Green Salon of the Royal Palace. Ambassador Richards jumped out a palace window just before the carnage ensued. The United States facilitated Haile Selassie’s return to Addis Ababa on the evening of December 17. At the Addis Ababa airport, the emperor, with some emotion, expressed his sincere gratitude to Ambassador Richards for the assistance given those who put down the revolt. He asked that his gratitude be conveyed to President Eisenhower. With exceptional security measures in place, HIM’s motorcade then proceeded through streets lined with cheering crowds to Jubilee Palace.14 Eisenhower sent HIM a letter of congratulations upon his safe return. The wily emperor, with some help from the U.S. military, had survived to resume his absolute rule, but there had been a shaking of the foundations. The monarchy had been stripped of its claim to universal acceptance as the coup attempt “for the first time questioned the power of the king to rule without the people’s consent,” 15 The tensions between traditional and modern forces within the country had been exposed, and they would continue to plague the little king. The CIA reported on “Ethiopian Prospects after the Abortive Coup” and concluded that Haile Selassie remained “the dominant force in a 1960, The Annus Horribilis of Haile Selassie 111 far from united Empire,” where “the potentialities for sustained conflict and fragmentation” are flagrant “when the Emperor leaves the scene.”16 The CIA, like most Ethiopians, worried about succession and speculated upon the disastrous outcome of open conflict between the ruling and educated groups if a power struggle ensued in a post–kingof-kings empire. Thus ended 1960, the annus horribilis for Haile Selassie. In carrying out the U.S. foreign policy objectives of keeping the emperor on the throne and his nation secure, the United States had preserved Haile Selassie’s reign—but for how long? Would the Lion of Judah live up to the findings of American President Theodore Roosevelt, who knew quite a bit about lions? Wrote Roosevelt: “The darker the night, the bolder the lion.”

