Chapter 9: Ethiopia in the Crosshairs
TheTrumpet.com, December 11, 2011
The Trumpet does more than simply analyze blockbuster headlines. We also write them—often months, years, decades even, in advance.
Here is a blockbuster headline soon to come out of Ethiopia: Islamists Gain Control of Ethiopia, Eritrea.
It’s easy to glance at Ethiopia, a pro-Western, comparatively stable, predominantly Christian country that rarely makes prime-time news, and think that’s absurd. But if you look closely, and consider the broader perspective, Ethiopia’s future is grim, very grim. In fact, Ethiopia is in jeopardy right now.
Surrounded by Islam
First, consider Islam’s control over the region. Start in Morocco, the western gateway into the Mediterranean, where in November the Islamist Justice and Development Party, which represents the Muslim Brotherhood, came out on top in parliamentary elections and now leads the nation’s coalition government. Islam’s victory in Morocco occurred less than a month after the Ennahda Party, another outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, dominated national elections down the road in Tunisia. Next door in Libya, where Col. Muammar Qadhafi was recently ousted and killed, Islamist parties, some of which are associated with radical terrorists, are gaining the upper hand.
Head a little farther east and we come to Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and hardline Islamist political parties trounced their competitors in parliamentary elections last November and December. In the first two rounds of voting, Egypt’s Islamist parties garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote! It’s now abundantly clear, lamented Caroline Glick last December, that “Egypt is on the fast track to becoming a totalitarian Islamic state” (emphasis added throughout).
Travel north from Cairo and we hit Gaza, the stronghold of Iranian proxy Hamas. Farther north still are Lebanon and Syria, where there are an assortment of Islamic terrorist organizations, one of which recently lobbed two missiles into Israel. Syria is led (still) by Bashar Assad, a stalwart ally of Iran, and is a key staging ground for radical Islam’s war on Israel. North of Syria is Turkey, a nation that has in recent years slid toward the radical Islamist camp.
Skip east of Turkey and you find Pakistan and Afghanistan, two bastions of radical Islamic terrorism. Retrace your steps west and there’s Iran: the command center of global Islamic terrorism, a nation on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, led by mullahs determined to create a nuclear apocalypse. Across the border in Iraq, Iranian proxies are right now filling the power vacuum created by the departure of United States forces.
Farther south, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are all alarmed by the rise of Iran-sponsored Islamic terrorism. Head south from Riyadh and we come to Yemen: a chaotic, headless state where Islah, the Islamist political party created by the Muslim Brotherhood, will likely get the victory when Yemenis finally get around to voting. From Yemen we hop the Gulf of Aden to get to Somalia, where Islamist pirates routinely hijack vessels in the Indian Ocean and the fragile Transitional Federal Government (tfg) routinely wards off attacks by al-Shabaab and its terrorist partners.
Finally, we come to Ethiopia, a nation standing in the path of this barreling, Iran-steered, radical Islamist freight train! Is it any surprise that the Ethiopian government recently discovered a plot by Wahhabi Muslims to turn the country into an Islamic country governed by sharia law?
And Next Door in Eritrea
Meanwhile, radical Islamist forces have gotten a foothold in Eritrea, Ethiopia’s regional adversary and a nation strategically situated at the gateway of the Red Sea.
In 2006, the United Nations accused Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Hezbollah of providing arms, training and financing to Islamic militants in Somalia via Eritrea. In December 2008, reports emerged that Iranian naval vessels had visited the Eritrean port of Assab and deposited an undisclosed number of Iranian troops and weapons there, including long-range and ballistic missiles. A few months later, an official in Somalia’s tfg government accused Iran of arming al-Shabaab via Eritrean middlemen.
Most recently, Kenyan media reported in November that a shipment of arms, the third of its kind, had been delivered via Eritrea to al-Shabaab in Somalia.
Still More Pressures
In addition to the radical Islamist problem festering inside its borders and the growing threat from Eritrea, Ethiopia is under increasing threat from the radical Islamist presence in Somalia. Mogadishu’s Transitional Federal Government is frail and politically immature, two issues made worse by the fact that it is under near-constant attack from al-Shabaab and its regional supporters, including Iran. Ethiopia’s border with Somalia is nearly 1,000 miles long, and the risk of the Islamist war spilling over into Ethiopia is real, which is why Ethiopia supports the tfg. By doing so, however, Ethiopia risks becoming a target of al-Shabaab and its radical Islamist partners.
That’s not all Ethiopia has to worry about. Last August, Iran’s foreign minister visited Somalia and met with President Sharif Ahmed and other leaders in the tfg. The official purpose of the visit was to discuss Iran providing humanitarian aid. According to Stratfor, relations between Ethiopia’s leaders and Ahmed are strained. It’s possible, explained Stratfor, that the meeting between the Iranian foreign minister and the president of Somalia “could have been used to explore other sources of political backing” (Aug. 26, 2011).
No doubt, the visit to Somalia by the foreign minister of the number one state sponsor of Islamic terrorism gave more than a few Ethiopian officials nightmares!
No matter what angle you view it from, the picture is the same: Ethiopia is under extreme pressure to come under the influence of radical Islam!
Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, and via its Islamic allies in Egypt is fast gaining decisive influence over the Suez Canal. When it eventually gains influence over Ethiopia and Eritrea, Iran will control the Red Sea.
When that happens, Iran will have the power to lock down virtually the entire Middle East!