What’s He Got to Hide?

Ethiopia brutally imprisons journalists who champion free speech and an end to human rights abuses. That repression is only inviting more scrutiny. Full Story »

Posted by Manfred Ostrowski - via Nicholas Kristof, New York Times (Opinion), Opinion Source

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Review

Bob Herrschaft
4.0
by Bob Herrschaft - Jan. 31, 2012

Although the human rights abuses in Ethiopia don't come as a surprise the article nevertheless triggers some thoughts about humanitarian aid and how it's distributed not only by governments but by private foundations as well. When humanitarian aid bolsters regimes that treat their people(or the foreign press) like laboratory animals it seems to me that funding is misplaced and should be redirected toward the few struggling democracies that could use more of that assistance. Judiciously placed, this type of aid(non-military) can be beneficial to both the donor and the recipient for the good will it can foster but where human rights abuses(or corruption) prevail it becomes counter-productive and helps to entrench autocratic government. In the case of Ethiopia it appears it could have been a reward for that country's acting as a U.S. surrogate in Somalia, but the humanitarian aid could only be justified because the regime was doing some good for its people, as the article indicates.

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