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 5/30/2014 12:49:55 PM

CHAPTER 13 Götterdämmerung: The Nixon State Visits, 1969, 1970, and 1973

The hope and expectation of thy time Is ruined, and the soul of every man Prophetically do forethink thy fall . . . For thou hast lost thy princely privilege With vile participation. Not an eye But is a-weary of thy common sight. — Henry IV, Part 1 The group of young people was neatly dressed for a muggy July afternoon in Washington. Thirty-five youthful Ethiopians had assembled around their country’s chancery on Kalorama Road, NW, two miles from the White House, to demonstrate against the expected arrival of the Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie, who was coming on a state visit at the invitation of President Richard Nixon. As they marched peacefully in front of the two-story brick building, they shouted, “Down with Haile Selassie!” “Down with the Tyrant!” Two police guards had been assigned to keep an eye on the chancery in light of increasing violence against embassies and their staffs in the nation’s capital. Already in the first six months of 1969 there had been 261 such incidents, up from only 34 in 1965, according to the State Department. Embassybashing had become a blue-chip protest during the years of the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Earlier in the year, a small group of Ethiopian students had occupied the IEG’s embassy in Washington for a short time in protest of the emperor’s closing down some Ethiopian high schools and curtailing operations at Haile Selassie I University, but in that era of lock-ins on U.S. college campuses, the episode received little notice. 1162 The Lion of Judah in the New World One of the guards glanced at his watch. The demonstrators had been at it for about five minutes. Maybe they would grow tired of their unobserved marching and disperse. Suddenly, one of the taller men in the group yelled “Jan Hoy!” a name of the emperor in Amharic, and the students ran by the startled guards to the chancery door. It was locked, but the tall leader of the group soon kicked it in. The youngsters knew the layout well and scrambled to their wreaking places. Some of the men carried rocks under their shirts and used them to smash windows on both floors. Kitchen crockery went flying, photographs of the emperor were yanked off the walls, and furniture was overturned. The guards charged in and flayed away at the demonstrators. Some were injured. Some had cut themselves on broken glass from the smashed windows. Fourteen were arrested inside the building. 2 The others made their way out and disappeared. Bloodstains were still on the sidewalks when reporters showed up half an hour later. The arrested, who claimed to be students, were disappointed to learn that the emperor’s arrival had been delayed by bad weather and that Ethiopian Ambassador Minasse Haile was not in the building when they had made their grand entrance. 3 But they had made their point. There was opposition to the rule of the 76-year-old emperor and his policies, even in the United States—and the story of the Washington protest would be widely disseminated by the media. The United States vowed to pay for the heavy damage at the ransacked chancery, as was customary under international law. 4 At the same time, 3:30 in the afternoon, 50 Ethiopians demonstrated peacefully on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from the White House. Under a rule invoked by metropolitan and U.S. park police, they could not march within 500 feet of Blair House, where the emperor again was staying. They were permitted, however, to march in a circle on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue, where they carried signs and handed out pamphlets. The protestors were members of the Ethiopian Student Association from several American universities, who claimed to represent 300 Ethiopians studying in the United States. They accused Haile Selassie of repression, extravagance, and exploitation. Their pamphlets reflected student unrest in Ethiopia and accused the regime “of imprisoning students in labor camps, torturing political prisoners, massacring peasants, breaking strikes, and arbitrarily raising taxes.” 5 The demonstrators claimed that the United States was “fulfilling its bargain to suppress all opposition to Haile Selassie’s reactionary regime in return for maintaining its most important military base in Africa on Ethiopian soil.” They shouted “Down with the Götterdämmerung 163 Tyrant!” and “Haile Selassie must go!” among other epithets. Their signs in Amharic and English proclaimed, “Feudalism no; People’s democracy, yes!” and “The Lion to the Zoo!” After the emperor arrived at Blair House at 6:10, they left peacefully but vowed to return. The presence of Ethiopian protesters was not the only change that had occurred since Haile Selassie’s visit in 1967. American small-town newspapers had begun to write editorials questioning the emperor’s being “in a good light or bad light.” Some opined that he had “outlived his friends and his enemies.” 6 Syndicated columnist Andrew Tully, in his feature “Capital Fare,” which appeared in 150 papers throughout the country, wrote derogatorily: “In Selassie’s country, there is approximately the same amount of human liberty as there is in the calaboose in Hattiesburg. Mississippi.” 7 National newspapers reporting on Haile Selassie’s state visits during the Nixon administration decreased their coverage of the events. They simply were not as newsworthy as they had been in the past. TheChristian Science Monitor set the new tone by burying a brief three sentence article on page 8 in “Inside the News— Briefly” with a subheadline “Haile Selassie Visits Washington Again.” 8 Familiarity was breeding diminished column inches of coverage. * * * The careers of Haile Selassie and Richard Nixon had continued on uneven trajectories following their inauspicious initial meeting in 1954, when President Eisenhower had not welcomed the emperor at the airport upon his arrival in Washington for his first state visit to the United States. The emperor had returned to Ethiopia after his public relations triumphs in North America and proceeded to garner vast sums of military and economic aid for his country. Having tasted the elixir of international celebrity, HIM began a recurrent ritual of international travel justified as exercises in personal diplomacy. He encountered rough spots in surviving an attempted coup, provincial rebellions, and armed conflict with Somalia. More positively, he garnered accolades for his leadership in the founding of the OAU, in championing African independence, and mediating African disputes. He endeavored to maintain a moderate voice in African affairs but found it increasingly tricky to navigate around the shoals of neutralism and U.S. clientelism. Perceptions of his being in the American camp resulted in Arab hostility and, as the Cold War escalated, gave the soviets a bridgehead in Somalia. Nixon, during his tenure as vice president, became the most significant holder of that position in American history up until that time. He 164 The Lion of Judah in the New World had little formal power, but he caught the attention of the media and the Republican Party. Like the emperor, he frequently traveled abroad on missions of diplomacy and goodwill, although he suffered much more indignity at the hands of angry crowds abroad, especially in Venezuela. 9 When Eisenhower sent him to Moscow for the opening of the American National Exhibition, Nixon staged his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and emerged as a respected champion of capitalism and democracy. The vice president conducted National Security Council meetings in the president’s absence and gained broad experience in international affairs. In 1957 he went on an extended tour of Africa, visiting eight nations accompanied by a press corps of 30, more than half of whom were African Americans. In Ethiopia, he renewed his acquaintance with Haile Selassie, who received him in the throne room and held a state dinner in his honor at Guenete Leul Palace. The vice president asked HIM for more acreage at Kagnew and for the emperor’s support of the Eisenhower doctrine of direct American intervention in the Middle East to safeguard Western interests. Nixon’s visit formerly activated the U.S. MAAG mission. 10 The vice president, after observing the especially large U.S. presence in Ethiopia, returned from Africa convinced that there were too many American overseas. 11 In his report on the trip, Nixon predicted that Africa “could well prove to be the decisive” factor in the determination of the struggle between the West and communism. The vice president’s rhetoric had little effect, however, because Eisenhower did not have much interest in Africa. 12 For Nixon, as well as for Haile Selassie, 1960 was a year of disaster. He lost a close presidential election to John Kennedy and returned to his home state, California, where he practiced law and wrote a bestselling book,Six Crises, that kept his name in the national limelight. In 1962, Nixon ran for the governorship of California but lost by a substantial margin to the Democratic incumbent Pat Brown. The loss was thought to be the end of Nixon’s political career. He moved to New York City and joined a leading law firm that he used as a base to maintain ties with mainstream republicans and to advise them on politics and international affairs. In the 1966 midterm elections, he campaigned for republican candidates and traveled to South America, parts of the Middle East, and Africa in 1967. He visited the pope, part of every presidential aspirant’s ethnic stations of the cross. 13 In Addis Ababa, as part of a private fact-finding tour, Nixon had a four-hour audience with the emperor and also called on Telli Diallo of Guinea, Secretary Götterdämmerung 165 General of the OAU. 14 The African trip left Nixon discouraged about the continent’s future. He wrote Eisenhower that it would be “at least two generations before . . . anything [Americans] would recognize as freedom” would take hold in Africa. 15 At the end of 1967, Nixon was ambivalent about running for president the following year. After some soul searching and encouragement from Republican Party leaders, he formally announced his candidacy for president of the United States on February 1, 1968. From what politicos called “the wilderness years,” the Nixon phoenix emerged ready for political battle. Two months after his candidacy announcement, President Johnson withdrew from the race. In late April, Vice President Humphrey announced his candidacy and eventually was nominated by the Democratic Party at its troubled Chicago convention. In a twist of fate, Nixon again was in an extremely close presidential election, but this time he won—with less than one percent of the popular vote. As president, he reveled in foreign policy. As he told his aides, “I didn’t come here to build outhouses in Peoria.” 