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Alex Dewaal’s Intellectual dishonesty and his invisible warfare on Ethiopia

Alex Dewaal _ Ethiopia _ Mesfin Aman

Mesfin Aman
February 14,2021 


Alex Dewaal of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University is once again deceiving the world by making claims that the Ethiopian government uses famine as a weapon of war. An op-ed article, full of misinformation about the situation in Tigrai published last week on BBC Africa, questionably claimed that the government of Ethiopia is using famine as weapon in Tigray conflict. 

The article features  Alex Dewaal’s opinion, who is known for his blatant favouritism towards the TPLF. Alex Dewaal made a name for himself as an expert on the politics of  famine and regional peace. In this article, Alex Dewaal tried to invalidate any government effort to help vulnerable people through provision of basic necessities. 

What is becoming increasingly clear is that this is a part of  western media outlets and their pseudo regional experts aggressive misinformation campaign on Ethiopia’s government law enforcement operation on the rebel TPLF group. The misinformation campaign is intended to legitimize TPLF’s attack on the Ethiopian National defence force and tried to overlook the cause of the conflict.

This crusade is being led by,  among others, the Alex Dewaal, notorious TPLF’s apologists and accomplice in the untold 27 years of crimes committed against Ethiopians. In January, the long-time admirer of the TPLF and its leader the late Meles Zenawi wrote a homage for the late Seyoum Mesfin, who was one of Zenawi’s close confidants and foregin minister for two decades. He described him as “Ethiopian Peacemaker and Patriot”.

 In his statement, Alex was completely blinded to TPLF’s atrocious human rights records. He was wilfully ignorant of the TPLF’s premeditated attack on ENDF and Seyum Mesfin’s role in promoting war with the federal government. 

For over 27 years, Dewaal defended the TPLF record and tried to cover up famine under their rule. One showcase of this dishonesty is his New York Times article published on (May 8,2016) “Is the Era of Great Famines Over?”. Contrary to what he wrote then, this time on his latest opinion article “From Ethiopia’s Tigray region to Yemen, the dilemma of declaring a famine,” the same De waal tried to frame famine for political purpose, claiming that “Ethiopia has a history of famine denial.”  He cooked up false stories of “humanitarian crisis” to get sympathy from the international community and give TPLF a breathing space. He has employed several intellectually dishonest tactics, including a false analogy and appeal to emotion fallacies. The famine story is purposely used  as a way to get compassion from the audience. Furthermore, Alex Dewaal  also faces traffic deception. This is intellectually dishonest pieces used to manipulate the reader.

In his BBC article Dewaal is attempting to use a human tragedy to advance a political agenda. He uses suffering people as an input to his misinformation campaign. Many still fleeing from the gunshot, escape to the Sudan and others  waited emergency aid as Dewaal and his friends began an extraordinary and instantaneous smear campaign. Alex Dewaal’s prior publication history reveals him to be politically motivated and strongly affiliated with the TPLF leaders.  

Since the start of the law enforcement operation De waal published excessively on cunning, biased, or even illogical stories on different news outlets. The contents focused mostly on discrediting the government and bolstering the TPLF, which is intellectually dishonest. All his writing since the start of the conflict fail to apply standards of reporting method, usually in a self-serving fashion. Most of his articles choose to ignore the facts, elaborate on negative incidents. 

By doing so he is abusing the resources of a highly regarded Tufts University World Peace Foundation to advance a violent group’s cause. 

Almost all western analysts and pundits employ intellectual dishonesty very visibly on the current crisis in Tigray. Alex Dewaal and the likes lost their balance and deviated from professional ethics by turning a blind eye to TPLF’s atrocities in the country. He twisted facts to advance his own agenda or to reinforce his deeply held view on TPLF in the face of overwhelming evidence. To produce false narrative, he relied on things that support his agenda without critically verifying whether it is true or false, and conversely ignored things that might undermine his motivated outcome. 

These pseudo experts and outright liars openly waged a misinformation campaign using mostly western media outlets against Ethiopia. They are determined to control the narration and scored political advantage from the ongoing tragedy. This is all very postmodern, a version of misinformation. What is on display is a cast of mind in which facts and reality are secondary to storylines and narratives. Their aim is not truth; it is to advance the TPLF’s cause. 

The Alex Dewaal and other ‘experts’ calling for the withdrawal of Eritrean troops and international intervention in Tigray  have demonstrably reached that stage of intellectual rot. 

So their integrity is utterly discredited, proven to be wholly intellectually corrupt and yet the BBC and other western media channels refer Alex Dewaal, Martin Plaut and others as independent analysts. We also see a lot of ‘experts’, uninformed journalists & biased organisations meddling on the internal affairs of Ethiopia without facts & evidence. Ethiopians are  going to unmask the Intellectual dishonesty of such ‘experts’  through the lens of truth. 

Most western ‘experts’ on Ethiopia have used their position of authority to twist fact and develop the narrative that suits their agenda. The so-called western experts similarly attempt to curtail the contribution of academics and expertise. The recent media campaign provides us with a useful reminder of how foreign ‘analysts’ or ‘experts’ undermine Ethiopia’s national unity.

Ethiopian scholars have to counter such disinformation with evidence so the world community would be educated. The responsibility here lies on local experts and Ethiopian academics. Ethiopian scholars need to make it a primary responsibility to expose misinformation through an informed, and fact based reporting.  

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From the same author : TPLF cranks up lobbying machine to misinform the world

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