16 NIXON VISIT I, 1969 Continuing his personal diplomacy with U.S. presidents that had produced increased military and economic aid for Ethiopia from 1954 to 1968, Emperor Haile Selassie sought and received an invitation for a state visit, his fourth, to the United States from the newly elected Richard Nixon in July 1969. The emperor was the first African leader invited to visit the White House by Nixon after his election in 1968, and the President wanted to show HIM that the new administration would continue to hold Ethiopia as its closest friend in Africa. By that time, the monarch was well acquainted with the protocol of White House arrival ceremonies and even with weather-inspired changes in plans. His endless paranoid importunities were familiar. He contrived an epochal whine. The emperor was the hero victim leading an Ethiopia surrounded by hostile Muslim and communist foes intent on intruding on the sovereignty of the land of the Elect of God. Aggressive minatory neighbors in Somalia and the Sudan, armed with superior weapons provided by the soviets, threatened war and aided rebels in Eritrea and the Ogaden. The only salvation would come from increased U.S. military aid with state-of-the-art armaments and equipment. And if the United States did not deliver the necessary hardware with celerity, Ethiopia would be forced to turn to the Eastern Bloc and become even more neutralist and unaligned. Worse yet, the landlord might evict 166 The Lion of Judah in the New World the tenant in Kagnew Station. The emperor, with his kingly granite profile, was inscribing the palimpsest of his personal diplomacy—a parchment that has been used two or three times, the earlier writing having been erased. How many more times would he write the same mendicant homily? And how many more times would his U.S. auditors be willing to patiently listen? Thunderstorms with winds up to 35-miles-per-hour were forecast for July 7, 1969 at the 4:30p.m. landing time of the emperor’s plane at Andrews Air Force Base. Thirty minutes later, Haile Selassie and his 11-member official party were at the White House, where Mr. and Mrs. Nixon greeted them. The herald trumpets sounded Sir Arthur Bliss’s “Fanfare” followed by “Hail to the Chief.” The Marine Band played the two nations’ national anthems while a 21-gun salute was fired simultaneously with the music. The president and the emperor reviewed the troops at a quick march, and then moved into the mansion’s North Portico. 17 The emperor’s official party again included his grandson, then commodore Iskinder Desta, and Ketema Yifru, minister of foreign affairs. Ambassador Minassie Haile repeated in his role as HIM’s principle translator. In the East Room with an audience of 150, the president welcomed Haile Selassie, saying, “No visit to this house has greater historical significance.” Indeed, the gray-bearded emperor epitomized a sense of history. When he came to power in 1916, there was still a czar ruling Russia and the United States was opposed to any war on foreign soil. During the half century he had held power, he had seen 10 U.S. presidents pass in and out of power, scores of European dictators rise and fall, and most colonial rule give way to independent nationhood. Criticized by some of his subjects as “an autocrat whose reign is as anachronistic as the two chained lions that stalk outside his office in his capital, Addis Ababa, as symbols of his power,” his admirers credited HIM with trying to bring his country “from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century in 30 years.” 18 Nixon apologized to HIM for having to move the ceremonies inside and saw the royals off to their residence at Blair House. Early the next afternoon, the stately ruler and the president spent an hour and 45 minutes in “a general exchange of views” at the White House. They agreed that a stable, secure, and prosperous Ethiopia was an objective shared by both countries. The leaders focused on continuing crises in Nigeria and the Middle East and expressed mutual concerns about soviet influence in Somalia, Sudan, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Enjoying détente with Egal of Somalia, the Götterdämmerung 167 emperor felt the soviets were the greatest danger to his country. Working through the UAR as a client state, their vessels had penetrated the Red Sea and were attempting to make it into a soviet-UAR lake. The president sought HIM’s advice on Biafra and the Middle East, and on how to work with Nasser of the UAR and Israel’s Abba Eban. The emperor noted that many young Ethiopians were opposed to the policy of friendship with America and were worried that Kagnew endangered the nation’s security. Therefore, Haile Selassie concluded, his country needed U.S. military assistance to demonstrate to the people that Ethiopia’s pro-U.S. policy did meet the nation’s security needs. He added that U.S. military assistance, once judged to be adequate, no longer met the country’s needs because of the deteriorating security situation. The emperor, operating from what NSC director Henry Kissinger, called a siege mentality, was displaying his appetite for U.S. arms that the administration could neither satisfy under congressionally mandated military arms limitations or justify in terms of U.S. estimates of his position. He hoped to interest Nixon in making Ethiopia a bulwark against a Communist-Muslim thrust into the Horn. 19 More realistically, Haile Selassie sought economic aid for his country’s third five-year plan. The president noted that Ethiopia received 60 percent of U.S. military funds available for Africa, a level that would be difficult to sustain. The United States, however, recognized Ethiopia’s problems and what it stood for and would continue to assist its development as a strong and independent nation. 20 In the evening, Haile Selassie was honored at a White House state dinner given by the president, who basked in his role as host. Protestors continued their vigil in Lafayette Park across the street as the 102 guests arrived. At a predinner exchange of gifts, the emperor gave Nixon a magnificent gold and silver bowl and Mrs. Nixon and the daughters beautiful gold jewelry. Haile Selassie received from the president a vermeil and leather engagement book engraved with the president’s seal and the emperor’s crest with an inscription for presentation. Nixon was more formal at state dinners than had been Johnson. Richard Nixon came down the stairs alone, in contrast to LBJ, who was followed by his entourage. The receiving line was in the Blue Room. Nixon disliked this part of state dinners, because he hated small talk. Protocol for the order of being served food was changed in the Nixon White House, with the president being served first. If Pat Nixon were present, the president wanted her served first, even before the ranking guest. Nixon also banned the soup course from state dinners after he spilled a savory liquid down his vest while entertaining Prime Minister 168 The Lion of Judah in the New World Pierre Trudeau of Canada. Nixon rationalized his antiepicurean edict to aide Robert Haldeman by saying “Men don’t really like soup.” 21 At a little after 10 o’clock, the president toasted the emperor with eloquent words reflecting Nixon’s long continual friendship with Haile Selassie: He has wisdom. He has had a long life, and, I know from personalexperience, an understanding heart . . . I had the great privilege, which some in this room have enjoyed, of visiting his country in 1957. My wife and I were received as royal guests at that time and treated royally. I returned again to his country in 1967, holding no office, having no portfolio whatever. I was received again as a royal guest and treated royally. This is a man with an understanding heart. [Laughter] 22 Haile Selassie’s toast to Nixon stressed Ethiopia’s determination to safeguard its “territorial integrity” and to continue “without despair” efforts to find a peaceful solution to the war in Nigeria. He noted that a strong defense of his country could be realized only through the accelerated development of his nation. The evening’s entertainment was provided by pianist Eugene List playing the music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Alexander Reinagle, American composers who played for presidents Lincoln and Washington, respectively. 23 While performing an encore, “Creole Eyes,” List inserted eight bars of the Whittier College “Alma Mater,” to the delight of alumnus Nixon. Two years earlier, List had played a recital in Addis Ababa for the benefit of Saint Paul’s Hospital under the sponsorship of Emperor Haile Selassie I Foundation. In April the piano playing president had honored another American pianist, Duke Ellington, with a reception at the White House. The event marked the first time that African Americans were predominant on a White House guest list. Most of America’s greatest popular musicians attended, and the party went on until after 2:00a.m.24 In 1973, Ellington was to perform in Addis Ababa and receive a medal of honor from the emperor. At the conclusion of the List program there was dancing and champagne in the Grand Hall for the guests. Gentlemen were invited to enjoy coffee, liqueurs, and cigars. At the evening’s end, the emperor’s motorcade departed from the North Portico rather than the Diplomatic Entrance to avoid the Ethiopian protestors. The next morning, the emperor held talks with Robert McNamara, president of the World Bank, at Blair House, and later, Melvin Laird, Götterdämmerung 169 secretary of defense. At 11:45, Haile Selassie returned to the White House to meet again with the president. They discussed the “agony of Nigeria and Biafra.” 25 The emperor wanted counterinsurgency weapons, helicopters, and transport aircraft. Of even greater importance, he said, was his country’s need for economic assistance. Nixon confided that a primary tenet of his philosophy regarding foreign affairs was that “one doesn’t take one’s friends for granted.” There was no better friend in Africa than Ethiopia, and this should be taken into account in setting up African priorities. The president asked where his leadership “could usefully be used.” 26 In reply, the emperor said he wanted the United States to associate itself with Africa in the realizations of the goals set forth in the charter of the OAU. “Strengthening the relationships between the United State and nations of Africa was a matter of utmost import if Africa was to be protected from the ambitions of communist states to subvert Africa’s freedom and independence.” In a brief speech on the White House lawn, Nixon described his talks with HIM as “very worthwhile discussions” on bilateral questions and worldwide problems. “We had an opportunity to discuss on the highest level” all outstanding problems of the world but especially the questions affecting Africa and the Middle East. Haile Selassie extended an invitation to the president to visit Ethiopia again and assured him he would be an honored guest. “The discussions have been most rewarding to me,” said the emperor. “May God bless you, your family, and the American people.” 27 In the afternoon, the monarch met with executives of USAID and the Peace Corps, and at 6:30 he gave a reception for the African diplomatic corps in the Regency Ballroom of the Shoreham Hotel. On Thursday morning, the emperor attended a prayer breakfast hosted by U.S. congressmen at the Capitol, repeating an early ritual that he had enjoyed during his 1967 visit. From the Washington Monument, he traveled by U.S. Marine helicopter to the Agricultural Experiment Station at Beltsville, Maryland, where he inspected the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s programs in cattle nutrition, sheep feeding, and poultry and egg production. The royal party then helicoptered to Andrews Air Force base, where they departed for Atlanta on a presidential jet. The emperor was met at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia, by Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen and Morehouse College President Dr. Hugh Gloster. They went to the grave of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in South View Cemetery, where Haile Selassie laid a wreath of red and yellow carnations on the tomb. The emperor paid tribute to the slain civil rights leader as “an example from which all men stand 170 The Lion of Judah in the New World to gain and profit.” 28 He met King’s father, Reverend Martin Luther King Sr., and his wife, at the cemetery. The emperor told the elder King, “This is one of the greatest honors of my life.” King told the emperor it was a great honor to have HIM in Atlanta. “I found it quite necessary to lay a wreath on Dr. King’s grave so that we may remember his deeds and contributions to history, and his triumphs—and to honor his father and his wife,” the emperor replied. At a special convocation at King’s alma mater, Morehouse College, Haile Selassie was given a standing ovation by the crowd that filled the college gym. The monarch gave a 10-minute speech praising King and the college. “I’m proud that I have the privilege of laying a wreath on the tomb of Martin Luther King Jr., a man who believed in justice and equality for all men,” Haile Selassie said. 29 “He was not solely a citizen of these great United States. We prefer to regard him as a citizen of the world.” The honorary doctor of laws degree then was conferred upon HIM by President Gloster. Having concluded its business in Atlanta in three hours, the royal party left for Cape Kennedy, for a tour of the space center there. At the Kennedy Space Center, the emperor, who had been unable to visit Florida because of inclement weather during his 1963 state visit, fulfilled his dream of touring the center and meeting his heroes, the astronauts. 30 He observed preparations for the launch of Apollo 11 that would result in the first manned spacecraft landing on the moon. Using a telephone hookup from the launch control center, HIM spoke to the Apollo 11 crew, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins, who were aboard the lunar module landing craft sitting atop the Saturn Rocket. The monarch extended best wishes to the astronauts as they worked on minor problems in preparation for blasting into space on July 16 (coincidentally, the emperor’s birthday). The emperor, who was a keen fan of the space program, encountered astronaut Gordon Cooper, whom he had met at the White House in 1967. A broad smile formed on his resolute mouth, and the sovereign used both hands in shaking the hand of Cooper, who had made two orbital trips into space. President Nixon later was to send the emperor a rock from the moon. In the afternoon, the royals departed from Patrick Air Force Base near Cocoa Beach, Florida, for a return flight to Andrews to return the president’s plane before leaving the United States on a special Ethiopian Airlines flight. En route home, Haile Selassie stopped in Lausanne, Switzerland, to visit a granddaughter, who was convalescing there. * * * Götterdämmerung 171 The Ethiopia that Haile Selassie returned to for his 77th birthday in 1969 was a troubled land. The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), after a lull in action caused by dwindling fortunes of its patron Arab nations, was active again. Closer to home, or rather palace, the genie of student unrest had been loosed, and protests by university and occasionally high school demonstrators were now a potential threat to the ruling elite’s tranquility. Even the popular and apolitical Peace Corps was targeted for being a part of U.S. support for the reactionary regime. Vehemently anti-American political pamphlets were circulated, and Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Ethiopian headquarters of the Peace Corps. Some Peace Corp Volunteer teachers were beaten, and in the winter of 1969–1970, twenty Peace Corp Volunteers had to abandon their posts, threatened by attack from their own students. On September 9, the American Consul General Murray Jackson was kidnapped by the ELF while driving near his home in Asmara and held for two hours before being released unharmed. These actions started rumor mills grinding away and sparked fears that dissidents might even attack Kagnew. The number of personnel at the listening post was being reduced, and the IEG was concerned that this might be interpreted as abandonment by the United States. Next door, a military coup d’état, the bane of modern African history, brought an end to the Republic of Somalia in October. Major General Siad Barre took control of the nation, terminated the democratic efforts of Egal, who had enjoyed détente with Ethiopia, and pursued a policy of “scientific socialism,” an oxymoronic combination of Somali nationalism, Islam, and Marxist/Leninism. The newly renamed Somali Democratic Republic adopted an anti–United States foreign policy and accused Washington of imperialism. Once again, tensions on the Ethiopian-Somalia border were exacerbated by soviet-supplied arms in Somalia. 31 The emperor thought the obvious solution to these mounting problems was more arms from the United States, so he requested another meeting with Nixon on October 25, 1970. Four months after the emperor’s 1969 state visit, Nixon’s secretary of state William Rogers gave HIM good news, from the American perspective, about his requests for additional military aid. Ethiopia was to receive more in FY 1970 than the average of the prior years, somewhat less than FY 1969 and less than anticipated because of severe congressional cuts in the USAID appropriation. U.S. military aid to Ethiopia averaged $12 million to $13 million per year, which was over half of American military assistance for all of Africa. Cutting through the stilted bureaucratese of the State Department, this meant the IEG 172 The Lion of Judah in the New World was getting four UH-1 Iroquois helicopters, C-119K Flying Boxcar transport planes, and arms for the Territorial Army. In addition, there would be increased ammunition and aircraft ordinance and petroleum products for counterinsurgency operations in Eritrea. NIXON II, 1970 In October 1970, the emperor paid his second state visit to Nixon, attending a White House dinner marking the 25th anniversary of the United Nations. Even in the august company of a host of other heads of state, Haile Selassie continued seeking more U.S. military aid. The emperor saw the growth of soviet and Cuban military activities in Somalia combined with a growing insurgency in Eritrea as posing real threats to his country’s security. Nixon reassured Haile Selassie that he would study the military situation, giving full weight to the emperor’s proposals. By this time, however, the facilities at Kagnew were being made obsolete by satellite technology, and the Nixon administration was reviewing the value of the listening post in a more technically sophisticated military establishment. At 78 years of age, Haile Selassie was beginning to lose control over the country, and he was no longer the international center of attention he once had been. Early in the new year, the president gave his “First Annual Report to the Congress on Foreign Policy for 1970.” His presentation was a significant statement about future U.S. policies on the world scene. He outlined a foreign policy based on three principles: partnership with allies who had the capacity to deal with local disputes which once might have required U.S. intervention; the preservation of a defensive capability sufficient to deter would-be aggressors; and a readiness to negotiate with friend or foe to resolve conflicts or reduce arms. The president said a lasting peace would require “a more responsible participation by our foreign friends in their own defense and progress.” 32 In cases of lesser aggression, the United States expected a threatened nation to provide the military power for its defense. The United States would not hesitate to furnish assistance “where it makes a real difference and is considered in our interests.” The goal of the new policy was to encourage the self-reliance of all nations. The president “established procedures for the intensive scrutiny of defense issues in the light of overall national priorities.” Speaking specifically about Africa, Nixon “pledged nonintervention except to relieve human suffering and promised limited help both for development and for efforts to resist subversion.” “It’s my best view of where we’ve been and where Götterdämmerung 173 we’re going,” Nixon said. The president had given the emperor and the IEG much to ponder in the new decade. At the advent of the 1970s the relationship between the United States and Ethiopia was in decline. Even with all the warning signs around him, the captious emperor failed to see the need for significant reform and expected greater American assistance as the quid pro quo for the continued use of Kagnew. Cold war pressures and the emboldening of young intellectuals imbued with antiregime and anti-American ideas exacerbated tensions between the two countries. The predominance of the old aristocracy and the emperor’s handpicked intellectual elite was passing to other ranks of the community. University students were talking openly of the need for change and were clamoring for the end of the U.S. military presence at Kagnew. In Febrary1970, Secretary of State William P. Rogers embarked on the first ever diplomatic tour of the African continent by a secretary of state. He visited 10 African countries, including Ethiopia, on what he thought would be a 15-day goodwill tour. His purpose was to “show a new interest in Africa on the part of the United States.” 33 The African leaders he met, however, were less interested in philosophical goals of the Nixon administration than in getting answers to hard questions about U.S. financial assistance to their countries. In Addis Ababa, the emperor and Foreign Minister Ketema pressed Rogers hard for more military aid, and Haile Selassie’s two Chihuahuas even barked at him from the foot of the throne. 34 Rogers, reflecting the administration’s thinking, said more arms would not solve Ethiopia’s problems. What was needed was faster paced change and reform. The aging emperor, appearing frail and thought-burdened, was slowing down and his grip on the country was far less firm than it had been only a few years before. He had survived by ignoring problems or suppressing them and as a result Ethiopia was becoming a cauldron prepared to boil. His declining years became a protracted, distended humiliation of celebrity-seeking and gross neglect of domestic matters. Increasingly, those who worked closely with HIM noticedcoup de vieux, or senior moments, interfering with his daily activities. He had become a relic of a previous age, and his way of life had fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf. Yet Haile Selassie still reveled in his role as senior statesman and leader of African unity. At the Third Nonaligned Conference in Lusaka, Zambia, the emperor, a founder of the movement and still a major voice, presented a five-point proposal for specific measures against Portugal, South Africa, and Rhodesia if they did not conform to UN resolutions on decolonization and racial discrimination. Superpowers 174 The Lion of Judah in the New World are “no longer overwhelming,” proclaimed the Ethiopian leader, and the third world had changed from a position of “fear of involvement” to one of taking an “independent approach” on important issues. 35 Observers noticed that Africans were more forceful and dominant in this conference than in previous ones. In October, after attending Nasser’s tumultuous funeral in Cairo, the emperor returned to the United States for his fifth state visit to meet with President Nixon and to take part in the 25th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly. In New York, he sounded familiar themes at a celebration sponsored by the United Nations Association and Rotary International at the ballroom of the Commodore Hotel. The bearded monarch told an audience of 800 that the UN must be strengthened if it is to avoid the fate of League of Nations. He said the League had succumbed because it became impossible to arrest evil forces by appeasement. In his 30-minute address, the emperor urged the UN to strive harder to surmount world economic problems and to find ways that “oppressed peoples” could “exercise their legitimate rights.” 36 Later, he renewed his acquaintance with Mayor John Lindsay in Gracie Mansion. On the following day, Haile Selassie was one of a legion of heads of state who spoke at the historic 25th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly. The emperor, President Nixon, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and British Prime Minister Edward Heath took the rostrum in the great blue and gold assembly hall within hours of each other. Haile Selassie gave such a lengthy address that President Nixon’s speech before that group was 20 minutes late. The emperor, referring to his bitter experience at the League, said the UN was a vital organization, adequate to its task if the members so willed it. Applause was noticeably shorter and less enthusiastic for Nixon than for the royal speaker preceding him. Nixon urged the soviets to join with the United States in keeping the competition between the two countries peaceful despite “very profound and fundamental differences.” 37 Haile Selassie, along with 17 presidents and 28 prime ministers, attended the next day’s closing session that condemned colonialism and racism in southern Africa and adopted a 10-year program for the development of poorer nations. He enthusiastically joined in the General Assembly’s unanimous declaration rededicating UN members to the charter and calling for peace, freedom and an end to the arms race.38 The emperor heard the closing statement by Secretary General U Thant, who greenly prophesized, As we watch the sun go down evening after evening through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask Götterdämmerung 175 ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say, “With all their genius and their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas”; or “They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them”; or “When they looked up, it was already too late.” If the United Nations does nothing else, it can at least serve a vital purpose in sounding the alarm. 39 That evening, the Nixons gave a White House dinner, the UN’s silver anniversary party, for 100 friends including 31 chiefs of state and heads of government. Such a distinguished guest list was unprecedented and marked the first time so many world leaders had dined together in the Executive Mansion. Impressive regal figures were received by the Nixons in the Blue Room before the guests sat down at an E-shaped table in the state dining room. Almost the entire Cabinet was present along with Vice President Spiro Agnew; Mamie Eisenhower; Julie Nixon Eisenhower; and her sister, Patricia Nixon. The evening had been planned with the most meticulous detail from security to protocol. The timing, however, was thrown off by security precautions around the White House. Arriving guests faced delays at barricades, where Secret Service agents and metropolitan police checked credentials. The foreign leaders had been given exact times for arrival, spaced one minute apart, coming in the reverse order of their rank and precedence. By that ranking, Haile Selassie, the longest reigning ruler present, would be the last to arrive. But there were gaps and waits in what had been planned as a steady parade of leaders moving through the Blue Room to shake hands with President and Mrs. Nixon. From time to time, Nixon was kept waiting in the receiving line with no hands to shake. As he waited, Nixon kept looking at his wrist watch. The delay between the next to last leader and Haile Selassie was so great that Nixon finally stepped into the adjoining Red Room to wait for HIM (and probably to get away from the press). When the emperor entered 18 minutes late, the Nixons rushed back to their places in the Blue Room, greeted him effusively, and ushered him into the East Room where the others were waiting to go to dinner. 40 As the ranking guest, Haile Selassie sat between the President and Mrs. Nixon. The guests feasted on salmon, squid with rice and peas, and a lemon soufflé for dessert while the U.S. Army Strolling Strings wandered among diners playing light melodies. The president expressed friendship on behalf of United States for the peoples whose representatives were gathered and called on his guests to work together for peace. Nixon called for a response from the emperor, who 176 The Lion of Judah in the New World spoke in French and urged the world leaders to support the aims of the UN even though it had not fully lived up to its earlier expectations.41 After dinner entertainment in the East Room was a 30-minute program of songs performed by Metropolitan Opera tenor James McCracken and his wife Sandra Warfield, mezzo-soprano. They sang French, Italian, and German songs, and one Irish tune especially for Prime Minister John Lynch of Ireland. 42 The tradition-shattering state dinner was only part of an extraordinary period of personal diplomacy by President Nixon. Starting at 10:00a.m. on the next day, the President Nixon met with six heads of state at 40-minute intervals until 4:40p.m. The statesmen swept up to the White House in police-escorted limousines and were ushered into the Oval Office. In order, Nixon met with the president of Cyprus, the president of Pakistan, the president and prime minister of the Republic of China, the emperor of Ethiopia, the chief of state of Cambodia, and the president of Panama. After the last meeting, Nixon helicoptered to Camp David, probably thankful for the quiet of his sylvan retreat. 43 In his 53-minute meeting with Nixon, Haile Selassie again had pleaded his mendicant case. The little king needed moneypassim ad infinitum. The president reassured HIM that the United States understood who its friends were and promised to study the military situation, giving full weight to the emperor’s statements. Nixon noted that Haile Selassie had been an international symbol of the values of freedom and independence long before most of the chiefs of state at dinner on the previous evening had even entered public life. The leaders also discussed soviet expansion of its naval force in the Indian Ocean, the overall situation in East Africa, the crisis in the Middle East, the work of the OAU, and U.S. private investments in Ethiopia. 44 Despite the pleas and pressure for increased U.S. military assistance, the FY 1971 funds for the IEG were reduced from $12 million to $10.8 million. The Ethiopian military would have to establish priorities for its expenditures. As if to mute U.S. criticism of the slow pace of reform in Ethiopia, the emperor in 1970 had put a good face on modernization by empowering younger men who were rationalizing economic planning and management. He also recruited foreign advisors from Harvard and the World Bank. To attract foreign investment, the IEG updated the investment law and planned to establish an investment center in Addis Ababa. The new cosmetic initiatives could not cover up the country’s basic problem. Ethiopia still did not have enough funds from its own taxes to do what needed to be done. The clock was ticking and each minute spent moved the ancien régime nearer to disaster. Götterdämmerung 177 In November, Haile Selassie and Nixon were together again in Paris, among 80 world leaders attending the state funeral of Charles de Gaulle at Notre Dame. By that time, the United States had all but completed its 1960 pledge to equip a 40,000-man Ethiopian army. Nevertheless, the emperor was still seeking an agreement to ensure a continued program of assistance to fully maintain the army and leave several million dollars for additional requirements. Around $13 million per year should cover the cost. The emperor’s request was triggered by increased aid going to the Eritrean Liberation Front from militant Arab states whose activities had increased drastically. The activities of the recharged ELF caused the IEG to declare martial law throughout Eritrea. At the same time, communist influence was markedly on the rise among Ethiopia’s immediate and unfriendly neighbors. Despite the relative increase in strength of its neighbors, Kissinger believed that Ethiopia had by far the strongest and most effective military establishment in the area. Even though the United States had restored $1 million to the Ethiopian MAP program for 1972, which had earlier been cut by the Office of Management and Budget, the emperor feared that the United States intended to terminate its military assistance program for his country. That fear had strongly motivated his request for the 1970 meeting with Nixon. 45 In 1970, some 3,000 Americans with their dependents were serving at Kagnew. The station published a monthly letterpress newspaper, and ran the first army-operated television station in the world. The emperor was receiving a hefty rent for the station, and the landlord had a long history of inspecting his real estate. A retired U.S. Army NCO remembered Haile Selassie calling on the post almost every time he traveled to Asmara. The emperor and his entourage would enter Kagnew with great pomp and circumstance at which point the Post Exchange would be closed to all except the visitors. HIM always had a fascination with electrical and mechanical instruments and took delight in perusing electronic devises, radios, and cameras. He would select a few items that the State Department would duly pay for, and then the royal party would depart. 46 On some occasions the monarch would be presented with gifts such as photographs taken during the Apollo 8 flight or a model of the Apollo 8 capsule. During one royal visit, the base square dance club put on a demonstration for the emperor. The U.S. military observed that relations with the local population were good. A noteworthy ambassador of goodwill was 23-year-old Specialist 5 Hugh Downey, who in his spare time while stationed at Kagnew built five schools, two roads, medical and health services, two farm experimental plots, a library, and recreational facility for children, 178 The Lion of Judah in the New World as well as other projects in the Asmara area. This he was able to accomplish with his own money and contributions from Kagnew friends and relatives. When Downey completed his tour of duty, Haile Selassie summoned him to the palace to thank him personally. Meanwhile military personnel continued what was considered vital communications work at the station in the early 1970s. The Peace Corps in 1970, with 310 PCVs in Ethiopia, was about half the size it had been four years before. Even though the volunteers had a remarkable and enviable record of good works in their communities in addition to their regular duties, continuing anti-American student demonstrations and unhappiness with the situation in Ethiopia led some PCV teachers to leave before their two year assignments were completed. The Director of Peace Corps/Ethiopia Joseph S. Murphy resigned in February 1970 to protest the emperor’s brutal suppression of protests against the murder of a student leader at the university. The once-proud organization of “Kennedy’s Children,” the pride of the New Frontier, was being forced into decline by circumstances beyond its control. There were changes in the ambassadorships of Ethiopia and the United States in 1971. Former Indiana Congressman E. Ross Adair, who had been a Capitol Prayer Breakfast host for the emperor during his 1967 state visit to the United States, replaced William Hall, a career Foreign Service Officer, as U.S. ambassador. Nixon met with Adair before he departed for Addis Ababa and told him that the emperor “must be brought to recognize the absolute responsibility for providing an orderly and desirable succession.” 47 Nixon maintained that Haile Selassie had done “too much good work to permit it all to collapse because of a failure to face up to the necessity of providing for his succession.” For the IEG, Ambassador Minassie Haile left Washington to become minister of foreign affairs in Addis Ababa. Late in the year, Kifle Wodajo became the new Ethiopian ambassador. The emperor’s role in international politics was still so esteemed by Nixon that he kept HIM informed about significant changes in U.S. policy. Vice President Spiro Agnew visited Addis Ababa in July 1971 to inform Haile Selassie in advance that the United States was going to recognize the Peoples Republic of China. 48 Morocco was the only other African country to be so informed. Nixon sought better relations with his Cold War adversaries, the PRC and USSR. He visited China in February 1972 and went to Moscow in May to sign agreements with the soviets to reduce the risk of military confrontations and to promote cooperation in science, technology, Götterdämmerung 179 health, environmental matters, and space exploration. Nixon signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, SALT I, and “Basic Principles of US-Soviet Relations.” The president’s trip to China in 1972 signaled a change in America’s Asian strategy. Marking an end of the goal of isolating China in the hope of undermining Beijing’s communist government, Nixon’s visit signaled America’s desire for access to new markets to help a sagging U.S. economy. The president also sought Mao Tse-Tung’s help in negotiating an end to the Vietnam War. The United States reached an agreement with North Vietnam in January 1973 on the withdrawal of all U.S. combat personnel, but the fighting did not end until Vietnam’s unification under communist control in April 1975. Also in 1972 the Ethiopian-Somali border again became a concern. The soviets continued arming the military forces of dictator Siad Barre with modern equipment, and the Somalis were spoiling for a fight. This set off the emperor’s alarm bells, and he wrote Nixon: “At a time when We were expecting an increase in the U.S. military aid to Ethiopia because of our geographical location and the continued critical condition in our part of the world, it is with dismay and deep concern that We have learnt of the envisioned cut in the U.S. military aid program to Our country.” 49 Haile Selassie informed Nixon that he had called Ambassador Adair to explain his “preoccupation in this regard.” HIM concluded his letter with the hope that “Our observations will reach Your Excellency in time for your reconsideration of this important matter.” The emperor’s once strong signature had become shaky. The growth of soviet and Cuban military activities in Somalia combined with a growing insurgency in Eritrea posed real threats to Ethiopia’s security. 50 The emperor had repeatedly used a personal visit to Washington as a device by which to increase or maintain military assistance to Ethiopia, so he again sought a meeting with his old friend Nixon. In April 1973, he received a formal invitation for another state visit in May. More significant than the arms race for Haile Selassie was a disaster under way to the north of his capital. In Wollo Province the scourge of famine, which periodically wasted Ethiopia throughout its history, had spread from the African Sahel region, where it had begun in 1969. Soon it would bring disaster to other northern provinces, but the IEG seemed unconcerned about it. In fact, the emperor journeyed to Iran with Lulu to help the Shah celebrate the 2,500 anniversary of the Persian Empire. Haile Selassie and his retainers failed to see just how strong and widespread opposition to the old order had grown. 180 The Lion of Judah in the New World Richard Nixon also would be affected by events that seemed of little consequence to him in 1972. In the midst of the president’s lively reelection campaign, an office in Washington’s Watergate complex was broken into. NIXON III, 1973 In preparation for Haile Selassie’s visit, Kissinger briefed the president about the latest U.S. activities in Ethiopia and the emperor’s probable response to them. HIM’s main concern was about “the increased soviet presence in and aid to irredentist Somalia, a concern intensified by falling U.S. military assistance levels and reductions in our presence at Kagnew Station.” 51 The U.S. navy no longer relied heavily on Kagnew for its Polaris submarine programs and had submitted plans that would have withdrawn most U.S. personnel from the base by June 1974. The president should acknowledge that a continued U.S. presence at Kagnew was under review, an action that the emperor will view “with concern as a break in Ethiopia’s strongest link to the United States.” Kissinger called the state visit “a fairly critical moment in U.S.-Ethiopian relations.” The U.S. aim was to safeguard its use of Ethiopian facilities for as long as they were needed and to guard “access to potentially important petroleum supplies.” This aim should be accomplished without destabilizing the region. In this setting, Haile Selassie met President Nixon on his final state visit to the United States in 1973. When the emperor made his ceremonial entrance to the White House, he established a record for the most state visits by a foreign head of state—six, a record that would last until it was tied in the next century when Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was honored by President George W. Bush during her sixth state visit. The emperor’s 80 years were evident when the Nixons bade him an informal welcome in the portico of the West Wing. The little king’s beard was more grizzled and his once spry movements had slowed. The president ushered HIM into the Oval Office for a picture-taking session and reminded the emperor, “You have been in this room more than any other head of state. You were here in 1954.” 52 Then he told assembled reporters, “The emperor had probably made more visits to Washington than any other head of government.” In the ensuing talks, Nixon and Haile Selassie discussed the threat posed to Ethiopia by the growth of soviet and Cuban military activities in Somalia combined, with a growing insurgency in Eritrea. The emperor presented Nixon with a $450 million shopping list that Götterdämmerung 181 included F-4 Phantoms, M-60 tanks, surface-to air missiles, and airto-ground missiles. His timing was abysmal because of U.S. plans to withdraw from Kagnew, although this was not discussed in the Oval Office meeting. In nonmilitary assistance, Nixon announced the approval by USAID of a new U.S. loan of $4.8 million to combat malaria. The president noted that Haile Selassie was accompanied by his foreign affairs minister, Dr. Menassie Haile. “He was the highest-paid interpreter we’ve ever had in this room,” Nixon told HIM and added, “Your Majesty speaks very good English.” 53 Considering how much time the two leaders had spent together over the years, the president’s evaluation of the emperor’s spoken English ability was an informed one. Haile Selassie subsequently told Dr. Minassie that he highly respected Nixon who always was properly correct in their meetings and correspondence. 54 At the conclusion of his meeting with the president, the emperor was the luncheon guest of Vice President Agnew at the State Department. At 3:30 in the afternoon at Blair House, Acting Secretary of State Kenneth Rush informed the emperor that the future of Kagnew Station was under review, although this reflected no change in U.S. relations with Ethiopia. 55 Haile Selassie had later afternoon meetings with Secretary of Defense William Clements and Dr. John Hannah, administrator of USAID. At 6:30, the State Department held a reception in honor of HIM prior to a black-tie state dinner at the White House. Rose Mary Woods, the president’s secretary, had prepared two lists of guests: the eight o’clock diners, about 100, and the 10 o’clock audience of 135 for the entertainment in the East Room. Reflecting Nixon’s interest in sports, among the guests were Gordie Howe, of the Detroit Redwings; Don Newcombe, pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Richie Petitbon, of the Washington Redskins; and Bob Richards; Olympic pole-vaulter. At the White House, Haile Selassie found Nixon “vigorous as always and friendly.” 56 The emperor’s grandson, then rear admiral Eskinder Desta, had again accompanied HIM to America as a member of the official party. In a gift exchange, the president gave Haile Selassie a Bulova Accutron gilt-bronze clock mounted in a piece of lava stone from America Samoa with the presidential seal and a silver-framed photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Nixon. Pat Nixon was a warm, gracious first lady who loved people, and this hid her uneasiness in the role of hostess. 57 She had worked to make the White House accessible to as many visitors as possible by arranging special tours for disabled and blind persons, preparing a booklet 182 The Lion of Judah in the New World on the gardens, adding exterior lighting, and changing the guards’ uniforms to less imposing blazers. 58 Pat restored authentic antiques to the state rooms (many of Mrs. Kennedy’s acquisitions had been copies) and arranged for gifts or loans of several important paintings of presidents and first ladies. During her second year, the number of visitors to the Executive Mansion broke all records. She also practiced her own style of personal diplomacy, being the most traveled first lady and visiting 83 nations. 59 Pat was the first First Lady to travel to Africa, where she spent eight days and traveled 10,000 miles on the west coast. She met privately with the leaders of Liberia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. A tribal chief in Ghana said her trip bonded U.S.-Ghana relations in a way “not even a lion could destroy.” 60 Presidential Assistant H. R. Haldeman praised Mrs. Nixon’s trip as the single event of the administration to receive “universal approval.” The White House dinner guests sought Haile Selassie’s autograph. Slowly and patiently, he signed dinner cards in the Blue Room, including that of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. Asked if he often gets requests for his autograph, the emperor replied, “Yes. It’s always a pleasure. I sign as many as I can.” 61 During dinner, the Army Strolling Strings played. The monarch toasted Nixon as a statesman who had launched an era of negotiations that brought “a fresh breeze in the relations of big powers.” Nixon in turn toasted HIM, who had ruled for 57 years, as the “senior statesman of the world.” The evening’s entertainment was Metropolitan Opera coloratura soprano Gina La Bianca, wearing a fiery chiffon red dress, singing after-dinner songs in five languages. The U.S. Marine Corps Dance Combo then played for those wishing to dance. The emperor, his limbs with travel tired, did not tarry. He departed at 11:30 p.m. from Andrews Air Force Base on an Ethiopian Airlines special charter for Addis Ababa. It was his last hurrah in America. In Addis Ababa, two days later, Haile Selassie began the 10thanniversary celebration of the OAU by declaring that all of Africa would be liberated from foreign domination in the next 10 years. 62 Later, he spoke to 23 African heads of state or their deputies at the 10th anniversary meeting at Africa Hall. The emperor advocated a system for the mutual defense of the 41-member nations and the creation of a permanent Africa peacekeeping force. 63 In a subsequent session, there were heated verbal clashes between the Ethiopian delegation and representatives of Libya and Somali. The Libyan spokesman accused the IEG leadership of supporting Zionists and colonialists. Major General Siad Barre accused Ethiopia of preparing for war against Somalia.64 The latter accusation caused such rancor that the OAU set up a Götterdämmerung 183 commission to mediate the dispute. The 10th anniversary found the OAU strained, but not torn, by bitter disputes. Much more worrisome, or it should have been to the emperor, was the spreading famine in Ethiopia’s northern provinces. At the very time Haile Selassie’s attention appeared riveted on international affairs, his domestic scene, a cauldron of cooling melt, was deteriorating badly. By the spring of 1973, the famine was claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of peasants of Tigray and Wollo, and thousands more had sought relief in Ethiopian towns and villages. This was reported by university faculty and students, and a British filmmaker made a video program of the suffering that was shown in the UK. Yet, the IEG refused to act and engaged in a cover-up operation and a conspiracy of silence that would not be forgotten by the Ethiopian masses when the truth was revealed. Meanwhile in the United States, in August 1973, it was announced that most U.S. operations at Kagnew Station would cease by the end of FY 1974. Nixon was demonstrating his belief that the way to govern was by surprise. 65 The emperor no longer held the trump card, and a new era of U.S.-Ethiopian relations would begin. Foreign Minister Menassie made a face-saving request that the press release about the Kagnew withdrawal be simultaneously released in Washington and Addis Ababa and that it treat the decision as a joint one arrived at by mutual agreement. Neither country wanted to give the impression that the United States was abandoning Ethiopia. 66 Menassie then led a strong lobbying effort to increase what the IEG considered far too small a military assistance program. Kissinger was aware of the consequences of the U.S. action. Ethiopia would be free to seek alternate sources to supplement what the United States could do within the clear limitations on U.S. military aid. The only realistic choices, according to Kissinger, were the USSR or PRC. Questions about the extent of U.S. strategic requirements and future interests, as well as the degree to which the United States should put major resources into a vulnerable regime ruled by an aging emperor vis-à-vis the loss of Ethiopia to radical influences, would affect the total American position in the Red Sea area and be one more case of a U.S.-backed country, Ethiopia, appearing to lose out to a soviet-backed country, Somalia. 67 Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy involved geopolitical considerations largely unrelated to economic realities or the interests of the peoples involved. The Nixon administration was more concerned with Vietnam and Watergate than the plight of the ancient emperor and gave 184 The Lion of Judah in the New World a basically unfavorable response to the IEG’s requests for arms. The United States did agree to continue to grant military aid and training at agreed-upon levels and to supplement the program with credits for military sales, but this was far less than what had been requested. The rebuff by the United States made Haile Selassie’s last attempt at personal diplomacy at the White House “an unqualified disaster.” 68 The field marshal uniform had become too heavy. Minutes of the secretary of state’s staff meetings under newly designated Secretary Kissinger shed light on American thinking about Ethiopia during this time. Starting in October 1973, the Horn of Africa came up more frequently on the secretary’s agenda, but it was still only a small piece of the worldwide puzzle that State struggled to understand. Ethiopia’s reaction to the closing of Kagnew and the reduction of U.S. military assistance sparked a discussion in an October 25 meeting. The emperor scheduled an official visit to Moscow at the end of the month, probably with the intention, in part, to press the United States to increase its MAP. Kissinger’s advisors noted that the IEG usually wanted more military assistance because of Kagnew, and now that there was no Kagnew, “they want more military assistance because they no longer had it.” 69 Verbatim reactions of the State Department leaders to Haile Selassie’s again playing his Cold War card are revealing: MR. PORTER: Will he do another hundred million dollar stunt this time in Moscow? You remember that famous credit? That scared everybody to death here. And not a damned thing happened. MR. NEWSOM: They still haven’t drawn down about $11 million of that $100 million. MR. PORTER: He is a great old boy for just that kind of thing. SECRETARY KISSINGER: He is the world’s greatest. 70 On another occasion, Kissinger said, “My experience is that Haile Selassie does nothing unless it is that he makes the most boring toasts of anybody I have ever heard.” 71 A scathing comment, but not as cutting as Korry’s 1964 jibe that “veracity is not one of his [HIM’s] stronger attributes.” 72 Official esteem for the Emperor was not what it had been a few years before. By January 1974, State was paying more attention to the Ethiopian famine and the way the IEG was handling it. Concerns about the stability of the emperor’s government precluded any increase in MAP or beginning an escalation in weapons systems. Götterdämmerung 185 While reviewing the confused state of affairs in Ethiopia, Kissinger admitted that “I was never in favor of giving up Kagnew. I always thought it would have serious political consequences.” 73 Three months later, Kissinger had forgotten the name of the listening post and had to be reminded that it was Kagnew, not “Catina,” as he called it. So much for Kagnew being the center of the American universe that Ethiopians ascribed to it during the 1960s and 1970s. 74 Still worrying about a prospective invasion of Ethiopia by Somali, in April 1974, the IEG made another appeal for $150 million in military assistance. Kissinger was willing to give them $25 million to demonstrate U.S. support of the government, but the social and political situation in Ethiopia was so confusing by that time that top American officials, lacking meaningful intelligence reports, were reluctant to act until they could be sure the emperor would survive the turmoil that was developing.75 The days of monarchical supremacy were numbered. Haile Selassie’s return home from America with little to show for the effort and the shutdown of Kagnew were contributing factors to the emperor’s removal in the creeping coup or revolution that was underway by the end of 1973. Ethiopia’s frustrated intellectuals, armed forces, farmers, and emerging business sector were all alienated and objected to the government’s botched handling of the famine, a stagnant economy, and the lack of reform in Ethiopia. The gathered strands of the spiders’ web could tie up a lion—even the Lion of Judah. The sins of the nation’s defender of the faith combined, as all the best of scandals do, allegations of graft, egregious grandiosity, and the seasoning salt of greed—all grist for the revolutionaries’ mill. The emperor’s achievements were buried under the avalanche of tragic flaws that brought him down. And the accomplishments were many but irrelevant to the mob. University students eventually articulated their demands and “radicalized” the military, whose leadership became anti-American. This led to the September 1974 revolution that overthrew the emperor and brought the autocratic military Derg to power. The United States underscored its rejection of HIM by not having an ambassador at the court of a rapidly failing sovereign after Ross Adair retired from the post in 1974. At the time Haile Selassie was overthrown, the Nixon administration was mired in its own political scandal and was not in a position to pay much attention to Ethiopia. The emperor was forced out of the palace only a month after Nixon was forced out of the White House and resigned from the presidency in light of the Watergate debacle. It was a Götterdämmerung, the twilight of the Gods who had reigned so powerfully only months before.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 5/31/2014 5:22:20 AM

Give thanks for the read. Unfortunate it was written from the perspective of pro-capitalist propaganda. I didnt appreciate the slander toward the King after 1970. They claimed he was anti-communist but his activities in the OAU and with other african countries would suggest otherwise. He didnt show any favor for one over the other. Any time the west (even to this day) want to colonise africa they do so under the pretense of the 'fight against communism.'
All of the invites to Washington and the US only took the Kings attention from direct observation of the going ons inside ethiopia. Then the sudden withdrawal of military funding and aid from the US in 1970 only left the throne open to attack. ....

More on the soviet or somali influence over the DERG or a none aligned / biased review of the real intentions of the US in ethiopia from mid 1960s onward would be good. Was ethiopias backing and training of guerrila liberation movements in Africa at the time a factor? Who funded the opposition to the king?

Messenger: Eleazar Sent: 5/31/2014 1:18:17 PM

Garvey's Africa,

The two chapters I posted are from a book called "The Lion of Judah in the New World" by Theodore M. Vestal. The book is written from an American/western/capitalist perspective but still contains some interesting accounts of Selassie's visits to the Anglosphere countries.

Its ironic that although Selassie I was the most responsible for bringing education to Ethiopia, some of the younger generations of Ethiopians that received a western education became indoctrinated in Marxist/Leninist ideas and came to view Selassie as an autocrat/Feudal despot. These careless Ethiopians joined forces with elements in the military and brought the Derg to power.

The derg brought nothing but destruction to Ethiopia, the country was much better off during Selassie's Reign.

Ethiopia was projected to have become the breadbasket for the Middle East and Africa, but the resulting civil war with the Derg caused famine instead.

Selassie was not anti-communist or pro-capitalist, Selassie I led the non-aligned movement. Selassie received aid from both America and Russia.

I and I know that Selassie I Lives and is still the Earth's Rightful Ruler.

RasTafarI Lives.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 5/31/2014 2:10:01 PM

Give thanks for the reference brethren. Placing the blame on the misguided intentions of a few educated youths is the official story. I want to know the conspiracy theories. Who was active in ethiopia at the time, what were the inner workings, who could a coup on the king benefit most internationally?

I know theres always more than one version to a history

Selassie I Live

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